May 042024
 


John Collier Lady Godiva c1897

 

Trump Pays Fine For Gag Order Violations (RT)
Trump Urges Dismissal of Mar-a-Lago Case (ET)
Stormy Daniels Lawyer Says Payment Wasn’t ‘Hush Money’ (ZH)
Trump Develops Plan On Peaceful Resolution In Ukraine — Telegraph (TASS)
Kiev Has Lost Over 111,000 Troops This Year – Moscow (RT)
Ukraine Can’t Beat Russia On The Battlefield – Senior General (RT)
Freedom Of The Press Dying In West, Any Dissent Snuffed Out – MFA (TASS)
Aggression Against Crimea To Be Met With Crushing Retaliation – Russia (TASS)
This Is Not The EU That Hungary Joined – Orban (RT)
EU Leaders Talking ‘War in Europe’ Shows Their Real Intentions – Orban (Sp.)
Saudi Arabia and Indonesia Lobby EU to Halt Russian Asset Confiscation (Sp.)
The Russia–Iran–China Search For A New Global Security Order (Pepe Escobar)

 

 

MMT?

 

 

Tesla China

 

 

Elon

 

 

“There is no crime. I have a crooked judge..”

Trump Pays Fine For Gag Order Violations (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump has paid a $9,000 fine for violating a gag order imposed during his hush money trial in New York, news outlets reported on Thursday, citing a court official. Judge Juan Merchant fined Trump on Tuesday for violating the gag order nine times and instructed him to take down seven “offending posts” from Truth Social and two more posts from his campaign website. Trump is being accused of falsifying business records in an effort to conceal his sexual relationship with former adult film star Stormy Daniels. Trump has denied any wrongdoing and insisted he never had an affair with Daniels. He further slammed the gag order as “unconstitutional,” and argued that the trial is a plot to derail his re-election campaign. During the 11th day of hearings on Friday, the jurors heard the testimony of Hope Hicks, Trump’s former campaign press secretary and White House communications director.

Describing her former boss’s reaction to a Wall Street Journal story about Trump’s alleged affairs with Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, she told the court that Trump was “concerned how it would be viewed by his wife and he wanted me to make sure that the newspapers weren’t delivered to their residence that morning.” Trump and President Joe Biden are neck-and-neck in most polls, with just six months left until election day. Trump continued to insist on his innocence during a rally in Waukesha, Wisconsin on Wednesday. “There is no crime. I have a crooked judge,” the former president told supporters. According to an NPR/PBS NewHours/Marist poll released on Wednesday, 55% of Americans say that they are not closely watching the hush money trial or not watching it at all. At the same time, 54% of Americans said they believe the investigations into Trump are fair, while 45% view them as unfair.

Read more …

“..selective and vindictive prosecution”

Trump Urges Dismissal of Mar-a-Lago Case (ET)

Former President Donald Trump docketed a brief to support his motion to dismiss the classified documents indictment against him in Florida, citing “selective and vindictive prosecution” on Thursday. The 43-page filing contends that special counsel Jack Smith’s case against the former president “has been motivated by improper political animus.” It cites “targeted leaks and public statements” by President Joe Biden, “urging others to prosecute President Trump.” This refers to a New York Times report from April 2, 2022, reporting that President Biden told his “inner circle that he believed former President Donald J. Trump was a threat to democracy and should be prosecuted.” President Trump’s lawyers contend that the article amounted to presidential pressure on Attorney General Merrick Garland to “act … more like a prosecutor who is willing to take decisive action.”

The motion details a series of events to support the former president’s arguments of a concerted effort by the Biden administration and federal agencies to target him. It points to statements from officials at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), which is responsible for the preservation of presidential records, that the Biden administration’s “current business” was investigating the 45th president. Among other events, it cites a text message from a NARA official dated Feb. 9, 2022, stating that the classified documents have “consumed all of our discussions” with the Biden White House. “There is evidence of vindictive political animosity focused on election interference in these proceedings, which is part of the reason why the Special Counsel’s Office is wrong in the claim that President Trump ‘does not contend that the Special Counsel himself was motivated by improper considerations,’” President Trump’s lawyers argue.

In a March 7 filing, Mr. Smith argues against President Trump’s claims that the prosecution team, influenced by political bias, is selectively targeting him for prosecution. Prosecutors from the special counsel’s office argue that the former president hadn’t identified anyone in his motion who was engaging in similar conduct without being prosecuted and failed to provide evidence that his indictment was solely retaliatory. “Trump contends … that he has been subject to selective and vindictive prosecution,” the prosecution wrote. “But he has not identified anyone who has engaged in a remotely similar battery of criminal conduct and not been prosecuted as a result.

Read more …

“..he said it was a “Consideration”,..

Stormy Daniels Lawyer Says Payment Wasn’t ‘Hush Money’ (ZH)

A lawyer who was involved in negotiations between former President Donald Trump and two women denied that payments made to them constituted “hush-money,” and instead used the word “consideration.” Keith Davidson, who negotiated deals with both Stephanie Clifford (aka Stormy Daniels) and model Karen McDougal, disputed Manhattan prosecutor Joshua Steinglass’s language during a May 2 court appearance. “It wasn’t a ‘payout’ and it wasn’t ‘hush money.’ It was consideration in a civil settlement,” said Davidson. “Would you use the phrase hush money to describe the money that was paid to your client by Donald Trump?” Steinglass shot back. “I would never use that word,” Davidson replied. When asked what he would call it, he said it was a “Consideration,” comparing it to a contract in which one pays to have one’s lawn mowed.

Trump attorney Emil Bove pressed Mr. Davidson on his understanding of extortion law, grilling him about previous instances in which he solicited money to suppress embarrassing stories, including one involving wrestler Hulk Hogan. Mr. Bove suggested to the witness that by the time he negotiated the payments for Ms. McDougal and Ms. Clifford, he would have been “pretty well versed in coming right up to the line without committing extortion.” “I had familiarized myself with the law,” Mr. Davison replied. -Epoch Times. Davidson also told Steinglass that he worked out the “consideration” deal with former Trump attorney Michael Cohen just days before the 2016 election, but that Trump never signed it.

Read more …

“Trump will focus on a simple message that he would end the war in an attempt to win over US voters..”

Trump Develops Plan On Peaceful Resolution In Ukraine — Telegraph (TASS)

Former US President Donald Trump has developed a detailed plan on resolving the Ukrainian conflict peacefully, but will not reveal it until the election, the Daily Telegraph reported, citing an anonymous source close to the politician. “There is a plan, but he’s not going to debate it with cable news networks because then you lose all leverage,” the source said. Instead, according to the source, Trump will focus on a simple message that he would end the war in an attempt to win over US voters. At the end of April, Trump said in an interview with Time that he would not provide aid to Ukraine if elected unless Europe chips in. Russia has repeatedly voiced its position regarding the situation around Ukraine at various levels. Previously, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova noted that Moscow has always been and remains open to a diplomatic settlement of the crisis, and it is ready to respond to truly serious proposals, while the Kiev regime interrupted and prohibited further negotiations with Russia.

Read more …

Not much fighting going on?!

Kiev Has Lost Over 111,000 Troops This Year – Moscow (RT)

Ukrainian military losses since the beginning of the year have surpassed 111,000 troops, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Friday, as he shared Moscow’s latest estimates from the conflict. Russian forces “continue to break up” Ukrainian defensive positions along the entire front line, preventing their attempts to stall advances by Moscow’s troops, the senior official reported during a ministerial meeting. Russia’s territorial gains this year have amounted to 547 sq km, he added. Shoigu accused the US and its allies of pressuring Kiev into disregarding the cost of continued fighting. As a result, Ukraine suffered 1,000 casualties daily throughout April, the minister claimed.

Kiev has ramped up its mobilization efforts due to high attrition, Shoigu added, claiming that Ukrainians unwilling to fight “are being forced to the front line” and certain death. The Russian defense chief accused the leadership in Kiev of sacrificing citizens for the sake of continued Western financial and military assistance. In addition to inflicting significant casualties, Russian forces have also destroyed some 21,000 heavy weapons operated by Ukrainian forces, Shoigu stated. In April, Shoigu estimated Ukrainian casualties as approaching 500,000 since the hostilities with Russia started in February 2022.

Earlier this year, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky signed into law a radical reform of military service, which includes harsher punishments for draft dodgers and facilitates the work of conscription officers. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has since suspended consular services for military-age men residing in foreign countries, stating that anyone avoiding mobilization does not deserve them. Kiev is also seeking assistance from Western nations in its attempts to force potential conscripts to return. The country’s border service said last month that since February 2022, some 30 Ukrainian citizens have died while trying to illegally flee to other nations.

Read more …

“Our problem is very simple: we have no weapons..”

Ukraine Can’t Beat Russia On The Battlefield – Senior General (RT)

A Ukrainian military victory over Russia is unfeasible, a senior military intelligence official in Kiev has predicted. Peace talks with Moscow are nonetheless unlikely before 2025, he claimed. Vadim Skibitsky, the deputy head of Ukraine’s GUR military intelligence agency, shared his grim perception of the frontline situation in an interview with The Economist published on Thursday. He expects Russia to launch a major offensive by the end of May or the beginning of June, with Kiev’s forces badly positioned to prevent it. “Our problem is very simple: we have no weapons,” Skibitsky explained. Kiev’s armament woes will not be addressed anytime soon, even after the US approved an additional $60 billion in Ukraine-related spending, the British magazine reported, saying it will be weeks before new aid filters through to the front line.

A lack of willing draftees is also undermining Kiev’s war effort, including those recruited under draconian new rules, the report stated. Skibitsky reiterated Kiev’s claims that Moscow intends to capture the Donbass city of Chasov Yar by May 9, when Russia celebrates victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. The Ukrainian military leadership announced the purported deadline in mid-April, and has recently boasted about depriving Moscow of its supposed wish. Russia will eventually take Chasov Yar anyway, Skibitsky told The Economist. The general added that he does not see a way for Ukraine to win on the battlefield alone, describing the continuing hostilities as an attempt by both sides to gain a stronger position in future peace talks. Skibitsky believes that no meaningful negotiations will happen before 2025.

Moscow has repeatedly said that, unlike Kiev, it is willing to negotiate peace as long as “realities on the ground” are acknowledged. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky intends to promote his “peace formula” – a list of demands to Russia – to neutral nations during an international event in Switzerland in mid-June. Russia has said it will not participate in the process, which it sees as irrelevant, even if invited. The event organizers “do not intend to seek a road to peace let alone analyze the roots of the Ukraine conflict,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday. The West is seeking to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia, rather than an end to the bloodshed, she claimed.

Read more …

“In Ukraine, the criminal regime of [President Vladimir] Zelensky has annihilated freedom of speech once and for all..”

Freedom Of The Press Dying In West, Any Dissent Snuffed Out – MFA (TASS)

Freedom of the press is under attack in the West, where the authorities stamp out any dissent and repress journalists, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement dedicated to World Press Freedom Day on May 3. “Unfortunately, World [Press Freedom] Day, which was conceived as a global celebration, is gradually degenerating into a meaningless date. This situation can change only if there is an honest assessment of the situation surrounding freedom of the press and journalist safety that is not distorted by Western propaganda,” the ministry pointed out. “We once again draw attention to the deplorable situation regarding freedom of expression and equal access to information in the countries of the collective West,” the ministry noted, adding that “the so-called democratic countries continue destroying every pocket of dissent in violation of all international obligations.”

“Investigative journalist Julian Assange and other prisoners of conscience continue to languish in London’s dungeons,” the report said. “So far there has been no reaction from international human rights organizations on the death of journalist Gonzalo Lira in a Ukrainian prison this January. He was rejected by both of his countries of citizenship, the United States and Chile,” it added. The Russian Foreign Ministry also pointed to the “incessant arbitrariness committed by the Western authorities against the Russian media and journalists, who have fully felt the repressive machine of the neoliberal West.” “Special attention should be paid to the appalling situation regarding freedom of the media in the Baltic republics and Moldova. Their authorities, under the pretext of combating ‘Russian propaganda,’ with the silent consent of their Western curators, have organized persecutions against representatives of Russian-language media,” the ministry explained.

“In Ukraine, the criminal regime of [President Vladimir] Zelensky has annihilated freedom of speech once and for all by banning all opposition media outlets and closing access to thousands of Internet resources,” the Russian Foreign Ministry continued. “The indulgence of Kiev by its overseas masters has also led to the continuation of brutal massacres against Russian journalists. The list of national media representatives who were killed by Ukrainian militants was recently expanded to include Semyon Yeremin, a military correspondent for Izvestia, who was murdered by neo-Nazis using a UAV while performing his professional duties,” the ministry noted. “UNESCO Director General Audrey Azule has not yet condemned the cold-blooded murder of Semyon Yeremin, as well as other Russian journalists (Daria Dugina (Platonova), Vladlen Tatarsky (Maxim Fomin), Oleg Klokov, Rostislav Zhuravlev, Boris Maksudov),” the ministry added.

Read more …

“In recent days, Maria Zakharova continued, Ukrainian forces “have been seen using several US-made ATACMS long-range missiles, which were secretly received a month ago, against Crimea”

Aggression Against Crimea To Be Met With Crushing Retaliation – Russia (TASS)

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warned Washington, London and Brussels that any aggressive actions against Crimea and the Crimean Bridge are doomed to fail and will be met with crushing retaliation. “I would like again to warn Washington, London, Brussels that any aggressive actions against Crimea are not only doomed to fail, but will also be met with a blow of retaliation that will be crushing,” the diplomat said at a news conference. In recent days, Zakharova continued, Ukrainian forces “have been seen using several US-made ATACMS long-range missiles, which were secretly received a month ago, against Crimea.”

“According to the Russian Defense Ministry, all the missiles that were fired were destroyed,” she said. “After Easter, Kiev expects to receive the first F-16 aircraft, which, according to the UK plan, can also be used in the operation to destroy the Crimean bridge.” The diplomat warned that “Russian law enforcement agencies thoroughly record the crimes of Ukrainian neo-Nazis.” “Not a single atrocity of the Kiev regime remains unnoticed. Those involved are being identified and brought to justice,” she said.

Read more …

“He still believes that being part of the union is in the national interest..”

This Is Not The EU That Hungary Joined – Orban (RT)

Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban has decried the state of the European Union, claiming it is almost unrecognisable from the bloc the Budapest joined 20 years ago. Orban was a strong proponent of the move in 2003, when Hungarians overwhelmingly voted for their country to become an EU member. The country’s accession was finalized on May 1 of the following year. However, the policies of the bloc have significantly changed since then, the Hungarian leader noted during his regular Friday appearance on Kossuth Radio. He still believes that being part of the union is in the national interest, but listed several points on which he disagrees with Brussels. When Budapest joined the bloc, it did not expect to be forced to take in immigrants from other parts of the world or pressured over its constitutional protection of the family, defined as being based on a marriage between a man and a woman, Orban said.

Accession “wasn’t about the European leaders maneuvering the continent into a war instead of peace,” he added, referring to the arming of Ukraine against Russia. The prime minister urged EU citizens to vote in the upcoming European Parliament elections for parties that support a peaceful resolution of the Ukraine conflict, including the Orban-led Fidesz Party in Hungary. If a significant number of pro-peace candidates become MEPs, “we can have a European Parliament that does not push European leaders towards war, but pulls Europe back from the edge of the abyss,” he argued. Earlier this week, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said Budapest would oppose a plan proposed by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to establish a €100-billion ($107 billion) five-year aid scheme for Kiev. Hungary has been a member of the US-led military bloc since 1999. In March, American Ambassador to Hungary David Pressman accused Orban’s government of undermining NATO’s commitment to Kiev and of “standing with Russia.”

Read more …

“..Europe is playing with fire at this moment, we are balancing on the edge of war and peace..”

EU Leaders Talking ‘War in Europe’ Shows Their Real Intentions – Orban (Sp.)

EU leaders talking about “a war in Europe” shows their real intentions, but they are playing with fire, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday. In an interview with the Kossuth radio broadcaster, the official recalled the recent statement by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell that the spread of war to Europe is no longer a fantasy and the words of Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski that the conflict has no diplomatic solution, and it can only be resolved by military force. “These are not communication bubbles, but the implementation of real political intentions and reflections. Europe is playing with fire at this moment, we are balancing on the edge of war and peace,” Orban said.

Read more …

Odd couple..

Saudi Arabia and Indonesia Lobby EU to Halt Russian Asset Confiscation (Sp.)

Saudi Arabia and Indonesia are trying to persuade EU countries to abandon the confiscation of Russian assets. The countries have been lobbying EU capitals not to seize the assets, fearing for the future of their own reserves held in the West, the Financial Times reports, citing officials. While the US and Canada continue to push for the confiscation of Russian assets, the EU “remains highly cautious, resulting in a stalemate,” the outlet said. Confiscating Russian assets could trigger a wave of reparations claims stemming from long-standing disputes, such as those against Germany after the two world wars, as well as former colonies making claims against former imperialist powers, the FT noted, citing EU officials.

“Moving from freezing the assets, to confiscating them, to disposing of them [could carry the risk of] breaking the international order that you want to protect,” European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said. While Ukraine insists on the complete seizure of Russia’s assets, G7 officials privately declare that such a step is “no longer on the table.” The Russian Foreign Ministry has called the freezing of Russian assets theft, noting that such an attempt violates international law.

Read more …

SCO.

The Russia–Iran–China Search For A New Global Security Order (Pepe Escobar)

The Hegemon has no idea what awaits the Exceptionalist mindset: China has started to decisively stir the civilizational cauldron without bothering about an inevitable array of sanctions coming by early 2025 and/or a possible collapse of the international financial system. Last week, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and his list of delusional US demands was welcomed in Beijing by Foreign Minister Wang Yi and President Xi Jinping as little more than an annoying gnat. Wang, on the record, stressed that Tehran was justified in defending itself against Israel’s shredding of the Vienna Convention when it attacked the Iranian consulate in Damascus. At the UN Security Council, China now openly questions not only the state terror attack on the Nord Streams but also the US–Israel combo’s blocking of Palestinian statehood.

Moreover, Beijing, just like Moscow recently, hosts Palestine’s political factions together in a conference aiming to unify their positions. Next Tuesday, only two days before Moscow celebrates Victory Day, the end of the Great Patriotic War, Xi will land in Belgrade to remind the whole world about the 25th anniversary of the bombing of the Chinese embassy by the US, UK, and NATO. Russia, meanwhile, provided a platform for the UNRWA – the UN relief agency for Palestinian refugees, which Israel has sought to defund – to explain to high representatives of BRICS-10 the cataclysmic humanitarian situation in Gaza, as described by UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini. In short, serious political business is already being conducted outside of the corrupted UN system, as the United Nations disintegrates into a corporate shell with the US dictating all terms as the largest shareholder.

Yet another key example of BRICS as the new UN: Russian Security Council chairman Nikolai Patrushev met in St. Petersburg with his Chinese counterpart Chen Wenqing on the sidelines of the 12th International Security Summit, congregating over 100 nations, including the security heads of BRICS-10 members Iran, India, Brazil, and South Africa, as well as Iraq. But the key crossroads these past few days was the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) defense summit in Astana, Kazakhstan. For the first time, the new Chinese Defense Minister, Dong Jun, met with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu, to emphasize their comprehensive strategic partnership. Dong, significantly, stressed the “dynamic” nature of China–Russia military interaction, while Shoigu doubled down, saying it “sets a model for interstate relations” based on mutual respect and shared strategic interests.

Addressing the full SCO assembly, Shoigu emphatically refuted the massive western propaganda drive about a Russian “threat” to NATO. Everybody was at the SCO defense ministers’ meeting – including, at the same table, India, Iran, Pakistan, and Belarus as an observer. Minsk is eager to join the SCO. The interlocking Russia–Iran–China strategic partnerships were totally in sync. Apart from Dong meeting Shoigu, he also met Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani, who lavishly praised Beijing’s condemnation of the Israeli terror air strike in Damascus. What is happening now between Beijing and Tehran is a replay of what started last year between Moscow and Tehran, when a member of the Iranian delegation on a visit to Russia remarked that both parties had agreed on a mutual, high-level “anything you need” relationship.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Rogan UFO

 

 

Seed oil

 

 

Raccoon

 

 

Winston

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 102024
 


Pierre-Auguste Renoir Parisiennes in Algerian Costume 1872 1834

 

Europe Is Living In A “Pre-War Era”: Polish PM Tusk (RT)
EU Must Develop ‘Battle-Winning’ Weapons – Von der Leyen (RT)
Biden Thrills the Media with an Attack on his Political Foes in the SOTU (Turley)
Biden Swaps SOTU Address for Campaign Speech (Manley)
Biden Tries To Change Balance Of Power With Immigration Policy – Musk (TASS)
The Fate of the Union (Jim Kunstler)
Trump’s Return Would Be Better For The World – Orban (RT)
Trump To Get National Security Briefings Again Once He Secures Nomination (PM)
Congress Is Facing Drag-Out Fight Over Second Part of Government Spending (Sp.)
Russia Requests UN Security Council Meeting On Ukraine For March 22 (TASS)
‘Cut a Deal’: Sacks Calls for Russia-America Detente to Prevent WWIII (Sp.)
Pope Francis Urges Zelensky to Find ‘Courage of the White Flag’ (Miles)
We Are Witnessing The Bittersweet Birth Of A New Russia (Scott Ritter)
Biden’s Offer for a 6-Week Pause in the Genocide in Gaza (Sahiounie)
What the Western Press Didn’t Say About the Leaked German Conversation (Vasco)

 

 

 

 

Tucker Invasion

 

 

Biden CNN

 

 

Two hours, 23 minutes, 8 seconds

 

 

Walks just like Joe Biden

 

 

 

 

True the Vote
https://twitter.com/i/status/1766280452627898799

 

 

Dershowitz

 

 

 

 

MLK RFK

 

 

 

 

What a insane thing to say. Like it’s pre-ordained. No, Tusk wants war.

Europe Is Living In A “Pre-War Era”: Polish PM Tusk (RT)

Europe’s peaceful era has ended, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has said, painting a grim picture of the future arising from tensions with Russia. “The times of peace are over. The post-war era is over,” Tusk said at a meeting of the European People’s Party (EPP) in Bucharest, Romania on Thursday. “We are living through new times – the pre-war era.” “The fight against totalitarian trends, corruption, and lies is taking place on many fronts. The most dramatic illustration of this is, of course, what is happening in the war in Ukraine,” the prime minister continued. “We are facing a simple choice: either we fight to protect our borders, territory and values, and defend our citizens and future generations, or [accept] the alternative that is defeat.” Tusk made his comments as the Russia-Ukraine conflict entered its third year last month, with many EU heads of state renewing their pledges to continue military and financial aid to Kiev.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in February that the US-led alliance should brace for “a confrontation that could last decades.” US President Joe Biden vowed during his State of the Union address on Thursday to continue backing Ukraine and accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of “sowing chaos around Europe and beyond.”Moscow has blamed the West for instigating current tensions, arguing that NATO’s expansion eastward is one of the key causes of Russia’s conflict with Ukraine. Putin stated last year that the West’s true goal is “the breakup” of Russia. The Russian leader, however, stressed that Moscow has no intention of attacking NATO member states unless it is attacked first.

