May 112024
 


Vincent van Gogh Daubigny’s garden 1890

 

Scott Ritter Predicts How Ukraine Will End (Sp.)
Biden Weaponizing FBI and DOJ Against Americans – Tara Reade (RT)
Missouri AG Accuses Biden DOJ Of Coordinating With Trump Prosecutors (ZH)
Boxing Promoter Don King Endorses Trump for President (ET)
Hillary Clinton Denounces Trump for Doing What She Did in 2016 (Turley)
Ukraine A ‘Corrupt S**Thole’ – Ex-Boris Johnson Adviser (RT)
Tucker Carlson Interviews Catherine Englebrecht About Illegal Alien Voting (CTH)
Biden Faces Impeachment Over Israel Weapons Suspension (RT)
Russia Fighting ‘Reincarnation Of Fascism’ – Medvedev (RT)
Carnival Rides (Kunstler)

 

 

 

 

tesla frens

 

 

Lambo vs Cyber

 

 

Rob Roos

 

 

Mass

 

 

 

 

“..and they can’t become directly involved because that is a suicide pill.”

Scott Ritter Predicts How Ukraine Will End (Sp.)

On Friday, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced that Russia liberated Novokalinovo in the Donetsk People’s Republic and Kiselevka and Kotlyarovka in the Kharkov region, the latest in a string of villages to fall, this rapid deterioration of the frontline was the result of the consistent work of Russian forces to grind the Ukrainians down until they had no reserves to stabilize the front line. “As we speak, the attritional warfare model has Ukraine losing around 1,500 troops a day. This number is going up now because Russia’s expanded its operations into the Kharkov region. So, you can expect this number [to] easily top 2,000 a day,” Ritter told Sputnik’s Fault Lines on Friday.

“What the Ukrainians have had to do is pull in reserves and take forces out from other fronts, including the Kharkov front and the Odessa front, to come into the battlefield where they’ve been eliminated, or they’ve been worn down and there are no replacements…what’s going to happen is Ukraine will be compelled to withdraw reserves from the Kiev region and from Odessa, to go to Kharkov to fill that gap. While they do that, the Russians will then launch a second major attack somewhere in the Zaporozhye area, and Ukrainians are going to be put to the classic horns of a dilemma where if they go north they lose, they go south they lose, if they stay in the middle they lose – there’s no good option for them,” Ritter explained, adding that we will then see “the total collapse of the Ukrainian army” and the “rapid withdrawal beyond the Dnepr River” to set up a new defense line, something he does not think the Ukrainians will be able to accomplish.

Eventually, Ritter predicts, “Ukrainian generals faced with the inevitable slaughter of the totality of their force will sue for peace.” Noting that he was told by his sources back in January to expect “dramatic alterations” to the battlefield map in May, Ritter predicts that Russia will capture significant territory in Kharkov and the Donbass this month, with Ukraine’s eventual capitulation a few months later. “They say that the Ukrainian capacity to continue cohesive resistance will collapse this summer – that’s the Russian assessment and I agree with it,” Ritter said, noting that Russia’s operations aren’t driven by “calendars” and have already allocated the resources to continue the conflict until 2027 if necessary. The decision of what happens to Ukraine now rests solely in the hands of Russia, Ritter argued, noting that they had “very favorable terms on the table” in March and April 2022.

“Nobody has a say in this but Russia, and Russia has made that very clear… this is a decisive defeat of NATO, the European Union and the United States. It’s as decisive as you can get without them being directly involved and they can’t become directly involved because that is a suicide pill.” Ritter added that the military aid package recently signed into law by US President Joe Biden has had “zero impact” on the battlefield. “What we’ve seen, for instance, the desperately needed 155-millimeter artillery shells were brought in from Romania on a ship, offloaded in Odessa into a warehouse and struck by two Iskander missiles. Boom, there goes a couple of billion dollars right there.”

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“..the Capitol riot participants were persecuted in a similar way, with the Biden administration “using intelligence to go after Americans.”

Biden Weaponizing FBI and DOJ Against Americans – Tara Reade (RT)

The run-up to the US election is exposing President Joe Biden’s scandals to the public eye, including his family’s alleged money laundering schemes in Ukraine, RT contributor and former US Senate aide Tara Reade has said. She accused the Biden administration of weaponizing government institutions to silence Americans like her and the 2021 Capitol riot participants. In the wake of her 23-minute interview with American journalist Tucker Carlson, which aired on Thursday, Reade told RT she hopes her example will motivate others to come forward and tell their stories. “I’ve been contacted a couple of times in the past by women who wanted to come forward, but because of what happened to me, were too frightened,” she said.

Although Reade’s claim that Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993 did not surface until the 2020 election campaign, she said she had logged a report with the Senate right after the purported incident, and was still trying to get the report files unsealed. “The election year is just bringing it to light, because I think there’s other corruption that needs to come to light about Biden, particularly the misconduct he’s done around Ukraine, and the money laundering and the other activities that he and his family had been enriched by, in this proxy war that the US and NATO are fighting against Russia via Ukraine,” Reade explained. She added that while “people in America and other NATO countries are seeing the corruption,” the leaders of those states are “unfortunately still benefiting.”

After sharing details of the alleged assault, Reade described “weaponization of the government coming after me, that was quite frightening, and coming after my family.” She suggested that the Carlson interview shows the public is becoming more aware of this. “People are seeing the political weaponization of the DOJ (Department of Justice) and FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) against American citizens and other citizens,” she claimed, arguing that the Capitol riot participants were persecuted in a similar way, with the Biden administration “using intelligence to go after Americans.”

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It’s a campaign run from the White House.

Missouri AG Accuses Biden DOJ Of Coordinating With Trump Prosecutors (ZH)

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on Thursday as part of a probe into whether the Biden DOJ coordinated with Trump prosecutors. “The investigations and subsequent prosecutions of former President Donald J. Trump appear to have been conducted in coordination with the United States Department of Justice,” Baily posted in a lengthy thread on X. “This is demonstrated by the move of the third-highest ranking member of the Department of Justice, Matthew Colangelo, to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office in order to prosecute President Trump in December 2022,” Baily continues. What’s more, Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg worked hand-in-hand with NY Attorney General Letitia James in pursuing civil litigation against Trump, which he used to campaign on.

As Fox News reports further; Bailey argues that Bragg’s decision to bring the prosecution “despite its transparent weakness has nonetheless had the effect of keeping former President Trump off the campaign trail, which President Biden has bragged about.” He cites a post on X from the official Biden-Harris campaign on April 24, which says, “While Trump is stuck in court, President Biden is keeping a very robust schedule of campaign events. He’s been to Pennsylvania to talk about the economy, Virginia to talk about clean energy, and Florida to talk about abortion.” Baily is seeking all communications, including documents, calendar appointments, meeting minutes and agendas related to Colangelo’s move to work in Bragg’s office – as well as similar communications between Bragg and NY AG Leticia James and Fulton County DA Fani Willis.

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“..the most resilient human being I’ve ever met.” “They’re trying to attack him. They’re trying to ruin him—unfazed,” the UFC president said. “He will walk through fire.”

Boxing Promoter Don King Endorses Trump for President (ET)

Iconic boxing promoter Don King has endorsed former President Donald Trump for president in the 2024 election. The 92-year-old made the remarks on May 8 on the sidelines of an event after being asked if he has a message for President Trump, who’s facing a bevy of court cases that threaten to derail his presidential campaign. “Get reelected,” Mr. King said. “And we must reelect him to save ourselves. You know, a vote for Trump is a vote for yourself. Because we’ve got to fight the system of lies and the creation of wrong being right and right being wrong. That’s got to be eliminated. He called President Trump “the only man who’s got the intestinal fortitude to be able to stand up and fight the system like it should be fought,” Mr. King said the former president “underestimated the power of this strong system of corruption and hypocrisy.”

While Mr. King didn’t elaborate on the “system of corruption and hypocrisy” that he had in mind, it could be a reference to the numerous legal battles that the former president is fighting that he and his supporters argue are thinly veiled attempts to use lawfare to derail his comeback bid. “I want to say to him, let’s [save] America, let’s save ourselves, and then we can help others to be safe,” Mr. King added. President Trump shared the video on his social media platform, Truth Social, thanking Mr. King for his endorsement and message of encouragement. Mr. King’s sympathies for the former president are well-established, with the boxing promoter being one of few celebrities who endorsed then-candidate Trump in the 2016 election.

Introducing then-candidate Trump at a church event in Ohio in 2016, Mr. King called him “courageous and brave” and said he believed the future president would fix the “corrupt” and “rigged” system and bring the country “back to inclusiveness.” In mid-2017, after President Trump had spent several months in office, Mr. King told Politico Magazine in an exclusive interview that he believed he was doing an “excellent job” while lamenting the fact that his presidency was being overshadowed by the so-called “Russian collusion” scandal, which later turned out to be a hoax. At the time, Mr. King told Politico that he believed President Trump was constantly in the crosshairs of the Washington establishment, saying that they would try to “keep him down” at almost any cost—even saying that he warned the president to be on guard for assassination attempts.

“If Trump were a boxer, who would he be?” the interviewer asked the legendary boxing promoter. “He’d be Muhammad Ali…because he’s going to win,” Mr. King replied. “He’s going to run his mouth, he’s going to talk a lot and he’s going to win.” Mr. White gave his endorsement in an appearance on the Lex Fridman podcast in April, calling President Trump “the most resilient human being I’ve ever met.” “They’re trying to attack him. They’re trying to ruin him—unfazed,” the UFC president said. “He will walk through fire.”

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“I gave up shame years ago.”

Hillary Clinton Denounces Trump for Doing What She Did in 2016 (Turley)

“I gave up shame years ago.” Those words from actor John Lithgow appear to have been taken to heart by Hillary Clinton who has severed any sense of self-awareness or shame in her public comments. Lithgow, who played Bill Clinton in Broadway production of Hillary and Clinton, appears to have inspired the subject of his play. In a recent interview, Hillary Clinton heralded the prosecution of former president Donald Trump in Manhattan as “election interference” by keeping “relevant information” from voters before an election. For those of us who criticized Clinton for the funding of the infamous Steele dossier, it was a perfectly otherworldly moment. In the interview, Clinton went after the Supreme Court for delaying a trial of Trump despite the push by Special Counsel Jack Smith for a verdict before the election. She then left many in disbelief with the following statement:

“And the one going on now currently in New York is really about election interference. It is about trying to prevent the people of our country from having relevant information that may have influenced how they could have voted in 2016 or whether they would have voted.” In the same election, it was Hillary Clinton’s campaign that lied about funding the Steele dossier and then hiding the funding as a legal expense through then Clinton General Counsel Marc Elias. The Clinton campaign staff has never been known for transparency. Buried in the detailed account is a footnote stating that Elias “declined to be voluntarily interviewed by the Office.” Likewise, Durham noted that “no one at Fusion GPS … would agree to voluntarily speak with the Office” while both the DNC and Clinton campaign invoked privileges to refuse to answer certain questions.

Elias, his former partner Michael Sussmann, and the campaign were later found involved in not just spreading the false claims from the Steele dossier but other false stories like the Alfa Bank conspiracy claim. It was Elias who managed the legal budget for the campaign. We now know that the campaign hid the funding of the Steele dossier as a legal expense. New York Times reporter Ken Vogel said 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.”

Elias was also seated next to John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman, when he was asked about the role of the campaign, he denied categorically any contractual agreement with Fusion GPS. Even assuming that Podesta was kept in the dark, the Durham Report clearly shows that Elias knew and played an active role in pushing this effort.

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“The lesson we’ve taught Putin is that we’re a bunch of total f**king jokers..”

Ukraine A ‘Corrupt S**Thole’ – Ex-Boris Johnson Adviser (RT)

The UK and its allies got tricked into backing a “corrupt mafia state” in Ukraine and getting into a war of attrition against a Moscow-Beijing partnership, Dominic Cummings has said in an interview. The longtime Tory political strategist led the Vote Leave campaign for Brexit and was one of the key aides to then-PM Boris Johnson until resigning in November 2020. “We should have never got into the whole stupid situation,” Cummings told the outlet I News in an interview published on Wednesday, commenting on London’s full-throated support for Kiev. He also described Ukraine as a “corrupt s**thole that doesn’t matter at all.” “This is not a replay of 1940 with the pumpkin [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky as the Churchillian underdog,” he added. “This whole Ukrainian corrupt mafia state has basically conned us all and we’re all going to get f**ked as a consequence.”

Western sanctions have been “more of a disaster” for the EU than for Russia, driving up the cost of living while pushing Moscow and Beijing closer together, according to Cummings. All the West managed to do is get into a war of attrition with Russia, “who we pushed into an alliance with the world’s biggest manufacturing power.” Cummings also addressed the argument that Russian President Vladimir Putin needed to be “taught a lesson” about invading neighbors. “The lesson we’ve taught Putin is that we’re a bunch of total f**king jokers,” he said. “I mean, Putin already knew that before the war. But this has emphasized it and broadcast it to the entire world, what a bunch of clowns we are,” he added. Between the sanctions regime and the US trying to seize frozen Russian assets, the West is encouraging the emergence of alternative global financial systems, he explained. That’s not teaching Putin any lesson, only that we’re idiots.

Cummings slammed Johnson – with whom he is no longer on speaking terms – for using the Ukraine conflict for “acting out his Churchillian fantasies,” as well as the Parliament, which “swallowed all of his total bulls**t on Ukraine and actually took it seriously.” Johnson was the key figure in getting Kiev to reject a peace deal with Russia in April 2022, according to the top Ukrainian negotiator, as well as Ukrainian media. The former PM denied his role in scuttling the talks, calling the account “total nonsense and Russian propaganda.” However, he confirmed that he told Zelensky the UK would back him “a thousand percent” and that any deal with Moscow would be bad.

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“The illegal alien doesn’t even need to complete the ballot, they only need to exist to generate one. Once the ballot is created, it can be filled out by anyone..”

Tucker Carlson Interviews Catherine Englebrecht About Illegal Alien Voting (CTH)

Catherine Englebrecht from True The Vote (TTV) has been working diligently in the sphere of trying to clean up voter registration rolls and ensure voter integrity for decades now. Englebrecht has faced constant targeting from agencies of the federal government and politicians who benefit from voter fraud, ballot fraud and illegal voting overall.In this interview with Tucker Carlson, Catherine Englebrecht explains the federal loophole that assists in permitting illegal alien votes. If the illegal alien believes they are lawfully permitted to vote, they are not prosecuted. As with everything else, the key to understanding how illegal aliens vote is to understand the process created by democrats. The main goal in the modern era is to generate ballots. In order to generate ballots, the secretaries of state need a name and identifier for the ballot creation. Registering their existence is where illegal alien voting starts.

Getting state IDs or a Driver’s License, links the identity to the Secretary of State office. That identity then creates a potential ballot. The ballot is the vehicle for the unlawful vote. The illegal alien doesn’t even need to complete the ballot, they only need to exist to generate one. Once the ballot is created, it can be filled out by anyone. Ballot harvesters are those who collect the ballots and then fill them out. Organizations like Black Lives Matter and various leftist political activist groups are the ballot harvesters. The harvesters are paid by organizations funded by large donors and leftist corporations.

The harvesters then turn the completed ballots over to the polling counters/workers. The polling counters/workers come from the African Methodist Episcopal church, the AME church network. Election and polling location work is the primary work of the AME church system. The members of the AME church then destroy ballots that are completed by people against their interests, while simultaneously scanning the fraudulent ballots multiple times. This is how the fraudulent ballot system works to overwhelm the accurate voting system.

It is not a complicated system; we are just not allowed to talk about it and we are supposed to pretend it is not happening. Catherine Englebrecht has been exposing this system for decades. However, in the era of Trump but both wings of the political uniparty apparatus have gone too far with the fraud to stop now. The popularity of President Trump forced the central ballot fraud operators to generate such a massive amount of fraudulent ballots that a BIG LIE cover -with major assistance from media- was needed to cover for it. Decades of intentionally built legal plausible deniability also stops the truth of the scale of fraud from surfacing.

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In theory.

Biden Faces Impeachment Over Israel Weapons Suspension (RT)

A Republican congressman has filed articles of impeachment against US President Joe Biden for withholding deliveries of weapons to Israel, making a point of using the exact same phrasing the Democrats had used to impeach President Donald Trump. Earlier this week, Biden told CNN that “we’re not going to supply the weapons and artillery shells” to Israel if it proceeded with plans to attack Rafah City in south Gaza. Republicans quickly pointed out that Democrats had accused Trump of “abuse of power” for allegedly withholding congressionally approved military aid in 2019. “Joe Biden is pressuring Israel, our biggest ally in the Middle East, by pausing their funding that has already been approved in the House, if they don’t stop all operations with Hamas,” Representative Cory Mills of Florida told Fox News on Thursday, adding that it was a pretty clear case of “quid pro quo” and that he intended to impeach Biden for it.

On Friday, Mills made good on his threat, formally initiating the procedure in the US House of Representatives. “In violation of his oath to faithfully execute the office of the president and to uphold the Constitution, President Biden abused the powers of his office by soliciting a ‘quid pro quo’ with Israel while leveraging vital military aid for policy changes,” according to Mills. Democrats, who controlled the House of Representatives at the time, impeached Trump in a party-line vote after accusing him of abuse of power. They claimed Trump had threatened to delay a shipment of weapons to Ukraine unless Kiev investigated the firing of a prosecutor who was looking into a company that had hired Biden’s son Hunter. Biden had publicly boasted about getting the prosecutor fired, but as he was in the race for the Democrats’ 2020 presidential nomination, the party claimed this amounted to soliciting “election interference.”

The impeachment went nowhere because the Republican-majority Senate refused to convict Trump in February 2020. Republicans currently hold a slim majority in the House of Representatives, which has been largely ineffective at opposing the Democrats’ priorities. Even if Mills manages to get the House to impeach Biden, it is highly likely that he will be acquitted in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

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Is he wrong?

Russia Fighting ‘Reincarnation Of Fascism’ – Medvedev (RT)

Russia’s military operation in Ukraine is a step towards defeating fascism and Nazism once and for all, former president and head of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev has said. In an article marking the 79th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany, he wrote that fascism had been officially defeated in World War II but the West has allowed its ideological descendants to continue wreaking havoc by supporting the Kiev regime. “For many years, even the demonstration of Nazi symbols, not to mention other symbols and ideas of Hitlerism, was legally prohibited in most countries of the world,” he said. Now, however, he said Russia was being “forced to fight the reincarnation of fascism, its zombie spawn, which embodies the disgusting and cynical great-grandson of Hitlerism – the Nazi regime of Kiev.”

The US, EU and other Western states have firmly sided with Kiev in its conflict with Russia. Ukraine’s backers have spent billions on the war effort and have supplied it with ammunition and weaponry, while placing unprecedented economic sanctions on Moscow. In the article, published on the official webpage of the Russian Security Council on Thursday, Medvedev slammed the “furious efforts to turn the world upside down, split and burn it in the conflagration of World War III.”Our former World War II allies enthusiastically feed, stuff with weapons and incite new Nazis, whose goal is to erase Russia from the map. According to Medvedev, Nazism won’t disappear on its own and therefore needs to be eradicated – this is what Russia sees as its “historical mission.” He noted, however, that Russia’s military operation and “the denazification” of Ukraine is only the first step towards building a new “architecture” of international relations, which would involve creating global instruments aiming to ensure the security and stable development of all states.

Together with our colleagues and partners, we are building a new, just and multipolar world order in which there can be no place for pressure and oppression, the rise of some nations at the expense of others, humiliation and exploitation of entire peoples, neocolonial habits and criminal business schemes. Medvedev said Russia’s victory over the Kiev regime would bring justice against both its nationalist leaders and their “owners, sponsors and ideological inspirers,” who are profiting from efforts to drag out the conflict. Similar sentiments had been voiced earlier on Thursday by Russian President Vladimir Putin. In his address at the Victory Day military parade in Moscow, he accused the West of pursuing a colonial policy and inciting regional conflicts to restrain the development of non-Western nations. He vowed that Russia would do everything possible to prevent a global conflict, but warned that it would not allow anyone to threaten its own safety and sovereignty.

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“They plotted by the lights of the White House Christmas tree to go after the interloper with all they had..”

Carnival Rides (Kunstler)

The miasma of anxiety befogging so many brains in our troubled land begins to lift as every narrative served up by the US fascist intel blob goes annoyingly stale and impotent. The worst media meme — that a vicious officialdom is “defending our democracy” — gets laughed out of the room now when repeated incessantly by such shills as Jen Psaki and Lawrence O’Donnell of MSNBC. Everybody understands they want to “defend our democracy” by cancelling your freedom of speech, pounding you into bankruptcy, and stealing whatever remains of your stuff. Likewise, everything else, namely: that our doings in Ukraine are a “fight for freedom,” that “white supremacy” lurks just out of sight getting ready to pounce on the “marginized” (who are actually running things, and doing it very badly), that “Joe Biden” turned around the economy, that “voting rights” equals non-citizens getting to vote, that election fraud is a “big lie” (and that the J-6 riot over it was an “insurrection”), and that the Covid vaccines were “safe and effective.”

None of these dishonest persuasions work anymore, and all of the persuasion machinery stands in plain sight like so many nauseating carnival rides. One by one, the rides are flying apart, scattering debris and body parts of the poor slobs who were on the rides all over the fairgrounds. And so, the fear rises in the ones running the carnival. The county sheriff stands by looking to round up the sleazeball carnies with their missing teeth and needle tracks inside their elbows. Before long, they will find themselves in the courtroom. . . .The vicious officialdom put up the carnival and all of its rides to distract the public from the crimes they committed during and after the 2016 election. Donald Trump’s idle talk about putting Hillary Clinton in jail struck nerves throughout the federal bureaucracy, the halls of Congress, and the strongholds of the Clintons and the Obamas.

The Clintons had literally bought the Democratic Party apparatus under the DNC, using the money they grifted into the Clinton foundation from such operations as the Uranium One deal, the Skolkovo war-tech transfer deal, and the Haiti earthquake relief effort. They were sure that ownership of the DNC guaranteed the election for Hillary. It did guarantee that she would overcome Bernie Sanders’ primary election victories and the delegates that came with them, even after Julian Assange’s Wikileaks release informed the world just how the Clintons bought and paid for the DNC and the whole Philadelphia convention. Call this the birth of the “misinformation” cult, in which everything true was converted into a “big lie.”

The problem was, Hillary lost that election. What a surprise! Buying the convention was not enough, it turned out. Those “deplorables” did the unthinkable: cast enough of their stinky votes in just the right rust belt precincts to elect the Golden Golem of Greatness, who was as surprised as anybody, and really unprepared to cobble together an actual governing administration — in the process of which, Donald J. Trump was completely buffaloed by the outgoing Obama gang. They plotted by the lights of the White House Christmas tree to go after the interloper with all they had, starting with the surgical removal of a most dangerous appointee, National Security Advisor Mike Flynn, who knew all the secrets. . . and from there onto four years of Russia, Russia, Russia. . . .

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Bery best frens
https://twitter.com/i/status/1788903335351001384

 

 

Mommy
https://twitter.com/i/status/1788906678915575881

 

 

Chicken feed

 

 

Chicken wire

 

 

Lion cuddle

 

 

 

 

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Mar 052024
 


Pablo Picasso The Rooster 1918

 

Supreme Court Rules 9-0 That Trump Cannot Be Kicked Off Any State Ballot (PM)
House Dems Implode Over Supreme Court Decision (ZH)
‘Uncommitted’ Voters Unite Against Biden Ahead of Super Tuesday (RT)
The Five FUBARs (Jim Kunstler)
‘Ukraine is Russia’ – Medvedev (RT)
Draft-Eligible Ukraine Men Flee ‘Certain Death’ (Sp.)
The Good Germans Are Blowing Smoke (Helmer)
The Brainwashing of Germany in Preparation for War (Bittner)
German Defense Ministry Uses ‘1234’ As Password (RT)
Zelensky and the West Have A New Scam – And Taxpayers Will Foot The Bill (RT)
Losing to Russia Shatters Western Leaders’ Belief in Their Exceptionalism (Sp.)
Is Tehran Winning the Middle East? (Juan Cole)
The EU’s American Queen (Lily Lynch)
Musk’s X Could Face New EU Restrictions (RT)
Ballot Drop Boxes Installed Along Border Wall (BBee)

 

 

 

 

2024 ad

 

 

New Yorker profile of Biden: “The former Hollywood executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, a co-chair of Biden’s campaign, urged him to embrace his age with swagger, like his fellow-octogenarians Mick Jagger and Harrison Ford.”

 

 

Free falling

 

 

 

 

Tucker Macgregor
https://twitter.com/i/status/1764850563940794481

 

 

Social media arrests
https://twitter.com/i/status/1764691399331754399

 

 

 

 

San Diego

 

 

2007

 

 

There’s a separate 5-4 decision hidden in this unanimous decision. Roberts, Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh affirmatively rule that Congress has the sole power to enforce the “Insurrection” provision. Barrett objects for unelaborated reasons, Sotomayor, Kagan, Jackson dissent

 

 

“We conclude that States may disqualify persons holding or attempting to hold state office. But States have no power under the Constitution to enforce Section 3 with respect to federal offices, especially the Presidency,” the Court ruled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BBC: “Donald Trump says today’s Supreme Court decision that he cannot be banned from Colorado’s presidential ballot, is “both unifying and inspirational”. Speaking to Fox News, Trump said: “A great win for America. Very, very important!” He went on to highlight another legal case that is set to fall to the Supreme Court: that of presidential immunity. “Equally important for our country will be the decision that they will soon make on immunity for a president – without which, the presidency would be relegated to nothing more than a ceremonial position, which is far from what the founders intended.

“No president would be able to properly and effectively function without complete and total immunity.” The Supreme Court will hear arguments in April on whether Trump is immune from being prosecuted on charges of trying to overturn the 2020 election. Trump had claimed that he was immune from all criminal charges for acts that he said fell within his duties as president. A US Court of Appeals panel has already rejected Trump’s argument..”

Supreme Court Rules 9-0 That Trump Cannot Be Kicked Off Any State Ballot (PM)

In a stunning reversal on Monday morning, the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously decided against the Supreme Court of Colorado in their decision to remove Donald Trump from the state’s ballot. They further said that this ruling applies to any state who wishes to make this move. Trump cannot be removed from the ballot in any state. Colorado had made the determination that Trump could not stand for office and justified their tactic through invoking the “insurrection” clause of the 14th Amendment, section 3. After their ruling, other states jumped on board, saying that Trump would not be permitted to stand for office in their states, either. The Court states that “if States were free to enforce Section 3 by barring candidates from running in the first place, Congress would be forced to exercise its disability removal power before voting begins if it wished for its decision to have any effect on the current election cycle. Perhaps a State may burden congressional authority in such a way when it exercises its ‘exclusive’ sovereign power over its own state offices.”

“But,” they continued, “it is implausible to suppose that the Constitution affirmatively delegated to the States the authority to impose such a burden on congressional power with respect to candidates for federal office.” The Court further stated that the petitioners on behalf of Colorado were unable to identify any “tradition of state enforcement of section 3 against federal officeholders or candidates in the years following ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment.” The key aspect, however, is what they had to say about the implications of letting a ruling like that in Colorado stand. “Conflicting state outcomes concerning the same candidate could result not just from differing views of the merits, but from variations in state law governing the proceedings that are necessary to make Section 3 disqualification determinations. Some States might allow a Section 3 challenge to succeed based on a preponderance of the evidence, while others might require a heightened showing.”

“Certain evidence (like the congressional Report on which the lower courts relied here) might be admissible in some States but inadmissible hearsay in others. Disqualification might be possible only through criminal prosecution, as opposed to expedited civil proceedings, in particular States. “Indeed, in some States—unlike Colorado (or Maine, where the secretary of state recently issued an order excluding former President Trump from the primary ballot)—procedures for excluding an ineligible candidate from the ballot may not exist at all.” “The result could well be that a single candidate would be declared ineligible in some States, but not others, based on the same conduct (and perhaps even the same factual record).” “The ‘patchwork’ that would likely result from state enforcement would ‘sever the direct link that the Framers found so critical between the National Government and the people of the United States’ as a whole. U. S. Term Limits, 514 U. S., at 822.”

“But in a Presidential election ‘the impact of the votes cast in each State is affected by the votes cast’— or, in this case, the votes not allowed to be cast—’for the various candidates in other States.’ Anderson, 460 U. S., at 795. An evolving electoral map could dramatically change the behavior of voters, parties, and States across the country, in different ways and at different times. “The disruption would be all the more acute—and could nullify the votes of millions and change the election result—if Section 3 enforcement were attempted after the Nation has voted. Nothing in the Constitution requires that we endure such chaos—arriving at any time or different times, up to and perhaps beyond the Inauguration.” “For the reasons given, responsibility for enforcing Section 3 against federal officeholders and candidates rests with Congress and not the States,” the Court determined.

“The judgment of the Colorado13 Cite as: 601 U. S. ____ (2024) Per Curiam Supreme Court therefore cannot stand.” “All nine Members of the Court agree with that result,” they wrote. “The judgment of the Colorado Supreme Court is reversed.” The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case earlier in February, taking on the case on an emergency basis. In their hearing of the case, they appeared to lean toward the conclusion that state’s do not have the right to unilaterally remove candidates, thereby denying their citizens the right to cote for the candidate of their choice. Illinois, Maine and other states that have attempted this tactic will now find that they are powerless to carry it out.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1764683741601944022

https://twitter.com/i/status/1764686616805908867

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“President Biden… Fight your fight yourself. Don’t use prosecutors and judges to go after your opponent… our country is much bigger than that..”

House Dems Implode Over Supreme Court Decision (ZH)

Update (1400ET): Not satisfied to let the Supreme Court-enforced Democratic process play out, House Democrats are now preparing legislation to try and keep Trump off the ballot. “Congress will have to try and act,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, in a comment to creepy deep state mouthpiece Axios (which swears the border is extra-secure!). Raskin, a former member of the Jan. 6 select committee, said he is already crafting the bill, telling Axios, “I’m working on it – today.” Raskin pointed to legislation he introduced with Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) in 2022 creating a pathway for the Justice Department to sue to keep candidates off the ballot under the 14th Amendment. “We are going to revise it in light of the Supreme Court’s decision,” Raskin said. -Axios

“I don’t have a lot of hope that Speaker [Mike] Johnson will allow us to bring enforcement legislation to the floor, but we have to try and do it,” said Raskin, who said he’ll ‘beseech’ Republicans to join the bill. Very Democratic, Jamie. Update (1320ET): Former President Trump has responded to the Supreme Court’s ruling keeping him on the ballot in Colorado (and therefore, everywhere else). According to Trump, the decision was “very well crafted,” and “will go a long way toward bringing our country together.” Trump also slammed Biden for ‘weaponizing’ prosecutors against him. “President Biden… Fight your fight yourself. Don’t use prosecutors and judges to go after your opponent… our country is much bigger than that,” Trump said, speaking from Mar-a-Lago.

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“..Nikki Haley suffered an embarrassment when she became the first candidate to lose to ‘no-one’ in the Nevada GOP primary since the option was introduced in 1975..”

‘Uncommitted’ Voters Unite Against Biden Ahead of Super Tuesday (RT)

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), the largest socialist organization in the US, has urged primary voters to cast their ballots for ‘uncommitted’ rather than President Joe Biden to show their opposition to his stance on the Israel-Hamas war. The announcement comes just two days before the primary elections on March 5 – known as Super Tuesday – when millions of Americans are expected to vote. In a series of X (formerly Twitter) posts on Sunday, the DSA, which has more than 92,000 members and chapters in all US states, demanded that the White House end the bloodshed in Gaza by revoking military assistance to Israel, saying Biden will be to blame if former President Donald Trump is reelected this year.

“Today, DSA endorses ‘Uncommitted’ in the remaining Democratic presidential primaries. Until this administration ends its support for Israel’s genocide in Gaza and delivers a permanent, lasting ceasefire, Joe Biden will bear the responsibility for another Trump presidency,” the organization said, adding that “defeat is certain” if Biden continues on the current course. “This week’s brutal ‘Flour Massacre’ has proven once again that Israel is a brutal, inhumane apartheid state which carries a legacy of 75 years of genocide and occupation. Over 30,000 Palestinians have already died; how many will be ENOUGH for Joe Biden to stop this war?” the DSA said in a follow-up post, referring to the tragedy on February 29 when at least 112 Palestinians were killed and more than 750 were injured while waiting for much-needed food aid in Gaza City.

The campaign calling on Democrats to vote ‘uncommitted’ was organized by local chapters of the DSA and the Colorado Palestine Coalitions last week and is gaining popularity amid protests against the Gaza war. The DSA noted that over 100,000 people voted ‘uncommitted’ in the Michigan primary last week. The movement was also endorsed by a major labor union, UFCW 3000, which represents more than 50,000 grocery workers in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Biden is not the only one feeling the heat from voters who are choosing ‘none of the above’. Last week, Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley suffered an embarrassment when she became the first candidate to lose to ‘no-one’ in the Nevada GOP primary since the option was introduced in 1975.

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“..DA’s and AG’s who make election promises to “go after” individuals without such niceties as probable cause..”

The Five FUBARs (Jim Kunstler)

You saw last year how the blob elite greeted the transfer of illegal immigrants to their happy little island of Martha’s Vineyard. (They were not amused by Governor DeSantis’s prank, and off-loaded the mutts post-haste.) But that same smug demographic doesn’t care if hundreds of thousands are distributed to the big cities, which are now fiscally destabilized by them to an extreme, probably to bankruptcy. Of course, that is not the main thing to worry about with what altogether amounts to millions of border-jumpers flooding our land. The main reason to worry is what the blob that invited them here intends for them to do, which, you may suspect, is to unleash mayhem in the streets, malls, stadiums, and upon our infrastructure just in time to derail the election — perhaps even to make war on us right in our homeland.

The US government is paying for this whole operation, you understand, funneling our tax money to international cut-out orgs who set up the transfer camps in Panama, and buy the plane tickets for the mutts to cross the ocean, and coordinate with the Mexican cartels to shuttle this horde of mystery people among us to work their juju for the Democratic Party. The pissed-off-ness of the public has passed the red line on this. A third FUBAR is the lawfare campaign of the Democratic Party and its regime in power against the citizens of this land. This folder includes overt and obvious political prosecutions by DA’s and AG’s who make election promises to “go after” individuals without such niceties as probable cause. It includes the gigantic new scaffold of inter-agency censorship and propaganda. It includes the psychopathic struggle sessions mandated by “diversity and inclusion” policy. It includes election-rigging directed by the likes of Marc Elias and Norm Eisen, getting states to fiddle laws on voter ID and mail-in ballots.

It includes the political protection of rogue groups ranging from looter flash-mobs to Antifa anarchists who bust up things and people and burn buildings down. It includes state officials who peremptorily kick candidates off the ballot. It includes a nakedly biased judiciary, and especially the use of the DC federal district court to punish people extralegally, unjustly, extravagantly, and cruelly. In short, lawfare is the complete perversion of law, and we-the -people are entreated by reprobate officials such as Merrick Garland and Letitia James to accept it. A fourth item on this list is the US economy which has been overwhelmed by maladministration of an overgrown monster bureaucracy, and the gross (perhaps fatal) mismanagement of the government’s money. The people of this land are not being allowed to do business, to find a livelihood, to transact fairly. “Joe Biden’s” shadow string-pullers are messing as badly with the oil and gas producers as they have messed with Ukraine. And they are doing it in pursuit of a laughable mirage: their “green new deal.”

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”The best fate they can expect [from the West] is to become slaves to the ailing European freak show..”

‘Ukraine is Russia’ – Medvedev (RT)

Ukraine lies within the sphere of Russian strategic interests and has no future in any other capacity, Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy chair of the Russian Security Council, has stated. Russian people consider Ukraine to be part of the larger Russian civilization, the senior official said in a speech at a youth conference in Sochi on Monday. Moscow considers it to be the country’s “soft underbelly,” from which no threat to Russia should be allowed to be projected. ”The territories on both banks of the Dnieper River are an inalienable part of Russian strategic historic borders,” he said, using his preferred term for what is usually known as ‘sphere of influence’ in geopolitics. “All attempts to change them by force, to cut its living body, are doomed.”

He noted the title of a book by Leonid Kuchma, the second president of Ukraine following its independence from the USSR, which declared: ‘Ukraine is not Russia’. “This concept must vanish forever. Ukraine is without a doubt Russia,” Medvedev said. He blasted the current government in Kiev as the “main threat” to its own people, considering its anti-Russian policies. Ukrainians have “fallen into a stupid trap” set for it by the US and its allies, who have successfully turned the nation into a weapon against Russia, he said. ”The best fate they can expect [from the West] is to become slaves to the ailing European freak show,” Medvedev said, referring to the leaders of the EU and UK, who he described as incompetent and subservient to Washington.

”[The Ukrainians] will play the role of a deaf-mute servant who is raped every day in a European kitchen by a lord from overseas,” the former president added. Russia is not interested in territorial conquest, Medvedev said. Whatever natural riches Ukraine has, Russia also has in abundance, he claimed. ”The great treasure that we will not surrender to anyone for anything is the people,” he said. The Ukrainians have become “confused” by Western propaganda, but at their core they have the same values and way of life as the Russians, and need to be rescued, Medvedev said.

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“These individuals may be restricted from traveling abroad, have their driver’s license suspended, or their bank accounts seized if they fail to do so..”

“..two categories of citizens are currently not involved in the mobilization, namely “those who are behind bars and those who are not.”

Draft-Eligible Ukraine Men Flee ‘Certain Death’ (Sp.)

Ukraine’s lack of any clear mobilization strategy aimed at plugging the gaping holes in the ranks of its armed forces is fueling “deep divisions in Ukraine’s parliament and more broadly in Ukrainian society,” The Washington Post reported. Despite mounting losses, which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been downplaying to wheedle more money from the West, there is still “no political consensus” on how to remedy the severe shortage of troops on the battlefront. There is a yawning split between Zelensky and his top military commanders on a plan to conscript the thousands of soldiers they need as Russia continues to advance after liberating the stronghold of Avdeyevka. As a result, Ukraine’s military has been “relying on a hodgepodge of recruiting efforts and sown panic among fighting-age men,” the publication stated. It referenced the package of aid to Kiev still stalled in the US Congress, adding that many of Ukraine’s men “have gone into hiding, worried that they will be drafted into an ill-equipped army and sent to certain death.”

Infighting over how many more troops Ukraine needs “factored” into Zelensky’s sacking of his top general in February, the outlet noted. The previous Ukrainian commander-in-chief, Gen. Valery Zaluzhny, was dismissed, with Colonel General Oleksandr Syrsky taking over, amid an overall reshuffle of the military command by Zelensky. Zaluzhny’s ouster came after months of intrigue between himself and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who slammed the commander for revealing that Kiev’s summer 2023 counteroffensive had ended in failure. But, apparently, new Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrsky has so far failed to bring new clarity regarding Ukraine’s mobilization efforts. Syrsky has been tasked with auditing the armed forces to scrape up more combat-eligible troops, added the publication. This comes after President Zelensky’s office recently announced that only some 300,000 have fought at the frontline of the one million people who have been mobilized.

With Ukraine’s rapidly dwindling troop strength described as a “strategic crisis,” Oleksiy Bezhevets, an adviser to the Defense Ministry on recruitment, was cited as saying that civilians of fighting age must recognize the fact that “there’s no time for you left to sit home.” Volodymyr Zelensky said in December 2023 that the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces had stressed the need to recruit an additional 450,000-500,000 men for the army. Accordingly, the government submitted a draft law on mobilization to parliament on January 30. However, the result has been a drawn-out and heated debate. The bill, which would broaden the scope of the draft, lowering the eligibility age from 27 to 25 years, caused outrage in the country and was sent back for revision.

It also obligates people liable for military service to report to military commissariats to clarify their information within 60 days, Ukrainian media reported. These individuals may be restricted from traveling abroad, have their driver’s license suspended, or their bank accounts seized if they fail to do so. Amid the debate over such draconian measures in January, panicky account holders withdrew over $700 million in a single month, the WaPo added. In February, Ukrainian Justice Minister Denys Maliuska proposed giving prisoners weapons and shovels when they are mobilized for the Ukrainian Armed Forces. He underscored that in Ukraine, two categories of citizens are currently not involved in the mobilization, namely “those who are behind bars and those who are not.” Maliuska previously said that at least 50,000 men of military age with criminal records are hiding from Ukrainian draft boards and are not registered with the military.

The Russian Defense Ministry earlier said that amid the disruption of mobilization plans and in order to conceal massive losses of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the Kiev regime has intensified the recruitment of mercenaries. Fighters from the United States, Canada, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East have joined the ranks of the Ukrainian military. Furthermore, NATO soldiers under the guise of mercenaries are involved in combat operations in Ukraine, Colonel-General Sergei Rudskoy, head of the Russian General Staff’s Main Operational Directorate, told Russian media.

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“What remains is for the Kremlin and General Staff to decide to teach the Germans the only lesson by the only method they understand..”

The Good Germans Are Blowing Smoke (Helmer)

The political comprehension of the Germans — to adapt Mao Zedong’s axiom that political power comes out of the barrel of a gun — only comes out of the barrel of a Russian gun. The good Germans define themselves publicly by wishing this weren’t true because they realise there’s nothing they can do to stop the rest of their countrymen from throwing themselves at Russian guns until there are no more of them, the good Germans among them. One of these wishfully good Germans is called Florian Roetzer, who founded the widely read internet publication Telepolis in 1996, and retired to write elsewhere in 2021. Roetzer has just published his analysis of the transcript of last month’s teleconference at which the chief of the German Air Force, Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz, discussed with three subordinates a plan of attack on Russian civil and military targets with the German Taurus KEPD 350E cruise missile; conceal this German operation behind British, French, and Ukrainian forces and German commercial companies; accelerate the missile deliveries; and present the plan for approval by German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius and Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Gerhartz is not only waging personal war against Russia, as he explained on the telephone two weeks ago, on February 19. Last November he declared personal war in alliance with the Israel Air Force in implementing the genocide of Gaza. In Roetzer’s new analysis, published on March 2 in Overton magazine, the problem is not (in Roetzer’s mind) that Gerhartz and the Bundeswehr are losing their war on the Ukrainian battlefield, or that they are aiming to provoke Russian counterattack against German targets outside that battlefield. “The fact that Russia was able to eavesdrop on the conversations of the German officers…is a major problem for the Bundeswehr, also in relation to its partners, who may no longer trust it.” “The bigger [sic] problem, however, has been Putin’s for quite some time, after one red line after another has been crossed by the NATO countries, without Russia really reacting to it, apart from warnings…But so far, Putin has accepted any military support for Ukraine.

