Sep 262023
 September 26, 2023  Posted by at 8:10 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  43 Responses »

SalvadorDali Girl At The Window 1925


Zelensky’s Failed Visit to US Shows ‘End is Coming’ for Ukraine (Sp.)
Zelensky’s Wife Unsure If He Will Seek Reelection (RT)
Ukraine To Surrender On Moscow’s Terms Or Cease To Exist – Duma Speaker (TASS)
How to Prevent a Third World War (Sp.)
Slouching Towards Beelzebub (Kunstler)
Canada Saluting A Ukrainian Nazi Was No Coincidence (Eva Bartlett)
How Canada Became a Safe Haven for Ukrainian WWII-era Nazis (Sp)
Hillary Clinton Claims Russia Seeks to Meddle in 2024 Election (Tweedie)
EU to Rely on US LNG ‘For Decades’ (Sp.)
Diamonds Aren’t Forever For The Belgians – War Against Russia Instead (Helmer)
War of Economic Corridors: the India-Mideast-Europe Ploy (Pepe Escobar)
The ‘Last Man’ Teleology and the Fall of the West (Alistair Crooke)
Senator Menendez Broke the ‘Goldilocks Rule’ of Corruption (Turley)
Scientists ‘Shocked’ And ‘Alarmed’ At What’s In The mRNA Shots (Barnett)













American troops in Ukraine?








CIA Covid








Hmmm. Let’s see it first.

Zelensky’s Failed Visit to US Shows ‘End is Coming’ for Ukraine (Sp.)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s lackluster receptions in Washington and at the UN in his trip to the US last week, and inability to achieve major objectives, shows that his moment has passed and the end is near for Kiev, experts told Sputnik. Zelensky visited Washington on Thursday for the second time since Russia launched its special military operation. Unlike his Democratic predecessor Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy declined Zelensky’s request to address a joint session of Congress. It also came as the lower congressional chamber is struggling to pass a short-term spending plan to avoid a government shutdown at the end of the month, with continued financial support for Kiev being one of the sticking points among Republicans.

Biden did announce a new security package for Kiev, although it did not include the ATACMS long-range missiles Zelensky sought. However, according to media reports, Biden during the visit informed Zelensky that the US will send a small number of ATACMS to Ukraine for the first time. A White House National Security Council spokesperson declined a Sputnik request to confirm and comment. Retired US Army Lt. Col. and international consultant Earl Rasmussen, former Vice President of the Eurasia Institute, said Ukraine’s leader failed to achieve many objectives during his trip to the US, including isolating Russia at the Security Council and securing greater international support. Nor did he receive a strong reception from US Congress, Rasmussen observed. One would assess the US adventure as one absent of excitement and a definite disappointment, Rasmussen continued.

“There were no mass pro-Ukrainian or anti-Russian demonstrations in New York or Washington. The UN Assembly Hall was at best half full for his presentation, which seemed more based on an alternative universe,” Rasmussen told Sputnik. “Essentially this visit was a non-event with even The New York Times publishing a critical article the day before his appearance in the UN. Coincidence? Likely not.” This all comes to mean one thing – a reality that Ukraine should grasp by now, Rasmussen said. “The end is rapidly coming both for Zelensky and Ukraine,” Rasmussen said. “A military defeat is near… The question is do we seek a settlement and end the killing, or do we escalate more to try to prolong the conflict and as a result see even more lives lost and an increased chance of direct conflict.”

Former Pentagon analyst Chuck Spinney speculated that Zelensky might even be realizing his chance to rally the West behind his cause once again has come and gone. “I think Zelensky’s phony ‘Churchillian Moment’ has passed,” Spinney told Sputnik. “His body language suggests that he knows he is losing touch with his audience.” Nicolai Petro, who serves as a professor of political studies at the University of Rhode Island, said Zelensky’s trip to the United States revived public interest in the issue of Ukraine, but that he had to endure complaints from some of his sponsors about Ukraine’s lack of military success and corruption. “Alas, there is little that can be done about either of these,” Petro said. “The fact that lax oversight controls over funding and military shipments to Ukraine predictably resulted in a significant percentage of it disappearing was not revealed yesterday – sources in the White House were aware of it in April 2022 and CBS News reported on it in August 2022.” The widespread corruption that guaranteed the waste and misuse of US and NATO-supplied weapons systems would likely continue unabated, Petro predicted.

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His safe way out?

Zelensky’s Wife Unsure If He Will Seek Reelection (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky might not run for reelection next year, his wife, First Lady Elena Zelenskaya, told CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday. The difficulties of organizing elections amid a military conflict, with millions of eligible voters scattered all over the surrounding continents, might influence her husband’s decision on whether to run again, Zelenskaya said. She added that she would nevertheless “support him whatever decision he takes.” “It will also depend whether our society would need him as a president, if he will feel that Ukrainian society would no longer wish him to be the president, he will probably not run,” she added, admitting that she was uncertain of her husband’s intent.

While Zelenskaya claimed she “didn’t fully endorse” his first attempt at the presidency, she acknowledged that a second try would be “not as scary” due to the couple’s experience. She called the moderator’s question – about how she would feel if Zelensky launched a reelection bid – a “difficult” one. The Ukrainian head of state visited the US last week to meet with President Joe Biden and other leaders, coming back with a pledge of “up to $325 million” for “critical security and defense needs” from the White House, after reportedly warning American lawmakers that Kiev may lose to Russia otherwise. Washington has reportedly handed over $75 billion to Kiev in the last two years, with most of that – $46.6 billion – being military aid.

A survey published earlier this month revealed nearly eight in 10 Ukrainians blame Zelensky for the rampant corruption that plagues their country – another reason the president might be apprehensive about running for reelection. He has also complained about weakening Western support as well, using an interview with the Economist to denounce his unfaithful erstwhile benefactors as closet Russia supporters and threaten them with losses in their own elections if Kiev succumbs militarily, and social problems, should the millions of Ukrainian refugees scattered throughout Europe get unruly.

Ukrainian martial law prohibits elections, and Ukrainian security officials recently acknowledged to the Washington Post that a vote would be essentially impossible with most of the population deployed on the front lines or living outside the country. However, Kiev is facing increasing pressure from the West to at least maintain the appearance of a functioning democracy, a demand the government cannot afford to dismiss outright given the degree to which it is financially dependent on American and European largesse. In June, Zelensky acknowledged a vote could only take place after the conflict was settled, only to reverse course in August and say it was possible – as long as he got an additional $135 million.

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“Ukraine has lost 53.7% of its population since 2014..”

Ukraine To Surrender On Moscow’s Terms Or Cease To Exist – Duma Speaker (TASS)

Ukraine is fated either to capitulate on Moscow’s terms or cease to exist as a state, Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament), said. “When speaking about the conflict in Ukraine, [US President Joe] Biden, [NATO Secretary General Jens] Stoltenberg and other Western officials have started calling it ‘a war of attrition.’ They have put huge amounts of money into militarizing the Kiev regime. Where has it gotten them? The simple facts are these: the West is experiencing weapons and ammunition shortages, people in Europe and the US have lost trust in politicians, and the Kiev regime’s counteroffensive has failed,” Volodin stated.

According to him, the outcome of the “war of attrition” also includes economic problems in Europe and the US, a lack of manpower for the Ukrainian armed forces, and ultimately bankruptcy and demographic disaster for Ukraine. “These seven facts speak for themselves: Ukraine will cease to exist as a state unless the Kiev regime capitulates on Russia’s terms,” Volodin stressed. “More than 10.5 million people have fled Ukraine. Another 11.2 million residents of Crimea, Sevastopol, the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics and the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions decided to join Russia. Ukraine has lost 53.7% of its population since 2014,” the State Duma speaker highlighted.

Volodin noted that, in June, then-British Defense Minister Ben Wallace stated that Western countries had run out of stockpiles of those weapons that they could send to Kiev from their own national arsenals. Biden, in turn, admitted in July that the decision to provide Ukraine with cluster munitions had been driven by the fact that stocks of conventional ammunition were exhausted. “The approval ratings of EU and US leaders have hit historical lows. The share of people who disapprove of their leaders’ performance stands at 57% for Biden, at 69% for [French President Emmanuel] Macron, and at 72% for [German Chancellor Olaf] Scholz. The majority of people in the United States and European countries oppose weapons supplies to Ukraine,” the Duma speaker added.

In addition, the senior lawmaker emphasized that the NATO-backed Ukrainian military had suffered huge troop and equipment losses, while “the lack of achievements has disappointed [Kiev’s] Western sponsors.” “The economies of the Eurozone countries are going through a recession. The costs of Ukraine’s militarization have forced Germany to cut benefit payments to poor families. France has reduced the number of beneficiaries; people in need no longer receive food packages and reimbursements for drug costs. International agencies have downgraded the United States’ long-term investment rating as they expect the financial situation in the country to worsen in the next three years,” Volodin said.

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“..the moral, political, intellectual, social, and economic multi-level crisis plaguing the bulk of the collective West.”

How to Prevent a Third World War (Sp.)

The unfolding Ukraine crisis could be a prologue for a larger and more dangerous conflict, according to Russian political scientist Sergei Karaganov. “In Ukraine, we have finally stood up to the United States/West, but we have so far let them grab the initiative in matters of escalation,” Karaganov wrote in his new article. “They continuously expand and deepen their aggression by supplying increasingly deadly and dangerous weapons.” This situation is further aggravated by the evident degradation of Western elites, according to the political scientist. He particularly referred to “the moral, political, intellectual, social, and economic multi-level crisis plaguing the bulk of the collective West.” “It will only get worse in the foreseeable future,” warned Karaganov.

“Each new call from Western leaders is more foolish, reckless, and ideologically charged than the previous one, making it more dangerous for the world. They are consciously fuelling the disintegration of their societies by promoting anti-human values.” Meanwhile, modern information technology and the internet has become a convenient tool for demonization and manipulation of public perceptions. “Even now, to fight the hated Russians, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians are being sent to their deaths,” wrote the scholar. “Clearly, many more are dying from the collapse of infrastructure and healthcare. These victims are either completely forgotten or deliberately downplayed. Clearly, there is an even worse attitude toward demonized Russians. Russophobia has reached almost unprecedented proportions, perhaps comparable to how the Nazis viewed Slavs and Jews.”

This is happening against the backdrop of a broken dialogue system and the collapse of the arms control system, which, while not always useful and sometimes even harmful in the past, at least provided channels of communication between leading military powers, according to Karaganov. Meanwhile, a global realignment is underway with the West waging a “desperate final battle to preserve its dominance,” as per the Russian scholar. “A seismic shift is taking place in global geopolitics, geostrategy, and geoeconomics, and it is gaining momentum. New continents are rising, and global problems are worsening. The emergence of new sources of friction and conflicts is inevitable,” he wrote. Amid this unprecedented rapid redistribution of global power from the West to the global majority, Russia has become historically designated as “its military and political core,” according to Karaganov.

[..] “Humanity is facing an existential challenge to prevent the inexorably approaching catastrophe of the Third World War within the next decade or so by forcing the West, primarily the United States, to step back and adapt to the new reality. To achieve this, we need to compel their ‘deep state’ to refresh, as much as possible, the ruling elites, whose low quality does not meet the challenges facing humanity today. The falling West may drag everyone along, including its deep state,” he highlighted. To that end, Western elites should once again realize that nuclear armageddon poses a real threat to the world, according to the scientist.

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“Never in history has such a move into tyranny been fronted by such an embarrassingly un-charismatic empty vessel..”

Slouching Towards Beelzebub (Kunstler)

From early on, our government lied about the safety of the vaccines, at the same time that they lied and confabulated about the origins of the Covid-19 virus. They continue lying about all of this to this day even as they appear to prepare for a replay of a pandemic. Now that the weekend is over, you will not read about any of this in The New York Times. Why is that? I will offer my theory: that newspaper’s business model, based on pages and pages of print advertising, is completely broken and it is on financial life-support from the CIA and / or DARPA, probably facilitated by private sector cut-outs laundering the money. That’s how dishonorable the flagship of the US news media is.

And, of course, there is the added layer of government-directed censorship, also through private sector cut-outs, that is aimed at suppressing the truth about Covid from every angle, especially the vaccines. Doesn’t all of this look rather sinister? Choose one of two possible explanations: 1) the Covid-19 episode from the beginning was a fantastic fiasco of blundering incompetence by hundreds of officials from many agencies plus elected leaders, and at every stage was made worse by additional incompetent actions aimed at concealing massive chains of prior misdeeds producing more misdeeds resulting in the wholesale collapse of authority in our country. In other words, an epic clusterfuck.

Or 2) The entire Covid episode is a chain of crimes committed deliberately with malicious intent to kill and injure large numbers of people while contriving to deprive the survivors of their basic liberties and their property. Because identical events are seen in all the other nations of Western Civ, it would be reasonable to infer some kind of coordination managed by a supervisory force or entity. What we see is a globalist coalition formed of the World Economic Forum (WEF), the World Health Organization (WHO), The European Union (EU), the United Nations (UN), the pharmaceutical industry, the “Five Eyes” intel alliance, the global banking establishment, The Democratic Party, and scores of well-endowed non-governmental agencies such as the George Soros constellation of councils and foundations. What else is unseen?

One conspicuously strange element of the whole picture is the phantom leadership of the supposed world hegemon USA in the figurehead, “Joe Biden.” Never in history has such a move into tyranny been fronted by such an embarrassingly un-charismatic empty vessel. Never in our country’s history have our affairs whirled in such a mystifying flux of bewildering forces. Even our Civil War was a more straightforward clash of interests. Events are moving quickly now. They’re setting up the steam-table for that banquet of consequences.

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“There are even monuments honoring Nazi collaborators and Ukrainian Insurgent Army criminals still standing in Canadian cities..”

NOTE: Trudy saying he didn’t know who the guy was is nonsense. He met him the day before.

Canada Saluting A Ukrainian Nazi Was No Coincidence (Eva Bartlett)

The stomach-churning scene of the Canadian parliament giving a standing ovation three days ago to a former Waffen SS Nazi has by now made the rounds on the internet. During Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s visit to Canada, and following his predictably bombastic pan-handling speech, House Speaker Anthony Rota went on to gush praise over a Ukrainian-Canadian in parliament that day: Yaroslav Hunka, a World War II-era Nazi, calling him “a Ukrainian hero, a Canadian hero” and thanking him for his service. Two days later, Rota issued an apology for lauding the man, saying he had “recognized an individual in the gallery” and had subsequently become aware of “more information which causes me to regret my decision to do so.”

Just to be clear – since Rota was not – the individual he meekly referred to was Yaroslav Hunka, and the information which made Rota remorseful was that Hunka had been a voluntary member of 1st Galician Division of the Waffen SS – you know, the one accused of mass murdering Poles, Jews and Ukrainians in Ukraine and Poland, as well as committing other atrocities. Whereas Rota claims he was unaware of Hunka’s service as a Nazi, given that he had also praised Hunk for fighting “for Ukrainian independence against the Russians,” one can assume this is the service he referred to. In his apology, Rota stated, “no one, including fellow parliamentarians and the Ukraine delegation, was aware of my intention or of my remarks before I delivered them.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office denied any knowledge of Hunka and his Nazi service, stating, “The Speaker had his own allotment of guest seating at Friday’s address, which were determined by the Speaker and his office alone.” Whether Trudeau (and his Stepan Bandera-sympathizing deputy PM Chrystia Freeland) knew about Yaroslav Hunka or not, the question remains: why was he never brought to justice? He, or any of the other 2,000 SS Nazis Canada reportedly took in in the years following WW2. Having been accepted as anti-communist refugees with little to no scrutiny, these suspected war criminals and collaborators have been allowed to live out the rest of their days in peace, and most of them have done so openly under their own names, as the Simon Wiesenthal Center has repeatedly reported.

There is much to be said about Canada’s history with Ukrainian Nazis. Not only did it take them in after WW2, but the government-backed Ukrainian Canadian Congress, which, until recently, listed Nazi-collaborator veterans organizations as members, as well as government-funded Ukrainian ‘youth centers’ that celebrate Nazi collaborators like Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevich. There are even monuments honoring Nazi collaborators and Ukrainian Insurgent Army criminals still standing in Canadian cities. Canada has also supported modern-day Nazis in Ukraine itself, by training members of the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion on Canadian soil, although Canadian corporate media has in recent years attempted to downplay this.

Radio Canada reported in April 2022 that the Canadian Armed Forces, “did contribute to the training of soldiers of the Azov regiment in 2020, to the point where this unit is now boasting of being able to train its own soldiers according to Western standards.” The Ottawa Citizen, writing about this report, cited a 2017 briefing by Canada’s Joint Task Force Ukraine as saying, “Multiple members of Azov have described themselves as Nazis.” In November 2021, the same Ottawa Citizen journalist wrote about Canadian officials meeting with leaders from the Azov Battalion in June 2018. Canadian officers and diplomats, “did not object to the meeting and instead allowed themselves to be photographed with battalion officials despite previous warnings that the unit saw itself as pro-Nazi.”


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“When the news of her relative’s true past leaked out, Ottawa immediately characterized it as a “Russian disinformation” campaign aimed at “destabiliz[ing] Western democracies..”

How Canada Became a Safe Haven for Ukrainian WWII-era Nazis (Sp.)

Before World War II, Ukrainian Canadians were among the most tightly knit, pro-labor, pro-Moscow, and anti-fascist migrant communities living in the True North Strong and Free. That began to change after the war and the arrival of thousands of Ukrainian Nazi collaborators wanted for war crimes across Eastern Europe. This is their story. The scandal over the Canadian parliament’s move to honor Ukrainian Waffen SS veteran Yaroslav Hunka continues to swirl, with Canada’s opposition leader, Poland, Jewish groups, Russia and the United Nations demanding accountability. Hunka, 98, was in attendance during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s address to the House of Commons last Friday, and was introduced to lawmakers as a veteran of the “struggle for Ukrainian independence against the Russians during the Second World War.” He received a standing ovation from the legislature.

It soon emerged that the former soldier carried out his “struggle for Ukrainian independence” as a member of the infamous 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the Nazi SS, also known as 14th SS-Volunteer Division Galicia. Formed in 1943 and made up mostly of ethnic Ukrainians, the Wehrmacht-subordinated fighting formation was recruited from among fascist radicals, and was responsible for the mass murder of anti-fascist and communist Ukrainians, Red Army troops, anti-fascist partisans, and Polish, Jewish, Russian and Slovak civilians. Between 1943 and its surrender to the Western allies in May 1945, 14th SS-Volunteer Division Galicia rampaged through Eastern Europe. It was used for “police actions” against Polish and Soviet partisans in western Ukraine and eastern Poland, deployed to wipe out up to hundreds of civilians at a time in the Polish settlements like Huta Pieniacka, Podkamien, Chodaczkowo Wielkie, Prehoryle, Smogligow, and Borow, and thrown into meat grinders against the Red Army (where it took heavy losses approaching 75 percent during brutal fighting at Brody, Lvov region in July 1944).

The remnants of the division were evacuated and deployed in Slovakia in the late summer of 1944 to put down the Slovak National Uprising, and then sent to suppress partisan operations in Yugoslavia in January 1945. In March 1945, the formation retreated to Austria, taking heavy losses while trying to hold back Soviet forces in and around Graz during the desperate closing months of the war. Ukrainian fascist forces later incorporated into the division also took part in the suppression of the Warsaw Uprising between August and September of 1944, although the division itself did not take part. [..] The scandal surrounding Hunka is not the first of its kind. In 2017, independent media outlet Consortium News was attacked by Canadian authorities after revealing that Chrystia Freeland, the senior Trudeau cabinet member then serving as Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, had attempted to cover up her grandfather Mykhailo Khomiak’s past as an editor of a Nazi newspaper in occupied Poland during WWII.

Canadian media later followed up on the allegations, confirming the information, and revealing that Freeland not only knew of her grandfather’s dark past, but helped edit an academic article in the Journal of Ukrainian Studies by her uncle, John-Paul Kimka, professor emeritus at the University of Alberta, in the 1990s a bid to whitewash the Nazi propagandist’s activities. When the news of her relative’s true past leaked out, Ottawa immediately characterized it as a “Russian disinformation” campaign aimed at “destabiliz[ing] Western democracies,” with Freeland claiming her grandparents fled the war in 1939 as “political exiles with a responsibility to keep alive the idea of an independent Ukraine.” After the escalation of the Ukrainian crisis in early 2022, Freeland, now deputy prime minister, got into more trouble after tweeting (and after public outrage deleting) a photo of herself holding a banner sporting the colors of the notorious fascist militant formation known as the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (Ukrainian acronym UPA), along with the UPA’s slogan “Slava Ukraini” (lit. “Glory to Ukraine”).

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I’m not terribly unpopular. That can’t be it. People love me.

Hillary Clinton Claims Russia Seeks to Meddle in 2024 Election (Tweedie)

Failed presidential runner Hillary Clinton has repeated her discredited claims of Russian interference in US elections. Clinton dusted off the 2016 ‘Russiagate’ conspiracy theory she used to explain her defeat by Donald Trump in an interview with MSNBC’s Jen Psaki — the former White House press secretary renowned for her inability to answer journalist’s questions. Psaki claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin had “interfered in our elections in the past” — directly contradicting the findings of special counsel John Durham’s inquiry that the claim was “uncorroborated” — and asked Clinton if she feared it would happen in 2024. “I don’t think, despite all of the deniers, there is any doubt that he interfered in our election, or that he has interfered in many ways in the internal affairs of other countries, funding political parties, funding political candidates, buying off government officials in different places,” Clinton claimed.

Her tone became increasingly paranoid as she went on. “He hates democracy. He particularly hates the West and he especially hates us,” Clinton ranted. “And he has determined that he can do two things simultaneously. He can try to continue to damage and divide us internally, and he’s quite good at it.” The former secretary of state and senator, the wife of disgraced ex-president Bill Clinton, even believed that Putin had a personal grudge against her. “Part of the reason he worked so hard against me is because he didn’t think that he wanted me in the White House,” Clinton complained. “Part of the challenge is to continue to explain to the American public that the kind of leader Putin is.” She then reeled off a series of unproven allegations against the Russian president, including that he was responsible for the deaths of opposition figures and journalists — and interfered in the 2016 US elections to ensure she lost to Trump.