Read more …

Tusk and von der Leyen are warmongers. Europe better get rid of them.

EU Must Develop ‘Battle-Winning’ Weapons – Von der Leyen (RT)

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has called on EU member states to invest heavily in the defense industry. These efforts should see the creation of weapons that will ensure the dominance of their armies on the battlefield, she said. Von der Leyen also equated European security with continued support for Ukraine, which she said Brussels will keep providing “for as long as it takes.” Addressing a congress of the European People’s Party in Bucharest, Romania on Thursday, von der Leyen said that the bloc needs to “turbo charge our defense industrial capacity in the next five years.” She added that this push would “help us fill the urgent need to rebuild, replenish and modernize Member States’ armed forces.”

“In doing so, Europe should strive to develop and manufacture the next generation of battle-winning operational capabilities,” she said. The Commission president’s remarks came after the EU’s executive body presented its strategy for improving the bloc’s defense industry on Tuesday. The document calls, among other things, for the streamlining of arms procurement among member states and reducing dependence on the US defense industry. Speaking the following day to Politico’s Playbook, EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell also urged member states to step up their game in terms of cooperation. He noted that the bloc does not need a unified army, but should rather strive to ensure that the armed forces of constituent nations “work better together.”

During the Munich Security Conference last month, outgoing Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who is being billed as a potential candidate to replace Jens Stoltenberg as NATO secretary general this fall, urged European states to spend more on defense and ramp up ammunition production. Last December, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius told the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag that “we, Europeans, must increase our engagement to ensure security on our continent,” predicting that the US would shift its focus to the Asia-Pacific region regardless of who wins the presidential election. Concerns over Washington’s role in Europe have been further exacerbated by Republican frontrunner Donald Trump’s recent comments, suggesting that the US should not be expected to defend European allies who refuse to fulfill their military spending commitments to NATO.

Read more …

“In some ways, the SOTU may have died when former Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripped up the address of former President Donald Trump..”

Biden Thrills the Media with an Attack on his Political Foes in the SOTU (Turley)

President Biden gave what could be his final State of the Union address Thursday. While many presidents have used such moments to focus on the “union” of all Americans in our shared values and interests, Biden spoke to our disunion and seemed, again, to push the nation further apart. Much of the rhetoric was familiar, if delivered as in a higher volume. Biden raised the same demons he’s raised before, as he painted his opponents as threatening democracy itself. As with the speech in Philadelphia and Valley Forge, Biden selected a backdrop of unity to highlight and play on our divisions. And many in the media were thrilled by the display. The president attacked Trump and the Supreme Court, and compared political opponents to those presenting the same threat as Hitler in World War II. After the speech, MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace gushed that it “was like a punch in the face to every Republican in the room.”

After repeating again that it “was a punch in the nose,” she added, “everybody knows this is a great speech.” I beg to differ. It was certainly a powerful delivery for Biden, but it was a rather poor State of the Union speech because there was little unifying in it. Biden attacked his political opponents over a dozen times and even seemed to lash out at the Supreme Court justices sitting before him. He returned to the themes of his infamous Philadelphia speech with the portrayal of his opponents (including millions of Americans) as representing an existential threat to the nation, like the Nazis or the Confederacy. The hellish red backdrop was gone but in some ways it was more chilling precisely because this was a different setting. This was supposed to be the State of the Union, where a president lays out what he views as the national interest, not just his political interests. There is a difference.

Some Republicans showed the same lack of appreciation for this moment in heckling and shouting at the president. I have written that such conduct should not be tolerated at the SOTU. While a guest was removed from the chamber and arrested for yelling at the president, some members continued to treat the SOTU like a cathartic primal-scream session. The media also showed the ecstatic response to the rage and recriminations. They praised Biden’s speech while largely ignoring the over-the-top partisanship and dubious factual claims. What was lost is what we once had in these moments. I can remember as a young page standing in awe of this chamber and its occupants. Presidents and the members were every bit as partisan and bitterly divided. However, at the SOTU they could still transcend the politics. It was a moment that reminded the nation that we are still capable of reaching these moments of civility and decorum.

In some ways, the SOTU may have died when former Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripped up the address of former President Donald Trump. Her drop-the-mic moment will have a lasting impact on the House. While many in the media celebrated her lack of decorum and respect, she tore up something far more important than a speech. She shredded decades of tradition of civility and any remaining residue of restraint in our politics. Now media figures like Wallace are praising a president for giving a speech that is “a punch in the face to every Republican in the room . . . a punch in the nose . . . Everybody knows this is the message going into the next eight months, but the polls will soon reflect that, in this will be a real fight.”

Read more …

“The question is, can he be this ‘Dark Brandon’ through November?”

Biden Swaps SOTU Address for Campaign Speech (Manley)

On Friday, Sputnik’s Fault Lines was joined by TV radio show host Edward Woodson, and John Jackson who is the former chairman of the Dekalb Democratic Party. The hosts and their guests discussed US President Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address. The address was less like the annual state of the nation speech that it is meant to be, as Biden leaned into politics in preparation for this year’s presidential election. Without saying his name, Biden derided Trump and those who stormed the Capitol on January 6, as well as criticized conservatives who are unable to see Russia as a threat. “Well, it wasn’t a State of the Union, it was a highly partisan speech. It was a campaign speech, is what it was. So, it wasn’t a State of Union. I’ve never actually seen a State of the Union like that because it was a kickoff to the campaign,” said Woodson.

Jackson agreed that over time, the State of the Union speech has become a “partisan affair” but acknowledged that Biden seemed less like his usual “Sleepy Joe” self, and seemed more alert during his speech. “You know, I think that it was a pretty good State of the Union. He hit all the points he needed to, he came alive. He was not ‘Sleepy Joe.’ Like, everybody was worried about him being ‘Sleepy Joe.’ That nickname that Trump has given him, he’s lived up to it, but he didn’t live up to it last night. The question is, can he be this ‘Dark Brandon’ through November? The reality is that it’s ‘Dark Brandon,’ until he needs to be to motivate the Democratic base to turn out,” Jackson countered. “If he’s not this alive person who can snap back, who can speak coherently, he won’t win. So, I think that, honestly, the State of the Union has become a partisan affair, it’s not what it used to be. It is very much a partisan affair, is not an objective government speech. It’s always going to be politicized no matter who is doing it. It’s the nature. It’s the polarized America that we’re in,” he added.

The hosts and their guests then discussed the bipartisan border security bill that Republicans, encouraged by former President Donald Trump, killed. Now a bipartisan group of House lawmakers are calling on House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) to stage a vote on similar legislation in an effort to give Ukraine continued military funding in exchange for funding for the US-Mexico border. “If Republicans really want immigration reform, they really want that border bill, then don’t sink a bill because Trump told you to,” said Jackson. “The president was right, that deal had bipartisan support, and Trump calls members of Congress to tell them to vote it down because he wants this to be his issue,” he continued. “That’s stuff you can’t pull if you want to be serious. This is why Republicans are going to lose the House, and I think Democrats will retain the Senate. And I will be honest, Joe Biden’s a weak candidate, but his only hope of getting reelected is the down ballot success of Democrats puts him over the top.”

But Jackson also maintained that a majority of Americans no longer see the justification for funding a proxy war while inflation, job creation, homelessness, healthcare, and affordable housing are primary concerns for them. “A lot of people who are employed are struggling to make ends meet because the cost of living is so high. And I think that a lot of people can empathize with Republicans when they block foreign aid, and there’s all these people in America in need,” he added. “Now, the gaslighting of this is that, it’s not like Republicans would send stimulus to Americans or they would cut taxes for the rich – that’s the gaslight, but the reality is they are right when questioning the sending of money all over the world where we have people struggling in America.”

Read more …

“..the US census currently counts, for purposes of voting power, all people in a district, regardless of citizenship..”

Biden Tries To Change Balance Of Power With Immigration Policy – Musk (TASS)

Decisions by the administration of US President Joe Biden and the Democratic Party on immigration policy are designed to change the balance of power in the upcoming presidential election, US entrepreneur Elon Musk believes. “Most Americans do not know that the US census currently counts, for purposes of voting power, all people in a district, regardless of citizenship! Senate Democrats just voted unanimously to defeat an amendment that would have stopped counting illegals for congressional seat apportionment and electoral college (presidential) votes.

Since illegals are mostly in Democrat states, both the House and the Presidential vote are shifted ~5% to the left, which is enough to change the entire balance of power! “This is a major reason why the Biden administration is ushering in record levels of illegals and doing so few deportations,” he wrote on X. For years, the southern states and the federal government have been at odds over the issue of illegal migration. The most heated scenario has emerged in the state of Texas, where officials support severe measures to combat illegal migration and speak out against the present US administration’s policies on the subject. Musk has earlier expressed support for the Texas authorities.

Read more …

“..our pharma-driven experts prefer to mummify not the body but the personality with a cocktail of adderal, clonazepam, and prednisone..”

The Fate of the Union (Jim Kunstler)

Let’s face it: as pure theater, the president’s annual address to Congress has become a disconcertingly shabby affair, bursts of gloatish barking wedged into an hour of nearly continuous hand-clapping, as if drowning public utterances in applause might divert the audience from the empty, vicious bluster “Joe Biden” served up Thursday night. You couldn’t help but be reminded of the old Supreme Soviet in the twilight hours of Konstantin Chernenko, whose country’s renowned mortuary experts managed to embalm a year or so before his actual decease and interment. The Ruskies back in the day had a secret recipe for premature mummification of their leadership; our pharma-driven experts prefer to mummify not the body but the personality with a cocktail of adderal, clonazepam, and prednisone — the latter responsible for the ‘roid rage on view whenever “Joe Biden” is hauled out of his catacomb for public performances.

The Kid from Scranton’s most memorably mendacious line got front-loaded, so as not to be lost on the watching millions already nauseated by “JB’s” pre-speech triumphal journey from the entrance down the aisle through the mob of his elected admirers clamoring for selfies: “Not since President Lincoln and the Civil War have freedom and democracy been under assault here at home as they are today,” the president squawked. True dat. The part he left out was that said assault emanates entirely from the very government he pretends to head. It’s reported (in The Epoch Times today) that since the start of this year the FBI has rounded up 93 new suspects in the event of 1-6-21 touted as “the insurrection” — most of the years-old charges related to trespassing, disorderly conduct, and parading, conduct now regarded as nation-threatening. He also left out the prodigious three-year-long campaign of his inter-agency flunkies to abolish the First Amendment by capturing all the transmitters of free speech. And never mind the regime’s banana republic style lawfare op to jail “JB’s” chief political opponent on spurious charges before the November election — rank, in-your-face election interference.

Also up front in the show: the regime’s lust to start World War Three by asserting falsely that Russia intends to invade and overrun Europe at any moment, in order to continue justifying our insane proxy war in Ukraine, now on its last legs. Putin Putin Putin is “sowing chaos throughout Europe and beyond,” the president barked to hearty applause, as if anyone in the chamber really believes it. The truth is that our country, now effectively the Intel States of America, has sown all that chaos. The feckless Ukraine project has failed. The end of the Zelensky fake-out is near. The CIA announced it in last week’s Sunday New York Times, and all that’s left to do is cover-up the Biden family’s private racketeering activities in that notorious money-laundry and then somehow escape the massive national humiliation that will ensue when this fiasco is concluded, finalizing America’s loss-of-standing in the world. It’s all on “Joe Biden” and everybody knows it.

Now, the catch to the adoring hoo-rah ginned up on the left side of the chamber last night is that all the wildly applauding ninnies are plotting desperately to find some way to ditch “Joe Biden” before the party’s August convention, to avoid the embarrassment of having to toss him overboard at the last minute in a smoke-filled back room there — which would be an admission that his entire reelection campaign has been a ruse all along. As of this week, they’ve lost on the simple expedient to get Mr. Trump erased from blue state ballots. The biggest court actions against Mr. Trump are collapsing spectacularly. Fulton County DA Fani Willis has so wrecked herself that she’ll certainly be dropped from the case, could be kicked out of her job altogether, and stands to lose her law license for committing crimes ranging from perjury to conspiracy with White House lawyers to interfere with the coming election — and then lying about it under oath.

Read more …

“..there will be peace if there will be world leaders who want peace.”

Trump’s Return Would Be Better For The World – Orban (RT)

Donald Trump will be able to stop the conflict between Russia and Ukraine if he wins the election in November and returns to the White House, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said. Orban, who has a good long-standing relationship with Trump, made the comment in a video message on his Facebook page on Saturday dedicated to his meeting with the 45th US president at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida the previous day. While he was in office between 2017 and 2021, Trump was “the president of peace, he enjoyed respect all over the world and thus created the conditions for peace,” the Hungarian leader said, stressing that there was no conflict in Ukraine or the Middle East at that time. “Today, there would’ve been no war if he was the US president,” the PM insisted. According to Orban, Trump and him agreed that “there will be peace if there will be world leaders who want peace.” The Hungarian PM added that he was “proud” that his country was one of those that are striving for peace.

Since the start of the conflict between Moscow and Kiev in February 2022, Hungary has been consistently calling for a diplomatic solution to the crisis. Unlike its EU neighbors, Budapest has refused to provide weapons to Kiev, maintained economic ties with Moscow and criticized the bloc’s sanctions against Russia as “counterproductive.” Russia has repeatedly said that it is ready for dialogue, but stressed that it hasn’t been getting any reasonable proposals that would account for the actual situation on the ground from Kiev or its backers in the US and the EU. According to Moscow, in such conditions it has no other choice but to keep pursuing its goals in Ukraine via military means. Orban explained that the aim of his visit to Florida was “to say frankly” that Trump’s second presidency “will be better for the whole world,” not just for ties between Budapest and Washington. The Hungarian PM added that it would, of course, be up to the American people to decide who will be their next head of state.

Earlier this week, Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee in the election as his last renaming rival, Nikki Haley, suspended her campaign after losing primaries in 14 out of 15 states. US President Joe Biden lashed out at both Trump and Orban during a campaign stop in Pennsylvania on Friday. “You know who he [Trump] is meeting with today down in Mar-a-Lago? Orban of Hungary, who’s stated flatly that he doesn’t think democracy works, he’s looking for dictatorship.” Biden claimed that he himself was looking for a future “where we defend democracy, not diminish it.” During his campaign, Trump has repeatedly vowed to settle the Ukraine conflict “within 24 hours” if he returns to the Oval Office, claiming he would sit down with both Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. In the fall of 2022, Zelensky signed a decree banning Kiev from negotiating with Putin.

De Niro

Read more …

“Biden barred Trump from receiving classified intelligence briefings shortly after he took over the White House in 2021.”

Trump To Get National Security Briefings Again Once He Secures Nomination (PM)

Former President Donald J. Trump will be receiving briefings on classified national security matters once he secures the GOP presidential nomination, US intelligence officials say. The Biden administration intends to share intelligence with Trump, a senior intelligence official told Politico, despite the DOJ having indicted Trump in two federal cases, one alleging that he kept classified documents after leaving the White House, which all presidents do, and another alleging that Trump attempted to overthrow the government while he was the head of that government. Biden barred Trump from receiving classified intelligence briefings shortly after he took over the White House in 2021, citing that Trump had “erratic” behavior. Sharing classified intelligence related to national security matters is standard practice between current and former US presidents.

While there is no constitutional requirement for sit-down briefings, incumbent administrations have used intelligence agencies to brief candidates from both major political parties on some of the most critical national security issues and this has been standard practice for 72 years. The briefings typically occur in the late summer, following the national conventions. They are overseen by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and authorized by the White House. Douglas London, a former CIA case officer, told the outlet that if the Biden administration refuses to share intel with Trump it could backfire on the intelligence community. He said that the decision could “taint them in the eyes of somebody who might very well be their boss again in a few months.”

Trump has taken aim at intelligence agencies throughout his time on the campaign trail. He has accused President Biden of weaponizing the Department of Justice against him in an effort to prosecute his top political rival. A senior US intelligence official told Politico that regaining Trump’s trust is among the greatest concerns of intelligence agencies.According to the official, Trump will be briefed by the intelligence community primarily in the same way that previous presidential candidates have been briefed.

Brennan

Read more …

“..by helping the Dems avert a shutdown, Johnson has “surrendered Republican leverage..”

Congress Is Facing Drag-Out Fight Over Second Part of Government Spending (Sp.)

After averting a government shutdown on Friday, US lawmakers face another deadline on 22 March and another battle over funding. The Democratic-led upper chamber voted 75-22 on March 8th to pass six appropriations bills covering agriculture, housing, transportation and energy. The House passed the measure, which accounts for less than half of government funding and is worth $460 billion, on March 6.Axios expects the upcoming negotiations to be a “tougher lift”: “thornier fights over funding for things like the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security are on the horizon,” the media outlet warns. The House Freedom Caucus, made up of hardline conservatives, lobbied hard to kill the funding package and did not hide their disappointment when House Speaker Mike Johnson gave the bill the green light on Wednesday.

Johnson worked with Democrats on two occasions. First, the lower chamber passed a stopgap measure on February 29 to extend funding on a short-term basis, setting two deadlines for March 8 and March 22. Second, the Speaker relied on Democrats to pass the spending bill on March 8. Freedom Caucus Republicans argue that by helping the Dems avert a shutdown, Johnson has “surrendered Republican leverage” to pressure the administration to resolve the burning issues of border security and immigration. Conservative Republican voters are upset and angry at what they see as the GOP’s unwillingness to take a stand on the unfolding border crisis.

“The $460 billion spending package advanced (339-85) by the GOP-controlled House on Wednesday partially funds Democrats’ authoritarian regime for the remainder of Joe Biden’s first term,” wrote the Federalist, a US conservative media outlet. “Equally infuriating is Johnson and House Republicans insisting they care about stopping Biden’s border invasion — at the same time they’re handing away their only leverage to end it. It seems that the March 22 vote could become a litmus test for Johnson in the eyes of his fellow conservatives. Likewise, the GOP base is wondering if the Republicans have the guts to challenge Team Biden and the Democrats. The stakes are high for the GOP, and left-leaning Axios warns that “there are just two weeks left before [US lawmakers] could be back up against the wall of a government shutdown”. “The debate over funding of the Department of Homeland Security is sure to be a knockdown, drag-out fight, with immigration and border security emerging as a top election year issue,” the media outlet predicted.

Read more …

“..you are making the image of Russia as of an enemy and aggressor, avoiding the facts that your aggression against Russia with Ukraine’s involvement started at least ten years ago..”

Russia Requests UN Security Council Meeting On Ukraine For March 22 (TASS)

Russia has requested a UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine for March 22, Russian First Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Dmitry Polyansky said. “It would have been nice if NATO’s representatives in the [UN] Security Council explained to us the alliance’s devious logic,” Polyansky said speaking at the UN Security Council’s session. “Its leaders initially told us that NATO should expand into Ukraine because Russia would never attack a NATO member state. However, we hear today that Russia cannot be allowed to win in Ukraine, because after that it will move further and attack NATO.” “Is there any common sense in your statements, any consistency? However, it is expressively displayed in the way you are making the image of Russia as of an enemy and aggressor, avoiding the facts that your aggression against Russia with Ukraine’s involvement started at least ten years ago,” he continued.

“We will discuss in detail all these moments, which are unpleasant for our Western colleagues, at the requested by us separate meeting of the [UN] Security Council on March 22,” Polyansky added. The Russian diplomat pointed out that French Permanent Representative to the UN Nicolas de Riviere did not say anything during his speech at the session about the initiative of French President Emmanuel Macron to send troops of Western countries to Ukraine.Polyansky added that Robert Wood, deputy US envoy to the United Nations, was “modest and said nothing” about the network of secret bases that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) set up on Ukrainian territory over the past eight years. “It is also a pity that we do not hear the usually very active German envoy among those, who requested to address today’s meeting,” the Russian diplomat noted. “It would have been interesting to hear commentaries from him regarding the conversation leaked to the media by senior German military officials, who discussed how to help the Ukrainians destroy the Crimean Bridge and deliver more strikes deeper into the territory of Russia.”

On March 1, RT TV editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan said that on the day when German Chancellor Olaf Scholz vowed that NATO was not and would not be involved in the Ukrainian conflict, high-ranking German army officers were discussing the possibility of attacking the Crimean bridge without repercussions for the German authorities. Simonyan referred to the existence of an authentic audio recording and later published a transcript of the conversation. The officers discussed the extent to which Taurus missiles could destroy the Crimean Bridge and also the details of preparations for such an attack. The German Defense Ministry confirmed later that the conversation among top-ranking Bundeswehr (armed forces) officers had been intercepted. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged to sort things out promptly. On March 4, the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned German Ambassador to Moscow Alexander Lambsdorff to deliver a formal demarche and demand clarifications over the leaked conversation.

Read more …

“The idea that sanctions are working is totally delusional. The Russian economy stabilized and even outperformed G7 economies in 2023..”

‘Cut a Deal’: Sacks Calls for Russia-America Detente to Prevent WWIII (Sp.)

The US should “cut a deal” and seek detente with Russia to prevent a Third World War, which would provide a baseline for world peace, American billionaire investor David Sacks told a gala for the Republican think-tank American Moment in Washington. During the speech, the 51-year-old also made the case that the US’s involvement in the Ukraine conflict has finally proved to be a failure. He blamed Washington for prolonging the standoff and slapping sanctions on Russia. “The idea that sanctions are working is totally delusional. The Russian economy stabilized and even outperformed G7 economies in 2023,” the venture capitalist stressed. Sacks insisted that a “real victim” of the sanctions was Europe, adding that the population of the continent “has realized that this [NATO’s proxy] war [with Russia] is not in their interests.”

Citing the asymmetric cost of artillery shell production, the size of the Russian military versus that of Ukraine, and the big gap in “war enthusiasm” in the two countries, the entrepreneur concluded that “while seeking to weaken Russia we [the West] only weaken ourselves.” As far as “a baseline” for peace is concerned, Russia has repeatedly signaled readiness for talks, but the Kiev regime introduced a legislative ban on them after torpedoing the 2022 Russian-Ukrainian negotiations in Istanbul at then-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s behest. The West turns a blind eye to Ukraine’s constant refusals to engage in dialogue, he continued. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russian President Vladimir Putin “has stated numerous times that Russia was, is and will continue to be open for negotiations on Ukraine.”

“We are determined to reach our goals. And would prefer to complete it by diplomatic means. If not, the special military operation will be continued till we reach our goals,” Peskov emphasized. Putin, for his part, has said that if Ukraine wants a negotiation process, performative gestures are not the way and that it is necessary to scrap Kiev’s decree prohibiting negotiations with Russia. Moscow has never been against the settlement of the Ukraine conflict by peaceful means, but insists on the observance of Russia’s security guarantees, according to the Russian president.

Read more …

“..the strongest one is the one who looks at the situation, thinks about the people and has the courage of the white flag, and negotiates..”

Pope Francis Urges Zelensky to Find ‘Courage of the White Flag’ (Miles)

Pope Francis added his name to the long list of international critics of Volodymyr Zelensky recently in comments urging the Ukrainian president to find the “courage” to negotiate with Russia for an end to the Donbass conflict. “The word negotiate is a courageous word,” said Francis in an excerpt from an interview recorded last month. “When you see that you are defeated, that things are not going well, you have to have the courage to negotiate. Negotiations are never a surrender.”= The interview, filmed last month by Swiss public broadcaster RSI, took place before recent mediation proposals, including Friday’s from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan offered to host a summit between Ukraine and Russia, a prospect that’s undermined by a decree issued by Zelensky in late 2022 forbidding negotiations with Russia while the country is led by President Vladimir Putin.