“But if it is now becoming more and more public knowledge that NATO countries are directly supporting Ukraine with target data and in general in attacks with Western missiles and cruise missiles through the participation of soldiers in civilian and intelligence officers, and thus become parties to war, then Putin, who propagates that Russia is defending itself in Ukraine, has the problem of showing weakness and only bluffing, if no action is taken against it.” “It is obvious” – according to Roetzer – “that Russia cannot compete against a NATO weakened by the Ukraine war and therefore avoids a direct conflict. But if the attacks on Russia continue to increase and Western weapons are openly used, Putin will lose support in Russia if there is no military response…With the publication of the wiretapped conversation of the German officers, the Russian leadership may have harmed itself – if only because the Bundeswehr must now try to close the security gap. It is possible that [state media director Margarita] Simonyan has gone too far here. The question is whether the publication was coordinated with the Kremlin.”

That Germany is at war with Russia has been understood in Moscow for a long time. That there are good Germans like Roetzer who would like it to be otherwise for moral, legal, German national, or personal reasons is also well-known. Some of these good Germans have even served as German generals. What the Navalny Novichok episode of the autumn of 2020 revealed, followed by the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines in September 2022; and now last month’s teleconference conducted by Gerhartz – what all three episodes reveal is not how the Germans are understood in Moscow, but rather how the good Germans react when confronted with the war they are powerless to deter or stop their countrymen from waging. The impotence of the German opposition to this war is also well understood in Moscow. What remains is for the Kremlin and General Staff to decide to teach the Germans the only lesson by the only method they understand. That is the lesson the Germans have been failing to learn for seventy-nine years next month — since April 30, 1945, when Adolf Hitler shot himself before he could be captured by the Red Army waiting outside his bunker in Berlin.

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“And then she added : “But Putin…”.

The Brainwashing of Germany in Preparation for War (Bittner)

Recently my friend G., with whom I still correspond occasionally, wrote to me saying that he had read my book “State of Emergency” and got the impression that I had fallen into a “filter bubble”. He comes from a wealthy family, his father was a senior teacher, his mother a doctor, and at a young age he was a professor of mathematics at a southern German university and also a guest lecturer in Japan, South Korea and the USA. He cannot understand the fact that I am of the opinion that it is not Russia but the USA and its allies that are to blame for most of the conflicts in the world, especially the war in Ukraine and the economic decline in Germany and Western Europe. G. would like to give me friendly advice to reconsider my political views and to please obtain information from the public media and “reputable” newspapers such as Frankfurter Allgemeine, Welt or Süddeutsche and not from so-called alternative media. If I see “evil” in the USA rather than in Putin, all he can say about himself is that he would rather live “under the evil of the Americans” than that of the Russians.

And if the NATO protective umbrella, under which the Europeans have set themselves up so well, were to become leaky, things would not look rosy for Western Europe compared to a country like Russia full of nuclear weapons. It is sad that so much money has to be spent on “defensive armament”, but it is good that Putin is getting older and older and that the end of his tyranny is imminent at some point in the near future for the good of humanity. Like other acquaintances and friends, G. is firmly convinced that he knows everything and is right. All we agree on is that wars are terrible and must be avoided. But at this point the dissent begins again, because G. considers “humanitarian interventions”, such as those carried out by the USA again and again, to be legitimate and even necessary to defend freedom and democracy. I can describe the views represented by G. as exemplary. German society is thoroughly rabble-roused, and it is divided between those who have retained an eye for the facts and the others, the far greater majority, who have succumbed to years of influence.

My hairdresser, with whom I discussed, is of the opinion that Germany needs the atomic bomb to protect itself from “the Russian” who will soon attack Poland and the Baltic countries. When I countered that Vladimir Putin had called for cooperation and a common economic zone from Vladivostok to Lisbon in a memorable speech to the German Bundestag in 2001, he replied: “This Putin is lying as soon as he opens his mouth.” The resulting dispute ended He asked me the completely serious question: “Why do you think you can judge the political situation better than me?” He told me that he reads the newspaper in the morning and watches the Tagesschau in the evening. He also speaks to customers every day who all have different opinions than me. Every now and then I gave lectures and discussed things publicly. Most of the time, listeners and discussants came who shared my views or at least kept an open mind. After one such event, a middle-aged woman who identified herself as a judge said to me: “Everything you said was logical and well-documented, although from an unusual perspective, but you largely convinced me.” And then she added : “But Putin…”.

Indoctrination has not stopped at the doors of universities either. There are still some contacts with colleagues there from the time when I was a visiting professor in Poland, but they have become fragile. My friend Tomasz, who unfortunately also succumbed to US-controlled propaganda against Russia and for Ukraine, wrote to me: “I cannot understand the people who prefer to look the other way after the Russian attack on Ukraine. Stop this policy that is killing thousands of innocent people. “Putin with his megalomania has destroyed a long and stable peace in Europe.” He really believes that and he continued: “For me, Putin resembles Hitler to a T.” It is not Ukraine, which wants to go its own sovereign way, that is to blame for the war, but Putin, for whom Ukraine is just an appetizer. He built gas pipelines behind the EU’s back and against Poland’s interests. This shows his true colors, leading and oppressing other countries like dogs on a leash.

At least I was able to have a somewhat civilized conversation with my German friend and with Tomasz, if only by holding back. The space for debate has become increasingly narrow, and the authorities are no longer relying on the previous psychological warfare. Rather, the pressure on those who think differently, their patronization and harassment, is increasing dramatically. Anyone who doesn’t step up and stand out must expect the destruction of their existence and worse.

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“..the Russians could have simply logged on to the unsecured WebEx call without the officers noticing..”

German Defense Ministry Uses ‘1234’ As Password (RT)

The German Defense Ministry has protected a press statement on leaked military communications behind the password “1234.” German media has mocked the ministry for the “extremely embarrassing” security detail. The statement, made by Defense Minister Boris Pistorius on Sunday, was posted in audio format on the ministry’s website on Monday. Under a link to a cloud storage service hosting the file, the ministry informed visitors that they could access the recording by entering the password “1234.” While the file is not classified and the password was likely chosen as a placeholder, its use was roundly mocked by German tabloid Bild. “After the wiretapping attack on the Bundeswehr [German military] by Russian spies, this is extremely embarrassing,” the paper wrote on Monday.

On Friday, RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan published a transcript and audio recording of a conversation between four officers of the German Air Force, including its top general, Ingo Gerhartz, saying that she had obtained the file from Russian security officials. Over a WebEx video call, the officers discussed the potential use of German-made Taurus missiles against the Crimean Bridge, wondering how they could maintain plausible deniability of involvement in such an attack. The conversation also revealed that – according to the officers – Britain has already sent its own military specialists to Ukraine to operate Storm Shadow cruise missiles given to the Ukrainian armed forces.

It is unclear how Simonyan’s contacts obtained the audio. However, the deputy chairman of the German parliament’s oversight committee, Roderich Kiesewetter, said on Sunday that the Russians could have simply logged on to the unsecured WebEx call without the officers noticing. Berlin confirmed the recording’s authenticity on Saturday. In his statement on Sunday, Pistorius did not address the apparent security lapses that led to the leak. Instead, he accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of orchestrating the incident as part of an “information war” against the West.

For months, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has been under pressure from Kiev and members of his own cabinet to approve shipments of Taurus missiles to Ukraine. However, he has thus far refused, and the Wall Street Journal noted on Saturday that the leaked conversation could make their eventual delivery less likely. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that the leak proves that “plans to launch strikes on Russian territory are being substantively and specifically discussed within the Bundeswehr.” A day earlier, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned that “Germany is preparing for a war with Russia.”

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“..turning Ukraine into a giant factory showroom for Western weapons..”

Zelensky and the West Have A New Scam – And Taxpayers Will Foot The Bill (RT)

What do you do to boost GDP when your country is neck-deep in military conflict and your allies’ main interest is using you to wash taxpayer cash into their own military industrial complexes? Make that your whole national identity! And demand that the West help you transition. “Our country will become one of the world’s key producers of weapons and defense systems. And this is no longer just an ambition or a prospect, it is a potential that is already being realized,” Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said in September 2023. That plea has echoed all over the Western press. You’d think that it may have thought to “realize” that “potential” before it went live with the big “Ukrainian counteroffensive” show. But hey, making lemonade from lemons, there’s definitely a business opportunity in losing on the battlefield that wouldn’t exist if Ukraine had proven to be adequately stocked up and victorious. Any ambulance-chasing weapons salesman would be attracted by that.

And on top of that, Russia’s whole stated objective from the very outset has been “de-militarization.” Right now, Ukraine is to Western weapons producers what the Cheesecake Factory is to a fat kid. Those slightly less cynical might be tempted to view all this as the path to victory for Ukraine, but a recent incident strongly suggests otherwise. In a leaked audio recording obtained by Russian intelligence and authenticated by the German government, senior Luftwaffe officers, including the Air Force’s chief, are overheard talking about how even the delivery of the German Taurus missiles to Kiev wouldn’t change the course of the conflict in Ukraine’s favor. If even the gold standard German cruise missile that doubles the strike distance of its Western rivals isn’t considered a game changer in the overall conflict with Russia at this point, then odds don’t sound too good for much else.

And who’s going to pay for Ukraine’s identity change, anyway? Western Europe and the US will pay for the transition, of course. Just as they’re also paying to keep all of Ukrainian society afloat, funding salaries and pensions. It’s not like investors are flocking to Ukraine right now. Much of the weapons-making infrastructure from the Cold War has been decimated, and in a country that ranks near the top of the global corruption index, it probably won’t come as a surprise that the industry itself is rife with “mismanagement.” While it’s clear who’s going to pay, what’s less obvious is who will actually benefit from turning Ukraine into a giant factory showroom for Western weapons. Some Western arms manufacturers have rushed into Ukraine to set up shop, such as Germany’s Rheinmetall, which started operating an armored vehicle plant in the country last year. Guess it’s just good business to be cranking out tanks right on the battlefield where they can be blown up coming off the assembly line. May as well just set fire to that Western taxpayer cash funding this charade the moment that it pops out of the ATM.

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“..from [the perspective of] the people who run the United States, the blob, the deep state… this war was absolutely essential.”

Losing to Russia Shatters Western Leaders’ Belief in Their Exceptionalism (Sp.)

There is “sincere panic” among Western leaders who are forced to “face the inevitable fact” that they are losing to Russia, Mark Sleboda, a foreign relations and security analyst told Sputnik’s Fault Lines on Monday. “It is shattering both their preconceptions of this conflict and also shattering their belief in their own exceptionalism and seniority,” he told co-hosts Melik Abdul and Jamarl Thomas. The comments came after discussing the leaked German plans to coordinate a strike on the Crimean bridge or an ammo depot in Krasnodar, which Sleboda said was “planning an act of war on the Russian Federation” noting that Russia would have “every right” to respond. “They were plotting an act of war and [the] Ukrainians in all of this, they weren’t doing the planning, they wouldn’t be doing the implementation, the programing of the missiles on the ground. They were talking about having it be done by German officials and the number [of] people with American accents and civilian clothes,” he said, adding “Their biggest concern, other than which was the more feasible target… was their plausible deniability.”

Sleboda noted that it is an open question if German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who has been publicly against sending Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine, was lying or if “he [was] unaware of what his own military was doing.” Recently, Scholz -seemingly on accident- revealed that British and American personnel are on the ground in Ukraine to help coordinate the long-range missiles provided by those countries to the Kiev regime. “That’s exposing that America and the UK have military people on the ground in the guise of volunteers or mercenaries or humanitarian workers… which means they are at war with Russia. It’s simply undeclared,” Sleboda argued. Noting that the plans violated the “rules” of the conflict by planning a strike inside of Russia’s mainland. “Russia had two options,” Sleboda explained. “They could escalate back or [which they tried] instead expose this, hoping that it will at least dampen down.”

“The West has two options in response, they can either back down or they can escalate in response,” he added. However, the West has a lot at stake in Russia because they bet Western hegemony on the conflict. “We’ve heard from every Western leader… a Russian victory in Ukraine would be a defeat of NATO. They did this to themselves, they invested this much political and geopolitical capital. They’ve said… that US global leadership… is at stake in the outcome of this conflict.” “The world might not have originally reached the same conclusion, but now they forced them to because they… said it so authoritatively.” Host Jamarl Thomas lamented how the West didn’t need to provoke Russia into the conflict, but Sleboda disagreed, saying that it was inevitable from the perspective of the “deep state.”

“They are fighting for US hegemony over the world – that’s why. From their point of view, this was also an inevitability, from [the perspective of] the people who run the United States, the blob, the deep state… this war was absolutely essential.” Sleboda noted that the US did manage to gain one advantage in the war, it made Europe more subservient to them. “They tied Europe more directly to them. Europe is now spending their money on two to four times more expensive [Liquefied Natural Gas] LNG than they were on Russian energy, which means that Europe’s economy, yes, is facing de-industrialization. But, on the plus side, a lot of those European businesses are going to the US. So they achieved very real geopolitical results out of this conflict.”

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“..their leaderships do agree that the days of marginalizing the Palestinians are over..”

Is Tehran Winning the Middle East? (Juan Cole)

Despite their fiery rhetoric, their undeniable backing of fundamentalist militias in the region, and their depiction by inside-the-Beltway war hawks as the root of all evil in the Middle East, Iran’s leaders have long acted more like a status quo power than a force for genuine change. They have shored up the rule of the autocratic al-Assad family in Syria, while helping the Iraqi government that emerged after President George W. Bush’s invasion of that country fight off the terrorist threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). In truth, not Iran but the U.S. and Israel are the countries that have most strikingly tried to use their power to reshape the region in a Napoleonic manner. The disastrous U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, and Israel’s wars on Egypt (1956, 1967), Lebanon (1982-2000, 2006), and Gaza (2008, 2012, 2014, 2024), along with its steady encouragement of large-scale squatting on the Palestinian West Bank, were clearly intended to alter the geopolitics of the region permanently through the use of military force on a massive scale.

Only recently, Ayatollah Khamenei bitterly asked, “Why don’t the leaders of Islamic countries publicly cut off their relationship with the murderous Zionist regime and stop helping this regime?” Pointing to the staggering death toll in Israel’s present campaign against Gaza, he was focusing on the Arab countries — Bahrain, Morocco, Sudan, and the United Arab Emirates — that, as part of Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner’s “Abraham Accords,” had officially recognized Israel and established relations with it. (Egypt and Jordan had, of course, recognized Israel long before that.) Given the anti-Israel sentiment in the region, had it, in fact, been rife with democracies, Iran’s position might have been widely implemented. Still, it was a distinct sign of terminal tone deafness on the part of Biden administration officials that they hoped to use the Gaza crisis to extend the Abraham Accords to Saudi Arabia, while sidelining the Palestinians and creating a joint Israeli-Arab front against Iran.

The region had already been moving in a somewhat different direction. Last March, after all, Iran and Saudi Arabia had begun forging a new relationship by restoring the diplomatic relations that had been suspended in 2016 and working to expand trade between their countries. And that relationship has only continued to improve as the nightmare in Israel and Gaza developed. In fact, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi first visited the Saudi capital, Riyadh, in November and, since the Gaza conflict began, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has met twice with his Saudi counterpart. Frustrated by a markedly polarizing American policy in the region, de facto Saudi ruler Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei resorted to the good offices of Beijing to sidestep Washington and strengthen their relations further.

Although Iran is far more hostile to Israel than Saudi Arabia, their leaderships do agree that the days of marginalizing the Palestinians are over. In a remarkably unambiguous statement issued in early February, the Saudis offered the following: “The Kingdom has communicated its firm position to the U.S. administration that there will be no diplomatic relations with Israel unless an independent Palestinian state is recognized on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, and that the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip stops and all the Israeli occupation forces withdraw from the Gaza Strip.” Significantly, the Saudis even refused to join a U.S.-led naval task force created to halt attacks on Red Sea shipping by the Houthis of Yemen (no friends of theirs) in support of the Palestinians. Its leaders are clearly all too aware that the carnage still being wreaked on Gaza has infuriated most Saudis.

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“..a “sweeping” European defence industry strategy, which will shift the EU’s defence industry to a war-footing..”

The EU’s American Queen (Lily Lynch)

Von der Leyen’s tenure has been marked by an acceleration of what Perry Anderson has termed “European coups” — the gradual agglomeration of power in Brussels. Even the manner in which she became Commissioner in 2019 represented a break with a procedure designed to lend the EU executive greater democratic legitimacy. In 2003, a Franco-German agreement established the foundations of what would become the Spitzenkandidaten (“lead candidate”) process, whereby the political family with the most votes in the European Parliamentary elections would secure the office of Commissioner for its pre-chosen candidate. But in 2019, Von der Leyen was not the Spitzenkandidat of her European People’s Party (EPP) — instead, she was handpicked by EU leaders Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron. The EPP’s Spitzenkandidat, Manfred Weber was thwarted by Macron, who viewed him as unqualified. Von der Leyen, on the other hand, was a long-time Merkel loyalist and, as Macron noted, spoke French exceptionally well.

The then-German Defence Minister was also amenable to closer military cooperation with France and had spoken of the need to create “an army of Europeans” — another point in her favour for Macron. In other words, Von der Leyen’s very rise constituted a quiet coup. Beyond the pretty verbiage about defending democracy, it amounted to what Anderson has described as “the quiet settling of affairs between elites in camera, above the heads of an inert populace below”. Perhaps as a result, Von der Leyen has started to rewrite her origin story, claiming that she “ran in 2019” — referencing a campaign that never happened. For the Queen of Europe, both reality and democracy are malleable. Yet Von der Leyen’s weightiest revisionism concerns the EU’s foreign policy. In 2019, she identified the creation of a “geopolitical commission” as one of her main priorities as Commissioner. The EU, she asserted, needed to become a major “geopolitical” actor “to shape a better world order”.

Chaos and crisis demanded that it “learn to speak the language of power”. Then came the twin threats of Russia and another Trump administration, both of which lent these aims a greater urgency. The result is that Von der Leyen’s EU is gradually being retooled for war. Two years ago, EU officials broke the taboo on financing lethal weapons when they decided to fund the provision of lethal military aid to Ukraine. As article 41.2 of the Treaty of the European Union explicitly prohibits “expenditure arising from operations having military or defence implications”, this move required some creativity to circumvent. Towards this end, the EU mobilised the European Peace Facility (EPF), a misnomer for a tool engineered to finance military engagements abroad. To get around the proscription on the financing of war, the EPF has been designed as a €5 billion “off-budget” instrument. Nor does the drumbeat of war stop there. On Tuesday, the Commission is set to unveil a “sweeping” European defence industry strategy, which will shift the EU’s defence industry to a war-footing, while “upending the way it finances and sells arms”.

Von der Leyen has said it will aim to “turbocharge our defence industrial capacity over the next five years”, with a focus on joint procurement. This approach draws on the Commission’s precedent-setting joint procurement of Covid vaccines, an effort now being touted as a model for success but still mired in major controversy: Von der Leyen’s private text message exchange with Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Bourla — hammering out the details of the April 2021 deal for 1.1 billion doses of the vaccine — has been shrouded in secrecy, with both journalists and the European Court of Auditors stonewalled in their attempts to gain access to the conversation. Suffice it to say such a precedent does not bode well for transparency in the massive new defence procurement process.

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“Companies that fail to abide by the EU’s rules may face fines of up to 10% of their total worldwide annual turnover, or up to 20% in the event of repeated infringements..”

Musk’s X Could Face New EU Restrictions (RT)

Elon Musk’s X (formerly Twitter) could be forced to follow a set of strict guidelines in the EU after the European Commission (EC) announced that the platform may be classified as a ‘gatekeeper’ under the Digital Markets Act (DMA). The EC explained that companies can be subject to additional regulations if they operate what is described as a “core platform service,” including search engines, app stores, and messenger services. They must have over 45 million monthly active end users, more than 10,000 yearly business users, or over €75 billion ($81 billion) in market capitalization.

According to an announcement published on the EC’s website on March 1, X, as well as travel website Booking.com and TikTok owner ByteDance, have submitted notifications that their services potentially meet the DMA thresholds. The commission now has 45 days to decide whether to designate the three companies as gatekeepers. If so, they will have six months to comply with DMA requirements. Companies that have already received the gatekeeper designation include the likes of Apple, Meta, Amazon, Microsoft, and Alphabet. Companies that fall under the rules are required to let third parties inter-operate with their services, to allow business users to access the data they generate on the platform, and to let them conclude contracts with their customers outside the gatekeeper’s ecosystem.

At the same time, the targeted companies must also refrain from favoring their own services over competitors or blocking users from removing pre-installed software or apps. They must also seek explicit consent from users to track their activity outside the gatekeeper’s core platform service for the purpose of targeted advertising. Companies that fail to abide by the EU’s rules may face fines of up to 10% of their total worldwide annual turnover, or up to 20% in the event of repeated infringements. Businesses may also be slapped with periodic penalty payments of up to 5% of their average daily turnover.

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“Some around town think it has something to do with Presiden Biden’s visit to the border..”

Ballot Drop Boxes Installed Along Border Wall (BBee)

Texas residents woke up Thursday morning to find general election ballot boxes had been placed along the southern border wall that divides parts of the U.S. from Mexico. “I’m not sure where these ballot drop boxes came from,” Brownsville resident Tom Walker told reporters. “Some around town think it has something to do with Presiden Biden’s visit to the border. I saw some of his folks down handing out mail-in ballots to these illegal guys who keep coming into town. Makes a person wonder what’s up.” Biden’s team denied placing the boxes strategically along the border wall right where the main surge of illegal immigrants are crossing into the country.

“This isn’t some crazy ploy to rig the election in favor of President Biden by handing out ballots to the millions of illegal aliens that have been streaming into the country over the past three years,” Biden spokesperson Alexander Sheperd told the press. “On a completely unrelated note, does anyone know how to say ‘President Biden will give you a prepaid $10 thousand Visa cash card if you vote for him’ in Spanish?” As of publishing time, Biden aids were seen rounding up as many filled-out ballots as they could in an effort they said would “restore fair and free elections and prevent that fascist Trump from taking office ever again.”

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Gaza 1970

 

 

Circle of life

 

 

Hedgehog

 

 

Floki

 

 

Survive

 

 

Coyote

 

 

Kiwi

 

 

Putin

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 232024
 
 January 23, 2024  Posted by at 9:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  45 Responses »


Salvador Dalí Dream, Caused by the Flight of a Bee (Around a Pomegranate, a Second Before Waking Up) 1944

 

Will War Result From The Ever Hesitant Putin? (Paul Craig Roberts)
The Four Horsemen of Gaza’s Apocalypse (Chris Hedges)
Netanyahu’s Shape-Shifting ‘Endgame’ (Alastair Crooke)
Russia’s Push for Palestinian State Can Stop Endless ‘Loop’ of Violence (Sp.)
US Sees Ukraine As A ‘Lucrative Business Project’ – Lavrov (RT)
US Forming ‘Colonial Administration’ In Ukraine – Russian Spy Chief (RT)
Ukraine Must Give Up Territory – Fico (RT)
Zelensky Brands Parts Of Russia ‘Historically’ Ukrainian (RT)
Medvedev Denounces Zelensky’s ‘Territorial Claims’ To Russia (RT)
AfD Leader Calls for German ‘Dexit’ Vote to Break From EU (Sp.)
Russian Attack On Nato In 2044 (Zlatko)
DOJ Seeking Retribution Against Journalist for Recent Jan. 6 Coverage (ET)
The Pipe-Bomb Caper (Kunstler)
Dutch Queen Promotes Digital ID at Davos (Martin Armstrong)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tucker Hunter

 

 

Biden inflation

 

 

 

 

RFK autism + allergy

 

 

Tucker Catturd

 

 

 

 

Stop counting

The People’s Pundit: But that’s only half the story. The other half, is that they were lying. They actually continued to add to the totals between midnight and 3AM.

 

 

 

 

“The failure to confront Russia’s enemies with defeats means the pressure against Russia, the ongoing provocations, and the humiliations inflicted will continue until Russia is forced into war.”

Will War Result From The Ever Hesitant Putin? (Paul Craig Roberts)

I have often expressed my concern that the lack of proactive action by Putin, Xi, and Iran was maximizing the expansion of Israeli and US aggression in the Middle East and leading to a dangerous confrontation and outbreak of nuclear war. It is the purpose of Israel and Washington to attack Iran. That is what the Israeli-Hamas-Hezbollah-Washington-Houthis conflict is about. It is an entirely simple matter for Russia, China, and Iran to prevent any expansion of Israel’s war against Palestine. All they have to do is to announce a mutual defense treaty: An attack on one is an attack on all. But proactive action does not seem to be in the skill set of Washington’s targeted enemies. With the single exception of Putin’s intervention in Syria to prevent Obama’s invasion, Putin has proved to be ever hesitant about taking control of the situation. It took him eight years to abandon his delusion about the Minsk Agreement. When he finally realized that he had been taken for a ride, the Russian military was not prepared for the level of violence required. Consequently a war that Russia should have won in a few days is two years old and continuing.

From my experience with the liberal Russian intelligentsia, I would say that their program is surrender to Washington. They would rather be invited as visiting professors to Harvard, Yale, and Stanford, and to serve as consultants to American corporations than to be in conflict with the West. As Putin seems to believe toleration of subversion is a sign of democracy, he could have been prevented from required action by pressure to prove that he is not, as the entirety of the West proclaims, a dictator. Putin would have saved many lives by ignoring the propaganda of his enemies and being more forceful in Russia’s defense. But now Putin is showing more awareness of what needs to be done. News reports which I saw in the Indian press, not in the American whore media, a collection of paid liars, say that, according to the Russian Defense Ministry, Russia and Iran are finalizing a pact stressing their commitment to fundamental principles of Russian-Iranian relations, including unconditional respect for each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

In a way this is good news. It indicates that Putin has finally realized that left unprotected, Iran is vulnerable, and if Iran goes, Washington has a direct entry to send “jihadists” into the Russian Federation and the former Soviet central Asian republics. But once again, like with the nonsensical “Minsk Agreement,” Putin has made an error. The pact has been announced before it goes into effect. It is unclear when this acknowledgement of mutual association is to be finalized. So the message to Washington and Israel is to attack Iran now before the agreement goes into effect. There is risk that this will happen. By trying to avoid the expansion of conflict in the Middle East, when conflict is Washington’s and Israel’s intention, Putin by his non-intervention, has given a green light for the expansion of conflict.

Moreover, the Russian-Iranian pact does not seem to be, except, by implication, a mutual defense pact. You can bet that Victoria Nuland and Israel’s American neoconservative agents who control US foreign policy will try to strike Iran before the pact is is in effect or they will argue that it is not a mutual defense agreement. It seems that Russia, China, Iran, and Israel’s Muslim enemies think that words count when nothing but action counts. In the West words are meaningless. Only actions count. And Russia’s are missing. Now, let me back off a bit. There are other indications of progress toward an environment less able to be turned into war by Washington. China had the foresight to broker a peace deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia. This was a fundamental blow to Washington. This rapprochement, if it holds against Washington’s counter offer, has expanded Putin’s organization BRICS to include Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates. This gives new meaning to Saudi Arabia’s abandonment of the petro-dollar.

There is even a potential good sign on Russia’s part. Russia has announced air patrols over the Syrian Golan border with Israel. Putin prevented Washington’s invasion of Assad’s Syria but then went soft. Putin has left the Syrian oil fields in Washington’s hands. Putin has permitted both Israel and the US to conduct air and missile attacks on Syrian territory, apparently preventing Syria from using the Russian-supplied S-300 air defense system to protect Syrian territory. It remains to be seen if this means anything. The Russians have been sufficiently weakened by Western influence that they now have, associated with the Defense Ministry a “Center for Reconciliation.” This center says the air patrols are just for monitoring. In other words, there will be no military intervention, so it is largely meaningless. The failure to confront Russia’s enemies with defeats means the pressure against Russia, the ongoing provocations, and the humiliations inflicted will continue until Russia is forced into war.

There is a great deal of talk about American over-extension, outmoded weapon systems, excessive debt, inability to recruit for the military, etc., most of which is true. But the neoconservatives in control are still full of confidence, and this confidence is ever encouraged by Putin’s lack of decisive action. The war that is shaping up appears to be unavoidable. I know that it seems arrogant, egocentric, and self-glorifying to appear to be giving advice to Putin. But that is not what I am doing. I am describing a situation. To preclude a US/Israeli attack on Iran, there needs to be a Russia-China-Iran alliance which probably should include Turkey. Right NOW Iran needs the highly effective Russian air defense systems and, if Iran doesn’t have them, the hypersonic Russian long distance offensive missiles. Putin showed a strategic side when he committed the Russian Air Force to Syria’s defense, thus blocking Syria’s invasion by Obama. But he was very late getting into the game, almost too late. The multipolar world that Putin is always talking about cannot materialize without a Russian-Chinese-Iranian mutual defense treaty. Without more strategic vision and action on the part of Russia and China, war is unavoidable.

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“Joe Biden’s inner circle of strategists for the Middle East — Antony Blinken, Jake Sullivan and Brett McGurk..”

The Four Horsemen of Gaza’s Apocalypse (Chris Hedges)

Joe Biden’s inner circle of strategists for the Middle East — Antony Blinken, Jake Sullivan and Brett McGurk — have little understanding of the Muslim world and a deep animus towards Islamic resistance movements. They see Europe, the United States and Israel as involved in a clash of civilizations between the enlightened West and a barbaric Middle East. They believe that violence can bend Palestinians and other Arabs to their will. They champion the overwhelming firepower of the U.S. and Israeli military as the key to regional stability — an illusion that fuels the flames of regional war and perpetuates the genocide in Gaza.

In short, these four men are grossly incompetent. They join the club of other clueless leaders, such as those who waltzed into the suicidal slaughter of World War One, waded into the quagmire of Vietnam or who orchestrated the series of recent military debacles in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Ukraine. They are endowed with the presumptive power vested in the Executive Branch to bypass Congress, to provide weapons to Israel and carry out military strikes in Yemen and Iraq. This inner circle of true believers dismiss the more nuanced and informed counsels in the State Department and the intelligence communities, who view the refusal of the Biden administration to pressure Israel to halt the ongoing genocide as ill-advised and dangerous.

Biden has always been an ardent militarist — he was calling for war with Iraq five years before the U.S. invaded. He built his political career by catering to the distaste of the white middle class for the popular movements, including the anti-war and civil rights movements, that convulsed the country in the 1960s and 1970s. He is a Republican masquerading as a Democrat. He joined Southern segregationists to oppose bringing Black students into Whites-only schools. He opposed federal funding for abortions and supported a constitutional amendment allowing states to restrict abortions. He attacked President George H. W. Bush in 1989 for being too soft in the “war on drugs.” He was one of the architects of the 1994 crime bill and a raft of other draconian laws that more than doubled the U.S. prison population, militarized the police and pushed through drug laws that saw people incarcerated for life without parole. He supported the North American Free Trade Agreement, the greatest betrayal of the working class since the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act. He has always been a strident defender of Israel, bragging that he did more fundraisers for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) than any other Senator.

“As many of you heard me say before, were there no Israel, America would have to invent one. We’d have to invent one because… you protect our interests like we protect yours,” Biden said in 2015, to an audience that included the Israeli ambassador, at the 67th Annual Israeli Independence Day Celebration in Washington D.C. During the same speech he said, “The truth of the matter is we need you. The world needs you. Imagine what it would say about humanity and the future of the 21st century if Israel were not sustained, vibrant and free.” The year before Biden gave a gushing eulogy for Ariel Sharon, the former Israeli prime minister and general who was implicated in massacres of Palestinians, Lebanese and others in Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon — as well as Egyptian prisoners of war — going back to the 1950s. He described Sharon as “part of one of the most remarkable founding generations in the history not of this nation, but of any nation.”

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“Israel’s only answer (to the issue of how to maintain Zionism) was to keep the State’s borders undefined – whilst holding on to scarce water and land resources..”

Netanyahu’s Shape-Shifting ‘Endgame’ (Alastair Crooke)

The late Ariel Sharon, a long-time Israeli military and political leader, once confided to his close friend Uri Dan that, “the Arabs had never genuinely accepted the presence of Israel … and so, a two-state solution was not possible – nor even desirable”. In the minds of these two – as well as for most Israelis today – is the ‘Gordian Knot’ that sits at the heart of Zionism: How to maintain differential rights over a physical terrain that includes a large Palestinian population. Israeli leaders believed that in Sharon’s unconventional approach of ‘spatial ambiguity’, Israel was close to evolving a solution to the conundrum of managing differential rights within a Zionist majority state, which includes substantial minorities. Palestinians, many Israelis believed (until recently), were being successfully contained in a striated political and physical space – and were even being “disappeared” from significance – only for Hamas, on 7 October, to blow apart that whole elaborate paradigm.

This event has triggered a widespread and existential fear that the Zionist project could possibly implode, were its Zionist exceptionalist foundations to be rejected by a wide resistance ready to take the issue to war. U.S. journalist Steve Inskeep’s recent piece – Israel’s Lack of Strategy is the Strategy – brings into focus the seeming paradox: That whilst Netanyahu is very clear about that which he does not want, he at the same time remains obstinately opaque about what he does want as a future for Palestinians living on a shared terrain. For those who think that Middle East peace might (or should) be Netanyahu’s goal, this opacity appears as a serious ‘flaw’ to resolving the Gaza crisis. However, if Netanyahu (backed by his cabinet, and a majority of Israelis) offers no strategy for peace with the Palestinians, then perhaps its omission is not ‘a bug’, but is its feature.

To understand the underlying oxymoron, you have to grasp why Ariel Sharon and Uri Dan ‘said what they said’, and understand how Sharon’s military experience from the 1973 War effectively has shaped the entire Palestinian paradigm. In 2011, I wrote a piece in Foreign Policy which postulated that Sharon’s notion of Palestinian Permanent Ambiguity was – and has been – the Zionists’ principle answer to how to bypass the paradox inherent within Zionism. Thirty years later, it still lurks in all of Netanyahu’s (and Israeli leaders across the political spectrum’s) recent pronouncements. Even in 2008, Foreign Minister (and lawyer), Tzipi Livni, was spelling out why “Israel’s only answer (to the issue of how to maintain Zionism) was to keep the State’s borders undefined – whilst holding on to scarce water and land resources – leaving Palestinians in a state of permanent uncertainty, dependent on Israeli goodwill”.

And I noted in a separate piece: “Livni was saying that she wanted Israel to be a Zionist state – based on the Law of Return and open to any Jew. However, to secure such a state in a country with very limited territory – means that land and water must be kept under Jewish control, with differential rights for Jews and non-Jews – rights that affect everything, from housing and access to land, to jobs, subsidies, marriages and migration”. A two-state solution inherently therefore, did not solve the problem of how to maintain Zionism; rather, it compounded it. The inevitable demand for full equal rights for Palestinians would bring the end of Jewish ‘special rights’, and of Zionism itself, Livni argued – a threat with which most Zionists concur. Sharon’s answer to this ultimate paradox, however, was different: Sharon had an alternative plan for managing a large non-Jewish ‘out-group’, physically present within a Zionist State of differentiated rights. Sharon’s alternative amounted to frustrating a two-state solution within fixed borders.

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“Without the establishment of a Palestinian state, there can be not reliable security for Israel,” Lavrov said.”

Russia’s Push for Palestinian State Can Stop Endless ‘Loop’ of Violence (Sp.)

A lasting resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli crisis is the keystone to regional stability, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said. “The main focus of efforts should be the creation of a Palestinian state in full compliance with the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council. The state described in these decisions would be competent and would exist in security and good neighborliness side by side with Israel and other countries in the region,” Lavrov said, speaking at a press conference on the results of Russian diplomacy in 2023 on Thursday. “Without the establishment of a Palestinian state, the Palestinian people will continue to feel disadvantaged and disenfranchised. Generation after generation of young Palestinians will fell this injustice and pass it on to their children. This must end through the creation of a Palestinian state. I hope that the Israeli leadership will eventually come to this conclusion…Without the establishment of a Palestinian state, there can be not reliable security for Israel,” Lavrov said.

The foreign minister announced plans to address the United Nations Security Council next Tuesday to discuss how the crisis in the Middle East can be resolved through “collective efforts,” in place of current attempts by the United States to “advance its agenda around the world.” “Perhaps our Western colleagues should learn some life lessons. And the countries of the region must insist that they are the ones who live here, and that for them, the security of all states [in the region] is of decisive importance to them. No one wants to prohibit advice from the outside, but the final decisions should be made by regional countries themselves,” Lavrov stressed. The creation of a Palestinian state is the “dream” of the Arab and Muslim World, and Russia’s position on the Palestinian-Israeli crisis indicates a very good understanding of the Middle East, says Riyadh-based political analyst Dr. Ahmed Al Ibrahim.

Russia’s position on Palestinian statehood is “going to be very well-received,” Al Ibrahim told Sputnik. “It’s going to cause stability. It’s going to give a lot of ground for the foreign policy of Russia to integrate here in the Muslim-Arab World. If Russia succeeded in that, then Russia has solved the most crucial thing in the history of this region by aligning Israel and Palestine to be together next [to each other]. And they’re going to win the hearts and the minds of the Arab and the Muslim World.” Attempts to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict have been spearheaded by the United States for some seven decades, Al Ibrahim recalled, noting that in all this time “nothing happened except destruction for the Palestinian land, and more expansion, more settlers taking lands.”

“Definitely the whole world would welcome Russia and the BRICS members to be mediating this. But the solution is going to be very hard. Russia and the BRICS members [would] have to coordinate with the United States and with Britain because they are the majority stakeholders of this file, in order to yank it from them and do something on the ground,” the political analyst noted. Otherwise, unless a genuine, multilateral effort is launched to establish Palestinian statehood, the cycle of violence being seen today will continue indefinitely, Al Ibrahim believes. “The real core of the problem is in the deep mind and the deep state of the Israelis,” Al Ibrahim stressed. “Do they want a two-state solution?

We still see at the Knesset, when you enter the building, a big map – a big Israeli state from the [Jordan] River to the Sinai. If this is the creed of the Israelis, then there is no point of anybody mediating and Israel needs to work within themselves in order to come up an evolution to change their mindset and work to have a peaceful neighboring country with the Arab World supporting them. By reaching that, Israel is going to gain a lot by normalizing relationships with many Arab and Muslim countries,” he emphasized. “But if they’re going to play the cat and mouse game, you know, ‘I say something and I do something else on the ground,’ this is not going to work,” Al Ibrahim said, saying Gulf Cooperation Council countries, Arab countries and the Muslim World in general are too smart to be tricked by such deception.

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“..not as a war that has already claimed hundreds of thousands of lives … but as a profitable business project.”

US Sees Ukraine As A ‘Lucrative Business Project’ – Lavrov (RT)

Recent statements from the US suggest it regards Ukraine as nothing but a “lucrative business project,” one that it is profiting from, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the UN Security Council on Monday. The minister was referring to earlier statements made by US State Secretary Antony Blinken. Last month, the top US diplomat claimed that 90% of the money allocated for Ukrainian aid ends up getting funneled back to the US “to the benefit of American business, local communities, and strengthening the US defense industrial base.” In November 2023, the Washington Post also reported that the majority of these funds were spent on manufacturing new weapons or replacing the equipment sent to Ukraine out of American stockpiles.

The US is essentially “developing its military industrial” complex while “dumping the old junk in Ukraine,” Lavrov said. Russia’s top diplomat also claimed that most major Ukrainian companies, including lithium producers, are being sold to Americans and US companies have been able to get their hands on Ukraine’s fertile land “on the cheap.” Lavrov denounced the statements made by US officials as “cynical” and said that Washington has been treating the ongoing conflict “not as a war that has already claimed hundreds of thousands of lives … but as a profitable business project.” Moscow is waging a military campaign not against Ukraine but against “a criminal regime, presumptuous in its impunity,” he declared.

Kiev has not forgone on the “war against its own citizens in the east and south” despite years-long efforts by Moscow to find a peaceful solution to this crisis, he explained, adding that over 7 million Ukrainians had found refuge in Russia since the 2014 Maidan coup. Kiev’s Western backers have never tried to stop the government from persecuting Russian-speaking Ukrainians, the minister said, accusing the US and its allies of using the past few years to “arm Ukraine and prepare it for war against Russia,” while using the Minsk Agreements as a cover. Russia is ready for talks on Ukraine but it is not willing to discuss ways to keep Kiev’s current government in power, Moscow’s top diplomat concluded.

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“Zelensky realizes that the damaging data that the Americans have is capable of destroying him as president. In this situation, he’ll continue to dance to the tune of his American masters..”

US Forming ‘Colonial Administration’ In Ukraine – Russian Spy Chief (RT)

Washington has begun creating “a colonial administration” in Ukraine consisting of local politicians who have sworn allegiance to the US, the head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) has said. The US government has demanded that Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky “remove” dozens of high-ranking officials, whom Washington no longer trusts, from their posts under various pretexts, Sergey Naryshkin claimed on Monday. Washington wants those jobs to be filled by “Ukrainians trained in the West, who have sworn allegiance to American interests,” he said in comments cited by the SVR press service. “As part of the policy of total vassalization of Ukraine, the US has started forming what is essentially a colonial administration in that country,” the spy chief stated.

According to Naryshkin, the required changes in the Ukrainian government were relayed to Zelensky during his visit to Washington in December. “The Americans are pushing for Ukrainian ambassador to Washington Oksana Markarova, who received her education at Indiana University Bloomington, to take the post of prime minister. The deputy head of the Finance Ministry, Alexander Kava, who studied at Harvard University, is being suggested for the job of finance minister. The current deputy head of the Economy Ministry, Taras Kachka, a graduate of Poland’s National School of Public Administration (KSAP), is recommended for the post of economy minister,” he said. The latest high-profile change in the Ukrainian cabinet follows the pattern described by Naryshkin. Ukraine’s Defense Minister Rustem Umerov, who replaced Zelensky’s ally Aleksey Reznikov in the job last fall, used to participate in the Future Leaders Exchange program, funded by the US State Department.