“I fear that the Russians will prove themselves to be quite adept at interfering, and if he has a chance, he’ll do it again,” Clinton concluded. Durham’s report, finally released in June 2023, found that former Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Director James Comey’s operation Crossfire Hurricane probe — oddly named after a Rolling Stones lyric — was founded on “raw, un-analyzed and uncorroborated” intelligence and should never have been launched. It said the FBI was guilty of misconduct and was in need of reform, but did not lay individual blame on any of the numerous officials involved — from Comey to Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, two agents entwined in an extra-marital affair at the federal agency.

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Brussels sold out the EU.

EU to Rely on US LNG ‘For Decades’ (Sp.)

The European Union’s much-touted self-harming intention to diversify from Russian natural gas means it will be forced to rely on America’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) for decades to come, the bloc’s top energy official has admitted. The EU’s ambitious climate goals and pledge to phase out fossil fuels are also likely to be shoved on the back burner, as Ditte Juul Jorgensen, director general for energy at the European Commission, told a media report that the bloc’s reliance on exports of US LNG was not going away any time soon. While the official touted “conservation” and more renewable energy, such as wind and solar, as the “instruments” at the disposal of the EU that would allow it to survive another energy crisis in the coming winter, she added: “We will need some fossil molecules in the system over the coming couple of decades. And in that context, there will be a need for American energy,” said Jorgensen in an interview in New York.

Last year, when Brussels cobbled together package after package of sanctions targeting Russia over Ukraine, anyone with a clear understanding of the energy needs of the 27-member bloc could have foreseen that it was backing itself into a corner. The EU’s proclaimed decision to wean itself off Russian gas, along with “net zero carbon emissions by 2050” goals were a tough act to follow through on. Sure enough, now, for all intents and purposes, Brussels will continue to consume expensive US LNG beyond the end of the decade, to the frustration of politicians and environmental campaigners. Brussels waded into an agreement with the administration of US President Joe Biden in March 2022 to “work toward the goal of ensuring, until at least 2030, demand for approximately 50 billion cubic metres (bcm) of additional US LNG.” At the time, the pact was struck on the basis that it was consistent with EU and US shared climate goals.

“We aim to reduce this dependency on Russian fossil fuels and get rid of it. This can only be achieved through… additional gas supplies, including LNG deliveries,” EU Commission head Ursula von der Leyen said at a joint news conference with Joe Biden at the time. Jorgensen’s new statements will help European buyers “clear the path forward” now, the report added, citing initial evidence of reluctance to sign deals with US suppliers past the 2030 deadline. America’s LNG exports to EU member states surged more than twofold last year, reaching 56 bcm in 2022. Just a year before that, the shipped amount had been 22 bcm annually. There has been an echo of frustrated voices from some European politicians complaining that US LNG contracts are fraught with risks to the EU’s climate goals. But the reality is that US LNG companies are signing increasingly more long-term supply deals with Europe. Thus, America’s largest LNG exporter – Cheniere Energy – has struck a deal for two contracts with Europe-based Equinor and BASF to ship 2.55mn tons annually far into the 2040s.

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“Russian production is less than demand in developing countries.”

Diamonds Aren’t Forever For The Belgians – War Against Russia Instead (Helmer)

[..] the US-NATO blockade of the Russian tanker trade is Napoleonic in the obviousness of the miscalculation; it is also Napoleonic in the magnitude of losses on the NATO side — and the acceleration of profits on the Russian side. In today’s new episode, the battleground is the diamond trade based in Antwerp, Belgium. Almost $14 billion worth of diamonds are imported annually for cutting, polishing, and trading there, and about the same value is exported. In their rough form, most of the diamonds in the Belgian market have been mined in Russia, and either sent direct to the Antwerp diamond market, or indirectly through India. Most of the diamonds exported from Antwerp have been going to India, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Israel. The Israeli diamond processing business exports mostly to the US jewellery market.

The diamond trade in Europe has traditionally been a Jewish operation; until the Germans arrived in 1940 that was based in Amsterdam, Netherlands, for four hundred years. German race hatred wiped out the Jews of Amsterdam; Belgian race hatred for Russians is about to wipe out the Antwerp diamond market. The Jewish business is about to become an Arab one. As one Antwerp diamantaire described the situation, “if the Belgian government thinks it’s giving the finger to the Russians, all that will happen is that the diamond on that finger will move, and the finger will be what Dubai will be pointing.” Martin Rapaport’s price sheet for the trade in Tel Aviv and New York reports that in Belgium “sentiment [is] very low. Serious concerns for coming months.

0.50 and 1 ct. [carat] diamonds especially weak due to sluggish US orders. Many hope holiday activity will kickstart trading. Uncertainty surrounds Russian diamonds as fresh sanctions loom.” Rapaport, a dual Israeli-American citizen and self-reported “world’s largest and most trusted marketplace for diamonds & jewelry”, has been promoting fresh sanctions against Russian diamonds to cut the volume of Russian rough in the global market; these have been causing diamond inventories to overflow, diamond prices to fall, and Israeli margins to shrink. “Russia was the wild card in 2022. Whereas it was assumed the sanctions imposed in February by the US on Russian-sourced diamonds would lead to shortages, the goods continued to enter the market — propping up polished inventories.”

[..] “The G7 countries account for about 80-90 million carats of diamond consumption per year. As for India and China, this figure is at the level of 60 million carats. That is, the Group of Seven is ahead in this area, but taking into account the fact that Russia produces about 40 million carats annually, India and China can take all this volume. As for the possible restrictions in this industry, I think the situation will be similar to similar sanctions against oil, which is now being quietly sold to India and China, albeit at a certain discount to the world price. As far as I understand, after cutting, it is quite difficult to separate diamonds of Russian origin from other stones. But if, after all, technology will somehow control the process of selling diamonds, then the Russian Federation, taking into account the capacity of the markets, can really send supplies to developing countries. Russian production is less than demand in developing countries.”

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“..dangling an enticing Divide and Rule carrot that promises Things That Cannot Be Delivered..”

War of Economic Corridors: the India-Mideast-Europe Ploy (Pepe Escobar)

The India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) is a massive public diplomacy op launched at the recent G20 summit in New Delhi, complete with a memorandum of understanding signed on 9 September. Players include the US, India, UAE, Saudi Arabia, and the EU, with a special role for the latter’s top three powers Germany, France, and Italy. It’s a multimodal railway project, coupled with trans-shipments and with ancillary digital and electricity roads extending to Jordan and Israel. If this walks and talks like the collective west’s very late response to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), launched 10 years ago and celebrating a Belt and Road Forum in Beijing next month, that’s because it is. And yes, it is, above all, yet another American project to bypass China, to be claimed for crude electoral purposes as a meager foreign policy “success.”

No one among the Global Majority remembers that the Americans came up with their own Silk Road plan way back in 2010. The concept came from the State Department’s Kurt Campbell and was sold by then-Secretary Hillary Clinton as her idea. History is implacable, it came down to nought. And no one among the Global Majority remembers the New Silk Road plan peddled by Poland, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Georgia in the early 2010s, complete with four troublesome trans-shipments in the Black Sea and the Caspian. History is implacable, this too came down to nought. In fact, very few among the Global Majority remember the $40 trillion US-sponsored Build Back Better World (BBBW, or B3W) global plan rolled out with great fanfare just two summers ago, focusing on “climate, health and health security, digital technology, and gender equity and equality.”

A year later, at a G7 meeting, B3W had already shrunk to a $600 billion infrastructure-and-investment project. Of course, nothing was built. History really is implacable, it came down to nought. The same fate awaits IMEC, for a number of very specific reasons. The whole IMEC rationale rests on what writer and former Ambassador M.K. Bhadrakumar deliciously described as “conjuring up the Abraham Accords by the incantation of a Saudi-Israeli tango.” This tango is Dead On Arrival; even the ghost of Piazzolla can’t revive it. For starters, one of the principals – Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman – has made it clear that Riyadh’s priorities are a new, energized Chinese-brokered relationship with Iran), with Turkey, and with Syria after its return to the Arab League.

Moreover, both Riyadh and its Emirati IMEC partner share immense trade, commerce, and energy interests with China, so they’re not going to do anything to upset Beijing. At face value, IMEC proposes a joint drive by G7 and BRICS 11 nations. That’s the western method of seducing eternally-hedging India under Modi and US-allied Saudi Arabia and the UAE to its agenda. Its real intention, however, is not only to undermine BRI, but also the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INTSC), in which India is a major player alongside Russia and Iran. The game is quite crude and really quite obvious: a transportation corridor conceived to bypass the top three vectors of real Eurasia integration – and BRICS members China, Russia, and Iran – by dangling an enticing Divide and Rule carrot that promises Things That Cannot Be Delivered.

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How did Brzezinski and Fukuyama ever become so influential?

The ‘Last Man’ Teleology and the Fall of the West (Alistair Crooke)

As is well known, the Mackinder ‘Pivot of History’ doctrine (1904) of ‘he who controls the Asian heartland controls the world’ was cemented into the U.S. zeitgeist as the unassailable doctrine that a united Heartland – which might challenge the U.S. – must never be allowed. To which Brzezinski, President Carter’s National Security Adviser, added that the Ukraine, by virtue of its divided national identities, entwined in old complexities, should be seen as the hinge around which heartland power revolved: ‘Absent Ukraine, Russia would never become the heartland power; but with Ukraine, Russia can and would’, Brzezinski averred. Well, that was the idea – to mobilise fierce Ukrainian ultranationalism versus a weak Russia, and put them to fight each other.

But the evolution of the ‘Brzezinski doctrine’ – quite surprisingly – segued into a series of western mythological errors: First, that Russia was easily defeated in Afghanistan, by a few lightly armed jihadists (not true). Secondly, that the Soviet Union and its satellites were overthrown by ‘Revolutions from Below’ (also not true). And thirdly, that a powerful U.S. Security-State ‘Leviathan’ could ensure U.S. hegemony (through mounting ‘Revolutions from Below’). Brzezinski’s prime intent may originally have been to keep Russia and China divided from each other. But the Soviet Union’s sudden implosion (unrelated to Afghanistan) was crafted narratively to lend credence to Francis Fukuyama’s End of History and the Last Man meme. After the Cold War and the Soviet communist empire’s collapse, the American political, cultural and economic model was widely held to be the ‘Last Man Standing’.

‘Afghanistan’ also fostered the myth of Islamic insurgents as the ideal solvents for ‘backward’ states needing new western, forward-thinking leaders. (It was Brzezinski who persuaded Carter to insert Islamic radicalism into Afghanistan to undermine the Russian-supported, socialist Najibullah). ‘Afghanistan’ effectively was the pilot for the ‘Arab Spring’ – a global ‘house-cleaning’ that, it was claimed, would end vestiges of earlier Soviet influence, and create new stability. The excitement in neo-con circles was palpable. And America’s Cold War success was attributed (apart from western culture’s ‘genetic’ advantages) to the empowerment of the military-security apparati. In theory, the end to the Cold War might have been an opportunity to return to the U.S. Founders’ original principles of distance from European conflicts and of caution toward military and security Leviathans.

The Soviet implosion seemed a harbinger of global tensions vented; pressures released. But then, ‘something’ extraneous, out-of-the-blue, happened; something that in a stroke, reversed the logic of the Cold War expected ‘peace dividend’ by “invigorating the military-security state to new heights”, Gordon Hahn notes. The power of the military-security state began, from this point onward, to be deployed abroad – in the service of the globalising cultural war. What had happened was ‘9/11’. But then a new ‘twist’ took America away, on an entirely different path. Barack Obama infused new energy into the military-security state. The Obama administration however, was not so much motivated by overseas hegemony (though not opposed to it). The focus though was on bringing forward the cultural revolution underway in the U.S. What had happened? And how is Ukraine connected to this?

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“..Menendez pursued gifts with a reckless abandon, endangering others whose corruption was more circumspect..”

Senator Menendez Broke the ‘Goldilocks Rule’ of Corruption (Turley)

In 2010, I defended a federal judge, Thomas Porteous, in his impeachment trial, against charges that he had taken gifts and misused his office for personal gain. The curious thing about Senate trials is that you have a jury composed of people you could strike for cause in a real court. Menendez was among those sitting in judgment of Porteous, but he wasn’t just another face in the Senate crowd — he stood out. It was like arguing a piracy case with Captain Jack Sparrow sitting on the jury. Menendez himself would later go on trial in 2017 in a major bribery and fraud case involving luxury gifts allegedly exchanged for official favors. Most of us expected the worst when, during jury deliberations, one juror asked the court, “What is a senator?” Menendez dodged the bullet. The jury hung and the Justice Department dropped all charges.

Now Menendez has been slapped with a massive new bribery indictment. The facts are all too familiar, with a long list of lavish gifts allegedly made in exchange for favors. The indictment details gold bars, hundreds of thousands of dollars, furnishings and other gifts. His wife was allegedly actively involved in this corruption conspiracy and is also facing criminal charges. During the Porteous trial, I noted that, at the time of the underlying acts, the senators themselves were accepting free lunches. It was not until later that the rules changed on such gifts. Menendez now stands accused of accepting a host of gifts at that time, including an $8,000 free flight in October 2010, in addition to luxury trips to Paris and a Caribbean villa.

Yet Menendez still demanded the conviction of Porteous, even though the judge was never charged with bribery, and free lunches and the other gifts would not be enough to even register with Menendez. The question is whether this level of corruption is now enough for Democrats. California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) recently suggested a type of Goldilocks rule for corruption. He warned that people in Washington had better be careful if they want to crack down on the Biden family’s influence-peddling. “If that’s the new criteria, there are a lot of folks in a lot of industries — not just in politics — where people have family members and relationships and they’re trying to parlay and get a little influence and benefit in that respect. That’s hardly unique.” It would appear that the question is not corruption, but when a little corruption is “just right.”

If these allegations against Menendez are proven, then he violated Washington’s Goldilocks rule. It would mean that Menendez pursued gifts with a reckless abandon, endangering others whose corruption was more circumspect. Consider the timeline: It would mean that during the Porteous trial, Menendez was allegedly accepting gifts while condemning and removing from office a judge accused of receiving gifts. Later, after the jury hung in his first corruption trial, Menendez (according to the Justice Department) almost immediately started taking gifts from new sources. In a town known for a certain finesse in influence peddling, Menendez broke with industry custom by allegedly accepting direct items like gold and a car. This is classic bribery stuff. There was no labyrinth of shell companies and accounts — just crude old-school corruption, with cash stuffed in clothing and gold bars squirreled away for a rainy day.

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“..under the Gene Technology Act (2000) definition, the DNA contamination is a genetically modified organism (GMO)..”

Scientists ‘Shocked’ And ‘Alarmed’ At What’s In The mRNA Shots (Barnett)

Early in 2023, genomics scientist Kevin McKernan made an accidental discovery. While running an experiment in his Boston lab, McKernan used some vials of mRNA Pfizer and Moderna Covid vaccines as controls. He was ‘shocked’ to find that they were allegedly contaminated with tiny fragments of plasmid DNA.McKernan, who has 25 years’ experience in his field, ran the experiment again, confirming that the vials contained up to, in his opinion, 18-70 times more DNA contamination than the legal limits allowed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In particular, McKernan was alarmed to find the presence of an SV40 promoter in the Pfizer vaccine vials. This is a sequence that is, ‘…used to drive DNA into the nucleus, especially in gene therapies,’ McKernan explains.

This is something that regulatory agencies around the world have specifically said is not possible with the mRNA vaccines. Knowing that the contamination had not been disclosed by the manufacturers during the regulatory process, McKernan raised the alarm, posting his findings to Twitter (now X) and Substack with a call-out to other scientists to see if they could replicate his findings. Other scientists soon confirmed McKernan’s findings, though the amount of DNA contamination was variable, suggesting inconsistency of vial contents depending on batch lots. One of these scientists was cancer genomics expert Dr Phillip Buckhaults, who is a proponent of the mRNA platform and has received the Pfizer Covid vaccine himself. In September of this year, Dr Buckhaults shared his findings in South Carolina Senate hearing.

‘I’m kind of alarmed about this DNA being in the vaccine – it’s different from RNA, because it can be permanent,’ he told those present. ‘There is a very real hazard,’ he said, that the contaminant DNA fragments will integrate with a person’s genome and become a ‘permanent fixture of the cell’ leading to autoimmune problems and cancers in some people who have had the vaccinations. He also noted that these genome changes can ‘last for generations’. Dr Buckhaults alleges that the presence of high levels of contaminant DNA in the mRNA vaccines ‘may be causing some of the rare but serious side effects, like death from cardiac arrest’. He added, ‘I think this is a real serious regulatory oversight that happened at the federal level.’ Dr Buckhaults’ concerns are shared by McKernan, who presented his findings to the FDA in June.

At the time of writing, McKernan had not received any response from the FDA on the matter. Dr Buckhaults said in the Senate hearing that he had emailed his findings to the FDA, but he had not received a response either. In Australia, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) maintains that Covid vaccines cannot alter a person’s DNA. A spokesperson for the TGA stated, ‘The mRNA in the vaccines does not enter the nucleus of cells and is not integrated into the human genome. Thus, the mRNA does not cause genetic damage or affect the offspring of vaccinated individuals.’ They also said, ‘All batches of Covid vaccines distributed to Australians have been tested for the presence of contaminants including residual DNA template levels.’

However, a legal case filed in the Australian Federal Court in July of this year alleges that the TGA is not the appropriate regulator of Covid mRNA vaccines because, under the Gene Technology Act (2000) definition, the DNA contamination is a genetically modified organism (GMO). The plaintiff, Victorian doctor and pharmacist Dr Julian Fidge, is seeking an injunction to stop Pfizer and Moderna from distributing their mRNA Covid vaccines because they never obtained a license from the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR), which is the agency that oversees all GMO related products. The TGA did not require tests for genotoxicity or carcinogenicity before providing provisional approval and, eventually, full registration of both the Moderna and Pfizer Covid vaccines.

OGTR guidance strongly suggests such tests should be undertaken where there exists a risk of harm to human health. McKernan, who provided expert advice on the case, agrees that the DNA contamination in the mRNA vaccines fits the Australian legal definition of a GMO. But there is also a second component of the mRNA vaccines that fits the definition. That’s the mRNA itself, which is actually modified RNA wrapped in lipid nanoparticles (LNPs). The case argues that this ‘LNP-mod-RNA complex’ falls under the legal definition of a GMO and that, like the DNA contamination, it has the capacity to enter the cell nucleus and integrate into the human genome.

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Drink my house








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






May 142023

Claude Monet Misty Morning on the Seine 1897


They Are Propagandizing For Nazis But Won’t Tell You That (MoA)
Zelensky Plotted Attacks Inside Russia – WaPo (RT)
Zelensky Rejects Pope’s Mediation Offer (RT)
Ukrainian Troops Active Only In Certain Sectors Of Frontline (TASS)
Majority Of Germans Oppose NATO Membership For Ukraine – Poll (RT)
We Need an Economic Bill of Rights (Jacobin)
Avenatti Warns Unseen Evidence May Benefit Trump In Bragg Case (JTN)
The Blackout On Biden Corruption Is Truly ‘Pulitzer-level Stuff’ (Turley)
Republicans Demand Biden Take Cognitive Test Or Drop Out (RT)
US Officials Admit Losing ‘Operational Control’ Of Border (JTN)
Judge Orders FDA to Speed Up Release of COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Data (ET)
Official Report: Ventilators Killed Nearly All Covid Patients (TPV)
The Betrayers of Julian Assange (John Pilger)



Look magazine. USA, March 14, 1939



RFK Brand Military project










Putin debt



“China’s trade with #BRI countries is now larger than China’s *combined* trade with US, EU and Japan. People in America and Europe are stuck in the past and cannot see the trend. Rise of Asia and the Global South will define this century.”





“..even the FBI said is notorious for its “association with neo-Nazi ideology”

They Are Propagandizing For Nazis But Won’t Tell You That (MoA)

At the start of the recent war in Ukraine ‘western’ media changed their mind about Ukrainian Nazi groups. What they had condemned over years in their headlines and pieces was first whitewashed and when was not enough simply eliminated from the context. As example I had pointed to the changing headlines and descriptions of the fascist Azov militia in the pages of the New York Times. Mar 15 2019: “On his flak jacket was a symbol commonly used by the Azov Battalion, a Ukrainian neo-Nazi paramilitary organization.” Feb 11 2020: “Defenders of the Ukrainian Azov Battalion, which the F.B.I. calls “a paramilitary unit” notorious for its “association with neo-Nazi ideology,” accuse us of being part of a Kremlin campaign to “demonize” the group.”

Mar 17 2022: “Facebook last week said it was making an exception to its anti-extremism policies to allow praise for Ukraine’s far-right Azov Battalion military unit, “strictly in the context of defending Ukraine, or in their role as part of the Ukraine National Guard.“ Apr 29 2022: “These scenes are from videos shared online in recent days by the Azov regiment, a unit in the Ukrainian military, which says they were taken in the mazelike bunkers beneath the sprawling Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, Ukraine.” As I had written previously: What was once “a Ukrainian neo-Nazi paramilitary organization” which even the FBI said is notorious for its “association with neo-Nazi ideology” was first relabeled as merely “far right” before it became a normal “unit in the Ukrainian military”.

