Nov 032023
 
 November 3, 2023  Posted by at 6:01 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  11 Responses »


JMW Turner Lake Llanberis and Snowdon Color Study c.1800

 

 

There was the speech by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah today, who said “What is happening in Gaza today is not just another war; it is a decisive historical battle with consequences that will reshape the future..” That made me think of Joe Biden’s recent comments on a new world order, which were ridiculed away by Russia: “Yes, we’ll have a new world order, but you’re not going to be a -significant- part of it”.

Hamas is a formidable regional force in Gaza, but Hezbollah is of another order altogether. It controls the south of Lebanon, aka Israel’s northern border, it’s strongly related to Iran, and it’s armed to the teeth. But we’ll hear enough of Hezbollah soon enough. i wanted to talk about something else today.

Going through the news, as we do every day in our Debt Rattle aggregators, there’s a new pattern we see developing. That is, the end of the careers of both Volodymyr Zelensky as President of Ukraine, and of Benjamin Netanyahu as PM of Israel. They both appear to have a -very- limited time left in their jobs. Thanks – largely- to the US. Who propped them up in the first place.

Zelensky Will Be Ukraine’s Last President – Exiled Opposition Leader

Ex-Ukrainian opposition leader Viktor Medvedchuk, now in exile in Russia, denounced Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky in a column on Friday. The former politician said that the current Ukrainian head of state may well be the last, and Zelensky only has himself to blame. In his piece, Medvedchuk called Zelensky a merciless “professional traitor” whose pattern of stabbing everyone in the back for his own gain has ruined the country. After being elected president on a platform of peace with Russia and reconciliation with Donbass, Zelensky “ceded power to radical nationalists, adopting their rhetoric and behavior,” Medvedchuk wrote. In doing that, he betrayed the people who voted for him. “Zelensky simply got scared of becoming a peacemaker since it would require him to oppose aggressive forces inside and outside of the country,” he argued.

Funny thing is, that “ceded power to radical nationalists, adopting their rhetoric and behavior..” might just as well describe Bibi.

Netanyahu’s ‘Political Days Are Numbered’: White House

Joe Biden and top White House aides have discussed the likelihood that Benjamin Netanyahu’s “political days are numbered,” and are gauging potential successors as the popularity of the Israeli prime minister continues to plummet following last month’s successful Hamas attack on Israel, Politico reported on 2 November. The topic of Netanyahu’s anticipated fall from power has come up in recent White House meetings including following Biden’s most recent trip to Israel in which he met with Netanyahu following the surprise Hamas attack on 7 October, according to two senior administration officials. Biden has even suggested to Netanyahu that he should think about lessons he would share with his eventual successor, the two administration officials added. Separately, a current US official and a former US official both confirmed that the Biden administration believes Netanyahu will not remain in office for long.

So you might think this is just the US cutting its losses. But maybe there’s more to it. Maybe the US set up both for their fall. Just in case their “adventures” wouldn’t work out. This way, Washington can draw its hands off of it, blame its “partners”, and move on. We didn’t lose, our allies lost.

“Joe Biden”, just last week, demanded another $106 billion package for Israel and Ukraine, even as they know full well how limited the job prospects for both are. So why do it? ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern has an idea:

Biden Needs Israel and Ukraine Conflicts to Avoid Jail Time

Joe Biden is trying to twist the arms of House lawmakers to pass a hefty Ukraine aid package, while at the same time the White House is resisting efforts to impose a cease-fire in Gaza amid horrific civilian casualties. While his team member, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan are known for their neoconservative stance, Biden has long been considered a moderate and entered the White House with the goal of ending the “forever wars”. Now the US president has no scruples about pouring more gasoline on the flames of conflicts in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. What’s behind Joe’s “radicalization”? “Biden has a personal stake in this,” CIA veteran Ray McGovern told Sputnik. “What do I mean? If Biden loses in Ukraine, which is bound to happen in the next couple of months, it will be evident to everyone. It will be impossible to cover it up. If he loses in Ukraine, he’ll be afraid to lose the election and his fears will be well-founded. And if this is the election, what do you think he also fears? He also fears that he’ll end up in prison.”

They know what happens, but they can’t admit it. It would threaten their grip on power. They got themselves stuck with the dastardly duo of Joe and Kamala, and they have to ride this out unless one of the two dies. Do they have replacements lined up? We haven’t seen any.

In Ukraine and Israel, things might be a little different. Everyone will simply move on to the respective neo-nazi parties that support both Zelensky and Netanyahu to date. But whoever they pick, Ukraine will have to confront Russia, and we know how that went, whereas Israel faces the entire Arab world (+Russia?). Counting on US support that just ain’t there.

It’s hard to imagine that Blinken and Jake Sullivan and Nuland and Bolton had no idea this would happen. But that means the US is on a suicide mission. I’d rather not think of that. They have, what, 47 battle ships in the eastern Med, largest concentration since 1945?! As Russia, and who else(?!), have hypersonic Kinzhals to shoot them like fish in a barrel? Make peace, you fools. I’m going to have a beer outside on a terrace while I still can.

 

 

 

 

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May 192023
 


John Falter The Windy City 1946

 

The US Should Be a Force for Peace in the World (EMN)
Ukraine Has ‘Five Months Left’ To Impress US – FT (RT)
US Wants To ‘Freeze’ Ukraine Conflict – Politico (RT)
Kiev Pilots Not Allowed To Train On EU F-16s Amid US Skepticism – NYT (TASS)
Putin Warned Patriot Air Defences Wouldn’t Survive Long in Ukraine (MWM)
Zelensky Asks G7 For Peace Summit Without Russia – FT (RT)
US Not Ready For Practical Steps On Peace Settlement In Ukraine – Lavrov (TASS)
Chinese Special Envoy Meets With Zelensky (RT)
Kissinger Changes His Mind On Ukraine Joining NATO (RT)
Ensuring Regional Security Not Feasible Via NATO Expansion – China (TASS)
Congress Could Have the Final Say on the Russian Collusion Scandal
It’s Over Folks (Denninger)
FBI Concerned Jan. 6 Footage Would Expose Undercover Agents, Informants (ET)
Justice Neil Gorsuch Speaks Out Against Lockdowns and Mandates (BI)
Rand Paul: Elon Musk Will Go Down As A Historic Champion For Free Speech (SM)

 

 

 

 

RFK

 

 

Macgregor Trump jr
https://twitter.com/i/status/1659105972923637761

 

 

Contact us
https://twitter.com/i/status/1659094491477823488

 

 

Lest We Forget: Obama and Biden sat in that August 3, 2016 Situation Room briefing and said, yeah, let’s let the highest officials in our administration fabricate evidence to frame the opposing party candidate Donald Trump.

 

 

 

 

The following is the text of a full-page ad by the Eisenhower Media Network in the New York Times on May 16, 2023.

The US Should Be a Force for Peace in the World (EMN)

sThe Russia-Ukraine War has been an unmitigated disaster. Hundreds of thousands have been killed or wounded. Millions have been displaced. Environmental and economic destruction have been incalculable. Future devastation could be exponentially greater as nuclear powers creep ever closer toward open war. We deplore the violence, war crimes, indiscriminate missile strikes, terrorism, and other atrocities that are part of this war. The solution to this shocking violence is not more weapons or more war, with their guarantee of further death and destruction. As Americans and national security experts, we urge President Biden and Congress to use their full power to end the Russia-Ukraine War speedily through diplomacy, especially given the grave dangers of military escalation that could spiral out of control.

Sixty years ago, President John F. Kennedy made an observation that is crucial for our survival today. “Above all, while defending our own vital interests, nuclear powers must avert those confrontations which bring an adversary to a choice of either a humiliating retreat or a nuclear war. To adopt that kind of course in the nuclear age would be evidence only of the bankruptcy of our policy–or of a collective death-wish for the world.” The immediate cause of this disastrous war in Ukraine is Russia’s invasion. Yet the plans and actions to expand NATO to Russia’s borders served to provoke Russian fears. And Russian leaders made this point for 30 years. A failure of diplomacy led to war. Now diplomacy is urgently needed to end the Russia-Ukraine War before it destroys Ukraine and endangers humanity.

Russia’s current geopolitical anxiety is informed by memories of invasion from Charles XII, Napoleon, the Kaiser and Hitler. U.S. troops were among an Allied invasion force that intervened unsuccessfully against the winning side in Russia’s post-World War I civil war. Russia sees NATO enlargement and presence on its borders as a direct threat; the U.S. and NATO see only prudent preparedness. In diplomacy, one must attempt to see with strategic empathy, seeking to understand one’s adversaries. This is not weakness: it is wisdom. We reject the idea that diplomats, seeking peace, must choose sides, in this case either Russia or Ukraine. In favoring diplomacy we choose the side of sanity. Of humanity. Of peace.

We consider President Biden’s promise to back Ukraine “as long as it takes” to be a license to pursue ill-defined and ultimately unachievable goals. It could prove as catastrophic as President Putin’s decision last year to launch his criminal invasion and occupation. We cannot and will not endorse the strategy of fighting Russia to the last Ukrainian. We advocate for a meaningful and genuine commitment to diplomacy, specifically an immediate ceasefire and negotiations without any disqualifying or prohibitive preconditions. Deliberate provocations delivered the Russia-Ukraine War. In the same manner, deliberate diplomacy can end it.

Read more …

“If we get to September and Ukraine has not made significant gains, then the international pressure on [the West] to bring them to negotiations will be enormous..”

The US will blame Zelensky for the failure, and wash its own hands.

Ukraine Has ‘Five Months Left’ To Impress US – FT (RT)

Ukraine needs to demonstrate some “advances” over the next five months as the US would consider these crucial to the future of the conflict between Moscow and Kiev, Financial Times reported on Thursday, citing several European and American officials. Washington has to show that the massive military support the US and its allies have been providing to Ukraine has not been in vain, the paper also said. “It is important for America to sell this war as a successful one, as well as for domestic purposes to prove that all of those aid packages have been successful in terms of Ukrainian advances,” a European official told the FT.

The polls show that public support for Ukraine is waning in the US, and President Biden’s administration has to show that the tens of billions of dollars it spent on assistance for Kiev made a major difference on the frontlines, the media outlet said. According to FT sources, Washington believes the next five months are critical to the outcome of the conflict. “If we get to September and Ukraine has not made significant gains, then the international pressure on [the West] to bring them to negotiations will be enormous,” another source told the FT, on condition of anonymity. September will see the UN General Assembly and G20 leaders’ summit take place one after another. Both events could be used to make the warring parties sit down at a negotiating table, FT said.

The Western military support for Kiev is also about to reach its limits, the sources warned. “The message [to Kiev] is basically that this is the best you’re going to get,” a European official told the paper. “There’s no more flexibility in the US budget to keep writing checks, and European arms factories are running at full capacity.” The US continues to be Ukraine’s biggest backer when it comes to arms supplies. Washington’s allies are concerned about its capacity to keep up the same level of support and expect it to go down in 2024 and a US presidential election. “We can’t keep the same level of assistance forever,” a European official said, adding that the current level of support might be sustained for a year or two but no longer.

Read more …

It takes two -or more- sides to freeze a conflict.

US Wants To ‘Freeze’ Ukraine Conflict – Politico (RT)

The administration of US President Joe Biden is reportedly considering ‘freezing’ the conflict in Ukraine for the foreseeable future instead of pushing for the country’s victory, according to sources cited by Politico on Thursday. Three serving and one former US official told the outlet that a long-term low-intensity stand-off was currently being discussed in the White House. The former official compared the possible scenario to how the Korean War of the early 1950s ended in an armistice. There was no formal peace agreement, and both Pyongyang and Seoul claim sovereignty over the entire Korean Peninsula, with a demilitarized zone separating the two parts. “A Korea-style stoppage is certainly something that’s been discussed by experts and analysts in and out of government,” the source said.

“It’s plausible, because neither side would need to recognize any new borders and the only thing that would have to be agreed is to stop shooting along a set line.” The benefits for the US would be that a frozen conflict would be less costly for Western nations and draw less public attention, and consequently less pressure to assist Kiev, the outlet explained. Ukraine would still be allied with Washington and continue switching its military to NATO standards, as it seeks to join the bloc someday. The ‘Korean scenario’ for Ukraine drew media attention in January, after Aleksey Danilov, the secretary of the country’s national security council, claimed in an interview that Moscow had sent a top official to European capitals to promote it.

The Kremlin denied that and claimed Danilov may have mistaken a Ukrainian politician surnamed Kazak for his namesake in the Russian government, whom he identified as the messenger. Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy chair of the Russian Security Council, argued that Danilov’s words were meant for “domestic consumption,” so that the Ukrainian government could measure the public reaction to it. The Russian official mused that “being split is the best-case scenario,” for Kiev, under the circumstances. Moscow called NATO’s expansion in Europe and its creeping takeover of Ukraine without its formal accession as one of the key reasons for sending troops against its neighbor. The conflict, Russia has maintained, is part of a US proxy war against it, in which Ukrainians serve as cannon fodder.

Read more …

“..Kiev will need approvals from the United States where the fighters were made..”

Kiev Pilots Not Allowed To Train On EU F-16s Amid US Skepticism – NYT (TASS)

Ukrainian pilots are not allowed to train on F-16 fighter jets owned by European countries, as Washington remains unconvinced that Kiev needs the expensive aircraft, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing a senior Ukrainian official. Despite the fact that some European countries have signaled that they are ready to send F-16s to Ukraine, authorities in Kiev will need approvals from the United States where the fighters were made. Without American consent, the training is likely to be limited to technical lessons and technical language only, the newspaper said. The Biden administration is unconvinced that Ukraine needs the expensive jets. Besides, the United States does not want its highly restricted systems to be duplicated or fall into enemy hands.