The Biden administration, which is in possession of a “killer corruption dossier” on members of Zelenksy’s inner circle, is threatening to make this information public if Ukrainian leader refuses to greenlight the desired personnel decisions, the spy chief claimed. “Zelensky realizes that the damaging data that the Americans have is capable of destroying him as president. In this situation, he’ll continue to dance to the tune of his American masters,” Naryshkin predicted. The US, which has provided Zelensky’s government with $111 billion in military and economic assistance since the start of the conflict with Russia, already has advisers embedded in all key Ukrainian ministries, but Washington believes this is not enough and is “steadily increasing Kiev’s feudal dependence,” Naryshkin said.

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“What are [the Ukrainians] waiting for? That the Russians will leave Donbass and Lugansk, or that they will leave Crimea? It’s unrealistic,” Fico insisted.”

Ukraine Must Give Up Territory – Fico (RT)

Ukraine should concede the loss of some of the territories that were previously under its control in order to end the conflict with Russia, Slovakia’s prime minister Robert Fico has said. Fico made the statement during a weekend interview with broadcaster RTVS dedicated to his upcoming visit to Ukraine. The Slovak PM is scheduled to travel on Wednesday to Uzhgorod, a city near the border between the two countries, for a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Denis Shmygal. The ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev can’t be resolved through military means and should end in compromise that might be “painful for both sides,” he said. “What are [the Ukrainians] waiting for? That the Russians will leave Donbass and Lugansk, or that they will leave Crimea? It’s unrealistic,” Fico insisted.

The People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk were officially incorporated into the Russian state in the fall of 2022, together the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, as a result of referendums held in those areas. Crimea has been a part of Russia since 2014. The continuation of the fighting that has been underway since February 2022 will only make Moscow stronger, Fico added. The Slovak premier also said Ukraine was “not a sovereign, independent country” due to it being “under the absolute influence of the US.” He criticized the EU for making “a huge mistake” of following Washington’s lead when it comes to dealing with Kiev, instead of developing its own “sovereign” view on the issue. As for his talks this week with Shmygal, Fico promised to tell his Ukrainian counterpart that he’s against Kiev’s membership in NATO, as that would be “exactly the basis of World War Three,” and to reiterate that President Vladimir Zelensky’s government won’t be getting any more weapons from Bratislava.

The prime minister’s interview caused angry reaction in Kiev, with the head of the Ukrainian parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee Aleksandr Merezhko demanded that Fico’s trip to Ukraine be canceled for his “disgraceful statements” that crossed “the red line.” “Every country should have at least minimal self-respect. It’s absolutely unacceptable to pretend that nothing is happening when the leader of another state makes statements that question the sovereignty of a state” that he’s about to visit, Merezhko wrote on Facebook. Fico made a comeback as Slovakia’s prime minister in October after his party won the snap election in the EU country, campaigning on promises of, among other measures, cutting military aid to Kiev and improving ties with Moscow.

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The MO: crazy claims.

Zelensky Brands Parts Of Russia ‘Historically’ Ukrainian (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky declared six Russian regions to be “historically inhabited by Ukrainians” in a decree published on Monday. The list does not include any of the territory that Kiev claims sovereignty over in the ongoing conflict with Moscow, and focuses on globally recognized parts of Russia. The document includes Bryansk, Kursk, and Belgorod regions, all of which border Ukraine. It also lists Voronezh, Rostov, and Krasnodar regions, all of which bordered Ukraine before 2014, when Crimea decided to join Russia in a referendum and the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics declared independence from Kiev. Zelensky claimed the population of these territories had been subjected to “the policy of forced Russification,” and ordered the government in Kiev to develop “an action plan” to “preserve” Ukrainian “national identity” in Russia.

The decree calls on Russia to “provide Ukrainians living in its territories” with access to education in the Ukrainian language, as well as access to Ukrainian-language mass media and special “civil, social, cultural, and religious rights.” Moscow has never imposed any restrictions on the Ukrainian language. Russia’s education minister, Sergey Kravtsov, said in July 2022 that “no one was banning” it, and that it would be taught in schools where necessary. Zelensky’s decree also tasks the Ukrainian government and the National Security and Defense Council with “collecting and studying facts and testimonies about crimes” supposedly committed against Ukrainians in Russia throughout its history, as well as “countering disinformation and propaganda” about Ukrainian history, allegedly spread by Moscow.

The president also instructed the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences to “prepare materials” on the “thousand-year-old history” of Ukraine and distribute them around the world. The country’s educational programs and textbooks should also contain “the true history of ethnic Ukrainians,” Zelensky added. The Russian regions mentioned in the decree have repeatedly been targeted by Ukrainian missile and drone attacks as well as shelling since the start of hostilities with Moscow in February 2022. Zelensky’s decree comes just weeks after Kiev launched a major attack on the city of Belgorod. The strike, which according to the Russian Defense Ministry involved the use of banned cluster munitions, claimed the lives of 25 people, including children, and left more than a hundred injured. In mid-January, a child was injured in a Ukrainian drone attack on the city of Voronezh – the capital of another region Zelensky claimed was “historically inhabited by Ukrainians.”

The developments come amid Kiev’s attempts to ban the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) – the country’s biggest Christian denomination, which is reported to have more than 8,000 parishes. The Ukrainian government has long accused it of having ties with the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC). Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly stated that Ukraine in its pre-2014 borders was largely “created” by the Soviet leadership over the course of the 20th century. Historically, “Ukrainian lands” included a much smaller territory, he has argued. When the Cossacks living on the territory of modern Ukraine broke away from the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the 17th century following the Bogdan Khmelnitsky uprising and asked the then-Tsardom of Russia to take them in, the territory they controlled effectively amounted to present-day Kiev, Chernigov, and Zhitomir regions – three areas in the north of Ukraine, the Russian president said in 2022.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1749432104612405410

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“Medvedev dismissed the decree as a “crude PR stunt” aimed at drawing public attention away from the Ukrainian forces’ failures on the front lines..”

Medvedev Denounces Zelensky’s ‘Territorial Claims’ To Russia (RT)

The latest decree by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky essentially amounts to “territorial claims” on sovereign Russian regions, former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday. Posting on Telegram, he was referring to a document declaring six Russian regions to be “historically inhabited by Ukrainians.” Signed on Monday, Ukraine’s Day of Unity, the presidential decree claims that six territories that are universally recognized as a part of Russia – the Krasnodar, Rostov, Voronezh, Belgorod, Kursk and Bryansk regions – had been “historically” populated by “ethnic Ukrainians” that were then supposedly subjected to “forced Russification.” The document then orders the Kiev government to develop an “action plan” to “preserve” the Ukrainian national identity in Russia and demands the “true history” of Ukraine be made known to the “world.”

It also demands Russia provide people living in these regions with access to Ukrainian-language mass media and to some special “civil, social, cultural and religious rights.” Medvedev dismissed the decree as a “crude PR stunt” aimed at drawing public attention away from the Ukrainian forces’ failures on the front lines. He also said there was even no need to comment on the contents of the order, since the territories mentioned in it have always been part of Russia. The former president (2008-2012) also said it was high time Zelensky “stopped” such policies and abandoned them, or he might end up “annexing Canada in the near future.” Zelensky himself described signing the decree as a way to promote “truth about Ukrainians… and their history.” He also claimed that it was aimed at “restoring the truth about the historical past for the Ukrainian future.”

The Russian regions mentioned in the decree have been regularly subjected to drone and missile attacks as well as shelling by the Ukrainian troops. In December, Belgorod – the capital of one of the regions supposedly “historically inhabited by Ukrainians” – was struck by a major Ukrainian attack. The strike claimed the lives of 25 people, including children. The Russian Defense Ministry also said that Kiev’s forces used banned cluster munitions in an attack targeting the city center just a day before New Year’s Eve celebrations.

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Scholz will try to ban the AfD.

AfD Leader Calls for German ‘Dexit’ Vote to Break From EU (Sp.)

The Alternative for Germany party promotes direct voting on legislation and strict immigration controls. It was the subject of nationwide protests last week after some of its members were spotted at a meeting that advocated for mass deportation of immigrants in Germany, including those with German passports. Britain was “dead right” to leave the European Union and Germany should consider its own “Dexit,” the leader of the right-wing populist party Alternative for Germany (AfD) Alice Weidel said in an article published in US media on Monday. “If reform isn’t possible, if we fail to rebuild sovereignty of the EU member states, we should let the people decide, just as Britain did,” she said, adding that “we could have a referendum on ‘Dexit’ – a German exit from the EU.”

A recent poll found that only 45% of AfD members would currently vote to leave the EU and only 10% of the general population said they would. It is worth noting that opinions can shift rapidly. In late 2014, only 36% of Britons said they would support the UK leaving the EU; less than two years later, more than half voted for “Brexit.” The AfD is leading the polls in five East German states and is polling second nationally at 22%. The party hopes to make gains at both the European Parliamentary elections in June and the regional elections in September. However, AfD’s high polling numbers may not reflect how much power the party will have in the near term. Establishment parties, including conservative-leaning ones, have ruled out forming a coalition with the AfD, limiting its potential power.

Weidel admitted that the issue will limit her party’s power in the short term but believes the “firewall” will not last forever, pointing to the conservative establishment CDU party, which includes former chancellor Angela Merkel, as the first likely to break. “The CDU will not be able to maintain its firewall in the long term,” Weidel said. She added that the last year proved “that we can form a clear right-wing majority. And the CDU can’t refuse to accept that in the long term, especially in the eastern states.” Weidel admitted her party is unlikely to take control until 2029 at the earliest. It is currently polling only behind the CDU but is ahead of every other party, including Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s three coalition parties.

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X thread. War games.

Russian Attack On Nato In 2044 (Zlatko)

Europe is being frightened by the “scenario of a Russian attack on NATO” in 2044. Former US commander Hodges and defense analyst Sam Cranny-Evans put together “their” scenario: “This is not about Russia trying to take over all of NATO. This is not what their goal will be in 20 years. It would be about destroying NATO as an alliance by invading the eastern flank and conquering critical places – like the Arctic – that would benefit them,” General Hodges said. In their opinion, everything will begin with cyber attacks on transport chains, after which a missile attack will be launched on key infrastructure facilities in Europe.

The ground operation will begin in Finland, where tanks controlled by artificial intelligence will “enter.” At the same time, the Suwalki corridor will be taken under control and the Baltic countries will be attacked. The Russian Navy, as planned by Hodges, will take control of the Arctic regions. “There is even the possibility of some kind of conflict in space, where satellites are used to attack each other or jam satellites, which has already been done at a lower level in Ukraine,” Cranny-Evans added. Ostashko reports.

The best take on this, from a commenter:

Then aliens will come down and mate with all the women in Sweden, Orcs will invade France and steal all the wine, and Zelensky will have run off with Von Der Layen and fathered 20 children……..

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“..events described under oath by two Capitol Police officers in the first Oath Keepers trial in 2022 could not have happened, based on Mr. Baker’s examination of security video..”

DOJ Seeking Retribution Against Journalist for Recent Jan. 6 Coverage (ET)

Attorneys for a journalist threatened with prosecution for being at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, are challenging federal prosecutors to try his case outside the District of Columbia, suggesting prosecutors are seeking retribution for his recent reporting on possible Capitol Police perjury and the Jan. 6 pipe bombs. Six attorneys who said they volunteered to represent Stephen Baker of Raleigh, N.C., released a statement on Jan. 22 expressing belief that the DOJ is seeking even more serious Jan. 6 charges as retaliation. Mr. Baker, a former independent journalist, now writes for Blaze Media. “We now have information that Steve’s reporting has so agitated officials in multiple federal agencies that an effort is now underway to find a basis to charge Steve with more serious crimes and to use those more serious crimes as a pretext for early morning raids to execute search and arrest warrants on him and his family,” the statement read.

“If this is true, and search and arrest warrants are used to drag Steve out of his house in the early morning hours someday soon, that will be evidence of retaliation against a journalist exercising his First Amendment rights to report information that is embarrassing to government officials.” The statement is signed by five well-known Jan. 6 defense attorneys: James Lee Bright, Brad Geyer, Phillip Linder, William Shipley, and Edward Tarpley Jr. It was also signed by Mr. Baker’s Raleigh-based attorney, Matthew Ceradini. Mr. Geyer and Mr. Shipley were federal prosecutors for more than two decades. “After not having indicted me for three years, it is clear that any move to do so now will be in retaliation for my reporting,” Mr. Baker wrote in a news release. “I will not be intimidated. I will continue to report the findings of my investigation into the evidence being made available to me to review,” he said.

The attorneys challenged the DOJ to try any case against Mr. Baker in the eastern district of North Carolina where Mr. Baker lives, or the northern district of Texas, where his employer, Blaze Media, is located. “Are citizens of those two districts not suitable jurors in Steve’s case?” the statement asked. “Is the federal judiciary in those two districts not able to provide a fair and impartial trial? “On what basis does the United States Department of Justice believe the ‘United States’ can only get a fair trial in the District of Columbia and not one of those ‘United’ States?” Mr. Baker’s most recent coverage identified the person who found one of the two pipe bombs on Jan. 6 as an undercover U.S. Capitol Police officer and not a “passerby.” Since October 2023, he wrote a series of stories that said events described under oath by two Capitol Police officers in the first Oath Keepers trial in 2022 could not have happened, based on Mr. Baker’s examination of security video.

Mr. Geyer suggested that reporting should result in the Oath Keepers’ convictions being thrown out. Mr. Baker was one of dozens of journalists at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. His video footage appeared in an HBO film and was licensed by the BBC, The New York Times, and The Epoch Times. Mr. Baker was first contacted by the FBI in July 2021 about his presence at the Capitol. He voluntarily sat down with FBI special agents in November 2021. He said he was told the DOJ was considering charging him with interstate racketeering because he received money from licensing his Jan. 6 video. In March 2023, he said he was warned by a high-profile journalist that his reporting was chafing some high-level DOJ officials. In August, he was served a subpoena for his Jan. 6 video. In December, the FBI told his attorney that his arrest was imminent, although that plan was subsequently delayed.

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“..the falsely-elected, tyrannically corrupt, and epically deranged regime fronted by the ghost-in-the-White House, “Joe Biden.”

The Pipe-Bomb Caper (Kunstler)

“The FBI must come forward with the whole truth, immediately. If they will not, then Republicans have a duty to tear the FBI down to its foundation, and ensure that no government organization is allowed to amass this kind of power ever again.” — Charlie Kirk . Kudos to Darren J. Beattie of Revolver News and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) for doing the FBI’s work for the FBI, smoking out the role of law enforcement (including the FBI) in but one module of the J6 operation that turned a peaceful mass assembly of disgruntled voters into a riot in order to color it as an “insurrection” and so destroy opposition to the falsely-elected, tyrannically corrupt, and epically deranged regime fronted by the ghost-in-the-White House, “Joe Biden.”

Mr. Massie arranged to extract previously unseen video from the Capitol Police vaults showing the exceedingly strange behavior of various law-men in the minutes after one of their number reported a pipe-bomb beside a park bench, a few steps away from their parked vehicles, outside the DNC headquarters near the US Capitol building around one o’clock in the afternoon on J6/21, just around the time that a joint session of Congress would commence the entertainment of official complaints and objections to the certification of votes in the 2020 presidential election. Of course, that proceeding was disrupted by events outside and inside the US Capitol, and those many complaints and objections were never registered.

Two cars are shown parked blocking the driveway to the basement garage: a white Washington DC Metro Police SUV and a black Secret Service cruiser — because Veep Kamala Harris happened to be in the building at the time. A man with a backpack, later identified as a plainclothes Capitol Police officer, steps up first to the Metro car, then to the Secret Service cruiser, cueing minutes of slow milling-about by the officers in the two cars. Eventually several cops dawdle over to the bench to inspect what turns out to be a pipe-bomb planted in plain sight on the ground there. The video shows no effort to cordon-off the area or to stop cars or pedestrians (children) from entering the scene near the bomb.

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“The power they tasted during the lockdowns opened Pandora’s Box..”

Dutch Queen Promotes Digital ID at Davos (Martin Armstrong)

Queen Maxima of the Netherlands took to the Davos stage to declare that digital IDs are necessary for nearly every aspect of social engagement. The Dutch queen told the World Economic Forum (WEF) that they can no longer trust the people, and digital IDs will provide governments with a clear way to track our behavior. Vaccine passports are necessary to tell “who actually got a vaccination or not,” highlighting how those at the top do not trust the public. They want complete unilateral control. In fact, she believes that children should not be allowed to enroll in school unless they have a digital ID that includes their vaccination passport. “It [digital ID] is also good for school enrollment; it is also good for health – who actually got a vaccination or not; it’s very good actually to get your subsidies from the government,” she said to a room of nodding heads. Want to open a bank account? You must present a digital ID.

Now the Netherlands implemented a COVID certificate that was required for travel throughout the EU. Citizens were provided yellow vaccination booklets that they were required to carry throughout the pandemic. Mass protests erupted, but the government did not drop restrictions until 72% of the population was already injected. Over 40% of restaurants said they would not ask patrons to show proof of vaccination to enter. Prime Minister Mark Rutte immediately fired Deputy Economic Affairs Minister Mona Keijzer for questioning the vaccine passport. “If we end up in a society where we have to be afraid of each other unless we can show proof, then you really have to scratch your head and ask yourself: Is this the direction we want to go?” Dissent is no longer tolerated. The power they tasted during the lockdowns opened Pandora’s Box. The Dutch government must realize they will be met with resistance as the Dutch people will not allow the government to control them without a fight.

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Foal

 

 

Bouzouki bear
https://twitter.com/i/status/1749553698412335104

 

 


When humans lose weight, fat is eliminated and leaves the body. 80% of the fat is exhaled through the lungs as carbon dioxide

 

 

Lyrebird

 

 

Cathedral
https://twitter.com/i/status/1749361361044517131

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 092023
 
 December 9, 2023  Posted by at 9:44 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  50 Responses »


Bernini The Vision of Constantine 1670

 

The Evil Israel Does is the Evil Israel Gets (Chris Hedges)
Iran’s Raisi Asks Putin To Support Gaza Action – Putin Is Evasive (Helmer)
Flooding Gaza Would Be War Crime – Russia (RT)
Dozens of Democrats Could Beat Trump – Biden (RT)
Zelensky Sees the Writing on the Wall – Scott Ritter (Sp.)
White House Touts ‘Year Of Suffering’ For Russian Troops (RT)
Medvedev Warns Of Direct Russia-NATO Clash (RT)
Hunter Indictment Designed Specifically To Avoid Joe Biden (Turley)
Hunter Is In A Lot Of Trouble (@willscharf)
Hunter Biden Claims GOP Is “Trying To Kill” Him (Sp.)
Hunter Biden is a Case Study of the Perils of Legal Gluttony (Turley)
Tucker Carlson Comments On Running As Trump’s VP (RT)
Is Truth Becoming Valueless? (Paul Craig Roberts)

 

 

 

 

 

The day before yesterday, Refaat received a phone call from the Israeli intelligence about locating him in the school where he took refuge. They informed him that they were going to kill him. He left the school not wanting to endanger the others, and at 6 p.m. his sister’s apartment was bombed, where he was killed, his sister and her four children

 

 

Cuomo RFK

 

 

 

 

Vivek

 

 

 

 

“The wars do not end. The suffering continues. The Palestinians die in the tens of thousands. This is by design.”

The Evil Israel Does is the Evil Israel Gets (Chris Hedges)

I knew Dr. Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi, the co-founder of Hamas, along with Sheikh Ahmed Ismail Yassin. Al-Rantisi’s family were expelled to the Gaza Strip by Zionist militias from historic Palestine during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. He did not fit the demonized image of a Hamas leader. He was a soft spoken, articulate and highly educated pediatrician who had graduated first in his class at Egypt’s Alexandria University. As a nine-year-old boy, he witnessed executions in Khan Younis of 275 Palestinian men and boys, including his uncle, when Israel briefly occupied the Gaza Strip in 1956, the subject of Joe Sacco’s magisterial book Footnotes in Gaza. Scores of Palestinians were also executed by Israeli soldiers in the neighboring town of Rafah, where tens of thousands Palestinians are currently being forced to flee now that Khan Younis has come under attack.

“I still remember the wailing and the tears of my father over his brother,” al-Rantisi told Sacco and me when we visited him at his home. “I couldn’t sleep for many months after that…It left a wound in my heart that can never heal. I’m telling you a story and I’m almost crying. This sort of action can never be forgotten…[T]hey planted hatred in our hearts.” He knew he could never trust the Israelis. He knew that the goal of the Zionist state was the occupation of all of historic Palestine – Israel seized Gaza and the West Bank in 1967 along with Syria’s Golan Heights and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula – and the eternal subjugation or extermination of the Palestinian people. He knew he would avenge the killings.

Al-Rantisi and Yassin were assassinated in 2004 by Israel. Al-Rantisi’s widow, Jamila Abdallah Taha al-Shanti, had a doctorate in English and taught at the Islamic University in Gaza. The couple had six children, one of whom was killed along with his father. The family’s home was bombed and destroyed during the 2014 Israeli assault on Gaza known as Operation Protective Edge. Jamila was killed by Israel on Oct. 19 of this year. Israel’s genocide in Gaza is rearing a new generation of enraged, traumatized and dispossessed Palestinians who have lost family members, friends, homes, communities and any hope of living ordinary lives. They, too, will seek retribution. Their small acts of terrorism will counter Israel’s ongoing state terror. They will hate as they have been hated. This lust for vengeance is universal. After World War Two, a clandestine unit of Jews who served in the Jewish Brigade of the British Army, called “Gmul,” – Hebrew for “Recompense” – hunted down former Nazis and executed them. “I and the public know/What all schoolchildren learn,” W.H. Auden wrote. “Those to whom evil is done/Do evil in return.”

[..] The Biden administration has little to gain from the leveling and depopulation of Gaza, indeed it is alienating huge segments of the Democratic Party, especially as it attacks protestors calling for a ceasefire as “pro-terrorist.” Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer led chants of “We stand with Israel” and “No ceasefire” at a pro-Israel rally on Nov. 4 in Washington D.C., despite a Reuters/Ipsos survey indicating 68 percent of respondents believed that Israel should implement a ceasefire and negotiate an end to the war. That number rises to 77 percent among Democrats. Biden has a dismal approval rating of 37 percent.

On Friday, the United Nations Security Council voted 13-1 for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and unconditional release of all hostages. The U.S. voted against the resolution. The U.K. abstained. The draft resolution was not adopted due to the U.S. veto. Biden’s real base is not disenchanted voters but the billionaire class, corporations, such as the weapons industry, which is making huge profits from the wars in Gaza and Ukraine, and groups such as the Israel lobby. They determine policy, even if it means Biden’s defeat in the next presidential election. If Biden loses, the oligarchs get Donald Trump, who serves their interests as doggedly as Biden. The wars do not end. The suffering continues. The Palestinians die in the tens of thousands. This is by design.

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“The war has to be economic and infrastructure suffocation [of Israel],” a Moscow source says. “Yes, that’s the only way to beat the beast.”

Iran’s Raisi Asks Putin To Support Gaza Action – Putin Is Evasive (Helmer)

An Iranian-Russian initiative on the Gaza War was tabled when Iranian President Sayyid Ebrahim Raisi met with President Vladimir Putin for several hours on Thursday. For the time being the Kremlin is doing its best to hide it. According to Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, speaking after Raisi had returned home, “a significant part of the negotiations focused on the Palestinian issue and Russia is thinking about an initiative on Gaza. The two sides stressed the need for an immediate cessation of the war and genocide in Gaza and the West Bank, he said, noting that the presidents of Iran and Russia also called for stopping the forced migration of Gazans and the immediate opening of the Rafah border to deliver massive humanitarian aid to Gazan people.”

There was a one-on-one session between Raisi and Putin at the commencement of the talks; a session of the two presidents with brief public statements; and then closed delegation presentations and a supper. Altogether, the talks lasted five hours. There were no press briefings at the conclusion. There has been a blackout on the talks by Russian Defense Ministry, the military bloggers, and Moscow media like Vzglyad which has been taking a pro-Israel line. No Russian official will clarify what Abdollahian meant by his claim that “Russia is thinking about an initiative on Gaza” – except to point out that Abdollahian’s wording does not mean that the “initiative” at this stage was initiated by the Russian side. Vedomosti reports that “Iran would like Russia to more actively express the pro-Palestinian position within the framework of public discourse, which would correspond to Iranian rhetoric. From the point of view of the North–South economy, of course, Tehran has a priority, it’s just that against the current background it, like any Muslim country, cannot demonstrate that it can have something more important than the situation in the Gaza Strip.”

According to the Kremlin communiqué, Raisi told Putin “the events unfolding in Gaza” are “surely genocide and a crime against humanity. It is lamentable that more than 6,000 children have been killed by the hands of the Zionist regime. Even sadder is the fact that all these crimes have been supported by the United States and Western countries. What is even more regrettable is that international organisations and the human rights organisations have lost their effectiveness… One of the issues that I would like to discuss with you, Mr Putin, is Palestine, as well as the challenges faced by the oppressed but strong Palestinian people. According to statistics, one child dies every ten minutes. Bombing must be stopped as soon as possible. This is not a regional issue, but a global issue, and a solution should be found promptly.”

Putin replied by changing the subject. “Mr President, I will definitely take you up on your invitation [to visit Iran]. And I should note that we will keep working almost through the end of the year. We have scheduled the signing of an agreement on creating a free trade area between Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union in late December. It will create additional opportunities for expanding our interaction.” The Kremlin has published the names of the Russian delegation accompanying Putin at the talks but refuses to disclose the names of their Iranian counterparts. “Wait for additional materials on our website”, the spokesman said. Although Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was the second ranking member of the Russian side, Iranian sources confirm there was no military counterpart on their side.

Privately, Russian sources believe the two sides are discussing the protracted, long war strategy of Hamas and Hezbollah and the parallel engagement from Yemen and Iraq. They are also discussing ideas for breaking the Israeli blockade of Gaza with massive humanitarian aid in which the Arab states and China are also engaged in the planning. “The war has to be economic and infrastructure suffocation [of Israel],” a Moscow source says. “Yes, that’s the only way to beat the beast.”

Putin 2024

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I’m afraid they’re crazy enough to try.

Flooding Gaza Would Be War Crime – Russia (RT)

If Israel is truly considering flooding the “Hamas tunnels” under Gaza with seawater, this would be a clear-cut atrocity, Russia’s first deputy permanent representative to the UN, Dmitry Polyansky, said at the Security Council meeting on Friday. China, Russia and the United Arab Emirates called for the emergency session, given the deteriorating situation in the Palestinian enclave after the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) resumed military operations at the start of December. “In recent days, shocking information has spread about Israeli plans to flood underground structures in the Gaza Strip with seawater,” Polyansky told the council. “According to publicly available information, the IDF has already built a system of pipes and pumps designed to pump seawater, and is currently discussing with the United States the practical possibility of such flooding: will there be enough water, will the ‘topography’ of the tunnels allow it, and so on.”

“Such a step, if taken, would constitute a clear war crime”. Polyansky explained that the flooding would be indiscriminate and the equivalent of ordering “take no prisoners,” while the sea water would contaminate the groundwater in Gaza and make the area uninhabitable. Documents published in mid-October suggest that the Israeli authorities would like to displace all of Gaza’s Palestinian population into Egypt. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared war on Hamas after the Gaza-based militant group raided nearby Israeli settlements on October 7, killing an estimated 1,200 people and taking scores hostage. Since then, more than 16,000 Palestinians have died in Israeli operations in Gaza.

After a week-long “humanitarian pause” at the end of November, Israel has launched a “more brutal and bloody phase” of its operation, Polyansky told the UN, with the scale of destruction indicating “indiscriminate” use of force and striking of targets considered protected by humanitarian law. “The brutal Hamas raid on October 7 cannot justify Israeli crimes against humanity,” the Russian diplomat argued. “Failure to respect humanitarian law by one side does not relieve the other from the same obligations.” Polyansky added that he doubted the International Criminal Court would do anything, as it will not act “against its Western masters.” The ICC is likely to “forgive” Israel just as it turned a blind eye to Western atrocities in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, he added.

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But “I just have to run.”

Dozens of Democrats Could Beat Trump – Biden (RT)

President Joe Biden has claimed there are dozens of Democrats who could defeat Donald Trump in the 2024 presidential election, but has insisted he must be the one to do so. Some sections of the Democratic Party and the media are already treating Biden as the default nominee for next year’s presidential election. The party’s Florida branch has refused to place any other names on the ballot for its primary vote, while the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has refused to organize debates with other contenders. Biden was asked by the media on Wednesday whether he thought there were fellow Democrats who could defeat Trump. “Probably 50 of them,” the president responded, declining to offer any names. “I’m not the only one, but I will defeat him.”

Questions about Biden’s willingness to run for a second term were triggered by remarks he made at a campaign fundraiser in Boston on Tuesday. “If Trump wasn’t running, I’m not sure I’d be running,” said the incumbent leader. Again citing the challenge from his predecessor, Biden later told journalists outside the White House that “I just have to run.” Biden overcame Trump in the 2020 presidential election, and a likely rematch has been touted by the Democrats as an existential battle against the Republican frontrunner’s supposed authoritarianism. However, Biden’s approval ratings recently reached a low of just 37%, according to a CNN poll published on Wednesday. Last month, a New York Times survey predicted Biden would lose to Trump in five of six battleground states. Critics of the Democrats’ strategy claim that the party would rather risk losing to a man it has branded a unique threat to democracy, rather than make Biden contest the nomination fairly against potentially better candidates.

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“..the counter-counter offensive..”

Zelensky Sees the Writing on the Wall – Scott Ritter (Sp.)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky must face the “writing on the wall” after the failure of his summer counter-offensive, says a former UN weapons inspector. In an interview with YouTube host Danny Haiphong, Scott Ritter, a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer, Ritter gave a stark assessment of the notoriously botched Ukrainian counteroffensive that began in early summer of 2023. “The counteroffensive is over. It’s been a strategic defeat for the Ukrainians for the collective West. And what I think we’re going to see now is that the Russians, having absorbed the Ukrainian blow, are going to slowly go on the counter-counter offensive and begin to put pressure on the Ukrainians,” Ritter stressed. “The Russians will be on the initiative from now on. And eventually the Ukrainian line is going to collapse.”

Ukraine’s inability to secure any sort of tangible success on the battlefield will lead to political turmoil in Kiev, the pundit argued. Eventually, Zelensky will face the rage of his soldiers. “They feel betrayed by his incompetence. Especially when it becomes clear how corrupt he is, and how corrupt his government is. Everybody knows it,” Ritter pointed out. “There is a growing resentment over this. There are people who aren’t getting their pensions paid. People who aren’t getting the healthcare they need because of the corruption.” Ritter noted how the US is funding the entire country, paying salaries to civil servants, military personnel and healthcare workers — Washington completely disregards the same needs at home.

“As an American I take umbrage at this. If you’re going to do that there, first, do it here. Let’s take care of the immigration problem. Let’s take care of the dirty water up in Flint, Michigan. Let’s take care of the homeless problem. Let’s take care of all those junkies on the street of San Francisco and Los Angeles. Let’s take care of America before we start taking care of Ukraine,” he concluded. Recently, the Ukrainian media have given substantial coverage to rising tensions between President Zelensky and Ukraine’s top general Valery Zaluzhny. In the interview with British magazine the The Economist, the Commander-in-Chief admitted that the Ukrainian forces had reached an impasse. Zaluzhny came under fire for that statement, with Zelensky rushing to refute it.

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“He said he disagreed with the notion that the operation “not going as far as people wanted reflects some degree of Ukrainian failure.”

White House Touts ‘Year Of Suffering’ For Russian Troops (RT)

The White House wants to keep funding Ukraine in its conflict with Russia because it believes that in a year Moscow may be willing to concede to Kiev’s demands, an aide to Jake Sullivan, the US national security adviser, said in an interview on Tuesday. Jon Finer, Sullivan’s principal deputy, discussed the White House Ukraine strategy at an event hosted by the Aspen Institute, an influential US think-tank. On Wednesday, President Joe Biden’s request to allocate over $110 billion in foreign security aid, including for Ukraine, was blocked from a vote in the Senate. Finer made a case for releasing the funds despite Kiev’s inability to secure any major successes on the battlefield during its summer counteroffensive. He said he disagreed with the notion that the operation “not going as far as people wanted reflects some degree of Ukrainian failure.”

If Washington keeps bankrolling Kiev’s war effort for the next year, the Ukrainian government will maintain “a degree of parity” with Russia, he promised. “Another year of funding and another year in which Russia will have to suffer on the battlefield is fundamentally a better position than we are in today without that funding,” Finer said. “I think there is no way to dispute that.” By the end of 2024, Western nations will have ramped up arms production and be helping Ukraine do the same, the White House expects. Then Russia will have to either “come to the negotiating table on terms that would be acceptable to Ukraine” or face a stronger opponent, according to Finer’s expectations.

Kiev’s demands for peace include full control over pre-2014 Ukrainian territory, war reparations and a tribunal for the Russian leadership, as detailed last year by President Vladimir Zelensky. Moscow has dismissed it from the start as detached from reality. Moscow has cited NATO expansion in Europe and the promised inclusion of Ukraine into the US-led military bloc as a threat to its national security. Preventing that outcome is imperative, senior Russian officials have said. In the first weeks of hostilities, Ukraine and Russia came to a preliminary agreement on a truce, which would have seen Kiev drop its NATO aspirations and pledge neutrality. Then UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Kiev to “make war instead,” David Arakhamia, who led the Ukrainian delegation at the talks in Istanbul, confirmed in a recent interview.

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“..no American president has ever “extorted so much money for a minor country that is in the process of collapsing..”

Medvedev Warns Of Direct Russia-NATO Clash (RT)

Moscow and Washington are tiptoeing on the precipice of a hot war, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said, adding that the last similar crisis in relations dates back to the height of the Cold War in the early 1960s. Writing on Telegram on Friday, Medvedev, who now serves as deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, weighed in on what he called US President Joe Biden’s “primitive blackmail” of Congress. He was referring to the American leader’s recent plea to lawmakers to approve a $111 billion security package, which included funding for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. To convince Republicans – who have been reluctant to support the measure due to a dispute over border security – Biden warned that Russia might not stop at Ukraine and go on to attack NATO countries, leading to a direct clash involving the US. His plea, however, failed to impress the Senate Republicans, who blocked the funding.

Medvedev said the Biden administration’s ploy “is nothing new.” According to the official, many US presidents in the past have said, “Give the money to our guy (fill in the name), or you will have to fight the Russians.” The difference, Medvedev added, is that no American president has ever “extorted so much money for a minor country that is in the process of collapsing,” which is also connected to a corruption controversy involving both the sitting US president and his family members – in reference to allegations that both Biden and his son Hunter accepted bribes from a Ukrainian gas executive. The former Russian president went on: “Never since the Cuban Missile Crisis has the threat of a direct clash between Russia and NATO leading to World War III been so real.”

The 1962 crisis brought the US and the Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear war after Moscow responded to Washington’s deployment of missiles in Türkiye by placing its own atomic assets in allied Cuba. The two superpowers narrowly managed to defuse the tensions by withdrawing their missiles from both countries. Medvedev predicted that despite the gridlock in Congress, both the administration and its “cowering fosterling” in Kiev would get the money sooner or later, allowing all parties involved to continue profiting off the conflict. Russia has repeatedly warned the West against sending arms to Kiev, arguing that doing so will only prolong the conflict while making it a direct participant in the hostilities.

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How do you withdraw $1.6 million from an ATM?

Hunter Indictment Designed Specifically To Avoid Joe Biden (Turley)

The 56-page indictment of Hunter Biden for tax evasion makes for racy reading, with the special counsel describing a four-year criminal pattern directed at maintaining Biden’s “extravagant lifestyle.” That lifestyle included massive expenses for strippers, sex clubs, fast cars and other distractions. The steps taken by Hunter to evade taxes are impressive, but not nearly as impressive as the efforts of the Justice Department to evade any direct implications for his father, President Biden. In that sense, the indictment itself is a marvel of evasion. There are three glaring omissions in the indictment that tend to shield critical payments and conduct that implicate the president. First, the special counsel only indicts tax evasion that occurred in recent years. That’s because the long “investigation” into Hunter inexplicably allowed the statute of limitations to expire on the most controversial payments from Ukraine gas company Burisma.

Recent testimony from IRS whistleblowers suggests that wasn’t an accident. Investigators were stonewalled, they claimed, and the Justice Department was previously moving to reject any charges against Hunter Biden. Exploring those earlier Ukrainian payments opens up questions about Hunter’s influence peddling and would have highlighted the conflict in his father’s extraordinary move to force the Ukrainians to fire a prosecutor investigating Burisma by holding back a billion dollars in aid for the country. There is still no explanation why special counsel David Weiss would allow the statute of limitations to run out. But this recent indictment keeps the focus squarely on taxes not paid, not how the money was “earned” in the first place. Also missing in the indictment is any charge against Hunter Biden as an unregistered foreign agent.

Recently, the Justice Department added a charge to the indictment of Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) that he ran afoul of FARA, the Foreign Agents Registration Act. FARA also was used to go after Donald Trump associates such as Paul Manafort. The problem with charging Hunter with FARA is obvious. It opens up questions about the millions of dollars going to the Biden family from foreign sources, a topic that Attorney General Merrick Garland has spent years avoiding. In the second indictment, Weiss spends more time detailing the salacious use of this money rather than how and why it was given to the Bidens. He just matter-of-factly describes millions flowing through these accounts from China, Romania, Ukraine, Russia and other countries. By focusing on tax evasion alone, Weiss again avoids any direct reference to the focus of the influence-peddling used to raise these millions of dollars.

Even without mentioning the president, the implications of the indictment are devastating for the narrative and denials of Joe Biden. The president has continued to maintain that he had no knowledge or interaction with these dealings. Those statements are clearly and knowingly false. The president also maintained that his son has “never done anything wrong” and never accepted any money from China. That is also untrue, according to the Justice Department and Hunter himself. Yet Weiss continues to avoid any need to address the person who was the selling point of the influence peddling. It was the same person who repeatedly called in to dinners and meetings, repeatedly attended events, and held meetings and photo shots for these clients. Instead, Weiss indicts the failure to pay taxes on the proceeds of these dealings without addressing that underlying corruption. It is akin to arresting a bank robber for speeding away from the crime scene without mentioning the reason for his flight.

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X thread.

Hunter Is In A Lot Of Trouble (@willscharf)

I have reviewed the new Hunter Biden indictment. As a former federal prosecutor, and someone who has followed the Hunter saga quite closely for years, here are my initial reactions:

(1) Hunter is in a lot of trouble. With the sweetheart deal previously offered to him now off the table, Hunter is in an awful lot of trouble. He is facing four counts of willfully failing to pay his taxes for tax years 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019, and two counts of failing to file a tax return for tax years 2017 and 2018, all in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7203. He is also charged with one count of tax evasion and two counts of filing false and fraudulent tax forms for tax year 2018, in violation of § 7201 and § 7206, for chalking up hundreds of thousands of dollars of fake business expenses. These fake expenses included payments for: hotel rooms that he turned into crack dens, payoffs for his girlfriends, strippers, escorts, luxury cars, a sex club membership, porn sites. He also tried to claim his daughter’s law school tuition as business-related legal expenses. He tried to hide income, and made numerous false statements under penalty of perjury. If he were to go to trial and be convicted of all of these counts, based on my calculations, the advisory federal sentencing guidelines range for him could easily reach 4–5 years’ imprisonment. Even if he were to plead guilty to these counts, his guidelines range sentence would likely be around 3 years. That is a lot of prison time for the son of a sitting president.

(2) Weiss appears to be playing this straight. I said after David Weiss’s appointment as special counsel that this was going to go in one of two directions: Either Weiss was going to continue the concerted effort to cover up and clean up Hunter’s long history of criminal activity to protect Joe Biden and the Biden family. Or Weiss was going rogue, and would hammer Hunter with the full force of the law. My assumption was cover up, but based on this indictment and the previous firearms indictment, I can’t find fault with his actions thus far. He is appropriately and vigorously prosecuting the tax and gun crimes that we already knew about. The real test will be what comes next. Will Hunter be offered a new sweetheart plea deal to sweep this all under the rug? Most importantly, will more indictments follow? Foreign money laundering? Failure to register as a foreign agent? Bribery? Only time will tell, but I am hopeful that maybe—just maybe—we will see some justice here.

(3) Joe Biden is a liar. If the facts in the indictment are proven, and based on Hunter’s previous abortive plea deal I believe they can be and will be, this indictment is further proof (as if we needed more) that Joe Biden lied repeatedly to the American people during the 2020 election. “My son has not made money in terms of this thing about, what are you talking about, China.” That was Joe Biden at the presidential debate on October 22, 2020. That was a lie. Biden denied that Hunter had made “a fortune in China, in Moscow and various other places” at the presidential debate on September 29, 2020. That was a lie. I could go on, but the point is made. Joe Biden needs to answer to the American people for his lies. They implicate him in criminal conspiracies abroad involving the shadiest of foreign actors, and cut to the heart of his fitness for office.

(4) More egg on the media’s face. As if mainstream media credibility could fall even lower . . . The mainstream media was an active participant in Joe Biden’s lies in 2020. The media actively ran cover, burying Hunter Biden stories, showing a startling lack of interest in the Biden family’s web of foreign business interests, and insisting — insisting! — that there was nothing to see here. The blackout on reporting about Hunter’s now-validated laptop was the pinnacle of this all hands on deck effort. I want to hear from the journalists who participated in burying these stories, who wrote fake “explainer” pieces on how the Republicans were conspiracy theorists, who lashed out at Trump for attacking Joe over the Hunter scandals. Who decided that getting Joe elected was more important than uncovering the truth. Is that what they taught you in journalism school?

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Playing the victim appears to be Hunter’s second nature.

Hunter Biden Claims GOP Is “Trying To Kill” Him (Sp.)

Hunter Biden, the son of US President Joe Biden, sat down with the Grammy-nominated musician Moby for a podcast interview that was released on Friday, detailing that the GOP is harassing him as part of an effort to tank his father’s 2024 reelection bid. The 58-year-old musician explained at the beginning of the “Moby Pod” interview that he had previously met Biden at one of his art shows while the two had been recovering from an addiction. During the interview, Biden claimed right-wing attacks against him were not actually “about” him, but are instead part of a broader approach to attack his father’s presidency. “They are trying to, in their most illegitimate, but rational way, they’re trying to destroy a presidency,” Biden said on Friday. “And so it’s not about me, and [in] their most base way, what they’re trying to do is they’re trying to kill me, knowing that it will be a pain greater than my father could be able to handle.”