The development took place after at least two attempts by Putin to negotiate an end to hostilities early in the conflict. Both rounds of negotiations were scuttled by the United States, which intervened to end separate diplomatic efforts involving then UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in 2022. The US role came to light in media reports emerging shortly after. Pope Francis made clear he believes the best option for Zelensky as well as the Russian and Ukrainian people is for the embattled leader to admit defeat. The Pope made the comment in response to a question by the interviewer, who discussed the possibility of Ukraine raising the “white flag.” “I think that the strongest one is the one who looks at the situation, thinks about the people and has the courage of the white flag, and negotiates,” the cleric insisted. “Today, for example, in the war in Ukraine, there are many who want to mediate.”

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni, perhaps perceiving the potential controversy of Pope Francis’ blunt language, noted the Pope picked up on the interviewer’s use of the term “white flag.” Bruni explained the cleric intended “to indicate a stop to hostilities [and] a truce achieved with the courage of negotiations.” “One may feel shame, but how many dead will it [the conflict in the Donbass] end up with?” the Pope asked. “[Zelensky should] negotiate in time, find a country that can be a mediator. Do not be ashamed of negotiating, before things get worse.” The interview likely represents the first time Pope Francis has so openly acknowledged Zelensky’s defeat after 2023’s vaunted Ukrainian counter offensive failed to turn the tide of the conflict. In recent weeks Russian forces have made gains on the battlefield as Zelensky mulls conscripting more Ukrainians to fight, recently liberating the city of Avdeyevka from the Kiev regime. In response to the interviewer’s question if Pope Francis himself would be willing to help mediate negotiations, the Pope reiterated, “I am here.”

Read more …

“They call it decommunization. You want decommunization? Very well, this suits us just fine. But why stop halfway? We are ready to show what real decommunizations would mean for Ukraine.”

We Are Witnessing The Bittersweet Birth Of A New Russia (Scott Ritter)

On February 21, 2022, Putin delivered a lengthy address to the Russian nation on the eve of his decision to send Russian troops into Ukraine as part of what he termed a Special Military Operation. Those who watched Tucker Carlson’s February 9, 2024, interview with Putin would have been struck by the similarity between the two presentations. While he did not make a direct reference to Novorossiya, the president did outline fundamental historic and cultural linkages which serve as the foundation for any discussion about the viability and legitimacy of Novorossiya in the context of Russian-Ukrainian relations. “I would like to emphasize,” Putin said, “once again that Ukraine is not just a neighboring country for us. It is an integral part of our own history, culture, and spiritual space. It is our friends, our relatives, not only colleagues, friends, and former work colleagues, but also our relatives and close family members.

Since the oldest times,” Putin continued, “the inhabitants of the south-western historical territories of ancient Russia have called themselves Russians and Orthodox Christians. It was the same in the 17th century, when a part of these territories [i.e., Novorossiya] was reunited with the Russian state, and even after that.” The Russian president set forth his contention that the modern state of Ukraine was an invention of Vladimir Lenin, the founding father of the Soviet Union. “Soviet Ukraine is the result of the Bolsheviks’ policy,” Putin stated, “and can be rightfully called ‘Vladimir Lenin’s Ukraine’. He was its creator and architect. This is fully and comprehensively corroborated by archival documents.” Putin went on to issue a threat which, when seen in the context of the present, proved ominously prescient. “And today the ’grateful progeny’ has overturned monuments to Lenin in Ukraine. They call it decommunization. You want decommunization? Very well, this suits us just fine. But why stop halfway? We are ready to show what real decommunizations would mean for Ukraine.”

In September 2022 Putin followed through on this, ordering referendums in four territories (Kherson and Zaporozhye, and the newly independent Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics) to determine whether the populations residing there wished to join the Russian Federation. All four did so. Putin has since then referred to these new Russian territories as Novorossiya, perhaps nowhere more poignantly that in June 2023, when he praised the Russian soldiers “who fought and gave their lives to Novorossiya and for the unity of the Russian world.” The story of those who fought and gave their lives to Novorossiya is one that I have wanted to tell for some time now. I have borne witness here in the United States to the extremely one-sided coverage of the military aspects of Russia’s military operation. Like many of my fellow analysts, I had to undertake the extremely difficult task of trying to parse out fact from an overwhelmingly fictional narrative. Nor was I helped in any way in this regard by the Russian side, which was parsimonious in the release of information that reflected its side of reality.

In preparing for my December 2023 visit to Russia, I had hoped to be able to visit the four new Russian territories to see for myself what the truth was when it came to the fighting between Russia and Ukraine. I also wanted to interview the Russian military and civilian leadership to get a broader perspective of the conflict. I had reached out to the Russian Foreign and Defense ministries through the Russian Embassy in the US, bending the ear of both the Ambassador, Anatoly Antonov, and the Defense Attache, Major-General Evgeny Bobkin, about my plans. While both men supported my project and wrote recommendations back to their respective ministries in this regard, the Russian Defense Ministry, which had the final say over what happened in the four new territories, vetoed the idea. This veto was not because they didn’t like the idea of me writing an in-depth analysis of the conflict from the Russian perspective, but rather that the project as I outlined it, which would have required sustained access to frontline units and personnel, was deemed too dangerous. In short, the Russian Defense Ministry did not relish the idea of me being killed on its watch.

Read more …

“They want a permanent end to Israeli attacks and the withdrawal of Israeli forces to allow the people to return to their homes. He stressed that a prisoner swap could only occur after a ceasefire.”

Biden’s Offer for a 6-Week Pause in the Genocide in Gaza (Sahiounie)

The Hamas delegation left Cairo on Thursday and will resume negotiations for a ceasefire in Gaza next week. Time is running out before the Holy month of Ramadan begins. Hamas wants an end to the war, but the U.S. is looking only for a 6-week pause, and Israel is willing to allow a pause but resume the genocide afterward. UN experts, many world leaders, humanitarian organizations, and millions of civilians across the U.S., UK, Europe, Africa, and Asia agree on one point: the only way to prevent or end famine in Gaza is an immediate and permanent ceasefire. Israel’s unrelenting attack on 2.3 million people in Gaza, day and night for almost five months, has killed over 30,700. If the bombs and bullets don’t kill them all, then starvation will. U.S. President Joe Biden, the one man in the world who holds the keys to a ceasefire in Gaza, refuses to demand the Israelis end the war. Biden has finally come up with a weak deal to offer Hamas to stop the slaughtering, but just for six weeks, not permanently.

Hamas representatives have been meeting in Cairo with Egyptian and Qatari negotiators. On Wednesday, March 6, Hamas said they were continuing their efforts to secure a ceasefire in Gaza even though Israel refused to participate in the negotiations. Osama Hamdan, in Beirut, voiced the demands of the resistance group. They want a permanent end to Israeli attacks and the withdrawal of Israeli forces to allow the people to return to their homes. He stressed that a prisoner swap could only occur after a ceasefire. Senior Hamas official Bassem Naim said Hamas had presented its draft deal and was awaiting a response from Israel, and that “the ball now is in the Americans’ court”. On March 5, Biden said a ceasefire deal was in the hands of Hamas. He was referring to the U.S. deal offered to Hamas, and he never mentioned or referred to the deal Hamas offered to Israel. Biden’s deal offered a six-week ceasefire in exchange for the release of all Israeli hostages in Gaza.

Israel is willing to pause the slaughter and genocide in Gaza for a few weeks, but Netanyahu and his radical right-wing partners insist they will never stop the bombardment until Hamas is exterminated. “It’s in the hands of Hamas right now. Israelis have been cooperating. There’s been a rational offer,” Biden told reporters. Getting the Israeli hostages out has never been a priority for Netanyahu, but it has been for the families and friends of the hostages. They have been holding protests and marches ever since the conflict began. The families of the hostages expected their government to negotiate for their release, but Netanyahu’s war room ignored their pleas, in favor of revenge killings in Gaza. From the very beginning of the conflict which broke out October 7, 2023, He is willing to use the phrase ‘humanitarian pause’, and his current deal offered to Hamas is only a pause, with an exact timetable attached to resume the butchery which has killed mainly women and children.

The U.S. is promoting its ‘pause’ deal at the UN, even though the U.S. has vetoed every UN resolution aimed at peace in Gaza, with the most recent U.S. veto on February 20. The Times of Israel reported recently that Netanyahu has planned for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to remain in a military occupation of Gaza for at least 10 years. This is opposed by the U.S., EU, UN, and most world leaders. Israel may agree to a pause, but a ceasefire and withdrawal is out of the question. This means the Palestinian people and their supporters will remain resisting occupation, which is guaranteed by the Geneva Convention.

Read more …

“Kremlin is using Taurus leaks to threaten war against Germany”. Of course, it was the Russians who considered blowing up a bridge in German territory, right?”

What the Western Press Didn’t Say About the Leaked German Conversation (Vasco)

On March 1, the editor-in-chief of the Rossiya Segodnya group, journalist Margarita Simonyan, revealed, on her Telegram channel, a 38-minute audio in which officers from the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) discussed the possibility of sending missiles long-range Taurus to Ukraine and whether they would be able to reach the Crimean bridge in the Kerch Strait, which connects the peninsula to the mainland and is Russian territory. The Russian press, naturally, made much of the revelation. This forced the mainstream Western media – especially German ones – to report the leak. But whoever thought that a miracle would happen, that is, that the Western press would finally raise the issue of NATO’s military threats against Russia… well, those people are simply very naive. The Western mass media, as always, tried to manipulate the news and hide the main issue. The New York Times, The Washington Post, BBC, The Guardian, Die Welt and Der Spiegel published 39 articles on the topic on their respective websites between the time the news was revealed and the evening of March 6th (when I write these lines).

The two North American newspapers did not want to highlight the matter. The Post published two reports and the Times only one. The three expressed concern about the fragility of German intelligence security systems in the face of Russian espionage. The Europeans, as has been the case for some time, carried much more propaganda against Russia. The BBC published four articles, all referring to the failure to protect Luftwaffe communications. The Guardian published five articles. The majority warns of the Germans’ failure and treats the Russians as great, threatening villains. However, it is necessary to make an honorable mention of Simon Jenkins’ column, the only one who was allowed to say that the leaked conversations demonstrate that NATO is threatening Russia with an escalation in the conflict. As we all know, this drop of water in the middle of the ocean has no chance of counterbalancing the flood of war propaganda and fake news from the British press against Russia.

Newspaper owners only allow freedom of expression when it is harmless – and try to isolate minimally independent opinions. Now let’s talk about German newspaper coverage. Die Welt published 18 pieces about the leak scandal, and treated it as such. Of course, the main reason for the scandal was – for German war propagandists – the interception and dissemination of the conversation, not its content. The entire repercussion of Die Welt revolves around failures in the security system of the German armed forces and Russian espionage. The possibility of Olaf Scholz sending the Taurus to Zelensky is briefly discussed and it is even stated that Germany is putting its Western allies in danger by allowing the interception of conversations that may mention confidential and compromising information – such as the participation of British soldiers in Ukraine, as mentioned in the conversation in question.

A single Die Welt report presents a “dissident” opinion, which is not “Russian propaganda”: the brief speech of a member of the AfD – who, however, is branded a Russian agent by the German state and its agents, such as the press. Article signed by Pavel Lokshin has the following title: “Kremlin is using Taurus leaks to threaten war against Germany”. Of course, it was the Russians who considered blowing up a bridge in German territory, right? In turn, Der Spiegel, in its nine articles on the case, reproduces the same speech as Die Welt about the failures in German security and the danger of Russian espionage. It also disqualifies the Kremlin’s claims that the conversation is clear proof of NATO’s direct involvement in the war in Ukraine and how much this threatens Russian national security. Christina Hebel’s analysis is the only piece in these two German outlets that takes the accusations of the Russian government and German involvement in the war more seriously, but it would be an exaggeration to say that this publication would be in the sphere of journalism.

In short, the coverage of these newspapers – and the coverage of other mass media outlets in the West is no different – is absolutely biased and manipulated. In fact, as always happens, they reverse roles: Germany, which threatened to blow up a bridge in Russia, is the victim, while Russia is the villain! If at least one of these newspapers really were a journalistic tool, and not a propaganda tool, it should publish an article with a title like “German officers considered blowing up bridge in Russia” or “Audios reveal discussion of attack on Russia with German weapons”. After all, which is more serious: the leak of the audio by Russian intelligence or the discussion among senior German officials about a military attack on Russia? No honest person would choose the first option. But we are not dealing with honest people when we talk about “journalism” in Europe and the United States.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Scratches

 

 

Sheep dog
https://twitter.com/i/status/1766549010943275183

 

 

 

 

Puma

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 122024
 


Vincent van Gogh Snowy landscape with Arles in the background 1888

 

How Ball Got Rolling With Tucker Carlson’s Putin Interview Proposal (Sp.)
Egypt Warns Israel: Rafah Invasion Could Negate ’79 Peace Treaty (ZH)
Ukraine Should Be A ‘Buffer Zone’ – Orban (RT)
EU Openly Threatened Orban For His Reluctance To Finance Kiev (TASS)
Ukraine ‘Must Accept New Reality’ – Kremlin (RT)
10 Million More Refugees Could Flee To Germany If Ukraine Falls – Welt (RT)
Zaluzhny’s Photo With Banderite a ‘Threat’ to Zelensky (Sp.)
Russia Must Permanently Abandon Europe And Turn Fully To Asia (Karaganov)
Farmers Bring Poland To Standstill (RT)
“That is Not the Judgment of the Press” (Turley)
“Oh What a Tangled Web Biden Weaves, When He First Practices to Deceive” (VDH)
Could Trump Win By Simple Attrition Rather than Vindication? (Turley)
Soaring Debt Pushing Wealthy Nations To ‘Fiscal Death’ – Economist (RT)
Peaceful Protests Are a Waste of Time and Energy (Paul Craig Roberts)
The Crime Of The Century: Midazolam Murders – Euthanizing The Elderly (Kelly)

 

 

 

 

Liberal tears
https://twitter.com/i/status/1756706512540499971

 

 

Ads
https://twitter.com/i/status/1756692976426701093

 

 


Maria Zakharova: “After watching Putin’s interview, Scholz and Sunak disobeyed the orders of the USA.

“Scholz disobeyed the order of the USA not to watch the interview. If he continues to violate the instructions of the White House, he may lead Germany out of the crisis. The recent Prime Ministers of Britain, weak-willed individuals, they carried out the will not of the British people or even their own personal will, but obediently waltzed, led by Washington towards the boudoir.”

 

 

Nikki Haley

Trump Haley
https://twitter.com/i/status/1756832137980838180

 

 

Biden Superbowl
https://twitter.com/i/status/1756726329695973841

 

 

Sure this is not a Trump ad?!

 

 

 

 

“..the Kremlin had concerns even before the interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin that there would be a “persecution” of Tucker Carlson. ”

How Ball Got Rolling With Tucker Carlson’s Putin Interview Proposal (Sp.)

Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin, released Thursday, lasted more than two hours and covered a range of topics, including the Ukraine conflict, sabotage of the Nord Stream pipeline, and Russia-NATO relations. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has told reporters that Tucker Carlson himself proposed the interview with Vladimir Putin and that the president quickly agreed. He also noted that the West is becoming more and more unpredictable, and that the Kremlin had concerns even before the interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin that there would be a “persecution” of Tucker Carlson.

Peskov believes that Tucker Carlson foresaw the heated sentiments around the interview with Vladimir Putin, but that it added to the popularity of the American journalist. “He’s still having a hard time, as far as I’m aware. But he is a clever enough man, I think he foresaw things would get heated. It’s fair to say that this interview has greatly raised his popularity,” Peskov said. On Thursday night, Carlson published his interview with the Russian president, which lasted for over two hours. Prior to that, the journalist faced criticism from his Western colleagues just for sitting down with the Russian leader. The interview sparked huge interest around the world, and has received more than 180 million views on X and 12 million on YouTube.

Oz dub
https://twitter.com/i/status/1756802067711115605

Read more …

“..if past is prologue, watch for the Israeli government to disregard the protests of its partners and benefactors — protests that may be offered primarily for domestic consumption..”

Egypt Warns Israel: Rafah Invasion Could Negate ’79 Peace Treaty (ZH)

With Israel on the verge of invading Gaza’s southernmost city, Egypt is warning that such a move could trigger a suspension of the treaty that has maintained peace between the two countries since 1979, the Wall Street Journal reports. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday directed the Israeli Defense Forces to plan the evacuation of the city of Rafah, which lies on Gaza’s southern border with Egypt and reportedly holds more than a million refugees already forced from their homes elsewhere in the 25-mile-long strip. One particularly sensitive slice of real estate is the so-called Philadelphi Route or Philadelphi Corridor, which stretches nine miles along the Gaza-Egypt border. Diplomatic accords establish limits on the number of troops that either Israel or Egypt can position in several delineated zones along and near the border, and certainly don’t authorize large numbers of Israeli troops and armored vehicles.

In late December, Netanyahu said the Philadelphi Route “has to be in our hands” if Gaza is to be effectively and permanently demilitarized. In January, an Egyptian official said, “It must be strictly emphasized that any Israeli move in this direction will lead to a serious threat to Egyptian-Israeli relations.” While an Egyptian diplomatic delegation visited Tel Aviv on Friday to discuss the situation in Gaza, Mexican Egyptian President Sisi has rejected several phone calls from Netanyahu over recent weeks, sources tell the Journal. The threat that large numbers of Palestinian refugees could soon be pouring across the border raises many deep concerns for Egypt. Perhaps more than the challenge of managing a humanitarian crisis, if displaced Palestinians launch attacks on the IDF from Egypt, that could trigger Israeli retaliatory strikes across the border. If Israel doesn’t allow the Palestinians to return, tensions between Israel and Egypt would be sharply increased for years to come.

Since the war began, Egypt has been reinforcing its border with Gaza, building a concrete, barbed-wire-topped wall that extends six meters into the ground below it, while also boosting surveillance capabilities, and moving tanks and armored vehicles into the vicinity. The Israel-Hamas war is proving costly for Egypt in other ways, as Suez Canal traffic has plummeted some 30%. Egypt’s warning comes alongside expressions of concern by a variety of countries both inside and outside of the region: “Military operations right now would be a disaster for those people, and it’s not something that we would support,” said US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby.

“Invading Rafah… which is the last refuge for hundreds of thousands of civilians whom the brutal Israeli aggression displaced will have [grave] consequences,” said the Saudi foreign ministry. “Deeply concerned about the prospect of a military offensive in Rafah – over half of Gaza’s population are sheltering in the area,” tweeted UK foreign secretary David Cameron. “The people of Gaza cannot disappear into thin air…[it is a] “humanitarian catastrophe in the making,” said German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. A Rafah invasion would create an “unspeakable humanitarian catastrophe,” said EU Foreign Minister Joseph Borrell. Israel’s plan “threatens to cause the loss of more innocent life and exacerbate the humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip,” said the United Arab Emirates foreign ministry. However, if past is prologue, watch for the Israeli government to disregard the protests of its partners and benefactors — protests that may be offered primarily for domestic consumption.

Read more …

“Ukraine offers Europeans no additional security because most of us are already members of NATO, which is much stronger than Russia..”

Ukraine Should Be A ‘Buffer Zone’ – Orban (RT)

Ukraine’s best geopolitical bet would be to become a “buffer zone” between Russia and the West, under arrangements made to guarantee the country’s future security, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said. The Hungarian premier made the remarks while debating former Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schussel, with excerpts from the exchange published by the Vienna daily Die Presse. Orban disagreed with Schussel’s contention that the Ukraine crisis could be solved only if the immediate start of negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the EU and NATO coincided with the start of ceasefire talks. [BQ] Whether we like it or not, whether Ukrainians like it or not, Ukraine is on the map where it is. The best prospect for it would be to form a buffer zone between Russia and the West – with security guarantees, of course.

In any other case, according to the prime minister, “Ukraine will lose its land,” and “the Russians will destroy Ukraine again and again.” He stressed that Moscow would “never accept an EU and NATO member like Ukraine on its doorstep.” Orban also rejected claims by officials in Brussels and Kiev that Ukraine is “defending” Europe. “Ukraine offers Europeans no additional security because most of us are already members of NATO, which is much stronger than Russia,” he stated, adding that there is “no risk” that Russia could attack a bloc member. He also pushed back against Schussel’s argument that a ceasefire would mean a de facto defeat for Ukraine, saying that this depends on how a person sees the future as Kiev could potentially lose more territory.

According to Orban, the EU is also in no position to provide Ukraine with an adequate amount of weapons and money, adding that the bloc’s citizens are “dissatisfied because their governments are giving Ukraine more and more financial support”. Russia has repeatedly voiced concerns about NATO’s unchecked expansion towards its borders after the collapse of the Soviet Union, with President Vladimir Putin citing Ukraine’s push to join the alliance as one of the key reasons for the current conflict. In December 2021, weeks before the start of the hostilities, Moscow submitted a draft of security guarantees to the US and NATO, demanding that the West ban Kiev’s accession to the military bloc and retreat to its borders as of 1997. The overture, however, was rebuffed.

Read more …

Nice club to be a member of…

EU Openly Threatened Orban For His Reluctance To Finance Kiev (TASS)

Leaders of the European Union openly threatened to undermine the Hungarian economy if its government refuses to approve financial aid to Ukraine, said Balazs Orban, the political director of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Financial Times reported on January 29, citing an internal EU document, that Brussels was drawing up a confidential plan to undermine Hungary’s economy if it continued to refuse to approve funding for Ukraine. According to the article, the EU threatened to completely freeze Hungary’s outstanding funds and collapse the exchange rate for the national currency, the Hungarian forint, in order to harm the Central European country’s economy and impair its investment attractiveness. “When the heads of EU states and governments talked to the prime minister by phone, they openly threatened him with these particular consequences,” the official told Austria’s Exxpress news portal.

At the EU summit in Brussels on December 14-15, 2023, the Hungarian prime minister blocked amendments to the community’s budget for 2024-2027 that called for allocating 50 bln euros to Ukraine. Instead, Viktor Orban proposed providing financial aid to Kiev on an annual basis with strict controls over expenditures. On February 1, the European Union summit approved the allocation of 50 billion euro from the EU budget to Ukraine spread out over the next four years. At the same time, they accepted Hungary’s proposal and established a mechanism to control the spending of funds. In a year from now, the EU will discuss this issue again, and in two years, it will revise the amount of financial aid to Ukraine in light of its own new budget drafting.

Read more …

“Should we begin the same negotiations, there’s a completely different reality now. And this new reality, no matter how painful it may be for the Kiev regime, must be recognized..”

Ukraine ‘Must Accept New Reality’ – Kremlin (RT)

Ukrainian authorities must accept the “new reality” no matter how “painful” it might be for them, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said. He was responding to a question on the prospects of new talks between the two warring countries. Peskov made the remarks in an interview released by Russian journalist Pavel Zarubin on Sunday. Should Russia and Ukraine ever actually get back to the negotiating table, the potential talks will not be the same as those held early in the ongoing conflict, Peskov suggested. “Should we begin the same negotiations, there’s a completely different reality now. And this new reality, no matter how painful it may be for the Kiev regime, must be recognized,” he stressed.