US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Wednesday that he had no update on F-16s. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on May 9 that his country is discussing the possibility of sending F-16 fighters to Ukraine with Great Britain, Denmark and “some other countries in Europe” and the United States. “An intensive dialogue” is underway, Rutte said. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba earlier said that some European allies had started work on the issue of sending US F-16 fighters to Kiev. However, there has been scarce comment on the plan in the West, while Ukraine itself admits that the process may not start any time soon. Meanwhile, the office of British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak earlier announced a new military support program to train Ukrainian pilots on Western warplanes.

Read more …

“..We will crack the Patriot [like a nut] too, and something will need to be installed in its place, new systems need to be developed – this is a complex and lengthy process..”

Putin Warned Patriot Air Defences Wouldn’t Survive Long in Ukraine (MWM)

On May 16 as part of a complex series of strikes on the Ukrainian capital Kiev the Russian Air Force employed the Kh-47M2 Kinzhal hypersonic ballistic missile to neutralise a unit from an American Patriot air defence system, destroying its a radar and a control centre and reportedly at least one of its launchers. According to Russian sources, the Ukrainian crew operating the Patriot were aware a strike was incoming, but had only a limited warning time due to the Kinzhal missile’s very high speed – limiting opportunities for the missile system to change position or reload. The Patriot system targeted was one of two delivered, with Germany and the United States having each supplied a single unit.

The unit reportedly fired 32 surface to air missiles at the Kinzhal on approach, which at approximately $3 million each amounted to a $96 million barrage to attempt to destroy a missile with an estimated cost of under $2 million. The very high cost and limited number of the Patriot’s interceptors was a key argument for not sending the systems to Ukraine, with their effectiveness also having been brought to question not only due to the system’s highly troubled combat record, but also to the advanced capabilities of new Russian missiles such as the Kinzhal, Iskander and Zicron. These are considered nearly impossible to intercept particularly in their terminal stages. The delivery of Patriots was nevertheless seen as necessary due to the near collapse of Ukrainian air defences, as warnings have been given with growing frequency by both Western and Ukrainian sources that the arsenal of S-300 and BuK missile systems protecting the country has become critically depleted.

Destruction of the Patriot systems comes less than a month after the first systems were delivered in April, and follows a warning in December from Russian President Vladimir Putin that the destruction of the systems was an absolute certainty should they be deployed in Ukraine. He assured that with Washington “now saying that they can put a Patriot [in Ukraine]. Okay, let them do it. We will crack the Patriot [like a nut] too, and something will need to be installed in its place, new systems need to be developed – this is a complex and lengthy process” – indicating that NATO had no newer generations of long range air defence systems available to replace the Patriot once its vulnerability was demonstrated.

Macgregor

Read more …

“..this proposal calls for Russia to withdraw its forces from all territories within Ukraine’s 1991 borders, to pay reparations, and to submit to war-crime tribunals.”

Zelensky Asks G7 For Peace Summit Without Russia – FT (RT)

President Vladimir Zelensky has asked the G7 to consider holding a summit on the peaceful settlement of the conflict in Ukraine without the participation of Russia, an EU official has told the Financial Times. The leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, the US and the EU will discuss the possibility of staging such an event this summer during a three-day Group of Seven meeting, which kicks off in Hiroshima on Friday, the outlet reported on Thursday. According to the official, the discussions at the high-profile meeting in Japan will focus on the ten-point peace plan that Zelensky has been promoting in recent months. Among other things, this proposal calls for Russia to withdraw its forces from all territories within Ukraine’s 1991 borders, to pay reparations, and to submit to war-crime tribunals.

Moscow has rejected the plan as “unacceptable,” pointing out that it ignores the reality on the ground and is actually a sign of Kiev’s unwillingness to resolve the crisis through talks. Zelensky’s spokesperson has confirmed to the FT that Kiev asked the G7 to consider the ten-point plan as Kiev is trying to get as many nations as possible to support the proposal. The Ukrainian leader himself is expected to address the summit in Hiroshima via video link. Ukraine is also interested in “China being involved in the implementation of the Ukrainian peace formula,” said Andrey Yermak, Zelensky’s chief of staff, as quoted by the paper. On Thursday, Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials, including Yermak, held a meeting in Kiev with China’s newly appointed special envoy for Eurasian affairs, Li Hui. According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Li told the Ukrainians that Beijing is eager to serve as a peace broker to help reach a political resolution between Kiev and Moscow, based on the principles outlined in a 12-point roadmap published by China in late February.

Beijing’s plan, which calls for early talks between Russia and Ukraine without preconditions, got a positive reception in Moscow, which said it’s ready to discuss it further. However, the West reacted negatively, with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg claiming that Beijing lacked “credibility” as a mediator, having refused to condemn Moscow’s military operation. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell described the Chinese roadmap as merely “a set of wishful considerations.” On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow remains prepared to listen to peace proposals “based on a genuine wish to contribute to the stabilization of the world order,” including those recently made by Brazil and the African nations.

Read more …

“..the US was ready to support any initiative for a peaceful settlement in Ukraine once it was first supported by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky..”

US Not Ready For Practical Steps On Peace Settlement In Ukraine – Lavrov (TASS)

The US is not ready either at this stage or in the foreseeable future for any kind of constructive action with regard to the settlement in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a news conference on Thursday following talks with Ugandan counterpart Jeje Odongo. “The United States is not ready either at this stage or, in my opinion, in the foreseeable future, for any constructive action regarding the settlement of the situation in Ukraine, which they themselves created the conditions for over many years,” he said. According to Lavrov, the United States created the situation in Ukraine “by way of its strategic course to oppose the objective formation of a multipolar world, to maintain its hegemony, and subjugate anyone and everyone to its will.”


“Ukraine is used as an obedient instrument within the framework of this course,” the foreign minister stressed. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on May 16 that Russian and Ukrainian authorities had agreed to receive an African delegation to seek a peaceful resolution to the conflict. Ramaphosa spoke on behalf of six African nations: Egypt, Zambia, the Republic of Congo, Senegal, Uganda and South Africa. When asked to comment on the South African initiative, White House National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby said that the US was ready to support any initiative for a peaceful settlement in Ukraine once it was first supported by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.

Read more …

China imposes itself step by step. Next step: Xi sends his special envoy. While “NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg claimed that China lacked “credibility”..” That won’t fly anymore.

Chinese Special Envoy Meets With Zelensky (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has met with China’s newly appointed special envoy for Eurasian affairs, Li Hui, who traveled to Kiev to convey Beijing’s views on a diplomatic resolution to Ukraine’s conflict with Russia. According to a statement published on Thursday by the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Li held talks with Zelensky as well as the head of the Ukrainian President’s Office, Andrey Yermak, Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba, and representatives from several other ministries. Beijing said both sides had agreed that the recent phone call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Zelensky had outlined the direction for future relations between their two nations, which it stated should be built on mutual respect and sincerity.

During his trip, Li reiterated that Beijing is willing to serve as a peace broker to help reach a political resolution to the conflict with Russia, based on the principles outlined in a 12-point roadmap published by China in late February. “There is no panacea in resolving the crisis. All parties need to start from themselves, accumulate mutual trust, and create conditions for ending the war and engaging in peace talks,” Li said, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s statement. The special envoy’s two-day trip to Ukraine is the first leg of a wider European tour, during which he is expected to visit Poland, France, Germany, and Russia. Beijing has explained that the trip aims to promote communication toward “a political settlement of the Ukraine crisis.”

China’s peace efforts have been welcomed by Russia as well as some European nations such as Hungary, and have been praised for acknowledging the national interests of both parties. The roadmap, however, has been criticized by some in the West. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg claimed that China lacked “credibility” as it has refused to condemn Russia’s actions in Ukraine. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell insisted that “the only thing that can be called a peace plan is Zelensky’s proposal.” The Ukrainian president has demanded that Russia must withdraw from territories that Kiev claims as its own, as well as pay war reparations and face an international tribunal. The Kremlin has dismissed the initiative, claiming it does not take into consideration “the realities on the ground,” including the new status of four former Ukrainian regions as part of Russia.

Read more …

Medvedev: “Henry Kissinger called for Ukraine to join NATO.

True, he will celebrate his 100th birthday in 10 days, and he also met with Brezhnev. However, he is completely wrong here. He called the conflict between the United States and China the main threat to humanity. I have always believed that it is important to consider direct and obvious threats, not hypothetical ones, to correctly assess the situation. Imagine that Ukraine is admitted to the North Atlantic Alliance by the current dull-witted leaders:
1) NATO is already waging a hybrid war against Russia;
2) the Ukrainian nationalist regime will not stop trying to regain the lost territories;
3) we will have to respond harshly to this with all possible means, and…
4) here is Article 5 of the Washington Treaty.
Subtle arguments about preventing existential threats do not work during bloody conflicts. This should be clear even to those who are approaching their centenary. Best wishes on the upcoming centenary! Keep the clarity of mind that Sleepy Joe has lost.”

Kissinger Changes His Mind On Ukraine Joining NATO (RT)

Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger has signalled a U-turn in his views on Ukraine’s prospective NATO membership. The veteran politician told The Economist that he now believes peace in Europe cannot be achieved without Ukraine joining the US-led military bloc. Last fall, Kissinger insisted that “it was not a wise American policy to attempt to include Ukraine into NATO.” He said the bloc’s eastward expansion since the fall of Soviet Union in 1991 had essentially removed Russia’s historic “safety belt,” but insisted that was no justification for Russia’s “surprise attack” on Ukraine. However, in his interview on Wednesday with the British outlet, the politician, who turns 100 on May 27, suggested that “for the safety of Europe, it is better to have Ukraine in NATO.”

He acknowledged that he currently finds himself “in the weird position that people say, ‘Look at him, he’s changed his mind. Now he’s for membership of Ukraine in NATO.’” The reason for such shift is “twofold,” Kissinger said. “One, Russia is no longer the conventional threat it used to be. And, secondly, we have now armed Ukraine to a point where it will be the best-armed, most modern country and with the least experienced leadership in Europe,” he explained. According to the former US Secretary of State, the position taken by European countries towards Kiev’s membership is “madly dangerous.” “The Europeans are saying we don’t want them in NATO because they’re too risky and therefore we’ll arm the hell out of them and give them the most advanced weapons. How can that possibly work?” he asked.

Back in 2008, NATO declared that Kiev would join the bloc, but did not specify a date for that to happen. “The decision to leave open the membership of Ukraine in NATO was very wrong, and unwise,” Kissinger said. The possibility of Ukraine, which the Russians consider “the little brother closest to them organically, or historically,” being accepted into the US-led alliance became “a final turning point” for Russia’s President Vladimir Putin when he decided to send troops to the neighboring country in February 2022, he explained.

Last month, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius suggested that “this is not the time to decide” about Ukraine’s place in NATO. He was backed by Lithuania’s President Gitanas Nauseda, who said it “would be too difficult” to make Kiev a member of the bloc while the conflict with Moscow continues. Russia, which sees NATO’s eastward expansion as a major security threat, had singled out Kiev’s push to join the bloc as among the main reasons for launching its military operation in Ukraine more than a year ago.

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“..he would prefer to avoid a situation wherein Ukraine became a non-aligned neutral state.”

Ensuring Regional Security Not Feasible Via NATO Expansion – China (TASS)

It is impossible to ensure European security by expanding military blocs, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a briefing on Thursday. “It is impossible to ensure regional security by means of strengthening and expanding military blocs. One country’s security should not be ensured at the expense of the security of others,”he said in response to a TASS request to comment on published remarks by Henry Kissinger, former US Secretary of State (1973-1977) and National Security Advisor to two presidents (1969-1975), about Ukraine’s potential accession to NATO. China expects all parties to the conflict to adhere to a common, comprehensive and sustainable security concept, Wang added. According to the senior diplomat, this could be achieved through dialogue and consultations based on respect for the legitimate security interests of all parties.

On May 17, The Economist magazine published an interview with Kissinger, who will turn 100 years old on May 27. In the interview, the doyen of US diplomacy and veteran practitioner of geopolitics said that Ukraine should become a member state of NATO. According to him, Ukraine’s accession to the North Atlantic Alliance would be in the interests of both Kiev and Moscow, and would serve as a guarantee against any future attempts by the Ukrainian leadership to resolve territorial disputes by military means. Kissinger acknowledged that he had changed his point of view about Ukraine’s potential membership in NATO, saying he would prefer to avoid a situation wherein Ukraine became a non-aligned neutral state.

On May 15, the Washington Post reported, quoting sources, that the NATO countries had decided not to send Ukraine an invitation to become a member of the alliance at its upcoming summit in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius, but are discussing the possibility of stepping up cooperation with Kiev and potentially establishing a timeframe for its entry into the military bloc. According to the authoritative US publication, a consensus exists among the alliance’s members that, in spite of Kiev’s fervent pleas, NATO will not be extending an official invitation to Ukraine to join the bloc during the Vilnius summit on July 11-12.

NATO adopted a political declaration at the Bucharest summit in April 2008 that Ukraine would eventually become a NATO member, but declined to provide a Membership Action Plan (MAP), the first step in a prospective member country’s legal procedure for joining the organization. In February 2019, the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament) approved amendments to Ukraine’s constitution enshrining its NATO aspirations into law. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has repeatedly stated that Kiev was seeking to obtain an understanding of a specific date by which Ukraine could expect to join the alliance.

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“..If history is any measure, nothing concentrates the mind as much as a subpoena and immunity grant..”

Congress Could Have the Final Say on the Russian Collusion Scandal

[..] figures from Steele to Comey could be compelled to give full accounts in light of this Report. Congress has an interest in hearing from these witnesses as it explores how to make real reforms at the Justice Department and the FBI. The need for congressional action was made clear by the FBI itself in its immediate response to the Report. It insisted that it has reformed itself after what it described as “missteps identified in the report.” There are many ways to describe an investigation into false allegations raised by an opposing political party to derail a presidency. Calling that a “misstep” is like calling the explosion of the Hindenburg a “mislanding.” The FBI has now gone through regular cycles of scandals followed by assurances of self-reform.