“They decided that the one way in which they would be able to certainly just undermine my dad’s confidence and ability to continue to campaign and move forward – particularly after the death of my brother – [was] to think that he could lose his son that he just had regained from an almost-death, through addiction,” said Biden. During the interview, Biden also lamented his challenges with drug and alcohol addiction following the death of his mother, sister and his brother, as well as his shame at feeling like the “f***-up” in his family. He acknowledged it’s difficult to maintain sobriety when he’s the focus of “a hatred and an intensity that is both specific and global.”This is the first time Biden has spoken publicly on the topic since his memoir was released in 2021. Since then, he has allowed public statements to come from his attorneys. During the podcast, he said he was speaking out (after being advised to keep a low profile) because he wanted to help others suffering from an addiction.

“One of the reasons why I’m gonna survive this – and I’m gonna survive it clean and sober – is because I am not gonna let these motherf****** use me as just another example of why people in recovery are never gonna be OK, never to be trusted, they’re all degenerates – I’m just not gonna let that happen.” He later described being doxxed by the New York Post, which he said led to Trump supporters wearing MAGA hats, shouting through bullhorns outside his house when his wife was eight months pregnant. During the podcast, Biden also mentioned feeling sorry for Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ), who he said are “not healthy people.” The two lawmakers have been some of Biden’s toughest credits, with Greene holding up posters displaying him in graphic and sexual photos during an Oversight Committee hearing in July. The photos had come from the infamous scandal-ridden laptop belonging to Biden.

“The second thing that I realized is that these people are just sad, very very sick people that have most likely just faced traumas in their lives that they’ve decided that they are going to turn into an evil that decides that they’re going to inflict on the rest of the world,” Biden said.

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“..why ask for a sweeping immunity deal? The answer was why not. That all came crashing down when Judge Noreika just cleared her throat in court.”

Hunter Biden is a Case Study of the Perils of Legal Gluttony (Turley)

Five months ago, exasperated Biden defense counsel Chris Clark snapped at federal prosecutors to “just rip it up” after a plea bargain hit a snag in a hearing before Judge Maryellen Noreika. They did and, for the first time, Hunter could be facing a real chance for jail time. The six misdemeanor charges and three felonies carry a potential sentence of 17 years for alleged tax evasion and filing a false return. It could have been worse. The Justice Department inexplicably allowed the statute of limitations to run on the most serious allegations involving payments from years going back to 2016. Those are mentioned in the narrative of the indictment but not charged as separate offenses. None of this would have happened if Judge Noreika did not ask a very simple question about the plea agreement and a sweeping immunity provision buried in its language.

Many judges would have likely flagged through the agreement and given Hunter the sweetest of sweetheart deals. Noreika noticed that the deal seemed to give Hunter immunity for any crime going forward and asked the prosecutor if he had ever seen any agreement like this one. He honestly answered “no.” It was later learned that there was a push within the Justice Department to have no charges at all brought against Hunter in an investigation that was heavily laden with special treatment, according to IRS whistleblowers. The investigation by the House has shown how Hunter and his counsel allowed their appetite for special treatment to turn into a raging disorder. The Justice Department reportedly gave Hunter a “heads up” about planned searches and interviews, scuttling those efforts. Even though the Justice Department had an agreement to “toll the statute” to prevent the early charges from expiring, the Special Counsel just let them die without any rational reason.

In this “all-you-can-eat” legal Smorgasbord, it is little surprise that the Biden team would demand an unprecedented immunity deal and just two misdemeanors after years of tax evasion covering millions from insider trading. After all, Attorney General Merrick Garland had refused the calls of many of us to appoint a Special Counsel to look into the corruption scandal. The scandal was capped off legally and the media was running cover for Hunter.The laptop was falsely denounced as Russian disinformation and the media largely dismissed influence peddling claims. Whenever new allegations surfaced, the President and the media would literally run to the nearest ice cream shop to discuss the President’s favorite flavors. In other words, why ask for a sweeping immunity deal? The answer was why not. That all came crashing down when Judge Noreika just cleared her throat in court.

As the prosecutors struggled to explain the absurd immunity provision, the Biden legal team was obviously shocked at the notion that they might have to exercise portion control. After all, the President himself has declared “no one f**ks with a Biden.” That is when they told the prosecutors to “just rip it up.” Those are the four most dangerous words that a criminal defendant could utter in a hearing on a plea deal. They could have immediately narrowed the immunity deal and even added a few misdemeanors to salvage the deal. Instead, they shredded their client. What followed was performative and frankly a tad pathetic. To the thrill of some in the media, the Biden team promised to get aggressive with witnesses and critics. They started to make demands as if they still controlled events, including saying that they would only comply with a congressional subpoena on their own terms.

It won’t work. A bill has come due. While Garland is still protecting President Biden from a Special Counsel, Hunter Biden is going to have to face these alleged crimes and corruption. Even the media is now admitting that he was influence peddling, though maintaining a final line of defense for the president. The last defense is that it was corrupt, but merely illusory because it did not actually influence Joe Biden. In other words, Hunter is rapidly becoming expendable.

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“To go from being, like, a well-paid street corner schizophrenic to, like, a politician – it’s just kind of hard to envision..”

Tucker Carlson Comments On Running As Trump’s VP (RT)

Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson has stopped short of ruling out becoming former US President Donald Trump’s vice presidential running mate in 2024, suggesting that he would need a directive from God to take the job if it’s offered to him. Carlson, who has attracted millions of viewers to his channel on X (formerly Twitter) since being fired by Fox in April, made his comments on Thursday night in response to a media report that he was the potential VP candidate favored by former First Lady Melania Trump. Asked about the report after he gave a speech at an event in Washington, Carlson said, “God would have to yell at me very loud” to accept such an offer. Independent media outlet Semafor was first to report on Carlson’s response. The political commentator noted that he doesn’t really know the first lady.

He has repeatedly insisted that he has no interest in running for elected office. “To go from being, like, a well-paid street corner schizophrenic to, like, a politician – it’s just kind of hard to envision,” he said on Thursday. However, Semafor reported, there were cheers from the audience when he didn’t fully rule out joining Trump’s 2024 ticket. Axios reported on Thursday that the former first lady was advocating for her husband to pick Carlson as his running mate. “She thinks Carlson would make a powerful onstage extension of her husband,” the outlet said, citing an unidentified person close to Trump. Trump is polling as, far and away, the leading Republican candidate to face Democrat incumbent Joe Biden in next year’s presidential election. He also faces 91 felony charges in four separate criminal cases filed by prosecutors in Washington, New York, Florida, and Georgia.

Carlson has said that he became an avid Trump supporter after the FBI raided the former president’s home in Florida last summer. He has vowed to vote for Trump and lead protests if the ex-president is convicted of a crime and jailed: “You cannot allow the regime, the president of the United States, the Justice Department, to knock the frontrunner out of the race. You can’t do that.” Other potential Trump VP candidates include Senator J.D. Vance, Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, Representative Byron Donalds, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene and Arizona Senate candidate Kari Lake, according to the Axios report.

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“Many misinterpret 1984 as a warning against Stalinism and Nazism, but George Orwell was predicting the future of the Western world. That future is here.”

Is Truth Becoming Valueless? (Paul Craig Roberts)

In America and its Western puppet states, there is today no greater crime than to be a truth-teller. Despite habeas corpus and due process enshrined in British law and the US Constitution, Julian Assange has been illegally detained for a decade for telling the truth. Reiner Fuellmich, the Germany attorney, who was about to file charges against the pharmaceutical companies for deaths and injuries from the Covid “vaccine,” was kidnapped in Mexico by the German government and placed in solitary confinement in Germany on obviously false charges in order to prevent the lawsuit. Barry Young, the New Zealand Covid database administrator who released the official data showing that the alleged “vaccine” was a deadly killer, has been arrested for revealing the truth. Be sure you understand what I am telling you. Those who tell you the truth are being arrested and treated worst than mass murderers. Murder is not a threat to the corrupt ruling establishment, but Truth is.

All truth-tellers have a target on their backs, including me. For reporting accurately on Putin’s hopes for reconciliation with Washington, I was labeled a “Putin agent/dupe.” This was just the beginning. George Soros, who Elon Musk said “appears to want nothing less than the destruction of Western civilization,” finances “fact checkers” and “verification” sites, the purpose of which is to discredit those who tell the truth. The State Department, the FBI, CIA, Mossad, and any number of government agencies and official organizations in the West work overtime to discredit truth-tellers. Wikipedia labeled me an “anti-semite” for quoting WW II historian David Irving in a book review. A truth-suppression website–NewsGuard–financed by who?–describes my website, which is read in every country in the world, as “A Conspiracy-oriented website that regularly publishes falsehoods about US election, the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine war, and other issues.”

It is extraordinary that after describing me as a disinformation artist, NewsGuard accurately describes me as an Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury, a presidential appointment which requires confirmation by the US Senate in order to take office, as an editor of the Wall Street Journal, as an author of books published by Harvard University Press and Oxford University Press, highly prestigious publishers who required credibility on the part of their peer-reviewed authors. So here I stand, with numerous top secret security clearances over many years, confirmed in a presidential appointment by the US Senate, a Wall Street Journal editor, a Business Week columnist for a dozen or more years, an academic at Stanford University and occupant for a dozen years of the William E. Simon Chair for Political Economy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and all of these front line institutions appointed a “conspiracy theorist.”

I have the French Legion of Honor signed by French President Mitterrand, the US Treasury’s Meritorious Service Award, the US Treasury’s Silver Medal, the International Journalism Award from the Press Club of Mexico. I have been in Who’s Who In America and Who Who’s in the World for decades. I have Who’s Who in America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. I have been on boards of multi-billion dollar financial and manufacturing institutions. I have been an adviser to J.P. Morgan Guaranty Trust and other large money managers. I have endless endorsements from distinguished Americans. And a dismal unverified hired gun organization called NewsGuard declares the entire journalistic, academic, business, and political establishment to have appointed a “conspiracy theorist” to the highest positions in the society.

No, I am not bragging on myself. I am pointing out that NewsGuard has no shame. The organization declares a truth-teller who has the highest honors to be a liar. Every corrupt, evil, material interest has money to demonize the truth. NewsGuard is one of their operatives. These are people devoid of integrity, but these sorts of sites are plentiful online, and given the insouciance of the American people, these sites might have more influence than truth-tellers. It raises the questions: can truth prevail when endless money can shout truth down? Can truth survive when people show scant interest in supporting truth and those who tell it? If you look objectively with open eyes at the news and at the indoctrination that passes for education, you will see that you live in a world of lies constructed by official narratives. Throughout the Western world police powers are being used to enforce the official narratives–every one of which is a lie.

Think about what this means for science and scholarship when Big Pharma-paid shills can shout down and discredit honest independent scientists, when educators can turn fiction into fact and fact into lies, when we live in Orwell’s world where Newspeak and Doublethink prevail: “War is peace,” “Freedom is slavery,” “Ignorance is strength.” Many misinterpret 1984 as a warning against Stalinism and Nazism, but George Orwell was predicting the future of the Western world. That future is here. Stand with me or soon you will find that you cannot stand at all.

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JOHN LENNON was taken from us 43yrs ago today. Every year on the anniversary of his death, the National Trust leave the bedroom light on in John’s childhood home, all night.

 

 

 

 

Bronze doors

 

 

 

 

Dragon

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 202023
 


Jackson Pollock The She Wolf 1943

 

A World Without a Moral Conscience (Paul Craig Roberts)
Catastrophe Unfolding At Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital (Cradle)
From Gaza With Rage (Dr. Mona El-Farra)
Diseases Spread In Gaza Amid Water And Sewage Crisis, Cholera Feared (AlJ)
Activating the Genocide Convention (Craig Murray)
Lies About Al-Shifa Hospital Recall Those Preceding the Iraq Invasion (Jones)
‘Blood’ And ‘Money’ – Medvedev Outlines Essence Of US Security (RT)
Top Zelensky Aide Questions Ukraine’s ‘Survival’ (RT)
Ukraine Regime Faces ‘Day of Reckoning’ Amid Dwindling Western Support (Sp.)
Anti-Woke Central Bank Nemesis Javier Milei Argentina’s New President (ZH)
Rep. Jordan Subpoenas Bank of America Over Sharing Jan. 6 Info With FBI (ET)
Lawmakers Slam ‘Political Performance Art’ in US Congress (Sp.)
Monsanto Hit With $1.5 Billion Verdict in Latest Roundup Cancer Case (ZH)

 

 

 

 

Make him smile
https://twitter.com/i/status/1726034829446119697

 

 

The basic Jewish approach

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bladder

 

 

Lies

 

 


That’s over 1,857 nurses or junior doctors on 35k per year. ULEZ- Ultra Low Emission Zone

 

 

 

 

“Clearly the Western World is in the grip of Satan.”

A World Without a Moral Conscience (Paul Craig Roberts)

Today is the 44th day of Israel’s slaughter of Palestinians and destruction of Infrastructure necessary for life. For 44 days the Great Moralists in Washington, London, Berlin, Paris and the rest of the Western World have cheered on, and sent weapons for, the Israeli Genocide of Palestine. The slaughter now extends from Gaza to the remnants of the West Bank. In the US even some Evangelical Christian churches approve of the slaughter and the erasure of Palestine. The citizens who protest the slaughter and erasure are arrested and blacklisted from jobs. For someone, such as myself, who once lived in a country where a moral conscience was respected, to experience the indifference of governments, churches, and media to 44 days of genocide is disheartening.

Clearly the Western World is in the grip of Satan. There is no longer right and wrong and justice, only official narratives. If you disagree with the official narratives you are suspect. The Western World has come to its end. It has no leaders. It has no ears to hear the few voices that still exist. Satan’s hold extends to the Muslim world, which talks but does not act. Words cannot defend Palestine. It is pointless to disapprove of something and to do nothing about it. Russia and China whose own existence is threatened by US/Israeli hegemony over the Middle East also offer nothing but words, words that don’t count because both are demonized and have no inclination to carry the fight to their enemy.

Russia and China invite conflict by their adeptness in avoiding it. How can murder remain on the books as a capital crime when mass murder is ignored? We experience so many instances of mass murder. Mass murder is not limited to Israel’s genocide of Palestinians and Big Pharma, Western governments and “medical authorities” murder of millions with a mandated “Covid vaccine.” Mass murder is happening all the time. We accept it as no worse than a rainy day. The moral conscience of the West has wilted away.

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“There is no medicine, and the wounds of injured people are becoming infected, some with maggots..”

Catastrophe Unfolding At Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital (Cradle)

Catastrophe is unfolding now at the Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza following its capture and occupation by the Israeli army, Dr. Muhammad Abu Salmiya warned on 16 November. Journalist Ali Abunimah of the Electronic Intifada summarized the doctor’s comments, which he made to Al-Jazeera Arabic regarding conditions in the hospital. Dr Abu Salmiya explained that there are about 7,000 people under total siege inside the Al-Shifa compound, including 650 injured people, 45 dialysis patients, and 36 premature babies. A few hours ago, one dialysis patient died, while four are at imminent risk of death because there is no power for dialysis machines. Three premature babies died in recent days, and two injured persons died in recent hours due to lack of treatment.

There is no water, fuel, or electricity. Israel broke the main water line into the hospital. There is no purified water to make the special formula for the babies, so they are using ordinary water, and some have become sick with diarrhea, infections, and fever. There is no food. Children are starving and distressed. There is no medicine, and the wounds of injured people are becoming infected, some with maggots. Hospital administrators tried to send a delegation to Israeli forces to ask for food, fuel, medicine, and safe evacuation of the sick and injured, but the Israelis refused to speak to them. The hospital is besieged from all sides by tanks and bulldozers. The bulldozers are destroying areas around the compound, but no one can see what they are doing.

Snipers or drones shoot at anyone who tries to move between hospital buildings. There are hundreds of soldiers in the hospital compound, searching all over and causing severe damage to hospital premises and equipment. In the 48 hours since Israeli forces entered the hospital and its grounds, not a single shot has been fired at them. Dr. Abu Salmiya closed by saying, “We hold the world responsible” for what he calls a genocide. “We are waiting for slow death.” At the same time, Dr. Ghassan Abu Sitta warned that conditions are dire at the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital, also in northern Gaza. He wrote on the social media site X that doctors at the hospital can no longer provide surgeries.

The hospital is now effectively a first aid station, while hundreds of wounded are now at the hospital with no access to surgery and will now die from their wounds. On 17 October, Israel bombed the courtyard of the Al-Ahli Baptist hospital with a guided missile, killing 471 Palestinians sheltering there to escape Israel’s bombing elsewhere. The Israeli government denied bombing the hospital, claiming a failed Palestinian rocket had fallen onto the crowded hospital and exploded. However, this was proven false by independent analysts and the New York Times.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1726345295515058255

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“How do you give a toy to a child who will not play, who searches the skies for what they know will come?”

From Gaza With Rage (Dr. Mona El-Farra)

The repeating Israeli airstrikes on the Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza are beyond my own comprehension. For at least 10 of the last 40 days, missiles have rained down on the most densely populated refugee camp in all of Gaza. And it is not just the days; it is also the nights. The bombing is done in the dark, when the power is off and the only light is from the fires that burn. It is done when the internet is cut, when the journalists are shot dead, to hide their crimes, the burning of children. I have a long history and strong connection to the people in this camp. My friends, former coworkers, patients, and people I have known for decades through my work as a doctor at Gaza’s Al-Awda hospital are living in this camp. There are the children who grew up coming to the library I founded in Jabalia, who are now young men and women, who have their own children, their own families.

There are my beautiful neighbors and friends and patients, who are not my relatives but are my family. They are generation after generation of refugee families living in one of the most crowded places on earth. After the latest massacre, I cannot reach any of them. I see these same families in the video sent to me of my neighbors pulling children from the rubble. I see them in my memories as we lived and struggled under dual occupations, and Israeli bombings and apartheid. I hear what it sounds like in the aftermath when women and children, the overwhelming majority of those living in, injured, and killed in Jabalia, scream and mourn in anguish and wake up to do it again. I can taste the chemicals, the poisons that linger in the air for hours and days after these indiscriminate explosions.

I can smell the acrid odor of white phosphorus, used by Israel in Gaza and caked on the walls of burning buildings and bodies. I can feel the collective hunger: for food and for justice and for all of it to stop. But now I am in Cairo and it is so difficult and distressing to hear more terrible news each day, news of my loved ones killed by this criminal occupation, by these crimes of war bragged about by Israeli officials who say that there will be no buildings left in Gaza, that we will be a “city of tents.” I had always been home in Gaza during previous Israeli bombings that so often use U.S. planes and U.S. missiles, gifted and given as “aid.” Such “help” is the opposite of the aid I am buying now. The food, medicine, and more, even toys for children who have lost so, so much.

The Middle East Children’s Alliance is raising money so we can buy these supplies to deliver to children and families in Gaza as soon as we can. I am so very sad. But it is not only sadness that I feel. It is also rage. How do I feed a child that will not eat because of fear? How do you give a toy to a child who will not play, who searches the skies for what they know will come? I am enraged at Israel’s constant, ruthless bombardment, killing thousands of people from newborn babies to grandfathers. What is happening now in Gaza is genocide. Those who are not killed by Israeli bombs are dying slowly from the lack of medicine, food, and water.

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Why waste ammo?

Diseases Spread In Gaza Amid Water And Sewage Crisis, Cholera Feared (AlJ)

Sewage flows in the streets of Gaza as all key sanitation services have ceased operating, raising the alarming prospect of an enormous surge of gastrointestinal and infectious diseases among the local populations – including cholera. For Gaza’s 2.3 million residents, finding drinkable water has become close to impossible. At a school run by the United Nations relief agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) in Khan Younis, 33-year-old Osama Saqr attempted to fill some bottles with water for his thirsty children. He took a sip and grimaced in disgust at the saltiness of the fluid, before letting out a long sigh. “It’s polluted and unsuitable, but my children always drink it, there’s no alternative,” he told Al Jazeera. Saqr’s one-year-old son has diarrhoea but he cannot find medicines in hospitals or pharmacies to treat him.

“Even if I find it, the problem remains, the water is polluted and salty water, not suitable for drinking,” he said. “I’m afraid that eventually, I’m going to lose one of my children to this poisoning.” The World Health Organization (WHO) has recorded more than 44,000 cases of diarrhoea and 70,000 acute respiratory infections, but real numbers may be significantly higher. On Friday, the UN agency said it was extremely concerned that rains and floods during the approaching winter season will make an already dire situation even worse. “We are hearing about several hundred people per toilet at the UNRWA centres and those have been overflowing, so people are doing open defecation,” Richard Brennan, regional emergency director for the Eastern Mediterranean region at WHO, told Al Jazeera. “They have to find a place to go to the bathroom in the grounds where they are staying. That’s a huge public health risk and also very humiliating.”

Brennan said overcrowding, lack of solid waste management, poor sanitation and open-air defecation were all contributing to the spread of diseases including diarrhoea, respiratory infections and skin infections, including scabies. UN agencies have warned that the collapse of water and sanitation services could even spark bouts of cholera if urgent humanitarian aid is not delivered. If nothing changes, “there will be more and more people falling sick and the risk of major outbreaks will increase dramatically,” Brennan said. Gaza’s essential water and sanitation infrastructure has either been destroyed by Israeli bombardment or has run out of fuel. In the southern governorates of Deir el-Balah, Khan Younis and Rafah, all 76 water wells have stopped functioning, as well as two main drinking water plants and 15 sewage pumping stations, according to the UNRWA.

WHO estimates that the average person in Gaza is currently consuming just 3 litres of water per day for drinking and sanitation. This compares with the minimum of 7.5 litres recommended by the agency in emergency situations. The halt of key services including water desalination plants, sewage treatment and hospitals has led to a 40 percent increase in diarrhoea for people taking shelter in UNRWA schools, the agency said. It estimated that about 70 percent of Gaza’s 2.3 million people – more than half of whom are children – no longer have access to clean water. On Wednesday, Israeli authorities allowed just over 23,000 litres (6,000 gallons) of fuel to be brought into the Strip via Egypt. But they restricted the use of this fuel to trucks transporting the little aid coming in. The UNRWA said it needed 160,000 litres (42,000 gallons) of fuel a day for basic humanitarian operations.

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“.. In the name of rooting out an apparently non-existent Hamas network out of the hospital, the IDF created what Amnesty International has called “a graveyard of children.”

Lies About Al-Shifa Hospital Recall Those Preceding the Iraq Invasion (Jones)

In the weeks before the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) raided the Al-Shifa hospital, the largest hospital in Gaza, the IDF “went to great lengths to depict the medical complex as a headquarters for Hamas, from where its attacks on Israel were planned,” according to The Guardian. The U.S. has claimed that it produced its own intelligence that verifies this claim. National security spokesperson John Kirby told reporters on Thursday that “We have information that confirms that Hamas is using that particular hospital for a command and control mode” and likely for storing weapons. According to Reuters, “[Kirby] said the United States had information that Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad were using some hospitals in the Gaza Strip, including Al Shifa, to conceal or support their military operations and to hold hostages.”

Despite Kirby’s claim that the information came from various intelligence methods, the U.S. has provided no evidence to verify that the hospital is being used by Hamas. In the name of rooting out an apparently non-existent Hamas network out of the hospital, the IDF created what Amnesty International has called “a graveyard of children.” The World Health Organization (WHO) said the U.N. assessment team that analyzed the hospital similarly concluded that the complex has become a “death zone.” The team found “a mass grave at the entrance of the hospital and was told more than 80 people were buried there.” Further, the WHO reported: “Lack of clean water, fuel, medicines, food and other essential aid over the last 6 weeks have caused Al-Shifa Hospital – once the largest, most advanced and best equipped referral hospital in Gaza – to essentially stop functioning as a medical facility…Al-Shifa Hospital can no longer admit patients, with the injured and sick now being directed to the seriously overwhelmed and barely functioning Indonesian Hospital.”

“The vast majority of patients are victims of war trauma, including many with complex fractures and amputations, head injuries, burns, chest and abdominal trauma, and 29 patients with serious spinal injuries who are unable to move without medical assistance. Many trauma patients have severely infected wounds due to lack of infection control measures in the hospital and unavailability of antibiotics.” The IDF recently released a video in which Lt. Colonel Jonathan Conricus “exposes the countless weapons IDF troops have uncovered in the Shifa Hospital’s MRI building.” The video shows Conricus walking a cameraman through the MRI room while pointing out what the IDF claims are Hamas weapons and equipment.

According to The Guardian, “The IDF accused Hamas…of hiding evidence that would confirm that the organization had used the hospital as a command and control center.” An IDF spokesperson said “Hamas has persistently worked to conceal infrastructure and cover up evidence.” Despite Hamas’ alleged attempts to cover up evidence, the guns and equipment spread across the MRI room in the IDF video are extremely visible and don’t appear hidden whatsoever. Conricus also cites the destruction of security cameras as evidence that Hamas is using the hospital to carry out military operations. While it would be in Hamas’s interest to prevent any recording of them using the hospital as a headquarters, it would also be in the IDF’s interest to destroy any footage of them planting the “evidence” offered in the video.

According to Julian Borger in The Guardian: “A BBC analysis found the footage of an IDF spokesperson showing the apparent discovery of a bag containing a gun behind an MRI scanning machine, had been taped hours before the arrival of the journalists to whom he was supposedly showing it.” “In a video shown later, the number of guns in the bag had doubled. The IDF claimed its video of what it found at the hospital was unedited, filmed in a single take, but the BBC analysis found it had been edited.”

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“All this begs the question of why no state has yet invoked the Genocide Convention. This is especially remarkable as Palestine is one of the 149 states party to the Genocide Convention, and for this purpose would have standing before both the U.N. and the ICJ…”

Activating the Genocide Convention (Craig Murray)

There are 149 states party to the Genocide Convention. Every one of them has the right to call out the genocide in progress in Gaza and report it to the United Nations. In the event that another state party disputes the claim of genocide — and Israel, the United States and the United Kingdom are all states party — then the International Court of Justice is required to adjudicate on “the responsibility of a State for genocide.” These are the relevant articles of the genocide convention:
“Article VIII
Any Contracting Party may call upon the competent organs of the United Nations to take such action under the Charter of the United Nations as they consider appropriate for the prevention and suppression of acts of genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in article III.
Article IX
Disputes between the Contracting Parties relating to the interpretation, application or fulfilment of the present Convention, including those relating to the responsibility of a State for genocide or for any of the other acts enumerated in article III, shall be submitted to the International Court of Justice at the request of any of the parties to the dispute.” Note that here “parties to the dispute” means the states disputing the facts of genocide, not the parties to the genocide/conflict. Any single state party is able to invoke the convention. There is no doubt that Israel’s actions amount to genocide. Numerous international law experts have said so and genocidal intent has been directly expressed by numerous Israeli ministers, generals and public officials.

This is the definition of genocide in international law, from the Genocide Convention:
“Article II
In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group”

I can see no room to doubt whatsoever that Israel’s current campaign of bombing of civilians and of the deprivation of food, water and other necessities of life to Palestinians amounts to genocide under articles II a), b) and c). It is also worth considering Articles III and IV:
“Article III
The following acts shall be punishable:
(a) Genocide;
(b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;
(c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;
(d) Attempt to commit genocide;
(e) Complicity in genocide.
Article IV
Persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in article III shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.”

There is, at the very least, a strong prima facie case that the actions of the United States and United Kingdom and others, in openly providing direct military support to be used in genocide, are complicit in genocide. The point of Article IV is that individuals are responsible, not just states. So Israel’s Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. President Joe Biden and U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak bear individual responsibility. So, indeed, do all those who have been calling for the destruction of the Palestinians. It is very definitely worth activating the Genocide Convention. A judgement of the International Court of Justice that Israel is guilty of genocide would have an extraordinary diplomatic effect and would cause domestic difficulties in the U.K. and even in the U.S. in continuing to subsidise and arm Israel.

Relationship of ICJ & ICC

The International Court of Justice is the most respected of international institutions; while the United States has repudiated its compulsory jurisdiction, the United Kingdom has not and the EU positively accepts it. If the International Court of Justice makes a determination of genocide, then the International Criminal Court does not have to determine that genocide has happened. This is important because unlike the august and independent ICJ, the ICC is very much a western government puppet institution which will wiggle out of action if it can. But a determination of the ICJ of genocide and of complicity in genocide would reduce the ICC’s task to determining which individuals bear the responsibility. That is a prospect which can indeed alter the calculations of politicians.

It is also the fact that a reference for genocide would force the Western media to address the issue and use the term, rather than just pump out propaganda about Hamas having fighting bases in hospitals. Furthermore a judgement from the ICJ would automatically trigger a reference to the United Nations General Assembly — crucially not to the Western-vetoed Security Council. All this begs the question of why no state has yet invoked the Genocide Convention. This is especially remarkable as Palestine is one of the 149 states party to the Genocide Convention, and for this purpose would have standing before both the U.N. and the ICJ.

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“..the US essentially considers “money” and “blood” together as a “good investment.” “How very American. No comment..”

‘Blood’ And ‘Money’ – Medvedev Outlines Essence Of US Security (RT)

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said that US President Joe Biden’s latest opinion piece for the Washington Post once again highlighted the essence of Washington’s security doctrine, which is to provide for America’s interests at the expense of others. The US supposedly makes itself safer by pouring money into “its own military industry” and starting “wars on other continents,”Medvedev said Sunday in a poston X (formerly Twitter), calling it “the essence of the American security doctrine.” “That’s why our commitment to Ukraine today is an investment in our own security,” Biden said in his piece published on Saturday. Medvedev, who now serves as deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, responded to this by saying that the US essentially considers “money” and “blood” together as a “good investment.” “How very American. No comment,” he added.

“Others, surely, don’t matter,” the former Russian leader said, commenting on the article in which Biden once again reaffirmed US support to Ukraine and Israel. The US leader also argued in the piece that Russia and the Gaza-based Hamas militants should not be allowed to have their way. “Out of great tragedy and upheaval, enormous progress can come,” Biden wrote. He claimed that the US is “the essential nation” with a “duty of leadership.” On the topic of Ukraine, the US president also admitted that the conflict “draws America in directly.” Washington has openly supported Kiev since armed hostilities with Moscow began in February 2022. The US has provided Ukraine with military equipment worth billions of dollars together with its allies in Europe and elsewhere.

Moscow has repeatedly argued that sending arms to Kiev would only prolong the military operation and extend human suffering. Russia also repeatedly accused the US and its allies of planning to make Kiev fight “to the last Ukrainian.” Ample Western military supplies, including heavy armor, such as tanks and infantry fighting vehicles, have so far not helped Ukraine to achieve any significant success in its closely-watched summer offensive, which has failed to bring about any meaningful changes to the frontlines over several months since the start of the operation in early June. Ukrainian forces have suffered heavy losses in both personnel and material, including the Western-supplied equipment, during the assault, however. In early November, the Pentagon warned it potentially had only $1 billion remaining for Ukraine military aid and would have to ration arms packages in the future.

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“..Kiev must seize all territories lost to Russia, including the Crimean Peninsula, or risk disappearing from the world’s map..”

Top Zelensky Aide Questions Ukraine’s ‘Survival’ (RT)

A senior aide to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claimed in an interview with Ukraine’s Channel 24 television station on Friday that Kiev must seize all territories lost to Russia, including the Crimean Peninsula, or risk disappearing from the world’s map. The aide, Mikhail Podoliak, opined that failure to push back Russian troops from the territory Kiev claims as its own could become a breaking point for the country. “Do we have an endgame in which we do not enter Crimea and which would clearly indicate that Ukraine has a historical perspective?” he asked. According to Podoliak, the same concerns apply to the four other regions – the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions – that overwhelmingly voted to join Russia last autumn.

“Do we have even a single chance to survive in historical terms for another ten to 15 years?” the official added. Podoliak also believes that Russia’s victory would be a significant setback for the West as it would “not be able to claim global leadership” while its “autocratic” rivals would have free reign to attack other territories. He also admitted that “the war is unpopular” in Ukraine but rejected any peace engagement with Russia, insisting that Moscow wants to “subjugate” Kiev. Russian officials have repeatedly said they have never closed the door to talks with their Ukrainian counterparts. Podoliak also attempted to justify unfulfilled predictions that Ukraine would seize Crimea during the past summer, noting that this assessment was based on an analysis of how many arms Kiev would receive from its Western backers and the impact of sanctions on Russia.

According to the official, however, many Western companies remained in the Russian market, allowing the country’s government to receive “high taxes” and use this money to fund its military campaign. Ukraine’s eventual takeover of Crimea was predicted twice this year by Ukrainian intelligence chief Kirill Budanov – first in the spring and later in the summer amid Kiev’s counteroffensive. Moscow has warned it would use “any weapon” in response to a potential Ukrainian attack on the peninsula. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said last month that Kiev “is losing” while being unable to make any substantial progress on the battlefield. He also estimated Kiev’s losses at more than 90,000 service members since the start of the counteroffensive in early June.

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“..these next 60 days are going to be critical in Ukraine, as far as I’m concerned..”

Ukraine Regime Faces ‘Day of Reckoning’ Amid Dwindling Western Support (Sp.)

Ukrainian President Zelensky has drawn attention to reducing Western support as Washington’s attention is increasingly focused on the Middle East and the escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A recent stopgap funding bill signed by the POTUS contains no provisions for further assistance to Ukraine. Zelensky’s words appears to be “both symbolic and real,” as Ukraine’s “hopes of victory, that were already dim, would falter in oblivion” if the constant flow of weapons and munitions to Kiev from the West were to cease, argued Jacques Sapir, a director at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS) in Paris. According to him, supporting Ukraine has never been a “top priority” for the Western powers, no matter what declarations on the subject they made in the past.

“Ukrainian leaders choose to believe words and not fact in spring 2022,” Sapir said. “But a shooting war is not waged by words but real hardware. This is now the day of reckoning for the Ukrainian leadership.” Meanwhile, Paul E. Vallely, a retired US Army major general and chairman of Stand Up America US Foundation, noted that several European powers have ramped up efforts to supply Ukraine with munitions even as the United States turns its attention towards Israel and the Gaza Strip crisis. He did point out, however, that one of Europe’s major players, Germany, has been “lagging in supporting Ukraine to a great degree,” even as Berlin recently promised to “double that support to $8.5 billion in 2024 and also deliver crucial air defense systems to Zelensky.”

“So what they say and what they do may be two different things,” Vallely mused. Having voiced his skepticism over the US’ and Europe’s ability to deliver on their most recent promises, Vallely also suggested that the situation on the battlefield may soon worsen for Kiev as “winter moves forward and Russian offensive operations move forward.” “Zelensky continues to say that they’re winning, and some of the Western press says Ukraine is winning, but in reality, they’re not. So these next 60 days are going to be critical in Ukraine, as far as I’m concerned,” he remarked.

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“Commenting on Milei’s victory, Elon Musk predicted that “Prosperity is ahead for Argentina.”

Anti-Woke Central Bank Nemesis Javier Milei Argentina’s New President (ZH)

Javier Milei, the outsider libertarian candidate with radical solutions to Argentina’s economic crisis, has just won Sunday’s presidential runoff against Economy Minister Sergio Massa. In a surprise outcome, Massa conceded in a speech to supporters in Buenos Aires on Sunday even before the official results were released, saying he called Milei to congratulate him on his victory. Javier Milei, a 53-year-old far-right economist and former television pundit with no governing experience, claimed nearly 56 percent of the vote, with more than 80 percent of votes tallied. It was a stunning upset over Sergio Massa, the center-left economy minister who has struggled to resolve the country’s worst economic crisis in two decades. Voters in this nation of 46 million demanded a drastic change from a government that has sent the peso tumbling, inflation skyrocketing and more than 40 percent of the population into poverty.

And with Milei, Argentina takes a leap into the unknown — with a leader promising to shatter the entire system, which the locals now correctly realize, is broken. Milei, who two months ago was interviewed by Tucker Carlson, has promised to fix Argentina’s perennial economic problems by making drastic budget cuts, replacing the battered peso with the US dollar and shutting down the central bank. He will take office on Dec. 10. Massa, from the ruling Peronist coalition, placed first in October’s first round, a remarkable comeback after losing a primary election two months previously. But the dire state of Argentina’s economy, plagued by 143% hyperinflation and a looming recession, posed a challenge too far to his presidential bid. “Argentines chose another path,” Massa said in a speech to supporters. Polls before the vote showed Milei with a slight edge over his rival. For those unfamiliar with Milei’s unique style, the following clip should be rather informative: Commenting on Milei’s victory, Elon Musk predicted that “Prosperity is ahead for Argentina.”

[..] Milei made a name for himself as a television pundit who insulted other guests, and has shown a tendency to fight with the news media. In presidential debates, he has cast doubt on the widely accepted tally of murders during the country’s Dirty War from 1976 to 1983. He has branded Argentine Pope Francis an “evil” leftist, called climate change a “socialist lie” and said he would hold a referendum to undo the three-year-old law that legalized abortion. Wielding chain saws on the campaign trail, the wild-haired Milei vowed to slash public spending in a country heavily dependent on government subsidies. He pledged to dollarize the economy, shut down the central bank and cut the number of government ministries from 18 to eight. His rallying campaign cry was a takedown of the country’s political “caste” — an Argentine version of Trump’s “drain the swamp.”

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“The Bank of America, with no directive from the FBI, data-mined its customer base..”

Rep. Jordan Subpoenas Bank of America Over Sharing Jan. 6 Info With FBI (ET)

House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) has subpoenaed Bank of America (BoA) for information over the company’s alleged sharing with the FBI of private customer data from around the time of the Jan. 6, 2021, events in Washington. The subpoena is part of the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government’s probe “into major banks sharing Americans’ private financial data with the [FBI] without legal process for transactions made in the Washington, DC, area around Jan. 6, 2021″—the day that supporters of President Donald Trump breached the U.S. Capitol as Congress was certifying the 2020 election, which the former president has called rigged and stolen. Politico first reported the Nov. 16 development.

The committee subpoenaed relevant documents from the bank, including internal communications about the decision to transfer the information to the FBI, any communications that the bank had with the agency, and any other information. The lawmakers gave Bank of America a June 8 deadline to comply. In a 78-page whistleblower report released by the House Judiciary Committee on May 19, whistleblowers allege that in the aftermath of the riot, Bank of America gave the FBI information about customers who made transactions in the Washington area on or near Jan. 6, 2021. Those who had used Bank of America accounts to purchase a firearm, regardless of when or where the transaction took place, were bumped to the top of that list.

George Hill, a retired FBI supervisory intelligence analyst, told the panel: “The Bank of America, with no directive from the FBI, data-mined its customer base. And they data-mined a date range of [Jan. 5, 2021, to Jan. 7, 2021] any BoA customer who used a BoA product [meaning a Bank of America credit or debit card]. “They compiled that list. And then, on top of that list, they put anyone who had purchased a firearm during any date. So it was a huge list.” No further action was taken with the information, according to testimony from the special agent in charge of the Boston field office, which received the information. Bank of America told the Judiciary Committee that its conduct was “within a legal process initiated by the United States Department of the Treasury.”

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“My concern is the trend has just begun, it’s not ending. And my sense is, I can just do more constructive things with my life.”

Lawmakers Slam ‘Political Performance Art’ in US Congress (Sp.)

“I don’t think being in Congress is the best way for me to make progress,” said retiring Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). “Life is short. I don’t want to be a part of this charade. And I won’t be.” In 2011, former Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy mused on an increasing decline of civility and decorum in the US Congress, lamenting the lack of “rational, quiet, thoughtful, respectful discussion and debate” within the legislative body. “The verdict on freedom is still out in over half the world,” said Kennedy. “And the rest of the world is looking at us. They see the current dialogue and discourse and they are horrified by it.” Those were the days when iconoclasts like Anthony Weiner, Jim DeMint, and Alan Grayson made headlines, gleefully attacking opposing members of Congress from the floor of the US Capitol.

Since then it seems Congress has only become a more brutal and unforgiving place, with several retiring lawmakers recently telling US media that chronic legislative dysfunction contributed to their decision not to seek reelection in 2024. “You’re rewarding the wrong kind of behavior here,” said retiring Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY), decrying the tendency towards theatrics at the expense of cooperation. “My concern is the trend has just begun, it’s not ending. And my sense is, I can just do more constructive things with my life.” “I’m just afraid that the performative nature of the House today, the people that – you know their names, they’re household names now – and the people that are making names for themselves are making spectacles of themselves.”

Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), who also recently announced his retirement, agreed, saying, “unconstitutional impeachments and censures that don’t make any sense.” “The big driver was we can’t admit that Republicans lost an election in 2020, which is crazy.” So far, the number of lawmakers announcing their retirements is reportedly in line with previous years. But onlookers note that 2023 has seen an unusual number of experienced, highly valued members announce their exit. “It’s not the quantity of retirements. It’s the quality,” said former Rep. Steve Israel (D) of New York. “These are people who really understand how to get things done.” A recent study from the Center for Effective Lawmaking seems to buttress this perception. By 2021, the group found almost half of US House members have served for five years or less.

This compares to about a third of representatives who had served for that amount of time in 2003. In other words, US Congress is increasingly made up of newer, less experienced members. There may be some advantage to the trend. The average age of members of the US House of Representatives declined slightly after the last midterm election. That may suggest the perspective of younger Americans could get a hearing in a legislative body that many argue has become a stale gerontocracy. But conversely, the average age of those in the US Senate increased slightly. Time will tell whether that trend changes next year, and whether a growing exodus of lawmakers will play a part. Some analysts predict the number of legislators announcing their retirements will increase in early 2024 after they return from time spent with their families over the holiday season.

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This comes literally just days after the EU decided to license the use of glyphosate for another 10 years. I kid you not.

Monsanto Hit With $1.5 Billion Verdict in Latest Roundup Cancer Case (ZH)

In a landmark decision, a Missouri jury has ordered Bayer AG’s Monsanto unit to pay more than $1.5 billion in damages to three former users of its Roundup weedkiller. This ruling, one of Monsanto’s largest trial losses in the five-year litigation over the herbicide, raises new questions about the safety of the controversial product and the company’s future legal challenges. In a late Friday decision, jurors awarded James Draeger, Valorie Gunther, and Dan Anderson $61.1 million in actual damages and a staggering $500 million each in punitive damages. They claimed that years of using Roundup on their properties led to their non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas. This verdict is one of the largest against a US corporate defendant this year, eclipsing even a significant $1.78 billion verdict in a federal real estate case (which could balloon to more than $5 billion), Bloomberg reports.