While Peskov did not elaborate, he presumably referred to the territorial changes, namely incorporation of the four formerly Ukrainian regions, Zaporozhye and Kherson, as well as Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics into Russia following referendums in late 2022. Kiev, however, has repeatedly vowed to seize all its former territories from Moscow, including Crimea which broke away from Ukraine in the aftermath of the 2014 Maidan coup and subsequently joined Russia. The March 2022 negotiations between Moscow and Kiev culminated in the signature of a preliminary agreement between the two nations, signed in Istanbul. The deal obliged Russia to withdraw its troops from around the Ukrainian capital, but Kiev violated the agreement almost immediately after it had been signed.

According to recent revelations by David Arakhamia, the leader of president Vladimir Zelensky’s party in the Ukrainian parliament, and a key negotiator at the botched talks, then-UK PM Boris Johnson played a pivotal role in orchestrating the failure of the talks. As Arakhamia put it, Johnson at the time simply told the Ukrainians “let’s just continue fighting” and urged them not to sign anything with Russia. Moscow has repeatedly insisted it was ready to settle the hostilities through negotiations, blaming the lack of any diplomatic effort on the matter on Kiev. The stance was reiterated by the Russian President Vladimir Putin during the conversation with the American journalist Tucker Carlson last week. “The President of Ukraine [Vladimir Zelensky] has legislated a ban on negotiating with Russia. He signed a decree forbidding everyone to negotiate with Russia. But how are we going to negotiate if he forbade himself and everyone to do this? We know that he is putting forward some ideas about this settlement. But in order to agree on something, we need to have a dialogue,” Putin stated.

RFK Ukraine

Read more …

EU governments would be overthrown.

10 Million More Refugees Could Flee To Germany If Ukraine Falls – Welt (RT)

As many as 10 million more refugees could flood into Germany if Ukraine disintegrates, Welt am Sonntag has said, citing estimates from officials. Despite the worsening situation regarding the conflict with Russia, the German government still believes this worst-case scenario is not likely to materialize this year, the media outlet added. Since the conflict between Kiev and Moscow flared up almost two years ago, 1.1 million Ukrainians have fled to the country, according to the German Interior Ministry. Meanwhile, the flow of newcomers from other countries, including Syria, Afghanistan, and African nations, shows no sign of abating. In 2023, more than 350,000 people applied for asylum in Germany, the highest number since 2016, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) reported last month.

The German government estimates that approximately 10 million people would flee Ukraine if the country falls apart, Die Welt, citing anonymous security officials and a lawmaker, said in an article on Saturday. The vast majority of these people would head westward in hopes of reaching Germany, the media outlet claims. Roderich Kiesewetter, an MP from the opposition Christian Democratic Party, told reporters that European nations should pick up the slack as US President Joe Biden’s aid package remains deadlocked in Congress. “If we don’t change our strategy on support for Ukraine, the worst-case scenario of a massive exodus from Ukraine and a spread of the war to NATO states will be much more likely,” the lawmaker predicted. Kiesewetter went on to warn that in this case, “ten million refugees are a rather lowball assumption.” Last week, the governor of the German state of Hesse, Boris Rhein, announced that the federal government and all 16 states of the country had agreed to issue special debit cards to refugees, which are supposed to supersede cash payments during the course of the year.

According to the official, the cards will “prevent the possibility of transferring money from state subsidies to countries of origin, and thus combat… human-trafficking.” Pre-paid cards will apparently have limited functionality, with features such as free cash withdrawal and transfers to recipients inside and outside of Germany disabled. They will also not work outside of the country, or even a designated municipality within it. Last month, the German parliament passed legislation that facilitates the deportation of failed asylum seekers and grants additional powers to the police. The new rules considerably extend the custody period pending deportation, in order to prevent situations in which failed applicants simply abscond around the time they are supposed to be sent home.

Read more …

“..while Zaluzhny was respected by his troops and liked by the civilian population, Syrsky evokes the opposite reaction..”

Zaluzhny’s Photo With Banderite a ‘Threat’ to Zelensky (Sp.)

Earlier this week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky fired the top General for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valery Zaluzhny, after weeks of speculation and conflicting reports. The weekend before, after media outlets reported on his imminent firing but before it became official, the Ukrainian commander of the 67th Mechanized Brigade Andriy Stempitsky posted an image of himself smiling next to Zaluzhny with a portrait of former Nazi Stepan Bandera and a red and black Banderaite flag. Mark Sleboda, an international relations and security analyst told Sputnik’s Fault Lines on Friday that the image was an “explicit threat against Zelensky.” “We saw Zaluzhny pose over [the] last weekend for a photo with a commander of the Right Sector*, the Banderite fascist, neo-Nazi battalion that is now an official part of the military,” Sleboda recounted. “In front of his giant portrait of Stepan Bandera, the West Ukrainian genocidal Nazi collaborator […] and next to a red and black Banderite flag with the inscription ‘victory without negotiations.’ So, I saw that as a pretty explicit threat against Zelensky.”

Sleboda noted unconfirmed reports that the Ukrainian intelligence agencies were given orders to watch for soldiers leaving the front but also noted that any potential unrest depends largely on Zaluzhny’s next move. “Does he do anything to incite this? Does he maneuver behind the scenes with other political figures against Zelensky? Does he stay quiet and actually put the interest of the regime above his personal ego for the time being?” Sleboda asked. “I don’t know about that because he refused to resign and decided to make, obviously, a political issue out of this,” he concluded, referring to Zaluzhny’s reported refusal to resign. March 15, will be a date to watch, Sleboda said. March 15 is when Zelensky’s current presidential term should end but likely won’t because of a martial law declaration that has been in place in Ukraine since the start of Russia’s special military operation, but Sleboda thinks forces in Ukraine may use that date to make a move against the president.


Zaluzhny with Ukrainian 67th Mechanized Brigade commander Andriy Stempitsky post with a metal in front of a portrait of Stepan Bandera.

“There may be political forces unhappy with Zelensky within the regime that will use that as the point to say that he is not a legitimate leader after that and seek to seize control,” Sleboda speculated. Sleboda also explained that he does not believe Zaluzhny’s dismissal was based on bad strategy but for personal reasons. “This was all personal,” Sleboda explained. “He made mistakes, there’s no question there but most […] on both sides, seem to regard Zaluzhny as more intelligent, more competent and more, shall we say, [an] out of the box thinker than [Zaluzhny’s replacement General Oleksandr] Syrsky.” Earlier in the interview, Sleboda explained that while Zaluzhny was respected by his troops and liked by the civilian population, Syrsky evokes the opposite reaction.

“He was the commander of the ground forces, he was responsible for the unsuccessful defenses of [Artemovsk] and […] Soledar,” Sleboda explained. “They call him General Butcher and General 200 (ed. note: ‘Cargo 200’ – military slang used in the Soviet and post-Soviet states referring to the transportation of the deceased soldiers) and neither one of those are favorable,” Sleboda continued. “It is in reference to his seemingly casual way of throwing away the lives of his own men.” Despite his Russian background, Syrsky was picked because of his loyalty to Zelensky, Sleboda explained. He also speculated that Syrsky would be more willing to commit reinforcements to Avdeyevka than Zaluzhny was, just like Syrsky did in the failed defense of Artemovsk. “This is evidently where we’re going, and General Butcher […] is going to be throwing more Kiev regime lives away,” he predicted.

Read more …

Professor Sergey Karaganov, honorary chairman of Russia’s Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, and academic supervisor at the School of International Economics and Foreign Affairs Higher School of Economics (HSE) in Moscow.

Russia Must Permanently Abandon Europe And Turn Fully To Asia (Karaganov)

At the end of the 2000s, with a group of young colleagues, we began to argue the merits and necessity of Russia’s “eastern pivot” (at the same time, current Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu – and his colleagues – were working in the same direction). The concepts and development focus of this challenge included the whole of Siberia and the Urals – a single historical, economic and human region. However, it turned out differently – pivot to Asia and its markets went administratively mainly through the Pacific Far East, and then the Arctic was added to it. The turn that began in the 2010s was successful, but only partially, largely because the Far East was artificially disconnected from the much more populous, industrialized and resource-rich eastern and western Siberia. It also continued to suffer from the “continental curse” – remoteness from markets.

Now, the new geostrategic situation urgently requires a return to the original idea – the eastward turn of all of Russia through the primary development of all of Siberia, including, of course, the Urals. In other words, we are talking about the “Siberization” of the whole country. Western Europe will be closed for many years and should never again become a first-class partner, while Asia is developing rapidly. The war provoked and unleashed by the West in Ukraine should not distract us from the movement towards the south and the east – where the center of human development is shifting. This new, but long foreseen, situation calls us to return to our “home.” A European journey of more than 300 years has given much, but long ago – a century ago, in reality – and has exhausted its usefulness.

Without this journey, initiated by Peter the Great, Russia would not have had many achievements. Foremost among them is the world’s greatest literature – the result of combining Russian culture, religion and morals with Western European culture. Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Pushkin, Gogol, then Blok, Pasternak, Solzhenitsyn – and other giants of the mind who have shaped our modern identity – would hardly have emerged without the “European injection.” During these three centuries, we have half-forgotten the eastern roots of our state and our people. The Mongols plundered, but they also promoted development. Finally, in opposition and cooperation with them, we learned from many elements of their statehood, which allowed us to build a powerful centralized state and continental thinking. From Genghis Khan’s empire we also seem to have inherited our cultural, national and religious openness. The Mongols did not impose their culture or their beliefs. Indeed, they were religiously open. That is why, in an effort to preserve Russia, Holy Prince Alexander Nevsky made an alliance with them.

Great Russia would not have come into being, and probably would not have survived on the Russian plain, besieged by rivals and enemies from the west and south, if our people had not moved en masse “behind the stone” (the Urals) “to meet the sun” from the 16th century onwards. Inexplicable, apart from the intervention of God’s will, is the speed of their impulse. The Cossacks reached the Great Ocean in six decades. The development of Siberia made the ancient Rus’, the Russian kingdom, into Great Russia. Even before it was proclaimed an empire, the resources of Siberia – first “soft gold,” then silver, gold, and other minerals – allowed us to create and equip a powerful army and navy. The caravans of the Northern Silk Road, carrying Chinese goods in exchange for furs to Russia and beyond, played an important role in this. There in Siberia, the Russians, competing and trading, began to work closely with the Central Asians, the ‘Bukharans’ as our people called them at the time.

Read more …

More protests to come.

Farmers Bring Poland To Standstill (RT)

Traffic in cities and town across Poland was severely obstructed on Friday as farmers staged protests over what they consider to be unfair competition from cheap Ukrainian produce, as well as the EU’s green policies. Over the past few months, Polish agricultural workers have also repeatedly blocked the border with Ukraine. The month of January saw similar demonstrations in other EU nations, including Germany, France, and the Netherlands, over Brussels’ climate policies which have led to fuel price hikes. German farmers have been demanding that Chancellor Olaf Scholz reverse the proposed scrapping of a diesel fuel subsidy worth as much as €3,000 ($3,260) annually. The authorities in neighboring France withdrew plans to cut similar subsidies after farmers blocked a major highway near Paris last month.

Organized by the Solidarity trade union, Friday’s protest affected around 260 localities across Poland, with thousands of farmers blocking or slowing down traffic with tractors and other heavy machinery. They also blocked several border crossings with Ukraine. Several highways leading to the capital, Warsaw, were congested as a result of the demonstration, local police reported. In a statement released ahead of the protest last week, Solidarity said it was planning to set up road blockades until March 10. The trade union called out the Polish government for readily accepting the EU’s guidelines on the “import of agricultural produce and food products from Ukraine.” The protesters also called the position adopted by Brussels at the latest EU summit “unacceptable.”

Similar rallies were held across Poland in January. A separate protest by another group of farmers and truckers blocking a key border crossing with Ukraine saw Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s government capitulate to the protesters’ demands, which included reinstating a permit system for Ukrainian truckers, adopting government subsidies for Polish corn, and a moratorium on tax hikes. Last Thursday, the European Commission proposed extending the suspension of customs duties on agricultural goods from Ukraine and Moldova through 2025. The measure was originally scheduled to expire this year. Thousands of farmers from across the bloc descended on Brussels ahead of that summit, throwing eggs, rocks, and fireworks at the EU Parliament building and setting huge piles of manure on fire.

Read more …

“The problem is Hur, not a President who not only appeared confused in the press conference but openly lied about various established facts…”

“That is Not the Judgment of the Press” (Turley)

“That is not the judgment of the press.” Those words from President Joe Biden were a telling moment after a reporter noted that there is widespread concern that he is mentally diminished. Biden’s cranky response was overshadowed by his confusion on other points during the press conference, including mixing up the presidents of Egypt and Mexico. However, it captured the sense of license and expectation of the Biden White House that the press is supposed to toe the line, as it has for three years. In the disastrous press conference, CNN correspondent MJ Lee reminded Biden that he had urged Americans to “watch me” when he was confronted over his age: “Many [of the] American people have been watching, and they have expressed concerns about your age.” The President angrily responded: “That is your judgment!. That is your judgment! That is not the judgment of the press.”

The next day, many in the media came to Biden’s defense and attacked the Special Counsel report which detailed his “diminished faculties.” Others cleaned up the remark about the press. Biden clearly stated “That is your judgment! That is your judgment. That is not the judgment of the press.” NBC did not include the line in articles on the press conference despite showing it on the live coverage. Roll Call actually edited the President’s remarks to insert “for” in the key line: “That is not the judgment [for] the press.” That changed the line from questioning the right of the press to make such judgments to telling a reporter what the press view should be. Even if it was a Freudian slip, it was a telling slip. Other media inserted or suggested “public” rather than the press in the line. The obvious exasperation of the President reflects years of a passive, enabling media that shielded Biden from difficult questions on various scandals, including the corruption scandal.

What was striking, however, was the degree to which President Biden and his staff spent this week putting out clearly false statements. In an administration that has pushed for the censorship of citizens accused of disinformation, misinformation, and malinformation, the President openly lied about his conduct and the report. President Biden, for example, stated that the Special Counsel report found that he did not willfully retain material. It found the opposite . . . repeatedly. He stated that he did not disclose classified material to his ghostwriter. Special Counsel Hur found precisely the opposite. Biden stated that the material was not highly classified with “that red stuff…around the corners.” In fact, Hur found that the material was “highly sensitive,” including an Afghanistan-related memo from the National Security Adviser to President Barack Obama in 2009 marked “TOP SECRET/SCI” (Sensitive Compartmented Information).

Biden stated that all of the material was kept in locked or lockable filing cabinets. That was a lie. As the pictures vividly demonstrated, Hur found material in unlocked areas and virtually spilling out of torn boxes in his garage. What is notable is that Biden works almost entirely off teleprompters, reading statements clearly crafted by his staff. That would indicate that some of these comments were promulgated by staff. Even in the press conference on Friday, Ian Sams, spokesman for the White House Counsel’s Office ran into a skeptical reporter in the form of Jon Decker, the White House correspondent for Gray Television. Decker is the former head of the White House Correspondents Association and one of my former students. Decker is the gold standard for reporters and has always been objective, tough, and fair. His approach has not changed from the Trump to the Biden Administration.

Decker challenged Sam on coming to the podium to address the President’s statements and proceeding to make a false claim that this is the first Special Counsel to end his investigation without charges. So why would the White House risk looking like it is going full “Baghdad Bob” in denying readily observable facts? Because this is no real risk. The reason was evident the day after the report. While usually supportive outlets had to acknowledge the President’s false claims, media figures from MSNBC and CNN quickly fell into line and launched a full attack on Hur, often repeating identical words used by the White House about his observations being “gratuitous.” The problem is Hur, not a President who not only appeared confused in the press conference but openly lied about various established facts.

5 minutes

Read more …

“..who exactly had serially lied about Beau Biden’s demise, by claiming that he had died while on duty in Iraq, serving in the Delaware National Guard as a Judge Advocate? Joe Biden.”

“Oh What a Tangled Web Biden Weaves, When He First Practices to Deceive” (VDH)

Joe Biden and his White House handlers continue to peddle misinformation if not lies about his removal of classified files. The worst is that Biden—supposedly so unlike Trump—came forward willingly as soon as he realized that he had unlawfully, but inadvertently, removed and possessed classified files. And thus he cooperated fully and promptly with federal authorities. The truth is far, far different. Biden removed files improperly both as a Senator and Vice President. He held some of them in his unlawful possession for perhaps at least 14 years without a word to authorities, dating back at least to his departure from the Senate on January 15, 2009 when he resigned to become Vice President—or if not longer over his some 36-year Senate career. In fact, in 2017 Biden was fully aware that he had wrongly removed these classified files. As Hur noted, there is a taped conversation on record between Biden and his ghostwriter to just that effect.

Biden, at home in Virginia, was recorded as remarking, “I just found all the classified stuff downstairs”. And yet Biden apparently did nothing. He never came forward to any federal authorities for nearly the next five years. So given that knowledge, why did the attorneys belatedly disclose Biden’s possession of the files on November 2, 2022? Civic virtue? Altruism? Respect for the law? Hardly. Otherwise, Biden would have disclosed his unlawful possession at any time during either the intervening prior years when he was a private citizen or during the first 18 months of his presidency, when he knowingly still possessed classified files and still did nothing about it. In truth, Biden would likely never have come forward, save for one insurmountable problem: Merrick Garland had likely decided to appoint Jack Smith as a special prosecutor to investigate the Trump files that the FBI had swooped into Mar-a-Lago looking for 3 months earlier on August 8, 2022.

In other words, knowing that Smith or a generic special counsel would very quickly be appointed (Smith was sworn in a little over two weeks later, on November 18, 2022), suddenly Biden and Co. preempted that announcement, in fear that Biden had done virtually the same thing as Trump—albeit without presidential declassification power and for at least 14 years in possession of classified files. Had the attorneys and Biden not come forward, Trump and others would have asked whether Biden had not also removed files. So to get out in front of the formal announcement of the Smith appointment, they preempted, misleadingly and disingenuously, preening that civic virtue had prompted Biden’s “voluntary” disclosures and “cooperation”.

A final note: one of the more disturbing moments in Biden’s catastrophic press conference was his flare up at Hur’s revelation (“How dare he bring up that!”) that in formal interviews an enfeebled Biden had not remembered the general date of his son’s tragic death from a glioblastoma brain tumor on May 30th, 2015 at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington DC. Biden went on to vent at Hur. But Hur was simply documenting his analysis that Biden was severely cognitively impaired, and not as VP Kamala Harris claimed, gratuitously smearing Biden. But who exactly had serially lied about Beau Biden’s demise, by claiming that he had died while on duty in Iraq, serving in the Delaware National Guard as a Judge Advocate? Joe Biden.

Mayorkas

Read more …

“Trump has a curious fortune in critics who seem over time to combust in rather spectacular fashion..”

Could Trump Win By Simple Attrition Rather than Vindication? (Turley)

While Woody Allen once said that “80 percent of success is showing up,” former president Donald Trump proved this week that the same could be said about “just sticking around.” Trump had one of the best weeks as cases and critics seemed to implode from the disqualification effort in Washington to the scandal in Georgia. Yet, Trump is not out of the woods and is facing significant threats in what is becoming a war of attrition. In Washington, the Supreme Court gave a chilly reception to the disqualification effort that bordered on the glacial. While law professors like Harvard’s Laurence Tribe insisted that the basis for barring Trump from office under the 14th Amendment was “unassailable,” the justices seemed utterly unconvinced and there is the possibility that the entire effort could now be defeated unanimously. Even liberal justice Ketanji Onyika Brown Jackson called the effort anti-democratic.

In Georgia, the case against Trump is floundering as allegations mount against Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis over her intimate relationship with her subordinate special prosecutor Nathan J. Wade. This week, a court filing alleged that Willis and Wade filed false claims in court on when their relationship began. The two prosecutors have insisted that they only became intimate after Willis hired Wade. Wade’s former lawyer has reportedly come forward to contest that claim. That allegation, if true, could make the continuation of Willis and Wade in the case untenable. Various defendants being prosecuted in Georgia are accused of false statements and filings in court. Of course, the removal of Willis and Wade will not necessarily end the case, but it will present logistical and optical problems for the office. There are also calls for the removal of Alvin Bragg in New York, who is accused of being lax on crime overall despite his determined effort to convict Trump.

Trump has a curious fortune in critics who seem over time to combust in rather spectacular fashion. Michael Cohen, his former lawyer, went to jail and lost his law license. At the Justice Department, various FBI officials from the Russian investigation were accused of wrongdoing and forced out of the Justice Department. That included James Comey who was found to have removed FBI material after Trump fired him and gave it to a friend who leaked it to the press. Another official pleaded guilty to criminal conduct associated with the Russian investigation. In politics, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who attacked Trump for his treatment of women, was forced out of office for sexual harassment. Michael Avenatti was sentenced to a long prison term for fraud and other crimes. Senator Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) who voted for Trump to be convicted in the Senate is now under indictment for corruption.

Even in the arts, Trump critics have fallen from great heights. Comedian Kathy Griffin has not only become persona non grata after her gory depiction of a beheaded Trump but she is now beseeching people to buy tickets for a languishing come-back tour. Alec Baldwin, who scathingly played Trump, has been criminally charged after shooting a movie crew member. Of course, it is fair to note that some of Trump’s allies have fared equally badly, including those convicted or facing trial such as Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, Roger Stone, Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and others. Yet, there is no question that time has worked in Trump’s favor in fulfilling certain narratives. He has accused the Democrats of trying to rig elections. While debunking claims in 2020, Democrats like Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold bulldozed any high ground by trying to prevent citizens from voting for Trump as he leads in the polls.

Read more …

“Global debt has surged by $100 trillion from a decade ago and hit a record of $307.4 trillion last September..”

Soaring Debt Pushing Wealthy Nations To ‘Fiscal Death’ – Economist (RT)

Major economies that fail to address their mounting debt issues will die a “fiscal death,” the head of investment and wealth advisory Laffer Tengler Investments, Arthur Laffer, has warned. In an interview with CNBC this week, he predicted a “decade of debt,” adding that the borrowing crisis has embraced both developed and emerging countries, and it is not going to “end well.” Global debt has surged by $100 trillion from a decade ago and hit a record of $307.4 trillion last September, amid the biggest surge in global interest rates in 40 years, according to the economist. Wealthy countries such as the US, UK, France, and Japan account for more than 80% of that increase due to their uncontrolled accumulation of debt.

China, India, and Brazil saw the most pronounced growth of borrowings among emerging markets. “I would expect that some of the bigger countries that don’t address their debt issues will die a slow fiscal death,” Laffer said, adding that some emerging economies “could quite conceivably go bankrupt.” While low-income countries are at high risk of debt distress, repaying debt would be particularly problematic for high-income countries due to an aging population and a lack of workforce, the economist warned. The most recent report by the Institute of International Finance shows that the share of debt has hit a staggering 336% of global GDP compared to an average debt-to-GDP ratio of 110% in 2012 for advanced economies, and 35% for emerging markets.