Even if one is willing to suspend disbelief over the latest “trust us were the government” press release, it ignores that fact that the FBI was accused again in 2020 of playing a role in burying the Hunter Biden laptop scandal. If Congress wants to reform this system, Durham has given it a blueprint for how to do it. After the Report, there is now an undeniable right of Congress to seek this testimony as part of its legislative and oversight functions under Article I. While figures like Elias may “decline to be voluntarily interviewed,” this does not have to be voluntary exercise. In speaking with many witnesses, Durham was dealing with some potential crimes with expired statutes of limitation. If witnesses lie to Congress, they could also face charges under a new statute of limitations. If history is any measure, nothing concentrates the mind as much as a subpoena and immunity grant . . . and it may be time to concentrate some minds in Washington.

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“..No republic can continue to exist when it becomes trivially easy for one political faction or another to deliberately weaponize law enforcement..”

It’s Over Folks (Denninger)

America, that is. There is one last chance to save it: The FBI and DOJ must be disbanded, everyone working for it fired with no pensions, no benefits, no nothing, and if we need the functions of either agency and/or DHS they must be reconstituted with hard criminal penalties for anything that even smells like this in the future. If not, well, we’re done. We’re done because it is now seven years after this injustice occurred, it was not minor, it was not due to “oversight” or “accident” and by the most-charitable read the reason it happened is political bias through the entire organization from the top down leaving nobody to challenge it. Further, knowing this the Democrat party political campaign of the time (Hillary’s) deliberately suborned the acts of the FBI and instead of being told to shove it and being publicly outed for their attempt they got what they wanted including the personal and financial destruction of several people. A huge number of members of Congress then went on to use their speech and debate clause to slander people left, right and center all based on these lies.

Current law and the Constitution provide us no means of punishment of said members of Congress due to that speech and debate clause but no such protection exists for the principals nor the FBI personnel involved. Let me just cite this: “Given the foregoing, and viewing the facts in a light most favorable to the Crossfire Hurricane investigators, it seems highly likely that, at a minimum, confirmation bias played a significant role in the FBI’s acceptance of extraordinarily serious allegations derived from uncorroborated information that had not been subjected to the typical exacting analysis employed by the FBI and other members of the Intelligence Community. In short, it is the Office’s assessment that the FBI discounted or willfully ignored material information that did not support the narrative of a collusive relationship between Trump and Russia. Similarly, the FBI Inspection Division Report says that the investigators “repeatedly ignore[d] or explain[ed] away evidence contrary to the theory the Trump campaign … had conspired with Russia …. It appeared that … there was a pattern of assuming nefarious intent.” 1749 An objective and honest assessment of these strands of information should have caused the FBI to question not only the predication for Crossfire Hurricane, but also to reflect on whether the FBI was being manipulated for political or other purposes. Unfortunately, it did not.”

That’s the most-charitable read. I decline to provide that given the repeated and amplified abuse out of the Democrat Party, including from Hillary, Schiff and others particularly considering that exactly zero of said persons have apologized or in any other way backed off from their knowing lies. Folks the capacity to do this on a forward basis must be destroyed. This is not optional. No republic can continue to exist when it becomes trivially easy for one political faction or another to deliberately weaponize law enforcement to go after disfavored individuals based on their political affiliation, inventing not just domestic events but claimed collusion with foreign powers that never occurred.

Indeed it is arguable that these very same people were in fact doing what they accused Trump of, but with Ukraine and China instead of Russia — and there is now developing hard evidence of the money flows involved in same. The extent to which they reached into policy during the Obama years and to which it influenced or even controlled the policies of the administration during the pandemic, an outbreak that we have every reason to believe sourced from that very same China, is not yet known. There are over 1 million dead Americans over the last three years as a direct and indirect consequence and sixty million, roughly, children who got screwed in whole or part out of their education during those three years. Never mind all the other people who got screwed and all of the inflation which we have and will continue to suffer under.

Greenwald

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Gaetz

You can tell the level of undue pressure from the number of whistleblowers…

FBI Concerned Jan. 6 Footage Would Expose Undercover Agents, Informants (ET)

FBI officials were concerned that footage from inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, would show undercover agents and confidential informants, a whistleblower said in testimony revealed on May 18. George Hill, a retired supervisory intelligence analyst who worked out of the FBI’s Boston field office, recounted that the bureau’s Washington field office (WFO) pressured officials in Boston to open investigations on 138 people who attended a rally on Jan. 6, 2021, even though there were no indications the people violated the law. Boston officials pushed back, saying they would need evidence, such as footage of individuals inside the Capitol, to open investigations of the individuals. “Happy to do it. Show us where they were inside the Capitol, and we’ll look into it,” one official was quoted as saying.

Jim Jordan

“We can’t show you those videos unless you can tell us the exact time and place those individuals were inside the Capitol,” WFO officials responded, according to Hill. Hill said Boston officials questioned why they couldn’t get access to the tranche of some 11,000 hours of footage from inside the Capitol. “Because there may be—may be—UCs, undercover officers, or … confidential human sources, on those videos whose identity we need to protect,” Washington-based officials responded. Hill recounted the discussions during testimony to the U.S. House’s Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government. The clip from the testimony was played during a hearing on May 18 and detailed in a report the panel released based on whistleblower disclosures.


Marcus Allen, another FBI employee who has also become a whistleblower, has alleged that he was retaliated against because he shared an email with other FBI workers that questioned whether FBI Director Christopher Wray was truthful while testifying to Congress. “You believe that Christopher Wray indicated that there were no confidential informants, no FBI assets that were present at the Capitol on Jan. 6 that were part of the violent riot, isn’t that right?” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), a member of the subcommittee, asked Allen. “Yes, sir,” Allen said. They appeared to be referring to testimony given behind closed doors. After playing the clip of Hill’s comments, Gaetz said, “You got retaliated against for the very thing, for saying the very thing that the Washington field office was telling Boston.”

FBI

Wray told one congressional panel in a public hearing in late 2022 that he wouldn’t say whether the bureau had confidential sources embedded among the Jan. 6 protesters. “As I’m sure you can appreciate, I have to be very careful about what I can say, about when we do and do not, and where we have and have not used confidential human sources,” Wray said. “But to the extent there’s a suggestion, for example, that the FBI’s confidential human sources or FBI employees in someway instigated or orchestrated Jan 6th, that’s categorically false.” [..] Garret O’Boyle, another FBI special agent who is now a whistleblower, told the House panel that he was pressured by at least one agent based in Washington to violate FBI policy and also the law by serving grand jury subpoenas against a person who was the subject of an anonymous tip. “They tried to get me to serve a federal grand jury subpoena when there was no proper predicate to do so,” O’Boyle said on May 18.

O’Boyle

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Gorsuch’s full text at the URL. This is the background.

Justice Neil Gorsuch Speaks Out Against Lockdowns and Mandates (BI)

Justice Neil Gorsuch’s opinion in Arizona v. Mayorkas marks the culmination of his three-year effort to oppose the Covid regime’s eradication of civil liberties, unequal application of law, and political favoritism. From the outset, Gorsuch remained vigilant as public officials used the pretext of Covid to augment their power and strip the citizenry of its rights in defiance of long standing constitutional principles. While other justices (even some purported constitutionalists) absconded their responsibility to uphold the Bill of Rights, Gorsuch diligently defended the Constitution. This became most apparent in the Supreme Court’s cases involving religious liberty in the Covid era.

Beginning in May 2020, the Supreme Court heard cases challenging Covid restrictions on religious attendance across the country. The Court was divided along familiar political lines: the liberal bloc of Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan voted to uphold deprivations of liberty as a valid exercise of states’ police power; Justice Gorsuch led conservatives Alito, Kavanaugh, and Thomas in challenging the irrationality of the edicts; Chief Justice Roberts sided with the liberal bloc, justifying his decision by deferring to public health experts. “Unelected judiciary lacks the background, competence, and expertise to assess public health and is not accountable to the people,” Roberts wrote in South Bay v. Newsom, the first Covid case to reach the Court.

And so the Court repeatedly upheld executive orders attacking religious liberty. In South Bay, the Court denied a California church’s request to block state restrictions on church attendance in a five to four decision. Roberts sided with the liberal bloc, urging deference to the public health apparatus as constitutional freedoms disappeared from American life. In July 2020, the Court again split 5-4 and denied a church’s emergency motion for injunctive relief against Nevada’s Covid restrictions. Governor Steve Sisolak capped religious gatherings at 50 people, regardless of the precautions taken or the size of the establishment. The same order allowed for other groups, including casinos, to hold up to 500 people. The Court, with Chief Justice Roberts joining the liberal justices again, denied the motion in an unsigned motion without explanation.

Justice Gorsuch issued a one paragraph dissent that exposed the hypocrisy and irrationality of the Covid regime. “Under the Governor’s edict, a 10-screen ‘multiplex’ may host 500 moviegoers at any time. A casino, too, may cater to hundreds at once, with perhaps six people huddled at each craps table here and a similar number gathered around every roulette wheel there,” he wrote. But the Governor’s lockdown order imposed a 50-worshiper limit for religious gatherings, no matter the buildings’ capacities. “The First Amendment prohibits such obvious discrimination against the exercise of religion,” Gorsuch wrote. “But there is no world in which the Constitution permits Nevada to favor Caesars Palace over Calvary Chapel.”

Gorsuch understood the threat to Americans’ liberties, but he was powerless with Chief Justice Roberts cowing to the interests of the public health bureaucracy. That changed when Justice Ginsburg died in September 2020. The following month, Justice Barrett joined the Court and reversed the Court’s 5-4 split on religious freedom in the Covid era. The following month, the Court granted an emergency injunction to block Governor Cuomo’s executive order that limited attendance at religious services to 10 to 25 people. Gorsuch was now in the majority, protecting Americans from the tyranny of unconstitutional edicts. In a concurring opinion in the New York case, he again compared restrictions on secular activities and religious gatherings; “according to the Governor, it may be unsafe to go to church, but it is always fine to pick up another bottle of wine, shop for a new bike, or spend the afternoon exploring your distal points and meridians… Who knew public health would so perfectly align with secular convenience?”

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“Thank God for someone who can still speak their mind and won’t take some guff off a journalist who tells him he can’t speak his mind.”

Rand Paul: Elon Musk Will Go Down As A Historic Champion For Free Speech (SM)

Senator Rand Paul praised Elon Musk Wednesday for standing up for free speech, predicting that the Twitter owner will be recorded as a key figure in history in the fight against censorship. Referring to Musk’s compelling take down of a CNBC hack earlier this week, Paul noted “Thank God for someone who can still speak their mind and won’t take some guff off a journalist who tells him he can’t speak his mind.”
“Somewhere along the way something happened and people began to think that only certain forms of speech were acceptable,” The Senator urged.


“Then along came Elon Musk,” Paul continued, adding “The country, the Bill of Rights frankly, all of us, are going to be very thankful that a guy with a lot of money bought a social media entity and allowed us to see the government colluding to limit speech.” “People need to get this right. Private companies can decide what they want to air, newspapers can, television shows can. But what we cannot allow to happen is the government to collude with private business and use them basically as their extension and their arm of censor,” Paul emphasised. He added that “Elon Musk exposed this only because he had 44 billion dollars to buy a company and expose their inner workings off collusion with government.”

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The celestial entrance known as ‘Heaven’s Gate’ located within the breathtaking Tianmen Mountain in China. Situated approximately 5,000 feet above sea level, Tianmen Cave in China stands as the world’s highest naturally formed arch. Accessing this remarkable landmark involves ascending 999 steps referred to as the “stairway to heaven,” where the number nine holds significant meaning in Chinese numerology, symbolizing good fortune and eternity.

 

 

Most people refuse to even think about pedophilia. But that creates the space for it to exist.

 

 

Whale trap

 

 

There’s a dog school in Canada so they don’t stay home alone. This is a picture taken on the way to school.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

May 172023
 
 May 17, 2023  Posted by at 9:10 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  46 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Woman Sitting Near a Window (Marie-Therese) 1932 (sold 2 years ago for $103.4 million)

 

Russia Case Against Trump: A Shocking Conspiracy That Continues Today (Turley)
The Durham Coverup (Lee Smith)
Special Counsel Reveals 2016 Trump-Russia FBI Investigative Failure (Max Jones)
Why Shouldn’t the Election Be Called Into Question? (BN)
Influence of ‘Russian Propaganda’ Growing – EU Official (RT)
Aide Reveals Zelensky’s F-16 Wish List – Politico (RT)
UK Will Help Supply Ukraine With F-16s (RT)
NATO’s Military Policies In Ukraine Posed Real Threat To Russia – Envoy (TASS)
How NATO Seduced The European Left (Lily Lynch)
Ukraine Says It Shoots Down More Missiles Than Russia Fires – Shoigu (RT)
Russia Likely Damaged US-Made Patriot Missile Battery – CNN (RT)
Ukraine’s Top Spy Admits Killing Russian Public Figures (RT)
Erdogan Accuses Biden Of Attempt To Topple Him (Cradle)
US May Designate Russia As State Sponsor Of Terrorism (Az.)
German ex-Chancellor’s Wife Fired For Attending May 9 Celebration (RT)
Musk: I’ll Say What I Want And If The Consequence Is Losing Money, So Be It (ZH)

 

 

 

 

Hawley

 

 

 

 

Lesley Stahl

 

 

 

 

Tapper
https://twitter.com/i/status/1658538596058423323

 

 

 

 

Biggs
https://twitter.com/i/status/1658501544952623104

 

 

 

 

Durham Report: Obama FBI offered Clinton campaign operative Christopher Steele as much as $1 million for dirt on Trump just one month before the 2016 election. Durham Report, p. 118

 

 

The West is not able to make up for the loss of armored vehicles to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel Douglas McGregor, a former adviser to the head of the Pentagon, admitted in an interview.
“The Ukrainian army has lost almost 10,000 armored vehicles since the beginning of the conflict. This is unbelievable, 10 thousand! ”, The former adviser said.
He also emphasized that the colossal losses of equipment by the Ukrainian army speak of the “extreme effectiveness” of the Russian army in destroying armored vehicles. McGregor noted that sending weapons to Kiev could “bring money into the pockets of the American defense leadership,” but would not change the course of the conflict.

