Jun 202024
 


Roy Lichtenstein Woman in Bath 1963

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boondoggle

 

 

Gaetz

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Mayorkas

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Russia Willing to Commit to Peaceful Negotiations (Manley)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Polish MP Calls For Landmines At Russian Border (RT)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UK Tories Face Election Wipeout – Polls (RT)

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

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

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

‘God Destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah’ (RT)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Masochists wanted.

Boeing Can’t Find New CEO – WSJ (RT)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Morgan Freeman

 

 

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

 

 

Moose

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

May 212024
 


Roy Lichtenstein Crying girl 1963

 

Assange Secures Big Win In US Extradition Hearing: How It Happened (RT)
Vladimir Zelensky: No Mandate, No Election. So What Now? (Drize)
End of Zelensky’s Term To Have No Effect On Russia’s Operation – Kremlin (TASS)
Zelensky Emerges as ‘First Obstacle’ to Peaceful Resolution of Ukrainian Conflict (SP.)
Zelensky A ‘Legitimate Military Target’ – Medvedev (RT)
Ukraine has lost 90% Of Energy Capacity – Ex-Minister (RT)
ICC Chief Prosecutor Seeks Arrest Warrants For Netanyahu And Hamas Leaders (RT)
There Is No Genocide In Gaza – Biden (RT)
Why Are Israel And The West Unravelling In Tandem? (Alastair Crooke)
Judge in Trump Case Says She’s Concerned With Special Counsel Jack Smith (ET)
Michael Cohen Admits Stealing Tens of Thousands From Trump Organization (ET)
The President Whose Voice Must Not Be Heard (Turley)
China Offloads Record Amount Of Dollar Assets – Data (RT)
Fugazy Land (Jim Kunstler)

 

 

Tapper

 

 

Biden SCOTUS

 

 

Fani
https://twitter.com/i/status/1792738591161901068

 

 

Totalitarianism

 

 

 

 

“Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Sputnik that the decision of the UK’s High Court of Justice in London doesn’t appear to be in support of the Wikileaks founder. “It is difficult to call the ongoing execution a ‘decision in favor of Assange,'” Zakharova said.”

“The UK High Court ruled that Washington’s assurances of a fair trial for the WikiLeaks founder were insufficient, allowing a full appeal.”

My first reaction: Until now, the appeals were always limited to a few small points, excluding most others. This appears different. RT claims it is a full appeal. Which would involve 1000s upon 1000s of pages of documents that may have to be revisited. I don’t see a positive confirmation of this. We’ll have to see. Knock on wood.

Assange Secures Big Win In US Extradition Hearing: How It Happened (RT)

The High Court in London has ruled that WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange has the right to appeal an extradition request by the US. Washington is seeking to put the Australian publisher on trial for espionage for disclosing alleged war crimes committed by the US in Iraq and Afghanistan. The UK High Court considered Washington’s assurances that Assange would be given a fair trial if extradited to the US. The court had previously requested two sets of written guarantees from the US stating that the WikiLeaks founder would not be discriminated against due to his Australian citizenship, and would not be held in a maximum security prison or be given the death penalty. If the court had ruled that these guarantees were adequate, Assange would likely have been extradited to the US in a matter of days. While the US had provided the assurances, it did so with a number of conditions.

The American side promised not to immediately place Assange in a maximum security prison, but reserved the right to do so based on his conduct. US prosecutors also stated that the WikiLeaks founder would be able to rely on the First Amendment right to free speech during the trial, but noted that its applicability would be “exclusively within the purview of the US courts.” Assange’s supporters slammed Washington’s diplomatic assurances, with Amnesty International’s criminal justice expert Juli Hall calling them “inherently unreliable because the US government gives itself an out.” The publisher’s wife, Stella Assange, had also described the US guarantees as “blatant weasel words.” Ahead of Monday’s ruling, hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the High Court in London calling for Assange’s immediate release.

During the hearing, Assange’s lawyer Edward Fitzgerald told the judges that the assurances of a fair trial given by US prosecutors could not be relied upon as American courts would not be bound by them. “We say this is a blatantly inadequate assurance,” Fitzgerald told the court. In a short ruling, the two senior judges of London’s High Court stated that the assurances provided by the US were not sufficient, and gave Assange’s legal team the right to a full appeal hearing. While the legal battle continues, Assange himself will remain in London’s top-security Belmarsh Prison, where he has been held for the past five years since his arrest in 2019 when his asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London was revoked.

The legal victory was immediately celebrated by Assange’s supporters, with Amnesty International’s Simon Crowther calling it a “rare piece of positive news for Julian Assange and all defenders of press freedom.” Stella Assange applauded the court’s verdict, calling it the “right decision.” She criticized the US for the ongoing persecution of her husband, and demanded that Washington “read the situation” and drop the case against him. Former Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn also celebrated Monday’s verdict, but stressed that there was still a lot to be done to secure Assange’s freedom.

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“On May 20, Vladimir Zelensky’s presidential powers officially expired..”

Vladimir Zelensky: No Mandate, No Election. So What Now? (Drize)

On May 20, Vladimir Zelensky’s presidential powers officially expired. He retains power, however, because no elections can be held in Ukraine due to the current state of martial law. Responding to a question last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin said peace agreements can only be signed with legitimate leaders. He added that the Ukrainian legal system should draw the necessary conclusions. Firstly, because there is the temptation, if not to cancel them altogether, then to postpone elections in Ukraine for as long as possible. Of course, even if peace is achieved, Ukraine’s infrastructure will have to be rebuilt in order to conduct a proper ballot. Political life also needs to be restarted. All this takes time. But the main point is that Zelensky may well lose the election. He no longer looks like a winner. Moreover, it’s relevant to ask if Ukraine will survive not just as a state but with some form of democracy. It is also unlikely to join NATO any time soon.

There is a growing sense that Zelensky’s backers are tiring of him. A true politician has to be able to run a long race, which is why US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has hinted at the desirability of holding elections. So what’s the bigger picture here? A high-level peace conference on Ukraine is scheduled for mid-June in Burgenstock, Switzerland. It’s highly likely that this will fall short of expectations, to put it mildly. If it takes place at all. At the very least, the participation of the Global South appears to be unlikely. And US President Joe Biden is apparently not coming either. What was the point of all this? Well, for Zelensky this is an important project – to get as many influential states on his side as possible. Instead, China is promoting its own peace plan, supported by Russia. And the West is subtly making it clear that, in theory, it would be open to discussions.

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent trip to Europe saw all this discussed. We also have to recognize that it’s very difficult for Zelensky to continue fighting without enough weapons and without clear guarantees that supplies won’t stop at some point. And with mobilization not going well, Russia advancing, and the West getting tired of him, if the conference in Switzerland also fails, it will be a big blow for the Ukrainian leader. On the other hand, a compromise might be even worse. This is where you need political experience – rather than making unreasonable demands or issuing statements about saving the West. But we aren’t going to give advice. It’s clear that there is no ideal way out for Moscow either, so everything is very complicated. The chances for peace are slim, but at least some do exist.

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“The powers of the current Ukrainian president under the current Constitution expire on May 21. There is no legitimate way of extending them..”

End of Zelensky’s Term To Have No Effect On Russia’s Operation – Kremlin (TASS)

The expiration of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s term of office does not affect the special military operation, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has told reporters. “No, the special operation continues,” Peskov said when asked whether the expiration of Zelensky’s term of office might influence the special operation. The powers of the current Ukrainian president under the current Constitution expire on May 21. There is no legitimate way of extending them. Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed that the issue of the Zelensky presidency’s legitimacy after May 20 should be resolved in Ukraine by its political and legal systems.

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“He is the first obstacle to any peace negotiation. If he comes to Switzerland, it would be for receiving the support of his Western supporters and to get more aid for the war. Not for peace..”

Zelensky Emerges as ‘First Obstacle’ to Peaceful Resolution of Ukrainian Conflict (Sp.)

Nextpmonth, Switzerland is expected to host a conference ostensibly meant to help achieve a peaceful resolution of the Ukrainian conflict, even though Russia was not invited while BRICS members and Global South countries seem reluctant to attend the event. The upcoming conference at the Burgenstock resort in Switzerland, touted by its organizers as an event to further the peace process in Ukraine, will most definitely be anything but a peace summit, says Swiss MP and former executive director of the Geneva Press Club Guy Mettan. “The deliberate rejection of Russia is now jeopardizing the success of the meeting and returning against its organizers,” Mettan tells Sputnik, pointing out that Russia was not invited to participate in the conference. “Aware of this problem, the Swiss official narrative is now trying to put forward that Russia didn’t wish to participate and that its absence came from its own decision, which is false and will not mislead anybody outside the collective West.”

According to Mettan, the countries of the Global South may end up sending their representatives to this gathering, though they will likely dispatch “medium-level participants with no-decision power, in order to avoid being accused of being ‘against the peace’ or of ‘boycotting the West’.” “For the Global South, the present questions are: why should it participate in a summit which is no longer a summit, which is not focused on peace due to the non-invitation of Russia, and which will certainly be a failure?” he adds. Mettan also argues that Zelensky is in fact opposed to the “real negotiation process” as he signed a decree banning any peace talks with Russia and with his so-called peace formula essentially calling for Russia’s capitulation. “He is the first obstacle to any peace negotiation. If he comes to Switzerland, it would be for receiving the support of his Western supporters and to get more aid for the war. Not for peace,” Mettan remarks.

The lawmaker suggests that Western support for Zelensky’s regime, aimed at weakening Russia, may persist until the US presidential election in November, but afterwards, the strategy’s failures might become more apparent across the military, economic, financial, and political domains. Meanwhile, it appears that the summit in question has been snubbed by many of the prospective participants due to the “unrealistic approach” adopted by the event’s organizers, says Paolo Raffone, a strategic analyst and director of the CIPI Foundation in Brussels. During an interview with Sputnik, Raffone points out that not only Russia was not invited to the summit, but the conference itself is aimed at promoting the so-called Zelensky ‘peace formula,’ a scheme that includes the demand for Russia to cede a part of its territory to Ukraine as a precondition for ending the Ukrainian conflict. “Such an unrealistic approach is the reason for many invitees not attending. The countries that have chosen not to attend are aware that a dialogue in the absence of Russia does not represent ‘the legitimate interests of the parties’,” he explains. “Moreover, no peace talks are well funded if not based on reality. Any meaningful peace talks imply that the Ukrainian government must recognize the ‘new territorial realities’.”

“World leaders are aware that any resolution to the war in Ukraine can only find a settlement between the real world powers underpinning the events, notably Russia and US,” he adds. “While behind the scenes contacts and talks are continuing, the majority of world leaders believe that the time is not yet ripe for ‘peace talks’ and that in any case the starting point cannot be other than the document drafted and mostly agreed in Turkiye in March 2022.” The analyst also observed that the implementation of Zelensky’s plan would be impossible without the “direct military intervention of Western countries,” and that it has already become clear that “none of the Western countries will officially send troops to fight in Ukraine against Russia.”

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“He spat on the Constitution of his ‘country,’ ignored the Constitutional Court, and did not even extend, but usurped the supreme power..”

Zelensky A ‘Legitimate Military Target’ – Medvedev (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, as the leader of a “hostile political regime,” is a legitimate military target, Dmitry Medvedev, the head of Russia’s Security Council, has said. Speaking to TASS on Monday, Medvedev said that the question of Zelensky’s legitimacy as president is of no particular importance to Moscow. “For Russia, the final loss of legitimacy by the pseudo-president of the former Ukraine will not change anything,” the former Russian president said, noting that the leaders of countries waging war are “always considered” a legitimate military target. Medvedev called Zelensky a “war criminal,” who should be caught and brought to justice or “liquidated as a terrorist” for his crimes against Russians and Ukrainians.

Zelensky appeared on the Russian Interior Ministry’s wanted list earlier this month though no data has been released about criminal proceedings against him. The constitutional powers of the current Ukrainian president expired on May 20. A presidential election was originally scheduled for March, but was postponed under the pretext of martial law, which was imposed after the start of the conflict with Russia in February 2022, and has repeatedly been extended by the nation’s legislature. Zelensky announced in December 2023 that no presidential or parliamentary elections would be held as long as martial law remains in force. In early May, lawmakers prolonged martial law by another three months. According to Medvedev, Zelensky “effectively seized power” in the country after elections were annulled.

“He spat on the constitution of his ‘country,’ ignored the Constitutional Court, and did not even extend, but usurped the supreme power,” Medvedev argued, adding that Zelensky “covered himself with an inarticulate declaration of the Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian parliament) on the abolition of presidential elections in times of war.” In March, Ukrainskaya Pravda claimed, citing members of parliament, that Zelensky had virtually stripped the legislature of its powers and established de facto personal rule. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said recently that a “moment will come soon when many people, including those inside Ukraine, will question [President Zelensky’s] legitimacy.”

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“..Galushchenko urged Ukrainians to prepare for outages during spring and summer, and advised the population to stock up on electricity generators and power banks..”

Ukraine has lost 90% Of Energy Capacity – Ex-Minister (RT)

About 90% of Ukraine’s power generation capacity has been taken out by Russian missile attacks, according to former minister of infrastructure Aleksey Kucherenko. The situation is not expected to improve dramatically, as the damaged infrastructure cannot be restored quickly, the member of parliament warned during an interview with the YouTube channel Vishka. “We have lost around eight thousand megawatts of electricity, that’s a lot, out of eight thousand, 800 are currently working,” he said, citing power engineers, and warning of extensive power outages through the summer and winter. Moscow began targeting Ukrainian energy infrastructure in the autumn of 2022, after Russia’s Crimean Bridge was bombed that October.

In recent months Russia has intensified its strikes on Ukrainian military and energy facilities. In April, the Russian Defense Ministry said the bombardment was in response to Kiev’s attempts to target Russian oil infrastructure. Since January, Ukraine has launched multiple long-range attacks on energy facilities deep inside Russia, including oil depots and refineries, using kamikaze drones. In April, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia’s strikes on energy facilities “directly affect the defense industry of Ukraine,” calling them part of “demilitarization” efforts. Moscow reiterated the attacks are only aimed at Ukrainian military targets and facilities that support their operations, and never at the civilian population.

To alleviate the pressure on the power grid, Ukraine has introduced temporary blackouts for industrial and household consumers in all regions. The nation has also ramped up imports of electricity from neighboring EU countries – Romania, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary – and also from Moldova. Earlier this month, Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushchenko claimed that the combined financial losses from Russian attacks amounted to more than $1 billion, and warned that the figure is likely to rise. He noted that the main damage was to thermal and hydro generation, as well as power transmission systems. In April, Galushchenko urged Ukrainians to prepare for outages during spring and summer, and advised the population to stock up on electricity generators and power banks.

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Not everyone will be pleased…

ICC Chief Prosecutor Seeks Arrest Warrants For Netanyahu And Hamas Leaders (RT)

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has said he’s seeking arrest warrants for Israeli and Hamas leaders, including Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. There are “reasonable grounds to believe” that the wanted persons are responsible for “war crimes and crimes against humanity” in Gaza and in Israel, Karim Khan outlined in a statement on Monday. Along with Netanyahu, the prosecutor is looking to arrest Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. The wanted Hamas officials include the Palestinian armed group’s leader Yahya Sinwar, the commander of its military wing –al-Qassam Brigades – Mohammed Diab Ibrahim al-Masri, and the chief of Hamas’ Political Bureau Ismail Haniyeh, the prosecutor’s statement reads. According to Khan, Netanyahu and Gallant are suspected of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Gaza such as intentional attacks on a civilian population, willful killing and causing of suffering, using starvation as a method of warfare, “extermination and/or murder” as well as other “inhumane acts.”

The wanted Hamas leaders allegedly “bear criminal responsibility” for murder, rape and other acts of sexual violence, and for taking hostages, torture and other “inhumane acts,” the prosecutor said. On October 7, Hamas fighters carried out an incursion into Israel, which resulted in about 1,200 people being killed and 250 taken hostage. The Israeli government responded to the attack by launching a large-scale military operation in Gaza that is still ongoing. According to data from the Palestinian enclave’s health ministry, 35,456 have been killed and 79,476 others wounded as a result of Israel’s airstrikes and ground offensive. Israel is not a member of the ICC and does not recognize the jurisdiction of the UN court, but the State of Palestine joined the organization in 2015. Once warrants against Netanyahu and Hamas leaders are issued, any of the court’s 124 member-states will be obliged to arrest them if they set foot on their territory.

Benny Gantz, the centrist member of Israel’s three-person war cabinet, labeled the decision by Khan to seek arrest warrants against Netanyahu and Gallant as “a crime of historic proportions.” Israel is waging “one of the just wars fought in modern history” and drawing parallels between its top officials and Hamas leaders is “a deep distortion of justice and blatant moral bankruptcy,” he claimed in a statement. The country’s far-right finance minister, Bezalel Smotrich said that “we have not seen such a show of hypocrisy and hatred of Jews like that displayed by the court in the Hague since Nazi propaganda.” Another rightist cabinet member, national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, has urged the Israeli PM and defense minister to “ignore the anti-Semitic prosecutor and order a stepped-up assault against Hamas until they are completely destroyed.”

Back in April, when reports of a possible arrest warrant against Netanyahu emerged, the PM blamed the ICC for seeking to “paralyze Israel’s very ability to defend itself,” while fanning the “fires of anti-Semitism.” Axios reported earlier this month that a group of Republican lawmakers in the US House of Representatives had been devising sanctions against the ICC in a bid to deter it from prosecuting the Israeli leaders. The US, Israel’s major ally, is not a state party to the Rome Statute, which founded the ICC in 2002.

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We’re beyond semantics, Joe…

There Is No Genocide In Gaza – Biden (RT)

US President Joe Biden has dismissed arguments that Israel’s military operation in Gaza can be described as genocide, reiterating Washington’s support for West Jerusalem as he hosted an event for Jewish American Heritage month at the White House. On Monday, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Karim Khan, announced that he is seeking arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, as well as Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Diab Ibrahim al-Masri, and Ismail Haniyeh, accusing them of “war crimes and crimes against humanity.” Speaking at the White House later in the day, Biden condemned the ICC move as well as separate allegations by the UN’s International Court of Justice that Israel’s actions in Gaza could be genocidal.

“Let me be clear, contrary to allegations against Israel made by the International Court of Justice, what’s happening is not genocide. We reject that,” Biden said. Palestinian militant group Hamas carried out an incursion into Israel on October 7 which resulted in about 1,200 people being killed and 250 taken hostage. The Israeli government responded by launching a large-scale military operation in Gaza, which according to the Palestinian enclave’s health ministry has killed over 35,000 people and left almost 80,000 others wounded. Israel has vowed to continue the offensive until Hamas is completely eliminated. “We stand with Israel to take out Sinwar and the rest of the butchers of Hamas,” Biden said on Monday. “We want Hamas defeated. We’ve worked with Israel to make that happen.”

In January, an interim ruling by the ICJ, the UN’s top court in The Hague, ordered Israel to take steps to prevent genocide and improve humanitarian conditions for Gaza’s population. The lawsuit, filed by South Africa late last year, accuses West Jerusalem of committing systematic war crimes in the Palestinian region. Ireland announced in March that it would support Pretoria’s case, calling Israel’s actions in Gaza a “blatant violation of international humanitarian law on a mass scale.” Last week, Egypt also called on Israel to “comply with its obligations as the occupying power.”

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“..more and more Israelis on both sides of the divide see their country as essentially split into two distinct (non-reconcilable) entities”. Does this sound familiar, albeit in another context?..”

Why Are Israel And The West Unravelling In Tandem? (Alastair Crooke)

Alon Pinkas, a former senior Israeli diplomat (well plugged in at the White House), says aloud the ‘reality’ about Israel which he underlines cannot be hidden further: “[There are now] two [Jewish] states – with contrasting visions of what the nation should be. There is an elephant in the Israeli room – and ‘no’: it’s not occupation, though that is its main cause”. “The elephant in the room is Israel gradually but inexorably being divided [into a high-tech, secular, liberal state] … and a Jewish-supremacist, ultranationalist theocracy with messianic, antidemocratic tendencies that encourage isolation”. “Zionism … has morphed and mutated through the settler movement and extreme right-wing zealots into a Masada-like political culture, based on the concept of the redemption of the ancient kingdom in the ancestral land. (Masada was a Sicarii cult in CE 73)”. Pinkas continues:

“[I]n essence, there is a civil war raging in Israel. It has not reached Gettysburg levels, but the deep and wide schism is becoming glaringly evident. The two political value systems are just not reconcilable. “We are fighting the Arabs (or Iran) for our existence” remains the only common thread, but it is weakening. That is a negative definition of national identity: a common enemy and threat, but very little of what unites us in terms of the type of society and country we want to be”. “Even the most fundamental common narrative, the Declaration of Independence, is now being questioned with some of its basic tenets and guiding principles a source of political contention”. Of course, one can see from which side of the divide Pinkas views his world – yet “above and beyond pondering 7 October, there is a growing realization that ‘unity’, ‘one destiny’ and ‘we have no choice and no other country’ have become meaningless and hollow clichés. Instead, more and more Israelis on both sides of the divide see their country as essentially split into two distinct (non-reconcilable) entities”. Does this sound familiar, albeit in another context?

It should. For it is a metaphor for the inexorable divide in the West, too. The war in Gaza has precipitated and sharpened the latent schisms within in the West. It too can be hidden no longer. On the one hand, there is an (illiberal) social engineering project posing as liberalism. And on the other, a project to recover the ‘eternal’ values (however imperfect) that once lay behind European civilisation. The conflict in the Middle East has thrown the parallels between the two spheres in the West into clarity. Again, the parallels and similarities are discomforting: As Pinkas says: “the divide is real, widening and becoming unbridgeable. The political, cultural and economic gaps and rifts are growing, accompanied by toxic vitriol that masquerades as political discourse. Even the most fundamental common narrative, the Declaration of Independence, is now being questioned with some of its basic tenets and guiding principles a source of political contention”.

He is referring to Israel, but the same is true in the U.S., where the basic tenets and guiding principles of the Constitution (i.e. free speech) are a source of political contention. He talks also of the Right’s claim that Tel Aviv ‘is a bubble’, but adds: “As for the bubble claim, they’re right – but New York is a bubble, Paris and London are bubbles” – geographical, as well as ideological bubbles. Yet Pinkas does not ‘get’ the paradox he creates: Is not that the core of the problem? The ‘Techie-obsessed’ Metro-Élites of America versus the Rest (i.e. ‘flyover America’)? The bubbles are the problem, not something to be brushed aside. Today, tens of thousands of students in the West are protesting the on-going massacre of Palestinians, whilst the institutional place-holders fully support the annihilation of Hamas and any ‘complicit’ civilians (which is extended by some to include all who live in Gaza). The two worldviews share no common perception. They represent contrasting visions for the future – and of the essence of their nations. October 7 exploded the simulacra of the ‘status quo’ in Israel – and at the same time, unravelled the political order in the West – as in Israel.

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“The sealing and redaction rules should be applied consistently and fairly upon a sufficient factual and legal showing..”

Judge in Trump Case Says She’s Concerned With Special Counsel Jack Smith (ET)

The federal judge overseeing one of the criminal cases against former President Donald Trump on May 19 expressed concern and disappointment with special counsel Jack Smith. U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, an appointee of President Trump, said that Mr. Smith and his team have taken inconsistent positions during the case as it pertains to keeping some information sealed, or hidden from the public. “In two separate filings related to sealing, the special counsel stated, without qualification, that he had no objection to full unsealing of previously sealed docket entries related to allegations of prosecutorial misconduct. In light of that repeated representation, and in the absence of any defense objection, the court unsealed those materials consistent with the general presumption in favor of public access,” Judge Cannon of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida wrote in an order.

The materials that were unsealed, though, contain information such as grand jury details that the special counsel has and continues to say, in all other filings, should be kept sealed. Judge Cannon asked for an explanation of the inconsistency. “In response to those inquiries, counsel explained that the special counsel took the position on unsealing in order to publicly and transparently refute defense allegations of prosecutorial misconduct raised in pretrial motions,” Judge Cannon wrote. “Fair enough. But nowhere in that explanation is there any basis to conclude that the special counsel could not have defended the integrity of his Office while simultaneously preserving the witness-safety and Rule 6(e) concerns he has repeatedly told the court, and maintains to this day, are of serious consequence, and which the court has endeavored with diligence to accommodate in its multiple orders on sealing/redaction.”

Judge Cannon described herself as being “disappointed in these developments.” “The sealing and redaction rules should be applied consistently and fairly upon a sufficient factual and legal showing. And parties should not make requests that undermine any prior representations or positions except upon full disclosure to the court and appropriate briefing,” she added.

The case was brought against President Trump over his alleged mishandling of sensitive documents. The order came after Mr. Smith and President Trump filed competing proposals for redactions, in response to a May 9 order from the judge that directed the parties to submit the proposals. The order concerns several motions filed by President Trump, including a motion to dismiss the case based on allegations of prosecutorial misconduct, which have not yet been placed on the docket. The proposals for redactions are also not yet public. Both parties and the judge agree that the names of potential witnesses or information that would clearly identify them should be kept hidden, along with “ancillary names” and personal identifying information such as addresses. Redactions agreed upon by both parties were accepted by the judge in the new order, with a few exceptions. President Trump’s proposed redactions to some witness statements were rejected.

“No basis is provided for these redactions, and the court has previously denied requests to redact the substance of potential witness statements are relied upon in pre-trial motions,” Judge Cannon said. The judge also turned down a request by the special counsel to redact some of the same information. Judge Cannon said that for redactions where the parties disagree, she would “accept for now” President Trump’s characterization of portions of the material falling under privilege, pending her review of privilege arguments. She would also accept the special counsel’s position on Rule 6 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, despite the concerns outlined in the order. The filings with the authorized redactions are now expected to be docketed in the coming days. Rule 6 states, in part, that a number of people, including government attorneys, must not disclose any matters occurring before a grand jury, with limited exceptions.

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“The former president has denied her claims, describing her and Mr. Cohen in April as “sleaze bags” who are making false statements against him.”

Michael Cohen Admits Stealing Tens of Thousands From Trump Organization (ET)

Former Trump associate and lawyer Michael Cohen on Monday admitted to stealing thousands of dollars from the Trump Organization as he testified during the former presidents’ trial in New York City. Mr. Cohen made the admission while facing cross-examination from defense attorney Todd Blanche. “You did steal from the Trump Organization based upon the expected reimbursement from Red Finch,” Mr. Blanche asked him, making reference to a repayment plan that was intended to pay adult film performer Stormy Daniels $130,000 and tech firm Red Finch $50,000. “Yes sir,” Mr. Cohen said in response. The former attorney then said he went to the bank and took out cash over several days, totaling about $20,000 before keeping it in a small brown paper bag. Then he gave it to the tech firm, he testified, adding he never gave the full $50,000 amount.

The Trump Organization ultimately repaid Mr. Cohen $50,000 and then doubled that payment in a practice known as “grossing up” to cover taxes he’d incur by declaring the money as income rather than a tax-free reimbursement. Mr. Blanche noted that despite Mr. Cohen’s guilty pleas in 2018 to federal charges including a campaign finance violation for the hush money payment and unrelated tax evasion and bank fraud crimes, he’d never been charged with stealing from President Trump’s company. “Have you paid back the Trump Organization the money you stole from them?” Mr. Blanche asked. “No, sir,” Mr. Cohen responded. President Trump was seen by courtroom reporters looking directly at the witness stand as Mr. Cohen made the admission about stealing. Eric Trump, Trump’s son, who is in the courtroom, posted on social media around the same time: “This just got interesting: Michael Cohen is now admitting to stealing money from our company.”