In yesterday’s report about some dubious Ukrainian military success near Bakhmut the Times has taken its next step which is to avoid mentioning Azov at all: May 12 2023: “Videos released on Friday by Ukraine’s 3rd Separate Assault Brigade showed soldiers piling out of armored personnel carriers and assaulting a Russian trench. “Forward, forward!” a soldier yelled in the video, filmed on a helmet camera. The soldiers dived for cover as Russian fighters threw a hand grenade, then ran forward and threw their own grenade into a Russian bunker. The video could not be independently verified.” When one throws “Ukraine’s 3rd Separate Assault Brigade” into a web search engine one is likely to be pointed to Wikipedia which then reveals the complete name of that military unit:

The 3rd Separate Assault Brigade Azov is a brigade of the Ukrainian Ground Forces formed in 2022. … History: “The brigade, which was established in November 2022, emerged from the Azov Special Operations Forces (SSO) and initially comprised veterans of the Azov Regiment. Since than its a fully operational combat unit within the Ukrainian Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.” During the war Azov has grown through active recruiting from “the Azov Battalion, a Ukrainian neo-Nazi paramilitary organization” into the Azov Regiment and, after losing in Mariupol, into a brigade size unit.

Zel Bandera

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The UK just gave him the missiles to do it.

Zelensky Plotted Attacks Inside Russia – WaPo (RT)

Despite public assurance that he would limit military action to his own territory, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky formed plans to conduct attacks on Russian soil and suggested that Kiev “destroy” the industry of Hungary, the Washington Post reported on Saturday, citing leaked Pentagon documents. Citing US intelligence reports recently published on a gaming server, the Post described how Zelensky suggested at a meeting in January that his troops “conduct strikes in Russia,” while moving across the border to “occupy unspecified Russian border cities” in order to “give Kiev leverage in talks with Moscow.” Less than two months later, the Ukraine-based Russian Volunteer Corps launched a cross-border raid that left two civilians dead in Russia’s Bryansk Region. A member of the group told Western media that Kiev had approved the attack, and further assaults have taken place since.

With Ukraine’s Western backers reluctant until recently to provide him with long-range missiles for fear he would use them against targets within Russia, Zelensky suggested to his top military commander, General Valery Zaluzhny, that he use drones to “attack unspecified deployment locations in Rostov” in February, the Post reported. Prior to and after the alleged meeting, Ukrainian forces used drones to attack infrastructure in Rostov Region, which borders the formerly Ukrainian territory of Lugansk. In a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Yulia Svridenko in February, Zelensky reportedly suggested that Ukraine “blow up” the Druzhba oil pipeline, which transports Russian oil to Hungary. According to the US report cited by the Post, Zelensky suggested that “Ukraine should just blow up the pipeline and destroy…Hungarian [Prime Minister] Viktor Orban’s industry, which is based heavily on Russian oil.”

American spies listening to his meeting with Svridenko concluded that Zelensky was issuing “hyperbolic, meaningless threats.” Nevertheless, the Druzhba pipeline has come under attack on several occasions since the meeting, most recently when it was hit by drone-dropped explosives on Wednesday. The Post’s article corroborates a CNN report last month claiming that US spies have been intercepting Zelensky’s communications. Contacted by the newspaper, Zelensky dismissed the incidents described in the report as “fantasies,” and claimed that “no one in our country has given orders for offensives or strikes on Russian territory.” This is plainly not the case. Apart from the above mentioned Bryansk raids and Rostov drone strikes, the Russian regions of Belgorod and Kursk have been shelled by Kiev’s forces in recent months, Moscow has blamed Ukrainian terrorists for bombing the Crimean Bridge and attempting to assassinate President Vladimir Putin, and one of Ukraine’s top intelligence chiefs has taken credit for the assassination of several Russian public figures. Such acts of terrorism, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement earlier this month, will “not be left unanswered.”


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He doesn’t want peace.

Zelensky Rejects Pope’s Mediation Offer (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has rejected Pope Francis’ offer to help negotiate an end to the conflict in his country. Zelensky previously banned all contact between his government and Moscow, and has since rejected all offers of foreign mediation. “With all due respect to His Holiness, we don’t need mediators, we need a just peace,” Zelensky told Italian talk show host Bruno Vespa on Saturday, after a meeting with the pontiff in the Vatican. “It was an honor for me to meet His Holiness, but he knows my position: the war is in Ukraine and the [peace] plan must be Ukrainian,” Zelensky continued. “You can’t mediate with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin.”

While the Vatican has called on Russia to unilaterally cease its military operation in Ukraine, Pope Francis has offered on multiple occasions to help Kiev and Moscow reach a “consensual” end to the conflict, while praising mediation efforts by Türkiye last year. The Turkish-brokered talks collapsed last April when the Ukrainian delegation pulled out after a surprise visit to Kiev by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who urged Zelensky to keep fighting. Officials in Moscow and Ankara have both stated that the US and its allies didn’t want Ukraine to sign any peace deal with Russia. Zelensky has since issued a decree banning any contact between his officials and the Kremlin, while Kiev, Washington, and Brussels have all rejected a broad peace plan published by China earlier this year.

With the US and EU pledging to supply him with weapons for “as long as it takes,” Zelensky insists that the only peace plan Ukraine will abide by is its own – a ten-point document demanding that Russia pay reparations, surrender its officials to face war crimes tribunals, and forfeit all of its territory claimed by Kiev, including Crimea. Russia understands that any peace talks will not be held “with Zelensky, who is a puppet in the hands of the West, but directly with his masters,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier this month.


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“The situation is completely under control in our sector..”

Ukrainian Troops Active Only In Certain Sectors Of Frontline (TASS)

Commander of the Akhmat commando unit and Deputy Commander of the 2nd Army Corps Apty Alaudinov said on Saturday that Ukrainian troops increased their activity only in some sectors of the line of engagement. Earlier, Yan Gagin, an advisor to Acting DPR Head Denis Pushilin, reported that Ukrainian units had become more active along the entire line of combat engagement. “The Ukrainian units became active not along the entire line of combat engagement, only in certain parts and still the situation has not significantly changed,” Alaudinov told TASS. “The situation is completely under control in our sector,” he added. Earlier, the Akhmat commander said that his unit was responsible for the zone from Soledar in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) to Kremennaya in the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR).

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Makes sense.

Majority Of Germans Oppose NATO Membership For Ukraine – Poll (RT)

More than half of Germans do not support the idea of Ukraine joining NATO, a YouGov poll commissioned by Germany’s dpa news agency has shown. As many as 54% of the survey respondents opposed such a prospect, the news agency reported on Friday. Only 27% of those polled said they would agree to offer Kiev the prospect of membership in the US-led military bloc. In April, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claimed that most Europeans would not understand if Kiev does not get a “well-deserved invitation” to join NATO. The Ukrainian leader is now expected to take part in a NATO summit in Lithuania in July, according to dpa. Germans, meanwhile, mostly want Kiev to start negotiations with Moscow instead, the YouGov poll showed.

According to the survey, 55% of respondents called for negotiations between Russian and Ukraine on ending the ongoing conflict. Only 28% opposed such an initiative. The poll comes as Berlin has just announced another massive weapons package for Ukraine. Worth more than €2.7 billion ($2.95 billion), the new arms delivery is expected to include four German-made ground-based IRIS-T air-defense systems – something the German Armed Forces themselves do not yet possess – as well as 30 Leopard 1 battle tanks, 20 infantry fighting vehicles, 100 armored personnel carriers, 18 wheeled self-propelled artillery systems and 200 reconnaissance drones.

“With this valuable contribution of urgently needed military equipment, we are showing once again that Germany is serious about its support,” Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said on Saturday. He did not elaborate on when the arms are expected to be delivered to Ukraine, though. The deputy head of the Conservative Union (CDU/CSU) parliamentary faction, Johann Wadephul, has called on Berlin to allow Ukrainians to use the German-made weapons against targets inside Russia. “Neither under international law nor politically is there any reason why Ukraine shouldn’t be allowed to attack targets in Russia,” he told Tagesspiegel daily. Meanwhile, the German public has been wary of the massive military support provided to Kiev throughout the conflict. In February, almost two thirds of Germans polled opposed providing Kiev with fighter jets, a survey showed.

In December 2022, a YouGov poll indicated that 45% were against sending German Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine. A number of German celebrities and public figures also sent two open letters addressed to Chancellor Olaf Scholz in which they asked Berlin to stop sending arms to Ukraine and to “do everything” instead to reach a ceasefire “as soon as possible” and find a “compromise that both sides can accept.” Russia previously repeatedly warned that “pumping” Ukraine with weapons would only prolong the human suffering and create risks of further escalation of the hostilities up to a direct confrontation between Moscow and NATO. It also said it was ready for a peaceful resolution to the conflict, as long as its goals are achieved and its interests are taken into account.

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We do?

We Need an Economic Bill of Rights (Jacobin)

Although the United States is richer and more productive than it ever has been, over forty million Americans live in poverty — roughly the same number as in 1933, when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt came to office during the height of the Great Depression, and 1964, when President Lyndon Johnson announced his “war on poverty.” Despite these troubling numbers, many economists assert the American Dream is alive and well, and that inequality is simply the price we as a nation must pay for economic growth. For years, both Republicans and Democrats accepted this fiction, though lately some Democrats have begun to return to fighting for more democratic control over the economy to broaden prosperity to the working class. Yet the party has no plan to address economic insecurity and poverty and better provide Americans with genuine freedom in their pursuit of happiness.

An economic bill of rights — one that expands on the freedoms enumerated in the Constitution by guaranteeing Americans basic economic security — should be the first step. It’s one that an increasing number of Americans support. This spring, polling by Data for Progress found that 69 percent of likely voters are in favor of legislation guaranteeing economic security, while just 24 percent are opposed. Young voters, who are less likely to achieve the upward mobility America promises, are even more likely to support the idea, with four out of five voters under forty-five in favor of passing universal economic security. Among voters edging closer to economic peril, those making under $50,000, nearly three out of four want economic rights enshrined in law. This support transcends party affiliation: majorities of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans all favor the passage of an economic bill of rights.

Economic rights are not a new idea. On January 11, 1944, as the Allies were turning the tide against fascism, President Roosevelt sat before an array of microphones to deliver his eleventh State of the Union address, which included his demand that Congress immediately take up an economic bill of rights to provide all Americans the right to a job at a living wage; the right to medical care; the right to a home; the right to an education; the right to economic protection from old age, sickness, and accident; and more. Roosevelt had sold Americans on the war as a fight for four freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from fear, and freedom from want. It was time to focus on the last of these: to guarantee “cradle-to-grave economic security.”

Although Roosevelt’s proposal was sui generis, he was drawing on an all-American history that reached back to its founding. Thomas Paine, the firebrand whose pamphlets spurred a fledgling nation to revolution, had called in Common Sense for the abolition of inheritance rights and the embrace of economic equality as essential in the fight for democracy. Alexander Hamilton argued that a strong centralized state, one that would shape markets and direct the economy to meet human needs, was the nation’s best “guarantor of liberty.” And Abraham Lincoln, through both the Homestead Act and Special Field Order No. 15, had sought to redistribute land to ensure universal economic security for white and black Americans alike (though without consideration for Native Americans, who were forcibly dispossessed through violent measures to provide parcels for white homesteaders).

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This Bird Is Singing! | Avenatti Tweets Warning From Prison

Avenatti Warns Unseen Evidence May Benefit Trump In Bragg Case (JTN)

Tweeting from prison, former Stormy Daniels lawyer Michael Avenatti has warned that there is considerable evidence in the Trump hush money payment scandal that could benefit the former president if the case reaches the trial stage. Avenatti rose to fame in 2018 while representing Daniels in legal efforts to invalidate her non-disclosure agreement related to the 2016 payment. During that time, he also mulled a presidential campaign and regularly appeared on cable networks. The former Daniels lawyer lost a defamation suit he brought against Trump on Daniels’ behalf. He was arrested in 2018 and has since been convicted of extortion, wire fraud, and other crimes. He has continued to tweet sporadically while serving his sentence.

“There are many critical facts and pieces of evidence (texts, emails, etc.) relating to the hush money scandal that have yet to see the light of day,” he said last week of Bragg’s investigation. “And they will unfortunately be very damaging to the prosecution if Trump stands trial. At this point, you simply can’t build a case on the testimony of Cohen & Daniels.” The former Daniels lawyer did not elaborate as to the nature of that evidence. Avenatti posted the warning prior to Trump’s Saturday announcement that he expected to be arrested this week, a development that has not yet occurred. He also said that Trump’s current attorney, Joe Tacopina, is a much more formidable legal advisor to Trump than any of the semi-celebrity lawyers with whom he has been known to associate.

“Atty Joe Tacopina is no Rudy Giuliani/Sydney Powell. The guy knows his way around a criminal courtroom. He will destroy Michael ‘Dumb as a Box of Rocks’ Cohen on the stand, esp. seeing as Cohen publicly lied for 15 mos. and now won’t stop talking on TV,” he asserted. Tacopina has previously addressed many of the potential arguments against his client. In an MSNBC interview last week, he contended that Trump’s payment to Cohen was a legitimate legal fee to settle a bill, noting that Cohen paid Daniels directly beforehand. “The payments were made to a lawyer, not to Stormy Daniels. The payments were made to Donald Trump’s lawyer, which would be considered legal fees,” he said.

The Trump attorney has also attempted to rebut the notion that such a payment would have been a campaign finance violation, claiming Trump would have made the payment regardless of whether or not he was seeking the presidency. “If the spending were the fulfillment of a commitment or the expenditure would exist irrespective of a campaign, it’s not a campaign law violation,” he added. “End of story. This would exist irrespective of the campaign.”

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“…The response was virtually immediate. Despite showing nine Biden family members allegedly receiving millions through a labyrinth of LLCs and accounts, The New Republic quickly ran a story headlined “Republicans Finally Admit They Have No Incriminating Evidence on Joe Biden.”…

The Blackout On Biden Corruption Is Truly ‘Pulitzer-level Stuff’ (Turley)

The brilliance of the Biden team was that it invested the media in this scandal at the outset by burying the laptop story as “Russian disinformation” before the election. That was, of course, false, but it took two years for most major media outlets to admit that the laptop was authentic. But the media then ignored what was on that “authentic laptop.” Hundreds of emails detailed potentially criminal conduct and raw influence peddling in foreign countries. When media outlets such as the New York Post confirmed the emails, the media then insisted that there was no corroboration of the influence peddling payments and no clear proof of criminal conduct. It entirely ignored the obvious corruption itself. Now that the House has released corroboration in actual money transfers linking many in the Biden family, the media is insisting that this is no scandal because there is not directly proof of payments to Joe Biden.

Putting aside that this is only the fourth month of an investigation, the media’s demand of a direct payment to President Biden is laughably absurd. The payments were going to his family, but he was the object of the influence peddling. The House has shown millions of dollars going to at least nine Bidens like dividends from a family business. As a long-time critic of influence peddling among both Republicans and Democrats, I have never seen the equal of the Bidens. The whole purpose of influence peddling is to use family members as shields for corrupt officials. Instead of making a direct payment to a politician, which could be seen as a bribe, you can give millions to his or her spouse or children. Moreover, these emails include references to Joe Biden getting a 10 percent cut of one Chinese deal. It also shows Biden associates warning not to use Joe Biden’s name but to employ code names like “the Big Guy.”

At the same time, the president and the first lady are referenced as benefiting from offices and receiving payments from Hunter. Indeed, Hunter complains that his father is taking half of everything that he is raking in. None of that matters. The New York Times ran a piece headlined, “House Republican Report Finds No Evidence of Wrongdoing by President Biden.” That is putting aside evidence against all the family members around Joe Biden. It also ignored that other evidence clearly shows Biden lied about this family not receiving Chinese funds or that he never had any knowledge of his son’s business dealings. The fact is that the Times may indeed be trying for another Pulitzer Prize. The newspaper previously won a Pulitzer for the now debunked Russian collusion story. It was later revealed that this story was based on a dossier funded by the Clinton campaign and placed in the media by Clinton officials. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bob Woodward warned the co-winner The Washington Post that the story was unreliable but was ignored. The Pulitzer Committee refused to withdraw the award.

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Someone will fake it for him.

Republicans Demand Biden Take Cognitive Test Or Drop Out (RT)

US President Joe Biden must pass a cognitive exam or abandon the 2024 presidential race, 61 Republican members of the House of Representatives demanded on Thursday in an open letter to the commander-in-chief. “The United States’ national security relies on a cognitively sound Commander in Chief, and it is evident that you do not fit that bill,” the letter stated, citing the concerns of the American public – 57% of voters don’t think Biden is “mentally fit” to lead the country, according to one recent poll – and the president’s own refusal to address those concerns in the first three years of his term. Led by Texas Rep. Ronny Jackson, a former White House doctor, the letter’s signatories urged Biden to “submit to a clinically validated cognitive screening assessment and make those results available to the public” or retire and “allow a mentally fit leader to emerge.”

The physical exams he underwent in 2021 and earlier this year, which included a testimonial from White House doctor Kevin O’Connor that Biden is a “healthy, vigorous 80-year-old male, who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency,” do not count, they argued, as these did not include a cognitive assessment – not a public one, anyway. “Over the past two years, public appearances where you shuffle your feet, trip when you walk, slur your words, forget names, lose your train of thought and appear momentarily confused have become more of a common occurrence […] so common and noticeable that if you search ‘Biden gaffes’ online, over 14,000,000 results appear,” the congressmen pointed out.

Questions about the president’s mental fitness have dogged him since the 2020 primary season, when the candidate Biden would occasionally forget the name of the city or state he was appearing in, the words to the Declaration of Independence, or even the president under whom he served as vice president for eight years. At least three other letters urging the president to submit to a cognitive assessment have gone unanswered since he took office in 2021. Already the oldest president in US history, Biden announced his reelection bid last month. If he wins, he would be 86 at the end of his second term. His leading Republican challenger, former president Donald Trump, is no spring chicken himself at 76, but has spearheaded the call for the incumbent to receive a cognitive evaluation, insisting there is something “wrong” with his opponent.

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“..we’re only going to have 10% of our border patrol agents actively patrolling the border, and the cartels will own every inch of the border.”

US Officials Admit Losing ‘Operational Control’ Of Border (JTN)

With just two words, the top uniformed officer in the Customs and Border Protection agency sent shockwaves across official Washington two months ago when asked whether his agency has operational control of the southern U.S. border. “No, sir,” Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz told Congress in a shocking admission that exposed just how badly border security has deteriorated under President Joe Biden. At the time, illegal crossings at the border in March were averaging 5,000 a day, far more than the historical average of 2,000 daily at the end of the Trump administration. By last week, those crossing had exploded to a record 10,000 a day as the pandemic-related Title 42 order allowing migrants to be turned away expired. Border officials says illegal crossings will soon shoot up to 11,000 to 16,000 daily.

With each increase under Biden, more border patrol agents are being torn from their security roles and moved to process migrants and release them into the country. When the total hits 16,000 daily, only 10% of available border agents will be on patrol and the drug cartels will have full control, says Brandon Judd, a border patrol agent and the president of the National Border Patrol Council, the union representing border agent. Judd says the crisis point will emerge in a few weeks when media attention to the end of Title 42 subsides and the cartels take full advantage. “As the talk starts to die down, as you start to see the media go away from the border, that’s when we’re going to see the numbers start to shoot right back up,” Judd told the John Solomon Reports podcast on Friday. “So we can expect post-Title 42, we can expect that our numbers are going to go up anywhere between 13,000 to 16,000 apprehensions per day.”

Judd provided unprecedented detail on how border secutity patrols decrease as illegal migrants rise. “When we’re apprehending 3,000 people, we’re pulling resources out of the field,” he explained. “We don’t have as many Border Patrol agents patrolling the border. When we’re apprehending 5,000 people a day – now we only have 50% of our border patrol agents patrolling the border. When we hit 10,000 apprehensions a day, that means we’re only deploying 30% of our border patrol agents to patrol the border. “And when that happens, the cartels are able to gain ground on the vast majority of our border, as they start controlling the vast majority of our border. Once those numbers go up to 13,000 to 16,000, we’re only going to have 10% of our border patrol agents actively patrolling the border, and the cartels will own every inch of the border.”

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“Democracy dies behind closed doors..”

Judge Orders FDA to Speed Up Release of COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Data (ET)

A federal judge in Texas this week ordered the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to make public data it relied on to license COVID-19 vaccines—Moderna’s for adults and Pfizer’s for children—at an accelerated rate, requiring all documents to be made public by mid-2025 rather than, as the FDA wanted, over the course of around 23.5 years. In a decision hailed as a win for transparency by the lawyer representing the plaintiffs (the parents of a child injured by a COVID-19 vaccine) in a lawsuit (pdf) against the FDA, the Texas judge ordered the FDA to produce the data about ten times faster than the agency wanted. “Democracy dies behind closed doors,” is how U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman opened his order, issued on May 9, which requires the FDA to produce the data on Moderna’s and Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccines at an average rate of at least 180,000 pages per month.

The FDA had argued it would be “impractical” to release the estimated 4.8 million pages at more than between 1,000 and 16,000 pages per month, which would have taken at least 23.5 years. Aaron Siri of Siri & Glimstad, who represents the plaintiffs in the legal action against the FDA, called the decision “another blow for transparency and accountability” that builds on an earlier court order targeting Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine data for those aged 16 and older. The January 2022 order (pdf), also issued by Pittman, forced the FDA to produce all its data on Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for those aged 16 and older at a rate of 55,000 pages per month, or much faster than the 75 years the agency had sought. “That production should be completed in a few more months,” Siri said in a statement, referring to the earlier Pfizer data for those aged 16 and up. The latest order requires the FDA to produce all of its data on Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds (and Moderna’s product for adults) by June 31, 2025.

While the judge noted in his order that the court recognizes the FDA’s limited resources dedicated to freedom of information requests (FOIA), he argued that “the number of resources an agency dedicates to such requests does not dictate the bounds of an individual’s FOIA rights.” “Instead, the Court must ensure that the fullest possible disclosure of the information sought is timely provided—as ‘stale information is of little value,’” Pittman wrote. In order to ensure the FDA can meet the accelerated deadline—so around ten times faster than the agency wanted—the judge ordered the parties to the lawsuit to confer and submit a joint production schedule for the data by May 23, 2023.

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“..mortality related to the virus itself is relatively low, but other things that happen during the ICU stay, like secondary bacterial pneumonia, offset that.”