Read more …

“If Putin and Xi and the Iranians think that they can sit out the conflict, they are mistaken. You cannot sit out a conflict that is directed at you.”

Peaceful Protests Are a Waste of Time and Energy (Paul Craig Roberts)

Will protesters ever learn that peaceful protests do not work when governments care not what people think and represent private agendas and not the people? The protests that work are the violent ones by Black Lives Matter and Antifa. It appears that one-tenth of a million Gazans have already been killed or maimed by the American-financed and militarily-supplied Israeli intended genocide of the remnants of the Palestinian population, a people who have been evicted from their lands and villages bit by bit since 1947. This time the violence is massive, and only the Houthis, a poor population in Yemen that survived years of Washington-inspired attacks from Saudi Arabia, has lifted a hand to help the Palestinians. The “civilized West” responded to the Israeli genocide of the Palestinians by cancelling their contributions to the UN agency that provides Palestinians with humanitarian aid.

Consequently, now 1,000,000 Palestinians are facing starvation as Israel has blocked food deliveries and medicines, knocked out the water supply, hospitals, sanitation, and intends to drive any surviving Palestinians into Egypt. So what do we hear from the governments of the “great moral West”? We hear about Israel’s right of “self-defense.” The Western governments, immoral to the hilt and all enthralled to Israel, have redefined genocide as self-defense. The West’s citizens are so successfully propagandized by Israeli disinformation over decades and generations that the subservience of Western “democracies” to Israel goes unremarked among the small part of the world that is considered to be the West. But not in the rest of the world. The United States and Israel have achieved the status of pariah states, the agents of Satan.

Why, despite this realization, does the rest of the world sit watching the destruction of a people, as Romans watched for entertainment lions devouring Christians in the Colosseum? Russia, China, Iran, and the rest with the exception of South Africa, which took Israel to the International Court of Justice, have not lifted a finger to help the Palestinians. Washington claims to protest but keeps sending Israel the weapons. This despite the fact that the governments of Russia, China, and Iran know that the real target is them. Israel and the neoconservatives intend the destruction of Iran, which will release “jihadists” into the Russian Federation and deprive China of oil. It is Japan in the 1930s all over again, and yet the targeted countries do nothing. If Putin and Xi and the Iranians think that they can sit out the conflict, they are mistaken. You cannot sit out a conflict that is directed at you.

Read more …

“The widespread and persistent use of Midazolam in UK suggests a possible policy of systemic euthanasia.”

The Crime Of The Century: Midazolam Murders – Euthanizing The Elderly (Kelly)

If the data is correct, the only conclusion is that tens of thousands of elderly English were murdered with an injection of the end of life drug Midazolam. These deaths were then falsely blamed on Covid, which was the basis of the public fear campaigns used to justify the lockdowns and mass mandated injections of the public (including children) with an experimental medical intervention that had zero long term safety data. And along the way, a small group pushing the need for mass mandated injections made billions.

https://researchgate.net/publication/377266988_Excess_Deaths_in_the_United_Kingdom_Midazolam_and_Euthanasia_in_the_COVID-19_Pandemic

This paper shows that the UK spike in deaths, wrongly attributed to COVID-19 in April 2020, was not due to SARS-CoV-2 virus, which was largely absent, but was due to the widespread use of Midazolam injections which were statistically very highly correlated (coefficient over 90 percent) with excess deaths in all regions of England during 2020. The widespread and persistent use of Midazolam in UK suggests a possible policy of systemic euthanasia.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

SolarActivity

 

 

RFK vaccines

 

 

Biolabs
https://twitter.com/i/status/1756606702634348580

 

 

 

 

Model X

 

 

CO2

 

 

Fish
https://twitter.com/i/status/1756426580446834935

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 152023
 


Vincent van Gogh Seine with Pont de Clichy 1887

 

The Era of the West Has Passed (Paul Craig Roberts)
Ukraine Conflict A “Great Tragedy”, “Civil War” Between Brothers– Putin (RT)
Goal of Denazifying Ukraine Remains In Place – Putin (TASS)
US Engineered Ukraine Conflict – Putin (RT)
Orban, Fico Branded ‘Pro-Russian’ Simply for Sticking to National Interests (Sp.)
Ukraine Debased to ‘Pawn’ on Geopolitical Chessboard – Scott Ritter (Sp.)
Putin Reveals Number Of Troops In Ukraine Conflict Zone (RT)
400,000 Ukrainians Killed in Action Explains a Whole Lot (ET)
Putin Criticizes New Argentine President’s Dollarization Plan (RT)
What if Jack Smith Held a Trial and No One Came? (Turley)
Will the Corrupt US Department of Justice (sic) Be Held Accountable? (PCR)
Hunter Biden’s Contempt of Congress Has Wider Consequences (Turley)
That New Hunter Biden Indictment (Patrick Lawrence)
Breathing Contributes To Global Warming – Study (RT)
Italian Ex-Minister Faces Vax Murder Probe (CN)

 

 

 

 

Pepe Putin

 

 

Trump Israel

 

 

Jimmy Dore

 

 

Kory

 

 

 

 

“A tower of babel is not a nation..”

The Era of the West Has Passed (Paul Craig Roberts)

Globalists, who intend the destruction of sovereign nations, have labeled concerns with mass immigration to be racism as a way of discrediting the concerns and preventing discussion of the threat. Immigrant-invaders, or as the euphemisms “refugees” and “asylum seekers” label them, are used to overwhelm ethnic nationalities and turn them into towers of babel in which there are no common interests, values, morals, religion, or culture. A tower of babel is not a nation. At best it is a geographical location, but it is not even that if it has no borders, which the US and Europe do not have. Advocates of open borders say that the US is a nation of immigrants. But they don’t say that it was controlled immigration consisting of immigrants from white European countries who as a condition of admittance had to learn English, pass an exam on the US Constitution, and integrate themselves into the existing society and culture.

They were not allowed to set up separate cultures, and businesses answered the phone only in English. Additionally, the immigration was periodically halted in order to allow time for assimilation before accepting more immigrants. Today millions of non-white people from unrelated cultures walk across the border every year. Businesses answer telephones in Spanish and English. Federal agencies respond to 40 or more foreign languages. Separate cultures with non-Christian religions exist as independent entities, and a system of preferences that favors non-white people has been institutionalized. In other words the society, politics, and culture of the ethnic nationalities that created what formerly was a nation are being erased. In education, health care, business, and government power is passing out of the hands of the ethnic majority that created the nation.

Great Britain has an Indian prime minister. The London mayor is a Muslim. Recently two federal judges born in India ruled against President Trump, a ruling that violates both the Constitution and powers of the President. The CEO of IBM, Arvind Krishna is an Indian. He pulled IBM ads from X, accusing Elon Musk of racism, and he announced that he will fire, demote, or strip bonuses from IBM managers who don’t hire enough blacks, Hispanics, and Muslims, or who hire too many Asians and whites. The communications director of Red Hat, an IBM subsidiary, said that Red Hat had terminated employees because they weren’t willing to engage in racial discrimination through hiring and promotion quotas. Hiring, promotion, and “inclusion” quotas are violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and they are unconstitutional under the US Constitution and its amendments, such as the 14th.

But notice that the Indian running IBM has no hesitancy about using his power to force IBM executives and managers to violate US law and Constitution in order to advance “preferred minorities” at the expense of members of the white ethnic majority and Asians. This is what happens when a nation ceases to require assimilation. The CEO of IBM is an unassimilated immigrant who has no respect for US law or the US Constitution. An article by Ian Henderson in Chronicles magazine in July, 2022, showed that, unlike Western governments, both Russia and China protect the ethnic culture from immigrants and prevent cultural destruction by Woke ideologues and moral destruction by sexual perverts. Henderson points out that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) “strongly upholds traditional views on gender roles, race, sexuality, and family—more so than the Republican Party or mainstream conservatives in America.

A major example of China’s conservatism is the CCP’s view on LGBTQ rights. Same-sex couples are unable to marry or adopt, and households headed by such couples are ineligible for the same legal protections available to heterosexual couples, and no anti-discrimination protections exist for LGBTQ people. Contrast these policies with the views of mainstream American conservatism, which now seems deeply committed to gay marriage, an institution enthusiastically endorsed by the likes of National Review and the National Conservatism Conference.” “In short, Chinese leaders seek to promote masculinity and strength, and to uphold and expand their inherited Han civilization. They feel they cannot do that with homosexuals, transgenders, or feminists running government institutions and the military—or even exerting influence over forms of entertainment.”

Read more …

“[The West] has largely lost its sovereignty,” suggested Putin, pointing out that many Western nations, with the exception of countries like Hungary, constantly make decisions that only end up hurting themselves…”

Ukraine Conflict A “Great Tragedy”, “Civil War” Between Brothers– Putin (RT)

Russia has been trying for decades to build normal relations with Ukraine “at any cost,” but this was made impossible after the coup d’etat in 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a live marathon press conference on Thursday. The president was asked if he could foresee a normalization of relations with the West in the near future. Putin responded by stressing that Russia has never tried to intentionally ruin or sever ties with any nation. Instead, it was the West that spoiled relations with Russia by constantly trying to push the country aside and neglecting its national interests, Putin said.The culmination of that was the coup d’etat in Ukraine that was staged by Russia’s geopolitical “opponents” in 2014, which has ultimately led to the current situation, according to the president.

Putin described the ongoing conflict as a “great tragedy” that is essentially a “civil war” between brothers. He stressed that at their core, in spite of the current hostilities, Russians and Ukrainians are one people. The president noted that Moscow always had good relations with southeast Ukraine, which tended to be pro-Russian because these territories had historically belonged to Russia. “But after the coup d’etat of 2014, it became clear to us that we would no longer be allowed, by force, to build any sort of normal relations with Ukraine,” Putin said, recalling that the US had publicly admitted to spending $5 billion dollars on overthrowing the government of Ukraine.

That, coupled with NATO’s “uncontrollable desire to creep towards our borders” by inviting Ukraine into the bloc, and the eight-year-long bloodbath in Donbass, has ultimately led to the tragedy that is currently unfolding, Putin summarized. “So how are we supposed to build relations with them?” asked the Russian president, noting that the West has continued to pretend like it doesn’t remember doing any of the aforementioned things, only occasionally admitting that it was signing deals – such as the Minsk Accords, which were meant to be a path towards peace – with their fingers crossed behind their back. “[The West] has largely lost its sovereignty,” suggested Putin, pointing out that many Western nations, with the exception of countries like Hungary, constantly make decisions that only end up hurting themselves.

Read more …

“Well, how is that so, when a national hero, the famous Bandera, who is not just a nationalist, but a Nazi, has been elevated to the rank of a national hero. How is that so?”

Goal of Denazifying Ukraine Remains In Place – Putin (TASS)

The issue of Ukraine’s denazification remains relevant, after the head of the Kiev administration applauded a former SS soldier in a manifestation of Nazism, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at his combined Direct Line Q&A session and year-end press conference. “Here is what is happening in terms of denazification. During the negotiation process, which had a certain phase after the drafting of a possible agreement, as officials in Kiev mentioned recently, in general, they did not agree that some kind of denazification was needed, saying that there was no fascistization, no increase in such sentiments,” the president said. “Well, how is that so, when a national hero, the famous Bandera, who is not just a nationalist, but a Nazi, has been elevated to the rank of a national hero. How is that so?”

“When the head of the current Kiev administration, in front of the whole world, stands up to applaud a former SS soldier, who was directly involved in the Holocaust, the extermination of one and a half million Jews in Ukraine, Russians and Poles, stands up to applaud, is this not a manifestation of Nazism?” Putin said. “So the issue of denazification, it is relevant. It is true that during the negotiation process we were told that in principle they do not exclude the possibility of adopting some legislative acts in Ukraine. But that was then, during the talks in Istanbul.” Speaking about the goal of Ukraine’s demilitarization, the president said certain parameters had been agreed upon in 2022 during the talks in Istanbul. “It’s just that these agreements were later tossed out,” he said. “But we did agree on that. There are other options either to agree or to achieve this by force. This is what we will strive for,” Putin said.

Read more …

“..Ukraine has “largely lost its sovereignty” and has been making “many decisions to their own detriment” ..

US Engineered Ukraine Conflict – Putin (RT)

The US was responsible for orchestrating the 2014 coup in Ukraine that overthrew President Viktor Yanukovich and ultimately led to the current conflict, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. He added that Washington “needed to create a conflict” for its own purposes. Speaking during a marathon Q&A session on Thursday, Putin said the US “plotted and organized everything” while European leaders “silently watched” and pretended they were not aware of what was happening. As a result, Ukraine has “largely lost its sovereignty” and has been making “many decisions to their own detriment” since then. Following the 2014 coup, the then-Ukrainian provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk, known as Donbass, refused to accept the new government, which increasingly embraced nationalist ideology, and proclaimed their independence instead. Kiev responded with a violent military campaign that prompted a years-long conflict.

The Russian leader went on to accuse the West of having a short memory, pointing to the 2015 Minsk agreements, which were brokered by Russia, Germany and France and were designed to end the hostilities. The West had “no intention” of implementing the agreements, which Putin said were “signed and immediately forgotten.” Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron later admitted that the agreements were a strategic ploy aimed at buying Ukraine more time to prepare for a conflict with Russia. In an interview with CNN in 2015, then-US President Barack Obama also openly admitted that the US had “brokered a deal to transition power in Ukraine.”

In September 2022, the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as the parts of Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions under Russian control, voted to join Russia in a referendum which Ukraine and its Western backers denounced as illegitimate. Moscow has insisted that Kiev must recognize this “new territorial reality” as a prerequisite for any peace talks. Despite receiving a constant flow of weapons and aid from its Western backers since the current conflict broke out in February 2022, Kiev’s six-month counteroffensive against Russia has failed to yield significant results and Ukraine has lost some 125,000 military personnel and 6,000 pieces of heavy equipment since the beginning of June, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

Read more …

“..Europe is now weak and is going through a very deep, systemic economic, monetary and political crisis, unfortunately..”

Orban, Fico Branded ‘Pro-Russian’ Simply for Sticking to National Interests (Sp.)

At his big year-end presser on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested that Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary and Prime Minister Robert Fico of Slovakia were among the only defenders of national interests left in the West. Sputnik reached out to a leading Hungarian foreign policy analyst for his take on Putin’s remarks. Vladimir Putin dismissed the characterization the leaders of Hungary and Slovakia as “pro-Russian.” “I have already said many times before that they are not ‘pro-Russian’ politicians, but rather pro-national – they defend their [national] interests. There are no others like this, they simply don’t exist…[This is] tied to a great dependence on ‘Big Brother,’ on the United States,” the Russian president said.

“I completely agree with President Putin. I have been saying for a long time that when Orban’s opponents reproach him for being ‘pro-Russian,’ this is just a label, nothing more. Orban proceeds from Hungarian national interests,” Gabor Stier, a senior foreign policy analyst at Magyar Nemzet, a leading Hungarian conservative daily newspaper, told Sputnik. “And I would add not just about Hungarian interests, but on some issues European interests. It’s a pity that Europeans and European politicians, especially the leaders of the European Union, do not proceed from European interests,” Stier added. The foreign affairs observer also agreed with Putin’s Europe’s dependence on its American “big brother,” saying the EU in its current form has become a “vassal of America, unfortunately.”

As an example, Stier pointed to the frantic drive by Brussels to try to incorporate Ukraine into the bloc, notwithstanding the threat to its own stability and well-being. “Whether Ukraine is ready or not is not something that needs to be explained to a normal person. The European Union is not ready either. Because if this expansion occurs earlier than in 15 years, it will deepen frictions within the European Union. The European Union is not ready economically, politically, and so on. That makes Orban a pragmatist, who proceeds from national interests on many issues, and from European interests on many issues. Orban is not destroying Europe. Orban wants to see a strong Europe. Europe is now weak and is going through a very deep, systemic economic, monetary and political crisis, unfortunately,” the observer said. Fico is “similar to Orban,” even if he’s not prepared to so openly clash with Brussels’ bureaucracy, in Stier’s estimation. “This means he’s ready for more compromises, but mainly he proceeds from Slovak interest,” the analyst stressed.

Read more …

“..Ukraine’s government appears to be pushing to have its people exterminated, Putin noted in his year-end presser.”

Ukraine Debased to ‘Pawn’ on Geopolitical Chessboard – Scott Ritter (Sp.)

Vladimir Putin defends his country’s sovereignty at every step, while Volodymyr Zelensky has allowed Ukraine to become a compliant tool of a West “willing to sacrifice that nation, its solders, and its people on a battlefield where they will get nothing but death and destruction,” Scott Ritter has underscored. President Vladimir Putin cares about the Russian people, soldiers, and nation, and therein lies the profound difference between his approach to the current conflict, and that of Ukraine’s President, the former US Marine Corps intelligence officer told Sputnik. “For a country like Russia, the existence, simply the existence of our country, without sovereignty is impossible,” Putin said during the joint “Direct Line” Q&A session and annual press conference on Thursday. “The primary objective is to bolster Russia’s sovereignty, fortify border security, and safeguard the rights and freedoms of [our] citizens,” the president remarked.

The present reality clearly demonstrates the very different approach to the Ukraine conflict shown by Russia, on the one hand, and the US, its allies in the West, on the other. “If you engage in an armed conflict, there will be consequences, there will be dead, wounded, but it’s incumbent upon the government, the state to prevent unnecessarily casualties of war,” said Ritter. Here lies the “secret” of the Russian approach, he added, as Putin has shown he is always prepared to put the interests of the Russian people, and Russia’s soldiers first and foremost. Volodymyr Zelensky, in contrast, instead of accepting the generous terms set forth by Moscow that could have saved the lives of Ukrainian soldiers, yielded to the pressure put on him by then-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, other Western leaders, who said, ‘Don’t accept peace terms,’ and ‘continue the conflict’.

It was evident that it was physically impossible for the Ukrainian army to defeat Russia’s military, yet this is the premise that Zelensky “bought into” when he accepted Western military assistance… However, the question is: to what end? “Was this to serve Ukraine’s interests, or the interests of the West?” Scott Ritter mused. “Zelensky is not about serving the people of his own country… He allowed Ukraine’s sovereignty to be subordinated to NATO, EU, and US interests. The conflict has no consideration for Ukraine, and every consideration for the Western interests,” the pundit pointed out. Ukraine’s government appears to be pushing to have its people exterminated, Putin noted in his year-end presser. Indeed, as the West continues to funnel billions-worth of military aid to Kiev, despite the botched counteroffensive and enormous human casualties, Ukraine’s soldiers are little more than “pawns to be sacrificed on a geopolitical chessboard where the West is only looking out for their interests.”

Read more …

“I want to repeat myself: the line of contact [with Ukraine] is more than 2,000km long. There are now 617,000 people in the combat zone..”

Putin Reveals Number Of Troops In Ukraine Conflict Zone (RT)

Russia has deployed more than half a million service members, including many volunteers, in the combat zone of the Ukraine conflict, President Vladimir Putin has revealed. Speaking during his Q&A session on Thursday, the Russian leader was asked to comment on complaints that military volunteers often rely on aid fundraised by their fellow citizens rather than on state support. Putin emphasized that supplies provided by the government account for 99% of all assistance, but noted that Moscow welcomes and will in no way hinder pure-hearted efforts to provide Russian soldiers with various types of equipment and supplies. Still, he admitted that there could be a lack of specialized high-tech hardware, such as electronic warfare equipment, at a given time and place, and promised to look into the matter.

I want to repeat myself: the line of contact [with Ukraine] is more than 2,000km long. There are now 617,000 people in the combat zone … So, of course, there could be some problems in some places. According to Putin, 244,000 of those in the combat zone are troops that were called up when Russia announced partial mobilization in September 2022. They were deployed in a bid to stabilize the situation, protect new territories, and conduct further offensives. At the time, Moscow mobilized 300,000 troops. However, Putin said that 41,000 had since been discharged for health reasons, or after reaching the maximum age. Moscow has repeatedly denied it plans to announce a second wave of mobilization, with the Russian president explaining that there was no need for such a move. Instead, Russia is relying on a steady stream of volunteers willing to sign contracts with the military.

Putin noted that the authorities had signed up some 486,000 soldiers in this large-scale recruitment campaign, adding that more are ready to enlist. However, he did not say how many of them have been deployed to the front, are undergoing training, or are stationed elsewhere. Commenting on the battlefield situation, Putin remarked that Russian troops “to say it humbly, are improving their positions” along the entire frontline. He also said that Ukraine’s much-hyped counteroffensive – which began in early June – has been a complete failure, with no territorial gains. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu earlier this month estimated Kiev’s losses at more than 125,000 troops since the start of the push.

Read more …

8-to-1 ratio.

400,000 Ukrainians Killed in Action Explains a Whole Lot (ET)

Estimates of Ukrainians killed in action (KIA) range from a low of just over 30,000 to a high of over 400,000. Obviously, these two estimates can’t be reconciled. And it really, really matters to the people of Ukraine which one is closer to the truth. While 30,000 deaths is tragic, anything approaching 400,000 KIA and the accompanying hundreds of thousands of causalities is a humanitarian catastrophe that makes talks of continuing offensive operations next year, or even believing in a stalemate, wishful thinking that will result in even more fruitless Ukrainian deaths. Unsurprisingly, since the war began, the United States and its allies have unswervingly pushed the narrative that Russia is incurring far more casualties than Ukraine.

This casualty narrative was critical to maintaining any plausibility that Ukraine could defeat a country that has four to five times more men of military age and that was recently rated as having the world’s most powerful military. Hence, given the need to maintain the plausibility of a Ukrainian victory, it isn’t surprising that NATO intelligence asserted that the battle of Bakhmut saw Russia losing at least five soldiers KIA for every one of Ukraine’s. However, since the fall of Bakhmut to Russia, the failure of the much-hyped Ukrainian counteroffensive, and signs that Ukraine’s military is nearing collapse, we’re no longer hearing about five-to-one casualty rates. Still, the most recent estimates from United States and British officials claim that Russia has suffered 120,000 KIA while Ukraine has suffered “only” 70,000 KIA (more than the United States suffered in over 10 years of the Vietnam War).

But not everyone agrees with U.S./British casualty estimates for an army that started the war by mobilizing early 1 million men in arms and, over the course of the war, mobilized another estimated 1 million. Among the growing number of those who don’t agree is the former director of the Joint Operations Center at Supreme Headquarters Europe and one of the key leaders in achieving the legendary victory in the mass tank battle of 73 Easting, retired U.S. Army Col. Douglas Macgregor. In a recent interview with myself, Col. Macgregor agreed that while estimates putting Russian KIA at as high as 50,000 to 60,000 are defensible, most estimates for Ukrainian KIAs are not. In what many will undoubtedly find shocking given the countless stories disparaging Russia’s military skills and capabilities while uncritically fawning over Ukraine’s military prowess, Col. Macgregor puts Ukrainian KIA at over 400,000 out of the 2 million Ukraine has mobilized.