The 34 charges of falsifying business records stem from internal Trump Organization records where payments to Mr. Cohen were marked as legal expenses, when prosecutors say they were really reimbursements for Ms. Daniels’ payment. President has pleaded not guilty, and his lawyers say there was nothing criminal about the Daniels deal or the way Mr. Cohen was paid. Last week, Mr. Cohen told jurors that President Trump was allegedly involved in the scheme to pay Ms. Daniels to prevent her from going public in 2016 about an alleged 2006 affair between her and President Trump. The former president has denied her claims, describing her and Mr. Cohen in April as “sleaze bags” who are making false statements against him.

The 34 charges of falsifying business records stem from internal Trump Organization records where payments to Mr. Cohen were marked as legal expenses, when prosecutors say they were really reimbursements for Ms. Daniels’ payment. President has pleaded not guilty, and his lawyers say there was nothing criminal about the Daniels deal or the way Mr. Cohen was paid. Last week, Mr. Cohen told jurors that President Trump was allegedly involved in the scheme to pay Ms. Daniels to prevent her from going public in 2016 about an alleged 2006 affair between her and President Trump. The former president has denied her claims, describing her and Mr. Cohen in April as “sleaze bags” who are making false statements against him.

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Curious: President Joe Biden invoked executive privilege over the audiotape of his interrogation by Special Counsel Robert Hur. The transcripts of which were released long ago… So what’s on those tapes?

The President Whose Voice Must Not Be Heard (Turley)

Below is my column in The Hill on the curious claim of executive privilege over the audiotape from President Joe Biden’s interview with Special Counsel Robert Hur. It is the first time that I know of where the content of a presidential conversation was treated as unprivileged but the audio of the conversation claimed as privileged. It is also an invocation on answering questions about alleged criminal acts committed while a private citizen. It is, in my view, entirely without merit but Attorney General Merrick Garland appears more interested in running out the clock than prevailing on the claim.

[..] While all eyes were focused on a Manhattan courthouse for Donald Trump’s trial, a curious thing happened in Washington. President Joe Biden invoked executive privilege in defiance of Congress. It is not the invocation that is particularly unusual. What is curious is that Biden is withholding the audiotape of his own interrogation by Special Counsel Robert Hur, even though the transcript has been released as unprivileged. It appears that Joe Biden is “he who must not be heard.” The invocation of privilege over the audiotape is so transparently political and cynical that it would make Richard Nixon blush. Multiple committees are investigating Biden for possible impeachment and conducting oversight on the handling of the investigation into his retention and mishandling of classified material over decades. Classified documents were found in various locations where Biden lived or worked, including his garage. The mishandling of classified material is uncontestable. Broken boxes, unprotected areas and lack of tracking are all obvious from the photos.

The comparison to the Trump case in Florida is both obvious and disturbing. Where Trump was charged with a litany of charges, including mishandling and retention of documents (in addition to obstruction), Hur decided not to charge Biden at all. His reason was outright alarming: The president is an elderly man with failing memory. Biden made the situation even worse with a disastrous press conference in which he attacked Hur and misrepresented his findings. Biden told the public that the special counsel did not find willful retention of material. This was untrue — Hur not only found that Biden had done this, but repeatedly detailed such violations in the report. Biden also claimed that he had not shown classified material to third parties, even though Hur specifically found that he had and established that there is a witness to that violation.

Biden also attacked Hur for bringing up the death of Beau, his son who passed away in 2018. In showing why Biden could use his diminished faculties as a defense, Hur had noted that Biden got the date wrong of his own son’s death. In the press conference, Biden angrily asked “How in the hell dare he raise that?” Frankly, when I was asked the question, I thought to myself it wasn’t any of their damn business.” It was later shown that it was not Hur but Biden himself who raised his son’s death, which he often does in speeches. Hur’s view that Biden’s diminished cognitive abilities would undermine any prosecution left many dumbfounded. After all, the man who is too feeble to prosecute is not only running a superpower with a massive nuclear arsenal but running for reelection to add four more years in office.

From impeachment to oversight to the 25th Amendment (allowing the removal of a president for incapacities), there are ample reasons for Congress to demand information and evidence from the government on these questions. Congress is also interested in looking at repeated omissions for “inaudible” statements. Under this sweeping theory that Biden can legitimately withhold these recordings under executive privilege, any president could withhold any evidence of incapacity or criminality. The House is poised to find Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt for refusing to release the audiotapes. It is a cynical calculation. Garland knows that his own department will never prosecute him for contempt of Congress.

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Worst: China stops buying US treasuries…

China Offloads Record Amount Of Dollar Assets – Data (RT)

China sold a record number of US bonds in the first quarter of this year, highlighting the country’s shift away from dollar assets, the latest data from the US Treasury Department reveals. Beijing has divested a total of $53.3 billion in Treasuries and agency bonds combined in the first three months of the year, while at the same time increasing its purchases of gold and other commodities, data showed. Some analysts have suggested that this reduction in foreign exchange reserves could be part of China’s broader strategy to diversify away from US dollar-denominated assets amid rising geopolitical tensions with the US. Some experts have pointed to the economic impact of Western sanctions on Russia following the Ukraine conflict, saying that China seeks to mitigate similar risks.

“The handling of Russian reserves by the US and other G7 countries, including threats of expropriations and sanctions, likely prompted China to reduce its exposure to US Treasury assets to avoid being similarly targeted,” Craig Shapiro, a macroeconomic adviser at LaDuc Trading, told Newsweek on Saturday, referring to the seizure of Russian assets. The West has frozen roughly $300 billion in Russian sovereign funds since the start of the Ukraine conflict. The Brussels-based clearinghouse Euroclear, often seen as a custodian of China’s holdings, disposed of $22 billion in US Treasuries during the reporting period, according to Bloomberg.

As the second largest foreign holder of US Treasury securities after Japan, China’s sell-off could potentially unsettle the Treasury market and raise US borrowing costs, some economists argued. “As China is selling both despite the fact that we are closer to a Fed rate-cut cycle, there should be a clear intention of diversifying away from US dollar holdings,” said Stephen Chiu, chief Asia foreign-exchange and rates strategist at Bloomberg Intelligence. “China’s selling of US securities could speed up as the US-China trade war resumes” especially if Trump returns as president, he said. While China is selling dollar assets, its holdings of gold have surged in the country’s official reserves. The share of the precious metal in reserves climbed to 4.9% in April, the highest since records began in 2015, according to the People’s Bank of China.

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“It was a rather poor frontier province of Russia, and for a while was badly mistreated by Stalin, but it was not a problem outside of Ukraine and, frankly, it was none of our business..”

Fugazy Land (Jim Kunstler)

Really, you must agree: just about anything can happen now, and probably will, and possibly all at the same time — war, sickness, a disordered economy, chaos in money and finance, savages pouring across the open borders, assassination, mayhem in the streets, systems failure, mental illness everywhere you look. You have a sinister, blob-infested government acting like a desperate, cornered animal, fronted by a venal phantasm trailing a personal history of crime. What could go wrong? All of it. The doings in Judge Merchan’s Manhattan present the rectified essence of America’s authority problem. You will stipulate that judges are authorities in a pretty pure sense of the word. Their role is to determine what is right and what is wrong, or, at least guide the proceedings that would result in such a fair determination.

And, of course, the officers of this court, the District Attorney and his prosecutors, are also entrusted with bringing comprehensible cases that follow the facts fairly, and the laws pertaining to those facts. This maliciously misguided prosecution has only accomplished one thing so far: to demonstrate to the American public that the authority of our law has been contorted to become a sick joke. That is a ruinous lesson for the country. The free-for-all of our national life has required reliable adjudication of all the quarrels and inequities that arose out of it. For a long time, the rule of law was America’s great draw. If that goes out the window, all you’re left with is the free-for-all which pretty soon devolves into Thomas Hobbes’s nightmare existence in the state of nature where life is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”

The current Trump trial in Manhattan will likely resolve this week, one way or another, though there is no way that the candidate will land in jail, even if he is convicted and sentenced to go there. That will only be another quandary for the foundering rule of law, and a dreadful challenge. Altogether this trial has alerted even the deranged news channels that the nation is still capable of feeling grossly insulted by its own rulers, and insults will be answered. Tribulation may be the only answer that will avail to correct America’s tragic capture by blobs foreign and domestic. And you must understand that our nation’s bad choices have brought these tribulations upon ourselves. Fugazy finance is finally hitting the wall it has been seeking. Wealth based on pretense eventually runs out of hallucinatory mojo. Zooming gold and silver prices signal that the US dollar is in distress. The eagle is flying upside down.

A system based on credit is one thing, when credit can plausibly be paid back. But that system is gone. Finally, you must learn what truth or consequences really means, and the truth is that our debts are unpayable and everybody knows it. The consequences await. Any way you slice that — bond market blow-up, raging inflation, bank failures, stocks cratering, a “great taking” of collateral (your property) — the effect is the same: a crashing standard of living. That will get everybody’s attention in a way that Pride Month marches won’t. If “Joe Biden” thinks he will put over a central bank digital currency to cover for all this failure, he and the blob he rode in on will be in for a rude surprise. Fugazy war isn’t working either. When did Ukraine become a problem for Western Civ? When Victoria Nuland & Company in the US State Department decided to make it a problem in 2014. Before that, going back into the mists of history, Ukraine was not a problem.

It was a rather poor frontier province of Russia, and for a while was badly mistreated by Stalin, but it was not a problem outside of Ukraine and, frankly, it was none of our business. And in a matter of months, as Russia rolls up on the Zelensky regime, it will cease to be a problem for anyone. The notion that the USA and NATO can reverse this now is insane. The nations of Western Civ won’t draft troops to battle on the ground there. There’s no will to fight in Ukraine among the young people of Europe and America. And we have no more guns or ammo to give. The war will end in humiliation for all concerned in the West, especially the “Joe Biden” regime, which has been recklessly flirting with nuclear aggression — as if this would accomplish anything but turning Western Civ into an ashtray.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Elon water

 

 

Lioness
https://twitter.com/i/status/1792578570889445445

 

 

Lions

 

 

Merlin

 

 

Table

 

 

 

 

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Apr 172024
 


Daniel Garber Lambertville holiday 1941

 

Iran’s Strike On Israel Was Much More Successful Than It Seems (Juma)
Iran’s Retaliatory Attack Revealed Israel’s Military Weaknesses (Manley)
Loose Lips Don’t Sink Ships, Or Israel (Helmer)
The Gaza Genocide As Explicit Policy – Michael Hudson (Pepe Escobar)
Zelensky Green With Envy as West Comes to Aid of Israel (Miles)
Ukrainians ‘Beginning To Dislike’ US – Odessa University Boss (RT)
Ukraine Suddenly Walked Away From Black Sea Deal – Reuters (RT)
Xi Jinping Proposes Four Principles For Resolving Ukrainian Crisis (TASS)
Biden Refuses to Testify in GOP Impeachment Inquiry (ET)
RFK Jr Won’t Seek Libertarian Nomination, Says Team Trump Asked Him As VP (ZH)
Coalition of AG’s File Amicus Brief Defending Ken Paxton and His Top Deputy (ET)
Supreme Court Takes Up Obstruction Case Affecting J6 Defendants (Turley)
Dutch Gov’t Data Hack Reveals Startling Amount Of Covid Adverse Reactions (X)
A Generation Lost to Climate Anxiety (Zaruk)

 

 

 

 

Watch this: Chasing Trump

 

 

Kim Gaza

 

 

 

 

Florida 1982
https://twitter.com/i/status/1780229477265485883

 

 

 

 

Those hundreds of drones and missiles have fully exposed Israel’s defenses, including those provided by third countries.. At a low cost, and without starting a war. Pretty smart. Plus, Biden has refused US involvement in potential counter attacks.

Iran’s Strike On Israel Was Much More Successful Than It Seems (Juma)

On the night of April 14, Iran and its proxy forces launched a series of cruise missile and kamikaze drone strikes on Israeli territory. The attacks did not come as a surprise. Tehran had warned that it would respond to the Israeli airstrike on Iran’s consulate in Damascus, Syria, on April 1, which killed several high-ranking officers of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), including two generals. The retaliatory strike was called Operation True Promise. There is still much debate on whether Iran’s retaliatory strike was successful. Most military experts agree that there was nothing unusual about Tehran’s actions, except that this was Iran’s first direct attack on Israel. From a technical point of view, the strategy was simple and correct: Iran first suppressed the enemy’s air defense systems with drones and then launched hypersonic missiles which the Israelis and Americans were not able to intercept. Incidentally, in light of this, Ukraine’s statements about shooting down Russian Kinzhal hypersonic missiles sound ridiculous.

Many experts were skeptical about Iran’s strike and hastened to say that the retaliation did not live up to expectations. Given the clip thinking of most commentators, this reaction is hardly surprising. Their reasoning resembles a Hollywood blockbuster stuffed with special effects, where the end of the world and its miraculous salvation fit into 90-120 minutes, with a love scene in the middle. In real life, things are different. As Sun Tzu wrote in ancient times, to fight 100 battles and win 100 battles is not the height of skill. The best way to win is not to fight at all. This is Iran’s strategy. Its strike against Israel was not so much a military response as a grandmaster’s move in a big chess game. And the game is not over yet. After the attack on the Iranian consulate in Syria’s capital, Tehran found itself in a tough situation. It had to respond in a way that would look convincing and would achieve specific military goals, but would not start World War III.

To achieve the first point, Iran had to carry out a direct strike without resorting exclusively to proxy forces – and that is indeed how it acted. Regarding the second point, even though most of the missiles and drones were indeed shot down, some managed to penetrate Israeli air space and hit military targets. The Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Mohammad Bagheri, said that the information center on the Israeli-Syrian border and Israel’s Nevatim air base were hit. And finally, as to the third point – war didn’t happen. This resembled the situation in 2020, when the Iranians hit US bases in Iraq in response to the assassination of General Soleimani. However, it is still too early to speculate as to whether Iran’s attack was a success or not. The big question now is how Israel will respond. It’s important to emphasize that Iran’s operation carried more political than military weight. In this sense, it was carried out subtly and was a success. Obviously, the Iranians did not want to start a war which would involve the US, even though that is what Netanyahu wanted. In other words, Israel didn’t manage to provoke Iran.

It is also obvious that the Islamic Republic possesses more powerful drones and missiles than those used in the attack on April 14. However, even the less advanced drones and missiles were able to penetrate Israeli air space and inflict economic damage, since Israel spent much more money on shooting down the missiles and drones than Iran spent on launching them. Tehran has once again demonstrated that Israel is not invulnerable, and it is possible to attack it. As for the degree of inflicted damage, which some commentators were unsatisfied with, it largely depends on the type of missiles and drones used in the attack – and Iran has a lot of military equipment.

Ritter Galloway: Stand Down
https://twitter.com/i/status/1780203527265976596

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“This was not a failure on Iran’s part. This was an action that has changed the game entirely..”

Iran’s Retaliatory Attack Revealed Israel’s Military Weaknesses (Manley)

An article published in Mondoweiss on Sunday suggested that Iran’s retaliatory attack against Israel was not a failure, after Israeli military spokesperson Daniel Hagari said that 99% of the launched missiles and drones were intercepted by Israeli air defense systems. The article notes that Iran declared its intentions to attack a week in advance and promised the US that its attack would be “under control” and conducted in a way that “avoids escalation”. On Tuesday, Sputnik’s The Critical Hour was joined by Dr. Jim Kavanagh, an independent journalist, to discuss Iran’s recent response to Israel’s attack over the weekend. “This was not a failure on Iran’s part. This was an action that has changed the game entirely,” said Kavanagh. “This is a new game now because what Iran demonstrated was that the Israelis were defended by the US. The US, Great Britain, France and Jordan – all of them acted in their defense and shot down [Iran’s] missiles.

They had a 72-hour notice. The Iranians did constrain themselves in the sense that they were targeting specific military installations. They didn’t pick a broad target against any civilian targets or urban targets,” he continued. “What Iran demonstrated was that it would act against Israel, it could do so effectively and intelligently,” he continued. “That was the best defended territory in the world, the best radar, the best air defense systems. Iran used seven missiles to target that and hit with five. So five or seven missiles struck the best defended and the best air defense territory in the world.” “What Iran demonstrated was that Israel is not safe,” said Kavanagh. Sputnik’s Garland Nixon suggested that Iran’s recent attack showed how Israel’s military is extremely dependent on its Western allies.

“Isn’t it strange that the US, Great Britain and France joined in a military attack? A military action with Israel. Where’s the justification for that?” Kavanagh responded. “But they’re not going to get 72 hours notice [again]. They’re not going to get time for the Americans and British and France if there’s a real attack. If it’s all-out warfare, Israel is not going to have time. They’re going to be hurt very badly. And, this is something they cannot stand.” “Israel knows all this. They know how weak they are,” he added. “Israel has an ace in the hole that they will use if there’s a general war with Iran, and that is nuclear weapons. And that’s what they have them for, and that’s what they will use to restore the intimidation over the world, over their regional adversaries at least.”

Israel 1948

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“..the best surveillance radar in the world, working in concert with the most sophisticated anti-missile defences in the world, were impotent in the face of the Iranian attack..”

Loose Lips Don’t Sink Ships, Or Israel (Helmer)

No Russian military source will publicly express the line that Iran’s attack on Israel of April 14 was a strategic success, despite the tactical shortcomings. This is first of all because Iran is a strategic ally of Russia in its war against the US and NATO in the Ukraine, in Syria, and in Yemen. It is also because of what may happen next. If Israel escalates by attacking Iran and striking at the country’s infrastructure, then Iran’s counter will be to take a page out of Russia’s book and commence the one line of attack which Israel, the US and their allies cannot withstand any better than Ukraine – that’s Electric War.

For the seven months which have elapsed since Hamas began its operation against Israel on October 7, and Israel commenced its genocide against the Palestinians, there has been no targeting by Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis, or the Syrian and Iraqi groups of Israel’s highly vulnerable maritime gas platforms, gas pipelines, coal and oil-fired electricity generating plants, the coal and oil storages nearby, solar and wind power units, or the electricity grids keeping the country alight. The Arab inhibitions and calculations are understandable. Iran’s will disappear if Israel triggers a new round of attacks. If and when that happens, the Palestinian failure in the US and in Europe to counterattack and stop Israel financing its war through the $60 billion genocide bond issue won’t matter. Bond holders don’t invest in blackouts. On the published Israeli counts to date, Iran launched between 180 and 185 drones, 30 to 36 cruise missiles, and 110 to 120 ballistic missiles[..]

The outcome counted by Israel’s enemies is that Israel, the US, British, French and Jordanian forces intercepted almost all of the drones and other decoys fired from Iran. Nine missiles beat the Iron Dome, Arrow, and other ground–to-air defences, five of them hit Nevatim air base and four of them hit the Ramon base. Iranian officials confirm those target strikes. In a briefing on April 16, the Iranian ground force commander, Brigadier General Kioumars Haydari, added that “the attack targeted the most strategic base and surveillance site of the Israeli military at the Jabal al-Sheikh Heights on the border between the occupied Palestinian territories and Syria.” Haydari did not mention Ramon or a Mossad facility as targeted or hit.

The case is being made by a group of retired colonels, majors, and lieutenants publishing in the US alt-media that the 6% rate of penetration – that’s 9 divided by 140 or by 156 – make a tactical victory over the US radar and missile combinations protecting Nevatim and Ramon, and therefore a strategic success for Iran. The US protection is Site 512 in the Negev region of southern Israel. According to one American interpretation, “the best surveillance radar in the world, working in concert with the most sophisticated anti-missile defences in the world, were impotent in the face of the Iranian attack…Who has deterrence supremacy? It ain’t Israel.”

Another American assessment goes further strategically without going as far tactically. The point of the penetrations at Nevatim and Ramon, this argument runs, was not to destroy the bases but to prove that, having beaten the US-Israeli defences this time round, the next time will be much more destructive; also, that the Israeli-American combination cannot afford the cost attrition of $1 billion spent per night to defend against larger and cheaper Iranian swarms. A third American interpretation is that even as slight as the 6% penetration rate appears to be, the Iranians have demonstrated the military and technological expertise to defeat the US technology on which Israeli defences are based.

A Russian military source acknowledges that “yes, several people have made this point that at least some projectiles got through at the airstrips; that the Iranians have learned from the defences and might have spotted weaknesses to exploit.” He dismisses this strategic victory as wishful thinking. “In a class room, these calculations of the pundits make sense. But up to the 10th Grade.” A NATO veteran and expert in applying electrical engineering to war comments: “Honestly, I don’t believe the Iranian strikes were all that effective in terms of damage done. This being said, again, they weren’t meant to be. They mostly used drones and older missiles with a few of the newer models thrown in to test, and send a message.”

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“..the ideal is to kill the population passively, to minimize visible bombing. And the line of least resistance is to starve the population. That has been Israeli policy since 2008.”

The Gaza Genocide As Explicit Policy – Michael Hudson (Pepe Escobar)

In what can be considered the most crucial podcast of 2024 so far, Professor Michael Hudson – the author of seminal works such as Super-Imperialism and the recent The Collapse of Antiquity , among others – clinically lays down the essential background to understand the unthinkable: a 21st century genocide broadcast live 24/7 to the whole planet. [..] In an email exchange, Prof. Hudson detailed he’s now essentially “spilling the beans” about how, “50 years ago when I worked at the Hudson Institute with Herman Kahn [the model for Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove], Israeli Mossad members were being trained, including Uzi Arad. In our email exchange, Prof. Hudson remarked “this is basically what I said” in reference to the podcast with Ania K, drawing on his notes. Fasten your seat belts: unvarnished truth is more lethal than a hypersonic missile hit.

[..] On the Zionist military strategy in Gaza: “My background in the 1970s at Hudson Institute with Uzi Arad and other Mossad trainees. My field was BoP, but I sat in on many meetings discussing military strategy, and I flew to Asia twice with Uzi and got to know him. The U.S./Israeli strategy in Gaza is based in many ways on Herman Kahn’s plan that was carried out in Vietnam in the 1960s. Herman’s focus was systems analysis. Start by defining the overall aim and then, how do we achieve it? First, isolate them in Strategic Hamlets. Gaza has been carved up into districts, requiring electronic passes for entry from one sector to another, or into Jewish Israel to work. First thing: kill them. Ideally by bombing, because that minimizes domestic casualties for your army. The genocide that we are seeing today is the explicit policy of Israel’s founders: the idea of “a land without a people” means a land without non-Jewish people.

They were to be driven out – starting even before the official founding of Israel, in the first Nakba, the Arab holocaust. Two Israeli Prime Ministers were members of the Stern Gang of terrorists. They escaped from their British jail and joined to found Israel. What we are seeing today is the Final Solution to this plan. It also dovetails into U.S. desires to control the Middle East and its oil reserves. For U.S. diplomacy, the Middle East IS (in caps) oil. And ISIS is part of America’s foreign legion since it was first organized in Afghanistan to fight the Russians. That is why Israeli policy has been coordinated with the U.S.. Israel is the main U.S. client oligarchy in the Middle East. Mossad does most handling of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, and wherever else the U.S. may send ISIS terrorists.

Terrorism and even the present genocide is central to U.S. geopolitics. But as the U.S. learned in the Vietnam War, populations protest and vote against the President who supervises this war. Lyndon Johnson couldn’t make a public appearance without crowds chanting. He had to sneak out the side entrance of hotels where he was speaking. To prevent an embarrassment such as Seymour Hersh describing the My Lai massacre, you block journalists from the battlefield. If they are there, you kill them. The Biden-Netanyahu team has targeted journalists in particular. So the ideal is to kill the population passively, to minimize visible bombing. And the line of least resistance is to starve the population. That has been Israeli policy since 2008.”

Prof. Hudson makes a direct reference to a Sara Roy piece in The New York Review of Books, citing a cable from the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to the Secretary of State on November 3rd, 2008. The cable reads, “As part of their overall embargo plan against Gaza, Israeli officials have confirmed to [embassy officials] on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy on the brink of collapse without quite pushing it over the edge.” That has led, according to Prof. Hudson, to Israel “destroying fishing boats and greenhouses of Gaza to deprive it from feeding itself. Next, it has joined with the United States to block United Nations food aid and that of other countries. The U.S. quickly withdrew from the UN relief agency as soon as hostilities began, doing so immediately after the ICJ finding of plausible genocide. It was the major funder of this agency. The hope was that this would set back its activities.

Israel simply stopped letting food aid in. It set up long, long lines of inspections, that is, an excuse to slow the trucks to just 20% of their pre-Oct. 7 rate – from a normal rate of 500 a day to just 112. In addition to blocking trucks, Israel has targeted aid workers – about one a day.

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“..the Kiev regime started out this conflict with a very formidable integrated Soviet legacy air defense network that took Russia about a year and a half to take apart..”

Zelensky Green With Envy as West Comes to Aid of Israel (Miles)

The United States rushed to the defense of Israel this weekend to help shoot down a volley of drones and missiles launched by Iran in a retaliatory strike for an attack on Tehran’s Syrian consulate earlier this month. The US was joined in their effort by the UK, flying out of their airbase in nearby Cyprus, and the Western-aligned regime in Jordan. Israeli media alleged that Saudi Arabia came to the aid of the country as well, although observers have questioned the veracity of those reports. The Gulf monarchy has walked a fine line in recent months, attempting to keep hopes of rapprochement with Tel Aviv alive while also acknowledging the pro-Palestinian sentiment of the country’s population. The dramatic (and reportedly highly expensive) show of force apparently led to some envy from another US ally, according to security analyst Mark Sleboda.

The international relations expert joined Sputnik’s Fault Lines program Tuesday to break down the Israel-Gaza conflict’s ramifications for the US’ relationship with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. “I think that Zelensky has finally come to the realization as the new mistress that the United States is never going to leave its wife, despite all the promises that Joe Biden has given, all of the late-night dinners and the hotel rooms,” Sleboda mused. “It’s all gone wrong… there’s a bit of envy.” “There was even an… interview with a Ukrainian academic, quote-unquote, saying how Ukraine is being two-timed by the United States with Israel and the rock on Israel’s finger is much bigger or something like that, that they are souring on the United States. I mean if you didn’t realize you were a proxy for US geopolitical motives, that’s entirely your problem,” the analyst stressed.

Sleboda broke down some of the reasons he believes the United States was able to come to the aid of its Middle Eastern ally in a way it hasn’t for Ukraine, noting that Israel is a much smaller country with an extensive air defense system in the Iron Dome. The analyst called the network “probably the second best air defense system in the world after Russia’s, and very tailored to task.” “Ukraine is an enormous country with very far-flung assets and Russia is a nuclear power with very large conventional and air forces, and it makes a world of difference,” Sleboda added. “It has to be said that the Kiev regime started out this conflict with a very formidable integrated Soviet legacy air defense network that took Russia about a year and a half to take apart, which is why only now are you starting to see the fruits of real Russian air superiority.”

“Russian forces are apparently able to use SU-25 aircraft in an essentially close air support role because the Kiev regime has no air defense, certainly not on the front line, left,” he concluded. “Ultimately the envy is at the moment primarily over air defense… [Zelensky] realizes he’s going to get no more air defense, which is simply going to make the end of this conflict come faster than it would have otherwise.”

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“..the US “is not going to be involved in [the Ukraine conflict] in a combat role.”