 

 

 

 

“Comey delighted viewers by saying: “Honestly, I never thought these words would come out of my mouth, but I don’t know whether the current president of the United States was with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow in 2013.”

Russia Case Against Trump: A Shocking Conspiracy That Continues Today (Turley)

A political campaign hatches a plot to create a false claim of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Making this even more implausible is that the CIA and FBI know about the plot. As detailed in the report, President Barack Obama and his national security team were briefed on how “a trusted foreign source” revealed “a Clinton campaign plan to vilify Trump by tying him to Vladimir Putin so as to divert attention from her own concerns relating to her use of a private email server. It then happened a few days later. It was a plot that required everyone to take a hand in derailing a duly elected president and effectively shutting down his administration for three years of investigation and prosecutions. In this conspiracy, there were dozens of key participants in the campaign, the government, and the media. Here are a few of the characters implicated in this report.

The report details how the Russian collusion conspiracy was invented by Clinton operatives and put into the now-infamous Steele dossier, funded by the Clinton campaign. The funding was hidden as legal expenses by then-Clinton campaign general counsel Marc Elias. (The Clinton campaign was later sanctioned by the FEC over its hiding of the funding.) New York Times reporter Ken Vogel said at the time that Elias denied involvement in the anti-Trump dossier. When Vogel tried to report the story, he said, Elias “pushed back vigorously, saying ‘You (or your sources) are wrong.’” Times reporter Maggie Haberman declared, “Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year.” It was not just reporters who asked the Clinton campaign about its role in the Steele dossier.

John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman, was questioned by Congress and denied categorically any contractual agreement with Fusion GPS. Sitting beside him was Elias, who reportedly said nothing to correct the misleading information given to Congress. Durham details how Elias played an active role in tracking the media campaign to push the false allegations. (Elias was recently severed by the Democratic National Committee from further representation and has been previously sanctioned in the federal courts in other litigation.) The report details how false claims like the existence of a “pee tape” showing Trump engaging in disgusting acts with prostitutes in Moscow came from a Clinton operative, Chuck Dolan, with no known basis in fact.

Likewise, now-national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Clinton personally pushed an absurd campaign-created conspiracy theory about a secret communication line between Trump’s campaign and the Kremlin through a Russian bank. The Clinton campaign later admitted that it had indeed funded the dossier, but Clinton continued to claim that the election was stolen from her by the Russians. Of course, this conspiracy could not occur without the assistance of the FBI, which Durham found played an eager role due to a “predisposition” of key players against Trump. The dossier was discredited early by American intelligence, which learned that it might itself be Russian disinformation. There never was support for the allegations, but the FBI launched and maintained a massive investigation anyway.

Durham noted that the FBI showed a completely different approach to allegations involving the Clinton campaign. The Trump investigation was a “noticeable departure from how it approached prior matters involving possible attempted foreign election interference plans aimed at the Clinton campaign.” Nevertheless, former FBI Director James Comey would continue to reference the entirely unsupported “pee tape” in interviews. Even though investigators found no support for the campaign-created story, in a 2018 interview, Comey delighted viewers by saying: “Honestly, I never thought these words would come out of my mouth, but I don’t know whether the current president of the United States was with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow in 2013.”

Peepee

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“Did Ex-CIA Director John Brennan Doctor His Notes to Hide His Role in Russiagate?”

“..virtually none of the officials interviewed by Durham knew about the Clinton Plan intelligence..”

The Durham Coverup (Lee Smith)

The only genuine piece of Russian intelligence that US spy services ever received about Donald Trump’s ties to Russia was intelligence that Russia knew Hillary Clinton backed a 2016 campaign plan to smear Trump as a Russian agent. According to John Durham’s 300-page report, the information reached the CIA in late July 2016. Brennan told Durham that on August 3 he briefed President Barack Obama at the White House on what the special counsel refers to as the Clinton Plan intelligence. Others in attendance at the meeting were Vice President Joe Biden, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and FBI Director James Comey. Imagine Comey’s reaction when he first heard of the Clinton Plan intelligence, only days after the July 31 start date for the FBI’s investigation into Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, code-named Crossfire Hurricane:

So, if it’s just a dirty trick staged by the Clinton campaign, I should shut down the Trump-Russia probe, right? Right. There is little chance Brennan said anything about the Clinton Plan intelligence in that August 3 meeting. Reading the Durham report, it’s not even clear when Brennan first found out about it or the September 2016 CIA memo referring the Clinton Plan intelligence to the FBI’s counterintelligence division. Brennan’s handwritten notes memorializing his allegedly briefing Obama on the Clinton Plan and the CIA’s referral letter were both declassified by Trump’s Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe in October 2020. Durham’s report sheds light on how the information and subsequent CIA memo were received, who knew about them, and perhaps more significantly who didn’t.

According to the report, virtually none of the officials interviewed by Durham knew about the Clinton Plan intelligence or the referral memo. Former FBI general counsel James Baker “stated that he had neither seen nor heard of the Clinton Plan intelligence or the resulting Referral Memo prior to his interview” with Durham. Same with Supervisory Special Agent-1, reportedly FBI agent Joe Pientka. According to the report, when Durham showed Pientka the information, he became “visibly upset and emotional, left the interview room with his counsel, and subsequently returned to state emphatically that he had never been apprised of the Clinton Plan intelligence and had never seen the aforementioned Referral Memo. Supervisory Special Agent-1 expressed a sense of betrayal that no one had informed him of the intelligence.”

The reason so few FBI officials knew of the Clinton Plan information is because it was buried. Otherwise, it would have implicated senior Obama officials — from the president and vice president and his security chiefs — and the Crossfire Hurricane team in an illegal surveillance and propaganda operation targeting a presidential campaign. But how did the Russians know it started with Hillary Clinton? Did they have spies buried deep inside the Democratic National Committee? Maybe Christopher Steele, British ex-spy and author of the Clinton-funded memos tying Trump to Russia, had been compromised by one of the Russian oligarchs he worked for? No, you wouldn’t have needed an intelligence service to find out the Clinton campaign was using Moscow as an instrument to smear the GOP candidate. By the end of July, much of the anti-Trump campaign was public.

Nunes

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“The FBI” is made up of real people. Go after them.

Special Counsel Reveals 2016 Trump-Russia FBI Investigative Failure (Max Jones)

• The Australian diplomats told Crossfire Hurricane investigators that Papadopoulos never stated that he had any direct contact with the Russians nor did he provide any explicit information about an offer of assistance.
• There was a complete lack of information from the Intelligence Community that corroborated the hypothesis upon which the Crossfire Hurricane investigation was predicated.
• The FBI generally ignored the significant exculpatory information provided by Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, and Trump Senior Foreign Policy Advisor-! during recorded conversations with FBI CHSs.
• The FBI failed to pursue investigative leads that were inconsistent with their theory of the case (e.g., Page’s recorded denials of having any relationship with Paul Manafort, a fact about which there was available evidence).
• The FBI failed to take Page up on the written offer he made to Director Corney to be interviewed about the allegations contained in Michael Isikoff s Yahoo 1 News article and instead opted to seek FISA surveillance of Page.
• The FBI was willing to make use of the completely unvetted and uncorroborated Steele reporting in multiple FISA applications targeting a U.S. citizen, even after the Crossfire Hurricane investigators had determined that there were major conflicts between the reporting of Steele and his primary sub-source, Igor Danchenko – conflicts the FBI incredibly failed to resolve.
• The Crossfire Hurricane investigators did not even ask Steele about his role in providing information to Michael Isikoff as contained in the September 23, 2016 Yahoo! News article – information that essentially accused Carter Page of colluding with the Russians. And thereafter the same investigators demonstrated a willingness to contort the plain language of the article to suggest it was not Steele but Steele’s employers who had given the information to Isikoff.
• The FBI ignored the fact that at no time before, during or after Crossfire Hurricane were investigators able to corroborate a single substantive allegation in the Steele dossier reporting.
• There was a complete failure on the part of the FBI to even examine – never mind resolve – the serious counterespionage issues surrounding Steele’s primary subsource, Igor Danchenko.
• The FBI leadership essentially disregarded the Clinton Plan intelligence, which it received at almost the exact same time as the Australian Paragraph Five information. This was despite the fact that at precisely the same time as the Clinton Plan intelligence was received (i) the Clinton campaign made public statements tying the DNC computer hack to Russian attempts to help Trump get elected, (ii) the FBI was receiving the Clinton campaign-funded Steele Reports, and (iii) the Clinton campaign-funded Alfa Bank allegations were being prepared for delivery to the media and the FBI.
• The Crossfire Hurricane investigators essentially ignored information they had received as early as October 2016 regarding Charles Dolan, a longtime Democratic operative with ties to the Clintons who also possessed significant ties to Russian government figures who would appear in the Steele reporting, and never interviewed him.
• The Crossfire Hurricane investigators provided only partial, and in some instances misleading, information to Department attorneys working on the Page FISA applications while withholding other highly relevant information from those attorneys and the FISC that might cast real doubt on their probable cause assertions.

Pelosi


Schiff

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Durham makes this inevitable.

Why Shouldn’t the Election Be Called Into Question? (BN)

The Five’s co-host Greg Gutfeld unleashed a powerful diatribe in the aftermath of Monday’s Durham Report revelations detailing a full-fledged election interference operation carried out by the FBI and CIA in concert with the knowledge and approval of the Obama White House and driven in part by a Clinton Plan to ‘stir up a scandal claiming interference by Russian security services.” Gutfeld defended Americans who continue to be skeptical about election integrity in the wake of the contested 2020 election that saw Joe Biden officially elected president over Donald Trump. “If you have people saying that the country will not survive Trump, then your moral duty is to cheat. Right?” he asked rhetorically. “And you should cheat. Like if somebody believe is telling everybody that this person is a modern day Hitler, it is your duty to do whatever is possible to stop him. In fact, if you actually play by the rules, you’re a traitor. Right?”

Gutfeld

“So, they created a devil that was so big and so vast that made all actions permissible,” he continued. “And it made every institution as, as the judge was saying, subject to suspicion, right? So you can bury stories, you can create hoaxes, you can fund smears, it could go anywhere, because this person must be stopped. It’s Hitler! An existential threat. And so what happens is now we’re left and none of it’s true? And so we had a half a decade hoax that infected and undermined every institution because we are made to believe this person is evil.” “And then people make fun of people who are skeptical about an election,” he went on. “Why shouldn’t they be skeptical about an election when the DOJ and the FBI and the mainstream media and the tech companies and the Chamber of Commerce are all in on the same thing.”


“Why shouldn’t the election be called into question? Right?” he asked. “Shouldn’t a hero try to fix the election? Right? Shouldn’t a hero do that? If you’re up against Hitler, that’s where we ended up. And you can’t go and condemn people for so-called ‘conspiracy theories’ when you were going around telling everybody this guy was worse than Hitler. No.” The Fox News co-host’s rant flies in the face of the pivot of the network away from pro-Trump coverage and away from questioning the 2020 election following a $750 million dollar lawsuit settlement with Dominion Voting Systems. Tucker Carlson, who was depositioned for the lawsuit, lost his popular primetime cable news show in the fallout, leading some media observers to believe that it may in part be connected to his 2020 election coverage. Rupert Murdoch, Chairman of Fox Corporation, in his own deposition was highly critical of the Fox News’ coverage, even going so far as to state news “news networks should not knowingly broadcast lies.”

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“infiltration of the peace movement..”

“In many countries, the narrative that Russia is not the aggressor but the victim is on the rise..”

Influence of ‘Russian Propaganda’ Growing – EU Official (RT)

EU member states should spend more money on “strategic communications” because “Russian propaganda” is affecting their people, a senior official from the bloc has said. RT must remain banned in the region, while “independent” Russian media based in European nations need support, EU Commissioner Vera Jourova added. The Czech politician and European Commission veteran, who currently serves as its vice president for values and transparency, expressed her concern about the growing popularity of Russian positions on issues like the conflict in Ukraine during an interview with German newspaper Bild on Sunday. “In many countries, the narrative that Russia is not the aggressor but the victim is on the rise,” Jourova told the outlet.

“In Slovakia, more than 50% of the population believe in conspiracy theories, including those about the Russian war of aggression. To this day, we underestimate the influence of Russian propaganda.” Moscow maintains that the conflict in Ukraine stems from NATO’s unchecked expansion in Europe and the failure of Western nations to heed Russian warnings about how it was perceived by the country. A last-ditch attempt to de-escalate the situation was taken by the Russian government in 2021, but it was told that its concerns were unfounded and that Ukraine had a right to seek membership of the US-led military organization. From Russia’s perspective, the conflict is part of a proxy war against it by the West. The problem with EU citizens agreeing with the Russian position is that Moscow “invests billions in its propaganda and we hardly do anything to counter it,” Jourova claimed. She urged member states to invest more in “strategic communications and the fight against disinformation.”

Germany, Jourova suggested, is a particularly important target for Russia. She said she was worried about “infiltration of the peace movement” in the country. “Claiming that anyone supplying arms is a warmonger is extremely dangerous,” she explained. “This only serves to weaken the support for Ukraine.” The commissioner praised the EU’s censorship of RT, describing the channel as “not a media outlet” but rather a “wartime propaganda weapon” that has no place in Europe. “We should instead support the independent Russian media,” she suggested. “Many of them are here in Berlin and in other European cities.” The vice president’s office is reportedly behind a push to introduce a law in the EU to crackdown on “foreign agents.” Politico reported on a survey of nonprofits in March, who were asked whether they had foreign sources of funding. This was conducted ahead of a legislative package intended to “defend democracy.”

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They’ll be flying ducks, so to speak..