Official Report: Ventilators Killed Nearly All Covid Patients (TPV)

Nearly all COVID-19 patients who died in hospital during the early phase of the pandemic were killed as a direct result of being put on a ventilator, a disturbing new report has concluded. A new analysis suggests that most patients who were forced to be hooked up to a ventilator due to a COVID-19 infection also developed secondary bacterial pneumonia. This pneumonia was responsible for a higher mortality rate than the COVID-19 infection. So while COVID-19 may have put these patients in the hospital, it was actually a secondary infection brought on by the use of a mechanical ventilator that caused their deaths. “Our study highlights the importance of preventing, looking for, and aggressively treating secondary bacterial pneumonia in critically ill patients with severe pneumonia, including those with COVID-19,” says Benjamin Singer, a pulmonologist at Northwestern University in Illinois. reports: The team looked at records for 585 people admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, also in Illinois. They all had severe pneumonia and/or respiratory failure, and 190 had COVID-19. Using a machine learning approach to crunch through the data, the researchers grouped patients based on their condition and the amount of time they spent in intensive care. The findings refute the idea that a cytokine storm following COVID-19 – an overwhelming inflammation response causing organ failure – was responsible for a significant number of deaths. There was no evidence of multi-organ failure in the patients studied.

Instead, COVID-19 patients were more likely to develop ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) and for longer periods. Cases where VAP didn’t respond to treatment were significant in terms of the overall mortality rates in the study. “Those who were cured of their secondary pneumonia were likely to live, while those whose pneumonia did not resolve were more likely to die,” says Singer. “Our data suggested that the mortality related to the virus itself is relatively low, but other things that happen during the ICU stay, like secondary bacterial pneumonia, offset that.” These results suggest that ICU outcomes could be improved if there were better strategies to diagnose and treat VAP episodes – something that the researchers say needs to be addressed in the future.

It’s worth bearing in mind that if a patient’s requirement for a ventilator to treat COVID-19 complications leads to VAP, this doesn’t imply that a COVID-19 infection is less dangerous, nor does it decrease the number of COVID-19 fatalities. As the authors write in their paper, “The relatively long length of stay among patients with COVID-19 is primarily due to prolonged respiratory failure, placing them at higher risk of VAP.”

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“Do not forget Assange, or you will lose him.”
– John Pilger

The Betrayers of Julian Assange (John Pilger)

I have known Julian Assange since I first interviewed him in London in 2010. I immediately liked his dry, dark sense of humour, often dispensed with an infectious giggle. He is a proud outsider: sharp and thoughtful. We have become friends and I have sat in many courtrooms listening to the tribunes of the state try to silence him and his moral revolution in journalism. My own high point was when a judge in the Royal Courts of Justice leaned across his bench and growled at me: “You are just a peripatetic Australian like Assange.” My name was on a list of volunteers to stand bail for Julian, and this judge spotted me as the one who had reported his role in the notorious case of the expelled Chagos Islanders. Unintentionally, he delivered me a compliment.

I saw Julian in Belmarsh prison not long ago. We talked about books and the oppressive idiocy of the prison: the happy-clappy slogans on the walls, the petty punishments; they still won’t let him use the gym. He must exercise alone in a cage-like area where there is sign that warns about keeping off the grass. But there is no grass. We laughed; for a brief moment, some things didn’t seem too bad. The laughter is a shield, of course. When the prison guards began to jangle their keys, as they like to do, indicating our time was up, he fell quiet. As I left the room, he held his fist high and clenched as he always does. He is the embodiment of courage. Those who are the antithesis of Julian: in whom courage is unheard of, along with principle and honour, stand between him and freedom.

Assange and Khan

I am not referring to the Mafia regime in Washington whose pursuit of a good man is meant as a warning to us all, but rather to those who still claim to run a just democracy in Australia. Anthony Albanese was mouthing his favourite platitude, “enough is enough” long before he was elected prime minister of Australia last year. He gave many of us precious hope, including Julian’s family. As prime minister he added weasel words about “not sympathizing” with what Julian had done. Apparently we had to understand his need to cover his appropriated posteria in case Washington called him to order.

We knew it would take exceptional political if not moral courage for Albanese to stand up in the Australian Parliament — the same Parliament that will disport itself before Joe Biden in May — and say: “As prime minister, it is my government’s responsibility to bring home an Australian citizen who is clearly the victim of a great, vindictive injustice: a man who has been persecuted for the kind of journalism that is a true public service, a man who has not lied, or deceived — like so many of his counterfeit in the media, but has told people the truth about how the world is run.”

Imran Khan

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Oct 112022
 October 11, 2022  Posted by at 8:15 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  50 Responses »

Paul Gauguin By the stream, autumn 1885


You Can Always Dream (Jim Kunstler)
Ukraine’s ‘Nazi Regime’ Must Be Dismantled – Medvedev (RT)
A Nice Bridge You Got There… (Dmitry Orlov)
West Has Now Set A Course On Total Terrorist Warfare (Saker)
Terror On Crimea Bridge Forces Russia To Unleash Shock’n Awe (Escobar)
All Quiet on the Eastern Front? Not At All, Atlantis (Batiushka)
Russian MOD Comments On Results Of Strikes In Ukraine (RT)
Ukraine Halts Electricity Exports To EU (RT)
Dancing In The Streets…. (Denninger)
Hard Winter Ahead For Europe – Erdogan (RT)
Putin Meeting With Permanent Members Of The Russian Security Council (Saker)
Before Ukraine Blew Up Kerch Bridge, British Spies Plotted It (GZ)
Global Pandemic Response was a House of Cards (McCullough)
Trump Shreds Four Former Presidents, Hillary Clinton (CB)
Julian Assange and Our Impunity Democracy (Bovard)



George Webb’s predictions are quite specific. A Kissinger initiated peace conferece will start – in about 10 days. After all the lights go out in Ukraine, and after Russia detonates a small neutron bomb -tennis ball size- along with some plutonium, deep underneath a steel plant like Azovstal. The west will pay well over $300 billion for its reconstruction.



















“Message: if you think we’re fucking around, consider this an attitude adjustment opportunity.”

You Can Always Dream (Jim Kunstler)

Forgive me for repeating what I’ve written more than once before: Russia will not benefit from having a broken, failed state on its doorstep. Such a situation would clearly just invite more international hugger-mugger. Rather, Russia will benefit hugely from having a neutral, functioning Ukraine next door, a state with ample agricultural resources that could plausibly feed its people and live in peace, perhaps even enjoy special trade privileges with its bigger neighbor to the east… a Ukraine that would be a geographical buffer between Russia and what is apt to be a very disorderly and distressed Western Europe on the other side. The Ukrainian leader, Mr. Zelenskyy, capped off the weeks of sabotage by appealing to the US and NATO to conduct “preemptive nuclear strikes” against Russia proper.

That’ll work in Ukraine’s favor, I’m sure. He promised to call German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and make the pitch for NATO jumping into the action on the ground. (And with whose army would that be?) Such cheek from this desperado! Going mad-dog is probably not a sign of confidence. As of Monday, October 10, Russia began delivering some disciplinary actions against Mr. Zelenskyy’s insolent regime. Russia sent missiles into at least 10 Ukrainian cities, targeting electric power generation, water, central heating, and other “key services” in Kiev and elsewhere. Message: if you think we’re fucking around, consider this an attitude adjustment opportunity.

The action is an overture to a strategic shift. Russia aims to speed up the game clock, consolidate its ownership of the Donbas provinces, destroy Ukraine’s remaining military capability, bust up enough stuff to perhaps prompt the Ukrainian people to ask whether continuing to follow Mr. Zelenskyy’s gang is a good idea, and leave no alternative to talks that will leave Ukraine neutralized. Mr. Putin is calling “Joe Biden’s” bluff. All of this could have been avoided, of course, if the maniacs of America’s deep state had simply abided by the promise made thirty years ago to not expand NATO. What part of that deal didn’t we understand? Apparently, all of it. On purpose. Because we have acted with conscious and arrogant dishonor.

Of course, our “president” could commence that nuclear war he affects to be so avid for. It would be a fitting career-capper for the Ol’ Dawg. The show-runner behind all this needless mayhem, former President Barack Obama, reminded us a while back: “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to fuck things up.” Roger that, BHO! Which gets back to that dream I had of the headline: BIDEN ARRESTED. It was good, but not enough. How about : BIDEN, OBAMA, AND 639 FEDERAL OFFICIALS IN NINE AGENCIES ARRESTED. What a strange moment in our long and steadfast history as an orderly Republic that would be. And yet, what a perfect ending to these years of perfidy and travail.

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No nukes, no NATO, no nazis.

Ukraine’s ‘Nazi Regime’ Must Be Dismantled – Medvedev (RT)

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday called for a “complete dismantling” of Ukraine’s “political regime.” Writing on Telegram, Medvedev, who now serves as deputy head of the Security Council, shared his “personal opinion,” claiming that the current “Nazi political regime” in Kiev will represent “a constant, direct and clear threat to Russia.” “Therefore, in addition to protecting our people and protecting the borders of the country, our future actions, in my opinion, should be aimed at a complete dismantling of the political regime of Ukraine,” Medvedev said. Commenting on the numerous missile strikes carried out across Ukraine on Monday morning, the former Russian leader said that that was a “first episode” and that “there will be others.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier on Monday confirmed that the major operation against Ukrainian infrastructure was in response to the October 8 attack on the Crimean Bridge. Moscow considers it an act of terrorism organized by the Ukrainian security services. Claiming that “the Kiev regime has been using terrorist methods for a very long time,” Putin warned Ukraine against further attacks on Russian soil. Otherwise, Kiev will face a response “on a scale corresponding to the threats created against Russia,” the president said. Meanwhile, Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for the attack on the Crimean Bridge, despite the country’s top officials openly celebrating the deadly explosion.

The EU condemned Monday’s shelling of Ukrainian cities by Moscow, with the bloc’s top diplomat Josep Borrell pledging to provide more military assistance to Kiev in response. The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that its forces had carried out multiple strikes “on objects of military command and control systems, communications and energy of Ukraine.” Kiev, Lviv, Kharkov, Odessa and other cities were targeted, according to the local authorities, while regions across Ukraine are facing blackouts and rotating power cuts.

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“..there was no land connecting Crimea to the rest of Russia; but now that Kherson and Donetsk are again part of Russia, traffic from Simferopol to Rostov can be sent around the northern shore of Sea of Azov..”

A Nice Bridge You Got There… (Dmitry Orlov)

A truck bomb exploded on the bridge that links Crimea with Krasnodar, shutting it down for almost a whole day. Oh, and before we forget, Krasny Liman, a railroad junction in Donetsk was temporarily surrendered to the relentlessly attacking Ukrainians (mostly Polish mercenaries, actually) who drenched it in their blood and festooned it with their billowing entrails in the process. These and other less significant events have caused some small but noisy part of Russian social media to explode in consternation, baying for revenge and generally acting dissatisfied with the progress made since the Special Operation was declared on February 22, 2022. Sure enough, plenty of these hysterical voices are actually paid Ukrainian agents tasked with spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt and, sure enough, the Special Operation will proceed regardless, so this is all just a temporary annoyance.

But I will comment on it because I feel that I have to, and then move on to more important things. The bridge across the Kerch Strait was under discussion for many decades. It was in the planning stages even while Crimea was still an autonomy within the constitutionally intact Ukraine, prior to the US-instigated violent coup of 2014. After Crimea rejoined Russia, it became extremely important to create a ground transportation link between it and the mainland, and the bridge was built in record time. It was a massive undertaking and is a high-prestige item for the Russian government. But there have also been some organizational issues. As it stands, yesterday a large tractor-trailer packed with explosives was detonated on the highway portion of the bridge just as a cargo train with cisterns of diesel was passing through.

The resulting explosion demolished two reinforced concrete highway spans and sooted up the rail bed. All train traffic and half of the road traffic were restarted that very day. There is equipment to X-ray all cargo passing through, but it wasn’t being used because of certain bureaucratic inadequacies; these, I am sure, will now be remedied. The reason the bridge was extremely important was because there was no land connecting Crimea to the rest of Russia; but now that Kherson and Donetsk are again part of Russia, traffic from Simferopol to Rostov can be sent around the northern shore of Sea of Azov (which is now an entirely Russian body of water); the difference is between 690km and 730km. The bridge is by means superfluous because the distance to Krasnodar, another regional hub, is 1030km by land and just 460km via the bridge. But the new land route from Moscow to Simferopol is 350km shorter.

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“.. the West’s “redirection” towards terrorism is an admission of military, economic and political defeat.”

West Has Now Set A Course On Total Terrorist Warfare (Saker)

From what I have read, a truck filled with explosives blew up, killing three people in a car nearby, and then the flames took over a train also crossing the bridge. That train was full of fuel. It is only thanks to the amazing speed at which the bridge crews reacted that the damage was limited to only 9 wagons and, therefore, to a much shorter segment of the rail tracks. Looking at the video, one would imagine that the bridge is in ruins. In fact, traffic was reestablished on both rail tracks and the road in less than 24 hours (with the exception of heavy trucks). In other words, this is yet another case of “it is humiliating, but not dangerous” But that is an increasingly mistaken notion: this time is also VERY dangerous.

It is self-evident that the Kiev regime would never have had the means, technical and political, to execute such an attack without being told to do so by its masters in the West. Such an attack, right on the heels of the attacks on of NS1/NS2 shows beyond any doubt that West has now set a course on total terrorist warfare. This makes sense, since for all the so-called “victories” of the NATO forces in the Ukraine, the reality is that they reconquered a few villages and towns while Russia liberated and then incorporated entire regions. And Russia did that while always being at a numerical disadvantage. And while inflicting 10:1 KIA ratios. In other words the West’s “redirection” towards terrorism is an admission of military, economic and political defeat.

While this is hardly a surprise, the West *always* uses terrorism against sovereign governments, this is still a very negative development for Russia. Simply put, there are always more targets than cops/guards. Furthermore, terrorists can always chose the time and location of their attacks. So far, the Ukronazi efforts in Russia yielded very little tangible benefits: the murder of Dugina made her into a martyr, the attack on NS1/NS2 really only hurt Germany and the EU, while the explosion on Crimean Bridge has proven that this is a very hard target which will be extremely hard to destroy short of using a tactical nuke.

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“The lightning strike de facto metastasizing of SMO into CTO means that the regime in Kiev and those supporting it are now considered as legitimate targets..”

Terror On Crimea Bridge Forces Russia To Unleash Shock’n Awe (Escobar)

So we had, in sequence, Ukrainian terrorists blowing up Darya Dugina’s car in a Moscow suburb (they admitted it); US/UK special forces (partially) blowing Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 (they admitted and then retracted); and the terror attack on Krymsky Most (once again: admitted then retracted). Not to mention the shelling of Russian villages in Belgorod, NATO supplying long-range weapons to Kiev, and the routine execution of Russian soldiers. Darya Dugina, Nord Streams and Crimea Bridge make it an Act of War trifecta. So this time the response was inevitable – not even waiting for the first meeting since February of the Russian Security Council scheduled for the afternoon of 10 October.

Moscow launched the first wave of a Russian Shock’n Awe without even changing the status of the Special Military Operation (SMO) to Counter-Terrorist Operation (CTO), with all its serious military/legal implications. After all, even before the UN Security Council meeting, Russian public opinion was massively behind taking the gloves off. Putin had not even scheduled bilateral meetings with any of the members. Diplomatic sources hint that the decision to let the hammer come down had already been taken over the weekend. Shock’n Awe did not wait for the announcement of an ultimatum to Ukraine (that may come in a few days); an official declaration of war (not necessary); or even announcing which ‘”decision-making centers” in Ukraine would be hit.

The lightning strike de facto metastasizing of SMO into CTO means that the regime in Kiev and those supporting it are now considered as legitimate targets, just like ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra during the Anti-Terror Operation (ATO) in Syria. And the change of status – now this is a real war on terror – means that terminating all strands of terrorism, physical, cultural, ideological, are the absolute priority, and not the safety of Ukrainian civilians. During the SMO, safety of civilians was paramount. Even the UN has been forced to admit that in over seven months of SMO the number of civilian casualties in Ukraine has been relatively low.

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‘The entry of the four provinces into Russia is not the last’.

All Quiet on the Eastern Front? Not At All, Atlantis (Batiushka)

We are still having our minds blown by President Putin’s Speech over a week ago. How many times we have listened to it and watched it. If I may say something personal, I can say that I have not even dared dream for over 40 years that a Russian leader would make such a speech. I thought I would die long before it would happen, even if it did happen. I was waiting for the end of the world and now hope has been given us. The President said it all, summing up an evil millennium of Western history, starting with its worldwide plunder and ending in its shameful Woke ideologies, the denial and destruction of Spiritual Reality, National Sovereignty and Family Life. Yes, this is Satanism against any sort of Spiritual Tradition. And only Russia has dared to oppose this Satanism. Needless to say, we stand behind the Russian Federation 100%. As the President, our President, said: ‘Nothing will be as before’.

The results from the referenda on returning to Russia in four Russian-speaking Ukrainian provinces came in nearly two weeks ago: Donetsk: 99% Lugansk: 98% Zaporozhie: 93% Kherson: 87%. Thus, on 30 September these four provinces, the size of four Belgiums, duly joined the Russian Federation, following the example of the Crimea over eight years ago. The results were interesting, as they showed how popularity for the move ‘declines’ as you move westwards, with Kherson at ‘only’ 87%. However, nobody should be surprised that Russian-speaking areas overwhelmingly, even if ‘only’ 87%, wanted to return to Russia, which is where they belonged until 1922. The voting, ethnicity, linguistic and religious patterns are clear from, for example, the maps and analysis of the Eurasian Research Institute.

Nobody should be surprised, unless of course they have no common sense, or else their common sense has been blinded by their ‘West is Best’ ideology, which is in fact the essence of Nazism. Nearly 10,000,000 people, nearly one quarter of the population of the Crimea-less Ukraine (pre-War population) (more people than those in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Georgia combined), some 20% of the landmass of the Crimea-less Ukraine, an area nearly the size of England, joined the Russian Federation. Out of 25 provinces in the Ukraine before the violent, US-organised overthrow of the democratically-elected Ukrainian government (cost to the US taxpayer: $5 billion) in February 2014, 20 are now left. Who leaves next? As the head of the Republic of the Crimea, Sergei Aksjonov, said on 1 October: ‘The entry of the four provinces into Russia is not the last’.

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“The goal of the strike has been achieved. All designated objects have been hit..”

Russian MOD Comments On Results Of Strikes In Ukraine (RT)

A rocket barrage that targeted Ukrainian military objects and infrastructure has accomplished its goal, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed on Monday. The attack came after Moscow accused Kiev of orchestrating a deadly explosion on the strategic Crimean Bridge. Speaking at a regular briefing, Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov noted that Russia had used high-precision and long-range weapons to hit objects on Ukrainian territory, including “military command facilities, communications and energy systems.”“The goal of the strike has been achieved. All designated objects have been hit,” he noted.

His comments came hours after Russia struck multiple targets in Kiev, with the city’s Mayor Vitaly Klitschko claiming that “critical infrastructure” had been affected. The attack also apparently hit Vladimirskaya Street, where the main office of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) is based, according to Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to the interior minister. Apart from Kiev, several other Ukrainian cities were targeted, including Dnepr in east of the country, and Lviv in the west. Following the strikes, Ukrainian authorities reported blackouts in Lviv, Poltava, Sumy, Kharkov and Ternopol Regions, adding that in other parts of the country power supply had been partially disrupted.

On Monday, President Vladimir Putin warned Ukraine that if it orchestrates any new terrorist attacks on Russia, it “will respond firmly and on a scale corresponding to the threats created against” it. The attacks follow a powerful explosion that rocked the Crimean Bridge on Saturday, killing three and causing the partial collapse of the road section, as well as a blaze on the parallel railway span. While Ukrainian officials did not directly assume responsibility for the explosion, on Sunday Putin claimed that it was the Ukrainian intelligence service that had orchestrated the blast.

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“The cynicism is that the entire supply chain has been hit..” “It’s both electricity distribution systems and generation.”

Ukraine Halts Electricity Exports To EU (RT)

Damage to energy infrastructure caused by Moscow’s air strikes has forced Ukraine’s government to cut off electricity exports to the European Union, taking away a supply source that Kiev claims helped its partners reduce their reliance on power generated with Russian natural gas. “Today’s missile strikes, which hit the thermal generation and electrical substations, forced Ukraine to suspend electricity exports from October 11, 2022, to stabilize its own energy system,” the Ukrainian energy ministry said on Monday in a statement. The ministry noted that even after losing control of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant to Russian forces in March, Kiev had been able to meet its export commitments to European partners, but Monday’s attacks were the largest of the entire conflict.

“The cynicism is that the entire supply chain has been hit,” Energy Minister German Galushchenko said. “It’s both electricity distribution systems and generation. The enemy’s goal is to make it difficult to reconnect electricity supplies from other sources.” Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday’s air strikes on Kiev and other major Ukrainian cities – targeting military, energy and communications infrastructure – came in response to Ukraine’s attack on the strategic Crimean Bridge on Saturday. “If there are further attempts to conduct terrorist attacks on our soil, Russia will respond firmly and on a scale corresponding to the threats created against Russia,” Putin announced. Galushchenko, however, accused Moscow of waging “energy terror” in retaliation for Kiev helping other countries reduce their dependence on Russia.

After joining European energy system ENTSO-E back in June, Kiev said it expected to earn some €1.5 billion from electricity exports to the EU by the end of the year. “That is why Russia is destroying our energy system, killing the very possibility of exporting electricity from Ukraine,”the energy minister claimed. Ukrenergo, the national power grid operator, claimed its specialists have been “engaging backup supply schemes” and repaired some of the damage by Monday night. In the meantime the ministry urged “all citizens of Ukraine to unite” and minimize their energy use during the peak demand hours, arguing that not only Ukraine is implementing measures to reduce power consumption, but the “whole of Europe is doing this now.”