Ukrainians ‘Beginning To Dislike’ US – Odessa University Boss (RT)

There is growing disenchantment with the US among Ukrainians over its perceived lack of commitment to their defense, the Wall Street Journal has reported, citing the director of the Center for International Studies at the Odessa National University. Vladimir Dubovyk told the newspaper in an article on Monday that the swift action from the US and its NATO allies to fend off a massive Iranian missile and drone strike on Israel at the weekend stands in stark contrast to their apparent reluctance to beef up Ukraine’s air defenses amid its conflict with Russia. Ukrainians are “beginning to sour on the US,” Dubovyk was quoted as saying. The scholar noted that Washington played a key role “in the first two years of the war [with Russia], but now of course there’s a huge slowdown,” apparently referring to President Joe Biden’s latest aid package, which has been deadlocked by Republicans in Congress for several months.

“Rather than helping Ukraine create the kind of air-defense network Israel has, the West has provided [Kiev] with a patchwork of equipment,” the WSJ noted, adding that these stockpiles have become significantly depleted as Moscow escalates its campaign of air bombardments. The situation in Ukraine was contrasted with that of Israel, after Iran launched several hundred missiles and kamikaze drones at the Jewish state late on Saturday. US, British, French and Jordanian fighter jets scrambled to intercept the projectiles, and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) later reported that the vast majority of Iranian rockets and UAVs had been shot down before they reached Israeli airspace. Tehran said the attack came in response to an Israeli airstrike on the Iranian consulate in Syria on April 1, and claimed that it had struck several Israeli military installations.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Monday, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky noted that Israel is not a NATO member, meaning Western powers were not legally obliged to come to its defense. The Ukrainian leader added that the involvement of the US, the UK, and France did not result in a war breaking out in the region. “European skies could have received the same level of protection long ago if Ukraine had received similar full support from its partners,” Zelensky concluded. During a press conference on Monday, US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby made it clear that the situations in Israel and Ukraine cannot be compared, describing them as “different conflicts, different airspace, [and] different threat picture.” He also emphasized that the US “is not going to be involved in [the Ukraine conflict] in a combat role.”

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Ukraine cannot be trusted.

Ukraine Suddenly Walked Away From Black Sea Deal – Reuters (RT)

Russia and Ukraine had almost reached a new Black Sea shipping deal in March after two months of negotiations, only for Kiev to abruptly walk away, Reuters reported on Monday, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter. The official agreement governing the freight route lapsed in July 2023, when Moscow declined to renew the original Türkiye- and UN-mediated Black Sea Grain Initiative. Russia said that the US and EU had not kept their part of the deal, blocking exports of Russian food and fertilizer. The most recent talks were brokered by Türkiye at the prompting of the United Nations, and a tentative agreement “to ensure the safety of merchant shipping in the Black Sea” was reached last month, according to Reuters’ sources.

They added that while Kiev did not formally sign, it agreed that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan could announce the deal a day before Turkiye’s March 31 local elections, with the pact to take effect immediately upon being made public. “At the very last minute, Ukraine suddenly pulled out and the deal was scuttled.” According to the draft seen by Reuters, Ankara had mediated agreements between Moscow and Kiev “on ensuring free and safe navigation of merchant vessels in the Black Sea,” in compliance with maritime conventions. The guarantees would not apply to “warships, civilian vessels carrying military goods,” except when agreed upon by all parties, the copy of the document stated. Both Russia and Ukraine were to offer security guarantees to commercial vessels in the Black Sea, undertaking not to strike, seize or search them, provided they were unladen or had declared a non-military cargo, according to the draft agreement.

The reasons for Kiev pulling out are unclear, but President Vladimir Zelensky accused Russia of targeting grain export infrastructure during the original deal, thereby putting vulnerable countries at risk. Speaking to reporters earlier this year, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov denied that Moscow ever attacked Ukrainian ships in the Black Sea during the grain deal. One of the reasons Moscow did not return to the Black Sea Grain Initiative was Kiev’s misuse of the shipping passage during the agreement, he said. “The Ukrainians used these free secure passages to launch their weapons in the form of naval drones,” damaging Russian ships and ports, Lavrov stated. He added under the old agreement, only 3% of the shipped Ukrainian grain went to countries on the UN World Food Programme’s list of states in greatest need. Since then, Moscow has donated 200,000 tons of grain to six African nations, with the last shipments arriving in January of this year.

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At least Xi didn’t refuse to talk to him.

Xi Jinping Proposes Four Principles For Resolving Ukrainian Crisis (TASS)

Chinese President Xi Jinping has proposed four principles to restore peace in Ukraine as soon as possible and prevent the crisis from spiraling out of control. According to the Xinhua news agency, the Chinese leader had an in-depth exchange of views on the Ukrainian crisis with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who is on an official visit to Beijing. “First, we should give priority to maintaining peace and stability and refrain from seeking selfish gains. Second, we should cool down the situation instead of adding fuel to the fire. Third, we should create conditions for restoring peace and refrain from further escalating tensions. Fourth, we should reduce the negative impact on the global economy and refrain from undermining the stability of global industrial and supply chains,” the agency quoted the Chinese leader as saying.

Scholz is on an official visit to Beijing since April 12. This is his second trip to China as Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany. Scholz is accompanied by three ministers of environment, agriculture and transport. The delegation includes representatives of leading German companies, in particular Siemens, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. The visit focuses on bilateral trade and economic relations.

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Why not subpoena him?

Biden Refuses to Testify in GOP Impeachment Inquiry (ET)

President Joe Biden will not be testifying to U.S. House of Representatives members who are engaged in an impeachment inquiry against him, the White House said on April 15. Richard Sauber, special counsel to the president, told House Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) that the president would not testify in the “partisan charade.” “Your committee’s purported ‘impeachment inquiry’ has succeeded only in turning up abundant evidence that, in fact, the president has done nothing wrong,” Mr. Sauber said in a letter to Mr. Comer. “Your insistence on peddling these false and unsupported allegations despite ample evidence to the contrary makes one thing about your investigation abundantly clear: The facts do not matter to you,” he added. Republicans in their investigation have found that millions of dollars flowed from businesses and individuals, including foreigners, to members of the Biden family while President Biden was vice president.

They’ve also identified payments from Hunter Biden’s business to the president, and from the president’s brother to him, as well as emails between President Biden and an associate of Hunter Biden. Several witnesses, meanwhile, testified that President Biden would get on the phone with Hunter Biden’s associates and that he attended multiple meals with them. President Biden and the White House have maintained that he was not involved with the business undertaken by his son and brother. Mr. Comer wrote to the president in March, saying the evidence “wholly contradicts your position.” “In light of the yawning gap between your public statements and the evidence assembled by the committee, as well as the White House’s obstruction, it is in the best interest of the American people for you to answer questions from members of Congress directly, and I hereby invite you to do so,” Mr. Comer wrote at the time.

“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in the Biden family. Like his son, Hunter Biden, President Biden is refusing to testify in public about the Bidens’ corrupt influence peddling,” Mr. Comer said Monday. “This comes as no surprise since President Biden continues to lie about his relationships with his son’s business partners, even denying they exist when his son said under oath during a deposition that they did,” he said. “It is unfortunate President Biden is unwilling to answer questions before the American people and refuses to answer the very simple, straightforward questions we included in the invitation. Why is it so difficult for the White House to answer those questions? The American people deserve transparency from President Biden, not more lies.” It’s not clear whether lawmakers are considering subpoenaing the president, and the White House did not respond when asked whether the president would comply with a subpoena.

Mr. Comer and other members have said they want answers to questions, including those about the source of the money for the payment from his brother. They’re also wondering whether President Biden ever interacted with Hunter Biden’s associates, such as Chinese businessmen Jonathan Li, Ye Jianming, and Henry Zhao. Lawmakers also want more details about the work done by Eric Schwerin, one of the associates, for President Biden. Mr. Schwerin told lawmakers that he often met with President Biden and provided him with free services, including tax preparation. Lawmakers have yet to outline the next steps in the inquiry. The November election is looming and, if President Biden loses his re-election bid, he would exit the presidency regardless in January 2025. Mr. Sauber, the special adviser to the president, is leaving the White House early next month. He was brought on in 2022 to oversee the White House’s response to congressional investigations as Democrats braced to lose their majorities on Capitol Hill that year.

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“..Trump’s co-campaign manager Chris LaCivita quickly fired back, denying Kennedy’s claim and calling him a “leftie loonie” to boot…”

RFK Jr Won’t Seek Libertarian Nomination, Says Team Trump Asked Him As VP (ZH)

After seriously considering the possibility, 2024 presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy, Jr has declared he will not seek the Libertarian Party nomination, saying he’s confident he’ll achieve ballot access across the country on his own. Meanwhile, in a social media skirmish with Team Trump, Kennedy said Trump associates asked him to consider becoming the former president’s running mate. In a political system with formidable ballot-access barriers that protect the Democrat-Republican duopoly, outsider presidential candidates are frequently attracted to the idea of running as a Libertarian — if only to access the party’s hard-earned, 50-state ballot qualification. “We’re not gonna have any problems getting on the ballot ourselves so we won’t be running Libertarian,” Kennedy tells ABC News. That declaration came as his team was celebrating their exploitation of a quirk in Iowa ballot-access law:

Rather than gathering 3,500 signatures, the Kennedy team held a convention in West Des Moines. Consistent with state requirements, it included at least 500 voters who represented at least 25 of the Hawkeye State’s 99 counties. Kennedy assured ABC that he’s “100% confident” he’ll manage the arduous process — which includes fending off Democrats’ lawfare — in all 50 states, saying “we’re going to add probably two to three states a week.” While Kennedy framed his decision solely in ballot-access terms, it was far from certain that he could have actually won the Libertarian nod. The nominee isn’t selected by party leadership, but by delegates at the group’s convention — all of whom show up fully free to vote for the candidate of their choice. [..] Kennedy has plenty of overlaps with libertarians, some of his stances could be seen as disqualifying:

His staunchly pro-Israel statements before and during the Gaza war devastated his standing with non-interventionist libertarians (and progressive leftists to boot). The damage hasn’t caused him to temper his remarks: On Saturday, he oddly referred to Israel as “our oldest ally” and said “the U.S. ought to be bending over backwards to protect Israel.” While he’s expressed skepticism about the effectiveness of gun control, he said he would sign an “assault weapon ban” if Congress sent him one. He’s also called for a $15 national minimum wage, more free childcare, and abolishing interest on all federal student loans. Meanwhile, responding to a series of Truth Social posts by Trump, in which the former president called Kennedy “the most radical liberal” in the race, Kennedy said Trump’s “emissaries” asked him to become his running mate. Trump’s co-campaign manager Chris LaCivita quickly fired back, denying Kennedy’s claim and calling him a “leftie loonie” to boot…

Politico reports that Trump had casually floated the idea in conversations, adding that “Trump is known to workshop ideas to a variety of aides and allies, even if they never come to fruition. As he does with many political rivals, Trump has directed a mixture of flattery and abuse at Kennedy — as he did last week: “He’s got some nice things about him. I happen to like him. Unfortunately he is about the ‘Green New Scam’ because he believes in that and a lot of people don’t. I guess that would mean that RFK Jr.’s going to be taking away votes from Crooked Joe Biden, and he should because he’s actually better than Biden. He’s much better than Biden. If I were a Democrat, I’d vote for RFK Jr. every single time over Biden.”

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“..a number of attorneys general, including me, are facing similar attacks from their political adversaries. just for doing their jobs.”

Coalition of AG’s File Amicus Brief Defending Ken Paxton and His Top Deputy (ET)

A national coalition of 18 state attorneys general filed an amicus brief to defend Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s First Assistant Attorney General Brent Webster in a lawsuit initiated by the State Bar of Texas. “The State Bar of Texas’s Commission for Lawyer Discipline attempted to censure Attorney General Paxton and First Assistant Attorney General Webster for taking action over genuine concerns of unconstitutional conduct by states during the 2020 election,” Mr. Paxton’s office wrote in a press release on Monday. The brief was filed on Friday in response to complaints against the state’s top attorney and his top deputy for their decision to file the “landmark” case known as Texas v. Pennsylvania. Mr. Webster authored the petition contesting the 2020 presidential election results to the U.S. Supreme Court. “Neither the State Bar nor this Court is an appropriate forum for what is ultimately a political fight,” the group of attorneys general wrote in the brief.

“And while it is, of course, true that the Attorney General is subject to general rules of professional conduct, those rules cannot be used to limit discretionary authority conferred by a State Constitution. Nor can they be weaponized to undermine the will of the voters who elected the Attorney General in the first place.” Montana AG Austin Knudsen, who led the coalition, said the commission’s complaint threatens the constitutional authority of elected officials. “The weaponization of the bar complaint process undermines the constitutional authority of elected officials and the will of the voters,” Mr. Knudsen told the Daily Caller. “I’m glad I could support Attorney General Ken Paxton in this instance as a number of attorneys general, including me, are facing similar attacks from their political adversaries. just for doing their jobs.” The coalition argues that the issue is not about the alleged misconduct but whether the court will allow state bars to take action against those with whom they disagree politically.

“The real question in this case is not whether the alleged misrepresentations amount to violation of the rules of professional conduct,” the court document reads. “Instead, it is whether courts will permit the politicization of the State Bars and weaponization of disciplinary rules against elected executive officers discharging their constitutional duties. “The Supreme Court of Texas will likely be the first to consider that question. It should be a resounding ‘No.’” The attorneys general argue that allowing the case to move forward will encourage further bar complaints made for the purpose of “obstructing the ability of attorneys general and their staff to carry out their constitutional responsibilities.” They are asking the Texas Supreme Court to reverse the decision of the appeals court. “The Court should grant the petition, reverse the court of appeals’ decision, and render judgment on behalf of the First Assistant,” the document states.

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1512(c)(2)

Supreme Court Takes Up Obstruction Case Affecting J6 Defendants (Turley)

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court will take up Fischer v. United States, a case that could fundamentally change many cases of January 6th defendants, including the prosecution of former president Donald Trump. The case involves the interpretation of a federal statute prohibiting obstruction of congressional inquiries and investigations. The case concerns 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(2), which provides: “Whoever corruptly—(1) alters, destroys, mutilates, or conceals a record, document, or other object, or attempts to do so, with the intent to impair the object’s integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding; or (2) otherwise obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.” Joseph Fischer was charged with various offenses, but U.S. District Judge Carl J. Nichols of the District of Columbia dismissed the 1512(c)2 charges. Judge Nichols found that the statute is exclusively directed to crimes related to documents, records, or other objects.

The D.C. Circuit reversed and held that Section 1512(c)(2) is a “catch all” provision that encompasses all forms of obstructive conduct. Circuit Judge Florence Pan ruled that the “natural, broad reading of the statute is consistent with prior interpretations of the words it uses and the structure it employs.” However, Judge Gregory Katsas dissented and rejected “the government’s all-encompassing reading.” The Court will now consider the question of whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit erred in construing 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c), which prohibits obstruction of congressional inquiries and investigations, to include acts unrelated to investigations and evidence. The law itself was not designed for this purpose. It was part of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and has been described as “prompted by the exposure of Enron’s massive accounting fraud and revelations that the company’s outside auditor, Arthur Andersen LLP, had systematically destroyed potentially incriminating documents.”

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“..Members of parliament are being forced into court but would rather pay the fines imposed by the courts than release the information..”

Dutch Gov’t Data Hack Reveals Startling Amount Of Covid Adverse Reactions (X)

Exclusive Breaking: Dutch Government Data hacked and startling amount of Covid adverse reactions obtained. Astounding amount of data obtained. Millions of records now seen. There is a massive attempted coverup not only by the Government in Holland but in every nation that has been infiltrated by Globalists. Excess Deaths are exploding but there is a wall of silence from our respective Governments. I’m joined from Holland by Dutch Freedom Fighters and Truth Seekers, former Dutch Parliamentarian and business entrepreneur Wybren van Haga, Businessman and Data expert Wouter Aukema and Anne Merel Kloosterman who is representing many vaccine injured. The Dutch Minister of health has lied and needs to be brought to task. Members of parliament are being forced into court but would rather pay the fines imposed by the courts than release the information!!! Just what are they hiding?

A Great Awakening is taking place all around the world as people wake up and realise what has been done to them. Justice must be done and if any Government refuses to obey their own laws and constitution then they become illegitimate and those who form it and those who support them essentially become the enemy of the people they are supposed to be governing. The first order of any Government is to protect its own people. Not only have they failed to do this but they are attempting to hide their failings and perhaps more disturbingly hide a dark de-population agenda that they are involved in. They have essentially broken their contract with the people. Its time to get on board and join the quest for freedom and justice. Join us http://freedomtraininternational.org.

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“..people with “woke” beliefs have higher rates of depression..”

A Generation Lost to Climate Anxiety (Zaruk)

In a far-reaching new essay in The New Atlantis, the environmental researcher Ted Nordhaus makes a damning and authoritative case that while the basic science of CO2 and climate is solid, it has been abused by the activist class in service of a wildly irresponsible and unscientific climate catastrophism. This reckless alarmism, saturated across the mainstream media and endlessly amplified by it, has had profound societal consequences. It has both distorted public understanding of the massive benefits the carbon economy makes possible and grossly exaggerated the risks of extreme events it allegedly makes more likely. As a result it has rendered reasonable debate on climate policy impossible, even as it has given cynical politicians an easy scapegoat for every social ill, drawing attention away from regulatory and institutional failures and laying blame instead at the feet of fossil fuel companies and other evil “emitters.”

Perhaps most perniciously, as Nordhaus details, the doomsday prophesying of climate extremists has created hardened skeptics on one side who are increasingly suspicious of all public “expertise”, while at the same time infecting true believers on the other side with a crippling, pathological fatalism that has come to be referred to as “climate anxiety.” If there’s any flaw in Nordhaus’ damning and comprehensive analysis it’s that he undersells just how much damage the advent of “climate anxiety” has done already—and how much more it’s likely to do in years to come. Yes, there’s the obvious cases of obnoxious and lawbreaking behavior, from climate iconoclasts defacing priceless works of art, to interrupting Broadway shows and sporting events, to gluing themselves to buses and holding up traffic on major thoroughfares. But it runs much deeper than that.

Consider recent headlines: From Vox: “What to do when you’re completely overwhelmed by climate anxiety.” From The Guardian: “Climate anxiety adds to teenagers’ fears.” And the New York Times: “How Climate Change is Changing Therapy.” And perhaps most depressing of all, from the BBC: “Climate anxiety: ‘I don’t want to burden the world with my child.” The trend is so wide now that they have given it a name: birth strike. And the data backs up the headlines—like the recent Finnish study of 6,000 subjects that showed people with “woke” beliefs have higher rates of depression. Developed countries are already facing real increases in mental health issues, many of them human-made and bound up in everything from the opioid crisis to the COVID pandemic. The manufacture of climate anxiety as an issue allegedly on par with those others is a dangerous distraction that draws resources away from solving these other mental health challenges.

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Dore Kory

 

 

Pfizer batch

 

 

Elephants

 

 

Gibbon

 

 

Family
https://twitter.com/i/status/1780266693895266366

 

 

Slaps

 

 

Clipnosis

 

 

Sunscreen
https://twitter.com/i/status/1779962954617688422

 

 

Toll road

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 142024
 


Edgar Degas At the Milliner’s 1905-10

 

Biden Tells Bibi: US Will Not Support A Counterattack Against Iran (ZH)
Washington Worried About Potential Israeli Attack – NBC (RT)
Iran Seizes Israeli-Linked Container Ship (RT)
Persian Gulf Powers Reportedly Refuse to Give US Access to Bases (Sp.)
Biden Prolongs Ukraine Crisis To Avoid Admitting Failure – Ron Johnson (RT)
Mobilization Law Is ‘Point Of No Return’ For Zelensky – Ukrainian MP (RT)
New Order Reveals Scale of Sabotage and Desertion in Ukrainian Army (Sp.)
Mobilizing for Defeat (Amar)
Ukrainian Troops Accuse Command of Treating Them ‘Like Livestock’ (Sp.)
Ukraine Asks France to Help Hold Positions in 2024 (Sp.)
Trump Thought Ukraine ‘Must Be Part Of Russia’ – Fiona Hill (RT)
‘Do The Right Thing’: Assange Supporters Urge As Biden Mulls Dropping Case (CD)
The Speech That Got Me Banned From Germany (Varoufakis)
DC National Guard Say They WERE Ready To Be Deployed On Jan 6 (DM)
Another Federal Judge Rejects All Hunter Biden Claims for Dismissal (Turley)

 

 

 

 

 

 

RFK Elon
https://twitter.com/i/status/1778986189678055429

 

 

FISA

 

 

 

 

DOJ Biden

 

 

Assange

 

 

Maher Canada

 

 

 

 

Carano
https://twitter.com/i/status/1778941618491437198

 

 

Crenshaw

 

 

 

 

Things are not what they seem. Iran launched 100s of drones and missiles, almost no damage, and said: that’s one and done. Saved face. Everyone knows they had to respond to the Israeli attack in Damascus. And they wouldn’t even have done this if the UN had condemned that attack. And you bet they gave advance notice. An Israeli response now would threaten regionwide escalation. With surging oil prices in a US election year. No, the US does’t want a wider war. Neither does Iran.

Biden Tells Bibi: US Will Not Support A Counterattack Against Iran (ZH)

It is just after 7am Israel local time and Israel’s military is reporting the Iranian attack has stopped, several hours after Iran said its ‘limited’ operation has “concluded” – which involved an unprecedented hundreds of suicide drones as as well as ballistic missiles sent against Israel in retaliation for the April 1st Israeli attack on Iran’s embassy in Damascus. Below is the top story from English-language Times of Israel: Hebrew media reports claim that not a single drone or cruise missile managed to infiltrate Israeli airspace. According to the unsourced reports, most ballistic missiles were also knocked down outside of Israeli airspace. A report in Ynet says some 20 cruise missiles were downed short of Israel’s borders. The US, UK and Jordan helped take down many of the drones. Israel is reporting very little damage inside the country (though previously admitting “minor damage” against at least one key airbase in the south).

After the enormous Iranian drone and missile swarm a senior Israeli official has been quoted by Israel’s Channel 12 as saying “Iran’s attack was a strategic failure.” The official added in a threatening manner, “Now they can get ready and not sleep in peace.” Israel’s war cabinet appears to be readying a military response… Crucially, the Biden White House appears to be strongly signaling to the Netanyahu government that the attack is ‘done’ and that the United States will not back any follow-up counterattack operations against Iran: US President Joe Biden told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the US will not aid any Israeli counterattack on Iran, US media report, citing senior administration officials. Axios and CNN report that message was passed during a phone call between the pair. Axios reports that Biden told Netyanyahu the US will oppose any Israeli counterattack. CNN reports that Biden said the US will not take part in any such counteraction.

Israel has called on a United Nations Security Council meeting to condemn the Iranian aggression, which is expected to take place late Sunday. The US administration appears to be lobbying for a status quo and for Israel to not mount a strong response. Below is a portion of the Axios report on the Bibi-Biden late night phone call: Behind the scenes: Biden told Netanyahu the joint defensive efforts by Israel, the U.S. and other countries in the region led to the failure of the Iranian attack, according to the White House official. “You got a win. Take the win,” Biden told Netanyahu, according to the official. The official said that when Biden told Netanyahu that the U.S. will not participate in any offensive operations against Iran and will not support such operations, Netanyahu said he understood. U.S. Secretary of State Lloyd Austin spoke on Saturday with his Israeli counterpart Yoav Gallant and asked that Israel notify the U.S. ahead of any response against Iran, a senior Israeli official said.

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“I don’t think they had a strategy… the Israelis don’t always make the best strategic decisions..”

Washington Worried About Potential Israeli Attack – NBC (RT)

Some officials in Washington are worried that West Jerusalem’s response to Iran’s recent airstrikes could be reckless and escalatory, NBC news wrote on Sunday, citing anonymous White House sources. Iran launched several waves of drone and missile attacks against Israel on Saturday and Sunday. This was in response to an airstrike that damaged Iran’s embassy in Damascus, Syria and killed seven military personnel – including two generals – earlier this month. While Israel has refrained from commenting on the bombing, Tehran has accused West Jerusalem of conducting an extraterritorial assassination and attacking their embassy. Some US officials privately indicated exasperation with Israel’s decision to strike the Iranian consular building in Syria, NBC claimed, citing senior Pentagon officials as calling the strike potentially “catastrophically escalatory.”

Others in the White House have expressed concerns about Israel’s future response to the Iranian attack, given both West Jerusalem’s hardline approach in its conflict with Hamas and the airstrike on the embassy in Damascus, NBC News reports. President Joe Biden has privately expressed concern that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to pull the US into a broader conflict in the Middle East, three people familiar with the comments told the news channel. Another senior administration official said that while the White House does not believe Israel is looking for a direct war with Iran, they cannot be certain of West Jerusalem’s motives. “I don’t think they had a strategy… the Israelis don’t always make the best strategic decisions,” an anonymous senior official told NBC.

Some media reports that followed the bombing of Tehran’s diplomatic compound in Damascus claimed that West Jerusalem was preparing to strike Iranian nuclear facilities in the event of a direct Iranian attack on Israel. According to a Western security official, the Israeli Air Force has been training for long range strikes into sensitive areas of Iran which may be linked to the country’s nuclear program, London-based Arabic outlet Elaph wrote on Tuesday. Israel is prepared for any scenario, “both in defense and offense,” Netanyahu stated on Saturday. “Whoever hurts us, we will hurt them,” he said.

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Asymmetric warfare.

Iran Seizes Israeli-Linked Container Ship (RT)

Iranian commandos have stormed an Israeli-operated container ship in the Persian Gulf and taken control of the vessel. Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz condemned the “pirate operation” and called on the West to impose sanctions on Tehran. The MSC Aries was boarded by Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Navy troops as it transited the Strait of Hormuz around noon on Saturday. Once under the IRGC’s control, it was taken to Iranian territorial waters, Iranian state media reported. Video footage shared online showed IRGC commandos rappelling onto the deck of the ship from a helicopter.

The Portuguese-flagged MSC Aries is operated by Zodiac Maritime, a shipping firm owned by Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer. At the time of the seizure, it was sailing past the Emirati port of Fujairah with its transponder switched off, the Associated Press reported. With Iran controlling the Strait of Hormuz and Yemen’s Houthi rebels attacking Israeli shipping interests in the Red Sea, it is standard practice for Israeli-linked vessels to disable their tracking data when sailing in the region. Since 2019, Iran has periodically seized Israeli and Western vessels in the Strait of Hormuz during times of increased tension. Tehran typically offers legal justification for these seizures, but gave no such explanation on Saturday. However, Saturday’s seizure came two weeks after an alleged Israeli airstrike on an Iranian consulate in the Syrian capital of Damascus. The strike killed seven officers of the IRGC’s Quds Force, including two generals.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed to deal Israel a “slap in the face” in response, and American officials warned on Friday that Tehran could be gearing up for a massive drone and missile strike on Israeli soil over the weekend. It is unclear whether Iran plans further attacks after seizing the MSC Aries. Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz condemned the seizure, accusing Khamenei’s “criminal regime” of “conducting a pirate operation in violation of international law.” “I call on the European Union and the free world to immediately declare the Iranian Revolutionary Guards corps as a terrorist organization and to sanction Iran now,” he wrote on X.

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BRICS+.

Persian Gulf Powers Reportedly Refuse to Give US Access to Bases (Sp.)