Aide Reveals Zelensky’s F-16 Wish List – Politico (RT)

Vladimir Zelensky wants the US and its allies to provide Kiev with between 40 and 50 F-16 fighter jets for use in its conflict with Russia, according to Yury Sak, an aide to Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov. This would be enough to form three or four squadrons of American-made fourth generation aircraft to protect the Ukrainian skies amid a large-scale Russian missile campaign, Sak told Politico on Monday. Kiev has been asking its Western backers for F-16s for months, but the need for the jets has become much more pressing since March, when Russia began using guided glide bombs that strike targets at greater distances, the adviser claimed. Ukraine currently has “nothing to stop” the Russian aircraft that launch those munitions, he admitted.

Zelensky has been touring Europe in the past week, visiting Italy, Germany, France and the UK in an attempt to ramp up military support for Ukraine. After talks with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday, the Ukrainian leader said he wanted to create a “jets coalition” of countries to facilitate the supply of F-16s to Kiev. “I’m very positive [about the plan]. We spoke about it and I see that in the closest time, you will hear some, I think, very important decisions – but we have to work a little bit more on it,” the Ukrainian president told reporters. London, Rome, Berlin and Paris don’t have F-16s to offer Ukraine but, according to Sak, those European powers “have an important voice in the international coalition.” Kiev wants them to “encourage” their allies, such as the US and Turkey, to make the deliveries, he explained.

Zelensky’s latest diplomatic efforts have resulted in him receiving “assurances” from Western leaders that they would address the issue of F-16s at the annual G7 meeting in Hiroshima, Japan this weekend. “Everybody understands that the topic is ripe for discussion. Nobody said that it’s impossible. If you compared it with three months ago, when we were still struggling to get tanks, today everybody is talking about the jet coalition – that’s a very promising sign,” Sak said. Russia has repeatedly warned that deliveries of more sophisticated weapons to Ukraine by the US and its allies could cross its ‘red lines’, which would lead to a major escalation. According to Moscow, the supply of arms, intelligence sharing and training provided to Kiev’s troops have already made Western nations de facto parties to the conflict.

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Let’s kill more young Ukrainians…

UK Will Help Supply Ukraine With F-16s (RT)

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he would work to create an “international coalition” to provide Western fighter jets to Ukraine, pledging to bolster the country’s “combat air capabilities” alongside allies. In a statement issued following a meeting with Dutch PM Mark Rutte at a Council of Europe summit on Tuesday, Sunak’s office said the two leaders would take steps to help coordinate aircraft shipments to Kiev. “[Sunak] and Prime Minister Rutte agreed they would work to build [an] international coalition to provide Ukraine with combat air capabilities, supporting [it] with everything from training to procuring F16 jets,” 10 Downing Street said, stressing the “importance of allies providing long-term security assistance to Ukraine.” The prime minister did not specify what country might offer the American-made fighter jet, which is operated by more than two dozen nations, but suggested he would press allies to help facilitate the weapons transfers.

Ukrainian officials have requested the aircraft for months, with a senior Defense Ministry aide telling Politico on Monday that Kiev hopes to receive up to 50 F-16s from Washington and other partners. Since Moscow stepped up its use of guided glide bombs in March, the aide said Ukraine has “nothing to stop” Russian planes equipped with them. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky met with Sunak in an unannounced visit to the UK on Monday, where he called for a new “coalition of jets,” an idea well received by the British PM. The concept has been proposed by Kiev and other allies before, with Poland also voicing interest in such a project after providing some of its own Soviet-era MiG-29 fighters. Despite the renewed discussion of a jet coalition, some Western powers appear reluctant to supply advanced warplanes.

Though Ukrainian pilots are already being trained to operate the F-16 by the US military – and will soon receive similar instruction from British pilots – American, German and French officials have indicated they would not be willing to supply jets from their own arsenals. However, Washington has previously reversed course after declining to provide certain weapons systems, including the Patriot missile defense platform and the M1 Abrams main battle tank, both of which have since been pledged to Ukraine. Berlin, too, backtracked after refusing to transfer its Leopard 2 tank, agreeing to send the weapon earlier this year following pressure from allies. Russia has repeatedly warned that deliveries of more sophisticated weapons to Ukraine could cross its ‘red lines’ and lead to a major escalation. According to Moscow, the arms, intelligence and training provided to Kiev’s troops have already made Western nations de facto parties to the conflict.

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“These countries “had been pursuing an openly anti-Russian policy long before the current events in Ukraine.”

NATO’s Military Policies In Ukraine Posed Real Threat To Russia – Envoy (TASS)

The threat to Russia resulting from NATO, US and Britain’s military policies in Ukraine was real, Gennady Gatilov, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN headquarters in Geneva, said at the plenary session of the Conference on Disarmament on Tuesday. “The threat to Russia’s security from the military development of Ukraine’s territory was real and acute and similar to what the US itself experienced during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis,” he said. Gatilov dismissed as falsehoods the accusations made by the US and other NATO countries against Moscow to the effect that the conflict in Ukraine was allegedly “unprovoked aggression.” “In deciding on a special military operation Russia took into account many security factors,” the Russian envoy said. In this regard, Gatilov recalled “the Kiev regime’s agreement in principle to the accelerated strategic development of Ukrainian territory by the NATO ‘nuclear alliance’ hostile to Russia” as well as “our country’s two nuclear adversaries – the US and Britain.


These countries “had been pursuing an openly anti-Russian policy long before the current events in Ukraine.” “In this context, it is worth recalling London’s construction of a naval base in the Ukrainian port city of Ochakov, NATO’s anti-Russian exercise Sea Breeze in the summer of 2021, which ended with the reckless behavior of a British ship that came under fire from the Russian armed forces and was forced to retreat,” Gatilov said. Furthermore, he continued, in September 2020, the US Air Force “used the airspace over Ukrainian territory for familiarization flights by heavy US B-52 nuclear-capable strategic bombers.” The Russian envoy noted that Moscow had warned of “the unacceptability of these irresponsible and destabilizing actions” and proposed “various initiatives for preventing the emerging conflict”.

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It’s the women…

“..telegenic female leaders such as the Finnish Prime Minister, Sanna Marin, German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, and Estonian Prime Minister, Kaja Kallas, have increasingly served as the spokespersons of enlightened militarism in Europe..”

And the Estonian PM in the video.

How NATO Seduced The European Left (Lily Lynch)

In January 2018, Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg held an unprecedented press conference with Angelina Jolie. While InStyle reported that Jolie “was dressed in a black off-the-shoulder sheath dress, a matching capelet and classic pumps (also black)”, there was a deeper purpose to this meeting: sexual violence in war. The pair had just co-authored a piece for the Guardian entitled “Why NATO must defend women’s rights”. The timing was significant. At the height of the #MeToo movement, the most powerful military alliance in the world had become a feminist ally. “Ending gender-based violence is a vital issue of peace and security as well as of social justice,” they wrote. “NATO can be a leader in this effort.”

This was a new and progressive face for Nato, the same one it has since used to seduce much of the European Left. Previously, in the Nordic countries, Atlanticists have had to sell war and militarism to largely pacifist publics. This was achieved in part by presenting Nato not as a rapacious, pro-war military alliance, but as an enlightened, “progressive” peace alliance. As Timothy Garton Ash effused in the Guardian in 2002, “NATO has become a European peace movement” where one could watch “John Lennon meet George Bush”. Today, by contrast, following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Sweden and Finland abandoned their long-standing traditions of neutrality and opted for membership. Nato is portrayed as a military alliance -and Ukraine a war- that even former pacifists can get behind. All its proponents seem to be singing is “Give War a Chance”.

The Jolie campaign marked a dramatic turn in what Katharine A.M. Wright and Annika Bergman Rosamond call “Nato’s strategic narrative” in several ways. First, the alliance embraced celebrity star power for the first time, imbuing its unremarkable brand with elite glamour and beauty. Jolie’s star power meant that the alluring images of the event reached apolitical audiences with little knowledge of Nato. Second, the partnership seemed to usher in an era in which women’s rights, gendered violence and feminism would assume a more prominent role in Nato rhetoric. Since then, and especially in the past 12 months, telegenic female leaders such as the Finnish Prime Minister, Sanna Marin, German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, and Estonian Prime Minister, Kaja Kallas, have increasingly served as the spokespersons of enlightened militarism in Europe. The alliance has also intensified its engagement with popular culture, new technologies, and youth influencers.

[..] No political party in Europe better exemplifies the shift from militant pacifism to ardent pro-war Atlanticism than the German Greens. Most of the original Greens had been radicals during the student protests of 1968; many had demonstrated against American wars. The early Greens advocated for West Germany’s withdrawal from Nato. But as the founding members entered middle age, fissures began to appear in the party that would one day tear it apart. Two camps began to coalesce: the “Realos” were the moderate Greens, politically pragmatists. The “Fundis” were the radical, uncompromising camp; they wanted the party to remain faithful to its fundamental values no matter what.

Predictably, the Fundis believed that European peace would be best served by West Germany’s withdrawal from the alliance and tended to favour military neutrality. Meanwhile, the Realos believed that West Germany needed Nato. They even argued that withdrawal would return matters of security to the German nation-state and risk rekindling militaristic nationalism. Their Nato was a post-national, cosmopolitan alliance, speaking numerous languages and flying a multitude of flags, protecting Europe from Germany’s most destructive impulses. But Nato membership at the end of history was one thing. Germany going to war again — the most forbidden of taboos after World War II — was something else entirely.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1658588374511263746

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“..The minister also said that Ukraine “always” misidentifies munitions used by Russia in its media statements. “That’s why they miss them..”

Ukraine Says It Shoots Down More Missiles Than Russia Fires – Shoigu (RT)

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has refuted claims made by Ukrainian military officials about shooting down six Russian hypersonic Kinzhal missiles during overnight strikes on targets near the country’s capital city of Kiev. Ukraine routinely exaggerates the effectiveness of its anti-aircraft defenses, primarily ‘intercepting’ incoming Russian munitions only with public statements, Shoigu told RIA Novosti. “I have already said that, and I will repeat it again. We have not launched as many ‘Kinzhals’ as they allegedly shoot down every time with their statements. Moreover, the number of these ‘Ukrainian interceptions’ – and who really mans the American [anti-aircraft] complexes there, is still a big question – is three times as high as what we actually launch,” Shoigu stated.

The minister also said that Ukraine “always” misidentifies munitions used by Russia in its media statements. “That’s why they miss them,” he added, without providing any further information on the number of missiles used in the latest barrage. Ukraine was subjected to a new massive missile and suicide drone barrage overnight, with the country’s capital city of Kiev seeing particularly intense activity by Ukrainian anti-aircraft defenses, footage circulating online suggests. Moscow and Kiev have provided drastically different accounts of what happened overnight. Kiev claimed that it had shot down six state-of-the-art hypersonic missiles over the capital, as well as other incoming projectiles, using a battery of the US-made Patriot air defense system.

The Russian military, however, said the battery was successfully hit by a Kinzhal missile. Footage available online shows multiple anti-aircraft missiles going towards an unseen target, with at least two explosions seen at the site from which they appeared to be launched. Western media reports suggested the Patriot battery in question was likely damaged in the strike. According to CNN, citing an unidentified US official, Washington is currently assessing the extent of the damage in order to determine whether the Patriots need to be pulled back or whether on-site repairs by Ukrainian forces would be enough.

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The unlikely story of Ukraine downing a Kizhal is very popular. This much more likely story, much less so.

Russia Likely Damaged US-Made Patriot Missile Battery – CNN (RT)

A hypersonic missile strike by Russia has reportedly hit a US-supplied Patriot air-defense system in Kiev, potentially knocking the battery out of commission amid Moscow’s escalating attacks in western Ukraine. The Patriot system was likely damaged, but not destroyed, in a Russian missile barrage against Kiev on Tuesday morning, CNN reported, citing an unidentified US official. Washington is assessing the damage to determine whether the battery needs to be pulled back or repaired on site by Ukrainian forces, the outlet said. The report came hours after the Russian Defense Ministry announced that a hypersonic Kinzhal missile strike had destroyed a Patriot base in Kiev. Tuesday’s strikes also took out Ukrainian troop positions, munitions storage facilities, and Western-supplied weapons, the ministry said in a press briefing.

Ukrainian officials said earlier on Tuesday that they had intercepted six hypersonic missiles with their Patriot systems, a claim touted by Western media as proof that Kiev was thwarting a supposedly “unstoppable” Russian weapon. CNN said a US National Security Council spokesperson referred questions about the successful Russian strike to Ukrainian officials, who declined to comment on Moscow’s claim. Ukraine reportedly has two Patriot systems in operation – one supplied by the US and a battery provided jointly by Germany and the Netherlands. “Taking one out of commission, even for a short period, could affect Ukraine’s ability to defend Kiev amid intensifying Russian missile attacks,” CNN said. US officials told CNN last week that Moscow had targeted a Patriot system in a hypersonic strike earlier this month, but Ukrainian forces used the battery to intercept the Russian missile.

The outlet said Patriot batteries use a powerful radar to detect incoming threats at long range, enabling Russia’s military to pick up their signals and determine their location. Although the US military confirmed Ukraine’s claim of a successful missile intercept earlier this month, officials didn’t say whether the Kinzhal was flying at hypersonic speed at the time. Russia’s hypersonic missiles can travel at speeds up to Mach 12 (about 14,800 kilometers per hour) while performing evasive maneuvers, making them capable of penetrating any current air-defense systems. Missiles that fly at Mach 5 or above are classified as hypersonic. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was highly unlikely that Ukraine shot down a Kinzhal missile, which he described as having “absolutely unique characteristics.”

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“Zakharova wrote on Telegram: “Will the UN not notice that again?” The remarks are the latest in a string of bloodthirsty statements..”

Ukraine’s Top Spy Admits Killing Russian Public Figures (RT)

Ukrainian military intelligence (GUR) chief General Kirill Budanov has claimed responsibility for assassinating “many” Russian public figures. The spy boss made the bombshell admission in an interview with Ukrainian blogger Sergey Ivanov on Tuesday. Asked whether top Russian “propagandists,” such as prominent journalist Vladimir Solovyov or RT’s Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan, are prime targets for his organization, Budanov responded that the GUR had already “gotten” multiple high profile targets. “We have already gotten many, including public and media personalities,” Budanov said, without providing any names.