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“..if you, ladies and gentlemen, support beyond that point the Government of Ukraine, either in word or deed you support the backing and outright commission of terrorism.”

Dancing In The Streets…. (Denninger)

Who remembers those that danced in the streets and cheered when 9/11 happened? You’re old enough to remember that, right? It wasn’t that long ago. I remember it quite well and the level of revulsion I had for those who participated was visceral and permanent; it remains even today. The detonation on the land bridge to Crimea at first looked like perhaps part of an act of War; special forces or something like that who managed to infiltrate into the area and blow it up. That happens during wars. Except… a closer look discloses that this was clearly not such a thing at all. Indeed it appears to be a simple truck bomb and it was primarily aimed at civilians and civilian infrastructure. In other words exactly as was Oklahoma City or the first attempt at the World Trade Center in the case of a truck bomb, and exactly as were two airliners aimed at the Twin Towers.

Those were all…… terrorism. Do recall that after 9/11 some of the cheerleading was done by government actors in certain other nations. Well, the government of Ukraine has officially endorsed the truck bombing that, near as we can tell, killed only civilians. According to the NY Times, it would appear, they not only endorsed it they orchestrated it. In other words Zelinskyy is reasonably compared against Bin Laden, the Blind Sheikh or Timothy McVeigh. So if you, ladies and gentlemen, support beyond that point the Government of Ukraine, either in word or deed you support the backing and outright commission of terrorism. I find your actions equally revolting — and I will forevermore — exactly as I found those who danced when the towers came down. And that’s a fact.

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“..the next one “will be even more difficult.”

Hard Winter Ahead For Europe – Erdogan (RT)

European countries are about to face significant difficulties this winter amid limited deliveries of Russian natural gas, Türkiye’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday. Speaking at the TUGVA youth forum, Türkiye’s leader noted that the whole continent “is on fire now.” “The entire Europe is wondering: ‘How will this winter go?’” he said. Meanwhile, according to Erdogan, his country will have no issues with energy resources in the coming months. “Thank God, we have made all our preparations… we have prepared everything for our nation, both natural gas and coal,” he stated. He also noted that the main issue for the nation is “how to deliver natural gas to our citizens at more affordable prices,” adding that Ankara is doing its best to achieve this goal. Erdogan went on to explain that Ankara is acting as a leading mediator between Ukraine and Russia, which have been locked in conflict since late February.

Several months ago, Ankara and the UN brokered a deal between Moscow and Kiev that unblocked Ukrainian grain exports via the Black Sea. Erdogan has also repeatedly urged the two parties to strike a peace deal. His comments come as Europe is reeling from an energy crisis fueled by skyrocketing gas prices due to sanctions the West has imposed on Russia over the conflict. While EU authorities have taken measures to cut energy consumption in a bid to alleviate the situation, various officials and public figures have warned of the desperate situation the continent may find itself. Earlier this month, Microsoft founder Bill Gates claimed that in a few months Europe may face a “very scary situation” as many could be unable to heat their homes. In late September, EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson also predicted that this winter “will not be easy,” adding that the next one “will be even more difficult.”

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“..the Kiev regime, by its actions, has actually put itself on the same level as international terrorist groups, and with the most odious of those. It is simply no longer possible to leave crimes of this kind without retaliation.”

Putin Meeting With Permanent Members Of The Russian Security Council (Saker)

The President held a briefing session with permanent members of the Security Council, via videoconference. “Colleagues, good afternoon, You know that yesterday Chairman of the Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin reported to me on the first results of the investigation into the act of sabotage on the Crimean Bridge. The forensic and other expert data, as well as operational information, show that the October 8 explosion was an act of terrorism aimed at destroying Russia’s civilian and critical infrastructure. It is also clear that the Ukrainian special services were the organisers and perpetrators of the attack. The Kiev regime has long been using terrorist methods, including murders of public figures, journalists and scientists, both in Ukraine and in Russia.

And terrorist attacks on towns in Donbass, which have been going on for more than eight years. And also acts of nuclear terrorism, by which I mean missile and artillery strikes on the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant. This is not the whole story: Ukraine’s special services have also carried out three terrorist acts against Russia’s Kursk Nuclear Power Plant, repeatedly blowing up the plant’s high-voltage lines. The third such terrorist attack damaged three of those lines at once. The damage was repaired in the shortest possible time and there were no serious consequences. However, there have been a number of other terrorist attacks and attempts to commit similar crimes against electricity generation and gas transportation infrastructure facilities in our country, including an attempt to blow up a section of the TurkStream gas pipeline system.

All this has been proven by objective data, including the testimony of the detained perpetrators. It is well known that Russian representatives are not allowed to take part in the investigation into the causes of explosions at and the destruction of international gas pipelines running under the Baltic Sea. But we all know who ultimately benefits from this crime. Thus, the Kiev regime, by its actions, has actually put itself on the same level as international terrorist groups, and with the most odious of those. It is simply no longer possible to leave crimes of this kind without retaliation.”


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“..Britain’s evident interest in planning such an attack underscores the deep involvement of NATO powers in the Ukraine proxy war..”

Before Ukraine Blew Up Kerch Bridge, British Spies Plotted It (GZ)

The secret British intelligence plot to blow up Crimea’s Kerch Bridge is revealed in internal documents and correspondence obtained exclusively by The Grayzone. The Grayzone has obtained an April 2022 presentation drawn up for senior British intelligence officers hashing out an elaborate scheme to blow up Crimea’s Kerch Bridge with the involvement of specially trained Ukrainian soldiers. Almost six months after the plan was circulated, Kerch Bridge was attacked in an October 8th suicide bombing apparently overseen by Ukraine’s SBU intelligence services. Detailed proposals for providing “audacious” support to Kiev’s “maritime raiding operations” were drafted at the request of Chris Donnelly, a senior British Army intelligence operative and veteran high ranking NATO advisor. The wide-ranging plan’s core component was “destruction of the bridge over the Kerch Strait.”

Documents and correspondence plotting the operation were provided to The Grayzone by an anonymous source. The truck bombing of the Kerch Bridge differed operationally from the plot sketched therein. Yet, Britain’s evident interest in planning such an attack underscores the deep involvement of NATO powers in the Ukraine proxy war. At almost precisely the time that London reportedly sabotaged peace talks between Kiev and Moscow in April this year, British military intelligence operatives were drawing up blueprints to destroy a major Russian bridge crossed by thousands of civilians per day. The roadmap was produced by Hugh Ward, a British military veteran. A number of strategies for helping Ukraine “pose a threat to Russian naval forces” in the Black Sea are outlined.

The overriding objectives are stated as aiming to “degrade” Russia’s ability to blockade Kiev, “erode” Moscow’s “warfighting capability”, and isolate Russian land and maritime forces in Crimea by “denying resupply by sea and overland via Kerch bridge.” In an email, Ward asked Donnelly to “please protect this document,” and it’s easy to see why. Of these assorted plans, only the “Kerch Bridge Raid CONOPS [concept of operation]” is subject to a dedicated annex at the conclusion of Ward’s report, underlining its significance. The content amounts to direct, detailed advocacy for the commission of what could constitute a grave war crime. Markedly, in plotting ways to destroy a major passenger bridge, there is no reference to avoiding civilian casualties.

Across three separate pages, alongside diagrams, the author spells out the terms of the “mission” – “[disabling] the Kerch Bridge in a way that is audacious, disrupts road and rail access to Crimea and maritime access to the Sea of Azov.” Ward suggests that destroying the bridge “would require a cruise missile battery to hit the two concrete pillars either side of the central steel arch, which will cause a complete structural failure,” and “prevent any road re-supply from the Russian mainland to Crimea and temporally [sic] disrupt the shipping lane.”

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4 pillars.

Global Pandemic Response was a House of Cards (McCullough)

The last and longest hearing occurred on January 24, 2022, the day after the Defeat the Mandates Rally in Washington where tens of thousands of Americans gathered to hear about the unjust mandates from doctors, nurses, scientists, religious leaders, employment groups, and entertainers and journalists. The January 24, 2022, hearing was co-moderated by Dr. McCullough and this time had dozens of doctors, nurses, patients, attorneys, and press in attendance. In a roundtable presentations were given, and questions were answered on the “Four Pillars of Pandemic Response.” These principles of how a nation should use its public health and clinical resources to respond to a novel infectious outbreak were presented and published by Dr. McCullough in the fall of 2020: 1) contagion control, 2) early ambulatory treatment, 3) late treatment in the hospital, 4) vaccination.

The reason why McCullough’s four pillars are so important is that a balanced approach would have provided the most immediate relief and care to those who are ill at the moment to reduce hospitalizations and deaths while developing a longer-run strategy. The four pillars should have been the framework for monthly updates from the White House Task Force and the CDC/NIH/FDA with input from teams of practicing doctors and experts on each of the pillars. So when doing an evaluation of how America and the world performed in the COVID-19 crisis, the four pillars of pandemic response is a vital framework upon which to craft the exercise.

This structure can also apply to any local community, hospital, health system or other jurisdiction. Every single organization who acted in a capacity of making decisions during the pandemic and took responsibility on policy decisions should take the time and effort to do a post-mortem evaluation using the four pillars—it is likely they will quickly see their imbalanced set of errors—largely ones of omission on the pillars of early and late treatment cost hundreds of thousands of lives and millions of avoidable hospitalizations. Without the four pillars, global pandemic response was a house of cards.

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“But almost as bad, crooked Hillary deleted 33,000 emails under congressional subpoena. She acid-washed them. … [It’s a] very expensive process. That’s why nobody does it.”

Trump Shreds Four Former Presidents, Hillary Clinton (CB)

Former President Donald Trump tore into three former presidents and President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice at his most recent rally. The former president was in Nevada on Saturday when he insisted that the raid on Mar-a-Lago and the way he has been treated would not have happened to any other president, and he claimed to have proof. “This is a new hoax: the document hoax. Just look at how every other president has been treated when they left office. Very interesting. They’ve been given all the time needed [to return documents] — because you’re supposed to have as much time as you need — and complete deference when it came to their documents and their papers. ‘Take as much as you need,’” he said.

“Barack Hussein Obama moved more than 20 truckloads, over 33 million pages of documents, both classified and unclassified, to a poorly built and unsafe former furniture store located in a bad neighborhood in Chicago. With no security, by the way,” he said. He then went on to former President George W. Bush. “George W. Bush stored 68 million pages in a warehouse in Texas and lost 22 million emails. Can you imagine if I lost two emails? They’d say, ‘This is terrible. It must have been nuclear in those two.’ … He lost 22 million. Can you believe that we’re talking about millions of pages and they’re coming after me? But they’re still looking for them. They’re still looking for those pages,” he said before going for former President Bill Clinton.

“Bill Clinton took millions of documents from the White House to a former car dealership in Arkansas … and kept classified recordings in his sock drawer. In fact, he supposedly put the information from the White House into his socks and left the White House with the information, so we call it the sock case,” the former president said. “If I did that, there’d be major trouble and NARA — you know NARA, the National Archives and Records Administration — ‘lost’ an entire hard drive full of information from the Clinton White House. They lost it. They can’t find it,” he said. He then hit his favorite target, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, his opponent in the 2016 presidential election. “But almost as bad, crooked Hillary deleted 33,000 emails under congressional subpoena. She acid-washed them. … [It’s a] very expensive process. That’s why nobody does it. And then pounded her phones with hammers, making them totally unrecognizable to the naked eye. So she took those phones and she pounded the hell out of them,” the former president said.

He then went as far back as the late former President George H.W. Bush. “Meanwhile, George H.W bush took millions of documents to a former bowling alley and a former Chinese restaurant. … By contrast, I had a small number of boxes and storage at Mar-A-Lago — very small, relatively — guarded by the great Secret Service. And yet the FBI, with many people, raided my house. It’s in violation, by the way, of the Fourth Amendment, and many other things also,” he said. “The radical left thinks by doing all these sinister and venomous things, they’re making us weaker, but actually they are making us stronger and much more unified than ever before. I really believe that. I believe that,” the former president said.

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“Americans today are more likely to believe in witches, ghosts, and astrology than to trust the federal government.”

Julian Assange and Our Impunity Democracy (Bovard)

When the federal indictment against Assange was announced in 2019, a New York Times editorial declared that it was “aimed straight at the heart of the First Amendment” and would have a “chilling effect on American journalism as it has been practiced for generations.” Unfortunately, Americans and foreigners continue to suffer because of the perennial cover-ups of U.S. foreign interventions. After Britain arrested Assange on behalf of the U.S. government in 2019, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) whooped that Assange “is our property and we can get the facts and the truth from him.” But Manchin had no recommendations on how Americans can “get the facts and the truth” from the federal government. Biden has ramped up U.S. bombings in Somalia: who exactly are we killing? It is a secret. Which Syrian terrorist groups are the U.S. government still bankrolling? It’s a secret. Why is the U.S. continuing to assist Saudi atrocities against Yemeni civilians? It’s a secret.

And then there’s the biggest and most dangerous secret operation on the horizon right now – the U.S. intervention in the Russia-Ukraine war. Folks can condemn Russia and support Ukraine without believing that Washington policymakers deserve a blank check to potentially drag America into a nuclear war. Are CIA analysts or Pentagon officials issuing warnings about U.S. government actions in this conflict could lead to a spiral that ends in catastrophe? Unfortunately, Americans won’t learn of any such memos until damage has been done. And if a disaster occurs, then we’ll see the same sham that occurred after the Iraq War – some Senate Committee blathering that no one is to blame because everyone in Washington was a victim of “group think.”

Federal prosecutors stress that Assange leaked “classified” information. But federal agencies are creating trillions of pages of new “classified’ secrets each year. Yet, any information which is classified is treated like a political holy relic that cannot be exposed without cursing the nation. Pervasive secrecy helps explain the collapse of trust in Washington. Americans today are more likely to believe in witches, ghosts, and astrology than to trust the federal government. Adding Assange’s scalp to the Justice Department’s trophy wall will do nothing to end the mistrust of the political ruling class that has dragged America into so many debacles. Assange is guilty of lese-majeste – embarrassing the government by exposing their follies, frauds, and crimes. Assange declared years ago, “If wars can be started by lies, they can be stopped by truth.” Dropping the charges against Assange is the best way for the Biden administration to prove it is serious about ending excessive secrecy.

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Athens 1959



In 2015, photographer Atif Saeed captured this intense photograph of a male lion moments before it launched an attack on him. He narrowly escaped with this incredible shot of a face-to-face with a lion about to kill.




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May 102022
 May 10, 2022  Posted by at 1:41 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  16 Responses »

Ivan Aivazovsky Constantinople in Moonlight 1846



This is a letter by Scott Ritter, former US Marine Corps intelligence officer. It was published on RT as “An Open Letter To The American People – as Russia celebrates its WW2 victory over the Nazis”, but since RT is mostly banned in the west, I’ll post it here. It absolutely deserves that.



Scott Ritter: An Open Letter To The American People – as Russia celebrates its WW2 victory over the Nazis



To those who have forgotten the sacrifices the ‘Greatest Generation’ made to defeat Hitler.

In his 1998 classic, ‘The Greatest Generation’, famed NBC journalist Tom Brokow examined the lives and experiences of some of the millions of American men and women who fought in the Second World War.

“At a time in their lives when their days and nights should have been filled with innocent adventure, love, and the lessons of the workaday world,” Brokow observed, “they were fighting in the most primitive conditions possible across the bloodied landscape of France, Belgium, Italy, Austria, and the coral islands of the Pacific. They answered the call to save the world from the two most powerful and ruthless military machines ever assembled, instruments of conquest in the hands of fascist maniacs. They faced great odds and a late start, but they did not protest. They succeeded on every front. They won the war; they saved the world.”Brokow had “come to understand what this generation of Americans meant to history. It is, I believe, the greatest generation any society has ever produced.”

I was born in 1961, some two decades after the United States entered the Second World War. By this time, the defeat of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan had receded into the history books, replaced by a new and even more menacing foe, the Soviet Union. My father was a US Air Force officer whose career path up to 1977 looked like a Cold War-era tourist map, with service in Vietnam, Korea, and Turkey. I grew up with the mantra “better dead than red”drilled into my head, convinced that the service my father was providing to our nation was essential for the survival of the free world.

In 1977, my family moved to West Germany. My father had been reassigned to the 17th Air Force, headquartered at Sembach Air Force Base. We opted to live off base, in “the economy” as we called it, eventually settling into a magnificent house in the village of Marnheim owned by a German family who had been renting it out to US servicemen for decades. The house had a history, too. In 1945, it had served as a temporary headquarters for General George S. Patton as his 3rd Army advanced through the Rhein Pfaltz region of Germany during the Second World War.

We were three decades removed from that war when we moved to Germany, but reminders of that conflict were all around us. I spent the summer of 1978 working in a meat inspection facility staffed by what we euphemistically called “DPs,” for “displaced persons.” When the Second World War ended, millions of Europeans who had been enslaved by Nazi Germany found themselves liberated from their prison-like existence, but with no home to return to. This population included many children. The United States provided many of these permanently displaced persons with jobs and a place to live.

For thousands this existence became a way of life, and they were employed in service of America’s expansive military presence in West Germany. By the time I became acquainted with the “DP” community, some 33 years later, these children had grown into adults who were deeply grateful for the opportunities provided by the United States. They were also deeply resentful of the German people for having imprisoned them and destroying the Europe of their childhood. The experience of the “DPs” was a wake-up call for an American teenager who, by living among the Germans, had grown to view them as simply a foreign-speaking mirror image of myself and my family. But it wasn’t that simple.


In January 1979 West German television broadcast, over four consecutive nights, the ABC miniseries ‘The Holocaust’. After each episode, the Germans ran a live panel of historians who would take questions from the audience (it is estimated that over half of Germany watched the series.) Like most Americans living in Germany, I had missed out on the series when it was originally aired in the United States the previous year. My family tuned in and, out of curiosity, remained tuned in during the panels.

We were shocked by what we heard – the children of Germans who had been alive during the Second World War were calling the panel, in hysterics, denouncing their parents and their nation for allowing such a thing to happen. The distinguished academics and psychologists that had been assembled for these panels were stunned into silence by the outrage and anger – they simply had no answer to the question of not only how such a thing had been allowed to happen, but why they had not been taught about it growing up. Germany, it seemed, had tried to erase the criminality of its Nazi past from its present reality.

As focused as my family was on living less than one hour’s drive from the border between East and West Germany where, on the other side, hundreds of thousands of Soviet soldiers were stationed, poised (in our minds, at least) to launch an attack at any moment which would bring our idyllic life to a sudden and horrific halt, we could not escape the constant reminder of what had transpired on the European continent a scant three-and-a-half decades past.

One of the most poignant reminders lay across another border, this one to the west, where, near the Luxembourgish town of Hamm, the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial was located. The final resting place for more than 5,000 Americans who died fighting in the Battle of the Bulge, Hamm was also where General Patton was laid to rest following his accidental death in December 1945 (his widow believed he “would want to lie beside the men of his army who have fallen.”)

My parents made it a point to take us to Hamm on several occasions while we lived in Germany; it was a short, scenic drive, and the cemetery itself was beautiful, a fitting memorial for those who had made the ultimate sacrifice. We would always visit the nearby Sandweiler German Cemetery, also in Luxembourg, where the remains of more than 10,000 German soldiers who died fighting the Americans were interned. Both cemeteries were a somber, sobering experience.


But it wasn’t until my Uncle Mel visited us that the reality of what those cemeteries represented hit home. Mel was the living embodiment of Tom Brokow’s ‘The Greatest Generation’, having served in the European theater during World War II, coming across the Normandy beaches a week or so after D-Day. His unit – a transportation company tasked with driving trucks along the famous “red ball express,” had enjoyed a relatively easy time of it in France. Part of Patton’s 3rd Army, they participated in the liberation of France, and by the time they rolled up to the Benelux (Belgium-Netherlands-Luxembourg) border with Germany, had suffered no major casualties.

Mel had asked to visit some of the areas he had passed through during the war. Most brought back good memories, but at one location he stopped talking. Here his unit had been bracketed by German artillery, and in an instant more than 200 of his comrades were killed or wounded; many of those who died were buried at Hamm.

The crosses and Stars of David that were so beautifully laid out on the manicured grass suddenly had faces, names and personalities that could not be ignored. What had been a peaceful haven transformed instantly into a horrible reminder of the awful cost of war. To this day, I can’t pass a military cemetery without visualizing the circumstances of the events that took the lives of those buried there. All the hopes, dreams, and aspirations that I and others have been able to act out during our lives were denied these young men, usually under circumstances that the average person cannot imagine.

And the persons responsible for their deaths were the same Germans with whom I so peaceably co-existed back across the border. The same ones whose children became infuriated at their parent’s forgetfulness about the nature of the regime which killed so many millions in pursuit of the ambitions of one of the most odious ideologies of all humanity – Nazism.

In college, I studied Russian history; indeed, my honors thesis discussed the historical links between the Tsarist and Soviet militaries. I was intimately familiar with the campaigns and battles fought between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, and the horrific toll paid by the Soviet nation, whose casualties numbered in the tens of millions.


But it wasn’t until I had the opportunity to live and work in the Soviet Union, as part of a US inspection team stationed outside a Soviet missile factory in Votkinsk, tasked with implementing the provisions of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty, that I realized the extent to which this sacrifice marked the daily reality of the Soviet people. In downtown Votkinsk, there was a monument to the citizens who lost their lives during the war, as well as those who had been awarded the title “Hero of the Soviet Union” for their wartime service.

Everywhere one traveled in the Soviet Union there were similar monuments constructed in communities that had made it an essential reality of their being never to forget the sacrifices made by their version of the “Greatest Generation” in saving not only their fellow citizens, but much of Europe as well, from the scourge of Nazi Germany.

This remembrance continued even after the Soviet Union collapsed; the heritage of the Soviet Union was passed to the new Russian Federation, which sustained the duty of honoring those who had served. Russia celebrates this service on May 9 – “Victory Day” – marking the defeat of Nazi Germany. One of the great traditions of this celebration was the image of those aged veterans of that conflict, bedecked in their campaign medals, parading before a grateful nation.