Persian Gulf countries have reportedly told the United States not to launch any attacks against Iran from their territory or airspace amid seething regional tensions. Sources, including a senior US official told the Middle East Eye that Gulf monarchies have been “working overtime” on the diplomatic track “to shut down avenues that could link them to a US reprisal against Tehran or its proxies from bases inside their kingdoms.” The countries include regional heavyweights Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Kuwait, with their leaderships reportedly “raising questions” on the details of US basing agreements, and taking steps to prevent the use of their Iran-adjacent bases against the Islamic Republic. NATO member Turkiye has also reportedly barred the US from using its airspace for strikes against Iran, but Sputnik has not been able to independently verify this information.

“It’s a mess,” a senior US official said, referring to the headache the Biden administration faces as it prepares for a potential Iranian retaliatory strike against its top regional ally Israel following Tel Aviv’s April 1 attack on the Iranian Embassy compound in Damascus, Syria. The Middle East Eye report follows a report by Axios on Friday citing US officials who said that Iran has privately warned the US that it will target American forces in the Middle East if Washington gets involved in a military confrontation between Iran and Israel. The US has an estimated 40,000+ military personnel at bases dotting the Middle East, including the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, which hosts at least 10,000 troops, and serves as the forward headquarters of United States Central Command – the combatant command responsible for military operations across the Middle East. Nearby Bahrain hosts up to 7,000 troops and the US Fifth Fleet – which operates in the Persian Gulf, the Red and Arabian Seas, and part of the Indian Ocean.

The US also has a 15,000-troop garrison in Kuwait, at least 5,000 troops in the UAE, and about 2,700 troops and fighter jets at the Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia. Oman hosts a few hundred US troops, and allows the US Air Force to conduct overflights and landings, and warships to make 80 port calls annually. The Gulf powers’ increasingly independent foreign policy is potentially a major setback for Washington, which for many decades after World War II (and especially after the Cold War) was able to rely on the Persian Gulf monarchies for its military operations in the oil-rich region. Regional countries led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE have taken a series of steps recently to wean themselves off of dependence on the US economically, politically and militarily, with Riyadh moving to break the petrodollar monopoly in the oil trade with China, pausing its military campaign against Yemen’s Houthi militia, restoring diplomatic ties with Iran and, together with Abu Dhabi, joining the BRICS Plus bloc.

The Palestinian-Israeli crisis has driven Gulf state leaders and their populations further from the idea of the establishing relations with Israel, and chilled ties with the US thanks to the Biden administration’s full-fledged support for Tel Aviv in the course of the Gaza War.

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“It’s just a fantasy, it’s just denying reality, to think that pumping more money, fueling the fire of that bloody stalemate, is going to break this thing open and show that Ukraine can be victorious..”

Biden Prolongs Ukraine Crisis To Avoid Admitting Failure – Ron Johnson (RT)

US President Joe Biden is dragging out an “obviously” lost cause in Ukraine because his administration will not admit to its policy failures in trying to weaken Russia, Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) has claimed. “At some point in time, you have to recognize reality and you have to base your decisions on reality,” Johnson said on Thursday in an interview with podcast host Glenn Greenwald. “But the Biden administration is not willing to do that, the generals aren’t willing to do that, because they’d have to admit they’ve been wrong all along.” Johnson was the only US lawmaker to attend the inauguration of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky in May 2019. He said Zelensky wanted to make peace with Russia then, realizing that Kiev had no chance of retaking Crimea, and sought to resolve the conflict shortly after Moscow launched its military offensive in February 2022.

“I would like to have been a fly on the wall in Istanbul, when they apparently were negotiating a peace agreement and the Biden administration air-dropped [then-UK Prime Minister] Boris Johnson in there to blow that thing up,” Johnson said. “This was a few weeks after the war started. It’s a tragic, tragic turn of history there.” The third-term lawmaker, who formerly chaired the Senate Homeland Security Committee, said the US government has failed to reflect on its foreign policy failures. For example, he argued, fomenting the overthrow of Ukraine’s elected government in 2014 helped lead to the country’s destruction. He said Americans have been “grossly misserved” by their government’s long history of foreign entanglements and regime-change operations. “The military-industrial complex drives so much of what we’re experiencing here today, the endless wars,” Johnson said. “I can’t tell you how many governments we have, through covert action, we’ve overturned. What’s been the net result of that?”

It’s nonsensical for the US government to stand by its stated goal of helping Ukraine to defeat Russian forces, Johnson said. He added, “Part of the problem is that one of the war aims now has shifted. It’s not necessarily to liberate Ukraine but to utilize the Ukrainian people to fight a proxy war with Russia and degrade their military capability.” Johnson said the proxy-war strategy had failed: “With oil prices higher, with the sanctions not working to cripple the Russian economy, I think they’re just probably building up their military-industrial base, and if anything, they’re getting stronger and smarter militarily.”

Republican lawmakers have held up approval of Biden’s request for over $60 billion in additional Ukraine funding since last fall, but party leaders are reportedly preparing to pass an aid bill in the coming days. Biden is seeking reelection later this year. “It’s just a fantasy, it’s just denying reality, to think that pumping more money, fueling the fire of that bloody stalemate, is going to break this thing open and show that Ukraine can be victorious,” Johnson said
“That’s just not going to happen, so it’s better to recognize reality and realize the only way the bloodshed ends is if we sit down and negotiate with [Russian President] Vladimir Putin.”

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“..help Zelensky hold on to power by “forcing everyone into the army.” “That is a very bad basis for a social consensus..”

Mobilization Law Is ‘Point Of No Return’ For Zelensky – Ukrainian MP (RT)

A new conscription law will drive a wedge between officials in Kiev and ordinary Ukrainians, lawmaker Aleksandr Dubinsky has said. He described the legislation as a point of no return for President Vladimir Zelensky and his government. On Thursday, the Ukrainian parliament passed a long-debated law which simplifies procedures for the draft and forces all men aged 18 to 60 – including those residing abroad – to register with the military authorities. Earlier this month, after several weeks of deliberation, Zelensky signed a law lowering the age of conscription for men from 27 to 25. The new draft rules were approved without a demobilization clause that would have allowed troops to return home after three years on the front lines. As things currently stand, everyone who is drafted will have to serve until the end of the conflict with Russia.

Ukrainian troops feel betrayed by the new rules, Western media outlets reported earlier this week, citing soldiers who say they feel “fooled and used” and are being used as “slaves.” The mobilization law “will be the watershed, after which there will be no turning back,” Dubinsky wrote on Telegram on Thursday. He compared Kiev’s policies to ‘Oprichnina’ – a massive repression campaign launched by Russian Tsar Ivan the Terrible in the 16th century and implemented by special troops called ‘Oprichniki’ who enjoyed the monarch’s trust and were spared his wrath. “The presidential administration and its Oprichniki, including MPs, state officials, the police and [security services] are on one side,” while “everyone else is on the other,” Dubinsky said.

According to the MP, the goal of this policy is to help Zelensky hold on to power by “forcing everyone into the army.” “That is a very bad basis for a social consensus,” the lawmaker added. In another post, he noted that MPs, police officers, some state officials, and local authorities are exempted from mobilization under the new draft rules, and “are by no means preparing to go to war.” Dubinsky is currently in custody in Ukraine. He was expelled from Zelensky’s ‘Servant of the People’ party in 2021. He faced treason charges in November 2023 after the Ukrainian domestic security service (SBU) accused him of working for Russia. Dubinsky dismissed the accusations as politically motivated and claimed that he was persecuted for criticizing Zelensky.

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“..footage appearing to show Ukrainian troops being shot at and having grenades thrown at them by their own comrades..”

New Order Reveals Scale of Sabotage and Desertion in Ukrainian Army (Sp.)

The Kiev regime’s soldiers sabotage army orders, threaten their commanders, refuse to fire their weapons, leave the battlefield, and desert. This was revealed in a new order on strengthening discipline signed by Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine’s Armed Forces Oleksandr Syrsky and seen by Sputnik.The document notes that army commanders, law enforcement, and other government agencies have faced new challenges that require an immediate response. Among the military criminal offenses, the commander-in-chief listed “insubordination,” “failure to comply with an order,” “threat or violence against a superior,” “unauthorized abandonment of a military unit or place of service,” “desertion,” “evasion of military service by inflicting self-harm or in any other way,” and “unauthorized abandonment of the battlefield or refusal to use weapons.”

Syrsky’s order outlines the urgent need for the Armed Forces and representatives of law enforcement agencies to identify and put a stop to these offenses. The document presupposes that Ukrainian soldiers could be offered a chance to return to combat duty even after the abovementioned offenses. The new order comes as the Ukrainian Armed Forces are struggling to replenish their ranks, with men increasingly unwilling to die for the Kiev regime and actively avoiding mobilization or deserting. Following last year’s botched summer counteroffensive, which resulted in huge manpower losses, cases of desertion have soared. The Kiev regime’s army units are rife with cases of insubordination and desertion. Sputnik earlier obtained footage appearing to show Ukrainian troops being shot at and having grenades thrown at them by their own comrades during a Russian advance.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky recently deplored that such a case of desertion by a whole unit had resulted in Ukrainian forces being surrounded, and many soldiers being killed. He also spoke out against declaring a general amnesty for deserters in a video posted on his office’s YouTube channel. On Wednesday, Verkhovna Rada lawmaker Irina Gerashchenko reported that the Ukrainian parliament had backed in the first reading a bill to tighten liability for military offenses, including desertion. The following day, the country’s parliament adopted a bill on mobilization aimed at replenishing Ukrainian forces depleted by two years of NATO’s proxy war against Russia. Zelensky also signed new mobilization measures into law on April 2, lowering the conscription age and authorizing the creation of an electronic database of military-age men as the issue of draft dodgers continues to persist.

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“All Ukrainian men between age 18 and 60 will have to register, including those abroad. Failure to do so will count as evading military service..”

Mobilizing for Defeat (Amar)

Ukraine’s situation is extremely precarious, if you want to put it optimistically. A more realistic term is “catastrophic.” The country faces steady, accelerating advances of Russian forces that are well-motivated and trained and superior in quantity and equipment. Even Ukraine’s commander-in-chief has admitted that “the situation on the eastern front has significantly worsened in recent days.” A massive understatement but still proof that things are even worse. We also know – from Ukrainian polls – that ever more Ukrainians are open to ending the war by making concessions. Yet the Zelensky regime is doubling down. Instead of entering serious negotiations – the kind where you adjust your aims to your losses so as to avoid even greater ones – it is seeking to throw more lives into a war that has become a meatgrinder for Ukrainian troops.

That is the main purpose of a new mobilization law that has just passed the Ukrainian parliament. (In addition, President Zelensky has already signed off on additional measures that will be integrated into the new law once he signs that as well. In essence, though, this is one integrated bundle, which many Ukrainians and outside observers refer to as one and the same law, as will be done here.) The new mobilization law is complex, consisting of a long list of measures, including, for instance, new rules on confiscating private cars for defense purposes. Its core, however, is simple: The minimum age for mobilization is lowered from 27 to 25 years of age. All Ukrainian men between age 18 and 60 will have to register, including those abroad. Failure to do so will count as evading military service. To make sure that compliance can be policed easily, all registered men must have their registration papers on them at all times.

The law, which has been under contentious consideration for months, is not being well-received in Ukrainian society. On a TV show run by Ukrainska Pravda, a very anti-Russian outlet, Maria Berlinska, a Ukrainian activist of equally sterling credentials, called it a fiasco. And she is by no means alone. It is true that some Ukrainian commentators have – once again – tried to dismiss all and any popular discontent as nothing but Russian interference. But this time, that tired old trick from the NATO-Zelensky playbook is not working well. Even Western mainstream media acknowledge the law is “unpopular.”

It is not hard to understand why many Ukrainians are angry. Perhaps the single worst disappointment is that the law does not include a hard rule for demobilization, which is what everyone expected. Think of it as a tacit deal: The government gets to hoover up more young men for cannon fodder, but, at least, it also promises to let go those exhausted soldiers who have already served (and survived) for years (36 months was under discussion). Even the New York Times has noticed that Ukraine’s current soldiers are “battered and exhausted.” Yet opening a way out for at least some of them is what did not happen. Instead, the Zelensky regime has dared come out with a law that only takes but gives nothing back.

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“..accused of sabotaging orders, threatening commanders, refusing to fire their weapons, leaving the battlefield and deserting en masse..”

Ukrainian Troops Accuse Command of Treating Them ‘Like Livestock’ (Sp.)

A leaked order regarding plans to strengthen discipline signed by Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Syrsky has detailed the increasingly difficult situation for Kiev at the front, with troops accused of sabotaging orders, threatening commanders, refusing to fire their weapons, leaving the battlefield and deserting en masse. Russia’s Defense Ministry has published footage of nine servicemen from Ukraine’s elite 25th Separate Airborne Brigade collectively surrendering to Russian forces near the village of Vodyanoye in the Donetsk People’s Republic. In interviews taken after their capture, the troopers pointed to the difficult situation at the front, complained about poor operational planning, poorly trained commanders, large losses in manpower and equipment and panic among the units, and accused command of using them as cannon fodder.

“The commanders leave us to die like waste material, while they are somewhere on the sidelines,” serviceman Valery told his Russian interviewers. “When we were being taken into captivity, our own forces started shelling us, showing that we aren’t needed anymore. I’ve been captured and thanks to that I’m alive and won’t be executed. It’s worse in the Ukrainian military than in the Russian captivity,” he said. “The 25th Brigade’s command is treating us like livestock,” another captured serviceman said. “It’s better to surrender than die in such a ***** manner for who knows for what and why,” a third added. “Our commanders don’t care about us. They didn’t want to come to the positions and evaluate the situation…So ‘thank you’ to our commanders. In your words, we should have gone to our deaths,” another soldier said. Footage shot by Russian forces showed the surrendering servicemen approaching Russian positions, stripping off their gear and being led out of the combat zone by Russian forces after being searched.

Ukraine Armed Forces C-in-C Syrsky confirmed the desperate situation at the front in an order that was issued on April 4 and leaked to Russian media on Saturday, listing issues he said require immediate attention from law enforcement including insubordination, failure to comply with orders, threats or violence against superiors, unauthorized abandonment of positions, desertion, evasion of military service by inflicting self-harm, and refusal to use weapons. In a Telegram post Saturday, Syrsky offered an unusually frank public assessment of the battlefield situation, which he said had “significantly worsened in recent days, primarily due to the significant intensification of the enemy’s offensive actions,” which he said was “facilitated by warm, dry weather, which has made most open areas accessible to tanks.” Syrsky assured that his “personal communication” with servicemen has made him well “aware of the real scale and degree of threat from the enemy.”

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“..and we will be able to resume the counteroffensive in 2025..”

Ukraine Asks France to Help Hold Positions in 2024 (Sp.)

Kiev has asked Paris to help the Ukrainian military hold the positions on the battlefield this year so that it can launch a new counteroffensive in 2025, a French official who took part in the talks with the Ukrainian authorities has told Le Figaro newspaper. “The Ukrainians are telling us: help us make it through 2024, and we will be able to resume the counteroffensive in 2025,” the official said. Ukraine is in need of the SAMP/T air defense system, the official added. However, MBDA, which manufactures the Aster 30 missiles for the platform, will not be able to provide Kiev with more missiles in the near future, as the French military also needs them, Le Figaro reported. On June 4, 2023, Ukraine attempted a counteroffensive against Russia. Kiev deployed brigades trained by NATO instructors and armed with Western equipment, including Leopard and Challenger tanks.

Three months later, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that Kiev’s push had failed, with Ukraine suffering heavy casualties. Several Western officials also admitted that the Ukrainian counteroffensive had not been successful. Western countries have provided hundreds of billions of dollars worth of aid to Ukraine since the start of Russia’s special military operation in February 2022. Aid shipments began in 2022 with artillery munitions and training and have escalated to include tanks, advanced air-defense systems, missiles and cluster munitions. The Kremlin has consistently warned against the West’s continued arms deliveries to Ukraine, saying that they only prolong the conflict, adding that Western military equipment will be eventually destroyed. Moscow also cautioned that NATO countries “are playing with fire” by providing Kiev with arms.

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NYT and Fiona Hill team up to make Trump look ignorant. And yes, “Hill served on Trump’s National Security Council between 2017 and 2019”. How did that ever happen?

Trump Thought Ukraine ‘Must Be Part Of Russia’ – Fiona Hill (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump could not understand “the idea that Ukraine was an independent state” and assumed that it “must be part of Russia,” his former adviser, Fiona Hill, has claimed. “Trump made it very clear that he thought, you know, that Ukraine, and certainly Crimea, must be part of Russia,” Hill told New York Times writer David Sanger in an upcoming book previewed by The Guardian on Friday. “He really could not get his head around the idea that Ukraine was an independent state.” Crimea voted overwhelmingly to join the Russian Federation in 2014, six decades after the historically Russian peninsula was transferred to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in an administrative decision by Soviet Premier Nikita Kruschev. In September 2022, four former Ukrainian regions – the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, Kherson, and Zaporozhye – were also admitted to the Russian Federation after similar referendums.

It is unclear from the excerpt printed by The Guardian whether Trump was referring to Russia’s centuries of sovereignty over Crimea and interests in Ukraine, or whether he simply assumed that post-Soviet Ukraine was a part of Russia. Trump has never publicly suggested that Ukraine is not an independent state. Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee to challenge President Joe Biden in this November’s election. If elected, he has promised to end the conflict in Ukraine “within 24 hours.” “I would get [Russian President Vladimir Putin] into a room. I’d get [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky into a room. Then I’d bring them together. And I’d have a deal worked out,” he told NBC News in September. Trump did not elaborate on how he would achieve this, explaining that “if I tell you exactly, I lose all my bargaining chips.”

Despite accusing Biden of dragging the US toward “World War III” with his policy of open-ended military aid to Ukraine, Trump has said that he could keep money flowing to Kiev under some circumstances, albeit as a loan rather than a gift. An intelligence analyst and specialist on Russian and Eurasian affairs, Hill served on Trump’s National Security Council between 2017 and 2019. She emerged as a key witness during the 2019 impeachment inquiry against her former boss, during which she accused Trump of using American aid to pressure Zelensky into investigating the Biden family’s business dealings in Ukraine.

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“..this would be the best decision Biden ever made..”

‘Do The Right Thing’: Assange Supporters Urge As Biden Mulls Dropping Case (CD)

President Joe Biden this week for the first time said his administration is weighing the Australian government’s requests to drop charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been deprived of his freedom since 2010 and is currently jailed in London’s notorious Belmarsh Prison while fighting extradition to the United States. Asked by reporters at the White House about requests from Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and members of the country’s Parliament for the U.S. and United Kingdom to drop the extradition effort and charges against Assange – an Australian citizen – Biden said that “we’re considering it.” Stella Assange, Julian’s wife, responded to Biden’s remarks on social media. “Do the right thing,” she wrote. “Drop the charges. #FreeAssangeNOW.”

Srecko Horvat, a Croatian philosopher and co-founder of the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 pan-European progressive political party, said that “this would be the best decision Biden ever made.” British journalist Afshin Rattansi asked, “Why has Julian Assange been put through this ordeal in the first place?” Assange – who is 52 years old and suffers from various health problems – faces multiple U.S. charges under the Espionage Act and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for his role in publishing classified government documents, some of them revealing war crimes and other misdeeds. Among the files published by WikiLeaks are the “Collateral Murder” video – which shows a U.S. Army helicopter crew killing a group of Iraqi civilians – the Afghan and Iraq war logs.

Three U.S. administrations have pursued charges against Assange. During the administration of former President Donald Trump – who is the presumptive 2024 Republican nominee – officials including then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo allegedly plotted to assassinate Assange to avenge WikiLeaks’ publication of the “Vault 7” documents exposing CIA electronic warfare and surveillance activities. In 2010, Trump called for Assange’s execution. The U.K. High Court ruled last month that Assange could not be immediately extradited to the U.S., where he faces up to 175 years behind bars if convicted on all counts. The tribunal gave the Biden administration until April 16 to guarantee that Assange won’t face the death penalty. Absent such assurance, Assange will be allowed to continue appealing his extradition. Last month, Assange’s legal team denied reports that a plea deal with the U.S. government may have been in the works. Assange has been imprisoned in Belmarsh since 2019. Before that, he spent nearly seven years in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he had been granted political asylum under the government of leftist former President Rafael Correa.

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“..not just a ban from visiting Germany but also from participation in Zoom events hosted in the country..”

The Speech That Got Me Banned From Germany (Varoufakis)

Today, Yanis Varoufakis was banned not just from visiting Germany but from participating in video conferences about politics hosted in Germany. Here’s the plea for humanity and justice in Palestine that got him banned. Today, Germany’s interior ministry issued a “betätigungsverbot” against me, a ban on any political activity — not just a ban from visiting Germany but also from participation in Zoom events hosted in the country. I can’t even have a recorded video of me played at German events.The trouble started in earnest yesterday, when German police burst into a Berlin venue to disband our Palestine congress, which was hosted by the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM25). Judge for yourselves what kind of society Germany is becoming if its police ban the sentiments below.

“Congratulations and heartfelt thanks for being here — despite the threats, despite the ironclad police outside this venue, despite the panoply of the German press, despite the German state, despite the German political system that demonizes you for being here. “Why a Palestinian congress, Mr Varoufakis?” a German journalist asked me recently. Because, as Hanan Ashrawi once said, “we cannot rely on the silenced to tell us about their suffering.”Today, Ashrawi’s reason has grown depressingly stronger, because we cannot rely on the silenced who are also massacred and starved to tell us about the massacres and the starvation. But there is another reason, too: because a proud, decent people, the people of Germany, are led down a perilous road to a heartless society by being made to associate themselves with another genocide carried out in their name, with their complicity.

I am neither Jewish nor Palestinian. But I am incredibly proud to be here among Jews and Palestinians — to blend my voice for peace and universal human rights with Jewish voices for peace and universal human rights, with Palestinian voices for peace and universal human rights. Being together here today is proof that coexistence is not only possible — but that it is here already. “Why not a Jewish congress, Mr Varoufakis?” the same German journalist asked me, imagining that he was being smart. I welcomed his question. For if a single Jew is threatened, anywhere, just because she or he is Jewish, I shall wear the Star of David on my lapel and offer my solidarity — whatever the cost, whatever it takes.

So let’s be clear: if Jews were under attack, anywhere in the world, I would be the first to canvass for a Jewish congress in which to register our solidarity. Similarly, when Palestinians are massacred because they are Palestinians — under a dogma that to be dead and Palestinian, they must have been Hamas — I shall wear my keffiyeh and offer my solidarity whatever the cost, whatever it takes. Universal human rights are either universal or they mean nothing.

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Time to hear Pelosi and Liz Cheney under oath?

DC National Guard Say They WERE Ready To Be Deployed On Jan 6 (DM)

Whistleblowers from the Washington D.C. National Guard will tell Congress that Donald Trump did want them deployed during the Capitol riot and the Army delayed telling them to mobilize in a bombshell hearing next week. DailyMail.com can exclusively reveal that at least three officers will appear Wednesday before a House subcommittee to claim their stories were also ignored by the Democrat-led January 6 committee, because it didn’t fit their narrative. The hearing will aim to further prove that Acting Defense Secretary at the time Christopher Miller did give advance approval of D.C. National Guard deployment at the direction of then-President Donald Trump. A person familiar with the review by the House Administration Committee’s Oversight Subcommittee said the whistleblowers will provide testimony that then-Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy delayed by at least two hours providing official notice to D.C. National Guard Commander William Walker to deploy troops to the Capitol.

Instead of getting to the bottom of the breakdown in communication and focusing on improving Military preparedness for future incidents, the witnesses feel the January 6 panel was solely focused on pinning blame for the events that day on Trump. The officers, who were with Walker the day of the Capitol riot, will detail how they were on buses in full tactical gear for hours waiting for the go-ahead from the Army. McCarthy has stated under oath that he did give a timely order for deployment of the D.C. National Guard – but Walker’s troops said they found out about mobilization during a press conference, which led to a three-hour-and-19-minute delay of forces arriving at the Capitol. Some suggest that McCarthy was vying for a spot in President Joe Biden’s incoming administration and didn’t like the optics of it looking like the Army, under his command, was trying to interfere or inhibit certification of the 2020 presidential election results.

The hearing on Wednesday is titled ‘Three Years Later: D.C. National Guard Whistleblowers Speak Out on January 6 Delay’ and aims to examine whether Trump was at fault for the delay in National Guard deployment. Additionally, the whistleblowers will reveal how the January 6 Committee did not want to hear their testimony because it corroborated Trump and his allies’ claims that the former president did authorize the National Guard days in advance to respond to any violence or unrest on January 6, 2021. Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) is chairman of the Oversight Subcommittee, which is tasked with reviewing the January 6 Committee’s investigation into the Capitol riot.

Last month, Loudermilk released a transcript of a never-before-seen interview with Tony Ornato, the man in charge of Trump’s security detail on January 6, 2021. In the interview with the panel, Ornato confirmed that Trump did authorize the National Guard for mobilization and deployment to D.C. that day. The bombshell release of that interview reveals flaws in the January 6 committee’s argument that Trump wanted to stoke chaos that day by not allowing National Guard troops to respond to the scene at the Capitol. Loudermilk’s panel is concerned with making sure that security of the U.S. Capitol complex is nonpartisan and that readiness is not affected by partisan politics.

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“..other defendants did not write “a memoir in which they made countless statements proving their crimes and drawing further attention to their criminal conduct.”

Another Federal Judge Rejects All Hunter Biden Claims for Dismissal (Turley)

While some legal analysts continue to boost Hunter Biden’s legal claims, the reviews in actual courts are far less glowing. Recently, we discussed a federal judge rejecting all eight motions of Hunter Biden to dismiss his tax charges in a stinging opinion citing a conspicuous lack of actual evidence to support their claims. Now, U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika has also rejected those claims in the gun case in Delaware, calling Hunter’s arguments “nonsensical.” Legal experts like MSNBC’s Andew Weissmann have slammed the gun charges as “an abuse.” Hunter Biden’s counsel has argued selective prosecution and a bar on charges (based on the defunct notorious plea deal) in both cases. While these arguments were given great credence on some networks, they were stomped on by actual judges applying the law to the case. Abby Lowell and Hunter’s defense team have insisted that he is the victim of selective prosecution, but Special Counsel David Weiss has eviscerated those claims.

In a recent filing, Weiss dismissed many of Hunter’s claims as “patently false” and noted that he virtually flaunted his violations and engaged in obvious efforts to evade taxes and hide his crimes. Weiss further noted that other defendants did not write “a memoir in which they made countless statements proving their crimes and drawing further attention to their criminal conduct.” It was a devastating take-down of Hunter’s claims, but it did not address the conspicuous omission of charges brought against Menendez, including FARA charges. It also does not address the fact that the Justice Department not only allowed the statute of limitations to run on major crimes, but sought to finalize an obscene plea agreement with no jail time for Hunter. It only fell apart when a judge decided to ask a couple of cursory questions of the prosecutor, who admitted that he had never seen an agreement this generous for a defendant. Weiss noted in his filing that they filed new charges only after Hunter’s legal counsel refused to change the agreement and insisted that it remained fully enforceable.

Judge Noreika is equally unimpressed by the arguments of the Biden team. She almost mockingly noted that “Defendant’s articulated protected class is apparently family members of politically-important persons.” She later added: “Defendant’s claim is effectively that his own father targeted him for being his son, a claim that is nonsensical under the facts here. Regardless of whether Congressional Republicans attempted to influence the Executive Branch, there is no evidence that they were successful in doing so and, in any event, the Executive Branch prosecuting Defendant was at all relevant times (and still is) headed by Defendant’s father.” The court also rejected Hunter Biden’s effort to subpoena Trump, former attorney general Bill Barr, and two other senior officials who served in the Trump Justice Department. Again, she noted that it was the Biden administration that decided to prosecute Hunter Biden on the firearms offenses.