Pressed further by the blogger on the potential involvement of the GUR in the assassination of Darya Dugina, a journalist and the daughter of prominent Russian philosopher Aleksandr Dugin, or the recent car bombing of Russian author and political activist Zakhar Prilepin, the spy boss said he could “neither confirm nor deny” the involvement of his service. Budanov’s remarks were condemned by Moscow, with Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stating that they were a clear admission of wrongdoing. “Terrorists. Those who provide excuses for the Kiev regime and sponsor it are accomplices of terrorists,” Zakharova wrote on Telegram. “Will the UN not notice that again?” The remarks are the latest in a string of bloodthirsty statements made by the GUR boss amid the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev.

Earlier this month, Budanov declared, “We’ve been killing Russians, and we will keep killing Russians anywhere on the face of this world until the complete victory of Ukraine.” The pledge received an equally poor reception in Russia, with multiple top officials branding it an admission of engaging in state-level terrorism by Ukraine. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, for instance, said Budanov’s statement was “unprecedented in its essence,” and it was “strange” to not hear any condemnation “from European capitals and from Washington.” “It’s evident that the Kiev regime is behind the killings, not only sponsoring them but organizing, inciting, and carrying them out. De facto, we’re talking about a state sponsor of terrorism,” Peskov concluded, warning that Russia’s “special services know what to do after such statements.”

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“..the US must “support those elements of the Turkish leadership that still exist and get more from them and embolden them to be able to take on and defeat Erdogan..”

Erdogan Accuses Biden Of Attempt To Topple Him (Cradle)

On the eve of critical Turkiye’s elections, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his supporters that US President Joe Biden had given instructions to topple him, Rudaw reported on 14 May. “Biden gave the instructions saying ‘we have to topple Erdogan.’ I know this. All my people know this. Tomorrow the ballots will give Biden an answer as well,” Erdogan said during an election rally in Istanbul on Saturday, 13 May, the day before voting began. At the rally, Erdogan also criticized his challenger, Kemal Kilicdaroglu of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), who had accused Russia of spreading fabricated videos and fake content online to damage his campaign to unseat Erdogan. Erdogan said Russia is a crucial ally in the agriculture, defense, and tourism sectors, but NATO member Turkiye has also sold weapons and arms, including drones, to Ukraine in its war with Russia. In Sunday’s widely anticipated voting, Erdogan received 49.40 percent of the votes, while Kilicdaroglu received 44.96 percent.


However, neither candidate received the required 50% of votes to avoid a second round runoff vote, which will now take place in two weeks to determine Turkiye’s next president. In a recent interview with the New York Times, Biden described Erdogan as an autocrat and claimed his relationship with the Turkish president had deteriorated significantly. Biden explained, as a result, that his “comfort level [about having nuclear weapons in Turkiye] is diminished a great deal.” Biden stated that Erdogan needs to better integrate the country’s Kurdish population via participation in parliamentary elections and that the US must “support those elements of the Turkish leadership that still exist and get more from them and embolden them to be able to take on and defeat Erdogan. Not by a coup, not by a coup, but by the electoral process.”

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More empty gestures.

US May Designate Russia As State Sponsor Of Terrorism (Az.)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the Department of State would not rule out designating Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism for its accused atrocities in Ukraine. Report informs that, according to CNN, in an angry line of questioning at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on China on May 16, Sen. Lindsey Graham asked Blinken: “You’re never going to designate Russian state sponsored terrorism, are you?” Blinken quickly responded, “never say never.” Lawmakers and Ukrainian officials have repeatedly put pressure on the Biden administration to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terror, but the Biden administration has not taken that action out of concern for unintended consequences.

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“..he has also expressed doubt that distancing himself from Putin “would do any good.”

German ex-Chancellor’s Wife Fired For Attending May 9 Celebration (RT)

The wife of former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, So-yeon Schroeder-Kim, has been fired from her position at a business development agency after visiting the Russian Embassy in Berlin to celebrate Victory Day. “Ms. Schroeder-Kim has been released with immediate effect, and the employment relationship will now be terminated by NRW.GlobalBusiness without notice,” a spokeswoman for NRW told German media on Tuesday. The company explained that it had on several occasions explicitly told Schroeder-Kim, who worked there as a representative for South Korea, that she should “not speak out in public on politically sensitive topics,” particularly with regard to Russia and the situation in Ukraine.

The move comes after Schroeder-Kim and her husband visited the Russian Embassy on May 9 to attend a reception dedicated to the 78th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II. The event was also attended by other German politicians, including co-chairman of the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party Tino Chrupalla, and chairman of the Bundestag committee on climate protection and energy and member of the Left Party Klaus Ernst. Schroeder himself has also faced backlash for maintaining close ties with Moscow. The former chancellor forged friendly relations with Russia during his time in office between 1998 and 2005, and has kept in contact with Russian President Vladimir Putin throughout the years. Although Schroeder has repeatedly spoken out against Russia’s offensive in Ukraine, he has also expressed doubt that distancing himself from Putin “would do any good.”

Shortly after Moscow launched its military campaign, Schroeder personally traveled to Moscow to meet with Putin. He has insisted since that Russia sought a negotiated solution to the ongoing conflict and had vowed to keep seeking “opportunities to talk to President Putin.” The former chancellor’s stance has put him at odds with other members of the ruling Social Democrats Party (SPD), some members of which have recently unsuccessfully demanded his expulsion. The SPD did, however, manage to strip the former leader of his parliamentary privileges last year. Under current German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the SPD has sought to reduce the country’s ties with Russia and its reliance on Russian energy. Berlin, under Scholz’s leadership, has also sent billions of dollars worth of military aid to Kiev’s forces throughout the past year.

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“I wish we could have just a normal human being as president.”

Musk: I’ll Say What I Want And If The Consequence Is Losing Money, So Be It (ZH)

Tesla CEO and Twitter owner Elon Musk sat down for an hour-long candid, sprawling interview with CNBC’s David Faber on Tuesday following Tesla’s 2023 annual shareholder meeting in Austin, Texas. Among many other things, Musk reflected on: Accusations from the left over his tweets which have been criticized as lending credence to conspiracies about George Soros and a recent mass shooting event in Allen, Texas, insisting “I’ll say what I want, and if the consequence of that is losing money, so be it.”


Clearly this displeased Musk’s critics, who can’t comprehend how someone who hopes to receive major ad dollars (and thus be beholden to the largest US corporations via advertising channel) can speak his mind. In fact, according to Bethany McLean, “Elon Musk sounds like a spoiled child when he talks about free speech,” adding that “If you run a business that depends on advertisers you might have to think about it a little bit differently and Musk seems utterly unwilling to make that distinction.” Translation: if you run a business that depends on advertisers, you can’t say anything your advertisers disagree with. Which of course is another way of being subject to the censorship of the establishment, and why traditional media is always silent when certain interests – be it of generous advertisers like Pfizer, or the Deep State, or the Bidens, or the Clintons, etc – are in question.

Musk defended what Faber said was the spreading of “conspiracy theories” by countering that pointing out that so many of these “conspiracy theories have turned out to be true”, and pointed to the Hunter Biden laptop suppression story, which was an example of “election interference.” Naturally, the question of Musk calling George Soros Magnito came up. An incongruous Faber asks where that tweet came from, to which Musk replies “that is my opinion.” Faber then pressed: “why share it” if it could lead to less revenue/sales, and do your tweets “hurt the company”; Musk responds with a quote from the Princess Bride: “offer me money; offer me power. I don’t care.” The sad fact is that all of Musk’s peers in the media world, who aren’t independently wealthy and who do care about money (and power) will gladly be PR agents for their advertising sponsors, pretending to be independent media outlets.


How he has managed a takeover of Twitter so far and what lies ahead. Among other things, he said Twitter’s Community Notes feature has cost Twitter $40 million in business when two big clients reduced spending after their ads received community notes accusing them of false advertising. He also claimed that when the acquisition closed, Twitter had negative $3 billion in annual cash flow and $1 billion in the bank. “The analogy I was using was like being teleported into a plane that’s in a nosedive headed to the ground with the engines on fire and the controls don’t work….” Musk said he voted for Biden but hinted he wasn’t happy with his choice, saying “I wish we could have just a normal human being as president.” Asked if he believes the 2020 election was stolen, Musk said no, but countered that there certainly has been election fraud. Musk even slammed the obvious CIA front Bellingcat. Discussing the recent Texas shooting, Musk said the shooter was “incorrectly described to be a white supremacist. The company that found this is Belingcat. Do you know what Belingcat is? A company that does Psyops.”

Errol Musk
https://twitter.com/i/status/1658536557890895873

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Nordstream evidence

 

 

 

 

 

 

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May 122023
 


Sophia Loren seated by the Parthenon on the Athenian Acropolis during filming for ‘Boy on a Dolphin’, 1957

 

Ukraine Needs ‘Bit More Time’ To Prepare For Counteroffensive – Zelensky (TASS)
Ukrainian Forces Begin “Shaping” Operations For Counteroffensive (RT)
UK Sending Long-range Storm Shadow Missiles To Ukraine (G.)
Russian MoD Denies Kinzhal Intercepted By Patriot Air Defense System (RIA)
West ‘Miscalculated’ With Economic War Against Russia – Spectator (TASS)
Donetsk Civilians Live In Constant Fear Of Ukrainian Shelling (Eva Bartlett)
European Security Order ‘Is No More’ – German President (RT)
Grain Deal Extended By 60 Days, Decision May Be Announced By Erdogan (TASS)
The UK’s Secret Control Of Palestinian Security Forces (Klarenberg)
US Sells Weapons To Majority Of Authoritarian Regimes – The Intercept (RT)
World’s Most Violent Country Claims Murder-Free Year (RT)
The Censorship-Industrial Complex: The Top 50 Organizations to Know (Taibbi+)
Elon Musk Hires Ultra Woke Linda Yaccarino as CEO of Twitter (CTH)
CNN Host Sues Trump For Assault And Defamation After Town Hall (BBee)

 

 

 

 

Anderson

 

 

 

 

2016

 

 

 

 

The Right Stuff

 

 

Dimon

 

 

Maria Zakharova : By digging a long investigation, we find that Von der Leyen’s family tree traces a legacy of power and brutality, incorporating not only some of Germany’s most prominent Nazis, but also some of Britain’s greatest slave traders.

 

 

 

 

“..those who are calling for peace talks to start as soon as possible could not force Ukraine to surrender its territories..”

Ukraine Needs ‘Bit More Time’ To Prepare For Counteroffensive – Zelensky (TASS)

The Ukrainian army needs a little bit more time to prepare for Kiev’s much-vaunted counteroffensive, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said in an interview with European media outlets, including the BBC, published on Thursday. “With [what we already have] we can go forward, and, I think, be successful. But we’d lose a lot of people. I think that’s unacceptable. So, we need to wait. We still need a bit more time,” Zelensky said. As follows from Zelensky’s statement, those Ukrainian brigades formed especially for the counteroffensive are already fully ready to take part in combat operations, but the army still needs “certain things,” including armored vehicles, which are “arriving in batches.” The Ukrainian president also stated that those who are calling for peace talks to start as soon as possible could not force Ukraine to surrender its territories.


He noted that Kiev was not afraid of losing support from Washington after the next US presidential election in November 2024, because, according to Zelensky, both the Democrats and the Republicans are allies of Ukraine. The issue of a potential counterattack by the Ukrainian army has been discussed in the Ukrainian media for several months. A buildup of Ukrainian reserves was noted in the Zaporozhye area recently. Media reports have mooted various dates for the start of an attack, but the commencement of Kiev’s much-ballyhooed counteroffensive has been postponed several times already. Among the reasons the reports mentioned were the slow delivery of Western equipment, bad weather and huge losses suffered by Ukrainian troops in Artyomovsk (called Bakhmut in Ukraine).

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“Shaping involves striking targets such as weapons depots, command centers and armor and artillery systems..”

Ukrainian Forces Begin “Shaping” Operations For Counteroffensive (RT)

Ukrainian forces have begun “shaping” operations in advance of a highly-anticipated counteroffensive against Russian forces, a senior US military official and senior Western official told CNN, Report informs. Shaping involves striking targets such as weapons depots, command centers and armor and artillery systems to prepare the battlefield for advancing forces. It’s a standard tactic made prior to major combined operations. When Ukraine launched a counteroffensive late last summer in the southern and northeastern parts of the country, it was similarly preceded by air attacks to shape the battlefield. These shaping operations could continue for many days before the bulk of any planned Ukrainian offensive, according to the senior US military official.


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said his country still needs “a bit more time” before it launches the counteroffensive, in order to allow some more of the promised Western military aid to arrive in the country. “With [what we have] we can go forward and be successful,” Zelensky told European public service broadcasters in an interview published on Thursday. “But we’d lose a lot of people. I think that’s unacceptable.” “So we need to wait. We still need a bit more time,” he said. Among the supplies Ukraine is still waiting for are armored vehicles — including tanks —which Zelensky said were “arriving in batches.” Shaping operations can also be designed to confuse the enemy.

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There are still Ukrainians alive. Can’t have that.

UK Sending Long-range Storm Shadow Missiles To Ukraine (G.)

Britain has become the first western country to provide Ukraine with the long-range Storm Shadow cruise missiles that Kyiv wants to boost its chances in a much-anticipated counteroffensive, prompting a threat from the Kremlin of a military response. Hours after Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said he needed more western weapons to be confident of a victory this summer, Ben Wallace, the UK defence secretary, told MPs that the missiles – which cost more than £2m each – were “now going in, or are in the country itself”. The gift of the missiles was supported by the US, Wallace added, although previously Washington had declined to give Ukraine long-range missiles of its own, fearing that the outcome could escalate hostilities in the 15-month war.