Bayer officials said on Saturday that US judges have allowed what they see as mischaracterization of regulatory decisions on Roundup’s safety. Despite recent plaintiff victories, the company says it remains confident in overturning these verdicts, citing ongoing regulatory support for glyphosate, Roundup’s main ingredient. Bayer plans to phase out glyphosate in the US consumer market by year’s end. “Bayer also noted in the statement the US Environmental Protection Agency continues to find Roundup and its main ingredient, glyphosate, as safe and a federal appeals court recently backed a rejection of calls for Bayer to include safety warnings on the product’s distinctive white bottles. The company agreed to transition from the version of Roundup containing glyphosate to new active weed-killing ingredients in the US consumer market by the end of the year.” -Bloomberg

The punitive award in the Missouri case may be subject to reduction, as US Supreme Court rulings generally limit such awards to ten times the actual damages. However, Monsanto has previously seen substantial damage awards in similar cases, including a $2 billion verdict in California, later reduced to $87 million. Bayer, which acquired Monsanto in 2018, has allocated up to $16 billion for over 100,000 Roundup cases. The company’s legal challenges extend beyond Roundup, encompassing other Monsanto products like toxic PCBs. With more trials on the horizon in Arkansas and Delaware, Bayer’s legal landscape appears increasingly precarious.

Plaintiffs in most of the Roundup casess argue that Monsanto was aware of glyphosate’s potential carcinogenic properties and attempted to suppress this information. Internal documents have revealed efforts by Monsanto officials to influence scientific studies supporting glyphosate’s safety. “These are the kinds of verdicts Bayer can look forward to in future trials,” said Dallas-based attorney Jay Utley. “Monsanto has done wrong for so many years in selling Roundup that it’s a beautiful thing to have a jury recognize that wrongdoing and punish them for it.” The Missouri case, which brought together plaintiffs from across the US, illustrates the widespread usage and impact of Roundup. The varied backgrounds of the plaintiffs, from landscapers to homeowners, underscore the herbicide’s broad reach and the potential scale of its health effects.

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Cat matrix
https://twitter.com/i/status/1726016075496579350

 

 

Salt mine
https://twitter.com/i/status/1726235269303865366

 

 

 

 

Arctic Fox
https://twitter.com/i/status/1726216825795494060

 

 

Pet the dog

 

 

Socotra

 

 

 

 

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Oct 022023
 
 October 2, 2023  Posted by at 8:47 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  23 Responses »


Rembrandt van Rijn The Descent from the Cross 1634

 

The Western World Is Now a Tyranny (Paul Craig Roberts)
One Year Lying About US-Led NATO’s Nord Stream Terrorism Breeds More War (SCF)
Western ‘Idiots’ Want World War III – Medvedev (RT)
PM Sunak Backtracks On Sending British Troops To Ukraine (ZH)
Ukraine Must Mobilize Youths – Ex-UK Defense Chief (RT)
EU Will Back Ukraine Without The US – Borrell (RT)
‘My People Have Bigger Problems Than Ukraine’ – Fico (RT)
Russia’s Military Budget Set To Rise By 70% (RMX)
‘Camouflage’ for Zelensky to ‘Steal More Money From West’ (Sp.)
Blinken’s ‘History Lesson’ Gets Corrected By X Users (RT)
Nagorno-Karabakh Is No More (Pepe Escobar)
The Proper Way to Impeach: Steve Bannon was Right for the Wrong Reason (Turley)
Federal Prosecutors Want Gag Order Against Trump After His Recent Remarks (ET)
Trump Sues Christopher Steele Over Hoax Dossier (ZH)

 

 

 

 

Scott Ritter About Ukraine since 1945

 

 

 

 

TDS

 

 

 

 

Vandersteel

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s all been said before..

“..a sovereignty whose obligation to govern impartially is as compelling as its obligation to govern at all..”

The Western World Is Now a Tyranny (Paul Craig Roberts)

America’s reputation as “the land of the free” is rooted in the Anglo-Saxon legal and political tradition, not in diversity and multiculturalism. Law as a shield of the people instead of a weapon in the hands of rulers is a British achievement that Britain’s American colonies inherited. It was the accomplishment of a specific ethnicity known as Anglo-Saxon. Bringing rulers to the same accountability to law as the lowest peasant was a centuries-long process beginning with Alfred the Great in the 9th century and culminating in the Glorious Revolution of 1680. In this legal tradition law is based in the customs and mores of the people, not on edicts issued from rulers, government bureaucrats, regulatory agencies, and activist judges. Obviously, this conveys an ethnic basis to law. A Tower of Babel–the fate of all diminishing white countries today–has no common customs and mores and no basis for law other than rulers’ edicts enforced by power.

Throughout the Western World today the people have lost the protection of law as a shield and suffer under rulers who wield law as a weapon. In the United States today demonstrators and rally attendees are turned into “insurrectionists” and sentenced to prison. Even US President Donald Trump is being subjected to four fake felony prosecutions in order to prevent him from being elected president. During my youth law was seen as a shield of our rights, not as a weapon to be used against us. US Supreme Court Justice George Sutherland explained in 1934 that the purpose of law was to discover innocence or guilt, not to dispose of an enemy:

“The United States Attorney is the representative not of an ordinary party to a controversy, but of a sovereignty whose obligation to govern impartially is as compelling as its obligation to govern at all; and whose interest, therefore, in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be done. As such, he is in a peculiar and very definite sense the servant of the law, the twofold aim of which is that guilt shall not escape or innocent suffer. He may prosecute with earnestness and vigor–and indeed, he should do so. But, while he may strike hard blows, he is not at liberty to strike foul ones. It is as much his duty to refrain from improper methods calculated to produce a wrongful conviction as it is to use every legitimate means to bring about a just one.”

US Attorney General and Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson saw it the same way: “Any prosecutor who risks his day-to-day professional name for fair dealing to build up statistics for success has a perverted sense of practical values, as well as defects of character… A sensitiveness to fair play is perhaps the best protection against the abuse of power, and the citizen’s safety lies in the prosecutor who tempers zeal with human kindness, who seeks truth and not victims, who serves the law and not factional purposes, and who approaches his task with humility.” In 1940 Jackson said that unethical prosecutors are a threat to justice because of the danger that the prosecutor..

..“will pick people that he thinks he should get, rather than pick cases that need to be prosecuted. With the law books filled with a great assortment of crimes, a prosecutor stands a fair chance of finding at least a technical violation of some act on the part of almost anyone. In such a case, it is not a question of discovering the commission of a crime and then looking for the man who has committed it, it is a question of picking the man and then searching the law books, or putting investigators to work, to pin some offense on him. It is in this realm–in which the prosecutor picks some person whom he dislikes or desires to embarrass, or selects some group of unpopular persons and then looks for an offense, that the greatest danger of abuse of prosecuting power lies. It is here that law enforcement becomes personal, and the real crime becomes that of being unpopular with the predominant or governing group, being attached to the wrong political view, or being personally obnoxious, or in the way of the prosecutor himself.”

Robert Jackson’s 83-year old description of unethical prosecution precisely describes all of the “investigations,” impeachments, and indictments of President Trump that have been ongoing since 2016 for 8 years and show no sign of abating. The prosecutions of Trump are clearly prosecutions for the purpose of getting rid of a leader who presumes to challenge the ruling establishment. The prosecutions of Trump underline the termination in the US of the impartial rule of law.

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“The reality is fascism, imperialist lawlessness and barbarity are already well-ensconced in this White House.”

One Year Lying About US-Led NATO’s Nord Stream Terrorism Breeds More War (SCF)

Washington’s imperialist interests of dominating Europe and displacing Russia as an energy supplier are central to the reason for the war in Ukraine. This selfish and criminal agenda becomes evident if the Nord Stream act of terrorism is acknowledged and properly understood. The Western public would be up in arms over the false propaganda about the Ukraine war and the supposed “defense of democracy”. Not only that but the European and NATO states would be seen as the criminal accomplices and pathetic vassals that they are. The United States sabotages European civilian infrastructure and the economies of its supposed allies – and yet those allies utter not a word of protest. Indeed, they have willingly and meekly participated in their self-harm.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and other European leaders should be prosecuted for complicity in international terrorism and treason against their national interests. Ironically, this week, Joe Biden while in Arizona dared to tell American voters that they face a stark choice in the presidential elections coming next year. Biden said the choice would be for U.S. citizens to either “support democracy” under his continued leadership or “elect extremism” under Donald Trump or some other Republican candidate. What could be more extreme than Biden ordering his military agencies to blow up gas pipelines owned by Russia and other European states?The fact that Biden and the United States have been permitted to get away with the outrage of Nord Stream terrorism is why Washington and its NATO acolytes have continually escalated the proxy war in Ukraine against Russia over the past year.

The astounding impunity afforded to the U.S. and its NATO accomplices over the Nord Stream incident is consistent with the way these same imperialist powers have gotten away with mass murder and waging criminal wars for decades without any prosecutions. The U.S. establishment and its clandestine agencies are a criminal syndicate that also suffers from delusions of virtue. Impunity breeds more criminality. The United States and its Western partners have rarely, if ever, been held to account for their historic crimes against the rest of the world. When such a transparent, brazen act of terrorism is perpetrated as in the Nord Stream sabotage and it is ignored then the world has shifted to an even more perilous situation where crimes have no punishment and even greater, more nefarious crimes can be engaged in.

The U.S. and its NATO henchmen, in particular Britain, are arming a Nazi regime in Kiev with tanks, cluster bombs, depleted uranium shells and longer-range missiles to strike Russia. The impunity that the Americans and their partners believe that they have acquired is shocking and hideous. There is no restraint. For years, the NATO axis has been arming and training Nazi battalions in Ukraine to cynically take an imperialist war to Russia’s doorstep. Canada’s scandalous adulation of a Nazi war criminal in its parliament last week is a sign of the depraved times we live in. But we have reached this degeneration because, as the Nord Stream incident illustrates, the Western powers, primarily the executive American power, feel they are not just above the law but entitled to smash the law for whatever objective they deem desirable.

When those who profess to uphold the law, break the law, then there is no law. That is the frighteningly barbaric world we live in today. Biden warned this week of fascism creeping up on the United States in the form of domestic political rivals. The reality is fascism, imperialist lawlessness and barbarity are already well-ensconced in this White House.

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“..a “freshly minted cretin”..

“..the [Russian] strikes on German factories where those missiles are being made would also be in full compliance with international law..”

Western ‘Idiots’ Want World War III – Medvedev (RT)

The conflict in Ukraine may lead to World War III because of the “idiots” occupying leading roles in the West, former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has warned. “The number of high-ranking morons is rising in NATO member states,” he wrote on Telegram on Sunday. Medvedev, who currently serves as the deputy head of Russia’s Security Council, was responding to statements from London and Berlin the previous day. The former president labeled the UK’s newly appointed Defense Secretary Grant Shapps a “freshly minted cretin” over his idea of sending British military instructors to Ukraine to train local troops for the conflict with Russia. If this happens, the UK servicemen would become a “legitimate target” for Russian forces, Medvedev warned.

Shapps has proposed deploying instructors to Ukraine, “knowing fully well that they’ll be mercilessly destroyed, and no longer as mercenaries, but precisely as British NATO specialists,” the Russian official wrote. Medvedev also described the head of the German parliament’s defense committee, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, as “another fool” after she urged Berlin to supply long-range Taurus cruise missiles to Kiev. She also claimed that Ukrainian attacks on targets inside Russia using those German-made munitions would be in full compliance with international law. “In this case, the [Russian] strikes on German factories where those missiles are being made would also be in full compliance with international law,” he said.

“Still, those idiots are actively pushing us towards World War III,”the former president concluded. In a previous post on Saturday, Medvedev insisted that Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine would continue until the current regime in Kiev is “destroyed and the historic Russian territories are liberated from the enemy.” Moscow has repeatedly warned that deliveries of weapons to Ukraine by Western countries only prolong the fighting and increase the risk of a direct military confrontation between Russia and NATO. Russian officials have also argued that the provision of arms, intelligence-sharing and the training of Kiev’s troops already means that Western nations have de facto become parties to the conflict.

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Are they just flying trial balloons over there?

PM Sunak Backtracks On Sending British Troops To Ukraine (ZH)

On Sunday, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev who currently serves as the deputy head of Russia’s Security Council, suggested that British soldiers training Ukrainian troops in Ukraine would be legitimate targets for Russian forces, as would German factories producing Taurus missiles should they supply Kyiv. Medvedev, who is deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, and has become one of the most hawkish and anti-Western figures in Russian politics, said such steps by the West were bringing World War Three closer. In a post on Telegram, Medvedev first slammed Shapps’s proposal to deploy military instructors to Ukraine, in addition to training Ukrainian armed forces in Britain or other Western countries as at present. “(This will) turn their instructors into a legitimate target for our armed forces,” Medvedev wrote on Telegram. “Understanding perfectly well that they will be ruthlessly destroyed. And not as mercenaries, but namely as British NATO specialists.”

Medvedev then turned his focus to Germany, vilifying those who want Berlin to supply Ukraine with Taurus cruise missiles that could strike Russian territory and try to limit Moscow’s supply to its army. “They say this is in accordance with international law. Well, in that case, strikes on German factories where these missiles are made would also be in full compliance with international law,” Medvedev said. “These morons are actively pushing us towards World War Three,” Medvedev said. Realizing that he probably does not want his government to end in a mushroom cloud, British PM Rishi Sunak quickly backtracked and during a visit to Burnley on Sunday, said he wanted to make the situation “absolutely clear,” explaining that Shapps did not mean British soldiers would be deployed in Ukraine during the conflict with Russia, claiming there was “some misreporting” of comments by Defense Secretary Shapps, who floated the idea; he did however say that the UK has been training Ukrainian soldiers on British soil for “for a long time.”

According to the PM, the defense secretary actually meant that “it might well be possible one day in the future for us to do some of that training in Ukraine.” “But that’s something for the long term, not the here and now, there are no British soldiers that will be sent to fight in the current conflict. That’s not what’s happening,” he insisted. London continues to provide military training to the Ukrainians, but it’s “doing that here in the UK,” Sunak assured. US Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene also voiced alarm over Britain’s apparent plans to send troops to Ukraine, writing on X (formerly Twitter): “They’re going to start World War III” and that “the US cannot participate” in such a deployment, stressing: “No American troops” in Ukraine.

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Come get killed at 16!

Ukraine Must Mobilize Youths – Ex-UK Defense Chief (RT)

Former UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has claimed that Kiev is succeeding in its counteroffensive but to maintain the momentum and “finish the job,” President Vladimir Zelensky must throw more and younger Ukrainians into battle, while the West provides them with weapons to defeat Russia. Throughout the summer, Kiev’s forces have ultimately failed to make any notable territorial gains and have suffered heavy casualties as they tried to break through Russia’s defenses consisting of vast minefields, as well as heavy artillery and swarms of drones. According to Russia’s Defense Ministry, the number of Ukrainian servicemen killed since the start of the counteroffensive has surpassed 83,000.

Wallace, however, believes that “slowly but surely” Ukrainian forces have been “adapting tactics, absorbing lessons, and making the best of the equipment we have all gifted them,” and that Kiev’s victory is imminent as long as the government “plays its part.” “The average age of the soldiers at the front is over 40. I understand President Zelensky’s desire to preserve the young for the future, but… just as Britain did in 1939 and 1941, perhaps it is time to reassess the scale of Ukraine’s mobilization,” Wallace wrote in an opinion piece published by The Telegraph on Sunday. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said that such heavy casualties were the result of Kiev throwing untrained soldiers into “senseless assaults and slaughter.”He added that these “cynical actions by the West and their henchmen in Kiev are only pushing Ukraine towards self-destruction.”

Back in July, Wallace called Ukraine a “battle lab” for the British military during a report to the parliament. “Let us not pause for one day,” he stated on Sunday. “The world is watching to see if the West has the resolve to stand up for our values and the rules-based system. What we do now for Ukraine will set the direction for all of our security for years to come.” Mobilization in Ukraine has been ongoing since the start of the conflict and had some bumps recently. The country has been hit by scandals involving conscription chiefs, prompting President Vladimir Zelensky to announce in August that he was firing all regional draft heads in the country.

The Ukrainian government has relaxed eligibility standards for recruits, declaring people with certain mental and physical conditions fit for duty. After the launch of Russia’s military operation, Kiev barred men aged between 18 and 60 from leaving the country. Kiev also recently ordered female medics and pharmacists to register for possible enrolment, reportedly causing an exodus of women in those professions. The Russian military leadership in the meantime has no plans to conduct mobilization as its current needs are fulfilled by career military service members, including those who volunteered to fight in Ukraine, according to a senior official. The Russian president reported earlier this month that some 300,000 people had enrolled in the Russian army this year alone.

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Europe’s already sinking into a black hole. Forget it.

EU Will Back Ukraine Without The US – Borrell (RT)

The EU’s military aid to Ukraine will not depend on the decisions taken by the US, the bloc’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, told journalists during his visit to Kiev on Sunday. Brussels plans to continue and further increase its military assistance to the Ukrainian forces, he added. “We have not waited for the [US] decision to be taken to increase our propositions to support Ukraine,” the official said when asked about the EU’s reaction to the US Congress removing military aid for Kiev from its short-time spending bill passed over the weekend. Brussels still regretted the American lawmakers’ decision “deeply and thoroughly,” Borrell said, expressing his hope that “this will not be a definitive decision, and Ukraine will continue having the support of the US.”

The EU Commission had earlier proposed creating a fund for Ukraine worth €50 billion ($52.8 billion), the bloc’s top diplomat said, adding that he also suggested creating a similar fund amounting to €20 billion ($21.13 billion) within the European Peace Facility at an EU foreign ministers meeting in August. “Let’s see what’ll be happening in the US but from our side, we will continue supporting and increasing our support,” the official said. The EU’s top diplomat also maintained that the bloc’s military aid for Kiev is “permanent structured” and does not depend on the decisions of other nations or the results of the Ukrainian operations. His comments came amid the continued Ukrainian offensive, which has failed to bring about any major changes to the frontlines over some four months since its launch, despite massive Western military aid before its start and heavy Ukrainian losses over its course.

“We are facing an existential threat for Europe,” Borrell claimed, adding that if Brussels wants the Ukrainian troops to be “more successful, we have to provide them with better arms and quicker.” He still hinted that Kiev should be more grateful for the bloc’s efforts. In some cases, “our support is not being perceived as important as it is,” the EU top diplomat said, insisting that “it is.” He then said that the total military aid from Brussels and the EU member states to Ukraine amounted to €25 billion ($26.4 billion). The bloc’s cumulative military, financial and humanitarian support reached €85 billion ($89.8 billion), he added.

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I said yesterday that he campaigned on “Not a single penny” more, but it was “Not a single round..”

Meanwhile, Donald Tusk held a mass pro-globalist rally in Warsaw on Sunday. We’re not done yet.

‘My People Have Bigger Problems Than Ukraine’ – Fico (RT)

The Slovak Social Democracy (SMER-SD) party will not support further military aid for Ukraine, its leader, Robert Fico, told journalists on Sunday. Fico’s party took the lead in the parliamentary elections held over the weekend and is now poised to start talks about forming a government. “Slovakia and the people of Slovakia have bigger problems than Ukraine,” he said at a press conference following the announcement of the election results. The SMER-SD won around 23% of the vote, with its closest competitor, Progressive Slovakia (PS), receiving some 18%. When asked about his party’s stance on helping Kiev, Fico said that, if his party successfully forms a government, it would still be ready to help, but only in a humanitarian way.

“We are prepared to help with the reconstruction of the state, but you know our opinion on arming Ukraine,” he said. The SMER-SD conducted an election campaign under the slogan “Not a single round,” suggesting that it would end military assistance to Kiev. An EU and NATO member state with a population of around 5.5 million, Slovakia has already supplied Ukrainian forces with armored personnel carriers, howitzers, and its entire fleet of Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets. Last week, Fico vowed at one of his campaign rallies that his party would not “send a single round [of ammunition] to Ukraine” if it won the election. On Sunday, the politician, who is a former prime minister, described the ongoing conflict as a great tragedy, adding that prolonging the standoff would only make things worse.

“We will do everything we can to start peace negotiations as quickly as possible,” he said, referring to the conflict between Moscow and Kiev. “Further killing does not benefit anyone,” Fico added. Slovakian President Zuzana Caputova said on Sunday that she would formally ask Fico to form a new government on Monday. With no party set to win a majority, Slovakia will need to form a coalition government. The pro-European HLAS (Voice) party, which took third place with 14.7%, did not rule out a possible alliance with SMER-SD. Fico also received congratulations on his election victory from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who said it would “always [be] good to work together with a patriot.” A victory by Fico and his party has reportedly sparked concerns in the US. According to Russian foreign intelligence, Washington had sought to keep the previous Slovakian government in power.

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Poorly write-up.

Russia’s Military Budget Set To Rise By 70% (RMX)

Russian military spending is set to rise by almost 70 percent — to €106 billion — by 2024, according to a Russian Finance Ministry document published Thursday, an increase that illustrates Moscow’s determination to continue its military intervention in Ukraine despite the human and economic costs. According to the document, Russian defense spending will increase by 68 percent in 2024 compared to this year and will reach 10.8 trillion rubles (€106 billion). As a result, the amount allocated to defense will represent about 30 percent of total federal spending in 2024 and 6 percent of GDP — a first in Russia’s modern history. The budget for internal security is set to rise to 3.4 trillion rubles (€33 billion), almost 10 percent of annual federal spending.

The priorities for this budget are outlined as “strengthening the country’s defense capacity” and “integrating the new regions” of Ukraine whose annexation Moscow has demanded, as well as “social aid for the most vulnerable citizens,” just months ahead of the Russian presidential elections in spring 2024. Conversely, total spending on education, healthcare and environmental protection accounts for barely a third of the defense budget, according to ministry figures. Overall, federal spending will total 36.7 trillion rubles (€359 billion), a dramatic 20 percent increase over 2023. The government, however, has explained little about how it will finance this large increase, as Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Musustin said last Friday that revenues from the sale of hydrocarbons will be down sharply and will account for “a third of next year’s budget” in 2024, whereas before the invasion of Ukraine, they accounted for half the budget.

The sector used to drive Russia’s growth, hydrocarbon sales are declining due to international sanctions and the European Union’s determination to move away from energy dependence on Moscow. One indication that the government expects a delicate month ahead for the Russian economy is that it has announced that it has based its budget forecast on the assumption of a dollar worth around 90 rubles, thus betting on a weakening of the national currency in the medium term. The draft budget law for 2024-2026 is due to be sent to the State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, on Friday.

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“Ukraine’s Possible New Counteroffensive..”

‘Camouflage’ for Zelensky to ‘Steal More Money From West’ (Sp.)

Kiev’s alleged push for another counteroffensive, this time in the autumn, can be perceived as the West’s red herring, Scott Bennett, a former US Army psychological warfare officer and State Department counter-terrorism analyst, told Sputnik. The Zelensky regime had elaborated a plan for a major offensive in the Kherson and Zaporozhye region in early October, securing the approval of Ukraine’s sponsors in Washington and London, an informed source told Sputnik earlier this week. According to the source, Kiev’s special forces intend to seize control of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) as part of the blueprint. All this could be Western countries’ red herring, Scott Bennett suggested, pointing to the Ukrainian Army’s futile attempts to break through Russian defensive lines.

“As a result of the resounding defeat of Ukraine, the West is frantically searching for an opportunity to try and escape the coming judgement and potential crimes against humanity charges for the death and destruction the Biden Administration has recklessly unleashed. And the nearest opportunity for distraction may be the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant,” Bennett argued. He recalled that many perceive this facility as “a target for destruction in a kind of ‘doomsday’ button that the US might try and push, in an attempt to generate sufficient chaos and destruction to distract the world away from the small scale battles of Ukraine, to the global implications of a nuclear disaster.” According to the former psychological warfare officer, the potential destruction of the Zaporozhye NPP would be the “ultimate expression” of this chaos.

He warned that if the facility is destroyed, “the resulting tsunami of social, political, economic disruption would disorganize opposition parties and protests against the current political elites in Europe and America, and justify a lockdown or martial law and police state mentality which could be endlessly extended.” Bennett didn’t rule out that “the West will combine its best liars in the CIA, the Mossad, the MI6 to blame the event on Russia, and perhaps also simultaneously initiate some self-inflicted false flag attacks at the same time—such as assassinate Joe Biden and Zelensky at the same time and blame this on Russia in order to justify ‘police action’ and a drafting of Americans into the military for conflict with Russia.”

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Trying to blame the holocaust on Russia. Through insinuation.

Blinken’s ‘History Lesson’ Gets Corrected By X Users (RT)

Users of the social media network X (formerly Twitter) have fact-checked a statement made by United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken in which he said Vladimir Putin’s government “manipulates” the details of massacres in Kiev in 1941 “to provide cover for Russia’s abuses in Ukraine.” “Eighty-two years ago, Nazis murdered 34,000 Jews at Babyn Yar,” Blinken wrote in a Friday post. “Soviets buried this history, which today Putin’s government manipulates to provide cover for Russia’s abuses in Ukraine.” He added that “the US is committed to justice for Holocaust survivors and accountability for atrocities.” Blinken was referring to massacres in the Babyn Yar ravine in present-day Kiev, perpetrated by Nazi Germany’s forces and their local Ukrainian collaborators in late September and October 1941 during its campaign against the Soviet Union.

The first such massacre, which took place on September 29 and 30, saw some 33,771 Jews killed. Other victims of mass killings at the site include Soviet prisoners of war (POWs), communists and Romani. It is estimated that between 100,000 and 150,000 people were murdered at Babyn Yar during the German occupation. The atrocities, which were considered to be extreme even by Nazi Germany’s standards, have been a source of debate in Ukraine over reports of local collaborators being involved. Estimates by historians put at one million the number of Jews killed in what is now Ukraine during the Second World War. As such, X users were quick to point out what they suggested was Blinken’s rather short-sighted recollection of historical events.

“Soviet prisoners of war were among the people massacred at Babyn Yar,” reads a contextual fact-box added by X users to Blinken’s post. “The Soviets liberated Babyn Yar and Kiev in 1943. The Soviets held a trial in 1946 in Kiev for 15 German policemen involved in the Babyn Yar massacres.” In response to Blinken’s statement, Russia’s First Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Dmitry Polyansky, wrote on X: “I was brought up in the USSR and we all knew about Babyn Yar. Nazi crimes were never ‘buried’ in my country, unlike yours. Writing such a sacrilegious post is beyond any basic notions of decency.” On Friday’s 82nd anniversary of the first Babyn Yar massacre, the Ukrainian foreign ministry issued a statement saying that the event should serve as a reminder to oppose “aggressive-chauvinistic ideologies, in particular, Russian aggression against Ukraine.”

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“..unlike the West which has become quite skilled in organising color revolutions, Moscow does not engage in such activities.”

Nagorno-Karabakh Is No More (Pepe Escobar)

In the end, Nagorno-Karabakh – or the Artsakh Republic – is no more. It will cease to exist on 1 January 2024 – also the first day of the Russian presidency of BRICS 11. All autonomous state structures will be dissolved – according to a decree signed by the head of the Republic, Samvel Shahramanyan. The population – roughly 147,000, 99% of them Armenian Christians – has a choice that’s not really a choice: “familiarize themselves with the conditions of reintegration presented by the Republic of Azerbaijan” and stay, or leave to Armenia for good. Predictably, the exodus is on: an interminable serpent of vehicles congesting the mountain roads of a beautiful landscape where generations of Armenians lived for centuries. As of Thursday night, over 70,000 Armenians had left towards the Syunik region.

The Azeri government in Baku sent police/security forces to Stepanakert. Former Foreign Minister Ruben Vardanyan, an oligarch, was detained by Azeri security while trying to leave for Armenia, mingling with refugees. He had renounced Russian citizenship last year when he moved to work in Artsakh. He’ll probably be freed. Others won’t be so lucky. Everyone leaving is being exhaustively searched. Baku has warned that every Artsakh notable – political and military – will be captured. This is how it sadly ends: the story of how a bunch of crooks – Team Pashinyan in Yerevan – profited personally from a geopolitical pretext. Armenian PM Pashinyan announced that in a few days he’ll consider there are no more Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh. Translation: those that decided to stay will be considered to be Azerbaijanis. Yet for Baku, Armenians from Artsakh will always remain Armenians – and thus an object of suspicion.

[..] As corridors go, Zangezur is the proverbial Chinese win-win. Azerbaijan links with its Nakhitchevan enclave and Turkiye. Russia gets a road that goes through Baku and Yerevan. Armenia opens itself to international trade. And Iran is satisfied that the manager will be the former owner of the place: Russia. Ay, there’s the rub. The usual suspects were not happy that Russian guards would be back in Armenia. So they sabotaged this clause via their agent Pashinyan. The record shows how Team Pashinyan behaved these past few months: Armenia’s First Lady visited Kiev; Yerevan transferred “humanitarian aid” to Ukraine; there were joint military exercises with the U.S.; frantic back and forth by U.S. and EU politicos and NGOs. Relations with Moscow are deteriorating fast. Yerevan – a juicy strategic target – is being taken over by the Hegemon and its vassals. It’s not an accident that Yerevan hosts the second largest American embassy in the world. So only one thing is certain: the Transcaucasus will continue to be on fire.

It’s not clear what will happen to Zangezur – and if and when Pashinyan will act on it. There’s always a – remote – possibility that Pashinyan, egged on by his Western handlers, may try to strike a deal with Aliyev to leave Russia out. The Russian Foreign Ministry has not minced its words, noting how Yerevan “flip flopped on policy and sought Western support over working closely with Russia and Azerbaijan”. And how in meetings in Prague and Brussels under the EU, Pashynian “acknowledged Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, but failed to address the rights and safety of the Karabakh Armenians.” The Foreign Ministry all but warns Pashynian that “unlike the West which has become quite skilled in organising color revolutions, Moscow does not engage in such activities.”

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People are confused about impeachment. It’s not a one time, one off thing, it’s a process in which truth finding is central. An impeachment inquiry provides more tools for that.

The Proper Way to Impeach: Steve Bannon was Right for the Wrong Reason (Turley)

Yesterday, I spent a very long day testifying in the first hearing of the House impeachment inquiry of President Joe Biden. Not unexpectedly, my testimony angered many on both the left and the right. As I mentioned in my testimony, there is little tolerance for opposing views in this age of rage. Today, caution is considered cowardice and impartiality is viewed as chicanery. Yet our Constitution demands more of each of us at these moments. We can rise to that challenge, as the Framers hoped we would, or we can continue our national descent into rage and ruin. It is the difference between laying the groundwork for a real impeachment or for just another political hit-job.

I was asked to testify on whether the threshold had been met for an impeachment inquiry and what the best practices would be in the investigation of President Biden. I testified that the existing evidence was more than ample to warrant an impeachment inquiry and that these allegations, if proven, would constitute impeachable conduct. That was not enough for many. One of those was Steve Bannon, who went on social media to criticize House Republicans for not selecting someone who would testify, at the very start of an inquiry, that the case already was made for actual articles of impeachment. Bannon suggested that I should have been placed on the “maybe list” if I was not willing to say that the committee had the basis to vote out articles of impeachment on the first day of inquiry.

That, however, would be akin to calling a special grand jury and demanding an indictment before any witnesses or evidence are presented. Bannon’s criticism is emblematic of much of what I cautioned against in my testimony. I implored the Republicans not to replicate the last two impeachments, which I believe did considerable damage to this constitutional process. In the first Trump impeachment, I appeared as the only Republican witness in the only hearing held by the House Judiciary Committee. House Democrats then just cut to the chase and impeached Donald Trump on a thin, undeveloped record.In the second impeachment, they skipped the formalities entirely and went straight to the articles of impeachment in what I called a “snap impeachment.”

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“..He also suggested that Mr. Milley should be executed for his alleged conduct..”

No he did not. He said that: “..in times gone by, the punishment would have been DEATH!”. Not that it should be now.

Federal Prosecutors Want Gag Order Against Trump After His Recent Remarks (ET)

Federal prosecutors have urged the federal judge to impose a gag order on former President Donald Trump in the 2020 election interference case, citing the “prejudicial extrajudicial statements” he made on social media. The special counsel team filed the request for a gag order against Mr. Trump on Sept. 15 to restrict him from making “intimidating” comments about witnesses, lawyers, and other people involved in the criminal case. Prosecutors said on Sept. 25 that Mr. Trump continued to wage “a sustained campaign of prejudicial public statements regarding witnesses, the court, the district, and prosecutors” even after the proposed order.

“The defendant should not be permitted to obtain the benefits of his incendiary public statements and then avoid accountability by having others—whose messages he knows will receive markedly less attention than his own—feign retraction,” they said in a court filing. “No other criminal defendant would be permitted to issue public statements insinuating that a known witness in his case should be executed; this defendant should not be, either,” it added. They referred to recent posts on his social media platform, Truth Social, including one on Sept. 22 in which Mr. Trump accused departing Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley of committing treason. In the post, Mr. Trump said that Mr. Milley’s alleged “treasonous act” could have led to “a war between China and the United States.” He also suggested that Mr. Milley should be executed for his alleged conduct.

Prosecutors also mentioned a video posted by Mr. Trump’s spokesman claiming that Mr. Trump had bought a Glock gun in South Carolina. The post was later removed, and the spokesman retracted his remarks, saying that Mr. Trump had only indicated his interest in buying the gun. Despite the spokesman’s retraction, prosecutors said that Mr. Trump “re-posted a video of the incident” posted by one of his followers with a caption that suggested he had indeed bought the weapon. “The defendant either purchased a gun in violation of the law and his conditions of release, or seeks to benefit from his supporters’ mistaken belief that he did so,” the prosecutors stated. Mr. Trump’s lawyers have objected to the request, and U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan on Friday set courtroom arguments for Oct. 16.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers have previously denounced the gag order request as an attempt to “unconstitutionally silence” his political speech. They called the request a “desperate attempt at censorship.” “The prosecution would silence President Trump, amid a political campaign where his right to criticize the government is at its zenith, all to avoid a public rebuke of this prosecution,” his lawyers wrote on Sept. 25. “However, above all else, the First Amendment means that government has no power to restrict expression because of its message, its ideas, its subject matter, or its content. “The prosecution may not like President’s Trump’s entirely valid criticisms, but neither it nor this Court are the filter for what the public may hear,” they added.

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Why just Steele? And not Clinesmith, Sussman, Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler, Comey, Hillary Clinton etc etc?!

Trump Sues Christopher Steele Over Hoax Dossier (ZH)

The Steele dossier was used by the Obama DOJ and the intelligence community to smear Trump as a Russian asset. Its various fabrications were legitimized under the guise of a legitimate DOJ investigation, and featured frequent strategic media leaks, ‘expert’ opinions, and manipulated evidence such as an email altered by former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith, which was used to renew a wiretap warrant on Trump Campaign adviser Carter Page. Then there was the fraudulent ‘Alfa Bank Server’ allegation made by Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussman, who pleaded guilty to not telling the FBI that he was Hillary’s employee when he alleged that Trump was directly communicating with the Kremlin via a covert server.

Steele peddled the dossier to the State Department – which then passed it along to former FBI deputy assistant director of counterintelligence Peter ‘We’ll stop Trump’ Strzok. Steele also met with the DOJ’s Bruce Ohr (whose wife, as we noted above, Fusion GPS employee), who he told that Russia had Trump “over a barrel.” (Bruce Ohr was consequentially demoted for making “consequential errors in judgement” for failing to inform his supervisors for his role in Russiagate, and retired on Sept. of 2020 “after his counsel was informed that a final decision on a disciplinary review being conducted by Department senior career officials was imminent”). Then there was the infamous ‘pee tape’ allegation that Trump paid prostitutes to urinate in a bed in Moscow where Barack and Michelle Obama had stayed, and that the Kremlin had a tape of the whole thing.

The 35-page dossier was publicly disavowed by high ranking FBI officials, including the bureau’s former deputy director Andrew McCabe, who told lawmakers in November 2020 that he would have never approved the Carter Page wiretap if he’d known the dossier was inaccurate. And now, Trump is suing Steele…

According to the Independent, the 77-year-old former president is bringing a data protection claim against Steele, and his consulting firm Orbis Business Intelligence, in the UK. “Proceedings have been issued on behalf of President Donald J. Trump against Orbis Business Intelligence Limited. The claim relates to breaches of UK Data Protection law arising from the inaccurate processing of the President’s personal data by Orbis following the publication of the false ‘Steele Dossier,’” said Trump attorney Tim Lowles. “The President’s claim seeks remedies including that the inaccurate data contained within the Steele Dossier be erased or rectified together with the payment of damages,” the statement continues.

On October 16, a two-day hearing will commence according to the report, citing a High Court order published Thursday. Steele has defended his work, telling the Oxford Union in March 2022: “What is being called the dossier was actually a series of single-source intelligence reports over a period of time, if you like, almost a running commentary on the election campaign and Russia’s perspective on it — and it comes from the Russian perspective of the telescope if you like,” adding “The sources were Russian, they were reporting on how Russia saw it, and of course, that may in some cases be rather different than how it was viewed in America at the other end of the telescope.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soccer dog
https://twitter.com/i/status/1708198778174345445

 

 

Ink

 

 

Turkey
https://twitter.com/i/status/1708441860228751683

 

 

Bless you
https://twitter.com/i/status/1708396893607465463

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 122023
 
 September 12, 2023  Posted by at 8:55 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  47 Responses »


Claude Monet O Rio (The River) 1881

 

Zelensky ‘Senses’ Weakening Western Support (RT)
Zelensky Threatens To Terrorize Europe (MoA)
Ukrainians Blame Zelensky For Corruption – Poll (RT)
EU Believes Ukraine Is ‘A Very Corrupt Country’ – Politico (RT)
Blinken Contradicts Ukraine On Peace Negotiations (RT)
Elon Musk Responds To Ukraine ‘Treason’ Claims (RT)
Medvedev Advocates Suspending Diplomatic Relations With EU (TASS)
Russian Customs Chief Accuses EU Of ‘Total Lawlessness’ (RT)
Brazilian Court To Decide About Putin If He Attends G20 Summit – Lula (TASS)
Lies And Pretence In New London Novichok Hearing (Helmer)
The Gun Charge Against Hunter Is the Way of Covering Up the Real Issues (PCR)
The “Why Not” Culture: The Georgia Final Report Should Worry Us All (Turley)
The Mills of the Gods (Jim Kunstler)
9/11 After 22 Years (Paul Craig Roberts)

 

 

 

 

RFK

 

 

 

 

Trump 9/11


https://twitter.com/i/status/1701253565702938885

 

 

 

 

Isaacson

 

 

“A judge in Pennsylvania has ruled that former President Trump has ‘presidential immunity’ and cannot be sued over statements he made about 2020 election fraud.”

 

 

 

 

He’s directly threatening Europe now:

“..the millions of Ukrainian refugees now residing in foreign nations. They have generally “behaved well,” but if the hosts “drive these people into a corner,” the end result will not be “a good story” for Europe..”

Zelensky ‘Senses’ Weakening Western Support (RT)

If Western nations do not maintain their assistance to Kiev, they could face defeats at the ballot box and trouble from the millions of Ukrainian refugees they host, President Vladimir Zelensky has warned. In an interview with The Economist, Zelensky complained about weakening support from senior Western officials, which he claimed to have seen in their eyes during meetings. “I see that he or she is not here, not with us” contrary to spoken assurances, he said, according to the interview published on Sunday. According to Zelensky, failure to support Ukraine amounts to siding with Russia in the conflict, which escalated into open hostilities in February 2022. “If partners do not help us, it means they will help Russia to win,” he stated.

Zelensky believes that Western voters will not forgive their leaders if they “lose Ukraine.” Further trouble may also come from the millions of Ukrainian refugees now residing in foreign nations. They have generally “behaved well,” but if the hosts “drive these people into a corner,” the end result will not be “a good story” for Europe, the president added. The Ukrainian leader said he is “morally” ready for a long war with Russia, but this will require the country to switch to a “totally militarized economy.” He added that now is “a bad moment” for peace talks with Russia, due to the lackluster battlefield progress over the three months of Kiev’s summer ‘counteroffensive’. Moscow has estimated Ukrainian losses during the push at over 66,000 troops and 7,600 heavy weapons.

The Economist noted that the Zelensky government had built up expectations for the offensive, but now he is “carefully adjusting his message to reality.” The Ukrainian president also appeared to take credit for the drone attacks deep inside Russian territory, which Kiev formally refuses to claim as its own. Explaining his strategy, he said public support for the Russian government will fall “because our drones will land.”In a “long war,” Moscow will lose regardless of how the Russians feel because the Russian economy will fail, he added. The Russian government expects the economy to grow by 2.5% or more in 2023. Recent forecasts by the World Bank and the IMF have upgraded their predictions for Russia due to strong industrial production and higher-than-expected energy revenues.

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Moon of Alabama noticed it too.

“I have seen such threats from low ranking individuals of the fascist Bandera fringe. They spoke of terrorism they would unleash in the West should it end its support for Ukraine. That the Ukrainian president now reinforces such threats shows how deeply he immersed himself in that mindset..”

Zelensky Threatens To Terrorize Europe (MoA)

The Economist published another interview with the Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenski. It includes his usual unrealistic platitudes about not ending the war until Russia has completely pulled back. Speaking with an English language media he didn’t miss to mention the ever misunderstood story about Chamberlain’s move in Munich: “Tapping loudly on the table, Mr Zelensky rejects outright the idea of compromise with Vladimir Putin. War will continue for “as long as Russia remains on Ukrainian territory”, he says. A negotiated deal would not be permanent. The Russian president has a habit of creating “frozen conflicts” on Russia’s borders (in Georgia, for example), not as ends in themselves but because his goal is to “restore the Soviet Union”. Those who choose to talk to the man in the Kremlin are “tricking themselves”, much like the Western leaders who signed an agreement with Adolf Hitler at Munich in 1938 only to watch him invade Czechoslovakia. “The mistake is not diplomacy. The mistake is diplomacy with Putin. He negotiates only with himself.”

In 1938 Chamberlain had no other choice but to give in on Czechoslovakia. Britain was not ready for war and the parts Hitler wanted to annex from Czechoslovakia had undeniably a largely German population: “He contended that Sudeten German grievances were justified and believed that Hitler’s intentions were limited”. Zelenski goes on to threaten, in rather unthankful fashion, those countries which have delivered aid to Ukraine but may want to cut their losses: “Curtailing aid to Ukraine will only prolong the war, Mr Zelensky argues. And it would create risks for the West in its own backyard. There is no way of predicting how the millions of Ukrainian refugees in European countries would react to their country being abandoned. Ukrainians have generally “behaved well” and are “very grateful” to those who sheltered them. They will not forget that generosity. But it would not be a “good story” for Europe if it were to “drive these people into a corner”.