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Aristotle time

 

 

Moom!

 

 

Wolf size

 

 

Lynx

 

 


Just 10 streams carry 95% of all river-borne plastic into the ocean

 

 

Reindeer

 

 

Octopus

 

 

Skink
https://twitter.com/i/status/1779155873861927286

 

 

Baby swans
https://twitter.com/i/status/1779221790038098045

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 122024
 


Edgar Degas The laundress 1873

 

The Deep State Prepares for a Trump Victory (Jeffrey Tucker)
Russia, China Sketch the Future as the World Awaits Iran’s Move (Pepe Escobar)
Israel Expects Iran’s Direct Attack Within Next 24 to 48 Hours (Sp.)
Had UN Condemned Israel, There’d Be No Need For Retaliation – Iran (RT)
Brits Should Not Be Part Of The Genocide In Gaza (Jay)
Russia Delivers Major Blow to Ukraine, Destroys Kiev’s Biggest Power Plant (NC)
We Really Want To Destroy Europe’s Longest Bridge – Zelensky (RT)
Biden’s Remark On Ukraine Apocalyptic – Medvedev (RT)
Biden ‘Very Proud’ Of Expanding NATO To Russia’s Borders (RT)
Pentagon Warns US Could Miss Ukraine ‘Pay Off’ (RT)
Moscow Shines Spotlight On Who Comes After Zelensky (Helmer)
US Citizens Backing Russia – Zelensky (RT)
Trump Has No Intention Of Going To Ukraine – Reuters (RT)
Ukraine Peace Impossible Without Russia – Swiss FM (RT)
Irish Taxpayers Paid For The Accommodation Of Ukrainian Dogs And Cats (RT)
Sen. Kennedy Suggests Ulterior Motive Behind Border Crisis (ET)

 

 

 

 

Tucker democracy
https://twitter.com/i/status/1778183879255265519

 

 

Nebenzya
https://twitter.com/i/status/1778474208743321696

 

 

Stefanik
https://twitter.com/i/status/1778433384865321226

 

 

 

 

RFK malinformation
https://twitter.com/i/status/1778532862402408632

 

 

Rogan

 

 

 

 

 

 

Absolute must read from Jeffrey Tucker. Another way to make it impossible for Trump to effect any meaningful changes. Just like the NATO “Ukraine fund”.

“There are more than 2 million permanent bureaucrats..” And they want to make them independent of who’s president. Democracy be damned.

The Deep State Prepares for a Trump Victory (Jeffrey Tucker)

“In the first week of the Biden-Harris Administration, President Biden revoked an Executive Order issued by the previous Administration that risked altering our country’s long-standing merit-based civil service system, by creating a new excepted service schedule, known as ‘Schedule F,’ and directing agencies to move potentially large swathes of career employees into this new excepted service status. This attempt would have stripped career civil servants of their civil service protections that ensure that decisions to hire and fire are based on merit, not political considerations.” The “previous administration” means of course the Trump White House, which issued the greatest executive order in a hundred years. After four years of being subverted and thwarted by the civil service bureaucracy, the White House finally figured out the core problem. There are more than 2 million permanent bureaucrats, ensconced in 430 agencies, who imagine themselves to live outside the democratic system and the U.S. Constitution itself. They believe they are the state and the elected leaders are mere decoration.

Trump’s executive order insisted that every agency do an internal audit and ferret out any employee who has something to do with making or interpreting policy; that is, anyone whose work impacts on whether the president actually has control of the executive department. All those employees would be reclassified as Schedule F, meaning that they could be replaced if need be. That’s it. That’s the whole order. Maybe it doesn’t seem like much but it was actually brilliant. The Trump administration is the first to discover the great secret of American public life, which is that the administrative state has taken on a life of its own. After years of trying, the Trump White House finally happened upon a key lever to gain back control for the people. It’s as simple as that. The Washington, D.C. political press freaked out. It was as if a president had found the engine room and the one switch that controls the whole thing. That was never supposed to happen. This produced mayhem inside the bureaucracy, and a doubling and tripling down on the conviction that he could never win a second term, lest this order be carried out.

That’s why one of the very first actions of the Biden administration was to repeal this executive order. That action made it very clear that Biden’s loyalties were with the deep state first and foremost. He would protect their jobs and power above all else. In fact, the OPM (Office of Personnel Management) press release brags about this. At issue here is a phrase from the initial Trump order. Any employee would be reclassified who deals with “confidential, policy determining, policymaking, or policy-advocating.” Notice this word confidential. This would apply to the whole of the intelligence community, perhaps. So wait, are we saying that the president should be in charge of the CIA, FBI, NSA, NSC, and the entire security apparatus, even to the point that he could fire anyone? Maybe so! Such a situation would be intolerable to the bad guys. From their point of view, this would fundamentally upend the functioning of government in America. Let’s face it. If the OPM and the whole of the bureaucracy believed there was no threat from Donald Trump or RFK, Jr., such a rule change would not be necessary.

They believe it is necessary, which implies that the civil service thinks that the rising populist movement is a genuine threat that could succeed in taking back the country. Otherwise, they wouldn’t bother. What is the OPM? It was founded out of the Pendleton Act of 1883, which started the permanent bureaucracy in the United States. With it came the Civil Service Commission, the first name of what later was called the OPM. Until that time, and under the Constitution, the U.S. president had full control of the bureaucracy. The new president would typically replace a vast number of bureaucrats with loyalists. This was denounced as the “spoils system” but it could also be called simple democracy in which the people rule themselves through their elected representatives. The permanent class of rules grew through wars and crises over a hundred years to become the government that cares not a whit for who is technically elected or otherwise appointed as agency heads. As a matter of habit, they have come to ignore all the comings and goings of the people elected by the population. Elections are just a distraction to them.

The essential point: Donald Trump and RFK, Jr. represent a genuine threat to the gang that has subverted and nearly wrecked this country. Now we know that this threat is real, else we would not see these efforts to entrench the bad guys and protect them against all conceivable threats. As this proves again, the main struggle alive in this country and all over the world is the one between the people and the deep state consisting of a vast network of elites in government, media, the corporate world, banking and finance, private foundations, and global bureaucracies, all working for their own interests at the expense of everyone else. It’s a battle for control, and it is the underlying dynamic that shapes our lives right now. The bad guys are scared. Now we know this for sure, or they would not be trying to pre-rig the system against fundamental change. The elites believe based on long experience that they can always outwit the rest of the population. We shall see.

It’s going to be brutal before and after the election. There will be one or several October surprises. If Donald Trump wins, the onset of Winter will kick off propaganda like you have never seen. As the inauguration approaches, absolute hysteria will dawn. The COVID racket will seem like child’s play. Every day and every hour after will consist of wild attempts to stop the administration from functioning. What a time to be alive.

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“..the dogs of Forever Wars bark while the Eurasian integration caravan marches on..”

Russia, China Sketch the Future as the World Awaits Iran’s Move (Pepe Escobar)

The whole planet awaits with bated breath the avowedly inevitable Iranian response to the attack against its consulate/ambassador residence in Damascus by the biblical psychopaths responsible for the Gaza genocide. Enveloped in an aura of secrecy, each passing day betrays the immensity of the challenge: the possibly asymmetrical response must be, simultaneously, symbolic, substantive, cogent, convincing, reasonable and rational. That is driving Tel Aviv totally hysterical and the deciding instances of the Hegemon extremely itchy. Everyone with a functioning brain knows this wet dream of a stunt from the point of view of hardcore Zionists and US Christian zio-cons was a serious provocation, designed to draw the US to the long-cherished Israeli plan of striking a decisive blow against both Hezbollah and Tehran.

The IDF’s Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi all but gave away the game, when he said this past Sunday that “we are operating in cooperation with the USA and strategic partners in the region.” Translation: never trust the Hegemon even as the notion is floated – via Swiss mediators – that Washington won’t interfere with Tehran’s response to Tel Aviv. One just needs to remember Washington’s “assurances” to Saddam Hussein before the first Gulf War. It’s impossible to take Hegemon back-channel assurances at face value. The White House and the Pentagon occasionally dispense these “assurances” to Moscow every time Kiev strikes deep inside the Russian Federation using US-UK satellite intel, logistics, weaponry and with NATO in de-facto operational control. The state terror attack on Damascus, which shredded the Vienna convention on diplomatic immunity, crucially was also an attack on both the expanded BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

Iran is a member of both multilateral bodies, and on top of it is engaged in strategic partnerships with both Russia and China. So it’s no wonder the leadership in both Beijing in Moscow is carefully considering all possible repercussions of the next Iranian move. Tel Aviv’s purposeful escalation – when it comes to expanding war in West Asia – happens to mirror another escalation: NATO’s no way out in Ukraine except by doubling down, with no end in sight. That started with the invariably out of his depth Secretary of State Little Tony Blinken affirming, on the record, that Ukraine will join NATO. Which any functioning brain knows is translatable as the road map towards a Russia-NATO hot war with unbelievably dire consequences. Little Blinkie’s criminal irresponsibility was duly picked up and reverberated by the Franco-British duo, as expressed by British FM David “of Arabia” Cameron and French FM Stephane Sejourne: “If Ukraine loses, we all lose”. At least they got that right – although that took ages, when it comes to framing NATO’s approaching cosmic humiliation.

Now let’s switch from clownish bit players to the adults in the room. As in Russian FM Sergei Lavrov and Chinese FM Wang Yi discussing literally every incandescent dossier together earlier this week in Beijing. Lavrov and Wang could not be clearer on what’s ahead for the Russia-China strategic partnership. They will engage together on all matters regarding Eurasian security. They will go, in Lavrov’s words, for “dual opposition” to counterpunch the West’s “dual deterrence”. They will be countering every attempt by the usual suspects to “slow down the natural course of history”. Add to it the confirmation that President Putin and President Xi will hold at least two bilaterals in 2024: at the SCO summit in June and at the BRICS summit in October. In a nutshell: the dogs of Forever Wars bark while the Eurasian integration caravan marches on.

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Iran will go asymmetrical.

Israel Expects Iran’s Direct Attack Within Next 24 to 48 Hours (Sp.)

Israel is expecting a direct attack from Iran on southern or northern Israel within the next 24 to 48 hours, The Wall Street Journal has reported, citing a person familiar with the matter. The report said on Thursday, citing a person briefed by the Iranian leadership, that no final decision has been made yet, although plans for an attack are being discussed. The report also cited a US official familiar with the situation as saying on Thursday that intelligence reports of the United States indicate an Iranian strike within days, “possibly on Israeli soil.” The Iranian Foreign Ministry said it “reserves the right” to respond to the Israeli attack and “punish the aggressor.” Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi also vowed that Israel would pay a “heavy price” for the strike.

US media reported earlier, citing Iranian and US intelligence sources, that Iran plans to strike dozens of sensitive targets in Israel, including energy infrastructure and various other facilities, using ballistic missiles and drones carrying explosives. A potential direct attack from Iran on the territory of Israel would require an appropriate response, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, according to a statement by the Israeli Defense Ministry. “The defense minister [of Israel] expressed his commitment to the security of Israeli citizens, as a direct Iranian attack on Israeli territory would require an appropriate Israeli response against Iran,” the ministry said on Thursday.

In a conversation, Gallant and Austin discussed preparedness for a possible Iranian attack, and Gallant told his American counterpart that Israel “will not tolerate an Iranian attack on its territory.” On April 1, Israel carried out an airstrike on the consular annex of the Iranian embassy in Damascus, destroying the building. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said seven of its members had been killed in the attack, including two commanders. The Syrian Health Ministry said the next day that the attack had also killed four Syrians and injured 13 more.

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Tehran offers a gift. An olive branch. It will be ignored.

Had UN Condemned Israel, There’d Be No Need For Retaliation – Iran (RT)

Iran feels obligated to punish Israel for attacking its diplomatic mission in Syria because the UN Security Council has failed in its duty, Tehran’s mission to the global organization said on Thursday.The April 1 airstrike killed seven Iranian officers, including two generals of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force. Israel has not officially claimed responsibility for the attack.“Had the UN Security Council condemned the Zionist regime’s reprehensible act of aggression on our diplomatic premises in Damascus and subsequently brought to justice its perpetrators, the imperative for Iran to punish this rogue regime might have been obviated,” the mission posted on X (formerly Twitter). Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said that Israel “must and shall be punished” for what it did. Israeli and US intelligence have fueled speculation that possible reprisals could entail anything from drone attacks to ballistic missile strikes.

Israel has been bracing for some kind of response for over a week, with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) canceling all leave and starting to spoof GPS signals. Reports on Wednesday, sources linked to anonymous US intelligence officials spoke of an imminent Iranian strike within 24-48 hours, following the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the feast of Eid-al-Fitr. Brent oil futures have risen above $90 per barrel in anticipation. British-based media have reported that Israel has been preparing to attack Iranian nuclear program facilities in the event of a missile strike. The US government has declared it would back West Jerusalem against Tehran, but anonymous claims that American jets would join Israeli strikes have not been officially confirmed.

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“Israel has gone over a line on “defending itself” and Britain has been dragged into that quagmire which has made us look like the amateurs we are on the international diplomatic circuit..”

Brits Should Not Be Part Of The Genocide In Gaza (Jay)

How likely is it that the Israeli air force jet which killed three British aid workers in Gaza took off from our base in Cyprus? How much longer can our own government deny that there is a genocide happening each day in Gaza with not only the tacit blessing of the government but in some cases it actually goes the distance and provides the full package of support to murder women and children? The murky dividing line between the British so-called neutral position on Gaza and the reality of what even our own MPs recently admitted was a genocide which broke a tome of internal laws – seems to be getting more opaque by the day. The Conservative party is very confused about where it is on the Gaza war and while David Cameron recently admitted that he was “worried” about international law being broken, it is the prime minister who is now in the firing line demanding enquiries about the death of the three nationals killed.

Three of the seven who were killed were British nationals named James Henderson, John Chapman and James Kirby. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak demanded a concrete investigation into the deaths from the Netanyahu government. But he won’t get concrete investigations from the Netanyahu government as this body has shown the world in recent months that there is no level of depravity which it is not prepared to stoop to as it still continues to shock us each day with video clips on social media breaking new boundaries of poor taste.= Yet IDF soldiers playing with women’s underwear is one thing; it is quite another thing for us to imagine that Britain could be pulled into a massive international law black hole which could go on for years via the ICJ in the Hague.

Surely the deaths of these three should be the right moment to have a re-think on a government level if we can’t have one as a society. Israel has gone over a line on “defending itself” and Britain has been dragged into that quagmire which has made us look like the amateurs we are on the international diplomatic circuit. But where to draw that line?

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“If Russia had tried prostrating Ukraine via widespread power outages much earlier (even assuming it wasn’t unduly costly against a Ukraine with intact air defenses) it would have been the dog that caught the car..”

Russia Delivers Major Blow to Ukraine, Destroys Kiev’s Biggest Power Plant (NC)

Ukraine’s government is facing a juncture described in Marguerite Yourcenar’s The Memoirs of Hadrian: “I begin to discern the profile of my death.” Russia is demonstrating that it can turn the lights out all over Ukraine. That time has now passed. Russia has destroyed the largest generating plant in the Kiev oblast, Tripilska Power Plant. As we’ll explain below, this further reduction of Ukraine’s generating capacity has knock-on effects, most importantly forcing further big cuts via soon necessitating the shutdown of nuclear reactors. The Ukraine power system is approaching a tipping point if it has not already reached it.

Commentators early in the war, particularly the hyper-nationalist sorts in Russia, were perplexed that Russia didn’t engage in the typical practice of a belligerent, of knocking out power and communications networks at the outset. The most common one provided was that Putin in particular really did regard the Special Military Operation as not exactly a war and hoped to bring Ukraine to the negotiating table, which indeed happened. So not stoking further Ukraine hostilities by harming civilians, or even unduly discomfiting them, was part of the initial “Let’s bring Kiev to its senses” plan. In addition, many Russians have relatives in Ukraine, so avoiding civilian casualties and even costs were important for domestic reasons.

Again, the more martial-minded weren’t happy with the Ministry of Defense, in fall-winter 2022, toying with Ukraine’s grid by selectively targeting transmission, inflicting damage that that Ukraine could repair in at worst a few days. John Helmer, who has given far and away the best analysis of the electrical war, depicted Russia as figuring out how the system worked so as to more efficiently drop the hammer when the time came. Others soon added that a major point of this campaign was to speed up the process of draining Ukraine of air defense missiles. Note that Russia intensified its grid strikes and began targeting generation capacity very close to when the Pentagon had said Ukraine would run out of air defense missiles, at the end of March. And on top of that, Russia has been taking out the weapons platforms too. One YouTuber (was it Brian Berletic?) recently said Ukraine might now has as few as three Patriot launch systems.

But there’s another reason for waiting until Ukraine’s military was on the rope and its air defenses were badly depleted. If Russia had tried prostrating Ukraine via widespread power outages much earlier (even assuming it wasn’t unduly costly against a Ukraine with intact air defenses) it would have been the dog that caught the car. Russia had dithered about developing a Plan B until the embarrassing Kharkiv and Kherson pull-backs forced Russia to act. Amazingly. Russia was able to start and implement its partial mobilization, with 6 to 7 months of training for new enlistees, with the West doing nothing to force Russia’s timetable. They were so high on the Russian retreats and their own PR that Russia any day now, yessiree, was going to run out of missiles that they gave Russia extremely valuable time to build up its capabilities and its weapons supplies. Weirdly, they even saw Russia demonstrate its capabilities by constructing the Surovikin Line, yet still refused to get the memo.

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“Kiev has repeatedly asked Germany for long-range Taurus missiles, specifically to strike the bridge. Chancellor Olaf Scholz has firmly rejected Kiev’s request..”

We Really Want To Destroy Europe’s Longest Bridge – Zelensky (RT)

Ukraine’s goal of bringing down Russia’s Crimean Bridge is part of plans for a new counteroffensive, President Vladimir Zelensky said in an interview with international media this week. Since the outbreak of the Ukrainian conflict in 2022, several officials and commanders in Ukraine, including Zelensky, have been threatening to destroy the 19-kilometer bridge connecting the Russian peninsula of Crimea to the Krasnodar Region – claiming the structure was vital for the Russian military. “We really want to destroy Russian infrastructure. This is not just about the bridge in Kerch, which everyone is talking about. We are talking about some infrastructure facilities that constitute a military target. We are talking about bridges and airfields,” Zelensky said on Tuesday, speaking to outlets owned by the German media giant Axel Springer. Ukraine’s leader made the same claim last year during Kiev’s failed attempt to wrest back land lost to Moscow in 2022.

The Crimean Bridge is a legitimate target for Ukraine and must be “neutralized,” he said in a video address to the Aspen Security Forum in July. Earlier, some Western media outlets wrote that new attacks on the bridge are inevitable. In February the commander of the Ukrainian Navy, Vice Admiral Aleksey Neizhpapa, claimed it will be destroyed in 2024. Kiev has repeatedly asked Germany for long-range Taurus missiles, specifically to strike the bridge. Chancellor Olaf Scholz has firmly rejected Kiev’s request, arguing that Russia could view this as Berlin’s involvement in the war. However, Scholz looks increasingly isolated in this view – in March, a leaked audio revealed that top German officials were discussing plans to send Ukraine long-range missiles that could take out the bridge. The Crimean Bridge was built between 2016 and 2018 and was the only road and rail link between the peninsula and mainland Russia.

However, Moscow opened a vast land bridge to Crimea after Kherson and Zaporozhye regions and the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk voted to officially join Russia in the fall of 2022. The structure had been targeted with missiles and naval drones on numerous occasions, but most of those attacks have been successfully blocked. In October 2022, an explosives-laden truck blew up as it was traveling along the bridge, killing three people and causing extensive damage. In July last year, a drone boat exploded under the structure, killing two people. Back then, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin labeled the attack “brutal” and pointless from a military perspective. He claimed the bridge is no longer being used to transport ammunition.

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“..Biden’s words amount to saying: “Keep killing each other. The more people die, the better. I want more deaths.”

Biden’s Remark On Ukraine Apocalyptic – Medvedev (RT)

US President Joe Biden is endorsing continued human suffering by demanding more military assistance for Ukraine, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has argued. Biden reiterated his call to the US Congress on Wednesday to release an additional $60 billion in aid for Ukraine. After doing so, he was asked by the press how he thought the conflict would come to an end. “The war in Ukraine comes to an end by the House Leader allowing a vote,” Biden responded, referring to Speaker Mike Johnson, who for weeks has been standing in the way of the foreign security assistance bill that includes more money for Kiev. According to Medvedev, Biden’s words amount to saying: “Keep killing each other. The more people die, the better. I want more deaths.”

The policy makes the US leader not unlike Death, one of the horsemen of the Apocalypse described in the Book of Revelations, the Russian official, who currently serves as deputy head of the national security council, claimed on social media on Thursday. Biden has pledged to support Kiev with arms and money for “as long as it takes” to defeat Russia. Moscow says the US is fueling the hostilities because it wants to cause more damage to Russia and would continue the fight “to the last Ukrainian.” Biden did not explain why he expects the pending aid package to be more impactful than the previous ones. On the same day, US Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Celeste Wallander told the House that Ukraine funding must continue, because otherwise the billions of dollars spent by Washington on the conflict in the previous years would have been wasted.

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“Trump runs that party. He maintains a sort of a death grip on it. Everybody’s afraid to take him on..”

Biden ‘Very Proud’ Of Expanding NATO To Russia’s Borders (RT)

US President Joe Biden has hailed NATO’s further expansion toward Russia’s borders, while accusing Republican rival Donald Trump of undermining the unity of the American-led military bloc. Russia has for years voiced concern about NATO’s creeping encroachment, viewing its policies as an existential threat. However, in an interview with Spanish-language broadcaster Univision that aired on Tuesday, Biden touted the recent addition of Finland and Sweden to the bloc’s ranks amid the Ukraine conflict as a great achievement. “We’ve done something that I was very proud of. I’ve engaged with NATO for my whole career. We were able to expand NATO, and we have 2,000 miles of border because you have two Nordic nations having joined NATO. You have a whole range of NATO countries along the Russian border,” the US president said.

Biden went on to argue that a stalemate in Congress over his $61 billion military aid package for Kiev is “very dangerous” for the bloc’s unity, accusing his former US leader Trump of virtually holding the measure – and the entire Republican party – hostage. “Trump runs that party. He maintains a sort of a death grip on it. Everybody’s afraid to take him on whether they agree with him or not, and it’s incredibly dangerous. The last thing we need is to see NATO start to break apart. It would be a disaster for the United States, a disaster for Europe, a disaster for the world,” Biden said.

The US has provided Ukraine with over $113 billion in various forms of assistance since the start of hostilities with Russia. Moscow has repeatedly condemned foreign arms shipments to Kiev, arguing they will only prolong the conflict, while making the West a direct participant in the hostilities. Finland shares a 1,300km border with Russia, and Moscow has argued that NATO membership has threatened, not guaranteed, Finnish security. After Helsinki joined the alliance last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the creation of a new military district bordering the Nordic nation. Sweden joined the bloc last month.

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“..Washington must double down on funding Kiev’s war effort against Moscow, to ensure that billions of dollars in previous “investments” do not go to waste..”

Pentagon Warns US Could Miss Ukraine ‘Pay Off’ (RT)

Washington must double down on funding Kiev’s war effort against Moscow, to ensure that billions of dollars in previous “investments” do not go to waste, the assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, Celeste Wallander, has claimed. The US has provided Ukraine with over $113 billion in various forms of assistance since the start of hostilities in February 2022, including more than $62 billion in military aid funneled through the Pentagon. However, more funds are urgently needed to protect this investment, Wallander told the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday. “What we need right now to prevent Russian success and Ukrainian defeat is passage of the supplemental,” she said, urging Congress to approve President Joe Biden’s aid package which would earmark another $60 billion for Kiev.

None of that work that we’ve done for two years in investing in Ukraine’s future will pay off, unless we get them through the next few months. President Biden has been urging lawmakers for months to approve his new aid package, but many Republicans have opposed the measure, demanding more efforts to strengthen US border security, while seeking more accountability for the aid already transferred to Kiev – demanding concrete answers on what the United States’ end goal in Ukraine is. Ukraine has also received at least $190 billion in military and financial aid from EU institutions and individual members, as well as other donor states, according to Kiel Institute data.

Washington is working with the EU and other NATO partners to get to a longer-term solution “that is well underway,” Wallander claimed. However, Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) General Christopher Cavoli argued at the hearing that new US aid is “critical at this moment,” until Ukraine’s other sponsors boost their production of crucial items including artillery shells. Without a new cash injection from Washington, Kiev will “lose the war,” Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky admitted this week. Meanwhile US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin pitched the aid as a way to provide jobs for American workers in the military industry, arguing that more than $50 billion in the “national security supplemental” funding would end up spread across at least 30 American states.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warned last month that the Ukrainian military was running out of guns and ammunition, rather than cash, calling on bloc members to mobilize their reserves and provide Ukraine with everything that it needs to continue the fight. The Kremlin has repeatedly warned that the ever-growing involvement of Western countries in the Ukraine conflict could result in an all-out confrontation between NATO and Russia. Moscow also insists that weapons deliveries will not change the outcome of the conflict but merely prolong them. At the same time, Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed claims that Russia won’t stop after reaching its goals in Ukraine and could attack NATO next as “utter nonsense” designed to “beat the money out” of the populations of Western countries.

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“..reducing the presidency to a shadow; centralizing all military and civil command in Yermak’s office, but letting Zelensky stay alive..”

Moscow Shines Spotlight On Who Comes After Zelensky (Helmer)

Advertisements for replacements of Vladimir Zelensky aren’t unusual, even if he has disposed of almost all of them already. That leaves just one, Andrei Yermak, head of the Presidential Office — prompter, grey eminence, comfort blanket of Zelensky in almost every significant move he has made since 2019– and now candidate to become prime minister in a revolutionary transfer of power in the Kiev regime, reducing the presidency to a shadow; centralizing all military and civil command in Yermak’s office, but letting Zelensky stay alive. Advertising Andrei Yermak to be prime minister is unusual in Vzglyad, the semi-official platform in Moscow for political and security analysis. This is especially so at this point in time when President Vladimir Putin has identified the Kiev regime as responsible for the Crocus City Hall attack, and the General Staff are escalating the Russian offensive on the ground along the line of contact east of the Dnieper River, and in the air deep into the west as far as Lvov.

What war aim would be served by Vzglyad’s signal that Yermak may be an acceptable counterparty to the Kremlin for negotiations to end the war short of regime capitulation – unless the signal is a false flag, intended to encourage Zelensky to save himself by eliminating Yermak, as he did General Valery Zaluzhny, and thereby leave nothing and no one in Kiev to put a brake on the Russian resolve to create a demilitarized zone all the way to the Polish border. What follows is a verbatim translation of the publication on April 9 of a piece in Vzglyad by Vasily Stoyakin, entitled “The all-powerful ‘Green Cardinal’ is operating behind Zelensky’s back”. There is no precedent in the mainstream Russian media, nor in military blogs and the internet media, for promotion of any end for the Zelensky regime, except its end. A profile of Yermak which is neutral to positive towards the role he has played so far and may play in the future is so exceptional that the fact it appears now is more significant than what the story, compiled from earlier publications, actually says.