Reflecting such concerns, the minister said the decision was “a calibrated and proportionate response” to the Russian invasion, and in particular Moscow’s repeated targeting of Ukrainian civilians. At least 23,000 civilians had been killed or injured, Wallace said. Russia had made “788 attacks on healthcare facilities, hospitals, clinics, medical centres”, and on many occasions killed civilians in missile strikes, he added. “The use of Storm Shadow will allow Ukraine to push back Russian forces based within Ukrainian sovereign territory,” Wallace told MPs, adding: “Russia must recognise that their actions alone have led to such systems being provided.” Speaking at a press briefing in Moscow, the Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Russia was taking a “rather negative” view of the UK’s move. “This will require an adequate response from our military, who … will make appropriate decisions,” he said.

Wallace did not say how many Storm Shadow missiles had been given to Ukraine, although it has been estimated the UK holds a stock of between 700 and 1,000. Working with four other countries, the UK issued a tender to buy more long-range “missiles or rockets with a range of 100-300km” (62 to 186 miles). Storm Shadow has a range of “in excess of 250km”, according to its manufacturer, the European arms group MBDA. That is significantly further than the high-precision US Himars rocket launchers currently used heavily by Ukraine, which rely on missiles with a range of 47 miles. Himars have become less effective as the Russian invaders have moved reserves of troops and equipment out of their range.

There have been concerns that the Storm Shadow missiles could be used to strike targets deep inside Russia’s internationally recognised borders. The White House has balked at supplying Ukraine with similar long-range ATACMS missiles, which can be fitted to the Himars systems. Wallace said the US was “incredibly supportive” of the UK’s decision, and said ATACMS missiles were not as suitable as Storm Shadow, which is designed to be able to strike defensive positions below ground.

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@BrianJBerletic
“This is clearly not a Russian Kinzhal missile which is a massive missile at 1.2 meters in diameter. Whatever this is, it is much smaller. Those claiming it is a BetAB-500 make a much more convincing argument…”

Russian MoD Denies Kinzhal Intercepted By Patriot Air Defense System (RIA)

The American Patriot anti-aircraft missile system could not shoot down the Russian Kinzhal missile due to its technical characteristics, a senior source in the Ministry of Defense said. “The fact is that the flight speed of the Kinzhal missile exceeds the maximum combat modes of anti-aircraft missile systems supplied by the West to the Kyiv regime, including the Patriot,” the agency’s interlocutor explained. In addition, as the source recalled, in the final phase of the flight, the Kinzhal performs an anti-missile maneuver and an almost vertical approach to the target, which excludes the possibility of it being intercepted by anti-aircraft missile systems. He called the statements about the downed hypersonic missile a hoax and stressed that it was “an attempt to wishful thinking. Earlier, the head of the press service of the Pentagon, Patrick Ryder, said at a briefing that Ukraine allegedly shot down a Russian Kinzhal missile with the help of the Patriot missile defense system transferred to it.

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“The West embarked on its sanctions war with an exaggerated sense of its own influence around the world..”

West ‘Miscalculated’ With Economic War Against Russia – Spectator (TASS)

Western countries have failed to achieve their goals with the economic war they unleashed on Russia following the onset of its special military operation in Ukraine, according to an editorial by the British Spectator weekly published on its website on Thursday. According to the magazine, the West quickly became aware that other countries were not ready to stop doing business with Russia, which rapidly redirected its oil and gas supplies to China and India. The bans introduced by the West have been surmounted with parallel imports. That said, the European economy is smarting from the consequences of its sudden rejection of Russian energy. The Spectator points out that the Russian economy was also hurt but not as seriously as Ukraine’s allies hoped.


“The West embarked on its sanctions war with an exaggerated sense of its own influence around the world. As we have discovered, non-western countries lack the will to impose sanctions on either Russia or on Russian oligarchs. The results of the miscalculation are there for all to see. <…> The Russian economy has not been destroyed; it has merely been reconfigured, reorientated to look eastwards and southwards rather than westwards,” the article says. The authors admit that in itself, the plan to declare the sanctions war on Russia “was not necessarily wrong” but point out that the West “is badly mistaken” if it continues to think that in the future, “it can fight wars purely by economic means, without bombs or bullets.”

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“..HIMARS systems were used, targeting “exclusively in the residential, central quarter of the city.”

Donetsk Civilians Live In Constant Fear Of Ukrainian Shelling (Eva Bartlett)

Heavy Ukrainian shelling of central Donetsk on April 28 killed nine civilians – including an eight-year-old girl and her grandmother – and injured at least 16 more. The victims were burned alive when the minibus they were in was hit by a shell. The attack also targeted a major hospital, apartment buildings, houses, parks, streets, and sidewalks. All civilian areas – not military targets. According to the Donetsk People’s Republic’s (DPR) Representative Office in the JCCC (Joint Monitoring and Co-ordination Center on Ukraine’s War Crimes), Kiev’s forces fired high-explosive fragmentation missiles “produced in Slovakia and transferred to Ukraine by NATO countries.” Regarding an earlier shelling on the same day, the JCCC noted that US-made HIMARS systems were used, targeting “exclusively in the residential, central quarter of the city.”

I was outside of Donetsk interviewing refugees from Artyomovsk (also known as Bakhmut) when both rounds of intense shelling occurred, the first starting just after 11am. I returned to see a catastrophic scene, with a burnt-out bus – still smoking – and some of its passengers’ charred bodies melted onto the frame. This tragic picture was sadly not a one-off event. Elsewhere, city workers were already removing debris and had begun repaving damaged sections of the roads. I’ve seen this following Ukrainian shelling many times, including on January 1 this year, when Ukraine fired 25 Grads into the city centre. Similarly, in July 2022, Ukrainian shelling downtown killed four civilians, including two in a vehicle likewise gutted by flames. When I arrived at the scene about an hour later, workers were repaving the affected section of the street.

The damage to the Republican Trauma Center hospital was quickly cleaned up, but videos shared on Telegram immediately after the shelling show a gaping hole in one of the walls. The room concerned contained what was, apparently, Donetsk’s sole MRI machine. Along Artyoma street, the central Donetsk boulevard targeted countless times by Ukrainian attacks, the destruction was evident: Two cars caught up in the bombing, residents of an apartment building boarding up shattered windows and doors, the all-too-familiar sound of glass and debris being swept away. In the residential area, the first to be targeted that day, in a massive crater behind one house, the walls and roof of another home were intermixed with rocket fragments.

Donbass

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And guess who we blame?

European Security Order ‘Is No More’ – German President (RT)

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has “destroyed” the security order in Europe, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has claimed. He argued that there would no return to former security principles even after the hostilities end. “The European security order is no more,” Steinmeier told Germany’s RBB radio broadcaster on Wednesday, adding that “common security” will cease to be a “common concept for a long time to come.” “We will find [ourselves] in a new situation [after the fighting ends], in which Europe on the one hand and Russia on the other hand will defend themselves against each other over the medium term,” the German president said. Steinmeier pinned the blame on Moscow for the erosion of European security, maintaining that neither the German government nor the EU was responsible.


The comments came one day after EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell asserted that the Ukraine conflict could be ended within days, should the flow of Western arms to Kiev cease. Borrell acknowledged, however, that such a scenario would not lead to the outcome Brussels was hoping for. Russia has repeatedly stated it is ready to resolve the conflict through peaceful means, as long as its goals are achieved and its interests are taken into account. Before the Russian military launched its campaign in Ukraine, Moscow tabled a comprehensive draft deal on security in Europe in 2021. The proposal involved a pledge by NATO not to expand further to the east, the removal of US nuclear weapons from Europe, and the withdrawal of NATO troops and missiles away from the Russian border. The deal was rejected by both Washington and Brussels.

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Erdogan has elections this Sunday..

Grain Deal Extended By 60 Days, Decision May Be Announced By Erdogan (TASS)

The grain deal, which expires on May 18, will be extended by 60 days, the corresponding decision may be first to be announced by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, a source familiar with the negotiation process told TASS. “The deal, I think, will be extended for 60 days, but Russia may agree to this for the last time. The decision to prolong “traditionally” may be announced by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan after a telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart [Vladimir Putin],” the source said. The source did not rule out that the decision can be announced “today or tomorrow”. However, the source called the possibility of extending the deal a “gesture from Russia” in the hope that its demands, enshrined in the Istanbul memorandum of July 22 last year, would be taken into account.

Following the talks in Istanbul between the delegations of Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the UN, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin told reporters that the Russian part of the agreements would cease to operate if Moscow did not receive guarantees that their demands would be met by May 18. They concern the export of agricultural products and fertilizers, the reconnection of the Russian Agricultural Bank to the SWIFT system, and a number of other issues. Agreements to enable the export of food and fertilizers to world markets were signed on July 22, 2022 in Istanbul. They were originally meant to last 120 days and were extended for another 120 days in November. Russia announced on March 18 that the deal was extended for another 60 days, saying this would be enough time to assess the effectiveness of the memorandum signed with the UN.

Moscow has said repeatedly that any further extension of the deal hinges on whether the Russian part of the deal is implemented. The lack of progress in this issue jeopardizes the future of the entire initiative. On May 10-11 representatives of Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the UN met in Istanbul to discuss a potential extension of the grain deal and the implementation of the Russian part of the agreement for supplies of grain and fertilizers. The security of the Black Sea grain corridor was also on the agenda.

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” It was in Northern Ireland that Britain perfected “five techniques” of psychological and physical torment, which formed the basis of modern torture worldwide..”

The UK’s Secret Control Of Palestinian Security Forces (Klarenberg)

From the UK Foreign Office’s perspective, steering the PA’s activities and composition ensures it not only remains “supportive of UK values and interests,” but also allows London’s domestic and foreign security and intelligence services to train an unblinking eye on residents of Gaza and the West Bank. As a result, potential threats of retaliatory violence arising from Tel Aviv’s brutal assaults in the Occupied Territories – both to Israel and Britain – can be neutralized via local actors. British infiltration of the Palestinian Authority is a long-running story, and its security infrastructure has always been a primary target. In 2004, the government of Tony Blair dispatched veteran senior British police officer Jonathan McIvor to assist the body.

The next year, he was employed by the European Union to establish the Coordinating Office for Palestinian Police Support (COPPS), Brussels’ first “security” mission in Palestine – which increases cooperation between the PA’s military, security, policing, and intelligence wings, and Israeli occupation forces – in advance of its formal launch in early 2006, and served for some time as its first chief. Questions can only abound as to whether McIvor’s high-level stint within the Royal Ulster Constabulary, a police force in Northern Ireland notorious for vicious discrimination against the province’s Catholic minority, and intensive collusion with loyalist terrorist groups, informed tactics employed today by the Palestinian Authority. It was in Northern Ireland that Britain perfected “five techniques” of psychological and physical torment, which formed the basis of modern torture worldwide, along with a strategy of “internment without trial” for terror suspects.

In 1976, a secret directive gave the Royal Ulster Constabulary free rein to employ these techniques whenever its officers wished, which endured well into the 1990s, concurrent with McIvor’s tenure with the force. The Palestinian Authority has been confirmed to widely engage in arbitrary arrests and torture of detainees, typically at Israel’s behest. Now that the PA is proving increasingly ineffective at quelling peaceful and armed resistance to both its brutal rule and Israeli ethnic cleansing in the Occupied Territories, the ‘expert’ guidance of Adam Smith International and other British government contractors has perhaps never been so urgently in need.

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No background checks…

US Sells Weapons To Majority Of Authoritarian Regimes – The Intercept (RT)

The administration of US President Joe Biden sold weapons to at least 57% of the world’s authoritarian regimes in 2022, according to analysis published on Thursday by The Intercept. In a lengthy review of US arms-dealing practices and recently released government data, the American publication noted that Washington has accounted for around 40% of global arms sales each year since the end of the Cold War. It added that, according to a classification system devised at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, the United States distributed weapons in 2022 to at least 48 of 84 (57%) countries described by the ‘Varieties of Democracy’ project as being under autocratic or authoritarian rule.

The Swedish study categorized global governments on a scale ranging from ‘closed autocracy’ to ‘liberal democracy’, principally using methodology to discern how free and fair a country’s elections might be. US weapons exports are typically divided into two categories: foreign military sales (FMS) and direct commercial sales (DCS). FMS requires the US government to act as a direct intermediary, with Washington buying the assets from a weapons manufacturer before it provides them to a foreign government. DCS deals, meanwhile, largely removes from the government’s intermediary role and permits manufacturers to sell directly abroad. Both types of sale require full approval from Washington. According to government data, the United States sold arms in FMS deals to 142 countries and territories last year, producing $85 billion in bilateral sales.

In Biden’s first full year as president, US weapons sales to foreign countries amounted to $206 billion – surpassing a Trump-era record of $192 billion. The US has been a key weapons supplier to Ukraine throughout its conflict with Russia. The Intercept noted, however, that this does not fully explain the boom in Washington’s arms export industry last year, as much of the weaponry was provided to Kiev in the form of grants. Russia’s offensive also began five months into the 2022 fiscal year. The findings of the analysis stand in contrast to Biden’s often-repeated stance of opposition to authoritarian governments. In a speech in Warsaw last year, the US president described conflict between democracy and autocracy as a battle “between liberty and repression” and “between a rules-based international order and one governed by brute force.”

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6,600 homicides in 2015. Zero the past year.

World’s Most Violent Country Claims Murder-Free Year (RT)

President Nayib Bukele of El Salvador on Thursday announced an unprecedented homicide-free streak, adding up to 365 days since he took power nearly four years ago. The Latin American country was considered the world’s most violent as late as 2016. “We concluded May 10, 2023 with 0 homicides nationwide,” Bukele said on Twitter. “With this, it’s 365 days without homicides, a whole year.” The accompanying 90-second video called the development without precedent in El Salvador’s history. As of 2009, the country was considered the most violent in Latin America, with a killing every two hours. By 2015, it had over 6,600 homicides, the deadliest country in the world that wasn’t at war.