Even as time and old age removed the Russian “Greatest Generation” from the society and nation they had served, the Russian people continued to honor them, with the children and grandchildren of the departed veterans marching in their stead, holding aloft a photograph of the veteran, part of what is called “The Immortal Regiment.” Unlike the Germans, the Russian people don’t forget.


Sadly, I cannot say the same thing about the American people. There will be no Victory in Europe celebration in the United States this year, just as there hasn’t been for years past. We have forgotten our “Greatest Generation” and the sacrifices they made for our future. There is no American “Immortal Regiment” of family members marching proudly down the main streets of US towns and cities honoring the cause for which these young men and women served. We have forgotten what they even fought for.

There was a time when the United States and Soviet Union fought together to overcome the scourge of Nazi Germany and the ideology it espoused. Today, when Russia is locked in a struggle with the progeny of Hitler’s Germany, in the form of the ideological descendants of the Ukrainian nationalist, Stepan Bandera – one would logically expect that the United States to be on Moscow’s side. 

Bander’s followers fought alongside German Nazis as members of the Waffen SS, slaughtering tens of thousands of innocent civilians, many of them Jewish. By rights, Washington should be ensuring that the hateful cause so many had given their lives and livelihoods to eradicate from Europe never again raised its evil banners on European soil.

Instead, the United States is providing succor to the present-day adherents of Bandera, and by extension, Hitler; their hateful ideology disguised as Ukrainian nationalism. American military personnel, whose traditions are born from the heroic sacrifices made by hundreds of thousands of their fellow soldiers, sailors, and airmen who gave their lives to defeat Nazi Germany, are today providing weapons and training to Ukrainians whose bodies and banners bear the markings of Hitler’s Third Reich.

On May 9, Russia will celebrate Victory Day, marking the 77th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany. Unfortunately, the struggle against Nazi ideology continues to this day and, sadly, the United States finds itself on the wrong side of history, supporting those whom we once were sworn to defeat, while fighting against those whom we once called allies. I can’t help but think that Tom Brokow’s “Greatest Generation” would be ashamed by the actions of those for whom they sacrificed everything, and who have still proven insufficient for the task of honoring their memory in action and in deed.




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May 092022
 May 9, 2022  Posted by at 2:07 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  14 Responses »

M.C. Escher Gravitation 1952



Earlier today, I read that the Russian ambassador to Poland was hit by a paint bomb while laying a wreath for WWII fallen soldiers, with the culprits chanting: “fascist, fascist”! And I thought that is rich, on the day that Russia commemorates the 25-40 million Russian lives lost in WWII fighting fascism.

I don’t know how many of you ever saw Claude Lanzmann’s 1980’s 8-hour documentary “Shoah”, but I did at some point. It shook all of me, every molecule, and I will never watch it again. I come from the land of Anne Frank. What it told me was that nazism wasn’t just a German thing, it was the region, not the nation, it was where most Jewish people lived before Hitler and Goebbels came along.

Lanzmann interviewed scores of Polish people who were loudly proud of having pushed back Jews, trying to flee, onto the cattle trains bound for Auschwitz et al. That same mentality has prevailed in large parts of Ukraine as well over the by now 80 years or so. Just look at the map: that’s where this was happening. And the Russians defeated it in that part of the world, not western troops.

And when it was done, the role of the 25-40 million Russian deaths in it was denied in the west, because: communism vs capitalism. But of course Russia cannot just ignore or deny all those deaths, just because Hollywood wants to sell tickets to Saving Private Ryan. For Russia, WWII meant: never again. And for them that means something slightly different than for us. It’s not just never again fascism or nazism, it’s also that these two things are symbolic for having your motherland invaded from the west, and by the west. Never again. That is why Russia moved into Ukraine.

And they are convinced that NATO was getting ready, with the remaining nazis in Ukraine, to attack the Donbass and Crimea. Note: Russia has an excellent secret service. They’re not just guessing. 100s of 1000s of troops were amassing on their eastern border(s).

And now Zelensky is calling the Russians the nazis. That’s quite the about face. They lost all those lives fighting the nazis, only to become the nazis themselves. Labeled so by an actor who relies heavily on admitted, and tattooed, 2022 nazis to stay in power.

Western media, and governments, had a zillion predictions about what Putin would say today, but still there was no mobilization of Russians, and no total war declaration. They were all wrong, again. But it helped get the clickbait up! Still, he would have said it if we did not announce his intentions!, us who have a direct line into his brain…

I’ll leave you with three full reports from today, so you can make up your own mind- something I always try to do. First, RT, for which I cannot provide a link (banned because it’s propaganda!), then Guardian and then BBC.



Launching The Offensive Was “The Only Right Decision,” Russian President Insisted At The Annual Victory Day Parade (RT)

Russia’s military operation in Ukraine was a preemptive move against future aggression, President Vladimir Putin has outlined during his address at the Victory Day parade in Red Square in Moscow on Monday. Putin not only praised the achievement of the Soviet people during World War II, but also addressed the Kremlin’s reasons for the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev. Russia had to act because a large-scale offensive against the breakaway republics in the eastern Donbass region was being planned, he claimed.

“We saw the military infrastructure unfolding [in Ukraine]; hundreds of foreign advisers starting their work; there were regular deliveries of the most modern weapons from NATO countries. The danger grew every day,” the president explained. “Russia gave a preemptive rebuff to aggression – this was a forced, timely and the only right decision by a sovereign, strong and independent country,” he added, referring to the launch of the military operation. “Despite all the disagreements in international relations, Russia has always advocated the creation of a system of equal and indivisible security,” Putin continued. He cited Moscow’s attempts to engage in dialogue on security guarantees with Washington late last year, which failed to yield results.

“NATO countries didn’t want to hear us, which means that, in fact, they harbored completely different plans, and we saw it,” he elaborated. There were open preparations for a punitive operation in the Donbass and “an invasion of our historical lands, including Crimea,” Putin insisted, adding that Kiev also announced plans to restore its nuclear capabilities. Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the US has increasingly spoken of ‘American exceptionalism,’ Putin pointed out. By spreading those ideas, Washington is “humiliating not only the whole world, but also its satellites, which have to pretend that they don’t notice anything and humbly accept it all. But we are a different country,” he insisted.

Russia has a different character, we’ll never give up on our love for our Motherland, on our faith and traditional values and customs of our ancestors; on respect for all peoples and cultures. But the West has apparently decided to “cancel” those values, with such “moral degradation becoming the basis for cynical falsifications of the history of World War II, and the incitement of Russophobia,” he said. “We know that American veterans, who wanted to come to the parade in Moscow, were basically banned from doing so,” Putin added. But he pointed out that Russia remembered the feats of the US servicemen and their contribution to victory in World War II.

Returning to the military operation in Ukraine, the president illustrated that “the self-defense forces of the Donbass Republics together with the Russian military are fighting on their land… for the Motherland, for its future, to make sure that no one forgets the lessons of World War II, so that there would be no place in the world for butchers, punishers, and Nazis.” Announcing the “special military operation” on February 24, Putin said that Moscow should not repeat the mistakes of the Soviet leadership of 1940-1941.

Back then, he explained, the USSR tried not to provoke Nazi Germany by “refraining or postponing the most urgent and obvious preparations it had to make to defend itself from an imminent attack.” As a result, the president continued, the moment was lost and the country was not prepared to counter the invasion. “The attempt to appease the aggressor ahead of the Great Patriotic War proved to be a mistake which came at a high cost for our people…We will not make this mistake the second time. We have no right to do so,” Putin said.



The essence: “We will not make this mistake the second time. We have no right to do so,”



Putin Ties Ukraine Invasion To Second World War In Victory Day Speech (Guardian)

Vladimir Putin has told Russian soldiers they are “fighting for the same thing their fathers and grandfathers did” as he used his Victory Day speech to justify his invasion of Ukraine. As Putin sought to rally his country through the memory of the second world war, the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, pushed back in his own address from Kyiv. “We will not allow anyone to annex this victory, we will not allow it to be appropriated,” he said. The dual speeches marked a closely watched anniversary in eastern Europe, where Russia has used claims that it is fighting fascism to justify its bombardment of cities such as Mariupol and Kyiv and to launch the largest military campaign in Ukraine since the 1940s.

Prior to the speech, foreign officials had said Putin could use it to launch a full mobilisation of Russian troops or formally declare war in Ukraine, but there were no large policy announcements. Instead he suggested Russia was “forced” into the war by Nato and pledged to provide aid for the families of soldiers who had died in what the Kremlin is calling a “special operation”. Speaking at the 77th annual celebration of the defeat of Nazi Germany, the Russian president launched a defence of his war in Ukraine, pivoting from a recognition of Russia’s “greatest generation” to a description of how it was believed Ukraine was being armed by the west for an imminent attack on Crimea, the peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014.

“Nato countries did not want to listen to us,” Putin said. “They had different plans, and we saw it. They were planning an invasion into our historic lands, including Crimea … Russia gave a preemptive rebuff to aggression, it was a forced, timely and only right decision.” He also described the war as “sacred”. “The defence of the motherland, when its fate was being decided, has always been sacred,” Putin said, speaking of the second world war. “And now, you are fighting for our people in the Donbas. For the security of our homeland – Russia.” Russia provided fewer armoured vehicles than in past years during the Red Square parade on Monday and a planned flyover was cancelled, ostensibly due to weather conditions.

Putin did not bring up specific Russian victories in his speech, despite speculation his forces were engaged in a last-ditch effort to secure Mariupol and its Azovstal plant from the remaining Ukrainian defenders by 9 May. Instead, the Russian president addressed troop losses in the war, saying he had signed a new order that would give educational aid to the children of those killed. The Kremlin has been accused of seeking to cover up losses. After the sinking of the Moskva cruiser in the Black Sea, a number of families went public with claims the Russian military was trying to avoid confirming deaths onboard the ship.

“The death of each of our soldiers and officers is a grief for all of us and an irreparable loss for relatives and friends,” Putin said. “The state, regions, enterprises, public organisations will do everything to take care of such families and help them. We will provide special support to the children of the dead and wounded comrades. The presidential decree on this was signed today.”

The muted speech came in stark contrast to that delivered by Zelenskiy, who delivered a recorded address to a piano accompaniment as he walked through central Kyiv past anti-tank barricades. “This is not a war of two armies,” he said. “This is a war of two world views. A war waged by barbarians … who believe that their missiles can destroy our philosophy.” In the speech, Zelenskiy took aim at Russian claims Ukraine had sought to block 9 May celebrations, a focus of Russian state media in advance of the holiday.

“Our enemy dreamed that we would refuse to celebrate 9 May and the victory over Nazism,” said Zelenskiy. “So that the word ‘denazification’ will have a chance [to succeed] … On the day of victory over Nazism we are fighting for a new victory. The road to it is difficult but we have no doubt that we will win. “And very soon there will be two Victory Days in Ukraine. And some will not even have one left.”



“The defence of the motherland, when its fate was being decided, has always been sacred.”



Putin Says Russia Fighting For Motherland In Ukraine In Victory Day Speech (BBC)

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russian forces in Ukraine were fighting for the future of their motherland, in his annual address marking victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two. Despite rumours he would make a major announcement his speech stuck largely to defending Russia’s invasion. He tied the war in Ukraine to victory in 1945, blaming the West and Nato for rejecting security demands. Almost 10 weeks into the invasion, civilian casualties continue to mount. Some 60 civilians are feared dead in the eastern town of Bilohorivka, after a Russian attack on a school where people were trying to escape bombardment.

Flanked by military top brass, Russia’s leader spoke of Ukrainians as fascists, repeating his false claim that the democratic government in Kyiv was run by neo-Nazis. Defending the motherland had always been sacred, he said, referring to the eastern region which is now the main focus of Russia’s assault: “Today you are fighting for our people in Donbas, for the security of Russia, our homeland.” He also made unfounded allegations against Nato and Ukraine and described the invasion as a pre-emptive rebuff: “They were preparing a punishing operation in Donbas to intrude on our historic lands. In Kyiv they were saying they might get nuclear weapons and Nato started exploring the lands close to us, and that became an obvious threat to us and our borders.”

Ukrainian presidential official Mykhailo Podoliak later responded, tweeting that there were no rational grounds for the war: “Nato countries were not going to attack Russia. Ukraine did not plan to attack Crimea.” There had been speculation that Russia’s president may be considering a change of military strategy, either a full declaration of war, rather than the current so-called special military operation, or a mobilisation of Russian men to boost the armed forces. Instead he said he was signing a decree for families of the dead and wounded in Ukraine to receive special support.

There was a minute of silence, including for the fallen in Ukraine, and he ended his 11-minute address with the words: “Glory to our armed forces – for Russia, for victory, hurrah”, at which the assembled forces responded with a big cheer. The parade was more modest than in recent years. Russian news agencies said 11,000 troops and 131 armoured vehicles took part in the event, including Russia’s widely feted Armata tanks, which have not been considered combat-ready for the war in Ukraine.

Not everything went according to plan. A flypast by the air force had to be cancelled shortly before the parade because of “weather conditions”, according to the Kremlin. Ahead of Victory Day, warplanes had rehearsed over Red Square in a Z-formation, the motif used by the Russian state during its war in Ukraine. Smaller parades took part in cities across Russia and the weather was also blamed for similar cancellations of flypasts in Yekaterinburg, Rostov and Novosibirsk. There was no mention in Vladimir Putin’s speech of Mariupol, the southern Ukrainian port city where a small group of Ukrainian forces continue to hold out in a maze of tunnels under the Azovstal steelworks.

But Russia was able to claim limited success on Monday in Kherson, the one Ukrainian city it can claim to have fully occupied. State-run news agency Ria Novosti showed footage of a Victory Day march in memory of those who died in the war. It was led by Volodymyr Saldo, a pro-Russian local official who has been named Kherson governor and is now being investigated for treason by Ukraine. What was then the Soviet Union lost 27 million lives during World War Two, with Ukraine accounting for eight million of them. In a separate message marking 9 May, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Nazis had been expelled in 1945 and Ukraine would not allow anyone to “annex this victory”. Very soon, he said, Ukraine would have two victory days to celebrate.




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Apr 152022
 April 15, 2022  Posted by at 4:48 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,  21 Responses »

William Sauro Yoko Ono and John Lennon, “War Is Over If You Want It,” Times Square, New York 1969



On February 24 2022, after either 30+ years, or 8 years, or 6 months, take your pick, of increasingly ominous and deadly provocation, Russian troops entered Ukraine territory. The very next day, February 25, the Russian forces were largely in position. The broader Ukrainian army had been bogged down in pockets, largely in the east, where military action had likely been planned vs the Donbass, and the Azov battalion that was their most aggressive part, was being squeezed into an even tighter spot.

That’s the story so far, really; not much has changed since then.

It’s also perhaps jut a starting point. Not for Ukraine, mind you, that goes back a very long time, during which it very rarely if ever was a “nation”, but the starting point for the Russian Special Military Operation – or war, or invasion, take your pick. That’s all. And I’m sorry I’ve been silent for most of it, other than through the daily Debt Rattle news aggregators, but that is not a coincidence.

All the time, I see every paper and TV channel trying to decide my opinion for me, and I don’t want to fall into that same trap. I want people to make up their own minds. And the news aggregators are a very good approach for that. But still… Here’s some MSM headlines that I think perhaps need more explaining. April 13, Guardian:

Joe Biden Accuses Vladimir Putin Of Committing Genocide In Ukraine

Joe Biden has accused Russia of carrying out genocide in Ukraine, saying that Vladimir Putin is “trying to wipe out the idea of even being Ukrainian”. Biden has been consistently outspoken in denouncing Russian wholesale killing of Ukrainian civilians, labelling Putin as a “war criminal” in mid-March. Multiple investigations are under way into Russian atrocities in Ukraine, which include the razing of Mariupol and the executions of civilians in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha.

The prosecutor at the international criminal court in the Hague opened a case in February saying there was “a reasonable basis to believe that both alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in Ukraine”. Proving a case under the 1948 Genocide Convention requires an “intent [by the accused] to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group”. Biden first used the word in passing on Tuesday at a domestic policy event in Iowa about the use of ethanol in petrol. “Your family budget, your ability to fill up your tank, none of it should hinge on whether a dictator declares war and commits genocide half a world away,” he said.

It should be obvious that 1/ There is no evidence of Russia committing anything close to a genocide, 2/ There is plenty evidence of the US, while Biden is/was Senator/VP/President, committing war crimes/genocide, and 3/ Very few people understand what the term genocide actually means, so Biden -and the media- can throw it around as a scary sounding word without risking being called on that. April 5, Greek Reporter:

Zelensky Tells Security Council that “Russians Killed for Pleasure”

On Tuesday, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky showed the UN Security Council a harrowing video from Ukraine in an apparent attempt to embarrass Russia and rally international sympathy and support. The clip lasted about a minute and showed image after image of dead Ukrainians, including burned and disfigured bodies. Speaking to the Security Council for the first time since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24th, Zelensky reported Russian troops have killed civilians and raped women.

Zelensky’s comments follow his Monday visit to the town of Bucha, where the bodies of dead Ukrainian civilians were found. He claimed that in the town, people were shot in the street, their homes, thrown into wells, and crushed by tanks in the middle of the road “just for the pleasure” of the Russian soldiers. “The Russian military searched for and purposefully killed anyone who served our country,” he said, as Russia’s UN ambassador was looking on.

My first reaction when I saw this 10 days ago was: this is infantile. But that is what our conversation has fallen/sunk/degraded into. That’s what the clown/actor president got to say at the UN, and nobody raised an objection; indeed, so-called serious politicians applauded him for it. But it is Hannibal/Napoleon/Hitler/Putin eat babies territory. It’s medieval, except that the Brothers Grimm had more nuance and credibility in their tales then our modern media.

If you saw that headline, and you still thought/think Zelensky is a credible source for anything at all, you yourself have a major credibility issue. Zelensky disqualified himself right then and there when he said that (and repeated similar claims on 100 other occasions). But, you know, he’s a clown and an actor, so give him some leeway.. . Still, if Putin or anyone near him would accuse Ukrainian or NATO troops of “killing for pleasure”, what would be your reaction? On to April 10:

Putin’s Target Is ‘Entire European Project’, Says Zelenskiy

Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said Russia is targeting all of Europe with its aggression and that stopping the invasion of Ukraine is essential for the security of all democracies. Officials have said a grave with dozens of Ukrainians civilians was found in Buzova village near Kyiv, the latest such discovery as Russian forces retreat from their offensive on the capital and shift their assault to the east. In his late-night address to Ukrainians on Saturday, the Ukrainian president said Russian aggression “was not intended to be limited to Ukraine alone” and the “entire European project is a target for Russia”.

“That is why it is not just the moral duty of all democracies, all the forces of Europe, to support Ukraine’s desire for peace,” he said. “This is, in fact, a strategy of defence for every civilised state. “This will be a hard battle, we believe in this fight and our victory. We are ready to simultaneously fight and look for diplomatic ways to put an end to this war.” His address came as civilians continued to flee eastern parts of the country before an expected onslaught and firefighters searched for survivors in a northern town no longer occupied by Russian forces.

Zelenskiy thanked the leaders of Britain and Austria for their visits on Saturday to Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, and pledges of further support. He also thanked the European Commission president and Canada’s prime minister for a global fundraising event that brought in more than €10bn for Ukrainians who have fled their homes. Zelenskiy repeated his call for a complete embargo on Russian oil and gas, which he called the sources of Russia’s “self-confidence and impunity”. “Freedom does not have time to wait,” Zelenskiy said. “When tyranny begins its aggression against everything that keeps the peace in Europe, action must be taken immediately.”

There is no sign anywhere that Putin wants to attack the Entire European Project. None. He wants No Nato, No Nukes, and No Nazis in Ukraine. Russia does not have the power to invade all of Europe, nor does it want to. It wants the threat that Ukraine poses on its doorstep to dissolve. No nuke warheads in Ukraine. Step 1.

And what do we see? Sweden and Finland may now join NATO, and they, and Poland, may station nuke warheads on their territory. For hypersonic missiles, that are minutes from Moscow. Given that NATO has no functioning hypersonic missiles today, what would you do if you were Moscow? Wait till they do have them?

I found a better, more elaborate, version of this:

Before the war started, Zelenskyy refused an offer for peace. Russia required 3 things;
1) Water in Crimea: no water was destroying the economy there.
2) Minsk 2 imposed: peace for the people of Donbas, within Ukraine, but greater autonomy.
3) Ukraine to remain neutral: no NATO.

Zelenskyy actually increased the provocation against Russia in January 2022 by;
1) Intensifying the bombardment of Donbas
2) Threatening to retake Crimea
3) A group of Republican congressmen intended to introduce a bill declaring Ukraine a NATO-plus country.

More April 10:

US ‘Deeply Concerned’ At Report Of Mariupol Chemical Attack

The Azov battalion, which has been heavily involved in fighting in Mariupol and has strong ties to the far-right, wrote in a Telegram post that Russian forces had dropped “a poisonous substance of unknown origin” during a drone attack at the city’s large Azovstal metals plant. It said that its fighters had suffered minor injuries, including shortness of breath. One injured man described a “sweet-tasting” white smoke covering an area of the plant after an explosion. Another said he felt immediately unable to breathe and had collapsed with “cotton legs”.

The reported incident – which the BBC cannot independently verify – came hours after a spokesperson for the Moscow-backed Donetsk People’s Republic urged Russia to bring in “chemical forces” to the besieged south-eastern city. Eduard Basurin told Russian state TV the remaining Ukrainian forces in Mariupol were entrenched at the Azovstal plant and that Russia should encircle it and “smoke out the moles”. Speaking on Monday night, President Volodymyr Zelensky said any use of chemical weapons would mark a “new stage of terror against Ukraine” and called on Western nations to arm his forces with the weapons needed to defend his country.