Oleg Tsarev, a leading Ukrainian opposition figure in exile in Russia and potential candidate for the Ukrainian president after the Russian victory, has ignored Yermak in his regular Telegram commentaries; Zelensky and Yermak targeted Tsarev for assassination in Crimea last October, but failed. Dmitry Rogozin, a possible presidential candidate for the Russian presidency, has mentioned Yermak once in his Telegram channel, declaring: “the Bandera leadership of Ukraine has embarked on the path of ‘the final solution of the Russian question.’ Well, [they are] creative people. [They are] comedians [Zelensky], [television] producers [Yermak]. Hitler was also an artist. Mediocre. But in other respects he surpassed everyone. This, apparently, is enviable. They want to repeat it. We’ll have to do it again.” Rogozin is currently senator for the Zaporozhye region. He was targeted for Ukrainian assassination in Donetsk in December 2022; he survived.

There are two reasons why Yermak might be considered by the Kremlin to be the substitute for Zelensky with whom a negotiated settlement can be reached. One is that it has reportedly happened before. In September 2020, when Yermak and Zelensky were meeting in Muscat, Oman, with the Omani foreign minister and other officials, the Russian Security Council Secretary, Nikolai Patrushev, flew to Muscat and reportedly met them for several hours. What happened between them remains secret. Less secret is that the aircraft on which the two Ukrainians returned to Kiev was identified to be the same aircraft which had brought Patrushev to Oman. The secrecy was exposed by the US government’s propaganda organ, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and then amplified by the Ukrainian press. Yermak claimed the report “does not correspond to reality” attacking the US-financed Ukrainian source for “a blatant manipulation of public opinion [as] part of the aggressor’s information operations against Ukraine.” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov claimed the reported meeting was “a classic example of fake news”.

The second reason for possible Russian favour for Yermak is a long history of his family’s connections to Russia. His mother is a Leningrader; his father, a Jewish Kievan, served in a Soviet government agency in Afghanistan; since then he and Yermak himself have had personal and business connections with Russians engaged with the intelligence services.

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Turning against the people who paid him $110 billion. Time to cancel him.

US Citizens Backing Russia – Zelensky (RT)

Russian influence has penetrated the US political system and warped the information field around the world, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claimed in an interview with Politico on Tuesday. Zelensky was asked to comment on recent statements made by two Republican lawmakers: Mike Turner of Ohio and Mike McCaul of Texas. They claimed that “pro-Russian” propaganda has filtered into the minds of some of the members of Congress, which has failed to greenlight the $60 billion aid package for Kiev. The Ukrainian leader stated that Russia has succeeded in distorting “the information field of the world.” “They have their lobbies everywhere: in the United States, in the EU countries, in Britain, in Latin America, in Africa,” he said. “When we talk about the Congress — do you notice how they work with society in the United States?” he noted, adding that the scale of Russian influence in the US has been underestimated.

He claimed that US citizens were helping Russia by spreading its ideas in the American media. “They pump their narratives through the media,” Zelensky said. “These are not Russian citizens or natives of Russia, no. They are representatives of certain media groups, citizens of the United States.” According to Zelensky, these people work in the US media and deliver the appropriate messages, which are sometimes “very pro-Russian.” He hasn’t mentioned any names though. Following the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine in 2022, Western governments launched a large censorship campaign against Russian media they deem to be ‘state-controlled’. Multiple Russian TV stations and media outlets, including RT, have been either blocked or prevented from operating in the US and some other Western countries.

RT, having been the first international news channel to reach one billion views on YouTube, was banned from the platform and those owned by the US-based tech giant Meta, including Facebook and Instagram, in the spring of 2022. According to the Foreign Ministry in Moscow, Russian journalists working in the US have been facing difficulties, including over visa renewals; they’ve had their bank accounts blocked and in some cases been hounded by US intelligence agencies. Last year, James Rubin, the special envoy and coordinator of the US State Department’s Center for Global Engagement admitted that Washington wanted to shut down Russian media around the world. Commenting on his remarks, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said that by taking such steps, Washington, which positions itself as a stronghold of human rights, demonstrated a deep disregard for media freedom.

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Of course not. To do what?

Trump Has No Intention Of Going To Ukraine – Reuters (RT)

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump does not think it would be a good idea for him to travel to Ukraine while he does not hold public office, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing his campaign. On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky told outlets of the German-based Axel Springer media group that he had privately invited Trump through intermediaries to visit his country. The former US leader, who is likely headed for a rematch with incumbent Joe Biden in November’s election, has previously claimed that he would resolve the Ukraine conflict within “24 hours” if he were president. While Trump offered few clues as to how he might accomplish this task, the Washington Post reported that it would involve Kiev recognizing Russian sovereignty over some of the territories currently claimed by Ukraine. The ex-president’s aides, however, have dismissed the report as “speculation” by uninformed sources.

Zelensky has been skeptical about Trump’s ideas for making peace with Moscow, saying that “if the deal is that we just give up our territories… then it’s a very primitive idea.” In a statement to Reuters, Trump’s team insisted that there had been no formal outreach from Zelensky to the 45th president. “President Trump has said publicly it wouldn’t be appropriate for him to go to Ukraine right now since he’s not commander in chief,” the statement added. Trump has repeatedly criticized the Biden administration’s approach to the Ukraine conflict, saying Washington is sending too many weapons to Kiev. He has also floated a proposal to provide Ukraine with loans instead of non-repayable aid. While Ukrainian officials said they were ready to explore the idea, Politico reported that Kiev was “offended” by this plan. Meanwhile, commenting on Trump’s remarks about peace in Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow has had no contacts with Trump on the issue, adding that the ex-president’s plan had too few details publicly available.

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“..the first conference may focus on “exactly how to invite Russia and what role to give it..”

Ukraine Peace Impossible Without Russia – Swiss FM (RT)

Any diplomatic efforts to resolve the Ukraine conflict will be fruitless unless Russia is involved in the process, Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis has said. Switzerland is planning to host a high-level Ukraine peace conference June 2024 at the Burgenstock resort near Lake Lucerne, seeking “to create a common understanding of a framework favorable” for ending the conflict and establishing a “concrete roadmap” for peace. Earlier media reports suggested that up to 100 nations could be present at the event. Russia, however, has signaled that it will not attend, even if officially invited. It has argued that the gathering will be promoting the ‘peace formula’ of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, which demands that Moscow withdraw from all territories that Kiev claims as its own, and the creation of a tribunal to prosecute Russia for alleged war crimes.

Moscow has dismissed the initiative as “detached from reality.” Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Cassis noted that the conference would be organized at Zelensky’s request, adding that there are sufficient conditions to launch a high-profile push for peace. “The first country we talked to after Ukraine was, of course, Russia. Because no peace process can take place without Russia, even if it won’t be present at the first meeting,” he said. The diplomat acknowledged that Moscow would have to be involved “sooner or later, but not necessarily from day one,” suggesting that the first conference may focus on “exactly how to invite Russia and what role to give it”.

Echoing those remarks, Swiss President Viola Amherd warned that the success of the summit was by no means guaranteed. “The alternative would be to do nothing… We will not sign a peace plan at this conference. We think there will be a second conference, but we want to start the process with this one.” While Moscow intends to boycott the Swiss-hosted peace conference, it maintains that it is open to talks over Ukraine, both directly and with Kiev’s Western backers. However, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said last month that before any negotiations could begin Kiev must lift its ban on engagement with the current Russian leadership. A decree to that effect was signed by Zelensky in the autumn of 2022 after four former Ukrainian regions overwhelmingly voted to join Russia.

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“..1,806 pets were staying in hotels and other properties at the state’s expense..” “..accommodation for the animals was costing taxpayers just over €1 million ($1.07) per month..”

Irish Taxpayers Paid For The Accommodation Of Ukrainian Dogs And Cats (RT)

Irish taxpayers footed the bill for accommodating nearly 2,000 pets owned by Ukrainian refugees, including some they acquired after arriving in the country, according to local media. The money was allocated by the Department of Integration mostly in 2022, with peak spending recorded in November that year, the Irish Mirror reported on Wednesday, based on its own investigation. At that time, 1,806 pets were staying in hotels and other properties at the state’s expense, including 933 dogs, 819 cats, and 54 other animals.It cost Ireland up to €20 ($21.50) per night for each of the animals owned by Ukrainian Beneficiaries of Temporary Protection (BOTPs), records reviewed by the news outlet revealed. The exact sum spent specifically on non-human guests could not be established because the department “did not categorize between BOTPs and pets,” a spokesperson told the newspaper.

The Irish Mirror estimated that accommodation for the animals was costing taxpayers just over €1 million ($1.07) per month.The expenditure was “incredible” and “ridiculous,” independent lawmaker Michael McNamara told the newspaper, accusing the government of wastefulness. Referring to department officials, he asked: “What planet do these people live on?” “I presume the people arriving here with pets were prepared to pay for them in the same way as everyone else does or as they would have in Ukraine,” the politician added. “But if you find a department stupid enough to pay, then, of course, I wouldn’t blame people for allowing the department to pay for it.” The department said it stopped providing accommodation for Ukrainian pets from November 9, 2022. The latest report is a follow-up on a story that the Irish Mirror published in February, revealing that the Irish Department of Agriculture had spent €808,132 (about $869,000) on transport, kennelling and veterinary services for Ukrainian pets.

Read more …

Silent part out loud.

Sen. Kennedy Suggests Ulterior Motive Behind Border Crisis (ET)

Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) suggested on April 10 that the Biden administration is facilitating illegal immigration to help Democrats politically. The senator’s remarks came amid his questioning of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on April 10. Mr. Kennedy, noting the “bleeding” southern border, suggested that the secretary’s border policies had an ulterior political motive. “Isn’t in fact, Mr. Secretary, that the number of illegal immigrants that you and the president allow into our country counts for congressional district reapportionment?” he asked. “Senator, I’m not sure I understand your question, but I can surely share with you that I disagree with its phrasing,” Mr. Mayorkas replied. The senator continued: “Isn’t it true, Mr. Secretary, that the number of illegal immigrants that you and President Biden have allowed into our country counts for allocating electoral votes?”

Mayorkas

Mr. Mayorkas repeated that he didn’t understand the question. He then called the senator’s insinuation “nothing short of preposterous” and “disrespectful” to administration and Department of Homeland Security personnel. Mr. Kennedy, however, charged that the secretary was well aware of the political ramifications of the border crisis, unintended or otherwise. “And you’ve done nothing for four years—zero, absolutely zilch. And, in fact, the only people I know in this country who are better off today than they were four years ago are illegal immigrants. And that’s a result of your policy.” Mr. Mayorkas became only the second presidential cabinet member ever to be impeached in U.S. history on Feb. 13. The charges against him included “willfully and systematically” refusing to enforce existing immigration laws and breach of public trust. The 214–213 vote split along party lines, with all but three Republicans voting in favor and all Democrats voting against.

Initially, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) planned to send the impeachment articles to the Senate on the day of the hearing. But on April 9, he announced that he would delay the move until next week as Republicans fight for a full trial. The Democrat-controlled Senate is expected to table the trial, though Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the chamber’s majority leader, has yet to announce his plans. A conviction would require a two-thirds majority vote. Democrats have said the charges against Mr. Mayorkas fail to meet the constitutional threshold of “high crimes and misdemeanors.” But Senate Republicans say Democrats fear the political consequences of a trial. “This issue is so toxic to Senate Democrats, to House Democrats, and to Joe Biden that they do not want this to be the issue of the day,” Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) said at an April 9 press conference.

Mr. Kennedy, during the hearing, said that he also expects his Democrat colleagues to dismiss the impeachment “and violate 200 years of Senate precedent in doing it.” He added, however, that the border crisis was likely to remain at the forefront regardless. “I don’t think that they will be able to sweep the issue—maybe your impeachment, but not the issue—under a rug as big as the United States of America,” he told the secretary.

Read more …

 

 

 

 


https://twitter.com/i/status/1778286157706481775
Greenwald Musk

 

 

Vivek Galileo

 

 

12 elks
https://twitter.com/i/status/1778372453116371188

 

 

Dog saves dog
https://twitter.com/i/status/1778597906108526855

 

 

Peroxide
https://twitter.com/i/status/1778189162870677856

 

 

Hippo lion
https://twitter.com/i/status/1778347366782730476

 

 

Badger

 

 

Rhino
https://twitter.com/i/status/1778148572006916488

 

 

Keef

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 112024
 
 April 11, 2024  Posted by at 8:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  42 Responses »


Pieter Bruegel the Elder The Triumph of Death c1562

 

Biden Considering Australian Request To Drop Assange Charges (BBC)
Iran Strike On Israel ‘Imminent’ (RT)
Jews Who Vote Democrat ‘Should Have Their Head Examined’ – Trump (RT)
Star Wars Coming – Top US General (RT)
Zelensky Reveals New Counteroffensive Plans (RT)
Trump Plan For Ukraine ‘Primitive’ – Zelensky (RT)
US Drones Faring Poorly In Ukraine Conflict – WSJ (RT)
Bodies of American Mercs Slain in Ukraine Piling Up at US Cemeteries (Sp.)
Senator Pressures Austin on How Much More Money US Will Spend in Ukraine (Sp.)
Attack on ZNPP Training Center Signals New Attacks On Plant — IAEA chief (TASS)
EU’s Borrell Warns Of ‘Potential Nuclear Disaster’ In Russia (RT)
Pentagon’s Ukraine Contract for Musk’s Starlink Expires – Bloomberg (RT)
DOJ Uncovers ‘Inconsistencies’ in Fani Willis’s Use of Federal Grant Funds (FB)
I’ve Been at NPR for 25 Years. Here’s How We Lost America’s Trust. (Berliner)
How Trump Could Beat Deep State (Jim Rickards)

 

 

 

 

MTG Bannon Mike Johnson
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777841725169336685

 

 

RFK

 

 

 

 

Donalds

 

 

Adrenochrome Caviezel

 

 

Alex Jones
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777830274480357507

 

 

PedoJoe

 

 

 

 

Biden doesn’t want the hot potato anymore..

Biden Considering Australian Request To Drop Assange Charges (BBC)

US President Joe Biden has said that he is considering a request from Australia to drop the prosecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The country’s parliament recently passed a measure – backed by PM Anthony Albanese – calling for the return of Mr Assange to his native Australia. The US wants to extradite the 52-year-old from the UK on criminal charges over the leaking of military records. Mr Assange denies the charges, saying the leaks were an act of journalism. The president was asked about Australia’s request on Wednesday and said: “We’re considering it.” The measure passed the Australian parliament in February. Mr Albanese told MPs: “People will have a range of views about Mr Assange’s conduct… But regardless of where people stand, this thing cannot just go on and on and on indefinitely.”

Mr Assange, 52, is fighting extradition in the UK courts. The extradition was put on hold in March after London’s High Court said the United States must provide assurances he would not face the death penalty. The High Court is due to evaluate any responses from the US authorities at the end of May. In a post on Twitter/X, directed at Mr Biden, Mr Assange’s wife Stella said: “Do the right thing. Drop the charges.” Kristinn Hrafnsson, the current editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, said that it was “not too late” for the president to stop the extradition attempt, which he said was a “politically motivated act” by Mr Biden’s predecessor. US prosecutors want to try the Wikileaks founder on 18 counts, almost all under the Espionage Act, over the release of confidential US military records and diplomatic messages relating to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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How Bibi draws the west into the war…

Iran Strike On Israel ‘Imminent’ (RT)

The promised Iranian retaliation for the Israeli attack on Tehran’s consulate in Damascus is likely in the next 24-48 hours, anonymous US officials told Bloomberg on Wednesday. Two generals of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force were killed in the Israeli airstrike on April 1, which for the first time targeted an internationally protected diplomatic mission. There has been a widespread expectation that Iran would refrain from reprisal until the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Speaking on Wednesday, as Muslims celebrated the feast of Eid-al-Fitr, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that Israel “must and shall be punished” for what it did. “Major missile or drone strikes” are now imminent, Bloomberg reported citing “people familiar with” the Israeli, US and allied intelligence reports.

They will likely be carried out by either Iran directly, or its allies such as the Lebanon-based Hezbollah, the anonymous sources said. The US is helping Israel with planning and sharing intelligence assessments, the sources said. West Jerusalem is reportedly waiting for the Iranian attack before it launches a ground offensive against the city of Rafah, in Gaza. Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said on Wednesday that West Jerusalem would respond in kind if the attack on Israel comes from Iranian territory. Several media outlets reported on Tuesday that Israel has been preparing to target Iran’s nuclear facilities. The US has publicly promised Israel support against an Iranian attack, including helping shoot down the incoming missiles. Washington has reportedly also floated the idea of taking part in any Israeli counter-strikes.

“We do not rule out launching joint retaliatory strikes with Israel if it is attacked by Iran or its agents,” an unnamed US official told Al Jazeera Arabic. Meanwhile, Lufthansa has announced that it was suspending service to and from Tehran “due to the current situation in the Middle East.” Flights might resume after April 11, the German national carrier said on Wednesday. Rumors that the airspace over Iran’s Khuzestan province – on the southwestern border with Iraq – has been closed could not be independently confirmed. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have canceled all leave and began spoofing GPS signals, in preparation for a possible Iranian reprisal. Rumors of the impending Iranian strike also drove up the price of oil on futures markets, with Brent crude trading above $90 a barrel.

Gideon Levy
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777819512680968496

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“Biden has totally lost control of the Israel situation,” Trump told reporters. “He has abandoned Israel.”

Jews Who Vote Democrat ‘Should Have Their Head Examined’ – Trump (RT)

Former US president and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Wednesday suggested that Jewish-Americans would be insane to vote for his rival in November. Trump held an impromptu press conference on the tarmac of the international airport in Atlanta, Georgia, after flying into town for a campaign fundraiser. He used the occasion to criticize President Joe Biden’s handling of the Gaza conflict, among other things. “Biden has totally lost control of the Israel situation,” Trump told reporters. “He has abandoned Israel.” “Any Jewish person that votes for a Democrat or votes for Biden should have their head examined,” Trump added.

During his term in the White House, Trump openly supported Israel, recognizing West Jerusalem’s annexation of the Golan Heights and moving the US embassy to Jerusalem. In the 2020 election, an estimated 70% of American Jews voted for Biden. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu declared war on Hamas after the Gaza-based militant group’s October 7 attack that claimed an estimated 1,200 lives. Since then, over 33,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli military operations. Many Palestinian and Muslim Americans have voiced frustration with Biden over his support of West Jerusalem, accusing him of not doing enough to stop the Israeli onslaught.

Finding itself criticized from both sides, the White House has tried to please both. The US has continued supplying ammunition and weapons to Israel and offered Netanyahu “ironclad” support against Iran, but also called for a ceasefire in Gaza and opening of humanitarian aid corridors. Netanyahu has mostly shrugged off US criticism, saying that “no force in the world” will stop Israel from destroying Hamas. Last month, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat who is himself Jewish, called for the ouster of Netanyahu as a way to resolve the current conflict.

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“..Operation Olympic Defender, a program intended to “optimize space operation..,”

Star Wars Coming – Top US General (RT)

The possibility of a conflict in space is no longer just theoretical, General Stephen Whiting, head of the US Space Command, said on Tuesday. Speaking at the 39th Space Symposium at the command’s headquarters in Colorado Springs, Whiting painted an alarming picture of Russian and Chinese orbital capabilities. China has built a “kill web over the Pacific Ocean to find, fix, track and, yes, target US and allied military capabilities,” Whiting said, describing Beijing’s efforts as moving at “breathtaking speed.” Since 2018, Russia has doubled and China has tripled the number of their intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) satellites in orbit, while also testing and fielding anti-satellite weapons. Meanwhile, the US has “the world’s best space architectures,” but its military constellations are “optimized for a benign environment,” he said.

Russian and Chinese space weapons “hold at risk our modern way of life and how we defend this nation, and we must be able to deter and counter these threats when called upon to achieve space superiority,” the general said. Whiting described a possible armed conflict in space as “economically and environmentally devastating, perhaps for decades,” and said the US wishes to keep things in the state of “enduring competition” instead. The US is already working with Canada, Australia and the UK on Operation Olympic Defender, a program intended to “optimize space operations,” according to the Space Command. Whiting announced that Germany, France and New Zealand have been invited to join as well.

He also revealed that the command’s new Capability Assessment and Validation Environment (CAVE) has achieved “minimum viable capability.” The modeling and simulation laboratory will enable the US military to “derive better ways of deterring and planning to conduct operations for a war that’s never happened, and a war we don’t want to happen,” he said. Washington recently accused Moscow of having undisclosed anti-satellite capabilities, possibly nuclear in nature. Russian President Vladimir Putin said the US claims were “unfounded” and a ploy to manipulate arms control talks. The Russian embassy in Washington has also accused the US of using “Russophobic slogans” to mask its own plans to militarize space.

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Not exactly. But he does reveal his new mantra:

“..it’s not about the number of people. It’s about the quality of the weapons.”

Zelensky Reveals New Counteroffensive Plans (RT)

Western military technology can enable Kiev to launch a new counteroffensive against Russia, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky believes. While Ukrainian forces are presently being pushed back on the battlefield, Kiev hopes to turn the tide thanks to Western aid, the Ukrainian leader told the German tabloid Bild this week. “Russia has more men, more weapons. But the West has modern weapons systems,” Zelensky mused. “If we get [production] licenses from our partners, then it’s not about the number of people. It’s about the quality of the weapons.” Kiev already has a plan for a new counteroffensive against Russia, Zelensky said, indicating that it depends on the US resuming military assistance to his country and the West in general helping Ukraine ramp up domestic military production.

Last year, Ukraine attempted a counteroffensive; Western-trained and armed troops were expected to break through Russian defensive lines and score a major victory. However, they only managed negligible territorial gains at the cost of tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers and depleted their arms stockpiles. Russia estimated Ukrainian military losses between early June and late October, 2023 at roughly 90,000 troops, 600 tanks and 1,900 other armored vehicles. The Zelensky government maintains that it cannot negotiate with Russia as long as President Vladimir Putin remains in power and would not accept any outcome of the conflict that doesn’t entail the full restoration of Ukraine’s pre-2014 borders. A profile of the Ukrainian leader published by Time magazine last November said that his faith in Ukraine prevailing was “immovable, verging on the messianic.” Some of his aides perceived it as delusional, they told the news outlet.

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“He expects Western weapons to be so superior to Russian ones that Ukraine’s inferior troop numbers will be irrelevant..”

Trump Plan For Ukraine ‘Primitive’ – Zelensky (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has rejected a plan for making peace with Russia involving territorial concessions, which has reportedly been devised by Donald Trump. The proposed deal was outlined by the Washington Post this week, and would involve Kiev acknowledging Russian sovereignty over some of the territories currently claimed by Ukraine. The newspaper cited anonymous sources but one of Trump’s advisers has dismissed its report as “fake news.” The former president has repeatedly boasted that he would end the hostilities within 24 hours if he’s returned to the White House in November’s election, but has declined to explain his plan in detail. The hypothetical plan described by the newspaper “is very primitive,” Zelensky told German tabloid Bild.

The Ukrainian leader has previously stated that Trump should make his plan public. He told CNN last September: “If he has this plan, why be afraid and wait?” In his interview with Bild, the Ukrainian leader said Trump should visit Kiev to “see the situation with his eyes and draw certain conclusions.” Ukraine would require “strong arguments” to show that his idea is a “real one” and not “fantastic,” he added. Negotiations with Russia remain impossible as long as Vladimir Putin remains as its president, Zelensky told the German newspaper. He said Kiev had a plan to beat Moscow on the battlefield, after it gets more aid from the US and its allies, including direct weapons supplies and military technology for domestic arms production. He expects Western weapons to be so superior to Russian ones that Ukraine’s inferior troop numbers will be irrelevant.

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About those superior weapons…

US Drones Faring Poorly In Ukraine Conflict – WSJ (RT)

Small drones sent to Ukraine by US manufacturers have largely proved ineffective on the battlefield due to Russian electronic countermeasures, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Ukraine conflict has seen the widespread use of small expandable unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for reconnaissance, as well as for dropping small explosives and serving as loitering munitions. US products have proved unsatisfactory, however, forcing Kiev to rely on Chinese models instead, the WSJ reported on Tuesday. “The general reputation for every class of US drone in Ukraine is that they don’t work as well as other systems,” Adam Bry, CEO of drone maker Skydio, told the newspaper. He admitted his own company’s products are “not a very successful platform on the front lines.”

Even some of the drones that the Pentagon has deemed fit for American soldiers have not fared well in the conflict, according to the report. The list of problematic weapons mentioned by the WSJ included AeroVironment Switchblade 300 loitering munitions, Velos Rotors V3 helicopter drones, and UAVs made by Cyberlux. Ukrainian troops are burning through some 10,000 small drones a month, the report added. Many of them are off-the-shelf models produced by Chinese manufacturer SZ DJI Technology, or are assembled from Chinese components on Ukrainian soil. The Chinese firm, which has been banned from US military use for supposedly posing a national security risk, told the newspaper that it “absolutely deplores and condemns the use of its products to cause harm anywhere in the world.”

Many American commercial drones cost tens of thousands of dollars more per piece than their Chinese competitors, the WSJ noted. US producers aiming to sell their UAVs to the Pentagon must meet its regulations, including restrictions on using Chinese parts and software updates. Russia has significantly increased domestic production of military drones amid the hostilities with Ukraine. Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu reported last November that the country was supplying 16 times more drones compared to January 2023. Forbes suggested in December that Ukrainian assessments that Russia makes as many as 40,000 smaller first-person-view kamikaze quadcopters per month may be too conservative.

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“Therefore, they have only one choice – to flee Ukraine or to die..”

This should be on US prime time TV. It’d be over soon…

Bodies of American Mercs Slain in Ukraine Piling Up at US Cemeteries (Sp.)

US cemeteries are full of graves of American mercenaries who died in Ukraine – hirelings described by Western press as the so-called “volunteer soldiers.” One of them is retired Marine veteran Grady Kurpasi, who died two months after the start of the Russian special military operation. According to a Sputnik correspondent, the 50-year-old is buried in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, the most famous in the United States, where politicians, astronauts and even presidents, including John F. Kennedy, are buried. A cemetery in California has become the final resting place for another US mercenary, Bryan Young, 51, who was killed by “Russian artillery fire” in the Donetsk region in July 2023, according to American media. In a bizarre sight, the epitaph on Young’s gravestone reads “On to the next adventure”.

Another American mercenary who was buried in California is “Marine Corps veteran” Ian Tortorici. The 32-year-old fought for the Foreign Legion of Ukraine and was eliminated in an attack by Russian forces on a Ukrainian unit stationed in the city of Kramatorsk. US citizen Dane Partridge, 34, who had served in Iraq, fought on the side of the Kiev regime immediately after the start of Russia’s special operation, but was then seriously wounded and died a few months later. Partridge, who is survived by his wife and five children, is buried in Idaho. American mercenary Paul Lee Kim was also 34, when he was killed in Ukraine last year and was buried in a Texas cemetery.

The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) said that almost 6,000 foreign mercenaries, who came to Ukraine to fight on the side of the Kiev regime, have been killed since the beginning of the special operation. According to the MoD, at least 1,113 mercenaries came from the United States, 491 of whom have already been killed. The Defense Ministry earlier stressed in a statement that the Kiev regime uses foreign mercenaries as “cannon fodder” and that “their lives are not spared by anyone in the Ukrainian command.” “Therefore, they have only one choice – to flee Ukraine or to die. The Russian armed forces will continue to destroy foreign mercenaries in the course of the special military operation, regardless of their location on the territory of Ukraine,” the statement read.

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“I’m just trying to understand the totality of the request to the American people for this war..”