I have seen such threats from low ranking individuals of the fascist Bandera fringe. They spoke of terrorism they would unleash in the West should it end its support for Ukraine. That the Ukrainian president now reinforces such threats shows how deeply he immersed himself in that mindset. A previous Economist story shows that Ukraine has already set up the necessary infrastructure to wage a terrorist campaign: “In modern Ukraine, assassinations date back to at least 2015, when its domestic security service (SBU) created a new body after Russia had seized Crimea and the eastern Donbas region. The elite fifth counter-intelligence directorate started life as a saboteur force in response to the invasion. It later came to focus on what is euphemistically called “wet work”.

“Valentin Nalivaychenko, who headed the SBU at the time, says the switch came about when Ukraine’s then leaders decided that a policy of imprisoning collaborators was not enough. Prisons were overflowing, but few were deterred. “We reluctantly came to the conclusion that we needed to eliminate terrorists,” he says. A former officer of the directorate describes it in similar terms. “We needed to bring war to them.” In 2015 and 2016 the directorate was linked to the assassinations of key Russian-backed commanders in the Donbas; Mikhail Tolstykh, aka “Givi”, killed in a rocket attack; Arsen Pavlov, aka “Motorola”, blown up in a lift; Alexander Zakharchenko, blown up in a restaurant.

Intelligence insiders say the SBU’s fifth directorate is playing a central role in counter-Russia operations. From there it is just a short step towards total war: “Meanwhile, a long war of attrition would mean a fork in the road for Ukraine. The country would lose even more people, both on the front lines and to emigration. It would require a “totally militarised economy”. The government would have to put that prospect to its citizens, Mr Zelensky says, without specifying how; a new social contract could not be the decision of one person. Almost 19 months into the war, the president says he is “morally” ready for the switch. But he will only broach the idea with his people if the weakness in the eyes of his Western backers becomes a “trend”. Has that moment come? No, not yet, he says. “Thank God.” Does Zelenski know of any country with a totally militarized economy that survived? I have yet to hear of one.

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“..78% of Ukrainian adults see Zelensky as “directly responsible” for Kiev’s corruption problem..”

“..only 18% of Ukrainian adults disagreed with the statement that Zelensky bears responsibility…”

And we hand him tens of billions.

Ukrainians Blame Zelensky For Corruption – Poll (RT)

The vast majority of Ukrainians believe that President Vladimir Zelensky is at fault for widespread corruption in the country’s government and military, a new study has revealed. The poll, released on Monday, found that 78% of Ukrainian adults see Zelensky as “directly responsible” for Kiev’s corruption problem. It was conducted by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Charitable Foundation and the Kiev International Institute of Sociology. Prior to the launch of Russia’s military offensive in February 2022, Ukraine consistently ranked among the world’s most corrupt nations, but it was touted as a bastion of freedom and democracy as the US and its NATO allies rallied public support for massive aid to Kiev. However, Ukrainian corruption remains a concern and could hinder the country’s bid to join the European Union, an unidentified Western diplomat told Politico on Monday.

Ukraine is a “very corrupt country,” the diplomat said, adding that Zelensky’s plan to use the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) to prosecute graft cases could “send the wrong message.” Upon landing in Kiev for a surprise visit on Monday, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock reportedly said Ukraine needed to step up its efforts to fight corruption. The Ukrainian poll was conducted from July 3 to July 17 in face-to-face interviews with thousands of citizens across the country. There were no major differences in findings based on region or socioeconomic factors. Respondents aged 60 and older took a harsher view, with 81% saying Zelensky was responsible for government corruption. The rate was 70% in the youngest segment, ages 17 to 29. Overall, only 18% of Ukrainian adults disagreed with the statement that Zelensky bears responsibility.

Documents obtained by the International Association of Investigative Journalists in 2021 showed that Zelensky and his business partners set up offshore companies to purchase lavish properties in central London. Zelensky transferred his stake in one of the companies to an aide just before he was elected president in 2019. Supporters of former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko accused Zelensky and his associates of using their offshore accounts to evade taxes. Zelensky has purged officials in his government for alleged corruption, including an embezzlement scheme involving humanitarian aid. Just this month, he sacked Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov, who came under fire earlier this year over purchases of military rations at inflated prices. However, the new defense chief, Rustem Umerov, is reportedly under investigation for alleged crimes in his previous job.

Read more …

If everyone’s corrupt, who investigates?

EU Believes Ukraine Is ‘A Very Corrupt Country’ – Politico (RT)

Widespread corruption in Ukraine could hamper Kiev’s bid for EU membership, a western European diplomat told Politico on Monday. He said Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s efforts to tackle the problem have also alarmed Brussels. Ukraine applied for membership in the European Union last February, and was formally granted candidate status four months later. Although European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is expected to address the issue of enlargement during her state of the union speech on Wednesday, and EU Council President Charles Michel has vowed to admit all candidate nations by 2030, Ukraine’s bid could be hamstrung by rampant corruption. Ukraine is a “very corrupt country,”an anonymous western European diplomat told Politico.

“We want to give a positive signal to Ukraine but things such as this proposal to give more power to [Ukraine’s] intelligence [services] over corruption can send the wrong message.” The proposal in question was raised by Zelensky last month. Following a purge of allegedly corrupt officials at the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, Zelensky announced that he would task the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) with probing and prosecuting corruption cases, taking investigative power away from the country’s multiple anti-graft agencies. The SBU reports solely to Zelensky. Representatives of Ukraine’s existing anti-corruption agencies told Politico last month that by making the SBU the only body allowed to investigate these cases, Zelensky is essentially giving himself the power to decide which corrupt officials to prosecute and which ones to shield.

There is precedent for these fears, the head of the Anti-Corruption Action Center (ACAC), Vitaly Shabunin, said. Oleg Tatarov, the deputy head of Zelensky’s office, was under investigation by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) last year, when the case was unexpectedly transferred to the SBU. “It was buried there,”Shabunin said. “Now [Zelensky’s] office wants to make that into practice.” Ukraine has for years been ranked as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. According to Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, as of 2022, the country ranked 116th out of 180. Aside from corruption concerns, disputes between Ukraine and European nations over agriculture could also hold up Kiev’s membership bid. Ukrainian farmers could undercut their European counterparts with cheap grain exports, meaning that the EU will likely have to reform its Common Agricultural Policy if Ukraine is to be admitted, Politico noted.

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“..Russia controlled more land last month than it did at the beginning of the counteroffensive..” But Blinken said Ukraine reclaimed 50%.

Blinken Contradicts Ukraine On Peace Negotiations (RT)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has claimed that the Ukrainian government will agree to peace talks with Russia if Moscow offers to negotiate first. Ukrainian leaders have argued otherwise, however, and insist that peace “needs to be won on the battlefield.” “Thus far, we see no indication that [Russian President] Vladimir Putin has any interest in meaningful diplomacy,” Blinken told ABC News on Sunday. “If he does, I think the Ukrainians will be the first to engage, and we’ll be right behind them,” he added. Blinken and other top American officials have long insisted that the Ukrainian government will decide when to seek peace with Russia, and that the US will continue to supply Kiev with weapons until that time comes.

Ukraine agreed in principle to a Turkish-mediated peace deal in April 2022, but walked away from the agreement after a visit to Kiev by then-British prime minister Boris Johnson. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has since issued a decree forbidding any negotiations with Putin’s government, as well as repeatedly vowing to take back the territories of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, Zaporozhye, and Crimea – the latter of which voted to join Russia in 2014 – by force. Retaking this land, however, has proven costly for Kiev. More than three months into its long-awaited summer counteroffensive, the Ukrainian military has lost more than 66,000 troops and 7,600 pieces of heavy weaponry, according to the latest figures from the Russian Defense Ministry.

In exchange, Kiev’s forces have only managed to reclaim a handful of villages near Zaporozhye, while Russia controlled more land last month than it did at the beginning of the counteroffensive, according to the Washington Post. Nevertheless, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba declared last week that the conflict “cannot be ended by simply bringing belligerent parties to the table for negotiations.” “It needs to be won on the battlefield for Russia to become serious about negotiating peace,”Kuleba added. Russia maintains that it is open to a diplomatic solution to the conflict, but that any peace deal would have to take into account the “new territorial reality” – that Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, Zaporozhye, and Crimea will never be ceded back to Ukraine. Furthermore, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said negotiations would be held “not with Zelensky, who is a puppet in the hands of the West, but directly with his masters.”

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“..if anyone is treasonous, it is those who call me such. Please tell them that very clearly.”

Elon Musk Responds To Ukraine ‘Treason’ Claims (RT)

American tech billionaire Elon Musk has responded to criticism over his refusal to help enable a Ukrainian drone attack on Russian naval forces in Crimea by pointing out that he’s a citizen of only the US and isn’t obliged to fight for Kiev. “I am a citizen of the United States and have only that passport,” Musk said on Monday in a post on his X (formerly Twitter) social media platform. “No matter what happens, I will fight for and die in America.” He added that in light of the fact that the US Congress hasn’t declared war on Russia, “if anyone is treasonous, it is those who call me such. Please tell them that very clearly.”

At issue is Musk’s decision last year to prevent his Starlink satellite network from being used to guide Ukrainian naval drones for an attack against the Russian Black Sea Fleet on the Crimean coast. When news of Musk’s refusal came to light last week, US media outlets suggested that he had been traitorous, and Ukrainian presidential aide Mikhail Podoliak accused him of “committing evil and encouraging evil.” The Tesla CEO and SpaceX founder gave Ukraine free use of more than 20,000 Starlink terminals after Russia launched its military offensive against Kiev in February 2022. His aim was to keep Ukrainians from losing internet access and communications capabilities amid the conflict.

However, Musk expressed concern about his network being used for offensive purposes and potentially playing part in triggering a wider conflict. He therefore refused Kiev’s pleas to extend the country’s Starlink coverage all the way to Sevastopol. “If I had agreed to their request, then SpaceX would be explicitly complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation.” CNN host Jake Tapper argued on Sunday that Musk had “effectively sabotaged” an American ally, and he asked US Secretary of State Antony Blinken whether the “capricious billionaire” should therefore face “repercussions.” Blinken declined to condemn Musk and pointed out that Starlink had been a vital tool for Ukraine’s defense.

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..”straightforward and honest Brussels bosses” who “told all Russians directly and without beating around the bush: you are second-class people for us.”

Medvedev Advocates Suspending Diplomatic Relations With EU (TASS)

Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev has called for suspending diplomatic relations with the EU in response to the EU decision to bar Russian citizens from entering the EU with everyday personal items, calling it a spit in the face of every Russian. “What should we do about it? Certainly not impose tit-for-tat retaliatory restrictions on EU citizens. We are not racists, in contrast to many leaders of those countries whose relatives served in the SS (Schutzstaffel, the notorious paramilitary organization under Germany’s Nazi regime – TASS). Moreover, those [Europeans] who travel here usually have a love and appreciation for Russia. It would be better just to suspend diplomatic relations with the EU for a while.

And to call our diplomatic personnel home,” Medvedev suggested, commenting on the European Commission’s clarification on the EU’s ban on importing automobiles, smartphones, suitcases and shampoo, among an entire range of items, into the EU from Russia, even for strictly personal use. Medvedev mockingly “praised” the EU leaders, calling them “straightforward and honest Brussels bosses” who “told all Russians directly and without beating around the bush: you are second-class people for us.” And the EU’s decision is clearly not meant as just punishment for what Brussels sees as the “criminal and aggressive regime in the Kremlin.” Rather, “this is a spit in the face of every citizen of Russia,” Medvedev emphasized. In suggesting measures to suspend Moscow’s diplomatic relations with the EU, Medvedev noted that only such a move could make Brussels officials truly afraid, “because embassies are [traditionally] evacuated before certain very specific events.”

“Who knows what else these ‘orcs’ from that immense ‘Mordor’ are capable of?” Medvedev asked sarcastically, using a common derogatory slur used in the West to refer to Russia and Russians, equating them to the goblin-like humanoid creatures in J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy novel “The Lord of the Rings.” The European Commission’s clarification dated September 8 bans the import from Russia to the EU of goods listed in Annex 21 to EU Regulation No. 833/2014, regardless of the purpose of their use and the duration of stay in the EU, including cars with less than 10 seats. The EC emphasized that it does not matter whether the vehicles are being used for private or commercial purposes. The list contains a wide range of all sorts of items from cellular telephones and audio and video recording devices, to suitcases, hold-alls, articles of clothing, toothpaste, shampoo and other hygiene products.

Read more …

“Goods that are classified as prohibited – even shampoo and toilet paper – should be confiscated..”

“..at least “they have not banned [Russian nationals] from wearing pants when crossing the border.”

Russian Customs Chief Accuses EU Of ‘Total Lawlessness’ (RT)

Russia’s interim customs chief has blasted the European Commission’s instruction to EU member states to confiscate personal possessions of arriving Russian tourists. “How do we take the European Commission’s ban on traveling by personal car or with smart phones? Well, it’s utter nonsense,”Ruslan Davydov told journalists on Monday on the sidelines of an economic forum in the city of Vladivostok. The EU slapped wide-ranging sanctions on trade with Russia over the Ukraine conflict. Last Friday, however, Brussels explained that the restrictions should also apply to items for personal use brought by tourists crossing the bloc’s border. Goods that are classified as prohibited – even shampoo and toilet paper – should be confiscated, according to the clarification. The European Commission urged “EU operators [to] identify, assess, and understand the possible risks of sanctions circumvention” when conducting customs checks.

Davydov branded the decision as “total lawlessness” that defies the normal logic of customs controls. Moscow has little influence on the policies, since the EU broke all cooperation with Russia, he noted. “The way they regulate customs procedures on their soil can only invoke regret and incomprehension,” he added. But at least “they have not banned [Russian nationals] from wearing pants when crossing the border.”=The official assured that the Federal Customs Service, which he heads, shall not adopt a similar policy regarding tourists arriving from the EU. The Russian embassy in Helsinki urged citizens on Sunday not to travel to Finland in cars with Russian license plates, citing the risk of seizure stemming from the new guidelines.

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Lula opens the door and closes it at the same time. Putin as Schrödinger’s president: “..the decision [on a possible arrest] is within the power of the judiciary, not my government..”

Brazilian Court To Decide About Putin If He Attends G20 Summit – Lula (TASS)

The issue of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s arrest during his visit to the G20 summit in Brazil in 2024 will be considered by the country’s court taking into account the arrest warrant issued for the Russian leader by the International Criminal Court (ICC), the country’s president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said. “If Putin decides to attend [next year’s summit], the decision [on a possible arrest] is within the power of the judiciary, not my government,” Reuters quoted the politician as saying. On September 9, in an interview with the Indian TV channel Firstpost, Lula da Silva said that as long as he was president of Brazil, “he [Putin] will not be arrested without the authorization of the authorities.” At the same time, Reuters pointed out the president questioned Brazil’s membership in the ICC. He recalled that neither Russia, China nor the US are members of the organization.

According to the leader, such agreements harm developing countries. On March 17, the ICC issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights Maria Lvova-Belova, alleging that they were responsible for the unlawful deportation of Ukrainian children. It could theoretically be executed if the Russian leader arrives in one of the countries that recognize the ICC’s jurisdiction. Moscow has rejected such accusations, calling “the very phrasing of the question” outrageous and pointing out that Russia does not recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC, so its decisions are null and void for Russia.

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“Sergei Skripal, the original target and survivor of the Novichok attack allegations in the official narrative, must never be allowed to testify publicly..”

Lies And Pretence In New London Novichok Hearing (Helmer)

In a London courtroom last week, lawyers for the British government and the presiding judge, Lord Anthony Hughes (lead image, centre), revealed they will resist the efforts of the Dawn Sturgess family to obtain a multi-million pound settlement in compensation for what they claim, and the government says, was her death five years ago from Novichok poisoning by Russian state agents. Secrecy is the key, not only to the big money claim, but to the government’s aim to defeat it and at the same time preserve the official story that the Kremlin ordered and carried out the chemical warfare attack in England in 2018.

Lord Hughes is defending the government’s effort to keep secret enough of the evidence in the case to block Adam Straw KC and Michael Mansfield KC, the Sturgess family lawyers, from demonstrating that the British security services should have known in advance – and did know enough — to have protected Sturgess from the Russian cause of her death. Their argument has been that for this negligence a very large sum of money should be paid to Sturgess’s heirs, to Rowley, and to the lawyers. The judge, the government, and the lawyers have agreed, however, there is one secret they must all keep. Sergei Skripal, the original target and survivor of the Novichok attack allegations in the official narrative, must never be allowed to testify publicly to what he knows.

To cover this up, Straw, Mansfield, and a lawyer representing the British press lied in court last week, claiming they want “open justice” from the secret services and the police. According to Jude Bunting KC representing the media, “open justice is about avoiding ill-informed speculation about proceedings and, insofar as material is in the public domain because of assertion, or even because of state-sponsored [Russian] misinformation, that is all the more reason for disclosing that material in open rather than in closed.” Hughes claimed to be seeking the same openness. “One of the difficulties of this inquiry and this case…is that everybody popularly supposes that they know the answer. They may or may not be right, but the purpose of the inquiry is to find out.” Hughes was pretending.

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Paul Craig Roberts. “The gun charge is just a way of getting rid of the real charges..”

The Gun Charge Against Hunter Is the Way of Covering Up the Real Issues (PCR)

Conservatives and Republicans are gleeful that the DOJ has been forced off its sweetheart gun charge deal for Hunter and might now have to bring a felony gun charge. The conservatives and Republicans do not realize that the gun charge is the least serious or important of the charges and that by making the gun charge the issue the real issues, which are threats to Joe Biden, don’t get a day in court. The gun charge is just a way of getting rid of the real charges. Moreover, if Hunter is convicted, something a Democrat jury is unlikely to do, and doesn’t get a suspended sentence, Joe will pardon him.

The conservatives and Republicans don’t understand that they and President Trump, not the Bidens, are the prosecutors’ target. We now have a black quota-hire Fulton County prosecutor adding US Senators and Trump lawyers to her racketeering indictment. The ridiculous indictment is so broadly framed that anyone who expressed doubt about the election is covered by the indictment. When you give power over law to people who see law only as a weapon with which to get enemies, you destroy the rule of law. That’s what the dumbshit white liberals have done.

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“..But the question is whether such requests are evidence of a crime…”

The “Why Not” Culture: The Georgia Final Report Should Worry Us All (Turley)

With the release of the special grand jury final report in Georgia, the nation finally was able to see what foreperson Emily Kohrs last February was giggling about in interviews. Call it the “Why not?” report. Back then, when Kohrs was asked if there were recommended charges, she chuckled and said, “Can you imagine doing this for eight months and not coming out with a whole list of recommended indictments? It’s not a short list. It’s not.’” In addition to nodding at an expected Trump indictment, she added, “There may be some names on that list that you wouldn’t expect.” After all, why not? The final product did not disappoint. The members recommended 39 people for prosecution, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and former Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.).

They also included lawyers who argued for recounts or investigations into alleged election fraud. While the report expressly claims that the Fulton County District Attorney’s office did not create the list, it was the office of Fani Willis that presented the law, the evidence and potential targets to the special grand jury. During that process, these members concluded that politicians voicing support for the former president and his allegations could be criminally charged for doing so. The news that Willis did not indict Graham and others infuriated many on the left. Liberal websites were inundated with comments like “I want all the enablers charged, tried, and given long sentences as traitors to our country” and asking why the list did not include Senators Grassley, Cruz, Lee and “147 current and former members of the House, just to name a few.”

[..] The question is when advocacy or inquiries or negotiations become criminal acts. Willis’s first grand jury clearly believed that senators who called for recounts or Raffensperger’s resignation should go to prison. The comparison between their recommendations and the eventual indictment does not clearly answer how such acts are distinguishable as crimes. The same lack of limiting principle is evident in the new theory being pushed by various experts under the 14th Amendment to bar Trump from ballots on the grounds that he “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” or gave “aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.” Beyond the tendentious claim that the Jan. 6 riot was an actual insurrection, they also maintain that the provision is self-executing, requiring no vote of Congress for secretaries of state to bar Trump from next year’s ballots.

Even though Trump has not been charged, let alone convicted, of insurrection (or even incitement), these advocates believe that he can be removed from the ballot because of his election claims, his inflammatory rhetoric and his delay in calling for supporters to leave the Capitol. This is one of the most dangerous legal theories to arise in decades. This week, Democratic Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes aptly described the claimed right to disqualify as a “radical” measure that would “encompass every elected office in our government — state, local, federal, and so forth.” Indeed, Democrats have called for barring not just Trump but 120 Republicans in Congress from running for office.

As with the Georgia special grand jury, the question is “Why not?” If the standard is “giving aid or comfort” to insurrectionists, then why not throw hundreds of other Republicans who supported the challenge to certification on Jan. 6 off the ballot? And while we’re at it, why not bar every lawyer who helped file claims of voting fraud from ever running for office? They all gave aid or comfort with their actions. By this reasoning, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) and other Democrats could have been barred from ballots for opposing Trump’s certification in 2016 without any basis, along with leaders such as Hillary Clinton, who continued to call the election “stolen” for years. In 2016, there were also violent riots in Washington opposing Trump’s inauguration, thanks in no small part to such rhetoric. We can then have different candidates of both parties removed from ballots in every state.

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“Mr. Gaetz pushed through an agreement that the process to remove and replace the Speaker of the House could be activated by one vote. Mr. Gaetz reiterated last week that he means business. He’s the one vote.”

The Mills of the Gods (Jim Kunstler)

Do you think that more than half of the US public may be getting a little irked with “Joe Biden’s” lawfare elf, AG Merrick Garland, as he rolls one innocent J-6 protester after another into decades of hard-time for strolling through the US Capitol building — while the special counsels assigned to only a few of the Biden family crimes play hide-the-salami with due process? For all their cheap talk about “our democracy,” it’s a little scary to see what Democratic Party lawyers actually think of the legal system that is supposed to allow a society based on liberty to function fairly. Court filings last week indicate that Special Counsel David Weiss is about to indict Hunter Biden on that gun charge they have used as the joker in a three-card Monte game for going on five years.

Last time, they ran the game before Delaware federal judge Maryellen Noreika, she detected a teeny-weeny, sneaky clause in the plea agreement to a watered-down gun charge that would have granted immunity to Hunter B from any other past wrongdoing, including, of course, the entire alleged Biden family racketeering operation that had the First Son acting as prime broker and bag-man for tens of millions of dollars in bribes from foreign actors in countries less than friendly to US interests, funneled into any number of Biden family shell corporations. Judge Noreika nixed the plea agreement. Now, Mr. Weiss’s crew seems to be saying that the immunity clause is still tied to any plea deal answering a forthcoming September 29 indictment.

The move would appear to be timed to exactly the moment that a House impeachment committee would begin its inquiry into the Biden family’s moneygrubbing activities. In ordinary House committee hearings, DOJ officials like to use the excuse of “an ongoing investigation” to demur from answering questions. Merrick Garland has done this dozens of times. Will they now try to upgrade that to “an ongoing prosecution?” Could that move lead to a constitutional impasse, requiring the Supreme Court to rule? Or does a House impeachment panel enjoy special privileges of inquiry? It also appears that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FLA) intends to force the issue of opening an impeachment ASAP against “Joe Biden.” In last January’s maneuvering to seat a new Republican House majority, Mr. Gaetz pushed through an agreement that the process to remove and replace the Speaker of the House could be activated by one vote. Mr. Gaetz reiterated last week that he means business. He’s the one vote.

The argument that Republicans should leave hands-off “Joe Biden” so they can run against the feeble old grifter in 2024 is preposterous because there is no way that the “JB” can possibly run for reelection under any circumstances. It’s just another trip being laid on the American public — and one that illustrates how tragic and dangerous is the absence of an honest news media for challenging such insolent gambits. The President can barely totter into a room now without making some embarrassing pratfall or gaffe. He couldn’t possibly survive a debate, especially with all the new records of his crimes unearthed since the last time around in 2020 when he pretended to know nothing about his son’s business dealings.

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“..it is pretty clear who is responsible for 9/11 and why. Many Americans today understand what really happened..”

“It is paradoxical that President Trump is in the dock for questioning an election, while Dick Cheney and the neoconservatives, and the whore media that covered up for them, never faced a single charge.”

9/11 After 22 Years (Paul Craig Roberts)

Today is the 22nd Anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon known as 9/11. A generation of 22-year olds has grown up after 9/11, and the event probably means nothing to them. They learn that it was an attack on America like the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and 9/11 disappears into history. It is unlikely that anyone under 40 is much concerned with 9/11. A 40-year old today would have been 18 in 2001 and would likely dismiss 9/11 concerns as conspiracy theory. Today’s youth are more likely to be marching in support of sexual perversion than wondering about the source and purpose of the 9/11 attack.

Over the years I have reported the mounting evidence provided by scientists and by architect Richard Gage’s Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth until the organization he created removed him at the request of the government, effectively destroying the organization. But for me the proof that 9/11 was an inside job has always been that no one in government and security agencies was ever held accountable for the worst humiliation ever inflicted on an alleged “superpower.” Instead, it took a year before the White House even agreed to an official coverup with the 9/11 Commission, another in the long line of commissions like the Warren Commission that validates the official story. If a few young Saudi Arabians had actually defeated the entire national security apparatus of the United States, the White House would have been screaming, and heads would have rolled.

The neoconservatives had just called for a “new Pearl Harbor” so they could launch their wars of destruction of Israel’s enemies in the Middle East. They immediately blamed 9/11 on “Muslim terrorists” and began their invasions that halted only when Russia blocked the neoconservatives’ overthrow of Syria. So it is pretty clear who is responsible for 9/11 and why. Many Americans today understand what really happened, but the government will never admit it. It takes decades for the truth to come out, and by then everyone affected by the event is dead, and the event becomes ancient history. It is paradoxical that President Trump is in the dock for questioning an election, while Dick Cheney and the neoconservatives, and the whore media that covered up for them, never faced a single charge.

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Great Depression
https://twitter.com/i/status/1701337655886102874

 

 

Smile
https://twitter.com/i/status/1701205047835521236

 

 

Left my heart

 

 

 

 

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May 202023
 
 May 20, 2023  Posted by at 8:52 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  40 Responses »


Leonardo da Vinci Head of bear c.1480

 

Real Revelation of the Durham Report: Obama is the REAL ‘Big Guy’ (Root)
Barack Obama Among 500 Americans Banned From Russia (RT)
Dum-Da-Dum-Dum…Dah (Kunstler)
US National Security Experts: Give Peace in Ukraine a Chance (CD)
The Ukraine Refugee Question (Seymour Hersh)
Why Ukraine Must Lose to Save the World (Martin Armstrong)
US To Allow Allied Transfers Of F-16s To Ukraine (RT)
Medvedev Sees ‘No Need At All’ For Talks On Ukraine (TASS)
Russia Orders Arrest Of ICC Prosecutor (RT)
Russian Prosecutor General Designates Greenpeace As ‘Undesirable’ (TASS)
Is China The Only Issue Holding The US Together? (Fomenko)
End the FBI (McMaken)
Israel’s State-Building Project Is Unraveling – From Within (Cook)
Israel and the ‘New’ Middle East (Sheikh)
UK In ‘Geriatric Decline’ – Legendary Financier (RT)

 

 

 

 

Macgregor


https://twitter.com/i/status/1659594747466461184

 

 

Podolyak
https://twitter.com/i/status/1659602082679209995

 

 

RFK


https://twitter.com/i/status/1659720620978888705

 

 

 

 

“..a radical Marxist put in place by the Deep State and globalist billionaires to destroy America..”

Real Revelation of the Durham Report: Obama is the REAL ‘Big Guy’ (Root)

We are living in an age of mass deception, distraction and denial, of mass brainwashing. We might as well all be living in Jonestown, Guyana and following the orders of Jim Jones. That’s how bad it is. It’s all laid out right in front of us. But no one can see it. Or maybe no one wants to see it. The Durham Report is “the canary in the coal mine.” It’s all Obama. It’s always been Obama. Obama is the REAL “Big Guy.” Obama is the REAL criminal mastermind. Obama was the head of the snake. Obama was the John Gotti of the US government, overseeing a massive criminal conspiracy. Obama was the head of the “Obama Crime Family.” Obama committed TREASON. And the worst part of all: Obama’s still in charge. Obama is pulling all the strings. He’s the one calling the shots. He’s the ventriloquist, speaking for the wooden dummy puppet Joe Biden. Obama is the real President of the United States, back for his third term.

I warned and predicted from the first day Obama appeared on the scene that my old Columbia University classmate was a Manchurian candidate, a radical Marxist put in place by the Deep State and globalist billionaires to destroy America. In my #1 bestselling book back in 2013, “The Ultimate Obama Survival Guide” I reported Obama’s plan was to “boil the frog slowly.” To destroy America in small steps, to move so slowly that we wouldn’t notice we were being destroyed, until it was too late. Hillary Clinton was supposed to finish the job. Hillary’s election was supposed to be Obama’s third term. But Donald J. Trump came along and ruined the plan. Trump became the first politician in history to beat a rigged election. That’s why Hillary and Democrats were so shocked. Obama rigged it, so Hillary could not lose.

How did Obama do that? In addition to the usual Democrat tricks of stuffing the ballot box in Democrat run inner cities, with no Voter ID and no signature match, Obama spied on the Trump campaign. But Trump brought out more working and middle-class voters than any candidate in history. He beat the rig. He won even though Obama spied on him. Even though Obama knew everything Trump was doing and planning- and gave it all to Hillary. Enter Russia Collusion. See the Durham Report. We now know for a fact this was a fraud made up by Hillary. We also know that Hillary laid out this scam to Obama and Biden in the Oval Office. Obama gave his approval. Then Obama rigged the game even further- making sure his handpicked DOJ and FBI would never prosecute these high crimes.

Obama also made sure they’d continue spying on the now President Trump. And use the weaponized federal government filled with Obama hacks to target, frame, demonize and destroy Trump the president. But wait, there’s more. I may despise Obama, but I also respect him. Because he’s brilliant. He ran the country like John Gotti ran his crime family. Nothing happened under Obama without him knowing. So, when Durham reports Obama’s FBI was not allowed to prosecute Hillary for her Clinton Foundation crimes (extorting world leaders), obviously Obama gave that order too. Obama knew everything Hillary was doing- she was his Secretary of State. And you can bet Obama got a piece of her corrupt loot in return for allowing her to do it, and for killing any DOJ/FBI investigations.

And if Obama knew about Hillary’s crimes extorting world leaders, you can also bet he knew about the Joe Biden “Big Guy” scam. Joe was his Vice President. You think Joe and his slimy son Hunter ran around the world extorting money from world leaders and Obama didn’t know about it? You can bet Obama got a piece of Biden’s corruption too. Just like John Gotti. The mafia Don always gets a piece of every scam run by the capos under him. Or they get wacked. And where was all the corrupt loot run out of? The Clinton Foundation. That’s why it was based offshore- far away from prying eyes. As one more layer of protection, Obama ordered the DOJ and FBI to look the other way. This is all called TREASON.

Bill Barr

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If you’re not on the list you don’t count.

Barack Obama Among 500 Americans Banned From Russia (RT)

The Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday published a list of 500 US citizens – including former president Barack Obama – who are banned from entering the country with immediate effect. The move is a response to the ongoing American sanctions against Moscow. “It is high time for Washington to learn that not a single attack against Russia will go without a strong reaction,” the ministry said in a statement. “The principle of inevitable punishment will be consistently applied, whether we are talking about tougher sanctions or discriminatory steps to hinder the professional activities of our citizens.” In reprisal for the US embassy in Moscow witholding visas for Russian journalists – which prevented them from accompanying Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to the UN Security Council last month – the Russian government has refused to grant the embassy’s request for a consular visit to Evan Gershkovich, the Wall Street Journal correspondent charged with espionage.

Besides Obama, the list Russian blacklist includes many members of Congress, governors and attorney-generals of several US states, former officials currently on boards of prominent think tanks, military contractors who supply weapons to Ukraine, and even the short lived “disinformation czar”Nina Jankowicz. Also on the list are “those in government and law enforcement agencies who are directly involved in the persecution of dissidents in the wake of the so-called Capitol insurrection,” the Russian Foreign Ministry noted. Notable names in that category include US Attorney for the District of Columbia Matthew Graves, his predecessor Michael Sherwin, DC Attorney General Karl Racine, and Michael Byrd, the Capitol Police officer who fatally shot unarmed protester Ashli Babbitt.

Among the prominent Biden administration officials who made the blacklist are Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources Geoffrey Pyatt (formerly the US ambassador to Ukraine in 2014); James Rubin, former State Department spokesman and current head of the Global Engagement Center; State Department Counselor Derek Chollet; and President Joe Biden’s senior advisor, Anita Dunn. TV hosts Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers, Rachel Maddow, and Joe Scarborough were also among the sanctioned, along with former NBC presenter Brian Williams. Secretaries of the Army and the Air Force, Christine Wormuth and Frank Kendall, made the list as well, along with USAF Chief of Staff General Charles Q. Brown Jr. Think tanks and the military-industrial complex made the bulk of the list, however. Former secretary of defense and Marine general James Mattis was sanctioned for being on the board of General Dynamics, and ex-CIA director George Tenet as board member of agency contractor In-Q-Tel.

Former US ambassador to Russia John Tefft was sanctioned as a senior fellow at RAND Corporation. Nelson Strobridge “Strobe” Talbot III – formerly of the State Department – and Norm Eisen were sanctioned for their involvement with the Brookings Institute. Senior Russia and Eurasia researcher Eric Ciaramella was among the many Carnegie Foundation employees on the sanctions list, which also contained many names from the Atlantic Council and the Center for Strategic and International Studies think-tanks. Other prominent names on the Russian blacklist were Ukraine’s former finance minister Natalie Jaresko and former Russia expert at the National Security Council Fiona Hill.

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“Can someone please ask Mr. Durham why he did not bring a charge of conspiracy to commit sedition under the RICO act against the whole gang of RussiaGate players..”

Dum-Da-Dum-Dum…Dah (Kunstler)

It is impossible for now to know the constraints placed on Mr. Durham by Attorney General Merrick Garland — though it appears that Mr. Garland is just the latest initiate into the years-long shuck-and-jive that amounts to a seditious conspiracy against the republic. That is, add Mr. Garland to the long list of officials who have a lot at risk and a lot to hide, so he’s used his vested powers to hamstring Mr. Durham. But the heart of the story is out, despite all that, and pretty baldly stated: Hillary Clinton started the whole RussiaGate gag to take the heat off her own turpitudes. The federal agency heads and their lieutenants avidly used Hillary’s concocted falsehoods to foment malicious prosecutions and drive the naively accommodating President Trump out of office, and stopped at nothing until they succeeded.

There it is. We will now have to muddle through and go forward, a savagely deformed polity. Still, it will be edifying to see Mr. Durham testify before The House Judiciary Committee next week, as Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) has requested. Mr. Durham may even wish to use the opportunity to redeem his tarnished reputation. Some items for review: Why did Mr. Durham omit to investigate the deceitful Mueller team (especially its actual director, Andrew Weissmann), which was an obvious cover-up operation? Ditto: the role played by President Barack Obama in the scheme to interfere in the 2016 election? Ditto: the operation to hide and then discredit Hunter Biden’s crime-stuffed laptop during the 2020 presidential election? Ditto: what has been the CIA’s role in all of this? I believe Mr. Durham will provide many interesting answers to these queries. It may be the only forum that will ever avail him to speak honestly. Presumably the House Judiciary Committee members are lawyers, and have a host of aide lawyers to fall back on for legal advice. Can someone please ask Mr. Durham why he did not bring a charge of conspiracy to commit sedition under the RICO act against the whole gang of RussiaGate players based on the “enterprise rationale” that the evidence suggests they were all vested in an effort to defenestrate a sitting president?

We will go forward from this whether we like it or not, of course, because the arrow of time flies only in that direction. What is the best way out of this wilderness of dishonor and disgrace? Take a lesson from the campaign, so far, of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. The way Mr. Kennedy has been straight-talking — around the coordinated slanders and scurrilities of an ignoble news media — he makes the current leadership of the Democratic Party look like the most pathetic claque of rascally whack-jobs ever assembled under a gonfalon. Keep your eye on RFK, Jr. He’s moving downfield, even without blocking. Side-note or post-script, for those interested in how the vaccination story is going: A close friend went into the CVS pharmacy looking for a “get well soon” card. There were none. A clerk on-hand right there in the aisle said, “we can’t keep them in stock.” No “sympathy” cards either. Draw your conclusions.

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“Yet that compromise was exactly what he talked Zelenskyy out of agreeing to in April 2022, when most of the war’s dead were still alive..”

US National Security Experts: Give Peace in Ukraine a Chance (CD)

On May 16, 2023, TheNew York Times published a full-page advertisement signed by 15 U.S. national security experts about the war in Ukraine. It was headed “The U.S. Should Be a Force for Peace in the World,” and was drafted by the Eisenhower Media Network. While condemning Russia’s invasion, the statement provides a more objective account of the crisis in Ukraine than the U.S. government or TheNew York Times has previously presented to the public, including the disastrous U.S. role in NATO expansion, the warnings ignored by successive U.S. administrations, and the escalating tensions that ultimately led to war. The statement calls the war an “unmitigated disaster,” and urges President Joe Biden and Congress “to end the war speedily through diplomacy, especially given the dangers of military escalation that could spiral out of control.”

If the U.S. persists in backing the plan for a Ukrainian offensive, instead of encouraging Zelenskyy to seize the moment for diplomacy, it will share considerable responsibility for the failure to seize the chance for peace, and for the appalling and ever-rising human costs of this war. This call for diplomacy by wise, experienced former insiders—U.S. diplomats, military officers, and civilian officials—would have been a welcome intervention on any one of the past 442 days of this war. Yet their appeal now comes at an especially critical moment in the war. On May 10, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced that he is delaying Ukraine’s long-awaited “spring offensive” to avoid “unacceptable” losses to Ukrainian forces.

Western policy has repeatedly put Zelenskyy in near-impossible positions, caught between the need to show signs of progress on the battlefield to justify further Western support and arms deliveries and, on the other hand, the shocking human cost of continued war represented by the fresh graveyards where tens of thousands of Ukrainians now lie buried. It is not clear how a delay in the planned Ukrainian counter-attack would prevent it leading to unacceptable Ukrainian losses when it finally occurs, unless the delay in fact leads to scaling back and calling off many of the operations that have been planned. Zelenskyy appears to be reaching a limit in terms of how many more of his people he is willing to sacrifice to satisfy Western demands for signs of military progress to hold together the Western alliance and maintain the flow of weapons and money to Ukraine.

Zelenskyy’s predicament is certainly the fault of Russia’s invasion, but also of his April 2022 deal with the devil in the shape of then-U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Johnson promised Zelenskyy that the U.K. and the “collective West” were “in it for the long run” and would back him to recover all of Ukraine’s former territory, just as long as Ukraine stopped negotiating with Russia. Johnson was never in a position to fulfill that promise and, since he was forced to resign as prime minister, he has endorsed a Russian withdrawal only from the territory it invaded since February 2022, not a return to pre-2014 borders. Yet that compromise was exactly what he talked Zelenskyy out of agreeing to in April 2022, when most of the war’s dead were still alive and the framework of a peace agreement was on the table at diplomatic talks in Turkey.

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“Meanwhile, the slaughter in the city of Bakhmut continues. It is similar in idiocy, if not in numbers, to the slaughter in Verdun and the Somme during World War I.”

The Ukraine Refugee Question (Seymour Hersh)

Last Saturday the Washington Post published an exposé of classified American intelligence documents showing that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, working behind the back of the Biden White House, pushed hard earlier this year for an expanded series of missile attacks inside Russia. The documents were part of a large cache of classified materials posted online by an Air Force enlisted man now in custody. A senior official of the Biden administration, asked by the Post for comment on the newly revealed intelligence, said that Zelensky has never violated his pledge never to use American weapons to strike inside Russia. In the view of the White House, Zelensky can do no wrong.

Zelensky’s desire to take the war to Russia may not be clear to the president and senior foreign policy aides in the White House, but it is to those in the American intelligence community who have found it difficult to get their intelligence and their assessments a hearing in the Oval Office. Meanwhile, the slaughter in the city of Bakhmut continues. It is similar in idiocy, if not in numbers, to the slaughter in Verdun and the Somme during World War I. The men in charge of today’s war—in Moscow, Kiev, and Washington—have shown no interest even in temporary ceasefire talks that could serve as a prelude to something permanent. The talk now is only about the possibilities of a late spring or summer offensive by either party.

But something else is cooking, as some in the American intelligence community know and have reported in secret, at the instigation of government officials at various levels in Poland, Hungary, Lithuania, Estonia, Czechoslovakia, and Latvia. These countries are all allies of Ukraine and declared enemies of Vladimir Putin. This group is led by Poland, whose leadership no longer fears the Russian army because its performance in Ukraine has left the glow of its success at Stalingrad during the Second World War in tatters. It has been quietly urging Zelensky to find a way to end the war—even by resigning himself, if necessary—and to allow the process of rebuilding his nation to get under way.

Zelensky is not budging, according to intercepts and other data known inside the Central Intelligence Agency, but he is beginning to lose the private support of his neighbors. One of the driving forces for the quiet European talks with Zelensky has been the more than five million Ukrainians fleeing from the war who have crossed the country’s borders and have registered with its neighbors under an EU agreement for temporary protection that includes residency rights, access to the labor market, housing, social welfare assistance, and medical care. An assessment published by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees reports that the estimate excludes roughly 3 million Ukrainian refugees who escaped from the war zone without a visa into any of the 27 European nations that have abolished border control between each other under the Schengen agreement.

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“I have even seen proposed maps carving up Russia after they destroy its government and subjugate its people, as they once planned to carve up China. It is sad to say, but unless Ukraine loses this war, we are in for a total worldwide war on an unprecedented scale post-2024.”

Why Ukraine Must Lose to Save the World (Martin Armstrong)

There is a major problem with Ukraine’s claims of shooting down a barrage of supersonic missiles. This cannot be confirmed independently and Ukraine is notoriously always putting out fake news typically to get more money. The incentive to create this type of fake news is that Western countries who have been supporting Ukraine are concerned that the military support for Kiev may soon peak as they run out of funds. There is concern that funds for Ukraine will be curtailed ahead of the 2024 presidential election in the United States, the Financial Times recently reported. The Neocons are desperately trying to create World War III before the 2024 election. They are fighting against any cutbacks for Ukraine. This has highlighted that European officials now are increasingly concerned about the flow of aid next year as the US enters a divisive presidential campaign.