“Unfortunately, we are not getting as much as we need to end this war sooner,” Mr Zelensky said. “I am sure that we will get almost everything we need, but not only time is being lost. The lives of Ukrainians are being lost — lives that can no longer be returned.”

There have been tons of reports of Russian war crimes in Mariupol. Maternity ward, theater, arts academy, they keep on coming so fast no-one can fact check them. And that’s not a coincidence. But when the Azov battalion delivers the “news”, even the MSM inserts a few ifs and buts and maybes. The headline works for propaganda, but they don’t want to get caught in outright nonsense or lies. Yeah, well, way too late. you’ve been doing it for 50-odd days now. April 13:

Zelenskiy: War Will Become ‘Endless Bloodbath’ Without More Weapons

The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has released a new video in which he warns that the war will become an “endless bloodbath, spreading misery, suffering, and destruction” without additional weaponry. Speaking in English, Zelenskiy says Ukraine has been defending itself against Russia “much longer than the invaders planned”. But Russia still has the capacity to attack “not only against Ukraine”, Zelenskiy continues: Poland, Moldova, Romania, and the Baltic states will become the next targets if the freedom of Ukraine falls.

More weapons were needed to “save millions of Ukrainians as well as millions of Europeans”, he says: We need heavy artillery, armoured vehicles, air defence systems and combat aircraft. Zelenskiy concludes the video by saying: “Freedom must be armed better than tyranny. Western countries have everything to make it happen. The final victory over the tyranny and the number of people saved depends on them.”

We are all smart enough to understand that the opposite is true: the more weapons US/NATO delivers inside Ukraine, the longer the bloodbath will be. AND the Ukraine troops are stuck in pockets (cauldrons), so what can possibly be delivered to them? AND Russia will not continue to sit idly by while such deliveries are attempted. Russia simply wants Ukraine and US/NATO to recognize the reality February 24 created.

And agree that Ukraine cannot enter NATO on Russia’s doorstep, cannot have nuclear weapons, and cannot have (neo-) nazi troops decide its politics. When Zelensky signs for that on the dotted line, the Russians could be gone within days. Provided sufficient guarantees are given, which will require a substantial commitment by NATO as well. But it can surely be done.


About “War Is Over If You Want It,” do you think Zelensky and his handlers want it to be over? Well, other than in a total Russian defeat, which will not happen? Do you think US/NATO wants it to be over? Or would they maybe think it’s acceptable to see a few million more Ukrainians perish if that means a few billion in weapons can be sold? Do you think Russia wants it to be over? I think they would sign up yesterday if their demands are met.

And these demands are serious, it’s not like leaving behind a bunch of nazis is negotiable, or a halfway house towards NATO, or a few biolabs, or a nuke installation here and there. For the Russians all that must go to zero, or they would never have invaded.

Here’s thinking it’s up to you after all. “War Is Over If YOU Want It.” But you have just been through 2+ years of believing and following the leader with Covid, so which part is actually your opinion, and which part are you just parroting? Might be a good idea to make up your minds, and soon, because your leaders are itching to push a few consequential buttons, and make up your minds for you.

You may actually need to go into the streets to demand that this war be over. And you will have to do it without a mask on. Can you handle that?




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Mar 282022
 March 28, 2022  Posted by at 8:02 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  51 Responses »

Salvador Dali Hallucination. Six Images of Lenin on a Grand Piano 1931


Biden Confirms Why the US Needed This War (Lauria)
Propaganda Does Not Change The War – The Ukraine Is Still Losing (MoA)
A Manufactured World Crisis (Rockwell)
Springtime for GloboCap (CJ Hopkins)
Video Surfaces Showing Ukraine Military Torturing Russian POW’s (CTH)
WWIII Has Begun – Gerald Celente (USAW)
“The Adults in the Room” are Always the Most Colossal Screwups (Tracey)
India Is Snapping Up Cheap Russian Oil, And China Could Be Next (CNBC)
House Republicans Will Subpoena Hunter Biden (NYP)
Shutting Down Canadian Pipeline Would Cost US Consumers $23.7 Billion (ET)



Domestic support






“..we do not have a strategy of regime change in Russia, or anywhere else, for that matter,” the last words inserted for comic relief..”

Biden Confirms Why the US Needed This War (Lauria)

The U.S. got its war in Ukraine. Without it, Washington could not attempt to destroy Russia’s economy, orchestrate worldwide condemnation and lead an insurgency to bleed Russia, all part of an attempt to bring down its government. Joe Biden has now left no doubt that it’s true. The president of the United States has confirmed what Consortium News and others have been reporting since the beginnings of Russsiagate in 2016, that the ultimate U.S. aim is to overthrow the government of Vladimir Putin. “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power,” Biden said on Saturday at the Royal Castle in Warsaw. The White House and the State Dept. have been scrambling to explain away Biden’s remark. But it is too late.

“The President’s point was that Putin cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors or the region,” a White House official said. “He was not discussing Putin’s power in Russia, or regime change.” On Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “As you know, and as you have heard us say repeatedly, we do not have a strategy of regime change in Russia, or anywhere else, for that matter,” the last words inserted for comic relief. Biden first gave the game away at his Feb. 24 White House press conference — the first day of the invasion. He was asked why he thought new sanctions would work when the earlier sanctions had not prevented Russia’s invasion. Biden said the sanctions were never designed to prevent Russia’s intervention but to punish it afterward. Therefore the U.S. needed Russia to invade.

“No one expected the sanctions to prevent anything from happening,” Biden said. “That has to sh- — this is going to take time. And we have to show resolve so he knows what’s coming and so the people of Russia know what he’s brought on them. That’s what this is all about.” It is all about the Russian people turning on Putin to overthrow him, which would explain Russia’s crackdown on anti-war protestors and the media. It was no slip of the tongue. Biden repeated himself in Brussels on Thursday: “Let’s get something straight … I did not say that in fact the sanctions would deter him. Sanctions never deter. You keep talking about that. Sanctions never deter. The maintenance of sanctions — the maintenance of sanctions, the increasing the pain … we will sustain what we’re doing not just next month, the following month, but for the remainder of this entire year. That’s what will stop him.”

Read more …

“NATO: 7,000 to 15,000 Russian troops dead in Ukraine” – AP

“Russia’s Defense Ministry just announced that as of today 1,351 Russian servicemen have been killed..”

Propaganda Does Not Change The War – The Ukraine Is Still Losing (MoA)

Here are my own takes: The Russian forces around Kiev are making no offensive moves but defend against minor unsuccessful counterattacks from the Ukrainian side (see below). I have seen no hint that Russian forces strives to get into Kiev. It would be too costly to do that and for little strategic gain. But the forces east and west of Kiev are binding a big part of the Ukrainian army and prevent it from sending reserves towards Donbas. Yesterday an air attack or missile strike destroyed the largest Ukrainian fuel depot left near Kiev. The Ukrainian army will soon lose its mobility (if it hasn’t yet done so). Kharkiv is about to get encircled. Dnipro is a strategic target that the Russian forces will like to isolate or take by coming up from the south on both sides of the Dnieper river as well as from the north.

Russian forces destroyed a railway station between Dnipro and Donbas from where resupplies were flowing to the Ukrainian forces fighting there. After large progress yesterday Mariupol is now in a mop-up situation. The Azov forces still there have no chance to survive. Russian passage through Mykolayiv towards Odessa has proven to be difficult. Artillery is now softening up the Ukrainian defense lines. There are unconfirmed reports of large Ukrainian losses in Mykolayiv (300+) due to a missile strike on their barracks. The U.S. has tried to use yesterday’s NATO and G-7 meeting to push the Europeans towards sanctioning Russian hydrocarbon exports. It also tried to attach China to Russia and to get the Europeans to sanction its biggest trading partner. Both attempts failed. There will be no additional sanctions on Russia. And while the NATO communique mentions China it only urges it to leave its neutral position. Everyone knows that that is not going to happen.

The only thing NATO agreed on is the release of a new load of fresh propaganda. “NATO: 7,000 to 15,000 Russian troops dead in Ukraine” – AP. A senior NATO military official said the alliance’s estimate was based on information from Ukrainian authorities, what Russia has released — intentionally or not — and intelligence gathered from open sources. The official spoke on condition of anonymity under ground rules set by NATO. Andrei Martyanov looks back at the casualties Soviet forces suffered in 1943 when they liberated Donbas from then still first class German Wehrmacht forces. Back then there were more than 1,000,000 Soviet soldiers involved against some 600,000 Germans. Some 1,600 Soviet soldiers were killed each day in fierce fighting.

We are now supposed to believe that the much smaller operation against a less fierce and less capable enemy in the Ukraine is killing 550 Russian soldiers per day? That’s obviously nonsense. As one anonymous Pentagon officer said about the NATO number: “We continue to have low confidence in those estimates” For the record Russia’s Defense Ministry just announced that as of today 1,351 Russian servicemen have been killed and 3,825 wounded. (The losses of the Lugansk and Donetsk militia are not included in those numbers.)

Read more …

“Unlike what has just happened, the Ukrainian attack did not result in US sanctions on Ukraine. There were no meetings of the UN to condemn Ukrainian aggression.”

A Manufactured World Crisis (Rockwell)

Few people today ask the most important question about the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Many people want America to stay out of the fight, but even they don’t ask the vital question. Why does the world face a crisis today? Why has a border dispute between Russia and Ukraine escalated to the point where people fear nuclear war? The answer is simple. America, under the “leadership” of brain-dead Biden and the forces controlling him, has done this and, by doing so, brought the world to the brink of disaster. As always, the great Dr. Ron Paul gets it right: “Three weeks into this terrible war, the US is not pursuing talks with Russia. As recently reported, instead of supporting negotiations between Ukraine and Russia that could lead to a ceasefire and an end to the bloodshed, the US government is actually escalating the situation which can only increase the bloodshed.

The constant flow of US and allied weapons into Ukraine and talk of supporting an extended insurgency does not seem designed to give Ukraine a victory on the battlefield but rather to hand Russia what Secretary of State Blinken called ‘a strategic defeat.’ It sounds an awful lot like the Biden Administration intends to fight Russia down to the last Ukrainian. The only solution for the US is to get out. Let the Russians and Ukrainians reach an agreement. That means no NATO for Ukraine and no US missiles on Russia’s borders? So what! End the war then end NATO.”

Let’s look at an analogy that will help us understand Dr. Paul’s point. For years, the Ukrainian government has attacked an area in the Donbas region that has seceded from Ukraine and formed an independent, pro-Russian, republic. Just before Putin moved against Ukraine, Ukraianians increased the scale and scope of their attack. Rick Rozoff describes what they did: “Two-thirds of Ukrainian army servicemen have been amassed along the Donbas contact line, Eduard Basurin, spokesman for the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) militia, said on Thursday.

“Another three brigades are on their way [to Donbas], which is 20,000 to 25,000 troops more. The total number will reach 150,000, not to mention the nationalists. This is about two-thirds of Ukrainian Armed Forces’ personnel,” Basurin said on the Rossiya 1 television channel (VGTRK) on Thursday. Ukrainian troops are stationed along the 320-kilometer front line, he said.” Unlike what has just happened, the Ukrainian attack did not result in US sanctions on Ukraine. There were no meetings of the UN to condemn Ukrainian aggression. There was no talk of world war. On the contrary, Ukraine government used American weapons in its attack and asked America for more weapons to continue their attack. Let’s listen to Rick Rozoff again: “The Armed Forces of Ukraine used the American anti-tank missile system Javelin in the hostilities in Donbas. This was announced by the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine Kirill Budanov in an interview….

Read more …

“..It’s New Normal Spring! The birds are buzzing! The bees are chirping!”

Springtime for GloboCap (CJ Hopkins)

In the blink of an eye, without missing a beat, both the white-supremacist Putin-Nazis that plagued Democracy throughout the Trumpian Reich and the Covid-denying Anti-Vax Nazis that plagued the New Normals throughout the Global Pandemic were seamlessly replaced by the GloboCap Nazis … but, the thing is, the GloboCap Nazis are the good guys, and the Putin-Nazis and Anti-Vax Nazis are … well, I guess they’re still technically Nazis, except for the fact that they aren’t actual Nazis and are mostly just regular working-class people, whereas the GloboCap Nazis are actual Nazis (i.e., Sieg-heiling, Jew-hating, Hitler-worshiping Nazis), who the US military and Intelligence community, NATO, and assorted private “military advisors” have been funding, arming, and otherwise supporting since the 2014 Ukrainian “revolution” (i.e., coup) that they orchestrated to destabilize Russia as part of that global Clear-and-Hold operation (which operation, of course, doesn’t actually exist, and is just another conspiracy theory disseminated by Putin-Nazi traitors like me to erode support for the GloboCap Nazis, who are really just wholesome young Aryan boys who are trying to defend Democracy from Evil, and cleanse their country of the Jews and the Roma, and exterminate the Russian race, starting with the children, apparently).

[..] Or … wait. Sorry, I got all confused again. These are the good Nazis … the GloboCap Nazis! The actual Nazis, not the fictional Nazis. Or … wait, no … never mind. I mean, it’s not like it really matters anyway, right? The point is, it’s Spring, and the goat-footed balloon-Man whistles … no, strike the balloon-Man. This is not the time for balloon-Man references. It’s New Normal Spring! The birds are buzzing! The bees are chirping! The ICBMs are tumescent with rocket fuel and throbbing in their silos! The New Normal masses are out prancing around with their “vaccination passports” and medical-looking masks, in their official neo-Nazi Azov hoodies, waving their Ukrainian flags, and otherwise desperately trying to pretend that they haven’t just been colossally mindfucked by GloboCap for the last two years!

Read more …

One more penny of support for Ukraine after this, and we’re done.

“Ukraine is taking wounded captured Russian soldiers laying them out and shooting them in the legs and groin. While they are bleeding out, they’re putting bags over their heads and kicking them in the face until they die. This is Zelensky’s Ukraine in all its glory.”

Video Surfaces Showing Ukraine Military Torturing Russian POW’s (CTH)

[..] as the narrative from the media propaganda machine continues to frame the Ukraine military as ‘freedom fighters’, they are now faced with videos surfacing showing Ukraine military regulars torturing Russian prisoners of war (POW’s). This is problematic for both NATO and Ukraine, as they must protect the image of the Ukraine military in order to maintain public support and funding. The videos of the torture are graphic and very disturbing to watch, and I would not recommend watching them if you are not comfortable seeing men get shot, brutalized and beaten. They are graphic, bloody and violent. However, the torture itself, while censored for political need, aligns with the official NATO and Big Tech position that advocacy for violence against Russians is sanctioned.

The first video shows Russian soldiers with canvas bags placed on their heads and then beaten in the face with rifle butts. The prisoners are shot in the kneecaps and genitals, and they are left on the ground to bleed to death. Several vans then arrive at the Ukraine military compound in Kharkiv (roughly 20 miles from the Russian border), and as each POW is removed from the van they are shot in the knees. A second video shows Russian POW’s lying face down in a paved courtyard, or compound, and then being shot in the knees from the rear. Apparently, one of the videos contains Russian soldiers who were part of a reconnaissance mission in the region and were captured. The Ukraine military gleefully torture the captives and record their endeavors for posterity. It was the Ukraine military units bragging about the torture that exposed their brutal behavior. All of the scenes are gruesome in the extreme.

Read more …

“ the commercial real estate market in NYC alone, only 35% of the office space is being rented. That means 65% is vacant, and it’s the same all over the country.”

WWIII Has Begun – Gerald Celente (USAW)

Renowned trends researcher and publisher of “The Trends Journal,” Gerald Celente, has long said “when all else fails, they take you to war.” To say our world is failing is a profound understatement. Celente proclaims, “World War III has begun. . . . I was born one year after the end of WWII, and crazy people will take you to war in the blink of an eye. . . . The war criminals are leading us into another war.” Celente says the reason for war usually surrounds a failing economy. This time is no different. Celente explains, “I have been saying that when all else fails, they take you to war. What followed the Great Depression? War. What followed the dot com bust? More war. That’s right. Georgie Bush’s ratings were way down, and the Nasdaq was down 66% before 9/11.”

Celente goes on to point out the economy in the USA is failing. For proof, look no further than the “16% inflation” destroying paychecks of Americans, especially at the gas pump. Celente also says in the commercial real estate market in NYC alone, only 35% of the office space is being rented. That means 65% is vacant, and it’s the same all over the country. Celente predicts, “We are headed for an economic calamity the likes of which we have never seen in our lifetime. They are getting our minds off it with the war in Ukraine. . . . You know, I wrote in the magazine in the beginning of the year, we said that the Covid war would wind down by late March and mid-April. It’s winding down. . . . So, now, as we said in the magazine, we went from the Covid war to the Ukraine war, and now to world war.

We are headed to World War III. . . . There is not a peep about a cease-fire. Biden is only bragging about more weapons being sent in. Biden says we are going to defeat the Russians. We are not backing down. No one is talking about a cease-fire, and no one is talking about peace. If we don’t unite for peace, we are all going to die in war.”

Read more …

“..a series of Biden remarks that are far more insane — and far more consequential in their insanity — than anything Trump ever managed to blurt out.”

“The Adults in the Room” are Always the Most Colossal Screwups (Tracey)

There was a recurring theme during the presidency of Donald Trump that went something like this: Trump’s most impetuous and destructive instincts — particularly in the realm of foreign policy — were being nobly restrained by the so-called “Adults in the Room.” Thank heavens! These impressive “adults,” a cadre of seasoned military men serving in Trump’s administration, included James Mattis (Defense Secretary), H.R. McMaster (National Security Advisor), and John Kelly (Chief of Staff). Their presence in the halls of power was supposed to be taken as a profound relief: whether you feared Trump would conspire with Vladimir Putin to collapse “the rules-based international order” — likely because you heard that phrase intoned on some Think Tank webcast — or simply believed that Trump was nuts, you could rest assured that the fate of the Republic would be protected by this crew of Serious Adults watching gamely over Trump’s shoulder. If any crazy ideas got into his head, such as withdrawing US military personnel from overseas deployments or forging a diplomatic accord with Russia, they’d spring boldly into action and put a stop to it.

[..] The “adults in the room” mentality would subsequently take on an electoral personification in the 2020 candidacy of Joe Biden. After four years of Trump’s reckless and volatile tweets, Biden solemnly pledged to “restore honor and decency to the White House.” He assured a weary electorate that under his tutelage, Americans could once again be confident that their Commander-in-Chief would conduct himself with care and rigor on the world stage. The immense foreign policy expertise Biden garnered over his multi-decade career made him perfectly suited to such a weighty task. With all the chaos left in Trump’s wake, “the next president will face the enormous responsibility of picking up the pieces of America’s foreign policy,” Biden regularly declared on the campaign trail.

Well, in the past few days, Biden has faced his biggest test yet on this score. And behold the result: giant new “pieces” of foreign policy carnage splattered all over the place, thanks to a series of Biden remarks that are far more insane — and far more consequential in their insanity — than anything Trump ever managed to blurt out.

Read more …

Sanctions don’t matter much for sales. Other than they raise prices and enable Russia to sell at huge discounts, and still get the same net revenues.

India Is Snapping Up Cheap Russian Oil, And China Could Be Next (CNBC)

There’s been a “significant uptick” in Russian oil deliveries bound for India since March after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began — and New Delhi looks set to buy even more cheap oil from Moscow, industry observers say. China, already the largest single buyer of Russian oil, is also widely expected to buy more oil from Russia at deep discounts, they say. This could mean higher crude prices to come. Major oil importing countries such as India and China have been grappling with higher crude prices, which have soared since last year. While oil prices have been volatile in recent weeks, swinging between gains and losses, they are still around 80% higher compared to a year ago.

“We believe that China, and to a lesser extent, India will step up to buy heavily discounted Russian crude,” said Matt Smith, lead oil analyst at Kpler. This would mark a stark contrast from the rhetoric across major world powers and companies which are eschewing Russian oil. As a result of Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified war on Ukraine, the U.S. has hit the rogue country with sanctions on energy, while the U.K. plans to do so by the end of the year. The European Union is also considering whether to do the same. But sanctions would leave a gap in the market with Russia finding itself with excess crude it’s unable to sell, analysts said.

Read more …

My bet is they won’t be able to keep it under wraps. Question is timing. It’s already been two years.

House Republicans Will Subpoena Hunter Biden (NYP)

If the GOP retakes control of Congress, Hunter Biden will be hauled before the House of Representatives and forced to reveal the identity of “the big guy” and address other unanswered questions about the contents of his infamous laptop, Republicans said. “We will subpoena Hunter Biden,” said House GOP conference chair Elise Stefanik bluntly in an interview with The Post. Hunter Biden, 52, abandoned his laptop at a Delaware computer repair ship in April 2019. The hard drive contained years’ worth of emails, texts, legal documents and photos detailing Hunter’s prolific international business ventures. Shop owner John Paul Mac Isaac gave the hard drive to the FBI and eventually offered a copy to former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani.

The former mayor ultimately handed it over to The Post, which published an expose a month before the 2020 presidential election. The story of the laptop was falsely dismissed by much of the media as Russian propaganda and censored on Facebook and Twitter at the behest of the Democratic party. Last week the New York Times finally admitted the hard drive was real and at the center of a sprawling federal investigation into the president’s son. “It should concern every American that they did this for the Biden family’s financial gain, which came at the cost of our national security,” Stefanik said of the laptop evidence. The latest threat from GOP leadership comes amid growing calls by Republicans nationwide for a broad new inquiry into the president’s son.

“The big guy” — a mysterious moniker found on the hard drive — is described as a partner in a Chinese business venture entitled to 10 percent of the profits, according to a laptop email from Hunter Biden’s business partner James Gilliar. The big guy’s share was to be held for him by Hunter. Hunter Biden has never voluntarily explained who “the big guy” is — and has never been asked the question in multiple friendly interviews. “That’s one of the critical questions — perhaps the most critical question,” said Stefanik, adding that she believes “the big guy” was Joe Biden. Tony Bobulinski, another Hunter Biden business partner who appeared frequently in hard-drive emails, has said there is “no question” President Biden was “the big guy.”