Senator Pressures Austin on How Much More Money US Will Spend in Ukraine (Sp.)

US Senator Eric Schmitt on Tuesday pressured Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on the totality of funds the Biden administration is planning to spend supporting Ukraine in a conflict for which it has not articulated any clear goals. “There’s no money [left for Ukraine], so I can only be left to assume one of three things. One is the war is over. Two or B is the United States won’t be allocating any more dollars or C that this is a dishonest [supplemental] request. I guess the question is, are we going … to get another supplemental because members of this committee had been told there could be another request for $100 billion? I’m just trying to understand the totality of the request to the American people for this war,” Schmitt said in his remarks during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

In February, the Senate passed a $95 billion foreign aid bill that includes some $60 billion for Ukraine, but it was held up in the House of Representatives by Speaker Mike Johnson, who prioritized working on budget legislation and exploring other routes for Ukraine funding. Austin confirmed to Schmitt, though, that the supplemental request, which has not yet been voted on in the House, will provide additional funding for Ukraine-related needs only through the end of this fiscal year or September 30, meaning that there will be a need for another supplemental package past this date.

In addition, Austin said that it was a goal of the Alliance to admit Ukraine to NATO some time in the future. The Pentagon chief also agreed with Schmitt that the conflict is unlikely to end by September 30, which essentially means that the pending aid package for Ukraine obviously will not be the last. Schmitt emphasized that US legislators are skeptical about the $60 billion supplemental package for Ukraine because there are no adequate controls on how the money is being spent by Ukraine. “We are continuing to head down this road and now we are getting a budget request that isn’t reflective of the administration’s ‘how long it takes’ statement,” Schmitt said.

Every second, American taxpayers send $80,000 to Ukraine
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777793753157083541

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“Attacking a nuclear power plant is extremely irresponsible and dangerous, and it must stop..”

Attack on ZNPP Training Center Signals New Attacks On Plant — IAEA chief (TASS)

Tuesday’s drone attack on the training center of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) points to readiness for new attacks on the plant, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi said. “Today’s reported incident – although outside the site perimeter – is an ominous development as it indicates an apparent readiness to continue these attacks, despite the grave dangers they pose to nuclear safety and security and our repeated calls for military restraint. Whoever is behind them, they are playing with fire. Attacking a nuclear power plant is extremely irresponsible and dangerous, and it must stop,” Grossi said in a statement posted on the agency’s website.

The IAEA chief promised to bring up the seriousness of the situation surrounding the attacks on the ZNPP in his address to the UN Security Council “next week.” “I remain determined to do everything in my power to prevent a major nuclear accident <…>. At this moment of great danger, I will underline the seriousness of the situation in my address to the Security Council, whose support is of paramount importance for the IAEA’s persistent efforts to help prevent a major nuclear accident, with potential consequences for people and the environment in Ukraine and beyond,” Grossi said.

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“Russia should withdraw from Zaporozhye nuclear power plant.”

It’s Russian territory now.

EU’s Borrell Warns Of ‘Potential Nuclear Disaster’ In Russia (RT)

Attacks on Russia’s Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) could result in a nuclear disaster, the EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy has warned. Josep Borrell was commenting on a series of strikes carried out by kamikaze drones on the nuclear power station in the city of Energodar, in Zaporozhye Region. On Sunday, several bomb-laden Ukrainian UAVs struck parts of the complex, including the canteen and the cargo area. One drone was shot down above the dome of Reactor Six, according to the plant’s press service. On Tuesday, another UAV attacked the plant’s training center, where the world’s only full-scale reactor hall simulator is located.

“Reckless drone attack against [Zaporozhye] nuclear power plant increases risk of dangerous nuclear accident. Such attacks must stop,” the EU’s top diplomat wrote on X (formerly Twitter) on Tuesday, adding that “Russia should withdraw from Zaporozhye nuclear power plant.” Europe’s largest nuclear power plant fell under Moscow’s control in 2022, early in the conflict with Ukraine. Russia’s nuclear energy agency Rosatom took over the running of the nuclear power station after Zaporozhye Region was incorporated into Russia following a referendum in the autumn of 2022. Kiev has repeatedly claimed that Moscow keeps heavy weaponry on the premises of the power plant. Russia has accused Ukraine of shelling the facility and risking a major nuclear incident.

Borrell’s remarks echoed comments by the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi. Commenting on the strikes earlier this week, he described them as a “major escalation of the nuclear safety and security dangers facing the [Zaporozhye] Nuclear Power Plant,” adding that “such reckless attacks significantly increase the risk of a major nuclear accident.” The international nuclear watchdog, which has personnel at the site, said it was the first time the facility had been directly targeted since November 2022, and warned that such attacks endangered nuclear safety. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov warned on Monday that the Ukrainian drone strike on the Zaporozhye facility was a “dangerous provocation” which could lead to severe negative consequences.

Read more …

“miniscule” compared to the “hundreds of millions of dollars” Musk’s SpaceX received from the US..”

Pentagon’s Ukraine Contract for Musk’s Starlink Expires – Bloomberg (RT)

The Pentagon contract to deploy Elon Musk’s Starlink terminals in Ukraine will expire next month, Bloomberg has reported, citing an unnamed US official. The service plays a vital role in Washington’s security assistance to Kiev, the report adds. The source also revealed that the contract, which went into force in June of last year and lasts through May, is worth $23 million, Bloomberg wrote. The US Department of Defense has so far refused to officially disclose the size of the contract. The amount has been described by the publication as “miniscule” compared to the “hundreds of millions of dollars” Musk’s SpaceX received from the US for launching some of its national security satellites. Musk has repeatedly voiced unease about the use of Starlink in Ukraine. The satellite network has been providing communications to the country’s military and the government.

”Starlink needs to be a civilian network, not a participant to combat,” Musk said on X (formerly Twitter) in September, referring to the use of the satellites in Ukraine throughout the conflict with Russia. “This is the right order of things,” he added. Musk’s comment came shortly after the billionaire revealed that he had foiled a Ukrainian drone raid on Crimea by refusing to let Kiev forces use Starlink to guide naval drone strikes on Russian ships. Musk’s admission sparked outrage in Kiev, with Mikhail Podoliak, a top adviser to President Vladimir Zelensky, accusing him of “enabling evil.” Musk responded to the accusation by explaining that he had no obligation to fight for Ukraine, adding that he did not want Space X to be “explicitly complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation.”

His remark echoed a previous statement made in the winter of 2023, where he admitted that although Starlink was “the communication backbone of Ukraine, especially at the front lines”, SpaceX “will not enable escalation of conflict that may lead to WW3.” Last year, SpaceX signed a contract with the US Defense Department to provide satellite services as part of the Pentagon’s new ‘Starshield’ program. CEO Elon Musk described the effort as a military alternative to the “civilian” Starlink. However, according to Bloomberg, the new Space Force contract will see Starshield’ rely on the existing constellation of Starlink satellites.

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“..the group’s administrative director, Toni Barnett, told the Free Beacon that she had no idea why the county was reporting making those payments..” “..You need to go to that government resource and you need to let that validate whatever you want to say or print. Because I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

DOJ Uncovers ‘Inconsistencies’ in Fani Willis’s Use of Federal Grant Funds (FB)

President Joe Biden’s Justice Department has uncovered “inconsistencies” in Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis’s use of federal grant funds, the Washington Free Beacon has learned. The bombshell discovery comes two years after Willis fired a whistleblower who had warned the district attorney that her office was attempting to misuse a $488,000 federal grant to pay for “swag,” computers, and travel. It’s that same grant that the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs now says is plagued with reporting discrepancies from Willis’s office, errors that federal authorities only disclosed to the Free Beacon after providing contradictory statements regarding awards Willis’s office may have made under the grant. “During our review of the award to respond to this inquiry, we have noticed some inconsistencies in what Fulton County has reported to [the Federal Subaward Reporting System] and we are working with them to update their reporting accordingly,” a Justice Department spokeswoman told the Free Beacon on Friday.

The Justice Department did not provide any further details on the nature of Willis’s reporting “inconsistencies” on the $488,000 federal grant, which was earmarked for the creation of a Center for Youth Empowerment and Gang Prevention in Atlanta. The grant ended in September 2023, but the center never opened. The Justice Department is coordinating with Willis’s office to fix the grant reporting “inconsistencies” amid an ongoing House Judiciary Committee investigation into Willis’s use of federal grant funds. Committee chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R., Ohio) subpoenaed Willis in early February for records related to the $488,000 federal grant and the whistleblower allegations made by former Willis staffer Amanda Timpson, who was listed as the grant director until the district attorney abruptly fired her in January 2022.

Jordan threatened to hold Willis in contempt of Congress on March 14 after the district attorney responded to his subpoena with a “narrow set of documents” that had nothing to do with Timpson’s whistleblower allegations. Willis wrote in response that Jordan’s demands were “unreasonable and uncustomary” and suggested his investigation was an effort to derail her election interference case against former president Donald Trump. The Free Beacon questions that prompted the Justice Department’s discovery of Willis’s reporting “inconsistencies” centered on subaward payments the district attorney may have made to the Offender Alumni Association, an Alabama-based charity staffed by former prison inmates. Whether or not the Offender Alumni Association received payments from the federal grant depends on who is asked. Fulton County records show that Willis’s office transferred $88,900 from the federal gang prevention grant to the Offender Alumni Association.

But the group’s administrative director, Toni Barnett, told the Free Beacon that she had no idea why the county was reporting making those payments to her group in 2022 and 2023. “I have no idea where that information is coming from,” Barnett told the Free Beacon on March 15. “I have no idea why you’re calling or where you’re getting that information from. You need to go to that government resource and you need to let that validate whatever you want to say or print. Because I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

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“..one story after another about instances of supposed racism, transphobia, signs of the climate apocalypse, Israel doing something bad, and the dire threat of Republican policies. It’s almost like an assembly line.“

I’ve Been at NPR for 25 Years. Here’s How We Lost America’s Trust. (Berliner)

“During most of my tenure [at NPR], an open-minded, curious culture prevailed. We were nerdy, but not knee-jerk, activist, or scolding. In recent years, however, that has changed. Today, those who listen to NPR or read its coverage online find something different: the distilled worldview of a very small segment of the U.S. population… Like many unfortunate things, the rise of advocacy took off with Donald Trump. As in many newsrooms, his election in 2016 was greeted at NPR with a mixture of disbelief, anger, and despair… But what began as tough, straightforward coverage of a belligerent, truth-impaired president veered toward efforts to damage or topple Trump’s presidency [italics mine]. Persistent rumors that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia over the election became the catnip that drove reporting. At NPR, we hitched our wagon to Trump’s most visible antagonist, Representative Adam Schiff…

The Schiff talking points became the drumbeat of NPR news reports. But when the Mueller report found no credible evidence of collusion, NPR’s coverage was notably sparse. Russiagate quietly faded from our programming… It’s bad to blow a big story. What’s worse is to pretend it never happened, to move on with no mea culpas, no self-reflection… [Hunter Biden’s] laptop was newsworthy. But the timeless journalistic instinct of following a hot story lead was being squelched. During a meeting with colleagues, I listened as one of NPR’s best and most fair-minded journalists said it was good we weren’t following the laptop story because it could help Trump [italics mine]… Over the course of the pandemic, a number of investigative journalists made compelling, if not conclusive, cases for the lab leak. But at NPR, we weren’t about to swivel or even tiptoe away from the insistence with which we backed the natural origin story…

[Our new director] declared that diversity—on our staff and in our audience—was the overriding mission… Race and identity became paramount in nearly every aspect of the workplace. Journalists were required to ask everyone we interviewed their race, gender, and ethnicity (among other questions), and had to enter it in a centralized tracking system. We were given unconscious bias training sessions. A growing DEI staff offered regular meetings imploring us to ‘start talking about race.’ There’s an unspoken consensus about the stories we should pursue and how they should be framed. It’s frictionless—one story after another about instances of supposed racism, transphobia, signs of the climate apocalypse, Israel doing something bad, and the dire threat of Republican policies. It’s almost like an assembly line.

The mindset prevails in choices about language. In a document called NPR Transgender Coverage Guidance—disseminated by news management—we’re asked to avoid the term biological sex… The mindset animates bizarre stories—on how The Beatles and bird names are racially problematic, and others that are alarmingly divisive; justifying looting, with claims that fears about crime are racist; and suggesting that Asian Americans who oppose affirmative action have been manipulated by white conservatives. More recently, we have approached the Israel-Hamas war and its spillover onto streets and campuses through the intersectional lens that has jumped from the faculty lounge to newsrooms. Oppressor versus oppressed… I looked at voter registration for our newsroom. In D.C., where NPR is headquartered and many of us live, I found 87 registered Democrats working in editorial positions and zero Republicans. None.”

Vivek NPR

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His first team WAS the deep state.

How Trump Could Beat Deep State (Jim Rickards)

The difference for investors between another Biden administration and the return of Trump to the White House could not be more stark. The Biden administration has been characterized by excessive regulation, pointless mandates as part of the Green New Scam, open borders bringing crime, drugs and cartel influence into the United States, disastrous wars in Ukraine, Gaza and now the closing of the Red Sea-Suez Canal passage, increased segregation of Blacks in colleges, the destruction of 50 years of progress in women’s sports by allowing competition by men and a long list of other ruinous policies.

The first Trump administration was characterized by business and personal tax cuts, reduced regulation, no new wars, outreach to nuclear rivals such as Russia and North Korea, tariffs on unfair trade by China, a concerted effort to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States, demands that NATO members pay their fair share for mutual defense and a secure southern border with Mexico. Trump also made an historic three appointments to the Supreme Court, which has emerged as practically the last bastion of constitutional order and the rule of law. There’s no reason to expect any improvement in another Biden administration. In fact, policies will almost certainly grow worse as Biden fails physically and mentally and opens the door to a possible acting president in the form of Kamala Harris, a known dunce.

There’s good reason to believe that a second Trump administration will offer the growth-oriented policies of the first administration with a much more effective decision-making apparatus resulting from attention to the Plum Book, the playbook and the transition process. A better transition process in a second term means the biggest threat to the deep state in decades. And a new team will put us on the road back to sanity. But powerful people won’t go quietly. A more experienced Trump will conduct a second war to destroy them. Unless they destroy him first.

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Elon 2008: money

 

 

Wild cat

 

 

Cats

 

 

Frens

 

 

 

 

Horse+baby
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777687533968650419

 

 

Cinereous vulture

 

 


The only journey is the one within. – Rainer Maria Rilke

 

 

Baby giraffe

 

 

Cartoons
https://twitter.com/i/status/1777787726307217891

 

 

Transport

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 122024
 


Vincent van Gogh Le moulin de la galette 1886

 

Elite Units of Ukrainian Armed Forces Discuss Overthrowing Zelensky (Sp.)
Pentagon’s ‘Ukrainian Fantasy’ Is Falling Apart – Scott Ritter (Sp.)
Ukraine Already Bankrupt Long Ago – Former Prime Minister (TASS)
Houthis ‘Schooling’ West in Asymmetric Warfare (Sp.)
God Is Underwriting Israel’s Genocide Bond (Helmer)
Chasing ‘Tactical’ Wins, Israel Now Faces ‘Strategic’ Defeat (Sweidan)
White House Fails to Navigate the Israeli Re-calibration (Alastair Crooke)
Biden a ‘Rare Kind of Idiot’ – Medvedev (RT)
Macron is a ‘Coward’ – Medvedev (RT)
‘Warmonger’ EU’s Defense Strategy a Wishful Dream (Sp.)
EU Nuclear Umbrella to Embolden Member States to Use French Nukes (Sp.)
Poland: the Biggest Army in the EU And the Biggest Risks in the Making (Babich)
Eventual Financial Death Spiral Now Imminent – John Rubino (USAW)
Global Hunger Isn’t The Worst Food-Related Threat To Humanity (Bridge)
Nanoplastics Linked to an Increase in Heart Attacks And Strokes (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

Kimmel
https://twitter.com/i/status/1767014173391585295

 

 

Mace

 

 

Schiff Trump

 

 

 

 

Melania

 

 

Rogan X
https://twitter.com/i/status/1767284402143334811

 

 

 

 

Bannon Rickards

 

 

Tucker Cuomo

 

 

 

 

“Let’s demolish this green rat and install Zaluzhny!”

Elite Units of Ukrainian Armed Forces Discuss Overthrowing Zelensky (Sp.)

Following the recent reshuffle in Ukraine’s military leadership, discontent is brewing among elite units, with discussions of ousting President Volodymyr Zelensky and reinstating Valery Zaluzhny, the former commander-in-chief, a source has revealed to Sputnik. Commanders and soldiers in elite units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces are dissatisfied with the reshuffle in the country’s military leadership and are seriously discussing the ousting of Volodymyr Zelensky, a representative of the Russian security services has told Sputnik. He explained that specialists had gained access to a closed Telegram channel called “ParaBelum,” which consists of radically-minded fighters from the elite units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

“Our specialists have gained access to a resource in which members of various elite units, such as the Marines, special forces, intelligence, special forces of the SBU [Security Service of Ukraine], as well as various nationalist battalions, communicate. They are highly qualified specialists who are clearly dissatisfied with the change of command. They are seriously discussing options for overthrowing the current government and the command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces,” the interlocutor said. Based on the materials at the disposal of Sputnik, the soldiers express dissatisfaction with the actions of Zelensky and the new commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Oleksandr Syrsky, who was appointed a month ago to replace Valery Zaluzhny. Thus, the commander of the reconnaissance group of Ukraine’s 80th Separate Air Assault Nrigade, Maxim Shevtsov, with the call sign “Winter,” calls on members of “ParaBelum” to overthrow Zelensky.

“If people don’t come to the defense of Zaluzhny, if the military doesn’t come to the defense of Zaluzhny, then this rat [Zelensky] will torpedo everyone… Let’s demolish this green rat and install Zaluzhny! In fact, it’s Zelensky who needs to be changed, not Zaluzhny. This rat feels that he has a zero rating, and Zaluzhny has a higher rating, and [this is why Zelensky] is trying to torpedo him,” a voice message from Shevtsov says. A recent poll by the Ukrainian Center for Social and Marketing Research SOCIS suggests that if the presidential election were held in Ukraine in 2024, former Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhny would secure a significant lead, with 41.4% of the first-round vote, surpassing Volodymyr Zelensky’s 23.7%. In the parliamentary scenario, Zaluzhny’s hypothetical bloc would lead with 46.4% of the vote, according to the same poll.

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“This is to buy time for a miracle to happen and the Ukrainians are hoping the miracle will be the arrival of a French battlegroup.”

Pentagon’s ‘Ukrainian Fantasy’ Is Falling Apart – Scott Ritter (Sp.)

The US Pentagon’s fantasy in Ukraine is falling apart, former UN weapons inspector and commentator Scott Ritter told Sputnik’s Fault Lines on Monday. Speaking on reports in US media that said there are growing tensions between Kiev and Washington because Ukraine reportedly did not listen to tactical advice offered by the Pentagon, Ritter said he believes the assertions are not based in reality but instead are designed to shift the blame away from the United States. “The Pentagon is definitely trying to create political cover for itself because their huge Ukrainian fantasy is falling apart,” Ritter asserted, explaining earlier that Ukraine had little choice but to hold Avdeyevka for as long as possible so that defensive lines could be built behind it, noting however, that Russian airpower prevented even that goal from being achieved.

“It’s easy to play armchair quarterback and just sit back there and pick apart. But the reality is what other choices [did] Ukrainians have but to try and hold onto the last defensible position they [had]?” The Kiev regime is “waking up to the reality that their so-called friends and allies are abandoning them and leaving Ukraine to its own fate” Ritter explained earlier while discussing Macron’s comments that French troops may be deployed in Ukraine, a hypothetical that Ritter says is only being discussed because of the position Ukraine is in. “To understand why Macron would be even talking about this, you have to understand how dire the situation is for Ukraine right now. They are facing military collapse, right now as we speak the last reserves of Ukraine are being thrown into the battle outside the village of Orlovka,” Ritter explained. “This is to buy time for a miracle to happen and the Ukrainians are hoping the miracle will be the arrival of a French battlegroup.”

That possible “miracle” would not change the outlook on the battlefield, Ritter argued, saying that their ability “to deploy a military meaningful force to Ukraine is very slim,” with or without the Baltic State allies Macron is reportedly seeking. Meanwhile, Ritter argues, the election season is forcing the United States to step back from the conflict. “Biden is in a presidential election cycle, we’re coming up on the final sprint to November. … Biden will do whatever is necessary to minimize his political exposure.” “We fired [Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs] Victoria Nuland, the architect of [the Ukraine] policy, and we [took] a step back.” That has left Europe “sitting there, realizing that, frankly speaking, they are nothing without American money. This is a hard pill to swallow and meanwhile, on the battlefield, the Ukrainian army is in absolutely desperate straits.”

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“..a highly telling stigma – ‘negative outlook,’ ‘a virtual certainty of default,’ ‘debt susceptible to non-payment..’”

Ukraine Already Bankrupt Long Ago – Former Prime Minister (TASS)

Ukraine has long been completely insolvent, former Ukrainian Prime Minister (2010-2014) Nikolay Azarov said in commenting on the Standard & Poor’s rating agency’s downgrade of its credit rating on Ukraine’s sovereign debt to “junk” status. “Ukraine is fully insolvent. However, international agencies do not risk assigning it a default rating. Although Ukraine went bankrupt long ago,” he wrote on his Telegram channel. Earlier, S&P downgraded Ukraine from a “CCC” rating to “CC.” “Now the country’s long-term sovereign [debt] rating has received a highly telling stigma – ‘negative outlook,’ ‘a virtual certainty of default,’ ‘debt susceptible to non-payment,’” the former head of the Ukrainian government added.

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“..the Houthis “demonstrating in real time just how target-rich developed nations are..”

Houthis ‘Schooling’ West in Asymmetric Warfare (Sp.)

The Yemeni militia has led a sustained campaign of ship seizures, drone and missile attacks against suspected Israeli-tied commercial vessels and Western warships operating in the Red Sea for nearly four months straight, with commercial freight volume through the strategic maritime chokepoint down as much as 80 percent. Ansar Allah, the Yemeni militia group also known as the Houthis, has “more surprises” in store for the US and Israel, and will continue its campaign of maritime attacks so long as Tel Aviv continues its brutal assault in Gaza and blocks humanitarian aid from getting through, leading Houthi figure Abdul Sattar Al-Nehmi has said. “We have a firm belief in our leadership and its decisions, which motivates us to continue these operations in support of our brothers in Gaza,” al-Nehmi said in an interview with local media. The official did not elaborate on the “surprises” Washington and Tel Aviv should expect, but stressed the maritime campaign will continue until the Houthis manage to “force” global powers to bring Israel to heel.

Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi offered a tally of militia missile and drone attacks and ship seizures to date last week, saying 96 missile and drone attacks have been launched and 61 ships targeted so far amid the ongoing campaign. Separately on Monday, Bloomberg Middle East contributor Marc Champion warned that the Houthis have succeeded in “schooling” the West “in asymmetric warfare,” with neither the “extraordinary power of US carrier fleets,” nor attempts to “get tougher” by bombing the militia group succeeding in reining in Ansar Allah’s activities. “The first challenge is that advances in the production of missiles and drones have democratized extremely powerful weapons that until recently were available only to the richest states,” Champion wrote. “The second is a growing asymmetry of vulnerabilities,” with the Houthis “demonstrating in real time just how target-rich developed nations are,” and the US and its allies showing that they have much more to lose than humble Yemenis.

“When the Houthis disrupt the roughly 12% of global shipping that passes through the Bab al-Mandab Strait between the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa, it impacts consumers in Europe and manufacturers in Asia, but not Yemen. If oil tankers have to shift to longer, more expensive routes than the Suez Canal, nudging up the price of gasoline at US pumps, the Houthis will be much less affected,” the commentator emphasized. And that’s not to mention the “trillions of dollars” worth of information passing through the communications cables which lie at the bottom of the Red Sea, which Western media fear the Houthis might sabotage, or the “communications and the data that sophisticated militaries rely on to operate.” Champion urged Washington to “resist the temptation to escalate its fight with the Houthis,” and to prevent the situation from spinning even further out of control, as any “reliable success” against the militia would require a full-scale invasion or heavy bombardment – neither of which “would be remotely worth the cost.”

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“Israel’s public genocide is a private secret among Americans who are paying for it..”

God Is Underwriting Israel’s Genocide Bond (Helmer)

Last week it happened that God and the United States Treasury managed to underwrite a record issue of Israel Government bonds to continue the war against the Arabs in Gaza, West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq – and Iran if necessary. The war financing comprised $2 billion of five-year bonds, and $3 billion each of 10 and 30-year bonds. The US Treasury guarantees bond holders that if Israel defaults on repayment of its obligations, the US will pay instead. Notwithstanding this, the Israelis were obliged to offer an extra 1.35%, 1.45%, and 1.75% more in interest over the going rate for US Treasury bonds for the same length of term. The Reuters news agency headline on March 6 celebrated “Israel sells record $8 billion in bonds despite Oct 7 attacks, downgrade”. The propaganda agency based in New York quoted Israel’s Accountant-General as claiming the bond placement “results showed an “unprecedented expression of confidence in Israel’s economy by the world’s largest international investors”.*

In fact, according to well-informed bond trade sources in Europe, with the higher interest rates the market has just demanded from the Israelis, the spread between the Israel bonds and US Treasuries has never been wider, and the worse this spread will become for Israel. This is a vote of no-confidence from the market which the Israelis, the Americans, and their media are trying to keep secret. The longer the war is protracted, the more obvious the costs of Israel Defence Forces’ (IDF) failure will become – and the deeper the negative bond sentiment will grow. By converting secrecy into money, the market is signalling that it has begun to turn against Israel – and profit at Israel’s expense. Also unprecedented is the secrecy in which the “expression of confidence” has been managed by the US, French, and German banks acting as managers of the Israeli bond issue; and of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which has had regulatory oversight of the process.

The debt financing has been reported as a “private placement”; this has removed the requirement that the Israelis produce a public prospectus explaining how they think their war – plausibly genocide, according to the International Court of Justice in its ruling of January 26, 2024 – is going, and how long the IDF claim it will last. This does not remove the legal requirement on the two US banks engaged in marketing the bonds to US investors, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs, to submit a formal application for SEC approval of what is called a letter of consent. However, asked to confirm the contents of the letter of consent application for the sale of the Israeli bonds, and its official approval, the SEC has refused to give any answer. Goldman Sachs was asked the same questions. The bank also refuses to say.

Last October the chief executive of Goldman Sachs, David Solomon,* issued a personal letter to the bank’s employees claiming the Hamas operation was a “violation of fundamental human values”: Solomon then proposed a $2 million gift of bank funds “to organizations providing critical support and humanitarian relief in Israel”; plus additional bank money, three bank dollars for every one contributed by bank staff making donations under $25, and one for one if the staff contribution was over $25. Asked how much money has been raised for Solomon’s gift to the Israelis, the bank is refusing to reply. In other words, Israel’s public genocide is a private secret among Americans who are paying for it, and among US government officials responsible for regulating the scheme according to US law. According to well-informed bond traders, this deal-making is worth in fees to the dealmakers, led by Goldman Sachs, about $100 million.

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“Everyone can see the tactics that are used to defeat the enemy in war, but what no one can see is the strategy from which great victory arises.”