According to the FT, Washington has been Kiev’s major source of military aid. US officials interviewed by the newspaper say the remaining funds preapproved by Congress could sustain Ukraine for about another five months. Western officials in regular contact with the US over Ukraine told the FT that Washington sees that period of time as the last real chance for Kiev to change the situation on the ground. There is a twist. That is the debt ceiling and funds would stop flowing after June 1st unless Biden yields on his insane agenda. European official told the FT newspaper “We can’t keep the same level of assistance forever.” Politico reported earlier that only $6 billion of the original $48 billion military aid package that the US had approved previously is all that is left. Without Congressional approval, US aid to Ukraine will be finished by mid-summer.

This claim of shooting down every supersonic missile just does not ring true and it would be typical of Ukraine to boast in order to keep the money flowing. Ukraine’s air defenses conveniently claim that they shot down “[a]ll 18 missiles were destroyed by the forces and means of air defense of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.” We must be cautious about claims during war for the first causality is ALWAYS the truth, especially when this claim comes at the precise moment when the funds may end in a few weeks. Meanwhile, Zelensky is the WAR CRIMINAL here as are our Western leaders. The real war criminals are the leaders who instigate war. You are correct about his meeting with the Pope was all for a theatrical display. Zelensky stated that he saw no sense in trying to involve Russia in a dialogue at this stage. He rejected the Pope’s offer to mediate He said: “One cannot make a mediation with Putin. He just knows how to kill. It is not a question of the Vatican, Latin America or China.”

Zelensky’s statement shows the hatred of the majority of Ukrainian people toward Russians. He cares nothing for all the Ukrainians who have fled to other countries. He cares nothing for all the Ukrainians dying. Alessandro Di Battista, an Italian journalist, and former lawmaker, reported on Zelensky’s European tour visiting several European countries showed that he was only interested in getting more weapons, not peace.= “Zelensky went on a tour to get ammunition. The only thing he’s after is weapons because he’s not interested in peace,” Di Battista was quoted as saying by the Adnkronos news agency. In addition, Zelensky’s wife, Yelena Zelenskaya, went to Seoul and asked South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol to ship air defense systems to Ukraine and provide assistance with modern technology.

This illustrates that Ukraine will sacrifice its people rather than seek peace and simply honor the Minsk Agreement. This is what the American Neocons want – sacrifice every Ukrainian just to conquer Russia. The Neocons have ZERO respect for human life on either side. Indeed. Zelensky prays for the destruction of more Ukrainian property so he will get his cut from Blackrock for rebuilding Ukraine which our computer says WILL NOT HAPPEN! I stress once again – do NOT invest in this Blackrock venture which rubs its hands in blood and at least Pilot tried to wash his hands after sentencing Christ – not Blackrock or Zelensky. It will become a classic short. Sorry – I do not believe Aladdin has the database needed to make such a speculative investment.

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“..makes Western countries de facto direct parties in the conflict..”

US To Allow Allied Transfers Of F-16s To Ukraine (RT)

The US government will not block allied countries from sending F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine if they decide to do so, multiple news outlets reported on Friday, citing American officials. Sources cited by the Washington Post, CNN, NBC and other media said the White House is prepared to allow F-16 shipments after months of Ukrainian requests for the aircraft, which is being used by more than two dozen nations. A senior White House official told NBC that Washington had already informed its partners about the decision. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan on Saturday, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said that “in the coming months, we will work with our allies to determine when the planes will be delivered, who will be delivering them, and how many.”


UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced earlier that London would back the creation of an “international coalition” to supply the F-16s and other aircraft to Kiev. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky met with the PM this week and lobbied for Western fighter jets, insisting they are needed for Kiev’s much-touted counteroffensive. The US military is currently training Ukrainian pilots to fly the F-16s. However, Washington has so far declined to provide its own warplanes to Kiev. Moscow has warned against supplying Kiev with weapons, arguing that it will only prolong the fighting and do little to deter its military objectives. The Kremlin says that military support to Ukraine, which includes the training of troops and sharing of intelligence, makes Western countries de facto direct parties in the conflict.

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“How can you engage in equal talks with a half-decayed neo-Nazi country, which is under external governance? ”

Medvedev Sees ‘No Need At All’ For Talks On Ukraine (TASS)

Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Security Council Dmitry Medvedev sees no point in conducting negotiations on the situation in Ukraine and around it at the moment, because talks should be conducted only with the Kiev government’s ‘masters’ in Washington and only about post-conflict world order. Commenting on European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s latest remarks against equal negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, Medvedev wrote on his Telegram channel on Friday that he would “find it difficult to disagree” with her in this regard. “This is certainly so. How can you engage in equal talks with a half-decayed neo-Nazi country, which is under external governance?


Talks are possible only with its masters, namely with Washington. There is no one else to talk to,” Medvedev wrote. In his opinion, negotiations are possible only on the subject of “post-conflict world order.” “However, it is too early to speak about it,” the Russian official added. “That is why there is no need at all for any negotiations.” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Hiroshima on Friday that equal negotiations between Russia and Ukraine must be rejected. In her words, G7 member states must support Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s so-called peace plan.

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“.. Russia is not a party to the Rome Statute that created the court. Neither are the US, China, India and several dozen other countries.”

Russia Orders Arrest Of ICC Prosecutor (RT)

The Russian Interior Ministry on Friday issued an arrest warrant for Karim Asad Ahmad Khan, the British lawyer currently acting as chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. In March, Khan sought the arrest of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, children’s rights commissioner, for the alleged war crime of “unlawful deportation and transfer” of children from “occupied areas of Ukraine” to Russia. The ICC had acted on claims by the government in Kiev that Russia’s evacuation of children from civilian areas under fire by Ukrainian forces amounted to forcible transfer of population, which was defined as a crime under the Fourth Geneva Convention.


Three days after Khan’s announcement, on March 20, the Russian Investigative Committee launched a probe into the prosecutor, as well as three ICC judges who approved his warrant – Tomoko Akane, Rosario Salvatore Aitala and Sergio Gerardo Ugalde Godinez. The investigation focused on articles 299 and 360 of the Russian criminal code, namely bringing criminal charges against persons known to be innocent, and preparations for an attack on a representative of a foreign state enjoying international protection in order to complicate international relations. Moscow has dismissed the ICC warrants against Putin and Lvova-Belova as null and void, as Russia is not a party to the Rome Statute that created the court. Neither are the US, China, India and several dozen other countries.

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“Greenpeace activists have engaged in spreading anti-Russian propaganda, and have called for the further economic isolation of our country and the toughening of sanctions.”

Russian Prosecutor General Designates Greenpeace As ‘Undesirable’ (TASS)

The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has designated the activities of Greenpeace International within the country as undesirable, the law enforcement agency’s press service told reporters on Friday. “According to the findings of a study of the available materials, investigators have established that the activities of the international non-governmental, non-profit organization Greenpeace International (Stichting [a Dutch form of legal entity] Greenpeace Council, Greenpeace International, Greenpeace Foundation Council, Greenpeace, the Netherlands) represent a threat to the fundamental constitutional order and security of the Russian Federation,” the Prosecutor General’s Office said.

Investigators pointed out that, “when applied to the Russian Federation, the environmental activities of Greenpeace are in fact accompanied by the active promotion of a political agenda, [as well as] attempts to interfere in the domestic affairs of the country, and are aimed at undermining its economic foundations.” Since the start of Russia’s special military operation for the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine, “Greenpeace activists have engaged in spreading anti-Russian propaganda, and have called for the further economic isolation of our country and the toughening of sanctions.” As the Prosecutor General’s Office explained, Greenpeace’s work is often connected with efforts to obstruct the implementation of Russian government programs by means of organizing information campaigns and unauthorized mass public actions in order to engender negative public opinion and impede the implementation of infrastructure and energy projects that are beneficial to the country.

In addition, the foundation finances the activities of Russian organizations that have been designated as foreign agents and demands changes in Russian legislation to the detriment of our society and citizens. “The foundation’s efforts are aimed at destabilizing the social and political situation and attempting to effect regime change in the country in an unconstitutional manner,” investigators said, adding that information about Greenpeace’s activities being designated as undesirable in Russia was forwarded to the Russian Ministry of Justice for inclusion in the official list of foreign and international non-governmental organizations whose activities have been deemed undesirable in Russia. Greenpeace has been active in Russia for more than 30 years, since the late 1980s.

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“Every single foreign adversary the US has encountered has always been depicted as an “imminent threat” to American values in a way articulated to provoke fear amongst the population..”

Is China The Only Issue Holding The US Together? (Fomenko)

The US is a vast and diverse nation. It has a population of over 300 million people across a territorial expanse which is the third largest in the world by some definitions. Across its 50 states, a variety of different ethnic and social backgrounds can be found. Your Baptist pastor from Alabama has nothing in common with your ambitious young middle-class banker living in New York City, and even less with your struggling African-American family in the same city. In incorporating such diversity, the political system of the US is also by constitution decentralized, delegating power into multiple branches of government dispersed across federal, state and local levels. It is no surprise that this has produced a political system which is beset by often bitter division and intense ideological and value-based conflicts.

This has been enough, as history demonstrates, to plunge the country into a civil war. The development of mass media and social networks has only made it worse. Thus, starting in the 20th century, the American elite structure has sought to maintain control over its nation by vesting itself in the politics of fear mongering, which forces a continual emphasis on “American values,” namely democracy and liberty, in the bid to maintain a basic consensus for the justification of the state itself. Every single foreign adversary the US has encountered has always been depicted as an “imminent threat” to American values in a way articulated to provoke fear amongst the population, as if to constantly remind them of what they have. This has ranged from the Soviet Union, to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, to North Korea, to Russia and to China.

Every adversary is depicted as almost omnipotent, with power to infiltrate, sabotage, and subvert the US. In doing so, as we are seeing now with the debt ceiling crisis, every single one of these adversaries is deemed to benefit from whatever fundamental disagreement US politicians may be having, subsequently forcing them to coalesce around a position of unity for the “greater good” – as if it doesn’t exist otherwise. When analyzed through this lens, if the US runs out of adversaries and threats, politicians genuinely might have difficulty justifying the existence or unity of the nation altogether in its current form. The US centralizes itself through fear and hysteria, because if not for those things constantly looming, Americans wouldn’t have a whole lot to agree on, be it guns, abortion, LGBTQ rights, immigration, or anything else.

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Talk about a threat to America…

End the FBI (McMaken)

Even if we ignore the fact that there is no provision in the US constitution for a federal police force, it is nonetheless apparent that the FBI, which now bills itself primarily as an intelligence organization, is simply duplicating the work of countless other organizations in this respect. There are at least 18 intelligence organizations current being funded by US taxpayers. Further, prosecuting any real crime does not require an additional layer of federal law. Fraud, theft, murder, and assault are all already illegal in every single US state. If a huge continent-spanning police force is necessary to keep law and order, how is it that Europe somehow manages to survive without a Europe-wide police? Data sharing organizations like INTERPOL—which is staffed by agents with no power to arrest or launch their own investigations—somehow manage to work. The FBI will no doubt argue that it brings valuable resources to cash-strapped police forces when more resources are needed.


The FBI only has access to these resources, however, because the federal government extracts more than $10 billion dollars from state and local taxpayers first, and then hands it over to the FBI to “help” the locals. The Durham report is only the latest indication that the true nature of the FBI. In a 2020 essay, Angelo Codevilla examined the rot at the core of the FBI. He goes far too easy on the FBI in early decades, but he was right enough when it came to the present state of the agency. He wrote: Thus FBI officers became standard bureaucrats who learned to operate on the assumption that all Americans were equally likely as not to be proper targets of investigation. They replaced the distinctions by which they had previously operated with the classic bureaucratic imperative: look out for yourselves by making sure to please the powerful.

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A class society.

Israel’s State-Building Project Is Unraveling – From Within (Cook)

As Israel celebrates its 75th anniversary, the state-building project it cemented into place in 1948 by expelling 750,000 Palestinians from their homeland is showing the first signs of unraveling. The surprise is that Israel’s woes spring not, as generations of its leaders feared, from outside forces – a combined attack from Arab states or pressure from the international community – but from Israel’s own internal contradictions. Israeli leaders created the very problems they all too obviously lack the tools to now solve. Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bombardment of Gaza in recent days, killing dozens of Palestinians, should be understood in that light. It is one more indication of Israel’s internal crisis.

Once again, the Palestinians are being used in a frantic bid to shore up an increasingly fragile “Jewish” unity. Israel’s long-term problem is underscored by the current, bitter standoff over Netanyahu’s plan for a so-called judicial overhaul. The Israeli Jewish population is split down the middle, with neither side willing to back down. Rightly, each sees the confrontation in terms of a zero-sum battle. And behind this stands a political system in near-constant paralysis, with neither side of the divide able to gain a stable majority in the parliament. Israel is now mired in a permanent, low-level civil war.To understand how Israel reached this point, and where it is likely to head next, one must delve deep into the country’s origin story.

The official narrative is that Israel was created out of necessity: to serve as a safe haven for Jews fleeing centuries of persecution and the horrors of the Nazi death camps in Europe. The resulting ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and the erasure of hundreds of their towns and villages – what Palestinians call their Nakba, or Catastrophe – is either mystified or presented simply as a desperate act of self-defense by a long-victimized people. This colossal act of dispossession, aided and abetted by western powers, has been reinvented for western publics as a simple morality tale, as a story of redemption.

Israel’s establishment was not only a chance for the Jewish people to gain self-determination through statehood so they would never again be persecuted. Jews would also build a state from scratch that would offer to the world a more virtuous model of how to live. This tapped neatly, if subliminally, into a western, Christian-derived worldview that looked to the Holy Land for salvation. Jews would restore their place as “a light unto the nations” by “redeeming” the land they had stolen from the Palestinians and offering a path by which westerners could redeem themselves too.

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“..peace-making is no longer made in the US or Israel, as China’s success in mediating between Iran and Saudi Arabia has significantly shifted Middle Eastern geopolitics..”

Israel and the ‘New’ Middle East (Sheikh)

In 2020, when Israel, backed by the US, signed the Abraham Accords with the UAE and some other Middle Eastern states, the Israeli government looked well in charge of the trajectory of the peace process in the Middle East. Three years later, peace-making is no longer made in the US or Israel, as China’s success in mediating between Iran and Saudi Arabia has significantly shifted Middle Eastern geopolitics’ local and international dynamics. Locally, more and more Arab states are now pursuing ‘normalisation’; internationally, Beijing, rather than Washington, is playing the lead role. This adds to Israel’s troubles, as it can no longer influence these developments even indirectly via Beijing for obvious reasons. At the same time, if the underlying logic of the Abraham Accords was to expand Israeli influence in the Arab world and further isolate Iran, this is no longer possible.

While the US and Israeli officials have stated that the Iran-Saudia deal doesn’t impact the politics and the possibility of the possible extension of the Abraham Accords, it remains that the deal has not materialised despite various rounds of talks. While one of the key reasons is the change of government in the US, with the Biden administration not sharing the Trump administration’s enthusiasm for both peace in the Middle East and deep ties with Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia, too, is not keen to make this deal. In other words, the China-led ‘new’ peace process in the Middle East is nothing short of a setback for Israel. This is most clearly evident from the way Saudi position vis-à-vis talks with Israel has hardened in the past few months or so.

As reported in the mainstream media in the US as well, not only is Saudi Arabia demanding additional security guarantees from Washington but is also seeking the latter’s help to develop its civilian nuclear programme. This is besides the Saudi demand from the US to loosen restrictions on the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia. These demands are in addition to a persistent Saudi demand from Israel to “do something to address Palestinian aspirations for independence.” From the US and Israeli perspectives, the Saudis are only using the scenario to extract maximum concessions from them in exchange for ‘normalisation.’ From their perspectives, they might ultimately need to address some of the Saudi demands, given that a peace process in the Middle East that excludes Israel as a player will ultimately lead to Israeli isolation in the region insofar as other states are most likely to continue pursuing their normalization politics under the Chinese auspices.

As irony would have it – and as it may further complicate the US position – China recently offered its services to mediate between Israel and Palestine to develop a realistic peace plan. If the US fails to convince Saudia, Israel, fearing increasing isolation, may ultimately move towards China for a new peace process. The US, so far, has failed to make any headway in this direction i.e., towards an Israel-Saudi peace process. In fact, the failure to address Saudi demands is pushing the latter in the opposite direction. Saudi Arabia, as again reported in the US mainstream media, is moving to normalise and streamline its ties with Hamas, a Palestinian militia resisting Israel but designated by the US as a ‘terrorist group.’

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“.. in 2030, Poland will be wealthier than we are,” he said. “In 2040, we will be the poor man in Europe.”

UK In ‘Geriatric Decline’ – Legendary Financier (RT)

Brexit has weakened the UK economy and driven the nation into a “sort of geriatric decline,” British financier and chairman of the private equity firm Terra Firma told Bloomberg on Friday. Since the UK left the European Union, it has been competing on the world stage, but the country’s current laws might not be suitable for the new environment, billionaire Guy Hands suggested in the outlet’s weekly ‘In The City’ podcast. Unless change happens, the UK risks becoming poorer and poorer compared to other European countries. “I look at the UK and see that, in 2030, Poland will be wealthier than we are,” he said. “In 2040, we will be the poor man in Europe.”

According to Hands, the UK should not have left the EU, as the country needs rule of law and consistency, but not a single politician is talking about going back. He lamented that Brexit has essentially thrown the country back 50 years, to the 1970’s, a decade that is widely remembered as a time of crisis, with skyrocketing inflation, high unemployment, strikes and power cuts. The enormous amount of political change that has happened in the UK over the past seven years has left investors concerned, and the public lacking confidence, the billionaire believes.

Now that the UK is out of the EU, the British government could take a radical approach and change some of its laws, Hands said, citing the country’s “extraordinarily complex” labor laws that are “a nightmare” compared to other European countries. The UK also needs some “boring bookkeeping,” and the current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak seems to be good at it, according to Hands. The financier noted that the British government has succeeded in repairing some of the damage caused by Liz Truss, whose economic policies were “absolutely disastrous” and would have led to the country needing a bailout. Truss’s argument, however, that the UK needed to become much more productive to be more competitive was “100% right”.

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Elon 2008

 

 


The Japanese paradise flycatcher is a medium-sized passerine bird native to southeastern Asia. Photo by Young Sung Bae

 

 

Rotor

 

 

 

 

Acorn

 

 


Severely damaged by a storm, the tallest tree in Wales was supposed to be cut down. But chainsaw artist Simon O’Rourke found a better solution to symbolise the tree’s last attempt to reach the sky…

‘The Giant Hand Of Vyrnwy’

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 302023
 
 April 30, 2023  Posted by at 8:55 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  46 Responses »


Mark Chagall I and the village 1911

 

Zelensky’s Top Adviser Threatens China With Economic Ruin (RT)
Poland’s Top General Has Some Unpopular Truths About The Ukraine Proxy War (ZB)
Medvedev Calls For ‘Complete’ Dismantling Of ‘Kiev Regime’ (RT)
Medvedev Sees No Point In Maintaining Diplomatic Relations With Poland (TASS)
Russian Next-Gen T-14 Tank Makes Ukraine Debut (ZH)
Merkel Says She Used Everything To Try To Prevent Conflict In Ukraine (TASS)
Europe Is Buying Record Amounts Of Refined Russian Fuels Through India
Morocco Supplies Spain With Russian Diesel – El Mundo (RT)
US Troops Drill For Taiwan War – Media (RT)
Kiev Decries EU Restrictions On Ukrainian Imports (RT)
EU Reaches Deal On Ukrainian Food Imports (RT)
War Threatens Ukraine Auto Empire of Biden Megadonor (Sperry)
Hunter’s Collapsing World: A Criminal Plea Could Now Be Best Option (Turley)
No Buyer for First Republic Bank at Any Price (Mish)
Irish President Condemns ‘Obsession’ With Economic Growth (Leahy)

 

 

 

 

Lavrov
https://twitter.com/i/status/1652184461302276096

 

 

 

 

Doctorow

 

 

Net zero

 

 

 

 

“..why China would “help Russia, which is experiencing the collapse of its civilization?”

Zelensky’s Top Adviser Threatens China With Economic Ruin (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s main adviser, Mikhail Podoliak, has claimed that China must follow the West’s position on Ukraine or “lose its influence, including economic influence.” Beijing has given no indication that it intends to take his advice. “Now China has to make a choice,” Podoliak said on Ukraine’s Rada TV on Friday. “Either it works within the framework defined by international law, and then replaces Russia in the full sense of the word, or China continues to stand aside and then it will gradually lose its influence, including economic influence.” Podoliak’s statement came two days after Zelensky and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke by phone, their first known conversation since Russia’s military operation in Ukraine began last February.

According to the Chinese side, Xi stressed that Beijing’s “core position” on the conflict is that “dialogue and negotiations are the only viable way out.” The US has repeatedly called on China to condemn Russia over the conflict, which Beijing has refused to do. Instead, China and Russia have deepened their diplomatic and trade links, and officials from both countries have repeatedly condemned the US for attempting to impose what it calls a “rules-based international order” upon the world through military force and sanctions. China and Russia have instead called for the construction of a multipolar system based on the rule of international law and respect for the UN charter. “Right now there are changes – the likes of which we haven’t seen for 100 years – and we are the ones driving these changes together,” Xi told Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow last month.

Podoliak has attempted to drive a wedge between Moscow and Beijing before. Late last month he asked the Italian Corriere della Sera newspaper why China would “help Russia, which is experiencing the collapse of its civilization?” “It would be an irreversible investment, and China is too pragmatic to make such mistakes,” he added. However, even if China were to break from Russia, it would still face a United States hostile to its interests. The Pentagon’s most recent National Defense Strategy lists countering the supposed “threat posed by China” as its number one priority, while Washington has blocked the sale of some semiconductor manufacturing hardware to China and rallied its Asian allies to shut Beijing out of this vital industrial sector. Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden has said on several occasions that he would use the US military to defend Taiwan – which China considers its territory – from a potential Chinese invasion.

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“It’s simply impossible to sustain the pace, scale, and scope of the West’s multidimensional aid to Ukraine if the conflict drags on.”

“..Russia can continue conducting its special operation for 1-2 more years before it begins to feel any structural pressure to curtail its activities.”

“We just don’t have ammunition. The industry is not ready not only to send equipment to Ukraine, but also to replenish our stocks, which are melting.”

Poland’s Top General Has Some Unpopular Truths About The Ukraine Proxy War (ZB)

The last time that Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces General Rajmund Andrzejczak generated media attention was in late January after he elaborated on how formidable Russia remained at the time, but now he’s once again making headlines for building upon this assessment. Poland’s Do Rzecy reported on his recent participation in a strategy session with the National Security Bureau, during which time he shared some unpopular truths about the NATO-Russian proxy war in Ukraine. Andrzejczak said that the situation doesn’t look good for Kiev at all when considering the economic dynamics of this conflict, with him drawing particular attention to finance, infrastructure issues, social issues, technology, and food production, et al. From this vantage point, he predicts that Russia can continue conducting its special operation for 1-2 more years before it begins to feel any structural pressure to curtail its activities.

By contrast, Kiev is burning through tens of billions of dollars’ worth of aid, yet it still remains very far away from achieving its maximum objectives. Andrzejczak candidly said that Poland’s Western partners aren’t properly assessing the challenges that stand in the way of Ukraine’s victory, including those connected to the “race of logistics”/ war of attrition” that the NATO chief declared in mid-February. Another serious problems concerns refugees’ unwillingness to return to their homeland anytime soon. These economic, logistical, and population factors combined to convince him that he must urgently raise the greatest possible awareness of these problems in order to “give Ukraine a chance to build its secure future”, which in the context that he shared this motivation, is a euphemism for even more Western aid. He elaborated by adding that “As a soldier, I am also obliged to present the most unfavorable and difficult to implement variant, giving a field to all those who can and should help Ukraine.”

Nobody should therefore doubt Andrzejczak’s intentions or suspect that he’s a so-called “Russian agent” since he sincerely wants the West to win its proxy war with Russia in Ukraine, but he’s also very worried that it might lose unless his side acknowledges the unpopular truths that he just shared. In his view, their failure to do so could doom Kiev to defeat, though the argument can also compellingly be made that indefinitely perpetuating this conflict like Poland seeks to do might be even more disastrous. After all, none of the three challenges that he drew attention to can be overcome anytime soon. The only exception might be the population one, but that would entail changing EU legislation in order to allow the expulsion of refugees, which is unlikely to happen. The economic and logistical factors are systemic ones, which affect not only Ukraine, but the entire West in general. It’s simply impossible to sustain the pace, scale, and scope of the West’s multidimensional aid to Ukraine if the conflict drags on.

As Andrzejczak himself admitted, “We just don’t have ammunition. The industry is not ready not only to send equipment to Ukraine, but also to replenish our stocks, which are melting.” Considering that Poland is Ukraine’s third most important patron behind the Anglo-American Axis, this strongly suggests that all other NATO members are struggling just as much as it is to keep up the pace, scale, and scope of support, if not more since many are a lot smaller and thus less capable of contributing in this respect. Accordingly, this observation means that Kiev’s upcoming counteroffensive will likely be its “last hurrah” prior to resuming peace talks with Russia since the West won’t be able to keep up its assistance for much longer. Andrzejczak seems keenly aware of this “politically inconvenient” fact, hence why he wants his side to give its proxies as much as possible until the end of that operation in the hopes that they can then be in a comparatively more advantageous position by the time these talks recommence.

Cavoli
https://twitter.com/i/status/1652039270784180246

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“Otherwise, they will not calm down, and the drug-addled nonsense can turn into reality and the war will drag on for a long time. Our country does not need that..”

Medvedev Calls For ‘Complete’ Dismantling Of ‘Kiev Regime’ (RT)

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has called for the “complete dismantling” of the “Kiev regime,” as well as for inflicting “mass destruction” on the country’s military personnel and hardware. Medvedev, who currently serves as deputy chair of Russia’s National Security Council, made the remarks in a Telegram post on Friday, commenting on an interview Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky recently gave to several Nordic media outlets. He summarized Zelensky’s comments as consisting of demands for more weapons from Kiev’s Western backers and promises of a successful counteroffensive, including an attack on Crimea, while also warning that the conflict may drag on for “decades.” While the interview appeared to be “contradictory” and “delusional,” even such statements should not be underestimated, Medvedev warned.

“One should not underestimate even delusional speeches. This is a hysterical manifesto of the Kiev regime, which is seeking to consolidate its Nazi elites, maintain the morale of the troops and receive additional support from its sponsors.” To successfully foil Kiev’s plans, Russia must inflict “mass destruction of personnel and military equipment” during the much-hyped Ukrainian counteroffensive and inflict a “maximum military defeat” on Kiev’s military, Medvedev said. Ultimately, the “Nazi regime in Kiev” must be “completely dismantled” and demilitarized throughout the entire territory of “former Ukraine,” he added. Apart from that, Russia must pursue those who manage to flee, and seek “retribution” against the “key figures of the Nazi regime, regardless of their location and without statute of limitations,” Medvedev stressed. Anything short of that would not suffice, the ex-president believes.

“Otherwise, they will not calm down, and the drug-addled nonsense can turn into reality and the war will drag on for a long time. Our country does not need that,” Medvedev said. The ex-president has repeatedly warned Kiev against any attempts to seize the Crimean peninsula, which broke away from Ukraine in the aftermath of the 2014 Maidan coup and joined Russia after locals overwhelmingly supported such a move during a referendum. Last month, Medvedev issued a nuclear warning to Kiev, cautioning that any attempt at a “serious offensive” targeting the peninsula would be “the basis for the use of all means of protection, including those provided for by the fundamentals of the Doctrine of Nuclear Deterrence.”

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“This state must not exist for us while there is no one but Russophobes in power and Ukraine is full of Polish mercenaries..”

Medvedev Sees No Point In Maintaining Diplomatic Relations With Poland (TASS)

Russia sees no sense in maintaining diplomatic relations with Poland as long as anti-Russian forces remain in power, Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev wrote on his Twitter page on Saturday. “I see no point in maintaining diplomatic relations with Poland. This state must not exist for us while there is no one but Russophobes in power and Ukraine is full of Polish mercenaries, who should be ruthlessly exterminated like stinky rats,” Medvedev wrote in English and Polish.


Medvedev’s tweet was posted in the wake of the situation with the school at the Russian embassy in Warsaw. Andrey Ordash, Minister-Councilor at the Russian embassy in Poland, told TASS that the Polish authorities had demanded that the staff of the Russian school at the embassy in Warsaw vacate the building by 7 p.m. on Saturday. The Russian Foreign Ministry said that Russia deems the Polish authorities’ intrusion into the Russian embassy school in Warsaw as a blatant violation of the 1961 Vienna Convention and another encroachment on Russian diplomatic property in Poland. The Foreign Ministry said that Warsaw’s steps would not remain without Moscow’s firm response and consequences for Poland.

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It won’t be their last new toy.

Russian Next-Gen T-14 Tank Makes Ukraine Debut (ZH)

While Western nations are working to upgrade Ukraine’s ground game with US M-1 Abrams and German Leopard 2 tanks, Russia has now introduced its latest-generation tank into the war in Ukraine, according to Russia’s state-owned RIA. The new Russian tank is the T-14 Armata, which features an unmanned turret, with a three-man crew operating the vehicle from what RIA describes as an “isolated armored capsule located at the front of the hull.” The tank has a maximum highway speed of 50 miles per hour. It’s equipped with a 125mm smoothbore main gun with a reported range of 8 kilometers. The gun is fed by an automated loader with a 45-round capacity, and can also fire laser-guided missiles.

On defense, it has both reactive armor that explodes outward upon a projectile’s impact, and an “active protection system” (APS), which BBC has described as “essentially an anti-missile system for tanks, with radars capable of tracking the incoming anti-tank missile, and projectiles that are launched to disrupt or destroy it.” The T-14 is additionally distinguished from predecessor T-90 tanks by having higher ground clearance. A developer also claimed the tank would have technology to hide it from radar- and heat-seeking targeting systems: “We essentially made the tank invisible.” RIA reports the deployed T-14s have received “additional side protection from anti-tank ammunition.”

Until now, T-14 appearances have been largely limited to a series of Moscow Victory Day parades stretching all the way back to 2015, though RIA says they have been “tested in Syria.” [..] The initial order called for 2,300 of them to be delivered by 2020. However, the UK claims “production is probably only in the low tens, while commanders are unlikely to trust the vehicle in combat,” and suggested its introduction in Ukraine may largely be for propaganda purposes. Of course, that jab may itself be propaganda.

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Mutti knew exactly what was going on with the Misk agreements. No use denying it.

Merkel Says She Used Everything To Try To Prevent Conflict In Ukraine (TASS)

Former German chancellor Angela Merkel said she used every means at her disposal to try to prevent the current conflict in Ukraine. “I used everything at my disposal to try to prevent this situation,” Merkel said, commenting on the Russian special operation in Ukraine on Saturday in an interview with the German daily Die Zeit. “The fact that it failed is not proof that it was wrong to try,” she stressed. Diplomacy is a “necessity,” as the ex-Chancellor noted.However. Merkel repeatedly defended her policy towards Russia. She called the efforts to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine after the events in Crimea in 2014 as part of the so-called Minsk agreements correct.

“I support these diplomatic efforts,” the former head of the German government said, adding that she was “very worried” about Ukraine. “To my great chagrin, there were quite a few who were not interested in this,” Merkel admitted. According to her, in the European Council Germany and France, made efforts to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine.= The ex-Chancellor of Germany said that she talked a lot with the former President of Ukraine Pyotr Poroshenko and the current President Vladimir Zelensky. “President Zelensky was very critical of the Minsk agreements. He already said this during his election campaign and noted that he considers it unfeasible,” Merkel stated.

She noted that, according to Ukrainian political leaders, this agreement is not popular in Ukraine, and it was very difficult to implement it politically. In an interview with Die Zeit, published on December 7, 2022, Merkel stated that the 2014 Minsk agreements were an attempt to let Ukraine gain time. She said “it was clear to everyone” that the conflict had been frozen and the problem had not been resolved. Russian President Vladimir Putin later said that he found Merkel’s statement completely unexpected and disappointing.

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“..the Asian country is on track to become Europe’s largest supplier of refined fuels this month..”

Europe Is Buying Record Amounts Of Refined Russian Fuels Through India

Last August, we were the first to show how Russia was bypassing Europe’s so-called commodities embargo: it was selling LNG to China which was then re-selling it to Europe at a substantial mark up. And while we also frequently reported that Russia was using a similar sanctions bypass for oil, this time using India instead of China, few were willing to confirm as much: after all, it would seem very shortsighted if European consumers were paying an extra surcharge to India, while Russia was not suffering any adverse consequences from Europe’s laughable “sanctions.” Not any more: on Friday, Bloomberg reported that for all of Europe’s fire and brimstone about an embargo (which has gotten decidedly quieter in recent months), “Russian oil is still powering Europe just with the help of India.”

As we reported at the time, last December the EU barred almost any seaborne crude oil imports from Russia. It extended the prohibition to refined fuels two months later. However, the rules didn’t stop countries like India from snapping up cheap Russian crude, turning it into fuels like diesel, and shipping it back to Europe at a big markup: as shown in the chart below, just the Brent to Urals price differential, a byproduct of the Russian sanctions, is about $25/bbl, almost a third of the price of a barrel of crude. The markups on Russian product are even greater when dealing with refined products such as gasoline or diesel. In fact, India has become so good at reselling Russian oil to the same Europeans who refuse to buy it directly from Moscow for a much lower price, that the Asian country is on track to become Europe’s largest supplier of refined fuels this month while simultaneously buying record amounts of Russian crude, according to data from analytics firm Kpler.


In other words, Europe is still buying Russian oil, keeping Putin’s military machine well-funded, but because of the virtue signaling exercise of buying Russian oil though a mediator, the transaction ends up costing Europeans billions more than if they simply had purchased the oil directly. “Russian oil is finding its way back into Europe despite all the sanctioning and India ramping up fuel exports to the west is a good example of it,” said Viktor Katona, lead crude analyst at the firm. “With India taking in so much Russian barrels, it’s inevitable.”

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They all do it.

Morocco Supplies Spain With Russian Diesel – El Mundo (RT)

Morocco is purchasing Russian diesel and other refined products at discounted prices and re-exporting the fuel to Spain, El Mundo reported on Friday, citing ship tracking sources. Data from navigation tracking portal Vesselfinder showed that, on April 28, at least three tankers were heading from Russia’s Baltic ports to Morocco carrying approximately 170,000 tons of oil products on board. The North African country, which bought about 600,000 barrels of Russian diesel throughout 2021, ramped up imports of the product to 2 million barrels in January 2023, with another 1.2 million barrels arriving in the country in February, according to tracking sources. Morocco’s fuel exports almost stopped after its only processing plant was shut down in 2015 over unpaid taxes and legal hurdles, leaving the country dependent on refined oil imports.

In the beginning of the year, Rabat resumed fuel supplies and expanded exports of diesel from its Horizon Tanger terminal to Spain, Türkiye, Ghana, and southern Africa, the outlet said. In January, the country sent 280,000 barrels of diesel to the Spanish Canary Islands and another 270,000 barrels to Türkiye. “At the end of 2022, Morocco began to buy diesel fuel from Moscow at an average of more than 7 million liters per day. In parallel, Rabat began to export it to Spain,” the outlet wrote. According to ship tracking data, Moroccan deliveries now account for 10% of monthly Spanish demand for diesel, estimated at $60 million. According to some media reports, in March, Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria accounted for 30% of Russia’s diesel exports.

Meanwhile, the Spanish government has pledged to ensure that no Russian fuel enters the kingdom. “Our obligation is to investigate what happens with the fuel [supplies],” Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Teresa Ribera told reporters on Friday. “Initially, it comes with documents confirming its appropriate origin,” she added. Russia has been diversifying its energy supplies in response to Western sanctions after the EU stopped accepting the country’s oil transported by sea. In December, the EU, G7, and allied countries imposed an embargo and a $60-per-barrel price cap on Russian crude. Similar restrictions were introduced in February for exports of petroleum products.

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Posturing.

US Troops Drill For Taiwan War – Media (RT)

The US Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) has reportedly carried out drills simulating its response to a Chinese seizure of Taiwan for the first time, reflecting rising concern in Washington that Beijing may try to seize control of the self-governing island by force. The Taiwan scenario was played out as part of the USAOC’s annual capabilities exercise, known as CAPEX, at North Carolina’s Fort Bragg, Military.com reported on Saturday. Troops practiced being inserted into Taiwan to help defend against a Chinese offensive, using a concrete mock-up on the base to simulate the environment in which they would fight the People’s Republic of China (PRC). “The PRC, in accordance with our national defense strategy, is our true pacing challenge out there,” Lieutenant General Jonathan Braga, commander of USASOC, said in a speech before the exercise on Thursday. “Ultimately, what we’re trying to do is prevent World War III. That’s our job.”

The drills included firing recoilless rifles, breaching tunnels and operating Switchblade drones, the media outlet said. The special forces used some of the same weaponry and tactics employed during Washington’s so-called War on Terror, along with “other tools reflecting a seismic shift for the command as it prepares for potential conflict against major military rivals.” It’s unusual for USASOC to identify the opposition force so directly during APEX, “given the military’s hesitancy to overtly suggest conflict,” according to Military.com. US-China relations have deteriorated in the past year amid Beijing’s refusal to join in a Western sanctions campaign against Russia over the Ukraine crisis. Chinese officials have accused US leaders of emboldening separatists in Taiwan, such as when then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi traveled to Taipei last August. China responded by breaking off defense and climate ties with Washington and launching massive military drills in the Taiwan Strait.

The US government recognizes, without endorsing, China’s claim to sovereignty over Taiwan. For decades, Washington has maintained a policy of “strategic ambiguity,” keeping Beijing and Taipei guessing as to whether, and to what extent, the US military would intervene if China invaded Taiwan. However, President Joe Biden has repeatedly hinted that Washington would come to Taiwan’s aid militarily in the event of a Chinese offensive. Washington think tanks have conducted wargaming exercises in recent months to simulate how a war over Taiwan might play out. One such study was done for a congressional committee by the Center for New American Security, which found earlier this month that US forces would be unable to resupply Taiwan with weapons and equipment once a Chinese offensive began. An exercise done by the Center for Strategic and International Studies found that although US and Japanese forces would be able to successfully repel Beijing’s offensive, they would lose dozens of warships, hundreds of planes, and thousands of troops.

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“Such restrictions, for whatever reason, do not comply with the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement and the principles and norms of the EU Single Market..”

Kiev Decries EU Restrictions On Ukrainian Imports (RT)

The Ukrainian authorities have sent notes of protest to the Polish and EU embassies, decrying the restrictions on imports of the country’s agricultural products to the bloc. This was announced on Saturday by Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Oleg Nikolenko in a Facebook post. According to Nikolenko, Ukraine considers the restrictions “utterly unacceptable.” “Such restrictions, for whatever reason, do not comply with the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement and the principles and norms of the EU Single Market,” he wrote. The minister noted that Kiev has “all legal grounds” to immediately resume its exports to Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and Bulgaria and continue uninterrupted transit of all Ukrainian products to other countries both inside and outside of the EU. “The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry urged its [EU] partners to find a balanced solution based on EU legislation, the Association Agreement, and in the spirit of solidarity,” he added.


Earlier this month, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and Bulgaria unilaterally banned the import of agricultural products from Ukraine in a bid to protect their domestic markets, which has been overflowing with cheap Ukrainian products. Romania did not impose an import ban, but joined the other four in calls for Brussels to free the region of Ukrainian goods. After two weeks of discussions, the European Commission and the five member states struck a deal on Friday, which involves replacing the individual bans placed by the countries on Ukrainian imports with “emergency safeguard measures” for four major staples – wheat, maize, rapeseed, and sunflower seeds. Sources claim that imports of these crops into the five Eastern European countries will likely be blocked unless for transit.

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They treat Ukraine like a member. It’s not.

EU Reaches Deal On Ukrainian Food Imports (RT)

The European Commission on Friday struck an agreement with five EU member-states to help clear the supply glut caused by Ukrainian agricultural imports. The announcement was made on Twitter by EU trade chief Valdis Dombrovskis. “The European Commission has reached an agreement in principle with Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania & Slovakia regarding Ukraine agri-food products. We have acted to address concerns of both farmers in neighboring EU countries and Ukraine,” Dombrovskis wrote on the social media platform. According to the official, the key elements of the new deal include the withdrawal of unilateral import restrictions previously placed by the countries on Ukrainian agricultural produce, a €100 million ($110 million) support package for the member-states’ farmers, and “emergency safeguard measures” for four Ukrainian staples – wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower seeds.

Dombrovskis did not elaborate on what these emergency measures would entail, but sources claim that the imports of these crops into the five Eastern European countries will likely be blocked unless for transit. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen welcomed the deal, saying that it would help guarantee the transit of Ukrainian produce. “This agreement preserves both Ukraine’s export capacity so that it continues to feed the world, and the livelihoods of our farmers,” she tweeted. In June last year, the EU lifted tariffs and quotas for Ukrainian agricultural imports for one year in order to enable grain from Ukraine to be shipped to global markets amid the conflict with Russia. Many of the shipments, however, ended up in Eastern European countries, flooding their markets with cheap produce and sparking protests among local farmers.

Earlier this month, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and Bulgaria unilaterally banned agricultural products imported from Ukraine in bid to protect their markets. While Romania had not imposed its own import ban, it joined the other four in urging Brussels to find a solution to the glut of Ukrainian produce. Import bans were deemed “unacceptable” by Brussels, as they undermined the bloc’s single market rules. The news of a deal on Ukrainian food imports followed a decision by EU ambassadors to extend Ukraine’s tariff-free access to the bloc’s market by another year. However, the extension is still subject to formal approval by the European Parliament and EU countries in the coming weeks.

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“The connection between Joe Biden and Hynansky’s business ventures dates back to 2009, when the then-vice president made his first visit to Ukraine..”