Col. Macgregor arrived at this shocking number using a wide variety of sources, including contacts within U.S. intelligence and contacts on the ground in Ukraine and Poland who have intimate knowledge of what’s really happening in Ukraine. In particular, he noted that his U.S. intelligence contacts have expressed shock as to just how far from reality the narrative being pushed by the Biden administration is from what’s happening in Ukraine and its real war losses. Likewise, Col. Macgregor’s Ukraine contacts relayed to him accounts of thousands of wounded Ukrainians being left to die on the battlefield, growing numbers of Ukrainian commanders and troops refusing orders to conduct suicide attacks against heavily fortified Russian positions, Ukrainian soldiers surrendering en masse to Russia, hospitals overflowing with Ukrainian wounded, and many other accounts that testify to horrendous casualty rates that contradict the narrative pushed by Western media.

Read more …

“.. a “significant loss of the country’s sovereignty..”

Putin Criticizes New Argentine President’s Dollarization Plan (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticized his Argentine counterpart’s plan to ditch the national currency, the peso, for the US dollar. Speaking during a live press conference on Thursday, Putin said that the pledge of newly elected Argentine President Javier Milei to adopt the greenback would result in a “significant loss of the country’s sovereignty.” Dollarization is one of Milei’s core proposals, aimed at taming triple-digit inflation and supporting Argentina’s beleaguered economy amid low cash reserves and high government debt. Adopting the US dollar would take control of monetary policy away from Argentina’s central bank and hand it over to the US Federal Reserve.

The announced policy goes contrary to the de-dollarization trend pioneered by Russia and supported by many other developing economies, which has been gaining momentum since the imposition of Ukraine-related sanctions on Moscow. In response to the restrictions that effectively cut the country off from Western financial markets, Russia and its leading trade partners within the BRICS group of developing economies have started to switch to national currencies in trade. Argentina was set to join the bloc, made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, on January 1, 2024, but the new government scrapped the decision. According to Putin, Milei’s plan to scrap the peso or peg the national currency to the dollar could also result in social instability as it would trigger a sharp reduction in social spending.

“If there is no national currency, you can’t print anything, there is only one way – reducing budget spending for the social sphere, a severe cutting of wages, pensions, expenses on medicine, on roads and domestic security,” the Russian president maintained. Argentina’s new government announced earlier this week the start of its “economic shock therapy” policy, namely a sharp devaluation of the peso, cuts to energy and transportation subsidies and a freeze in spending on some major state programs. The South American nation is trying to battle inflation that hovers around 150% year-on-year. country owes $44 billion to the International Monetary Fund, and 40% of Argentinians reportedly live below the poverty line.

Read more …

“..At some point, the mad rush for a March trial will look illogical and gratuitous if key legal issues remain unresolved..”

What if Jack Smith Held a Trial and No One Came? (Turley)

In 1966, Charlotte E. Keyes wrote a famous article for McCall’s magazine titled “Suppose They Gave a War and No One Came.” Special Counsel Jack Smith may be contemplating the same fate. Putting the tongue-in-cheek title aside, the odds are that some people will come to any trial of President Donald Trump. After all, a lot of people have to come from the judge to the jurors and counsel. However, Smith has had an ominous week that could severely complicate his plans for convicting Donald Trump before the election. Moreover, a trial after the election could mean no trial at all. Before this week, Smith found himself on the losing end of the schedule in Florida in his prosecution of Trump for his retention of classified documents. Judge Aileen Cannon has scheduled a trial for May 20, 2024, but that could easily move with additional delays or appeals in the case.

I have always viewed that case to be the strongest against Trump, but the huge number of classified documents have (as predicted) slowed the prosecution. Despite Smith’s pushing for a pre-election trial, his structuring of the charges undermined that schedule. Smith then pushed hard for a pre-election trial in the January 6th case in Washington where he seemed to have a supportive judge in Judge Tanya Chutkan who shoehorned the start just before the Super Tuesday elections. Now, however, Judge Chutkan has been forced to stay the case indefinitely pending the appeal of the presidential immunity claim made by Trump. The matter is now before both the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court gave Trump until December 20th to respond to Smith’s request for an expedited review — leapfrogging over the D.C. Circuit.

Smith’s filing conveys priority, if not a necessity, in trying Trump before the election. The Supreme Court may not share that sense of urgency. Traditionally, the Supreme Court has preferred to wait to allow appellate courts to render decisions. Since a conviction will not make Trump ineligible to run for the presidency, the question is why the March date should short circuit the review process. If the Supreme Court ultimately does not rule on the merits, the period for review would easily supplant the trial schedule since an appeal could be taken to the entire D.C. Circuit (en banc) and then to the Supreme Court. That did not change the March 4 trial date, but it could well make that date unworkable if the appeals drag on. Then to make the week complete, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in United States v. Fischer. That case turns on the proper interpretation of the obstruction provision under Section 1512(c)(2).

Fischer was charged with obstructing an official proceeding of Congress and based solely on his trespass in the Capitol. A ruling in his favor could effectively cut away half of the case against Donald Trump. Among the four counts brought by Smith, Trump is charged under 18 U.S.C. § 1512(k) (Conspiracy to Obstruct an Official Proceeding) (Count Two) and 18 U.S.C. §§ 1512(c)(2), 2 (Obstruction of and Attempt to Obstruct an Official Proceeding) (Count Three). If those two counts fell to the wayside, Smith would be left with a count on conspiracy to defraud the United States (Count One) and conspiracy against rights (Count 4). Those counts contain other challengeable elements which would have to be appealed after any conviction. At some point, the mad rush for a March trial will look illogical and gratuitous if key legal issues remain unresolved and pre-trial motions and discovery remain incomplete in February.

The problem for Smith is that a trial after the election could mean no trial at all. If Trump is elected, he could give himself a preemptive self-pardon, though some disagree with this view. Moreover, the new Attorney General could scuttle or undermine the prosecution. In other words, it is possible that Jack Smith might never see a jury in either case. That would still leave the New York and Georgia cases, which are not subject to presidential pardons. However, those cases (particularly the one in New York) have their own challengeable elements.

Read more …

“..a totally corrupt Department of Justice (sic), every member of which should be indicted for weaponizing law and using it as a weapon against Trump, his attorneys, and his supporters.”

Will the Corrupt US Department of Justice (sic) Be Held Accountable? (PCR)

It is a paradox that Jack Smith, who in my opinion has less integrity than the infamous Stalinist prosecutor Andrey Vyshinsky who prosecuted Stalin’s show trials of the Bolsheviks, was appointed director of the Justice (sic) Departments Office of Public Integrity. Perhaps recognizing Smith’s lack of concern with justice, Merrick Garland, the worst Attorney General in US history, sicced Jack Smith on President Trump and Trump supporters who attended the Trump rally labeled an “insurrection” by the whore media and Democrat Party. The way Smith got his convictions was to intentionally misapply law in order to coerce innocent people with a 20 year prison threat into a plea bargain. In other words, by intentionally misusing law he forced people to convict themselves via self-incrimination, which is what a plea bargain is.

Federal judge Carl Nichols threw out charges against three defendants based on Smith’s wrongful use of law. This has led to a situation in which the US Supreme Court announced yesterday that it would take up the defendants complaint that Jack Smith illegitimately used evidence-tampering law to prosecute Trump supporters and force them into self-incrimination to avoid a 20 year sentence. Smith’s pressure on one defendant, Matthew Perna, caused him to commit suicide. In my opinion, Jack Smith should be indicted for murder. Defense attorney Joseph McBride said that the DOJ’s misuse of law “is rooted in corruption and political hatred.” Defense attorney William Shipley predicted that the Supreme Court’s decision to take up the case would put an end to the case against Trump: “The decision by SCOTUS today to take up the appeal on the 1512 ‘obstruction of an official proceeding’ case means the Trump D.C. case will not be going to trial.”

After the Supreme Court’s refusal to take up the clearly wrongful conviction of Derek Chauvin, I haven’t as much confidence as Shipley in the Supreme Court’s interest in justice. But I hope Shipley is right as the result will be the release of the hundreds of innocent Americans wrongly convicted on purpose by in my opinion a totally corrupt Department of Justice (sic), every member of which should be indicted for weaponizing law and using it as a weapon against Trump, his attorneys, and his supporters.

Read more …

“..President Biden “was certainly familiar with what his son was going to say,” which suggests that the president spoke with his son before his act of contempt and discussed his statement. If that is true, it was a breathtaking mistake.”

Hunter Biden’s Contempt of Congress Has Wider Consequences (Turley)

Congress is often a theater of the absurd, from Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) pulling a fire alarm before a major vote to former Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) being, well, a member of Congress at all. However, none of that compares to what unfolded on Wednesday as Hunter Biden stood outside Congress and defied a subpoena as being “beyond the absurd.” What happens next could be even more bizarre. Hunter was under a subpoena from the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability to appear for testimony. As I previously wrote, he had two choices: He could appear and either testify or invoke his right to remain silent. The only thing that he could not do is what he did — just refuse to go into the hearing room. Yet, there he was, with counsel Abbe Lowell by his side,holding forth with a public press conference while refusing to appear in the closed-door deposition being held in the building behind him.

By staying on the Senate side of the Capitol, Hunter guaranteed that the House sergeant at arms did not pull him into the hearing room. Ironically, that would have been a better option than his blowing a raspberry at the committee and then speeding away. Many pundits immediately claimed this was a clever move because the subpoena was not really enforceable until the House voted on the formal impeachment inquiry a few hours later. I disagree. As I noted in my testimony in the first impeachment inquiry, there is no requirement for a formal vote to initiate an impeachment inquiry. Indeed, that is precisely what then-majority Democrats did with the impeachment of then-President Donald Trump. While I encouraged the House to hold a formal vote on the inquiry, it is not constitutionally required.

Moreover, this is an oversight committee which has independent authority to issue subpoenas. The subpoena was issued not only by the Oversight Committee but by the Judiciary Committee. It was issued under three different authorities, including Rule 12(g) of the Oversight Committee which allows for subpoenas “in the conduct of any investigation or activity or series of investigations or activities within the jurisdiction of the Committee.” In holding this spectacle, Biden and his legal team committed another unforced error. This one could prove as costly as pushing for an obscenely generous plea agreement and then telling prosecutors to “rip it up” in July. Few people expected Hunter to testify in the deposition. The evidence against him is overwhelming, as shown in his second federal indictment on tax charges.

He and his uncles were allegedly engaged in one of the largest influence-peddling operations in history involving millions of dollars from various foreign sources. Hunter simply could have done what prior witnesses have done: Go in and take the Fifth. That is what attorney and former IRS official Lois Lerner did — twice — when House Republicans wanted to ask her about the Obama administration targeting conservative groups. It was a no-brainer that someone appears to have radically over-thought on the Hunter Biden legal team.Hunter can now be held in contempt of Congress. That will force the hand of Attorney General Merrick Garland, who aggressively pursued Trump figures for contempt, including former Trump adviser Steve Bannon. Despite some of us writing to the contrary, Bannon claimed his lawyers told him he did not have to appear before a House committee. He was swiftly charged and convicted by Garland’s prosecutors.

In this instance, the contempt case would go to the U.S. Attorney in D.C., Matthew Graves, who previously declined to assist in bringing tax charges against the president’s son. Yet by pulling a Bannon, Hunter now faces the expectation in many circles that he will get the full Bannon treatment from Garland. There is another possible cost to this move. Fox News quoted White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre saying that President Biden “was certainly familiar with what his son was going to say,” which suggests that the president spoke with his son before his act of contempt and discussed his statement. If that is true, it was a breathtaking mistake. One of the four most obvious potential articles of impeachment that I laid out in my prior testimony was obstruction. There already are questions over special treatment potentially being given to Hunter in the form of alleged felonies being allowed to expire, warnings about planned federal raids, and sweetheart deals.

Read more …

“.. continue the DoJ’s “investigation”—let’s go with quotation marks at this point—into what corporate media like to describe as Hunter Biden’s “shenanigans.”

That New Hunter Biden Indictment (Patrick Lawrence)

Before wading through the latest indictment of Hunter Biden, this one for nine counts of assorted tax violations, we must consider briefly the record of David Weiss, the special counsel who signed the 56–page document made public last Thursday. Only then can we read the grand jury findings unsealed last week for what they are and are not. David Weiss is the Justice Department attorney in Delaware who has run the DoJ’s lengthy (as in slow-walked) investigation into Hunter Biden’s alleged violations of tax and gun laws. Among much else, David Weiss appears to have connived with other Justice officials to cover up a Federal Bureau of Investigation finding that Hunter and President Biden accepted bribes of $5 million each from Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian energy company where Hunter sat on the board from April 2014 to April 2019.

David Weiss made sure that Internal Revenue investigators did not have access to Hunter’s infamous laptop after the FBI took possession of it in December 2019. David Weiss made sure that investigators—his investigators among them—were denied a requested warrant to search a cottage on Joe Biden’s Delaware estate. David Weiss let Hunter’s lawyers know in advance that investigators planned to search a storage unit Hunter kept. David Weiss barred IRS agents from interviewing members of the Biden family. David Weiss, as overseer of the investigation, let Hunter know in advance that IRS and FBI agents intended to interview him in California, so allowing Hunter to evade them.

David Weiss, after all this and probably more that is not visible to our naked eyes, put together the agreement that let Hunter plead to misdemeanor charges earlier this year and immunized him from whatever findings of criminal conduct that may come to the surface in the future. A properly disinterested judge assigned to validate that preposterous bargain, Maryellen Noreika, could not believe her eyes when she saw it last summer and promptly deep-sixed it. At that point, it followed naturally that Attorney General Merrick Garland rewarded David Weiss for all his good, loyal work by naming him special counsel, so giving him expanded powers to continue the DoJ’s “investigation”—let’s go with quotation marks at this point—into what corporate media like to describe as Hunter Biden’s “shenanigans.”

Now David Weiss has signed an indictment—the second Hunter faces, the other covering the gun charges—laying out three charges of tax evasion, three charges of failing to file and pay taxes, and three more for filing false or fraudulent tax returns. And now, with a few snippets from David Weiss’s c.v. in hand, we are ready to read and evaluate this document for what is in it and what is missing.

Read more …

“We would urge caution in the assumption that emissions from humans are negligible.”

This just had to get absurd.

Breathing Contributes To Global Warming – Study (RT)

Human breathing contributes to global warming, according to a study published Wednesday in PLoS One. The authors argued that human respiration’s contribution to climate change has been underestimated and merits further study. After measuring the gas composition in the exhaled breaths of 328 study participants, the researchers concluded human breath comprises 0.05% of the UK’s methane emissions and 0.1% of its nitrous oxide. Both of those gasses “have a much higher global warming potential than carbon dioxide,” the study notes. “Exhaled human breath can contain small, elevated concentrations of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), both of which contribute to global warming,” the researchers, led by atmospheric physicist Nicholas Cowan of the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, wrote.

“We would urge caution in the assumption that emissions from humans are negligible.” While Cowan explained that “CO2 contribution in human breath to climate change is essentially zero” because plants absorb nearly all the carbon dioxide humans breathe out, the other two gasses are left in the atmosphere. Methane traps 80 times the amount of heat as carbon dioxide during its first 20 years in the atmosphere, though this potency decreases over time. A detailed analysis of test subjects’ diets failed to yield any indication that meat eaters produced more of either gas. While all test subjects exhaled nitrous oxide, only 31% exhaled methane. These individuals, referred to as “methane producers” in the paper, were more likely to be female and over 30 years of age, though the researchers were unable to determine why this was the case.

The study authors cautioned that their research only looked at breath and called for further research into the total picture of human gas emissions, insisting it could reveal more about the “impacts of an aging population and shifting diets” on the planet. In recent years, environmental campaigners have focused on methane emissions from cows, whose herbivorous diet is broken down by methane-producing bacteria in their multiple stomachs. Policymakers’ focus on the resulting methane-tainted belches and farts have been the subject of much parody from climate change skeptics.

The UK has legally committed itself to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990. Residents have been strongly encouraged to reduce meat consumption in order to achieve this goal, with some estimates placing the share of global greenhouse gas emissions from raising livestock for meat at 15%. However, the researchers behind Wednesday’s study pointed out that shifting to a high-fiber vegetarian diet could potentially cause more methane and nitrous oxide emissions, a phenomenon they called “pollution swapping.”

Read more …

“..after emails revealed he knew mRNA shots were killing people, just as leaked NZ health department data has shown..”

Italian Ex-Minister Faces Vax Murder Probe (CN)

New Zealand’s politicians have all been sent an email informing them that the former Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza is under investigation for homicide after emails revealed he knew mRNA shots were killing people, just as leaked NZ health department data has shown. The emails were sent by US vaccine safety campaigner and tech entrepreneur Steve Kirsch, who organised statisticians and other experts to analyse NZ Ministry of Health data leaked by whistleblower Barry Young. The NZ health bureaucrats, supported by media, are using legal threats to censor and suppress access to the “pay-per-dose” data, which reveals of thousands of deaths in close proximity to mRNA vaccinations.

But New Zealand’s new government has agreed to carry out as a matter of urgency a “full scale, wide-ranging, independent inquiry” into how the Covid-19 pandemic was handled, regardless of the whitewashing “Royal Commission of Inquiry” set up by the Ardern Labor government. The new government’s inquiry will cover lockdowns, vaccine procurement and efficacy, the social and economic impacts on both regional and national levels and whether the decisions made and steps taken, were justified. The inquiry will also be conducted publicly with local and international experts. In Italy, Speranza is accused of giving orders to local health authorities to conceal deaths and serious side effects in order to reassure Italian citizens of the vaccines’ “safety” and to not jeopardize the vaccination campaign. NZ and Australian health officials acted similarly.

The main charges Speranza faces include ideological falsehood, multiple manslaughter, marketing of an imperfect, dangerous drug. Speranza is currently a deputy of the Democratic Party, and like Australian and New Zealand health ministers, was co-opted by the WHO and the global pharma cartel to push the mRNA shots. The Speranza investigation was announced on Italian TV channel Rete 4, on the program Fuori dal Coro. The channel is owned by the Mediaset group run by the heirs of the late Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, a strong supporter of the vaccination campaign, who died in June this year. According to Italian website Gospa News, there was not much coverage in the national media which focused more on the statements of Speranza’s lawyer instead of examining the merits of the investigation resulting from the complaint by the State Police union OSA and by other organisations seeking to support vaccinated people.

The accusations have been reported on by German and Italian news networks but studiously ignored by Reuters and the western mainstream media. The closest reports Cairns News found were from months ago when the former Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Speranza were placed under investigation on suspicion of “aggravated culpable epidemic” and manslaughter in connection with the government’s response at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. They were later cleared.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Ducks
https://twitter.com/i/status/1735286013042307534

 

 

Momma bear
https://twitter.com/i/status/1735272196874895825

 

 

Cheetah

 

 


This 2,000 year old tree is located at Zwigodini Village of Mutale in Limpopo, South Africa. Venda people call it, “Muri Kunguluwa”, which means, “The Tree That Roars”. The tree actually makes a roaring sound when the wind blows through its branches. It is also called, “The Tree Of Life”, because it serves as a source of life to the animals and the community that lives around it. 80% of its trunk consists of water and it can hold up to 4,500 liters, making it a water source for the community and the animals.

Elephants eat the bark. Baboons eat the fruit. Leaves can also be eaten. Birds, bees, fruit bats and bush babies nest in the tree. Humans use the dried fruit powder in drinks, as a source of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. The bark can be used to make rope, baskets, mats, cloth and paper. It also holds a spiritual significance for African people. In ancient times, leaders and elders would hold meetings under huge baobab trees, to discuss important matters. They believed that the spirit of the baobab would help them make wise decisions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 272023
 
 November 27, 2023  Posted by at 9:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  42 Responses »


René Magritte Promenades d’Euclid 1955

 

Israeli-Palestinian Swap Success and the Road Ahead (Sahiounie)
Unintended Consequences of Israel’s Assault on Palestine (Paul Craig Roberts)
What Are the Saudis Really Preparing for? (Luongo)
Hamas Attack Originally Planned For April (RT)
Russians Released By Hamas Outside Prisoner Swap Deal – Zakharova (TASS)
The United Eunuchs of Europe (Ruggeri)
Zelensky & West Equally Responsible for Killing Peace Deal (Sp.)
Ukraine Needs Three Victories – Zelensky (RT)
‘Russia Will Not Lose’ – Orban (RT)
Ukrainian Military Leadership Has No Plan For 2024 – Senior MP (RT)
Germany In ‘Serious Crisis’ – Bavarian Leader (RT)
German Troops Would ‘Only Last Two Days in Battle’ Due to Ukraine Supplies (Sp.)
World Facing ‘Debt Tsunami’ – Bloomberg (RT)
UK’s Rwanda Deportation Ruling Offers Assange Hope (Craig Murray)

 

 

 

 

Very strong
https://twitter.com/i/status/1728809581906661881

 

 

 

 

Both Tapper and Blitzer (not reindeer) have changed their tone a lot.

 

 

 

 

Torah

 

 

 

 

Putin WWII

 

 

 

 

“The main alleged crime for these detentions is stone-throwing, which can carry a 20-year sentence in prison for Palestinian children..”

Israeli-Palestinian Swap Success and the Road Ahead (Sahiounie)

The first swap of Israeli hostages for Palestinian prisoners has been completed yesterday. The day prior to the swap was the American Holiday Thanksgiving. There are certainly Israeli and Palestinian families who are giving thanks to God for their loved ones’ freedom. The western media focused on the older Israeli women and small children being released. According to Israeli doctors, they were in acceptable condition after their ordeal in captivity. However, there was almost no western coverage of the Palestinian women and children released from an Israeli prison. Western audiences would have to first understand that Israel arrests young children for throwing a rock at an Israeli soldier. This information might make a western viewer appalled and disgusted with Israel.

Since the western media wants to portray the Israelis as a democracy, with shared values with the West, brutal undemocratic Israeli policies are just glossed-over. “The main alleged crime for these detentions is stone-throwing, which can carry a 20-year sentence in prison for Palestinian children,” said a report published in July by children’s rights organization, Save the Children. U.S. President Joe Biden made a short statement at the time of the release, in which he said it was his unproven theory that Hamas timed their attack on Israel because they wanted to stop the normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, which Biden had been pushing for. Biden was putting Saudi Arabia in a very dangerous position, as perhaps being the cause of the October 7 attack, and ensuing bloodshed and destruction.

President Donald Trump had begun the Abraham Accords process which saw UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan sign a normalization agreement with Israel. Saudi Arabia was the prize that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was chasing, but the current war has put that on hold. These Arab countries have not suddenly found a friend in Israel, but they can benefit from a relationship with Israel, which has nothing to do with technology, trade or tourism. By being in an improved relationship with Israel, the Arab countries would have access to improved relations with the U.S. Congress, through AIPAC. The American-Israeli lobby group AIPAC is the reason Arab leaders would be willing to ignore Palestinian human rights.

Hamas caught the attention of the world on October 7 with a shocking attack on Israeli civilians and soldiers which killed 1,400 and about 240 were taken hostage into Gaza. The Israeli media painted the Hamas attack as an attempt to exterminate the Jewish people. While Hamas does not recognize the right for Israel to exist, the group issued a statement early on explaining they were not seeking to annihilate Israel, but fighting a war of resistance against Israeli occupation. The Geneva Convention guarantees the right for armed struggle against occupation, but prohibits targeting civilians.

Read more …

“Genocide is not something that can be reconciled with the teachings of Jesus. The evangelicals will have to decide between worshipping Israel and worshipping Jesus.”