Read more …

a 4.5-mile section of a pipeline

Shutting Down Canadian Pipeline Would Cost US Consumers $23.7 Billion (ET)

A recently published analysis by a consumer advocacy nonprofit maintains that shutting down a 4.5-mile section of a nearly 70-year-old pipeline that spans the Great Lakes from Wisconsin to Ontario would impose $23.7 billion in higher fuel costs for families and businesses in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Consumer Energy Alliance’s (CEA) 14-page report estimates closing Canada-based Enbridge Energy’s Line 5 pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac, which connect Lake Michigan to Lake Huron, would spur regional fuel price spikes of between 9.47 and 11.66 percent “independent of any other market conditions, such as the surge in fuel prices observed over the past 12 months that are tied to international oil markets and logistical challenges caused by the pandemic.”

Enbridge and the state of Michigan have been engaged in litigation for more than a year over the pipeline after Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in November 2020 revoked the pipeline’s original 1953 lakebed easement and ordered the pipeline shut down by May 2021, citing the risk of a spill in the ecologically sensitive straits. Enbridge ignored the order—the pipeline is still funneling 540,000 barrels per day (bpd) of light crude oil, light synthetic crude, and natural gas liquids (NGLs) through the straits—and petitioned to have the case heard in federal courts. In October, the government of Canada backed Enbridge in its challenge and invoked a 1977 pipeline treaty with the United States to demand bilateral negotiations at the federal level.

In November, a federal judge transferred Whitmer’s suit out of Michigan’s courts. That suit was subsequently dropped but a similar lawsuit filed by Michigan Attorney General Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel remains in state courts, although a ruling is pending regarding its jurisdictional status. Built in 1953 by Bechtel Corp., the Line 5 pipeline is actually two 20-inch-diameter parallel pipes with an enamel coating three times thicker than a typical pipeline. Enbridge maintains there has never been a leak in its 69-year operational existence.

Read more …








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Sep 262017
 September 26, 2017  Posted by at 1:21 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  7 Responses »

Fan Ho The Evening of Life 1963


“Forget Germany, Spain Is The Real Problem”, reads a headline. Eh… no. Germany is definitely the problem in Europe. Spain is a bit player. That doesn’t mean nothing major could happen in Spain in its fight with Catalonia, and soon, but Spain, like all EU nations, is a de facto province of Germany.

What matters in the end is how Brussels and Merkel deal with Spain. And while it’s tempting to say that perhaps Brussels, the EU, is the main European problem, the European Union is run exclusively by and for Germany, so that doesn’t work either.

The only thing that might work if you really want to find a bigger issue than Germany is if you would point at the role the incessant lies about economic conditions for people play. But that’s not a European issue, that’s global.

The talk about how economies are recovering, how there’s light at the end of the tunnel, and how any day now we’ll be back to where we were at some point in time that many can not even remember. But then, at least when it comes to Europe, that happy talk comes from Germany too, to a large degree. Just wait till Draghi starts cutting his QE.

You can try and tell people that they’re doing just great, using the media you control, and it’ll work for a stretch, if only because they want to believe it, badly, but when these same people can’t even feed their children while you make such claims, you will eventually lose their attention and support. The difference between beliefs and experiences.


If you’re a politician, you try to feed people what they want to hear, invariably an upbeat message, but there comes a time when you have to back it up. You can say that austerity is necessary, inevitable, and the only choice, and it will be beneficial to them, but austerity is one of those things that have a very limited best before date.

If you can only make employment numbers look good by creating a gig economy that takes away all their benefits, and their entire sense of security, they’re going to turn their backs on you. Because you’re lying.

Rising inequality is a one way street right up to the point where it turns into a dead end alley. Inequality breeds more inequality until it no longer can, until people say ‘I want that cake you are having because my kids are hungry. And I brought a pitchfork’.

That is where we’re at, and that is why Merkel lost some 25% of her votes. That is why there’s Trump and Brexit, and why an impossible candidate like Marine Le Pen in France gathered so much attention and support. It’s why eastern European countries will start fighting Brussels and Berlin much harder than they have to date, and why Berlin will fight back harder than it has. Poor Greece.

In the US, there’s only one party, and it divvies up the spoils of very rich campaign contributions. Bernie Sanders tried to circumvent this; not a chance. Trump succeeded. In Britain, there was no difference between left and right for a long time, and no alternative party either. That led to Brexit. In France, Macron started a whole new party from scratch and somehow got it funded (bankers?!). It wiped the left off the map.

The same happened in Holland, where like in France the right wing alternative was judged too unpalatable by too many. No left left. The leaders of Germany’s Alternative für Deutschland do not have the visibility for that yet. In Italy, Five Star have a good shot at the throne. Greece’s Syriza already overtook both left and right. In eastern Europe, right wing parties often didn’t even have to overthrow an existing order, they could just slide in.


The pattern is so obvious only those who stand to lose from acknowledging it end up not seeing it, or telling themselves it’s all just an incident. But it’s not, because the shrinking economies everywhere are not. When left and right, either in public or in practice, rule a country together and their promises don’t hold up, people will look for a way out. If far right is the only way available, they will pick that.

It’s not because they’re all nazis or something like that. But people do lean towards smaller units of organization, decentralization, when they get poorer. And despite all the talk of recovery, that is what most people have seen happen to their lives, while their leaders told them they’re just fine. So you get this kind of headline (and map) for the US (h/t Mish/ZH).

Large Parts Of America Are Being Left Behind

Economic prosperity is concentrated in America’s elite zip codes, but in an interesting report on Distressed Communities, from The Economic Innovation Group, it is increasingly clear that economic stability outside of those communities is rapidly deteriorating. As Axios noted, this isn’t a Republican or Democratic problem. At every level of government, both parties represent distressed areas. But the economic fortunes of the haves and have-nots have only helped to widen the political chasm between them, and it has yet to be addressed by substantial policy proposals on either side of the aisle. Economic Prosperity Quintiles.



And a very similar headline appears in the Guardian in a report about the German election.


‘A Lot of People Feel Left Behind’: Voters on the Far-Right Surge in Germany

Sarah, 37, teacher, Bonn: “A lot of people feel left behind. They are looking for scapegoats. It is the easy way to deal with problems. The AFD makes use of this feeling. With the grand coalition, there was no real debating culture left. The CDU went too much into the middle, leaving the right out. Just like the SPD under Schröder left the left-wing out.”

Perhaps a lot of those who voted for Trump, and Brexit, Le Pen, Wilders, the AfD, are not so much looking for scapegoats, they’ve identified those as their incumbent politicians; they’re instead looking for a way away from them. All these people who feel left behind base that feeling primarily on their deteriorating economic circumstances. And if the only alternative they have rants, against foreigners and immigrants, they’ll go with that.

Angela Merkel pushed over 1 million refugees and immigrants down the German population’s throats. She never asked their opinion. But many Germans are not doing any better than many Americans or French or British. So the consequences of such things are predictable. You have to explain, you have to communicate with your people. Just saying ‘we can do this’ is not enough. No more than ‘change we can believe in’ was. It’s just hollow.

Merkel lost ‘only’ 25% of her votes. Because Germans know what right wing is, and what it can do. Germany is not full of nazis, no more than America is. Both countries just have a lot of people who feel trapped in a web of lies, and their existing and alleged democratic systems offer no way out of that web.

All these countries, the people and their politicians, have the tendency to see their situations as somehow unique, but they’d be much better off looking at what they have in common with others.

The only solution is to tell people the truth, that the incumbent political class has screwed up badly because of limited brain capacity and unlimited greed, and that they should elect people next time who are both smarter and less sociopathic. But that is not something that comes voluntarily, that takes a battle. And it tends to end careers, and lives.

That is what we can expect. In many different shapes and forms, but all for the same underlying reasons. You can’t fool all of the people all of the time, you can’t even fool a majority for long. You can only fool a limited number of them for a limited amount of time.

Well, time’s up.



Mar 222015
 March 22, 2015  Posted by at 12:59 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  10 Responses »

Harris&Ewing Kron Prinz Wilhelm, German ship, interned in US in tow 1916

German magazine Der Spiegel digs deep(er) into the ‘Greece question’ this weekend, and does so with a few noteworthy reports. First, its German paper issue has Angela Merkel on the cover, inserted on a 1940’s photograph that shows Nazi commanders against the backdrop of the Acropolis in Athens. The headline is ‘The German Supremacy: How Europeans see (the) Germans’. The editorial staff has already come under a lot of fire for the cover, and I’ve seen little that could be labeled a valid defense for further antagonizing both Germans AND Greeks (and other Europeans) this way. Oh, and it’s also complete nonsense, nobody sees modern day Germans this way. It’s just that their government after 70 years is still skirting its obligations towards the victims. That’s what people, the Greeks in particular, don’t like.

Second: Spiegel’s German online edition has a sorry that claims Greek paper To Vima will come with revelations on Sunday accusing Georgios Katrougalos, Syriza’s deputy minister for Policy Reform and Public Service (I’m translating on the fly) of corruption in the case of the reinstallment of public workers that had been fired under the Samaras government under pressure from the Troika.

Allegedly, Katrougalos’ law firm (in which he has had no active role since becoming a member of the European parliament last year) has a contract with these workers that will pay it 12% of whatever they receive in back pay. Predictably, the opposition has called for Katrougalos’ firing, but Tsipras has said he talked to him and is satisfied with the explanation he was given..

It smells a bit like something Bild Zeitung (Germany’s yellow rag) would write, but there you are. Which makes the following perhaps somewhat surprising. Because:

Third: Spiegel English online edition has a long article on a report just out by a special Greek commission, instated by former governments, on the German war reparations that Tsipras has repeatedly talked about, and that German FinMin Schäuble has famously high handedly tried to sweep off the table. That may not be so easy anymore now. There are already increasingly voices in Germany itself that want Berlin to change its approach to the matter, and the report will only make that call louder. Let’s see if I can get this properly summarized:

Nazi Extortion: Study Sheds New Light on Forced Greek Loans

Last week in Greek parliament, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras demanded German reparations payments, indirectly linking them to the current situation in Greece. “After the reunification of Germany in 1990, the legal and political conditions were created for this issue to be solved,” Tsipras said. “But since then, German governments chose silence, legal tricks and delay. And I wonder, because there is a lot of talk at the European level these days about moral issues: Is this stance moral?”

[..] there are many arguments to support the Greek view. SPIEGEL itself reported in February that former Chancellor Helmut Kohl used tricks in 1990 in order to avoid having to pay reparations.

A study conducted by the Greek Finance Ministry, commissioned way back in 2012 by a previous government, has now been completed and contains new facts. The 194-page document has been obtained by SPIEGEL. The central question in the report is that of forced loans the Nazi occupiers extorted from the Greek central bank beginning in 1941.

Should requests for repayment of those loans be classified as reparation demands – demands that may have been forfeited with the Two-Plus-Four Treaty of 1990? Or is it a genuine loan that must be paid back? The expert commission analyzed contracts and agreements from the time of the occupation as well as receipts, remittance slips and bank statements.

Note: the Two-Plus-Four Treaty of 1990 (aka Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany) was the result of negotiations about the reunification of the two Germany’s. It was signed by both, and by France, Britain, Russia and the US, the four nations who held former German territory at the end of WWII.

It’s noteworthy that Der Spiegel says that Greek demands for reparations ‘may have been’ forfeited with the treaty (something Germany claims), while Tsipras insists on the exact opposite: that the treaty created the legal and political conditions for the reparations issue to finally be resolved. As we will see, many experts lean towards Tsipras’ interpretation. Greece never signed, and nobody else had the right to sign in its name, that’s the crux. But there’s more:

They found that the forced loans do not fit into the category of classical war reparations. The commission calculated the outstanding German “debt” to the Greek central bank and came to a total sum of $12.8 billion as of December 2014, which would amount to about €11 billion.

As such, at issue between Germany and Greece is no longer just the question as to whether the 115 million deutsche marks paid to the Greek government from 1961 onwards for its peoples’ suffering during the occupation sufficed as legal compensation for the massacres like those in the villages of Distomo and Kalavrita. Now the key issue is whether the successor to the German Reich, the Federal Republic of Germany, is responsible for paying back loans extorted by the Nazi occupiers. There’s some evidence to indicate that this may be the case.

It’s a tad strange that the magazine apparently jumps from that ‘may have been forfeited’ interpretation of the treaty to what amounts to a fait accompli, by saying the ‘key issue’ now is the forced loans, not the reparations. I would think it’s very much both. But let’s follow their thread:

In terms of the amount of the loan debt, the Greek auditors have come to almost the same findings as those of the Nazis’ bookkeepers shortly before the end of the war. Hitler’s auditors estimated 26 days before the war’s end that the “outstanding debt” the Reich owed to Greece at 476 million Reichsmarks.

First thing that springs to mind is: say what you will about Germans, but they’re fine bookkeepers!

Auditors in Athens calculated an “open credit line” for the same period of time of around $213 million. They assumed a dollar exchange rate to the Reichsmark of 2:1 and applied an interest escalation clause accepted by the German occupiers that would result in a value of more than €11 billion today.

This outstanding debt has to be paid back “with no ifs or buts,” says German historian Hagen Fleischer in Athens, who knows the relevant files better than anyone else. Even before the new report, he located numerous documents that prove without any doubt, he believes, the character of forced loans. Nazi officials noted on March 20, 1944, for example, that the “Reich’s debt” to Athens had totaled 1,068 billion drachmas as of December 31 of the previous year.

“Forced loans as war debt pervade all the German files,” says Fleischer, who is a professor of modern history at the University of Athens. He has lived in Athens since 1977. He says that files from postwar German authorities about questions of war debt “shocked” him far more than the war documents on atrocities and suffering.

In them, he says German diplomats use the vocabulary of the National Socialists to discuss reparations issues, speaking of a “final solution for so-called war crimes problems,” or stating that it was high time for a “liquidation of memory.” He says it was in this spirit that compensation payments were also constantly refused.

Those are pretty damning words. So far just from one man, granted, but again there’s more:

When work on the study first began in early 2012, the cabinet of independent Prime Minister Loukas Papedemos still governed in Athens. A former vice president of the ECB, Papedemos formed a six-month transition government after Georgios Papandreou resigned. In April 2014, the successor government of conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras decided to continue work on the study and appointed Panagiotis Karakousis to lead the team of experts. The longtime general director of the Finance Ministry was considered to be politically unobjectionable.

Karakousis spent five months reading 50,000 pages of original documents from the central bank’s archives. It wasn’t easy reading. The study calculates right down to the gram the amount of gold plundered from private households, especially those of Greek Jews: 7,358.0014 kilograms of pure gold with an equivalent value today of around €235 million. It also notes also how German troops, as they pulled out, quickly took along “the entire cash reserves from branch offices and regional branches” of the central bank: Exactly 634,962,691,995,162 drachmas in notes and coins, which would total about €40 million today.

Above all, the study, with some reservations, provides clarity about the forced loans. “No reasonable person can now doubt that these loans existed and that the repayment remains open,” says Karakousis.

This history of the loans began in April 1941, after the German troops rushed to assist their Italian allies and occupied Greece. In order to provide their troops with provisions, the German occupiers demanded reimbursement for their expenses, the so-called occupation costs. It’s a cynical requirement, but one that became standard practice after the 1907 Hague Convention.

Out of the ordinary, though, was the Wehrmacht requirement that the Greeks finance the provision of its troops on other fronts – in the Balkans, in Russia or in North Africa – despite Hague Convention rules forbidding such a practice. Initially, the German occupiers demanded 25 million Reichsmarks per month from the government in Athens, around 1.5 billion drachmas. But the amount they actually took was considerably higher. The expert commission determined that payments made by the Greek central bank between August and December 1941 totaled 12 billion rather than 7 billion drachmas.

As they say: before you know it, we’re talking about real money. And I see no reason to doubt Karakousis’ assertion that ‘repayment remains open’. Not only was German conduct reprehensible during the war, it remained so after. So it shouldn’t really come as surprise that Tsipras has more than once mentioned the 1953 London Agreement on German External Debts, in which Germany was relieved from much of the claims held against it. Tsipras wants Berlin to do the same for Greece now. A potential weakness is that Greece was signatory to that agreement. Still, the loans were certainly not part of it, only ‘war damage’ was included.

With their economy laid to waste, the Greeks soon began pushing for reductions. At a conference in Rome, the Germans and Italians decided on March 14, 1942 to halve their occupation costs to 750 million drachmas each. But the study claims that Hitler’s deputies demanded “unlimited sums in the form of loans.” Whatever the Germans collected over and above the 750 million would be “credited to the Greek government,” a German official noted in 1942. The sums of the forced loans were up to 10 times as high as the occupation costs. During the first half of 1942, they totaled 43.4 billion drachmas, whereas only 4.5 billion for the provision of troops was due.

A number of installment payments, which Athens began pressing for in March 1943, serve to verify the nature of the loans. Historian Fleischer also found records relating to around two dozen payment installments. For example, the payment office of the Special Operations Southeast was instructed on October 6, 1944 to pay, inflation adjusted, an incredible sum of 300 billion drachma to the Greek government and to book it as “repayment.”

In Fleischer’s opinion, the report makes unequivocally clear that the Greek demands do not relate to reparations for wartime injustices that could serve as a precedent for other countries. “One can negotiate reparations politically,” Fleischer says. “Debts have to be paid back – even between friends.”

Postwar Greek governments sought repayment early on. The German ambassador confirmed on October 15, 1966, for example, that the Greeks had already come knocking “over an alleged claim.” On November 10, 1995, then Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou proposed the opening of talks aimed at a settlement of the “German debts to Greece.” He proposed that “every category of these claims would be examined separately.” Papandreous’ effort ultimately didn’t lead anywhere.

Ergo: for a period of thirty years, the Greeks tried, but to no avail. That’s a pretty ugly record. It’s now another 20 years later, and nothing has changed. All in all, the Greeks have been stonewalled for 70 years.

What should become of this new study, the contents of which had remained secret before now? [..] the question also remains whether the surviving relatives of the victims of Distomo will ever be provided with justice – and whether there are similar cases in other countries.

German governments’ rude behavior may well stem, among other things, from that last point: that if any of the Greek claims are recognized, other countries may come knocking too.

German lawyer Joachim Lau, whose law firm is based in Florence, Italy, represents the interests of village residents of Distomo even today. Lau, born in Stuttgart, a white-haired man of almost 70, is fighting for compensation in the name of the Greek and Italian victims of the Nazis. “I am disappointed by the manner in which Germany is dealing with this question,” he says. He says it’s not just an issue of financial compensation. More than anything, it is one of justice.

In February, Lau warned German President Joachim Gauck in an open letter against propagating the “violation of international law” with careless statements about the reparations issue. In his view, the legal situation is clear: Greek and Italian citizens and their relatives affected by “shootings, massacres by the Wehrmacht, by deportations or forced labor illegal under international law” have the right to individual claims.

This perhaps clarifies the definition of ‘war damage’, the term used in the 1954 London agreement. In Lau’s interpretation, it does not include, let’s say, ‘personal suffering’.

For the past decade, Lau has been pursuing the claims of the Distomo victims in Italy. The Court of Cassation in Rome affirmed in 2008 that the claims were legitimate and that he could pursue the case. Earlier, the lawyer had already succeeded in securing Villa Vigoni, a palatial estate on the shore of Lake Como owned by Germany – and used by a private German association focused on promoting German-Italian relations – as collateral for the suit. In 2009, Lau succeeded in having €51 million in claims made by Deutsche Bahn against Italian state railway Trenitalia seized. On Tuesday, the high court in Rome is expected to rule on the lifting of the enforcement order.

Note: there could be a legal precedent here that that can serve as a ‘conduit’ to allow Greece to seize German property in its country.

Following a ruling made by Italy’s Constitutional Court in October 2014, private suits in Italy against Germany have been possible again. One of the justices who issued the ruling is the current president of Italy, Sergio Mattarella. It remains unclear whether this ruling will unleash “a wave of new proceedings” in Italy, says Lau, who currently represents 150 cases, including various class-action lawsuits.

The bones of victims of the Nazi killings in Distomo feature as part of the village’s memorial to the massacre.

Everything connects in the mountain village of Distoma – the present and past, guilt and anger, the Greek demands on Germany today and past calls for reparations. Efrosyni Perganda sits in the well-heated living room of her home. The diminutive woman, 91 years of age, has alert eyes and wears a black dress. She survived the massacre perpetrated by the Germans at Distomo and she’s one of the few witnesses still alive in the village. When the SS company undertook a so-called act of atonement in Distomo following a fight with Greek partisans, the soldiers also captured her husband. Efrosyni Perganda stood by with her baby as they took him. She never saw him again.

As the Germans began to rampage, she hid behind the bathroom door and later behind the living room door of the house in which she still lives today. She held her baby tightly against her chest. “I forgive my husband’s murderers,” she says. Loukas Zisis, the deputy mayor, silently leaves the house as the woman finishes telling her story. He needs a break and heads over to the tavern, where he orders a glass of wine.

“I admire Germany: Marx, Engels, Nietzsche,” he says. “The prosperity. The degree to which society is organized. But here in the village, we aren’t finding peace because the German state isn’t settling its debt.”Zisis admires Germany, but the country remains incomprehensible to him. “We haven’t even heard a single apology so far,” he says once again. “That has to do with Germany’s position in Europe.” This is something that he just doesn’t understand, he says.

German occupation troops in the ransacked Greek village of Distomo on June 10, 1944, shortly after 218 local residents were executed as part of Nazi reprisals.

I hope – and I think – that Germany will pay up. It seems to me to be the only way to save the European Union it has made its economy so dependent on. I don’t see the war reparations go away anymore. So either Berlin pays what legal experts determine should be paid, or it risks becoming a pariah in its own neighborhood.

That the Germans in the 1950s and 1960s, at home and in schools, chose not to tell their children anything about their crimes cannot serve as an excuse to silence the children of their victims. Germany will need to eat a lot of humble pie with its beer.