War Threatens Ukraine Auto Empire of Biden Megadonor (Sperry)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky isn’t the only one demanding more military assistance from President Biden to protect Kiev from Russian forces. So too is a close Delaware friend and financial backer of Biden, who owns several luxury car dealerships around the Ukrainian capital. By sending billions of dollars in weapons and other military aid to help defend Ukraine, Biden also is securing the investments of millionaire car magnate John Hynansky, a Ukrainian American and longtime supporter of the president. Over the course of Biden’s political career, Hynansky and his family have contributed more than $100,000 to his campaigns, including $8,000 in 2020, Federal Election Commission records show. Hynansky family members have been guests at the White House, and Hynansky has floated hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans to Biden family members, property records show.

Hynansky’s son, Michael, who helps run his car empire, lent the use of his Lear jet to Biden when he was a senator. Since Russia started shelling the area around Kiev in February 2022, the U.S. government has spent $77 billion to help Ukraine rebuild and repel future attacks. Government ethics watchdogs say the president’s friendship poses a potential conflict of interest that demands a full accounting of how the massive foreign aid, which includes open-ended humanitarian and economic assistance, has been used and who has benefited from it. On the military side, moreover, billions of dollars have gone to unspecified areas, such as “security,” “intelligence,” and “training.” In the past, Hynansky has supplied the police cars and ambulances in several regions of Ukraine.

[..] The connection between Joe Biden and Hynansky’s business ventures dates back to 2009, when the then-vice president made his first visit to Ukraine. In a speech in Kiev to government officials, Biden singled out Hynansky for praise, noting that he had just had breakfast with “my very good friend, John Hynansky.” (The previous year, Hynansky had individually contributed more than $33,000 to the Obama-Biden ticket primarily through the Obama Victory Fund, according to FEC records.) Within months of his hobnobbing with the vice president and local officials in the Ukrainian capital, Hynansky scored his first international development loan from the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation, or OPIC, a federal body whose board was appointed by President Obama.

Hynansky used the $2.5 million to break ground on a new headquarters and massive distribution center outside Kiev that prepares 8,000 cars for sale every year. In 2012, Hynansky landed another $20 million in OPIC funding to expand his dealership facilities, federal records show, helping him corner roughly 25% of the luxury car market in Ukraine. “The proceeds of the loan will be used to construct and operate two new, state-of-the-art dealership facilities for Porsche and Land Rover/Jaguar automobiles, and repay any outstanding balance of an existing OPIC loan,” according to a 2012 OPIC financing document.

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Without implicating the Big Guy?

Hunter’s Collapsing World: A Criminal Plea Could Now Be Best Option (Turley)

This week, Hunter Biden’s defense team traveled to Delaware seeking an update on the federal criminal investigation that has dragged on for almost five years. The reason seems clear: Time is running out on Hunter and the Biden family. After years of delaying disclosures and admissions, Hunter could now be pushing to cap off the criminal side of the scandal before more information is released in Arkansas and Washington. For the White House, even a criminal plea is preferred if they can avoid one particular claim — and they may be succeeding. For years, the Bidens have worked (with the media’s help) to delay any recognition of the influence peddling and corruption that may be revealed on Hunter Biden’s laptop. Even this week, in child support proceedings in Arkansas, Hunter’s counsel continued to refuse to admit ownership of the laptop abandoned at The Mac Shop in Wilmington, Del., in April 2019.

It won’t work any more than his long refusal to acknowledge his fathering of his four-year-old child, Navy. Just as Hunter could not deny DNA, forensic and other evidence will soon make his laptop denials untenable in proceedings in which he and his counsel are required to tell the truth. These proceedings are now colliding for the Bidens. With the laptop being raised in Arkansas and being investigated in Washington by House committees, time is up and the Biden team knows it. An establishment of the laptop’s authenticity in one forum could produce cascading effects in the other forums. There has already been a recent shift to a scorched-earth strategy, including reportedly threatening possible witnesses and calling for the IRS to investigate critics.

New leaks from the Justice Department investigation have indicated that prosecutors are considering four charges: two misdemeanor counts for failure to file taxes, a single felony count of tax evasion related to a business expense for one year of taxes and a potential felony count on falsifying a form linked to a gun permit. Those four charges could well result in jail time, but the situation is likely to get worse for Hunter if the House reveals new evidence of foreign dealings and payments. That is why a capstone plea could control the damage for both Hunter and his father. A capstone is designed to protect against erosion and even help to hold together an arch that might otherwise collapse. This capstone plea could avoid a worst scenario (and charge) that would undermine years of denials by both Bidens.

However, there was one conspicuous omission from the list of potential charges that may also indicate a reason to push toward a plea. There is no mention of a charge as an unregistered foreign agent under the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA). The Justice Department aggressively used this charge against Trump figures like Paul Manafort and, if the same standard is applied, it is hard to see the basis for discarding the charge in the Hunter Biden case. The laptop shows emails from various foreign sources, including some with close connections to foreign governments and intelligence services. There are also records of visits of clients and business associates to the White House as well as pictures with then-Vice President Joe Biden. Finally, there are emails showing Hunter reached out to high-ranking officials like Antony Blinken for “advice.” Now our secretary of state, Blinken was then deputy secretary of state.

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“..merger accounting rules would require a buyer to immediately mark down FRC’s assets to fair value..”

No Buyer for First Republic Bank at Any Price (Mish)

In one of the biggest bank collapses ever, First Republic Bank is down 96 percent in two months. But look on the bright side. Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) fared even worse. At least FRC is still kicking. It rose 8.79 percent on Thursday. You likely can’t give FRC away. There would be no takers. Its assets are worth less than zero. That’s because merger accounting rules would require a buyer to immediately mark down FRC’s assets to fair value. FRC lost $100 billion in deposits. And unlike SVB, it is stuck with severely underwater mortgage loans. The FRC business model was to give ridiculously cheap mortgage loans to high-wealth clients in return for their business. When that model started blowing up, clients pulled their deposits.


Given all around silliness by banks chasing yield, any buyer would likely have to raise capital which would hammer their own share price. According to the WSJ, Autonomous Research analyst David Smith commented “It might cost you $30 billion of capital to buy the bank for free.” If the run on assets continues, either the Treasury or the Fed is likely to step in. Elizabeth Warren would then moan about the Fed bailing out the wealthy. If the bank went under, she would moan about something else. Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen repeated her comment that the U.S. banking system remains sound and the U.S. government will take “any necessary steps” to keep it the strongest and safest financial system in the world.

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“envisage our future utopia”, suggesting that Ireland must “rebalance economy, ecology and ethics..”

Irish President Condemns ‘Obsession’ With Economic Growth (Leahy)

President Michael D Higgins has condemned the “obsession” with achieving economic growth in a speech on Friday that was implicitly critical of the economic policies pursued by successive governments. In a reception at Áras an Uachtaráin for Tasc, a think tank dedicated to social change, the President delivered a typically wide-ranging speech that featured a strong critique of economic policy that seeks to prioritise growth, a condemnation of “neoliberalism” and an evaluation of the shortcomings of the teaching of economics at universities. He also urged those present to “envisage our future utopia”, suggesting that Ireland must “rebalance economy, ecology and ethics”. And he insisted that the current exchequer surplus was not just the product of corporation tax receipts from multinationals, but “has been made possible by an educated and hard-working population”.


“Many economists remain stuck in an inexorable growth narrative, or at best a ‘green growth’ narrative,” he said. “A fixation on a narrowly defined efficiency, productivity, perpetual growth has resulted in a discipline that has become blinkered to the ecological challenge – the ecological catastrophe – we now face. “That narrow focus constitutes an empty economics which has lost touch with everything meaningful, a social science which no longer is connected, or even attempts to be connected, with the social issues and objectives for which it was developed over centuries. It is incapable of offering solutions to glaring inadequacies of provision as to public needs, devoid of vision.” Later he added: “Our obsession with inexorable economic expansion expresses, perhaps, a desire to transcend our material limits and rise above the state of nature. Yet this growth fixation paradoxically increases the potency of those very limits. “A deadly cocktail of exploding inequalities, massive deregulation and a globalisation defined solely by trade densities has precipitated this ecological crisis.”

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Fern
https://twitter.com/i/status/1652411867732557825

 

 

 

 


Greta oto, also known as glasswinged butterfly, has transparent wings with a span of 5.6 to 6.1 cm

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 092023
 
 April 9, 2023  Posted by at 8:57 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  24 Responses »


Rembrandt van Rijn Abraham and the angels 1646

 

Why Will Ukraine Disappear? Because Nobody Needs It (Medvedev)
Human Destiny In Ukraine (Eve Ottenberg)
BRICS Carries Greater Economic Weight Than G7 – Study (RT)
US Ready For War With China – Congressman (RT)
‘Peace In The Middle East? That’s A Threat.’ (MoA)
US Will Threaten Europe To Implement Sanctions on Russia (Antiwar)
Details Of Kiev’s Botched Assault On Nuclear Plant Emerge – The Times (RT)
Hidden Sanctions On Russian Grain Could Spark Global Famine – Official (RT)
Poland Suspends Imports Of Ukrainian Grain (Pol.eu)
Finland May Come To Regret Joining NATO When Everyone Sobers Up (Lukyanov)
Italy’s Birth Rate At Historic Low (RT)
RFK Jr. Strongly Disapproves Of CBDCs And Digital IDs (IP)
When Trump Sucks All The Oxygen In The Race – Katty Kay (BBC)
The Case Against the Case Against Julian Assange (Rohde)
Biden Admin Has No Plans To Drop Charges Against Assange (Maynard)

 

 

 

 

Ritter: “[Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valery] Zaluzhny, in a conversation with Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Pentagon, said that 250,000 Ukrainian soldiers were killed. About 83,000 are missing, of which about 60,000 are most likely dead. This gives an approximate number of 315,000 dead.”

 

 

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

Just start in 1950

 

 

Ukr batallion
https://twitter.com/i/status/1644650854702538758

 

 

Odessa 2014

 

 

MAGS

 

 

 

 

Country 404.

“..those who stayed want to leave for any place: the hated Poland, EU, NATO, to be America’s 51nd state. Joining the Antarctic with its pinguins will also be fine.”

Why Will Ukraine Disappear? Because Nobody Needs It (Medvedev)

1. Europe doesn’t need Ukraine. The forced support of the Nazi regime, by the American mentor’s order, has put Europeans into a financial and political inferno. All for the sake of bandera’s unterukraine, that even the snobby, insolent Polacks don’t take for a valid country, and time and again toss in the issue of its western areas anschluss. There’s a nice perspective ahead: to permanently put the nouveau-Ukrainian blood-sucking parasites on the decrepit EU’s arthritis-crippled neck. That’ll be the final fall of Europe, once majestic, but robbed off by degeneration.

2. The US doesn’t need Ukraine. True, the military and sanction campaigns are attempted for PR by political blabbermouths, who long ago attested to their impotence and imbecility. Average Americans don’t understand what “Ukraine” is, and where “it” is. Most of them won’t show this “power” on the map on the first take. Why won’t the US establishment focus on inflation and job issues, or emergencies in their home States, instead of a country 404, unbeknownst to them? Why does so much dough go across the ocean? Sooner or later, they’ll ask for that. Then, storming of the Capitol in January 2021 would seem like scout games.

3. Africa and Latin America don’t need Ukraine. The hundreds of millions spent by US on pointless fights in Ukraine, could finance many development programmes for Latin American and African states. Latin America is gringos’ backyard – that’s what they’ve been rubbing in for decades. Africa’s had its share of suffering from the genocide, and colonial dependence, imposed by former western slave traders. That’s why the people of African huts and Latin American favelas ask a very reasonable question: for their former suffering and present-day loyalty, why is somebody else rewarded – very, very far away?

4. Asia doesn’t need Ukraine. By Russia’s example, they see “colour” technologies at work to eradicate the largest competing powers. They understand what scenario the America-led collective West has for them if they disobey. “Help us to overcome Russia, and we’ll soon come to you”, the utterly brazen Western leaders tell them. Such gigantic countries as India, China, and other Asia-Pacific states face the big enough challenge of post-pandemic economic recovery, let aside the drugged clowns, with their whining for aid. “We are not interested in you”, Asia tells their messengers, responding to the calls to support Ukraine and confine Russia. The country, geopolitically many times closer to Asian powers, the one that historically has proven itself a reliable strategic partner. Do Asian giants need such headache coming from former colonisers?

5. Russia doesn’t need Ukraine. A threadbare quilt, torn, shaggy, and greasy. The new Malorossiya of 1991 is made up of the artificially cut territories, many of which are indigenously Russian, separated by accident in the 20th century. Millions of our compatriots live there, harassed for years by the Nazi Kiev regime. It is them who we defend in our special military operation, relentlessly eradicating the enemy. We don’t need unterukraine. We need Big Great Russia.

6. Finally, its own citizens don’t need the Nazi-headed Ukraine. That’s why out of 45 million people there’re only some 20 million remaining. That’s why those who stayed want to leave for any place: the hated Poland, EU, NATO, to be America’s 51nd state. Joining the Antarctic with its pinguins will also be fine. As long as it’s quiet, and the food’s good. The ruling junta’s criminal ambitions forced Ukrainians to beg and roam around the countries and continents, searching for a better life. All that is for an obscure European perspective. Or rather, to let the harlequin in a khaki tricot and his band of thievish Nazi clowns to put the money stolen from the West into their offshore accounts. Would ordinary Ukrainians need that? Nobody on this planet needs such a Ukraine. That’s why it will disappear

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“The strengthening of [Ukraine’s] military power alongside powerful fortifications erected near Donbass indicates the U.S. intention to initiate a conflict in the region.”

Human Destiny In Ukraine (Eve Ottenberg)

The deficiencies in the American character have rotted the world. And that’s without discussion of the abyss of human wickedness of senators who, like Lindsay Graham or Tom Cotton, call for war which would end in nuclear winter and five billion starving, then dead humans, or Joe Manchin, who wanted a no-fly zone – with, of course, the same radioactive results. But these character deficiencies at the top also have had unintended consequences that could spell a swerve off the U.S.-caused fatal trajectory of human destiny. American bullying and relentless aggression has created problems for itself, namely the tremendous Russia/China alliance and the eagerness and support that union receives from the Global South. Washington elites would like nothing better than to splinter that alliance, and thus perhaps succeed at destroying first Russia then China, separately. But Beijing and Moscow have caught on. So has the Global South, whose members pile as fast as they can into Russian and Chinese-led groups like the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and BRICS, which has now outstripped the G-7 in how much wealth – and certainly population – it represents.


Humanity stands at a crossroads. The American Empire’s hubris has brought our fate to a point where the two most heavily nuclear-armed nations could get into a shooting war. If nuclear war erupts, we’re not just talking about the incineration of American and Russian cities, but more – to repeat, those five billion people who starve to death due to nuclear winter. But this was the atrocious risk American elites were prepared to take when they provoked Russia. As John Ross writes in a new book, Waging the New Cold War, coauthored with Deborah Veneziale and John Bellamy Foster, since the U.S.-backed coup in Kiev in 2014, Washington has prepared for war against Russia in Ukraine, thrusting the human future into a crucible for superpower conflict centered on Kiev. “The strengthening of [Ukraine’s] military power alongside powerful fortifications erected near Donbass indicates the U.S. intention to initiate a conflict in the region.”

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That’s nothing yet. Pepe Escobar talks of BRIICSS, adding Iran and Saudi Arabia. And then there’s Algeria, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Iran, Egypt, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, Türkiye, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela, all of whom want in.

BRICS Carries Greater Economic Weight Than G7 – Study (RT)

The BRICS group, comprising the world’s five major developing economies, has overtaken the Group of Seven (G7) by making up a larger share of the global gross domestic product (GDP) based on purchasing power parity, data compiled by Acorn Macro Consulting, a UK-based macroeconomic research firm, shows. According to the findings, the bloc of BRICS countries, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, contributes 31.5% of the world’s GDP. Meanwhile, the G7, consisting of the US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the UK, and considered the most advanced economic bloc of countries on the planet, add up to 30.7%. The gap between the two groups is expected to continue to grow, analysts say, as China and India are experiencing robust economic growth, and more countries are interested in joining BRICS.


Earlier this year, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that “more than a dozen” nations have expressed an interest in joining BRICS, including Algeria, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Iran, Egypt, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, Türkiye, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bangladesh have acquired equity in the New Development Bank, BRICS’ funding organization. Last year, BRICS countries proposed creating their own currency in order to move away from the US dollar and the euro in mutual transactions. International settlements in those currencies were made difficult for Russia, a BRICS founding member, by Ukraine-related sanctions. More recently, Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested the use of the Chinese yuan in transactions with BRICS allies and other international partners in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Malaysia
https://twitter.com/i/status/1644672070117097472

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McCaul is the quintessential American idiot.

US Ready For War With China – Congressman (RT)

US Congress would authorize a direct military confrontation with China if Beijing launched an attack against Taiwan, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul told Fox News on Friday evening. The Texas Republican representative was talking from Taipei during a three-day bipartisan delegation visit to the self-governing island. American lawmakers would consent to putting boots on the ground if people in the US support the measure, McCaul said, without elaborating on how exactly such support would be measured. “If communist China invaded Taiwan, it would certainly be on the table and something that would be discussed by Congress and with the American people,” he said, adding that “if the American people support this, the Congress will follow.”

However, McCaul insisted that a “conflict is always a last resort” and described the US delegation’s visit as a way to “provide deterrence to China.” US-Chinese relations have previously been strained by the visits of American delegations to Taiwan, which China considers an inalienable part of its sovereign territory. The representative also maintained that discussions about a potential use of force by America in the Indo-Pacific region serve as a “deterrent for peace” since “you don’t have NATO in the Pacific.” Doing otherwise would mean inviting “aggression and war,” McCaul claimed. Beijing has repeatedly opposed Taiwan’s contacts with the US. The Chinese Foreign Ministry warned on Wednesday that the Taiwan issue is “the first red line that must not be crossed in China-US relations.” Washington formally adheres to the One China policy, by which Taiwan is considered an integral part of China. At the same time, the US enjoys close informal relations with the self-governing island and supplies it with weapons.

Washington has ramped up military support for Taiwan in recent months. In the Wall Street Journal, it was reported that the US was planning to increase its troop presence on the island from 30 to between 100 and 200 soldiers as it seeks to help Taiwan make the island “harder to assault.” In early March, the US State Department also announced that it was approving arms sales to Taipei, including $619 million worth of munitions for F-16 fighter jets. On Saturday, the Chinese military announced the launch of three days of exercises in the Taiwan Strait. The drills, held at the same time as McCaul’s visit to Taipei and just a day after Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen returned from the US, was designed as a warning to Taiwan and “external forces,” the Chinese military said.

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“Brazilian journalist Jamil Chade reports that China and Brazil have already begun working on a joint peace proposal for the Russia/Ukraine conflict, which will be finalized and presented to the public during Lula’s visit to China (April 11-15).”

“The Saudis have had enough of U.S. interference in their region. They are looking for development and development requires peace.”

Ending the war on Yemen is the deal clincher.

‘Peace In The Middle East? That’s A Threat.’ (MoA)

Thanks to China’s and Russia’s mediation peace is breaking out in the Middle East. Elijah J. Magnier @ejmalrai – 4:14 UTC · Apr 8, 2023 #BreakingNews: “The United Arab Emirates has begun withdrawing its forces from #Yemen. The Saudi-Emirati-Yemenite agreement will be announced soon.” The Middle East is solving its conflicts without the #US negative impact. Elijah J. Magnier @ejmalrai · Apr 7 Great news: “#SaudiArabia will announce the end of the war in #Yemen after the Eid al-Fitr. Saudi is ending all its (high/low) conflicts in the Middle East with #Iran, #Syria, #Iraq, #Yemen & #Lebanon (not interested in the country for now) to turn towards its own development. …” Peace will also come to Syria. The foreign minister of Saudi Arabia will soon visit Damascus. He will invite Syria to rejoin the Arab League. An Arab League summit will be held next month in Saudi Arabia and the Syrian president Bashar al Assad is expected to be there.

This comes after agreements between Iran and Saudi Arabia to bury the hatchet and after agreements between Iraq and Iran to reign in a Kurdish uprising in Iran that was controlled by Kurdish forces in Iraq. ‘We can’t have that’, says U.S. president Joe Biden. He sent CIA director Bill Burns to Saudi Arabia to threaten consequences: “CIA Director Bill Burns made an unannounced trip to Saudi Arabia this week where he reportedly aired Washington’s frustrations over Riyadh’s opening to Iran and Syria through mediation brokered by US rivals China and Russia. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a US official confirmed the trip to Al-Monitor. “Director Burns traveled to Saudi Arabia where he met with intelligence counterparts and country leaders on issues of shared interest,” the US official said.”


The official did not disclose the exact day of the trip but said that Burns discussed intelligence cooperation, especially in the area of counterterrorism. The CIA director met the country’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. Burns likely threatened to withhold U.S. intelligence on terrorist groups from the Saudis. The CIA could additionally push some of its ISIS assets to make some nasty appearances in Saudi Arabia to then offer ‘help’ to ‘fight terrorism’. I do not think that this will work. The Saudis have had enough of U.S. interference in their region. They are looking for development and development requires peace.

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It is simple: “..the more countries the US sanctions, the more these targeted nations may cooperate as trading partners..”

US Will Threaten Europe To Implement Sanctions on Russia (Antiwar)

The White House plans to send a clear message to its European partners in the economic war against Russia, “you are either with us or against us.” Two US Treasury officials will visit European and Central Asian partners next month to demand all sanctions on Russia be implemented. Treasury officials Liz Rosenberg and Brian Nelson will meet with leaders of financial institutions in Switzerland, Italy and Germany. The AP reports the officials will have a simple message, “1. Continue to provide Moscow with material support or 2. Keep doing business with countries that represent 50 percent of the global economy.” Rosenberg and Nelson will provide their European counterparts with intelligence on alleged sanctions evaders. If those countries fail to crack down on those still doing business with Russia, then Washington is threatening to issue “penalties.”

It is unclear how far the Joe Biden administration is willing to punish NATO allies for violating sanctions. The policy echoes President George W. Bush’s doctrine that countries must either actively align with Washington in its Middle East wars, or else be judged as working “with the terrorists.” It is unclear how Europe will respond to the Joe Biden administration’s threats. Some EU members were in favor of a plan that would lift sanctions on the Belarusian fertilizer industry. Additionally, stricter sanctions implementation could threaten the Black Sea grain export agreement. The deal, brokered by Turkey and the UN, allows Ukraine’s heavily mined Black Sea ports to export agricultural products. Moscow has been willing to extend the agreement several times but is threatening to terminate it over Western sanctions preventing Russia from reaping the agreement’s benefits. After Russia invaded Ukraine last year, the White House unleashed a series of sanctions that it considered an economic nuclear weapon.

However, the attempt to isolate Moscow’s economy has largely floundered. While the Russian rouble has dipped in recent days, throughout most of the war Moscow has weathered the sanctions by increasing trade with Asia. Washington has only rallied its NATO allies and other close partners to adopt the sanctions. Meanwhile, China has added more countries to its Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and Saudi Arabia and Turkey are two of the latest prospective members. Upon becoming a member of the SCO, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi observed that the more countries the US sanctions, the more these targeted nations may cooperate as trading partners.”The relationship between countries that are sanctioned by the US, such as Iran, Russia or other countries, can overcome many problems and issues and make them stronger,” he said. “The Americans think whichever country they impose sanctions on, it will be stopped, their perception is a wrong one.”

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“..the attack involved some 600 elite Ukrainian soldiers who tried to cross the Dnieper River on October 19 by boat..”

Details Of Kiev’s Botched Assault On Nuclear Plant Emerge – The Times (RT)

Ukraine’s “highly dangerous”operation to capture the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant last year ended in failure due to heavy Russian resistance, The Times reported on Friday, citing its sources. According to Kiev’s military personnel interviewed by the British newspaper, the attack involved some 600 elite Ukrainian soldiers who tried to cross the Dnieper River on October 19 by boat. The operation hinged on the presumption that Moscow’s troops would not be able to fire artillery so close to the nuclear power plant, which is the largest in Europe, one officer told The Times. However, the paper’s sources said the team met unexpected resistance. Moscow’s forces had “mined everything” and “even pulled up tanks and artillery” to fire on Kiev’s forces while they were on the water, the officer added.

The assault was supported by Ukrainian artillery, including US-made HIMARS systems, but Russian resistance resulted in only a fraction of the Ukrainian force coming ashore. After a three-hour firefight on the outskirts of Energodar, the town hosting the plant, the Ukrainian soldiers were forced to retreat, the report says. Some senior Ukrainian officials viewed the offensive as controversial, with the president of Ukraine’s nuclear operator Energoatom, Pyotr Kotin, telling The Times: “it is very dangerous to do such things near nuclear material. Any damage will bring radiation to the people and to the whole world.” The report appears to echo the Russian Defense Ministry’s statement at the time. On October 19, it said Kiev’s forces attempted – without success – to mount an amphibious operation in the area, involving up to two Ukrainian companies and a total of 37 boats.

The military claimed Ukraine lost over 90 soldiers and 14 boats. Russia and Ukraine have repeatedly accused each other of shelling the Zaporozhye NPP, which has been under Moscow’s control since last February. Russian officials have on numerous occasions warned that Kiev’s attacks could trigger a nuclear disaster. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has called on both parties to create a safe zone around the facility, but the negotiations on the matter have failed to achieve a breakthrough. In late March, Rafael Grossi, the nuclear watchdog’s chief, said the idea was no longer being considered. Instead of establishing a safe zone, the IAEA now wants Kiev and Moscow to promise not to target the plant, or use it for staging attacks.

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Short: you can buy it, but you cannot pay for it.

Hidden Sanctions On Russian Grain Could Spark Global Famine – Official (RT)

Russian grain exporters have been hit by indirect sanctions, as Western businesses were unable to provide services critical to the industry, the head of the Russian Union of Grain Exporters has said in an interview with RT. Eduard Zernin explained that even though grain is exempt from anti-Russia sanctions imposed by Western powers, firms located or registered in those countries were systemically refusing to work with Russian suppliers. “Among them are banking institutions of this or that country that have been rejecting payments, or vessels flying the flag of this or that country that suddenly stopped entering Russian ports despite all the valid licenses,” Zernin said. “We have seen a wave of individual initiatives, the scale of which was massive.”

Russia accounts for more than 20% of the world’s grain shipments, the official noted, adding that the latest attempts “to erase or cancel Russian produce from global markets has failed,” as the elimination of such a prodigious amount of supplies would inevitably trigger a global food crisis. “Direct pressure is impossible, but if we face another upsurge in disguised sanctions targeting shipments of Russian grain, famine may be inevitable,” he warned. According to Zernin, the hidden sanctions applied to Russian exporters last year sent prices for wheat surging from $300 to $450 per ton. He added that prices began declining only when those restrictions were eased, after the Russian Union of Grain Exporters raised concerns on the international level, having alerted the United Nations to the issue.

“We have faced and are still facing challenges related to banking operations,” Zerin said. “We managed to resolve nearly all the issues relating to fleets, partly arising from increased freight tariffs.” According to the head of the union, Russian grain exporters have also been cut off from the legal regulation platform as part of Western restrictions. “As a result, we are not able to resolve any legal disputes at specialised arbitration platforms,” he said. Zernin noted that the Russian Union of Grain Exporters has had to establish direct contacts with major importers of agricultural produce, to reduce the impact of sanctions. “We have defined our focus markets, such as the Middle East and North African countries, the world’s biggest grain consumers, we have established direct ties with them, and developed new strategies for trading with every nation separately,” he explained. According to the official, Russian exporters now work either under Russian legislation or follow the requirements of domestic laws of partners, staying out of global legislative framework.

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“Romania and Bulgaria have seen similar waves of unrest, with farmers staging demonstrations in the capitals and blocking border crossings.”

Poland Suspends Imports Of Ukrainian Grain (Pol.eu)

Poland will temporarily stop all imports of grain from Ukraine, the two countries’ governments announced Friday. The measure comes after a meeting earlier in the day between Poland’s new Agriculture Minister Robert Telus, who took office Thursday, with his Ukrainian counterpart Mykola Solskyi at a border crossing between the two countries. “The Ukrainian side has proposed to severely restrict, and for the moment even stop completely, grain arrivals to Poland,” Telus said during a joint press conference after the meeting. He added that restrictions would not extend to the transit of grain intended for other countries. Following Russia’s invasion, Ukraine was forced to divert around half of its exports from the blocked Black Sea ports into Poland, Hungary, Romania and other border countries.

The move, facilitated by the European Commission and EU countries, was meant to throw an economic lifeline to Ukraine, one of the world’s largest agricultural producers, and ensure its exports could reach global markets. But, instead of leaving the EU’s eastern member countries, much of the produce has instead flooded local markets. Earlier this week, Telus’ predecessor, Henryk Kowalczyk, resigned amid mass farmers’ protests over the issue. Romania and Bulgaria have seen similar waves of unrest, with farmers staging demonstrations in the capitals and blocking border crossings.

“The situation is difficult for both Ukrainian and Polish farmers. We all understand who is to blame, but we have to solve this problem. The Ukrainian side will refrain from exporting wheat, corn, rapeseed and sunflower to Poland until the new season,” Solskyi said, referring to this summer’s harvest. Solskyi added that the two sides would meet again in the coming days to ensure smooth transit of grain intended for other countries. “We are counting on the most constructive position of the Polish side regarding the transit of Ukrainian grain to Polish ports and ports of other EU countries,” he said.

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“..the desire for a sense of security (belonging to a powerful community) overrides the practical considerations of avoiding danger (the prospect of becoming a target or a battlefield)”

Finland May Come To Regret Joining NATO When Everyone Sobers Up (Lukyanov)

The idea of abandoning the policy of non-alignment has always been present in Finland, as has a public and political consensus that it was inadvisable. Indeed, for 30 years the idea of a new military confrontation in Europe was solely the preserve of the most indomitable ‘Cold Warriors,’ and even the enlargement of NATO was presented primarily in political and ideological, not military, terms. The return of the reality of war has shaken all of Europe. In Sweden and Finland, the decision to abandon non-alignment and join NATO was taken immediately, and public opinion was turned on its head. Remarkably, there was almost no discussion of whether neutral status was a more reliable way of ensuring national security; membership of the military bloc was seen as the only option. Before that, non-participation had long been considered the most sensible approach. So, why the sudden change?

There are several reasons for this, but one is worth highlighting. There is a term known as ‘securitization’ – where a security dimension is given to everything: economic, cultural and even humanitarian processes. There is now a counter-experience, with the issue of classical security taking on a value-based form. That is, belonging to a particular ideological and ethical group, and being openly opposed to others, is seen as a more effective way of protecting oneself than remaining aloof from confrontation. This is a psychological rather than a military-technical phenomenon. Put simply, the desire for a sense of security (belonging to a powerful community) overrides the practical considerations of avoiding danger (the prospect of becoming a target or a battlefield).

This in itself is a result of the radicalization of values that took place in the West, as part of the wave of euphoria following the Cold War, when the “right side of history” prevailed. Hence the rejection of neutrality and the need to take into consideration the concerns of the “wrong” side, on the basis that those who aren’t in the same moral and ethical boat can’t be trusted. The current attitude to neutrality is the product of two simultaneous concepts: ’the long peace’ and ’the end of history.’ The first is because it has become obvious that delicate balances and safeguards are simply no longer relevant. The second is down to the belief that it’s clear whose side the historical truth is on (the West), so there is no need to flirt with representatives of the “doomed” opponent. Both perspectives are already things of the past. A rethink is inevitable.

Ritter Finland

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” Italy had 12 deaths for every seven births last year..”

Italy’s Birth Rate At Historic Low (RT)

Fewer than 400,000 babies were born in Italy in 2022, deepening what has been referred to as a “national emergency” as the country’s population declines to historically low levels, according to figures released by the EU nation’s National Institute of Statistics. The total number of newborns dropped about 1.8% from the 400,249 births recorded in Italy in 2021, the lowest such figure since 1861. The newly tallied statistics, released on Friday by Italy’s statistics bureau, mean that Italy had 12 deaths for every seven births last year as the country’s overall population dropped by 179,000. “It’s a demographic crisis,” said Maria Rita Testa, a demographer at Luiss University in Rome, via the Financial Times. “We are going to lose a lot of people in the future,” she said of a situation attributable simply to the fact that “women are just having fewer children.”

The population decline follows the introduction of a financial incentive scheme in 2021 by the former government led by Mario Draghi, which would provide families with monthly financial incentives for each child born, ranging between €50 to €175 ($55 to $192) depending on the family’s income. The leader of Italy’s current right-wing government, Giorgia Meloni, made addressing the population decline a key element of her election campaign last year. This policy pledge came amid concerns that the dwindling populace would put increasing strain on various key public sectors such as the funding of healthcare systems. Italy already has one of the highest debt-to-GDP levels in Europe at 135%.

“Having a low fertility rate is an issue that doesn’t belong to the right or the left-wing political side, it’s a national emergency,” Senator Lavinia Mennuni of the ruling Brothers of Italy party said last year. “We have to put working mothers back at the center of any political decision.” Italy’s population has been falling since 2014, with a total drop of around 1.36 million people during that time – roughly equivalent to the population of Milan, Italy’s second-largest city. However, these numbers have been partially offset by immigration as immigrants exceeded emigrants by 229,000 in 2022.

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“The central bank will have the power to enforce dollar limits on our transactions restricting where you can send money, where you can spend it, and when money expires.”

RFK Jr. Strongly Disapproves Of CBDCs And Digital IDs (IP)

Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is resisting the notion of centralized control and recently blasted CBDCs and digital IDs. Kennedy, who is an environmental lawyer, has announced his plan to run for the US presidency as a Democrat in 2024. He made this announcement after filing the necessary paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on April 5th. In a separate event, Kennedy shared his views on CBDCs on Twitter. “The Fed just announced it will introduce its ‘FedNow’ Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) in July,” he said.

This statement is not entirely accurate. Although the Federal Reserve has revealed its plans to launch the FedNow payment system in July, it is not considered a CBDC. Nevertheless, the implementation of this system could potentially aid in the development of a future CBDC, which the Biden Administration has expressed interest in supporting. “While cash transactions are anonymous, a #CBDC will allow the government to surveil all our private financial affairs,” the environmental lawyer warned. “The central bank will have the power to enforce dollar limits on our transactions restricting where you can send money, where you can spend it, and when money expires.” Kennedy also warned about the possible risks of such technology.


“A CBDC tied to digital ID and social credit score will allow the government to freeze your assets or limit your spending to approved vendors if you fail to comply with arbitrary diktats, i.e. vaccine mandates. “The Fed will initially limit its CBDC to interbank transactions but we should not be blind to the obvious danger that this is the first step in banning and seizing bitcoin as the Treasury did with gold 90 years ago today in 1933. “Watch as governments, which never let a good crisis go to waste, use Covid-19 and the banking crisis to usher in a new wave of CBDCs as a safe haven from germ-laden paper currencies or as protection against bank runs.” His tweet had 7.3 million views at the time of writing this article.

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“Trump still makes news and boosts ratings in a way that no other US political candidate ever has. Which is a problem for anyone running against him.”

When Trump Sucks All The Oxygen In The Race – Katty Kay (BBC)

“Down in Mar-a-Lago, they’re calling it total dominance,” the Trump associate chuckled as he slid his phone across the desk to show me a photo. The image was of a dozen different TV channels all tuned to Trump’s speech hours after the former president’s historic arrest. It was taken by one of Trump’s aides who was with him down in Florida and then sent around as bragging rights to show how much coverage Trump can still command. “They just give us free airtime,” the associate added, almost perplexed. If American election campaigns are a war, TV is the battlefield and this week team Trump blew all his opponents off the map. [..] The arrest was a big deal and it will change American politics. But hours of coverage of an uneventful journey from Palm Beach to Manhattan gave Mr Trump a lot of TV time that he didn’t have to pay for out of campaign funds.

Back in 2016 the US press was criticised for covering the ever colourful Mr Trump more extensively than his Republican rivals for the presidential nomination. He would famously call into cable news TV shows on his cell phone and get 20 minutes of airtime (full disclosure, I took part in some of those interviews. He once told me I was too negative about his campaign, but added that I shouldn’t worry about it.) Afterwards there was some hand wringing among Democrats who accused the media of helping Mr Trump win the White House just by covering him so much – which is ironic since the American media is often accused of skewing left. But at least when Mr Trump called into TV shows he was talking and saying something and being interviewed by reporters who had often tough questions and he got a lot of push back.

This week he got airtime by just sitting on the tarmac. Total dominance. This is not 2016, and most newsrooms have thought hard about their Trump coverage. On Tuesday night several TV stations, including the BBC, dipped out of Trump’s speech after a couple of minutes in order not to relay what was effectively a campaign rally. MSNBC didn’t run the speech at all. But nearly all stations were glued to his flight up to New York the day before his court appearance – I even saw a tweet that an Italian TV channel was running it live. And of course the reason is clear. Trump still makes news and boosts ratings in a way that no other US political candidate ever has. Which is a problem for anyone running against him. Did you know that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was in the swing state of Michigan this week, talking to a packed convention hall of Republican voters?

Or that Nikki Haley, one of only three Republicans actually officially running for the presidency, announced this week that she’s raised $11 million in campaign funds? Maybe you missed that news because you were glued instead to President Joe Biden’s speech in Minnesota, touting the benefits of his administration’s manufacturing policy. No? Don’t feel bad, we’re all in the same Trump-powered boat. It is too soon to say whether this week’s arrest is good news for Donald Trump’s candidacy or not. But it did teach us one thing for sure – Mr Trump still dominates headlines. Which means the other Republican candidates, as well as the current president himself, will have to find a way to get media coverage of their own. And the American TV networks will have to decide what is newsworthy in the Trump campaign, and what isn’t. None of that is easy.

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Book review.

The Case Against the Case Against Julian Assange (Rohde)

Like the Trump administration that preceded it, the Biden administration is seeking the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to stand trial on an indictment under the infamous Espionage Act of 1917. As the unprecedented U.S. prosecution of Assange reaches a critical stage, a growing number of elite media outlets, human rights advocates and press freedom organizations around the world are demanding his release. All have expressed basic agreement with Nils Melzer, former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, who describes the case against Assange as a scandal that “represents the failure of Western rule of law.”

Time is running out to correct this failure. Last August, Assange filed an appeal before the U.K. High Court of Justice Administrative Court arguing that his extradition would violate U.K. law because he is being prosecuted for his political opinions and protected speech; that the request itself violates the U.S.-UK Extradition Treaty and international law because it is based on “political offenses;” that the U.S. government has misrepresented the core facts of the case to the British courts; and that the extradition request and its surrounding circumstances constitute an abuse of process. If Assange loses this appeal, his last resort is the European Court of Human Rights.

No one has covered the Assange case more tenaciously, as well as the broader attack on whistleblowers, than journalist Kevin Gosztola. In “Guilty of Journalism: The Political Case Against Julian Assange,” Gosztola expands upon his reports of Assange’s extradition hearings in London during September and October 2020, and in a clear and compelling style, recounts the key events in the case. But he also does more than that. “Guilty of Journalism” offers revelations of egregious conduct by the U.S., including the use of knowingly false testimony, illegal surveillance of Assange and his lawyers and CIA plans to kidnap and assassinate him. These disclosures compound an already shocking tale of injustice at the hands of the U.S. government.

Opening his first chapter with the unequivocal declaration, “Julian Assange is a journalist,” Kosztola never loses sight of the extraordinary contributions WikiLeaks has made through its public disclosures since its founding in 2006. He includes an informative Appendix entitled, “Thirty WikiLeaks Files the Government Doesn’t Want You to Read,” covering climate change and the environment, corporate power, human rights abuses, regime change, foreign policy and U.S. politics. These files, he writes, “reflect the positive impact that WikiLeaks has had by boosting our shared knowledge of a government that rules the most powerful country in the world.”

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“I can confirm we are continuing our efforts to seek the extradition of Julian Assange..”

Biden Admin Has No Plans To Drop Charges Against Assange (Maynard)

In a week when the Biden administration worked to free a truth teller arrested in Russia, it doubled down on its commitment to punish another truth teller arrested in Western Europe. “I can confirm we are continuing our efforts to seek the extradition of Julian Assange,” Justice Department spokesperson Nicole Navas Oxman told Poynter on Monday. The statement was released in a period when pressure to release the WikiLeaks founder has come from many directions, with members of Congress, the British press and a Russian state official all chiming in on Assange’s continued detention in Britain at the behest of American authorities.

[..] The U.S. government’s push to punish Assange is a matter of the public’s right to know, Morinière said, with his case setting “a dangerous precedent that any member of the media, in any country, can now be targeted by governments, anywhere in the world, to answer for publishing information in the public interest.” “Debating whether he is a journalist is a distraction from the indisputable fact that he’s being (prosecuted) for committing acts of journalism,” said Seth Stern, director of advocacy for the Freedom of the Press Foundation, in an email. “The First Amendment doesn’t limit itself to protecting card-carrying journalists,” he said. “It says ‘Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.’ Assange is being prosecuted under a law that not only abridges freedom of the press but criminalizes essentially the dictionary definition of investigative journalism. If that’s permitted by the First Amendment then the First Amendment does not mean much.”

[..] Much of the debate over WikiLeaks during the Obama administration — which used the constitutionally dubious Espionage Act of 1917 more than all past administrations combined, but still restrained itself when it came to prosecuting Assange — hinged on what was at the time called the “New York Times problem.” That debate postulated that if the prosecution of Assange set a marker, there would be little to prevent future administrations from prosecuting reporters from The New York Times, as most Times reporters who wrote military and national security stories regularly did most of the actions Assange was accused of doing. Prosecuting such a publication “would obviously be undesirable,” said a representative for Britain’s National Union of Journalists via email. That’s both because the Times is North America’s most established and trusted news organization, the spokesperson said, and also because “when it was tried in 1971 (USA v. NYT) over publication of the Pentagon Papers, the Supreme Court upheld the NYT’s rights under the First Amendment.”

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O’Looney funeral director
https://twitter.com/i/status/1644656316173160449
https://twitter.com/i/status/1641600075531968512

 

 

Makis
https://twitter.com/i/status/1644670228008239106

 

 

Food vaccines


https://twitter.com/i/status/1642910169230381056

 

 


Yareta is an evergreen perennial plant with tens of thousands of flowering buds. It is estimated to grow approximately 1.5 centimeters per year and many yaretas are estimated to be over 3,000 years old.

 

 


Grandala are deeply sexually dimorphic and this is the difference. While females are brown with white streaks all over the head, males are almost eye-searing blue. This picture captured by Rajesh Panwar in North Sikkim, India

 

 

Orca
https://twitter.com/i/status/1644743191596285952

 

 

 

 

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