Unintended Consequences of Israel’s Assault on Palestine (Paul Craig Roberts)

According to the Zionist propaganda Hamas is a collection of evil beasts. How do we reconcile this propaganda with the excellent condition of the Israeli women and children hostages released by Hamas? Despite the Israeli devastation of Gaza and murder of Palestinian women and children, Hamas has obtained a victory of sorts. Netanyahu’s vicious attack on civilians has exposed the underbelly of the Apartheid Zionist State. It is no longer possible for Israel’s apologists to maintain that “Israel can do no wrong.” For decades Israel has been slowly but surely squeezing Palestinians out of Palestine. The world has tolerated it, in part because the Zionist violence was limited in time and extent and the impossible situation papered over with talk about the “two-state solution.”

But this time, the violence is unlimited and has the declared aim of emptying Palestine of Palestinians with Gazans driven into tent cities in Eqypt’s Sinai Desert. It is not another case of emptying one specific village in the West Bank or a limited incursion into Gaza. This time the world is faced with a declared Zionist agenda of genocide. This makes a problem for the Western governments that pretend to support human rights and to deplore war crimes. It also makes a problem for American evangelicals known as “Christian Zionists.” Genocide is not something that can be reconciled with the teachings of Jesus. The evangelicals will have to decide between worshipping Israel and worshipping Jesus.

A consequence of Washington’s wars for Israel in the Middle East is that Western countries are now the homes of millions of Muslim refugees who take umbrage to the West’s support of Palestinian genocide. This introduces into the Western countries countervailing power at the street level to the Zionist lobby that focuses on controlling the governments. Western governments now have a new element of instability to manage, and the consequence could be a less one-sided stance toward Zionist Israel. Not all of Israel is Zionist. Netanyahu has minority support. The outcome could be different for Israel than Netanyahu and his US neoconservative allies intended.

Read more …

“Saudi Arabia and China are opening a $7 billion local currency swap line.”

“China is using their US Treasuries and US dollar surpluses to loan them to Emerging Market trade partners of significance to CHINA!”

What Are the Saudis Really Preparing for? (Luongo)

It was announced the other day that Saudi Arabia and China are opening a $7 billion local currency swap line. [..] They [the Neocons] most certainly are flying by the seat of their pants, Mark [his conclusion]. What is happening now is pure desperation as they try to figure out how to extend and pretend this war through the election cycle to maintain the possibility of the ages-old enmity versus Russia. But the KSA flip is real. Swap lines are a precursor to intervention. My tweet was high concept but it goes like this: 1) Announce swap lines 2) Start taking real amounts of yuan for oil 3) This breaks the peg of the Riyal to the USD when oil is relatively strong, not in crisis mode 4) The substitution of the CNY for the USD is existential for the US who then attacks the KSA exchange rate, pulling money out of the country… 5) SANCTIONS ON KSA. 6) Expanded swaps to convert USD encumbered assets with Riyal assets, once USD are verboten in KSA. 7) China provides them, with loans repayable in CNY.

[..] The announcement of the swap lines is likely a pre-announcement of an Economic Hitman-style attack on Saudi Arabia by the US. It’s not really that difficult to foresee. For historical context, Russia was hit hard in 2014/15 by the collapse in oil prices. In retaliation for “stealing Crimea” an attack on oil prices was organized by President Obama and the gaggle of usual suspects to trash the oil price. In June of 2014 oil closed at $112.36. And the price began dropping the first trading day of July 2014 and didn’t stop until the end of 2015. Saudi Arabia helped that process by expanding production, thinking they would take Russia’s market share as the Russian ruble collapsed and Russia’s foreign exchange reserves were drained. The key to the anticipated win was that Russian companies, mostly the big State Owned Enterprises like Gazprom and Rosneft, had a lot of dollar-denominated debt which was about to mature and needed rolling over.

So, the US sanctioned Russia such that companies like Gazprom couldn’t roll the debt over, because they couldn’t sell the bonds to US or European investors anymore. The current bondholders had to be paid off… to the tune of north of $50 billion in Q4 of 2014, and another $50 billions in Q1 2015. This “rollover risk” would plague the Russian government’s finances for the next 18 months as the price of oil dropped relentlessly. The Russian ruble dropped from the high 20’s/low 30’s versus the dollar rose to a high above 80 in late November, but it only happened after Putin personally ordered Bank of Russia President Elvira Nabiullina to let the ruble float. Before that there had been a soft peg to the US dollar in place, which was easy to maintain while oil was trading above $100 per barrel.

China stepped in at the height of the ruble’s collapse to give Russia a swap line between yuan and rubles. China paid off Gazprom’s debt. Russia paid them back in yuan, which they were going to get freely because of these swap lines then and Power of Siberia in the future. The US didn’t dare sanction China for this because of both the blowback onto our economy and would have been tantamount to declaring war. It’s also why China didn’t get even threatened with sanctions after Russia “invaded” Ukraine last year. That sweetheart deal for the gas now flowing to them through the Power of Siberia pipeline now makes a lot more sense. Personally I had misremembered it being signed in 2015, as a response to the crisis, but it was before the crisis even broke out.

That implies a few things: 1) the combination of events of early 2014 prompted the formulation of a coordinated attack on oil prices aimed at Russia for later that year and 2) that Putin anticipated it and opened up negotiations with Xi Jinping to get Power of Siberia built quickly. Nearly everything that’s happened since then is downstream of the events tracing back to early 2014 Russia survived that period of ‘rollover risk’ and in doing so created the blueprint for other countries to do the same. [..] Eric Yeung: China is using their US Treasuries and US dollar surpluses to loan them to Emerging Market trade partners of significance to CHINA! They are asking for yuan in repayment.

This stabilizes the yuan/usd exchange rates while China can and is rapidly expanding the money supply to deal with their sagging property markets as a result of the Fed’s aggressively tight monetary policy. In order for China to expand the yuan into the new dollar vacuum without also losing their gold (Luke Gromen’s point during the conversation), they have to create a demand cycle for their debt, keeping borrowing costs low. Since they have cross-currency swap lines with their SE Asian partners and offshore yuan settlement around the region, i.e. in places like Singapore, this is how they manage the expansion without creating a runaway inflation problem. Yuan replace dollars without a massive shift in exchange rates and/or bond yields.

Read more …

“The data reportedly prompted the IDF to increase its alert level, which led to the Palestinian group abandoning the initial plan. The IDF eventually considered the intelligence warnings to have been a false alarm..”

Hamas Attack Originally Planned For April (RT)

The Gaza-based Palestinian militant group Hamas originally sought to carry out its October 7 attack during the Jewish holiday of Passover, which fell on April 5 this year, Israel’s Channel 12 TV reported on Saturday, citing sources in the country’s military intelligence. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) had caught wind of the planned assault, detecting the early signs of Hamas preparations, soldiers with the 8200 signal intelligence unit told the broadcaster. The data reportedly prompted the IDF to increase its alert level, which led to the Palestinian group abandoning the initial plan. The IDF eventually considered the intelligence warnings to have been a false alarm, the report added.

Hamas, the sources claim, focused on internal security and kept most of its members in the dark about subsequent plans, including the rescheduled incursion, which took place on October 7. According to Israeli media reports, surveillance units on the border with Gaza alerted the IDF to “unusual” Hamas training exercises some three months before the October attack, but their concerns were reportedly dismissed as “fantasies.” On Friday the Financial Times also reported, citing sources, that Israeli border sentries had compiled a detailed file on the then-looming Hamas attack and presented it to the highest-ranking intelligence officer in the southern command, weeks before it took place.

The document reportedly contained “specific warnings,” namely plans to breach the border at multiple points and seize local settlements, according to the outlet. The IDF neither confirmed nor denied the existence of the ignored intelligence, when approached by the Financial Times. Earlier, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz had cited an unnamed female soldier who blamed institutional sexism in the ranks for the lack of attention to reports from its border sentries. The October 7 Hamas attack claimed the lives of about 1,200 Israelis, mostly civilians. West Jerusalem responded with heavy bombardments of Gaza, followed by a ground operation. The death toll on the Palestinian side has since surpassed 14,800, according to officials in the enclave.

Read more …

“..the release has become possible thanks to “direct agreements between Russian representatives and Hamas.”

Russians Released By Hamas Outside Prisoner Swap Deal – Zakharova (TASS)

A hostage with the Russian passport has been released as a result of direct agreements with Hamas, not under the prisoner swap deal, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said. “The efforts Russian diplomats are making in contacts with Hamas concerning the release of hostages are yielding results. Today, a holder of the Russian passport was released and handed over to the Red Cross. Russian diplomats will visit him as soon as it is possible,” she wrote on her Telegram channel. According to the spokeswoman, the release has become possible thanks to “direct agreements between Russian representatives and Hamas.” “These efforts will continue,” she added.

Taher al-Nunu, a spokesman for senior Hamas official Ismail Haniyeh, told TASS earlier in the day that Hamas had released a Russian national and transferred him to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Russian presidential envoy for the Middle East and African countries and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told TASS in late October that Hamas had promised to answer Russia’s request to release eight Russian nationals who were held hostage. Hamas announced on November 22 that an agreement on a four-day humanitarian ceasefire in the Gaza Strip had been reached through the mediation of Qatar and Egypt. The agreement stipulates the release of 50 women and children under the age of 19 who are held in Gaza in exchange for the release of 150 women and children under the age of 19 from Israeli prisons.

Read more …

“Gone is all pretence that the EU and NATO pursue different strategies.”

“If painting Russia as a threat has long been used by the U.S. to keep NATO alive, in more recent years it has been exploited to unify the foreign and defense policy of EU member states..”

The United Eunuchs of Europe (Ruggeri)

Whether further expansion is good or bad for the EU has become the modern equivalent of the old Byzantine discussion over the sex of angels, and while no agreement can be reached, the process has largely stalled after the biggest wave of new members joined in 2004 and Croatia in 2013. So why has it topped the agenda of so many Eurocrats in the last two years? Mainly because supporters of expansion hoped that they could leverage on the unity that the EU mustered vis-à-vis the conflict in Ukraine to push through a a proxy imperialist project fuelled by Washington’s magical thinking. The cornerstone of this project was the full capture of Ukraine whose NATO-trained army should have dealt a decisive blow to Russia. As we know, things aren’t exactly going to plan and that unity of purpose now seems as precarious as Ukraine’s future.

Ukraine had been promised EU candidate status for years and finally received it in return for a blood sacrifice. Obviously, it doesn’t qualify for membership, and the prospect of sitting in a crowded waiting room with other candidates for the foreseeable future isn’t exactly worth dying for. Brussels has to first find and then dangle a more appealing carrot at a time when opinion polls show that support for Ukraine is waning. After coming to the defence of the U.S. ‘rules-based-order’ the EU has a bag full of IOUs, a weakened economy, and Borrell’s garden of earthly delights increasingly resembles the dark panel of Hieronymus Bosch’s famous triptych. One may think that discussing EU enlargement while the bloc faces major crises that are stress-testing it to break-point is the epitome of insanity.

Actually, some commentators have already drawn parallels between the EU’s leadership and Nero fiddling as Rome burned. But allegedly Nero did something else besides fiddling, he blamed Christians for the fire. Offering an enemy within or an enemy without, is a tried and tested tactic to crush dissent and consolidate power. And that is exactly what Germany’s foreign minister Annalena Baerbock tried at a recent conference in Berlin dedicated to EU enlargement. She told 17 foreign ministers from EU and candidate countries, including Ukraine’s Dmytro Kuleba, that the EU must expand to avoid making everyone vulnerable. “Putin’s Moscow will continue to try to divide not only Ukraine from us, but also Moldova, Georgia and the Western Balkans. If these countries can be permanently destabilised by Russia, then that also makes us vulnerable. We can no longer afford grey areas in Europe”. Whatever happened to promises of economic growth, investments and access to a wealthy market? As they all sound pretty hollow in 2023, Baerbock invokes the bogeyman. Gone is all pretence that the EU and NATO pursue different strategies.

With the door to NATO closed to Ukraine and Washington shifting its focus to the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific, the burden of supporting Ukraine “to defend Europe” has been dumped on the EU. If painting Russia as a threat has long been used by the U.S. to keep NATO alive, in more recent years it has been exploited to unify the foreign and defense policy of EU member states. Washington promoted and facilitated a vertical consolidation of power in the EU in order to outsource to Brussels some of the policing and punitive functions that enable its global capital accumulation and underpin its hegemony. According to its calculus, dealing with one collective vassal, the EU, would be easier than managing several squabbling and competing European vassals. This strategy reflects Washington’s poor grasp of Europe’s history and complexity and that’s why it is unlikely to produce the desired results, especially since European interests were sacrificed at the altar of American ones.

Read more …

“The people in power in Ukraine got there accidentally – they are shallow, insufficiently experienced, perceiving some momentary tactical successes as successes of a strategic nature..”

“Zelensky is now being abandoned by his staff, his generals, the Ukrainian people, and the international community as a puppet that has lost all use. If questioned, Boris Johnson will most likely pretend to not even remember Zelensky’s name.”

Zelensky & West Equally Responsible for Killing Peace Deal (Sp.)

“Russia‘s original terms were very fair: number one— no NATO weapons would be located in Ukraine, which would put Russians in danger; and, second, no Nazi genocidal maniacs would be in political positions to continue slaughtering innocent Russians, or outlawing the Russian language and culture in Ukraine. Any reasonable person and nation would’ve accepted these terms,” argued Bennett. Meanwhile, some Russian observers are wondering what BoJo promised the Kiev regime to cause them to rush to nix the deal and throw all their resources into the conflict. Apparently, the British prime minister vowed all-out military support and money from the West. Meanwhile, judging from other Western leaders’ rhetoric, Johnson was not alone in derailing the deal. “This war will be won on the battlefield,” European Union top diplomat Josep Borrell tweeted in April 2022, pledging hundreds of millions of euros for Kiev.

The same month, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin claimed that Washington wanted to see “Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done” in launching the special military operation. He argued that Russia should “not have the capability to very quickly reproduce” manpower and equipment. The US has disbursed over $100 billion in support for Ukraine’s military effort since then. However, a chorus of Western military experts warned Washington from the very beginning that Russia has considerably more resources in every respect, making it virtually impossible for Ukraine to win. Ukrainian officials could have been aware of this balance of forces since the inception of the conflict, yet still they bought into the Western plot.

Sergey Tsekov, a member of the Russian Federation Council Committee on International Affairs, believes that Kiev decided to reject peace with Moscow in 2022 due to a lack of experience. “The people in power in Ukraine got there accidentally – they are shallow, insufficiently experienced, perceiving some momentary tactical successes as successes of a strategic nature,” Tsekov told the Russian press. Per him, many in Ukraine now regret that they failed to resolve the conflict diplomatically at the very beginning. [..] in 2002, then-Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma announced the nation’s goal of “eventual NATO membership” which was reflected in the June 19, 2003, version of law on the foundations of Ukraine’s national policy. In 2010, the government of President Viktor Yanukovich scrapped the plan, embracing the idea of military neutrality.

Following the Western-backed 2014 coup d’etat in Kiev, the nation’s Verkhovna Rada, controlled by Ukrainian ultra-nationalists, passed a law reinstating membership in NATO as Ukraine’s strategic objective. In 2019, a corresponding amendment to Ukraine’s Constitution entered into force. Arakhamia failed to explain to the Ukrainian press why the Ukrainian delegation – despite all the obstacles – signed preliminary peace agreements with Russia in Istanbul last year. In June 2023, Vladimir Putin showed the draft of the Istanbul agreement on the Ukraine settlement to an African delegation. “Here it is! It exists!” Putin said, showing the document signed by Ukraine. “And it is called accordingly – the treaty on permanent neutrality and security guarantees for Ukraine. Exactly about guarantees. Eighteen articles,” the Russian president underscored.

No matter how much the West is guilty for derailing the Russo-Ukrainian peace deal, the Zelensky regime is no less responsible for opening the door to bloodshed in Ukraine, per Bennett. “Ukraine is destroyed,” the expert said. “Its military is completely dissolved, and every Ukrainian citizen is going to turn against the Ukrainian political leadership for this unnecessary and destructive war, which should never have happened. Zelensky may very well be assassinated or overthrown by a coup within his own country and prosecuted, and executed as an international war criminal.” “Zelensky is now being abandoned by his staff, his generals, the Ukrainian people, and the international community as a puppet that has lost all use. If questioned, Boris Johnson will most likely pretend to not even remember Zelensky’s name.

Read more …

“Zelensky accused Russia of “exploiting various challenges in the world” to “divert attention from any assistance” to his country, adding that “responsible states” are doing everything they can to return that focus.”

Ukraine Needs Three Victories – Zelensky (RT)

Ukraine needs to achieve three key breakthroughs in negotiations with Western allies to maintain crucial support, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky admitted during a press conference on Friday. Among the challenges he listed were the approval of large aid packages from the US and the EU. Zelensky accused Russia of “exploiting various challenges in the world” to “divert attention from any assistance” to his country, adding that “responsible states” are doing everything they can to return that focus. “We need three victories. The first is with Congress. It’s a challenge. It’s not easy,” Zelensky said. The second ‘victory’ to be achieved is to secure €50 billion ($55 billion) in aid from the EU, which has not yet been approved.

“Not everyone in the EU is ready to support this package today. Our task is to make sure everyone supports this package,” the president stated. The third success Ukraine seeks is a decision by Brussels to start negotiations on Ukraine’s EU membership, Zelensky said, calling it “a significant motivational step.” Earlier this month, US President Joe Biden’s administration failed to push a $105 billion spending package through Congress, with much of that money intended for Kiev. Instead, the president had to sign a stopgap funding plan excluding Ukraine assistance to avert a government shutdown. At about the same time, the EU’s €50 billion package of loans and grants was blocked, due to objections from member states including Hungary.

As for negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the EU, according to Reuters, Brussels could postpone formal membership talks, which were scheduled for December, until March 2024, as some leaders have proposed returning to the issue only after the European Commission has had a chance to assess whether Kiev has met all the conditions. Kiev’s troops continue to suffer significant losses on the front line. According to Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, the Ukrainian army has lost more than 13,700 soldiers and 1,800 tanks and other heavy weaponry since the beginning of November. As of late October, Moscow estimated that Kiev had suffered over 90,000 casualties since the beginning of the June counteroffensive.

Read more …

“Therefore, we must face reality. We must switch to Plan B,” Orban reiterated, adding that the European Union currently has no such plan..”

‘Russia Will Not Lose’ – Orban (RT)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that the US and EU strategy of funding Ukraine’s battle with Russia, in the hope that an unlikely battlefield loss will bring about a regime change in Moscow, is futile. Instead of trying to localize the conflict, the West decided to escalate, making it global, Orban said last week at an event celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Swiss conservative weekly Weltwoche in Zurich. “What was the strategy of the West in that war? I’m simplifying it a little bit, but this is the fact. Our strategy was that the Ukrainians will fight and will win on the front line. The Russians will lose… and that loss will create a change in Moscow,” he explained, according to a video of the speech published by Zoltan Kovacs, a spokesman for the Hungarian government on Sunday.

“That was the strategy: We finance, the Ukrainians fight and die,” he added. However, he said, “where we are now, it is obvious that the Ukrainians will not win on the front line.” “There is no solution on the battleground. The Russians will not lose. There will be no political change in Moscow. This is the reality,” the Hungarian leader stated. “Russia will not lose, and nothing will change in its policy. Therefore, we must face reality. We must switch to Plan B,” Orban reiterated, adding that the European Union currently has no such plan. Last week, Orban reportedly demanded that the EU re-examine its strategy, warning he would oppose any further aid unless the bloc’s leaders make sure their objectives are “realistically attainable” without continued US support. “The European Council must have a frank and open discussion on the feasibility of the EU’s strategic objectives in Ukraine,” Orban wrote in a letter to European Council President Charles Michel, according to Politico.

From the very onset of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the Hungarian PM has been calling for a negotiated solution, rather than prolonging the crisis and risking further escalation. While he condemned Moscow’s actions, he still repeatedly clashed with Brussels, saying that sanctions against Russia are destroying European economies. Kiev has suffered “colossal” casualties at the front, with at least 13,700 troops and approximately 1,800 tanks and other heavy weaponry lost this month alone, according to Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu. In total, according to Russian estimates, Kiev has lost more than 100,000 troops since its failed counteroffensive began in early June. Even Ukraine’s top general, Valery Zaluzhny, previously admitted that the conflict with Russia had reached a “stalemate” and that his armed forces would likely not achieve a breakthrough in the confrontation anytime soon.

Read more …

““If the military leadership cannot provide any plan for 2024 and all their proposals for mobilization boil down to the fact that more people are needed without any … changes to the Armed Forces system, then this [military] leadership has to go..”

Ukrainian Military Leadership Has No Plan For 2024 – Senior MP (RT)

The Ukrainian military leadership has absolutely no strategic plan for the ongoing conflict with Russia in 2024, Mariana Bezuglaya, the deputy head of the Ukrainian parliament’s security, defense and intelligence committee, said on Sunday. The top brass only want to mobilize tens of thousands of people every month without a clear understanding of what should be done in Kiev’s ongoing conflict with Moscow, she added. “The commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has been unable to provide a [strategic] plan for 2024,” Bezuglaya wrote in a post on her Facebook page, referring to Ukraine’s top military commander, General Valery Zaluzhny. The general has absolutely no concept of further conflict, she claimed, adding that he has no plan for any type of warfare, “either large or small… asymmetrical or symmetrical.”

Such a stance by the military leadership has been a major setback for the lawmakers planning the nation’s budget for the next year, the senior MP said. The problems had been growing both in parliament and at the military leadership’s HQ, at least since the summer, Bezuglaya revealed. At that time, the Ukrainian military was in the midst of its much-touted large-scale military offensive launched in early June. The operation was largely unsuccessful as it did not allow Kiev’s troops to gain any major territories but led to heavy losses on the Ukrainian side in both personnel and equipment, including dozens of Western-supplied hardware like tanks and infantry fighting vehicles. According to Bezuglaya, Zaluzhny and other top commanders have so far failed to present any detailed plans for future training, troop rotation, or for the funding needed for some new brigades they supposedly planned to form.

Instead, the Ukrainian military “simply said they would need to draft no less than 20,000 citizens every month,” the senior MP added. “If the military leadership cannot provide any plan for 2024 and all their proposals for mobilization boil down to the fact that more people are needed without any … changes to the Armed Forces system, then this [military] leadership has to go,” Bezuglaya, who is a member of President Vladimir Zelensky’s ‘Servant of the People’ party, said. The presidential party’s faction in parliament refused to provide any comments on Bezuglaya’s words when approached by the Ukrainian ‘Pravda’ newspaper. In early November, Zaluzhny admitted in an interview with The Economist that the situation on the frontlines was essentially a World War I-style stalemate.

He also said that Russia had an upper hand in that sort of warfare due to its superior personnel reserves and vast material resources. This assessment was later rejected by Zelensky. The president also warned the nation’s military leadership to stay out of politics or risk harming “the unity of the nation.” Earlier this week, Russia’s foreign intelligence service (SVR) reported that Ukraine’s Western backers have encouraged Kiev to expand draft efforts and enlist the elderly, teenagers, and women into the army. The new draft is supposedly needed to replace the heavy losses Kiev’s troops suffered in the largely unsuccessful summer counteroffensive.