The homicide-free year was not consecutive, but rather cumulative over the four years of Bukele’s presidency. Before he took office in June 2019, the country had recorded only two days without a homicide in 15 years. Now El Salvador is “the most secure country in Latin America,” argued the president. “The country has never recorded such a cycle of peace, since its birth as a republic,” one Salvadoran social media influencer pointed out. Bukele has attributed the drastic change to his ‘War on Gangs’. His government declared a state of emergency in March 2022, amid a major spike in gang violence in the nation of 6.5 million on the Pacific Ocean. Designating the notorious Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), Barrio 18 and other gangs as terrorists, his government has so far jailed over 65,000 suspected criminals.

A mega-prison called the Center for the Confinement of Terrorism (CECOT), with the capacity to hold 40,000 convicts in maximum security, has been built outside the capital. Parallel to the crackdown on gangs, Bukele has embraced economic reforms, introducing Bitcoin as legal tender on par with the US dollar – over objections from the IMF – and abolishing all taxes and tariffs on the information technology sector. Visiting El Salvador in March, AP reported that ordinary Salvadorans were relieved and enjoying their daily lives without being terrorized by organized crime. But the agency also quoted US-based human rights experts who worried about El Salvador becoming a “police state.” Bukele’s government did not respond to the outlet’s requests for comment.

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“..only America’s enemies are low enough, and deprived enough of real firepower, to require the use of such tactics..”

The Censorship-Industrial Complex: The Top 50 Organizations to Know (Taibbi+)

In 1996, just as the Internet was becoming part of daily life in America, the U.S. Army published “Field Manual 100-6,” which spoke of “an expanding information domain termed the Global Information Environment” that contains “information processes and systems that are beyond the direct influence of the military.” Military commanders needed to understand that “information dominance” in the “GIE” would henceforth be a crucial element for “operating effectively.” You’ll often see it implied that “information operations” are only practiced by America’s enemies, because only America’s enemies are low enough, and deprived enough of real firepower, to require the use of such tactics, needing as they do to “overcome military limitations.” We rarely hear about America’s own lengthy history with “active measures” and “information operations,” but popular media gives us space to read about the desperate tactics of the Asiatic enemy, perennially described as something like an incurable trans-continental golf cheat.

Indeed, part of the new mania surrounding “hybrid warfare” is the idea that while the American human being is accustomed to living in clear states of “war” or “peace,” the Russian, Chinese, or Iranian citizen is born into a state of constant conflict, where war is always ongoing, whether declared or not. In the face of such adversaries, America’s “open” information landscape is little more than military weakness. In March of 2017, in a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee on hybrid war, chairman Mac Thornberry opened the session with ominous remarks, suggesting that in the wider context of history, an America built on constitutional principles of decentralized power might have been badly designed: Americans are used to thinking of a binary state of either war or peace. That is the way our organizations, doctrine, and approaches are geared. Other countries, including Russia, China, and Iran, use a wider array of centrally controlled, or at least centrally directed, instruments of national power and influence to achieve their objectives…

Whether it is contributing to foreign political parties, targeted assassinations of opponents, infiltrating non-uniformed personnel such as the little green men, traditional media and social media, influence operations, or cyber-connected activity, all of these tactics and more are used to advance their national interests and most often to damage American national interests… The historical records suggest that hybrid warfare in one form or another may well be the norm for human conflict, rather than the exception. Around that same time, i.e. shortly after the election of Donald Trump, it was becoming gospel among the future leaders of the “Censorship-Industrial Complex” that interference by “malign foreign threat actors” and the vicissitudes of Western domestic politics must be linked. Everything, from John Podesta’s emails to Trump’s Rust Belt primary victories to Brexit, were to be understood first and foremost as hybrid war events.

This is why the Trump-Russia scandal in the United States will likely be remembered as a crucial moment in 21st-century history, even though the investigation superficially ended a non-story, fake news in itself. What the Mueller investigation didn’t accomplish in ousting Trump from office, it did accomplish in birthing a vast new public-private bureaucracy devoted to stopping “mis-, dis-, and malinformation,” while smoothing public acquiescence to the emergence of a spate of new government agencies with “information warfare” missions.

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Guess who was the Chair of the Ad Council that drove the partnership between global corporations and the US Government to push vaccines during COVID…

“And then I hired a WEF Executive Chair who worked with the White House and ‘government agencies’ on the COVID-19 ‘vaccination’ campaign to be the new CEO of ‘free-speech’ Twitter …”

Elon Musk Hires Ultra Woke Linda Yaccarino as CEO of Twitter (CTH)

Elon Musk has reportedly hired Linda Yaccarino as the CEO of Twitter. Unfortunately, this decision is the exact opposite of what everyone hoped about Musk’s intentions with the platform. Ms. Yaccarino is the head of NBCUniversal Advertising and Partnerships, and she is the tip of the spear in the creation of DEI (Diversity Equity and Inclusion) indexing and corporate scoring. You might be familiar with ‘DEI’ as a result of the Bud Light woke advertising campaign to promote beer for transgenders. Well, that’s DEI in action, and Ms. Yaccarino is one of the pioneers in the advertising industry. Additionally, Linda Yaccarino is the Chairwoman of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Taskforce on Future of Work. As she noted in her position, “every CEO and executive needs to look inward, and build workplaces that ensure our employees, current and future, can always succeed amid rapid transformation.”

Overlaying the Diversity Equity and Inclusion mindset, you will note Yaccarino says, “long-term benefits for the unemployed, women, and communities of color.” Why would Elon Musk bring the most woke NBC advertising executive to become the CEO of Twitter? Obviously, he is focused on generating revenue, and Yaccarino can bring woke credentials to the platform luring corporate advertisers. Unfortunately, in order to achieve that objective, the platform content will have to be modified. That means the public square of Twitter needs to become a platform of non-controversial NPCs (Non Player Characters) which generally are identified in memes [SEE HERE]. The content on Twitter must fit an approved standard for advertising. Leading this effort to control platform content through the control of the monetization, is literally what Yaccarino has done in her work at NBCUniversal. Thus, her efforts to promote DEI take on a new level of importance.

Ms. Yaccarino also supports Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and follows him and his fellow influencers through her Twitter account. Politically this puts her in alignment with Elon Musk and the acceptable Republican group that promotes the Florida Governor. Keep in mind, for DeSantis, the “woke issues” are political tools to achieve an objective; nothing more. Ms. Yaccarino supporting Ron DeSantis is not a misnomer, it’s just politics. Similarly, for Elon Musk, it appears Ms. Yaccarino brings a greater financial value to the table offsetting any contradictions in his belief system about wokeism as a danger to speech and culture. Obviously, this hire says Musk is more concerned about revenue generation than actual free speech.

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“It was the most traumatizing experience of my life. It was assault, plain and simple. And defamation.”

CNN Host Sues Trump For Assault And Defamation After Town Hall (BBee)

A visibly shaken Kaitlan Collins announced she will be suing Trump for assault and defamation after being destroyed by the former President on national television last night. “He said things I didn’t agree with. Even worse, he said things I didn’t like,” said Collins in a statement. “It was the most traumatizing experience of my life. It was assault, plain and simple. And defamation. I’m suing Trump for $5 million like that other lady.” Sources also reported Trump called the CNN host a “nasty person,” which trusted fact-checkers have determined was false.


Media experts applauded the announcement and were all in agreement that Trump’s performance in the town hall was the most horrifying spectacle ever televised. “I am literally shaking right now,” said CNN Host Jake Tapper. “The lies, the misinformation, the pure evil of that monstrous orange man is too much for my soul to bear. Our democracy is in danger once again. God help us all.” Biden also responded to the town hall, saying: “Reflustrazuuure! Shut up, fat!” Within minutes of the announcement of the lawsuit, a New York judge ruled in favor of the plaintiff and ordered Trump to pay $5 million.

E Jean

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9 days before the Wright Brothers’ first flight.

 

 

Dog fight

 

 


Eudocima phalonia is also known as the common fruit-piercing moth, in its caterpillar stage it looks like a galaxy

 

 

 

 

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Apr 262023
 
 April 26, 2023  Posted by at 5:00 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  10 Responses »


Mark Chagall I and the village 1911

 

 

My good friend Wayne brings up some interesting questions about weapons, in the view of the current Ukraine conflict. Are nuclear weapons the most terrifying ones we know? Or have hypersonic precision weapons taken that “crown”? The answer is not all that obvious.

There is a persistent rumor that sometime in March, Russia hit a secret NATO base deep underground near Kiev with a hypersonic Kinzhal missile and took out some 300 people, including a bunch of high-placed NATO commanders. I have neither seen this confirmed nor, perhaps more importantly, denied. But Russia has no reason to boast about it, and the US has even less reason to acknowledge it happened.

What we do know is that US/NATO (or even China) doesn’t have these weapons, and Russia does. And that, from what I’ve read, partly has to do with the fact that since the missiles move at speeds of up to Mach 15 (15x speed of sound), they need a special heat resistant coating that only Russia has been able to develop. Moreover, these hypersonic missiles are not just much faster than any other missile, they are also far better at hitting precision targets. Try hitting a bunker 60 meters or more underground.

Here’s Wayne for some philosophy:

 

 

Wayne Hall:

The 1980s were the decade of the Non-aligned Anti-Nuclear Weapons Movement. The Non-aligned movement’s political line differed from that of the Communist-Party controlled anti-nuclear movements, which took their lead from Soviet diplomacy. The Non-aligned current had some party-political cover from Eurocommunist parties. It said “there are no good and bad nuclear weapons”. Implication: Soviet nuclear weapons are bad. To be consistent the movement should have called for Soviet nuclear disarmament when the USSR disintegrated, particularly because it was not clear at first whether Yeltsin would be better or worse than Gorbachev. Some of us did indeed call for unilateral Soviet nuclear disarmament.

NATO policy was for removal of Soviet nuclear weapons from Kazakhstan, Belarus and Ukraine. But not from Russia. Why not from Russia? Well, for a start, that would mean abolition of the Russian nuclear bogy. What justification could there then be for NATO’s nuclear weapons? The Non-Aligned Anti-Nuclear Weapons Movement was clearly confused. Why were they not raising the demand for nuclear disarmament of Russia? They had spent the nineteen eighties ridiculing ideas of “nuclear deterrence”.

Yeltsin turned out to be (or at least to appear) even more open to ideas of nuclear disarmament of Russia than Gorbachev had been. The Non-Aligned Anti-Nuclear Weapons Movement called out NATO for fraud. Even official spokespersons acknowledged that nuclear weapons were “more of political than of military utility”. In other words they were useless, except for politicians (and journalists). The Swedes had recognized the uselessness when the nuclear hawk Olof Palme changed his stripes and became an anti-nuclear activist, presiding over unilateral nuclear disarmament of Sweden.

A demand for unilateral nuclear disarmament of Russia would have been a brilliant poke in the eye for the Tory smartypants who were always jeering: “If you want unilateral nuclear disarmament, recommend it to the Soviets!” Instead of raising the demand, some anti-nuclear activists simply started pointing out to each other that the Cold War is over and this should be recognized. Others didn’t do even that.

Since March 2023, the unnecessary character of Russian nuclear weapons has been confirmed. In March a provocation was staged inside Russia (by Ukraine? By NATO?) with civilians including children being killed and injured. Putin declared that there would be retaliation, and indeed, there was, within days. A command bunker in Ukraine four hundred feet underground (too deep then for run-of-the-mill bunker-busting technology) was hit by a Russian hypersonic Kinzhal missile and hundreds of dignitaries and high-ranking NATO personnel were allegedly killed. The media were pretty silent about it. And pretty soon the gaslighting started.

If this Kinzhal strike typifies the code of ethics that Russia intends to follow in its war making, the superfluous character of Russian nuclear weapons is confirmed. Attacks on civilians are punished by attacks on the top leadership of the side that resorts to them. The media propaganda machine is now bending over backwards to scream that the Kinzhals are “nuclear capable”. So what? Is a nuclear weapon needed to wipe out political leadership in a bunker? It is said that the United States has begun testing its own hypersonic missiles but the tests so far have failed. Will this failure be the prelude to a new arms race, or to abandonment of the 20th century mode of conducting wars particularly from 1914 onwards? The twentieth century mode of mass politics and mass slaughter of civilians?

When one studies the ideas of Hitler apologists it is easy to come to the conclusion that Hitler’s key intellectual mistake was to assume that the category “white people” includes Germans. The Boers had to learn the same lesson in South Africa, I suppose. Given this and given the assumptions of “nuclear deterrence”, which is an acceptable doctrine for the white people of NATO but not for the white people of Russia unless they face the “fact” that they too require to be “deterred” from destroying all life on planet earth, WOKE notions that “only white people can be racist” become comprehensible and the Hitlerian misreadings of the Coudenhove-Kalergi prediction/recommendation(?) of a world of mulattos following the extinction of “white people”, elevatable into a praiseworthy program for the future of this world.

If racism cannot be overcome intellectually there is obviously no alternative to overcoming it, or “trying to”, biologically. Is there? It seems to me that the logic of Russia’s development of hypersonic missiles, particularly given the way they appear to be using them, is the opposite of the motives according to which nuclear weapons were initially developed: i.e. elaboration of a mass “shock and awe” effect. Hypersonic missiles apparently aim at introducing military precision: graduated retaliation, which so far has been used to retaliate for attacks on the civilians of one’s own side. But the retaliation has been strikingly disproportionate, suggesting that one is planning to really stigmatize cowardly attacks on unarmed civilians. In effect stigmatize modern mass destruction warfare.

If it is true that “the West” is behind in this hypersonic missiles technology, how is it going to respond? Through embarking on a hypersonic missiles arms race? If it does to Russia what Russia has just done to it in Ukraine, there is a widespread view that this will trigger generalized nuclear war, which “the West” claims not to want. So what would be the purpose of getting ahead in hypersonic missiles technology? Public relations? Being first for the sake of being able to say that one is first?

It is said that nuclear weapons serve political more than military purposes, but those political purposes have to do with the “shock and awe” effect, not the ability to launch a precision strike at the nerve centre of the enemy (and so trigger the nuclear war one supposedly seeks to avoid). Will “the West” think this through or will it just go ahead anyway and “try to catch up and overtake”? Is “the West” thinking coherently about nuclear weapons?

 

 

 

 

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