Chasing ‘Tactical’ Wins, Israel Now Faces ‘Strategic’ Defeat (Sweidan)

In a fight like this, the center of gravity is the civilian population. And if you make them fall into the hands of the enemy, you turn tactical victory into strategic defeat. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued this warning to Israel back in December during his address at the Reagan National Defense Forum in California. Drawing on hard-earned lessons from US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Austin stressed that winning battles on the ground does not guarantee a strategic victory and may even lead to a strategic defeat – if Israel refuses to look at the bigger picture. This is one of the main sources of Washington’s pressure on Tel Aviv, especially in light of the allies’ differing political visions for Gaza in the post-war period and the man-made humanitarian crisis Israel has imposed on the Strip. It’s a philosophy rooted in foresight, echoing Robert Greene’s wisdom from his 33 War Strategies: “Grand strategy is the art of looking beyond the present battle and calculating ahead.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet has outlined two primary objectives for the Gaza war: dismantling Hamas’ military infrastructure and securing the release of prisoners detained since 7 October. Netanyahu later expanded on these objectives, adding a crucial third goal: ensuring Gaza’s inability to threaten the occupation state’s security in the future. Consequently, the success of Israel’s brutal military assault on Gaza hinges on achieving these pivotal objectives. Despite their shared goals, disparities have emerged between the American and Israeli approaches. While both advocate for neutralizing Hamas, the Biden administration advocates for a more politically driven strategy, while Netanyahu seeks an almost entirely military-centric approach.

Hamas, on the other hand, announced three main objectives of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood immediately following the events of 7 October. First, success in conducting a prisoner exchange with the enemy entity. Second, retaliation against Israeli aggression in the occupied West Bank and safeguarding Al-Aqsa Mosque from settler extremists. Third, placing the Palestinian issue back on the global stage. Chinese General Sun Tzu’s timeless wisdom in his Art of War distinguishes between tactical maneuvers and strategic foresight: “Everyone can see the tactics that are used to defeat the enemy in war, but what no one can see is the strategy from which great victory arises.” In warfare, tactical objectives focus on short-term gains – specific engagements or territorial advances. In contrast, strategic goals require long-term vision, aligning military actions with political priorities. In essence, tactics look to answer the “how,” while strategy answers the “why” in military engagement, ultimately with a political endgame.

Any state or party to a conflict can achieve tactical objectives by excelling in battlefield maneuvers, using superior technology, or having better trained and equipped forces. But winning battles – that is, achieving tactical goals – does not necessarily mean winning the war. This discrepancy occurs because the cumulative effect of tactical victories may not align with or contribute adequately to broader strategic objectives. While tactics are essential to winning battles, they must be used as part of a strategy aimed at achieving the ultimate goals of war. History offers several sobering reminders of the perils of prioritizing tactics over strategy. For example, in the Vietnam War, the US achieved numerous tactical victories yet failed strategically. Despite inflicting heavy losses, the broader goal of fostering a non-communist South Vietnam remained elusive. The US’s longest war, in Afghanistan against the Taliban, ended in another humiliating withdrawal, only for the Taliban to return to unprecedented political power across the country.

Esteemed Israeli historian and critic of Zionism, Ilan Pappe, believes that the failures of the genocidal war on Gaza will ultimately lead to the downfall of the Zionist entity, with the war being the most perilous chapter in the “history of a project fighting for its existence.”

Yanis

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“Like Florida, [a] key state, where the votes of the Jews can decide who will move into the White House, so too can the votes of the Muslims in Michigan decide … ”

White House Fails to Navigate the Israeli Re-calibration (Alastair Crooke)

Alon Pinkas, a former senior Israeli diplomat, well-plugged into Washington, tells us that a frustrated White House finally has “had enough”. The rupture with Netanyahu is complete: The Prime Minister does not comport himself as ‘an U.S. ally’ should; he severely criticises Biden’s Middle East policies, and now the United States has come to understand this fact. Biden cannot afford any further Israel-affects to jeopardise his electoral campaign, and so – as his State of the Union Speech makes clear – he will double-down on misconstrued policy frameworks for both Israel and Ukraine. So what does Biden intend to do about Netanyahu’s act of defiance against the ‘holy grail’ of U.S. policy recommendations? Well, he invited Benny Gantz, a member of Israel’s War Cabinet to Washington, and wrapped him around an agenda “reserved for a prime minister, or someone they think will, or should be, premier”. Officials apparently thought that by initiating a visit outside of usual diplomatic protocols, they may “have unleashed a dynamic that could lead to an election in Israel”, Pinkas notes, resulting in a leadership more amenable to U.S. ideas.

It was clearly intended as a first step to ‘soft power’ régime change. And the prime reason for the declaration of war on Netanyahu? Gaza. Biden apparently didn’t appreciate the snub received in the Michigan primary when the Gaza protest vote surpassed 100,000 ‘uncommitted votes’. Polls – especially amongst the young – are flashing red warning signals for November (in no small part because of Gaza). Democratic national leaders are beginning to worry. Leading Israeli commentator, Nahum Barnea, warns that Israel is “loosing America”: “We are accustomed to thinking of America in familial terms … We receive weapons and international backing and the Jews give their votes in the key states and money to the campaigns. This time, the situation is different … Since the votes in [presidential] elections are counted regionally, only a few states … actually decide … Like Florida, [a] key state, where the votes of the Jews can decide who will move into the White House, so too can the votes of the Muslims in Michigan decide …

“[Activists] called on the primary voters to vote “uncommitted” to protest Biden’s support for Israel … Their campaign succeeded beyond expectations: 130,000 Democratic voters supported it. The slap in the face to Biden reverberated across the entire length and breadth of the political establishment. It not only attested to the rise of a new, efficient and toxic political lobby, [but] also to the revulsion that many Americans feel when they see the pictures from Gaza”. “Biden loves Israel and is truly afraid for it”, concludes Barnea “but he has no intention of losing the elections because of it. That is an existential threat”. The problem however, is the converse: It is that U.S. policy is deeply flawed, and wholly incongruent with majority public sentiment in Israel. Many Israelis feel they are fighting an existential struggle, and must not become ‘just fodder’ (as they see it) to a U.S. Democratic electoral strategy. The reality is that Israel is rupturing with Team Biden – not the converse.

Biden’s key plan which rests on a revitalised Palestinian security apparatus is described – even in the Washington Post – as ‘improbable’. The U.S. tried a PA security ‘revitalising’ initiative under U.S. General Zinni in 2002 and Dayton in 2010. It did not work – and for good reason: Palestinian Authority security forces are simply viewed by most Palestinians as the hated stooges enforcing continued Israeli occupation. They work to Israeli security interests, not Palestinian security interests. The other main components to U.S. policy is an even more improbable ‘de-radicalised’ and anaemic ‘two-state solution’, buried within a regional concert of conservative Arab States acting as its security overseer. This policy approach reflects a White House out of kilter with today’s more eschatological Israel, and one failing to move on from perspectives and policies hailing from decades past which, even then, were failures. The White House therefore has resorted to an old trick: To project all of its own policy failings onto a foreign leader for not making the ‘unworkable’ work, and to try to replace that leader with someone more compliant. Pinkas writes:

“Once the United States became convinced that Netanyahu was not being cooperative, not being a considerate ally, behaving like a crude ingrate … focused only on his political survival after the October 7 debacle, the time was ripe to try a new political course”. However, Netanyahu’s policy – for better or worse – reflects what a majority of Israelis think. Netanyahu has his well-known personality defects and is seriously unpopular in Israel, yet that does not mean that a plurality disagrees with his, and his government’s programme. So “enter Gantz”, unleashed by Team Biden as prospective PM-in-waiting into the Washington and London diplomatic pool.

Kash Patel
https://twitter.com/i/status/1766847857460437487

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“..Biden’s recent blunder in which he mixed up Ukraine and the Middle East sums up his poor mental state..”

Biden a ‘Rare Kind of Idiot’ – Medvedev (RT)

US President Joe Biden’s recent blunder in which he mixed up Ukraine and the Middle East sums up his poor mental state, former Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev has claimed. Biden’s gaffe came in an interview with MSNBC on Saturday, as he discussed the Israeli military campaign in Gaza with host Jonathan Capehart. The US leader said West Jerusalem should not repeat the mistakes that Washington made following the September 2001 terrorist attacks. “America made a mistake. We went after Osama bin Laden until we got him, but we shouldn’t have gone into Ukraine,” Biden stated. He then corrected himself, saying he meant “the whole thing in Iraq and Afghanistan,” referring to the US invasions and occupation of the two Middle Eastern nations. Confusing places and people has been a recurring issue for the 81-year-old president. Medvedev, who serves as deputy chair of the Russian Security Council, posted a short clip of the gaffe on Sunday on social media, adding: “A rare kind of idiot.”

Some Russian officials have suggested that Biden’s slip of the tongue was Freudian. “He didn’t mix it up. He can no longer keep to himself what everyone understands – the US has disgraced itself in the bloodiest manner with the whole Ukrainian project,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said. Moscow perceives the Ukraine conflict as a US-led proxy war against Russia, in which Ukrainian soldiers serve as ‘cannon fodder’. The Russian military estimated that by the end of February, Kiev’s military losses had reached 444,000. In the nine-minute interview with MSNBC, Biden mentioned Ukraine once, calling out former President Donald Trump for his skeptical attitude towards NATO. The incumbent leader described the organization as “critical to our national defense.” Moscow has cited the expansion of the military bloc in Europe as a key cause of the hostilities with Ukraine.

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“Macron preparing to visit Kiev? But he’s a zoological coward!”

Macron is a ‘Coward’ – Medvedev (RT)

French President Emmanuel Macron has postponed his visit to Ukraine because he is a pathological coward, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has claimed. The Elysee Palace announced on Monday that Macron’s long-awaited visit to Ukraine will take place sometime “in the coming weeks.” The announcement marks the third delay of the French leader’s visit to Ukraine. Macron had initially planned to visit Kiev to sign a bilateral security agreement last month, but the document ended up being signed during Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s trip to Paris. “Macron preparing to visit Kiev? But he’s a zoological coward!” Medvedev posted in French on X (formerly Twitter), recommending that Macron’s office pack “several changes of underwear” and prepare for a “strong stink.”

Medvedev claimed that he originally wrote the message in the morning, but by the time he decided to post it – the French president had already “s**t himself” and pulled out of the planned visit. “Poor France!” he added. Instead of hurrying to Kiev, Macron wants to “take the necessary time” for talks with allies to be able to visit Ukraine “with tangible results,” Politico wrote on Monday, citing an anonymous French diplomat. In recent weeks, the French president has escalated his hawkish rhetoric towards Russia, suggesting in late February that sending Western troops to Ukraine cannot be ruled out. Last Tuesday in Prague, he called on European nations to step up support for Kiev amid the Ukraine-Russia conflict, saying Europe is facing times “where it will be appropriate not to be a coward.”

NATO members are seeking to boost military aid to Kiev amid worries that funding from Ukraine’s biggest war sponsor – the US – will dry up. Earlier this year, the White House said that Washington had used up all the money allocated to Ukraine thus far – more than $113 billion. An additional $60 billion in US funding is still being held up in Congress, although recently it was suggested that the money should be loaned to Kiev, rather than given away. Moscow maintains that Western military aid to Ukraine does little to alter the course of the conflict, while extending the hostilities and causing needless deaths. Commenting on Macron’s words regarding the possibility of deploying Western troops to Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned that doing so would make a direct clash between NATO and Russia “inevitable.”

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“The EU, whose initial vocation as a peacemaker in Europe has completely slipped and transformed into a warmonger..”

‘Warmonger’ EU’s Defense Strategy a Wishful Dream (Sp.)

The European Commission’s newly proposed strategy to coordinate its military industries to tackle the “existential threat” posed by Russia is, above all, a pipe dream, Colonel Jacques Hogard, who served 26 years in the French Army as an airborne officer in the Foreign Legion and the special forces, told Sputnik. “The EU, whose initial vocation as a peacemaker in Europe has completely slipped and transformed into a warmonger, is seeking to exist, in the face of the visible disengagement of the United States in Ukraine. It clumsily tries to find a way out of the trap into which the Americans have made it fall. But in reality, ‘defense Europe’ is a dream. Born from a desire to bring the Franco-German couple together, this dream has never had the slightest beginning of concrete realization,” Hogard stated.

The pundit elaborated by pointing to the TIGER III, MAWS, and CIFS programs that were all successively “abandoned by Berlin, either to adopt purely German solutions or to turn to American equipment.” The remaining two programs – SCAF (Future Combat Air System) and MGCS (Main Ground Combat System) – were plagued by “disagreements over the distribution of roles between German and French industries.” “These programs were pushed through under pressure from politicians, without their future being assured,” Jacques Hogard said. Continuing to support Ukraine militarily has left European countries’ existing stocks depleted, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell admitted in his latest blog post. He urged moving “from an emergency mode to a longer-term vision, in a new strategy would allow the EU to be able to “replenish our stocks and develop the defense capabilities,” while continuing to provide “adequate military support to Ukraine.”

“To strengthen our defense in a tense geopolitical context, we urgently need to overcome the fragmentation of our defense industry through more joint procurement and more common projects,” he wrote. The blog post further elaborated on the new European Defense Industrial Strategy recently unveiled by Brussels. The European Commission, the EU’s executive branch, touted its plan worth around €1.5 billion (US $1.6 billion) as a way to turbocharge the bloc’s military-industrial sector. The strategy is geared to reduce the EU member states’ dependence on the US for defense needs. Procurement outside the bloc was declared “no longer sustainable.” The plans will need to be approved by the European Parliament and by member countries, who are already squabbling over military and weapons spending on Ukraine aid.

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“..Macron effectively offered to share French nuclear weapons. “These statements by Macron are extremely serious..”

EU Nuclear Umbrella to Embolden Member States to Use French Nukes (Sp.)

The idea of the EU’s nuclear umbrella could lead to other countries using France’s nuclear potential, even though France might not be under any threat, the leader of France’s Patriots party and candidate for the European Parliament elections, Florian Philippot, told RIA Novosti. Earlier in the year, French President Emmanuel Macron said that Paris had a responsibility to defend the European Union. He added that France’s interests had a European dimension, which gave Paris a special responsibility that, in particular, affects French deterrence capabilities. The assertion, Filippot said, means that Macron effectively offered to share French nuclear weapons. “These statements by Macron are extremely serious. This is what should be the first guarantee of national sovereignty, nuclear weapons, which you need in case your vital interests are in danger, this is what nuclear doctrine is all about, the same for all nuclear powers. And what he is saying means that if tomorrow Poland is at war with Russia, it can use nuclear weapons while we are not in danger, we are not at war. And if tomorrow Ukraine becomes part of the EU, we could potentially let Ukraine use it, that’s completely insane,” the politician said.

Such statements indicate that the French president is not guided by the country’s national interest, he added. “Behind this is also pressure from Germany to get our nuclear weapons. They have long been willing to invest financially in our nuclear weapons in exchange for jointly controlling them. This is where the demand that France makes for Germany or the EU to take a place among the permanent members of the UN Security Council comes from. This goes hand in hand,” Philippot said. In February, European Parliament Vice-President Katarina Barley said in an interview with the Tagesspiegel newspaper that the creation of the EU’s own nuclear umbrella to replace the US umbrella could become a topic of discussion at the European level. At the same time, German Finance Minister Christian Lindner spoke in favor of greater cooperation with France and the United Kingdom on nuclear deterrence.

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““NATO is acting like a fireman, who sets on fire more and more buildings in order to show the community how much it needs him..”

Poland: the Biggest Army in the EU And the Biggest Risks in the Making (Babich)

The Polish ministers love surprises. This week, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski stunned the public when he said “several NATO countries already have their troops in Ukraine.” Sikorski represents the pro-EU “liberal” party Civic Platform, which recently replaced the “anti-European” nationalists from the Law and Justice (PiS) party. By voicing the shocking remark, Sikorski was effectively attempting to outdo the media star of the previous cabinet formed by the PiS. That media star was Mariusz Blaszczak, the former minister of defense who promised Poland would have “the strongest army in Europe” in two years In fact, Sikorski’s statement about NATO troops in Ukraine was not much of a secret for Russia. Even Sikorski’s attempt to create intrigue by saying he would not reveal the troops’ countries of origin was a failure. Maria Zakharova, the official representative of Russia’s Foreign Ministry, acknowledged that Russia knew about the presence of Western servicemen and which countries they came from.

She said: “It does not make sense for NATO to deny it’s sending soldiers to Ukraine any more.” However, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius again denied the presence of NATO troops in Ukraine recently, in this way one more time exposing himself or Sikorski as a liar. Sikorski made his revelation about NATO troops at a celebration devoted to the 25th anniversary of Poland joining the NATO alliance alongside Hungary and the Czech Republic in 1999. In his speech, Sikorski also said that sending Western troops to Ukraine was a “creative” move, and that “the West should pursue the policy of asymmetrical escalation” in Ukraine. Through the official’s commentary and by ignoring Russia’s warnings of the inevitable retaliation for the escalation, Sikorski is – again – following in Blaszczak’s footsteps. It was under him that Poland, indeed, became Europe’s fastest growing military power, and the Civic Platform does not show any willingness to stop the project.

According to official data from Blaszczak’s defense ministry, in 2023 alone, Poland bought 1,000 K2 tanks from South Korea and 673 K9 howitzers from the same supplier. From the United States, Poland purchased 366 Abrams tanks and 32 F-35A fighter jets. “If Blaszczak’s plans are fulfilled, by 2030 Poland will have more tanks than the combined forces of the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands and Belgium,” the Wall Street Journal reported in an article headlined, “Poland Hardens Its Defenses Against Russia.” In 2023, Poland spent $ 23 billion on defense purposes, a sum that makes up 4% of the country’s GDP against the NATO-required 2%. But is spending tens of billions of dollars from a poor country’s budget for preparations of war against the historically and ethnically close eastern neighbor a wise policy? Not so, say cooler heads. “NATO is acting like a fireman, who sets on fire more and more buildings in order to show the community how much it needs him,” Mateusz Piskorski, a well known journalist and former leader of Zmiana party, told Sputnik.

In Piskorski’s opinion, NATO and Polish aggressive elite bear at least a part of the responsibility for the fire which is now devouring Ukraine. Ironically, these same elites point to Ukraine as the proof of Russia’s belligerence. These same Polish elites try to talk Poles into spending more money on arms for Ukraine and on increasing the power of the native Polish army. Blaszczak’s plan was to increase the staff of the Polish army from the current 172,000 men to 300,000. The timeframe for the reform is intended to proceed between two and three years, and this is one of the few initiatives of the outgoing PiS party, which the new “liberal” Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk promises to continue.

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“You will get these massive bank runs that the government will have to step in and bail out. This is one of many things that will happen in the not-so-distant future..”

Eventual Financial Death Spiral Now Imminent – John Rubino (USAW)

Analyst and financial writer John Rubino warned nearly four months ago of a “U.S. Financial Death Spiral.” This past week, Bank of America caught up to Rubino and issued a warning about a “US dollar death spiral” because the federal government was going deeper in the red by creating “$1 trillion in new debt every 100 days.” Maybe this is why gold and Bitcoin have been hitting new all-time highs day after day. Rubino says, “When a building was worth $200 million and someone sells it for $48 million, that means there is a loss that someone has to take. Those losses are mostly on the books of regional and local banks. So, they are in big trouble financially. . . . You will get these massive bank runs that the government will have to step in and bail out. This is one of many things that will happen in the not-so-distant future. This will impact government finances in a scary way that will send people’s attention to the currency. In other words, if we have another $3 trillion bailout on top of everything else that’s going on . . .what is that going to do to the dollar? . . . .

Currencies are being inflated away with all these bailouts, deficits, wars and all these things that are going on that are bad for the currency. So, people start selling government bonds, which push up interest rates and blows up even more bad real estate and paper . . . until you get a debt spiral, a real live financial death spiral than cannot be fixed. . . . I was talking to a real estate guy the other day, and he said this is not just inevitable, it is imminent. It is happening now. It is happening quickly, and it is going to hit the headlines. . . . In this case, what is inevitable in commercial real estate is also looking imminent.” Rubino goes on to say, “The numbers are not lost on the guys running the big investment banks and the big media outlets. They are sitting around, and they are thinking we have to say something about this because this is obviously a very big financial story. So, we have to report on it. Finally, the numbers have gotten big enough with the deficits and government interest costs . . . that this is a story that cannot be ignored anymore.

“It’s got to be pretty far along before they reach that point because they really don’t want to report on this. To report on this is seen as a betrayal of the establishment, and they are part of the establishment. They are playing on that team. The debt numbers are finally big enough that they can’t be ignored anymore, and that implies that we are getting near the end of the road.” Gold and Bitcoin both hit all-time new highs this past week. What does it mean? Rubino explains, “This means the market is speaking, and it’s concluding these currencies have a problem. Capital is flowing into the alternatives. It’s flowing into the old kind of money that has held up for thousands of years like gold or the possible new kind of money like Bitcoin that has come on relatively recently (when compared to gold). . . . In either case, it is a vote against the dollar. When gold and Bitcoin are both spiking, it is a big vote of no confidence in the dollar.”

In closing, Rubino says, “There is no way to know how this plays out in the next six months, but this should terrify the central banks. By the way, the big central banks are behaving as if they are terrified because they are aggressively buying gold. They have bought about 1,000 tons of gold in each of the last two years. 1,000 tons is a fourth of the gold that comes out of all the gold mines in a given year. So, that is a major purchase, and they take the gold off the market. They don’t turn around and sell it. They put it away as a reserve asset. The gold is effectively disappearing. This makes the market even tighter, and this is also part of the reason why gold is going up.”

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Obesity. “It probably comes as no surprise that the same people who demand their food fast and fried, will also expect an easy cure as well..”

Global Hunger Isn’t The Worst Food-Related Threat To Humanity (Bridge)

World Obesity Day was marked this week and, with over a billion people afflicted worldwide, obesity is now considered more dangerous to global health than hunger. The numbers are staggering. Sometime in the mid-20th century a cameraman captured an unforgettable black-and-white photo depicting thousands of American sunworshippers crowded onto Coney Island, New York City. What is most conspicuous about the iconic photograph, aside from the sheer number of beachgoers, is the lack of excessive cellulite packed into the assorted bathing suits and bikinis. Sadly and not a little tragically, those halcyon days are over. While hunger overwhelmingly afflicts the poverty-stricken nations of the world, obesity represents a unique type of affliction in that it targets both rich and poor alike. Between 1990 and 2022, global obesity rates quadrupled for children and doubled for adults, according to a new study by the Lancet (The World Health Organization classifies obesity as having a body-mass index equal to or greater than 30 kilograms per square meter).

In the WHO’s top-ten ‘hefty’ list, it may come as some surprise that the tiny Polynesian nations of Tonga and American Samoa had the highest prevalence of obesity in 2022 for women, while American Samoa and [nearby] Nauru had the highest rates among men. In those picturesque island paradises, more than 60% of the adult population were clinically obese. Other surprises included Egypt, weighing in at number ten in the female category, while Qatar took tenth place in boys’ obesity levels. Among the wealthy countries, the United States was the heavyweight representative and is tenth in the world for obesity among men. Shockingly, the US adult obesity rate increased from 21.2% in 1990 to 43.8% in 2022 for women, and from 16.9% to 41.6% in 2022 for men, placing the nation of 330 million fast-food consumers 36th in the world for highest obesity rates among women and, for men, tenth in the world.

By contrast, the adult obesity rate in the United Kingdom increased from 13.8% in 1990 to 28.3% in 2022 among females, ranking it 87th highest in the world, while the obesity rate for males surged from 10.7% to 26.9%, placing Britain at 55th. Among children, the study found the US obesity rates increased from 11.6% in 1990 to 19.4% in 2022 for girls, 11.5% to 21.7% for boys. In 2022, the US ranked 22nd in the world for obesity among girls, 26th for boys. Considering the rapid rates of change among Americans, the US will be predictably dominating the charts in just a few years, creating what could be considered a national emergency. None of this should have been unpredictable. After all, what does a society expect that can’t even park the car and walk several steps into the restaurant? And it’s not like consumers are ordering homemade soup and salads at the drive-thru window.

The junk food served at fast food enterprises is loaded with sodium content in order to prolong its shelf life, as well as saturated fatty acids that increase cholesterol levels in the body, clog the blood vessels and restrict normal blood flow, leading to heart disease. And that’s not even mentioning the high-fructose corn syrup found in the cola drinks. The real challenge, however, is how to combat obesity at a time when so many people have become addicted to a sedentary, order-online lifestyle. It probably comes as no surprise that the same people who demand their food fast and fried, will also expect an easy cure as well.

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“Researchers are curious as to how 40% of the participants showed no evidence of microplastics in their plaques, given that microplastics are ubiquitous..”

Nanoplastics Linked to an Increase in Heart Attacks And Strokes (Sp.)

Roughly a week ago it was reported that boiling one’s water could help reduce the amount of microplastics in it by nearly 90%, as long as that water is hard water. At the time, scientists were still studying the extent to which nanoplastics could cause harm to one’s body. A new study says that people with nanoplastics inside their bodies are 4.5 times more likely to suffer from a heart attack, stroke or die of other health related concerns over the next three years than people without them, scientists say. The study was published in The New England Journal of Medicine, and explained how micro- and nanoplastics (NMPs) are “emerging” as a potential risk factor when assessing cardiovascular disease. It is the first time that such a connection has been made.

Nanoplastics are tiny bits of plastic that can be as small as one-thousandth of a millimeter in diameter, though the definition applies to any small plastic piece that is less than five millimeters long in length. They are ubiquitous, long-lasting, and often require centuries to break down. But cells responsible for removing waste products can’t readily degrade them, so microplastics accumulate in organisms. These NMPs, about the size of a virus, are the perfect size to adversely affect how human cells function, and are capable of passing through key protective filters in one’s body including the intestinal lining and blood brain barrier. They have also been found in our food, breast milk and even the clouds in our skies. The researchers studied a group of patients who were already scheduled to undergo surgery for a condition known as carotid artery stenosis, which occurs when the carotid arteries—the main blood vessels that carry blood and oxygen to the brain—become narrowed after plaque, or fatty deposits, block normal blood flow. These arteries typically help supply blood to the brain, face and neck.

The researchers looked at plaque that was removed from 256 patients and tracked their health for an average of 34 months following the surgery. They found plastic particles, many of which were NMPs in the plaque of 150 patients—about 60%. At the follow-up, nonfatal heart attack, nonfatal stroke or death from any cause occurred in 20% of those patients and in 7.5% of the patients without detectable plastic particles. Chemical analyses showed that a majority of the particles were composed of either polyethylene, which is commonly used and is often found in food packaging, shopping bags and medical tubing. [..] Researchers are curious as to how 40% of the participants showed no evidence of microplastics in their plaques, given that microplastics are ubiquitous. One of the study’s co-authors says it could be that the participants behave differently or have different biological pathways for processing plastics, however, more research is needed.

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Antikythera

 

 

Tigers

 

 

Leopard
https://twitter.com/i/status/1767174087397253234

 

 

Adopted

 

 

 

 

Best life
https://twitter.com/i/status/1766933626250555510

 

 

Best lives

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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
https://twitter.com/i/status/1751552779045552521

 

 

 

 

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
https://twitter.com/i/status/1751757152492945716

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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.”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1751960003882201347

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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
https://twitter.com/i/status/1751745668635594989

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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
https://twitter.com/i/status/1752151264463397113

 

 

Whale

 

 

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

 

 

Unit
https://twitter.com/i/status/1752189931575746749

 

 

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
https://twitter.com/i/status/1745104202597081348

 

 

 

 

“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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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.

 

 

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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
https://twitter.com/i/status/1731921253026656632

 

 

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

 

 

Questions

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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