Read more …

“Scholz and his cabinet have absolutely no policy plan and are “completely… mindless..”

Germany In ‘Serious Crisis’ – Bavarian Leader (RT)

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and his cabinet have led Germany into a “serious national crisis,” Markus Soeder, the prime minister of the nation’s most populous state, Bavaria, told journalists on Saturday. Berlin can now hardly find a way out of this predicament, the politician warned, adding that the government’s “budget emergency” would likely turn into another burden for ordinary Germans. His words came as the federal government announced the lifting of energy-price controls by the end of the year. Limits on electricity and gas prices were introduced in 2022 to protect households and businesses from soaring prices of gas and electricity as Germany was actively slashing energy imports from Russia, along with many other EU nations. The measure was introduced in response to the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine.

The brakes were to remain in place until at least March 2024, but Berlin had to change its plans after the German Constitutional Court blocked its attempt to transfer €60 billion ($66 billion) from the Covid-19 pandemic fund to other projects. According to Soeder, the lack of funding and the corresponding budget crisis are “nothing but this government’s emergency.” Scholz and his cabinet have absolutely no policy plan and are “completely… mindless,” said the politician, who also leads Bavaria’s biggest party – the Christian Social Union (CSU). “This government has gone bankrupt,” he added. “Basically, we have a government that is just reeling,” he told journalists on the sidelines of his party’s meeting in Nuremberg ahead of the EU parliament elections.

Soeder also branded the declaration of the “budget emergency” by Berlin as a sign of the “complete helplessness” of the government coalition. The head of Bavaria in particular criticized the federal government’s strategy of combating energy price hikes resulting from forgoing Russian energy supplies with mere subsidies. “The idea of just subsidizing electricity prices doesn’t work. A different energy policy is needed. That is the core of the problem,” he said, demanding that Berlin reverse its nuclear power plants’ phaseout in particular. Now, removing the energy price brakes would lead to a high level of uncertainty for the economy and send electricity prices for both citizens and companies up, he warned.

Last year, Germany and the broader EU faced an energy crisis, largely caused by the loss of Russian gas imports due to Ukraine-related sanctions against Moscow. Berlin managed to substitute some of the gas it had previously bought from Russia, but high energy costs still weakened Germany’s economy and pushed up inflation. Germany fell into a technical recession in the first quarter of 2023 and demonstrated little recovery in the following two quarters.

Read more …

“He also insisted that introducing compulsory military service in Germany is necessary..”

German Troops Would ‘Only Last Two Days in Battle’ Due to Ukraine Supplies (Sp.)

Berlin has provided Ukraine with large amounts of munitions and military hardware, including main battle tanks and air defense systems, following the escalation of the Ukrainian conflict in February 2022. The battle readiness of the German Armed Forces has been severely weakened by shortages caused by continued supplies of hardware and ammo to Kiev, German MP from the opposition Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Johann Wadephul has told DPA. “Crucial [German] troop units can only last a maximum of two days in a battle [due to these shortages]. And that is a catastrophic finding overall,” Wadephul said. “Anyone who even talks about being ready for war, but expects the Bundeswehr to be at least ready to defend itself, should have ensured that such a bad situation does not occur. Unfortunately, the opposite is the case.”

The politician argued that the process of improving the Bundeswehr’s combat capability is slow and blamed the country’s Defense Minister Boris Pistorius for this state of affairs. “Even when it comes to replacement procurement, the Bundeswehr is actually making a loss. As correct as the donations to Ukraine are in terms of material and ammunition, in the current security situation, it is unacceptable that there is no compensation,” Wadephul said. He also insisted that introducing compulsory military service in Germany is necessary, saying: “We will not be able to ensure effective national defense without the necessary personnel.” Ukraine received large quantities of weapons and munitions from Germany and other NATO states since the escalation of the Ukrainian conflict last year.

Read more …

“..the US Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, and the Bank of England should curb their enthusiasm for shrinking their balance sheets..”

World Facing ‘Debt Tsunami’ – Bloomberg (RT)

Sovereign bond sales could increase further next year as budget deficits balloon across the developed world, Bloomberg reported this week. According to the outlet’s analysis, this comes at a bad time as central banks have accelerated the reduction of huge bond holdings amassed through quantitative easing. “This double whammy means bond yields, particularly at the longer end of the curve, are set for a difficult 2024,” Bloomberg wrote, suggesting the US Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, and the Bank of England should curb their enthusiasm for shrinking their balance sheets. According to the Bank of America, cited in the report, Treasury bond issuance is expected to reach a record $1.34 trillion next year. Meanwhile, the US deficit in 2026 is projected to climb towards $2 trillion.

The report indicated that multiple factors affect bond values, but “the one constant in an ever-changing world is rising debt issuance.” The US Fed has reportedly been trimming its balance sheet by $95 billion a month since June 2022, reducing it so far to $7.8 trillion, nearly double the pre-pandemic $4 trillion mark. The risk remains that the combination of monetary tightening by the Fed with expanding US Treasury supply will prove “deadly,” Bloomberg wrote. The same could be observed in the EU where Germany, France, Italy and Spain are expected to increase bond sales to more than €1.1 trillion ($1.2 trillion) next year. The European Commission is also expected to issue €150 billion of bonds.

Even a small reduction of QE reinvestment looks ill-advised, according to the report, while it’s “the first line of defense” for the euro area that allows maturing German debt to be recycled into buying Italian bonds. Meanwhile, UK government bond supply is expected to be around £260 billion next year, a jump of 20% from this year. The Bank of England has been reducing at double the pace of the Fed and ECB. “There’s a growing perception that central banks are at the zenith of the interest-rate hiking cycle, but reducing QE bond portfolios would continue to tighten monetary conditions,” Bloomberg wrote, noting that the potential global growth slump next year may come shortly before rate cuts or a pause in balance sheet reduction, or probably both.

Read more …

The UK Supreme Court in the Rwanda case has stated that it’s the court, not the government, that decides if a deportation is lawful. It must apply that to the Assange case if and when that comes before the court.

UK’s Rwanda Deportation Ruling Offers Assange Hope (Craig Murray)

The judgment of the Supreme Court on the illegality of deportation of asylum seekers to Rwanda was given massive publicity in connection with the sacking of Home Secretary Suella Braverman, but in fact it is a decision of much wider significance. It also has great relevance to the coming High Court hearing on Julian Assange, both in terms of the arguments, some of which are common to both cases, and the stance of the judges, some of whom are also common to both cases.

[..] The Home Secretary’s appeal against the Appeal Court judgment explicitly argued that the court should defer to the executive’s judgment of the value of these assurances, which the Supreme Court summarises as the Home Secretary criticising the Appeal Court for: giving insufficient weight to H.M. Government’s assessment of the likelihood of the government of Rwanda abiding by its assurances The Supreme Court rejects the notion that diplomatic assurances provided to the executive outweigh an assessment by the court itself of the true situation. The Supreme Court states: The government’s assessment of whether there is such a risk is an important element of that evidence, but the court is bound to consider the question in the light of the evidence as a whole and to reach its own conclusion. This is a definitive position, and a very strong one, in the debate about the role of diplomatic assurances in deportation proceedings.

The reason this is so vital to the Assange case, is that the court of first instance decided against Assange’s extradition, due to the combination of his health and the appalling maximum security conditions to which he would be subjected in the United States. On Appeal by the government of the U.S., Lord Chief Justice Burnett rejected this argument, primarily on the basis of diplomatic assurances as to Assange’s treatment, received in diplomatic notes submitted at the appeal stage. Because they were not submitted to the original hearing but only at Appeal, Assange’s team had no opportunity to question these diplomatic assurances or cross-examine on their value. Lord Chief Justice Burnett rejected this as having any weight, on the grounds that it was for the executive to decide the value of diplomatic assurances.

Note that Lord Chief Justice Burnett was also the dissenting judge who found for the government at appeal in the Rwanda case, where again he argued that the diplomatic assurances from the Rwanda government should simply be accepted on the executive’s evaluation. That is the classic executive position in the whole diplomatic assurances debate – and the Supreme Court has just unanimously and fizzingly rejected Burnett’s argument. If it is for the court and not the executive to investigate and determine the value of diplomatic assurances in the Rwanda case, then it must also be for the court to examine and determine the value of diplomatic assurances in the Assange case. At no point in the Assange process has any court undertaken this duty, or the defence been offered any opportunity to challenge the veracity of the diplomatic assurances.

That must now play a crucial role in consideration of the Assange case going forward. It is Burnett who granted the US appeal against the refusal to extradite Assange. Burnett is the best friend and former college flat mate of Tory Minister Alan Duncan, who called Julian “a worm” in parliament and who was in direct charge of the operation to remove Julian from the Ecuadorean Embassy. The other judge whose arguments were resoundingly rejected by the Supreme Court is Jonathan Swift, who found for the Home Secretary at first instance in the Rwanda case. Swift is also the judge who dismissed Assange’s 150-page appeal in three double-spaced pages and attempted to limit any future hearing to half an hour. Again as previously explained here, Swift is a former barrister for the security services, which he said were his favourite clients.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 6

 

 

 

 

Dowd

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Funghi

 

 


Monastiraki and the Acropolis

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 282023
 
 October 28, 2023  Posted by at 8:32 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  48 Responses »


Francisco de Goya Saturn Devouring His Son 1819–1823

 

The Gods Are Going Against The Chosen People (Helmer)
One Mistake Before Armageddon (Paul Craig Roberts)
Gaza Suffers Near-Total Information Blackout (RT)
Biden Inches Towards Military Disaster in Middle East (Sp.)
Israel Bombing ‘Everything But Hamas In Gaza’ – Jackson Hinkle (RT)
Erdogan’s Deafening Silence On Palestine (Karan)
Orban: EU Not Dare to Admit Ukraine Cannot Win on Battlefield (Sp.)
Israel To Pass Law Allowing State To Kill Its Own Citizens (RT)
Israel Military Shelled Israeli Citizens With Tanks, Missiles on Oct. 7 (GZ)
China To Snub Zelensky’s ‘Peace’ Meeting – Bloomberg (RT)
Hungary, Slovakia Blocked €50 Billion Ukraine Aid – Politico (RT)
Speaker Johnson Plans Separate Votes On Ukraine, Israel Aid (ZH)
Biden Likely Guilty of ‘Impeachable Offenses’ – Speaker (Sp.)
AG Garland Should Rein in Jack Smith’s War on Free Speech (Turley)
President Trump Destroys NYC Judge Engoron After Case Collapses (GP)

 

 

 

 

Ritter Monumental Oversight

 

 

 

 

Gabor Maté


https://twitter.com/i/status/1712402483115614498

 

 

 

 

Baroness

 

 

China UN
https://twitter.com/i/status/1717682784125198354

 

 

Don’t look away

 

 

 

 

“..the genocide of at least a million Palestinians in lives and displacement. The war to do that has now become an international war – and this is a war the US cannot sustain.”

The Gods Are Going Against The Chosen People (Helmer)

The Palestinian strategy against Israel is aimed at destroying Israel’s capacity to survive in its present state in a long war. This means attacking the invincibility of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and theur so-called Iron Dome defence; this began with the cross-border offensive on October 7, and continues with daily drone and artillery attacks on targets inside Israel, as well as resistance to IDF incursions in Gaza. The plan also means exposing the weakness of the state’s infrastructure and economy; extending the battlefield across all of Israel’s territory – the ports, power plants and electricity grid, communications, and financial markets — making the cost of occupation of the Arab territories unendurable. In a long war, two of Israel’s leading exports earning more than 40% of the state’s trade — diamonds and tourism — face ruin.*

“The Israelis cannot withstand one year of fighting in a war,” Iraq’s President Saddam Hussein told his general staff in 1983 during a discussion of planning for a regional war of the Arabs against Israel.** In the forty years since then, the evolution of military technology and tactics has expanded the power of small national liberation armies like Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Houthis, of proxy principals like Iran, and of the strategic balancing role of Russia and China. Their combination now has shortened the Zionist state’s endurance in a long war, and that of its proxy principal, the US. The Israelis and the Jewish diaspora comprehend this reluctantly. For them, the short war must be correspondingly shorter. This means the genocide of at least a million Palestinians in lives and displacement. The war to do that has now become an international war – and this is a war the US cannot sustain.

As a Pentagon insider said publicly this week, “because there are so many draws on the logistics and support infrastructure of the Pentagon, we’re not prepared to go in in a concerted way. What we are seeing right now is death by a thousand cuts. Our adversaries know we are stretched so they are going to make us stretch even more, so we can respond even less.” The Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Maria Zakharova, acknowledged the point in Moscow on Thursday: US naval, air force, and marine reinforcements deployed around Israel and Gaza are “American tactics to strengthen their own security (this is how it should be interpreted) at someone else’s expense.” They are backfiring on Washington’s capacity to defend US forces in the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, and in land bases in Syria, Iraq and Jordan. “On the contrary,” Zakharova added, the US military deployment “will further rock the situation in the Middle East, create additional tension that can spill out beyond the region.”

Zakharova’s warning came in the Moscow afternoon. By then Russian Foreign Ministry officials had held meetings with a Hamas delegation, and officials from Iran, Egypt, and Kuwait. Across the city at the same time, President Vladimir Putin held telephone talks with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Kremlin communiqué reported: “Russia and Turkiye have practically overlapping positions.” Israeli and US-led media censorship and propaganda are concealing the breadth of impact of the Palestine warfighting plan, and the deepening military and economic weaknesses of the Israeli state. The longer the war continues, the plainer the evidence is on the battlefield that the single-state scheme of Israel and the US is no longer possible. Whether Israel and the US can be compelled to withdraw to the 1967 borders and a new Palestinian state created with partition, demilitarisation, and international security guarantees – the basis of the Russian position announced again on Thursday in Moscow — remains to be fought over. In this long war, the gods do not favour the Chosen People.

Read more …

“The White House fool, his insane neoconservative regime, mindless European puppets and whore Western media have convinced Russia that there is neither intelligence nor reason to be found in the Western World..”

One Mistake Before Armageddon (Paul Craig Roberts)

Each of us faces each day threats to our health, happiness, and life. Overarching it all, we collectively face death from nuclear weapons. The development of nuclear weapons was a human stupidity. They cannot be used, but their existence threatens the life of the planet. So why have them? Accident, emotional response, loss of reason are all human faults that can come into play at any time. During the 20th century Cold War these dangers were underlined by the Cuban Missile Crisis. President Nixon led the way to sanity with arms control agreements with the Soviet Union and his opening to China. Presidents Carter and Reagan kept the momentum going for reduced tensions and peaceful coexistence. The turnaround came with the Soviet collapse.

The neoconservatives took advantage of Russian weakness and prevailed on President Clinton to break the promise given by the George H.W. Bush administration to Gorbachev not to move NATO to Soviet borders if Gorbachev permitted the reunification of Germany. The George W. Bush and Obama administrations continued the hostile policy that Clinton renewed. Today all the arms control agreements that reduced tensions and the danger of nuclear confrontation are erased. The last one–never ratified by the US–was revoked by the upper house of Russia’s parliament last Wednesday. Tass, the Russian news agency, reported that “Achieving the goal of preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons is not deemed possible in the current international situation, given the destructive position of the United States.”

Also last Wednesday Gilbert Doctorow reported from the Russian media that Russia had just completed a successful test of its land, sea, and air launched nuclear missile triad. “Considering the location of the missile launches and the radius of possible strikes, it does not take much imagination to conclude that the enemy being attacked was the U.S. of A. . . . The capability being tested was for a massive retaliatory strike.” The White House fool, his insane neoconservative regime, mindless European puppets and whore Western media have convinced Russia that there is neither intelligence nor reason to be found in the Western World and Russia has no alternative but to prepare for war.

I have long warned that this was the conclusion toward which our irresponsible leaders were driving the Russians. What this means is that the slightest mistake, the slightest false warning can now ignite nuclear Armageddon. Meanwhile the media focuses on political gossip, Americans scroll their cell phones and complain about inflation, and the threat to the existence of life on earth goes unremarked.

Read more …

#StarlinkforPalestine?!

Gaza Suffers Near-Total Information Blackout (RT)

Internet and cell phone services working in the Gaza Strip on Friday night, after Israel “expanded” its military operation against Hamas militants in the Palestinian enclave. The largest telecommunications provider in Gaza, Paltel, has announced “a complete severance of all communications and Internet services” due to intensified Israeli strikes. “The intense bombing in the last hour caused the destruction of all remaining international routes linking Gaza to the outside world,” the company said. Netblocks, a company that tracks internet connectivity globally, confirmed the information blackout, calling it “the largest single disruption to internet connectivity in Gaza since the beginning of the conflict and will be perceived by many as a total or near-total internet blackout.”

Multiple international media, including RT, have partially lost contact with their crews and stringers on the ground. The head of RT Arabic, Maya Manna, said there was no contact with correspondents and photographers operating in the Palestinian enclave as of Friday evening. The sole message came from an RT stringer in the area, describing a “very violent bombing.” “I don’t know what to do with my children and my family. Everyone is afraid, everyone is terrified, and there is screaming everywhere in the Gaza Strip,” Masoud, a local reporter, told RT. According to an NBC News crew member, who was also able to message colleagues, “all internet, electricity and everything” has been cut off. “The situation we’re in is difficult, so difficult and very dangerous. We’re being extensively shelled by artillery and by air,” the unnamed staffer said.

The UN children’s agency also lost contact with their colleagues in Gaza, with UNICEF chief Catherine Russel saying she was “extremely concerned about their safety and another night of unspeakable horror for 1 million children in Gaza.” The international healthcare charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said there was no contact with some of their Palestinian colleagues. “We are particularly worried for the patients, medical staff and thousands of families taking shelter at Al Shifa hospital and other health facilities,” MSF said, expressing deep concern over the situation around one Gaza’s biggest medical centers.

Israel previously accused Hamas of turning hospitals into “headquarters for their terror,” referring specifically to Al Shifa, and even published an “illustrative video” which supposedly points out the “different locations in and under the hospital which are being used to plan and implement terrorist activities.” Meanwhile Hamas claimed that by cutting off communications from the Gaza Strip, Israel is attempting to “cover up the crimes of the occupation without any oversight or accountability,” and tries to “create an image of victory,” a senior official, Osama Hamdan, told Al Jazeera.

Read more …

“So you have a single weapon, a single carrier, a single ship, which carries on itself almost $20 billion worth of military assets and could be taken out by two or three missiles..”

Biden Inches Towards Military Disaster in Middle East (Sp.)

Tehran has so far moderated its response to US and Israeli actions during the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, ignoring efforts by Tel Aviv to goad the country into a military response by attacking Iranian allies in Syria and Lebanon, and snubbing threats by loudmouth officials and lawmakers to bring the war home to “Iran’s backyard.” Instead, Tehran has joined countries such as Russia, China, Brazil, and Turkiye in calling for an immediate ceasefire. Netanyahu cabinet minister Nir Barakat threatened last week to cut off the Iranian “head of the snake” and launch attacks against the Islamic Republic if Hezbollah tried to open a second front against Israel from the north. Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden on Wednesday said he had issued a “warning” to Iran’s supreme leader that if Iran “continue[s] to move against” American troops in the Middle East, the US “will respond, and he should be prepared.”

But as observers with an understanding of Iran’s military capabilities observe, tackling Iran would be unlike anything either Israel or the US have ever attempted, with the Islamic Republic’s combination of natural defensive geography, powerful indigenous military-industrial complex, advanced missile and drone programs, and readiness to defend its interests even against much more powerful foes making it an extremely difficult target. The centerpiece of the US forces deployed to the Middle East amid the Palestinian-Israeli crisis are the USS Gerald Ford and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower carrier strike groups. Each armada theoretically has enough firepower to level a small country, with each carrier carrying a complement of up to 90 combat aircraft, and the giant warships themselves flanked by between four to six cruise missile-equipped destroyers.

The armadas are certainly no threat to be taken lightly, but do have important weaknesses when stacked up against countries with modern missile capabilities, transforming into “white elephants” from a bygone era, says veteran military analyst and best-selling author Andrey Martyanov. “In terms of their real power projection,” carriers “are big fat sitting targets against modern weaponry such as anti-ship missiles and hypersonic missiles,” Martyanov told Sputnik’s New Rules podcast. “In this respect, they are not a real asset, but rather a liability against any major power such as Russia or China,” the observer explained. “In this particular case, those aircraft carriers and their battle groups, which usually comprise two or three ‘Aegis’-carrying destroyers – they are not really any more a serious military asset except for their ‘fear factor’…They could be sunk or basically disabled, and that’s pretty much it,” he said.

The same can be said even for a mid-tier military power like Iran, given its vast arsenal of thousands of medium and long-range ballistic and cruise missiles, and recent development of a hypersonic missile known as the Fatah. Many of these weapons are theoretically in range of US warships, plus dozens of US bases dotting the Middle East – some of them conveniently just across the Persian Gulf separating Iran from the Arab Gulf oil states. “Iran will be able to deliver both an asymmetric and a very symmetrical” response, Martyanov observed. “Iran has a vast number of highly sophisticated, highly developed ballistic missiles… And they have a vast number of cruise missiles. [The response] can be very symmetrical. And every single air base, military base of the United States will be under attack.”

Combined with carriers’ vulnerabilities is their massive cost, Martyanov said, pointing out that the new Ford-class carrier alone costs some $13 billion, plus $5-6 billion for its complement of aircraft. “So you have a single weapon, a single carrier, a single ship, which carries on itself almost $20 billion worth of military assets and could be taken out by two or three missiles such as Zircon or Kinzhal. Can you imagine the impact, apart from the fact of them having a very serious cultural and mental influence within the United States? The loss of a single ship can escalate… to the nuclear threshold because of the political, emotional, cultural and of course military impact of such a loss. Don’t forget, you also have more than 6,000 people on board this carrier,” the observer stressed.

Read more …

“..targeting various civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, schools, UN and Red Crescent facilities, mosques, churches, homes, and even evacuee convoys..”

Israel Bombing ‘Everything But Hamas In Gaza’ – Jackson Hinkle (RT)

Israel’s claims that it is only bombing Gaza to eliminate Hamas are “insane,” political analyst Jackson Hinkle said in an interview with RT on Thursday. He argued that Israeli forces appear to be focusing on targeting the civilian population of Gaza in their ongoing campaign. “They’ve bombed everything but Hamas inside of Gaza,” the host of ‘The Dive with Jackson Hinkle’ said, accusing Israel of targeting various civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, schools, UN and Red Crescent facilities, mosques, churches, homes, and even evacuee convoys. The analyst suggested that this is because Israel does not want a Palestinian state, and that the true purpose of its operation in Gaza is not to defeat Hamas, but rather to force Palestinians out and take over the enclave “once and for all.”

“The reason why they’re doing all of this is that they know they can’t defeat Hamas. That’s why they haven’t gone into Gaza. They know that if they will, they’ll probably have a response from many Arab states, and maybe Iran as well. They know that in a war of that magnitude they wouldn’t win,” Hinkle claimed. He argued that while Israeli authorities have attempted to paint Hamas as being aligned with or comparable to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), Israel’s own actions in Gaza seem to closely resemble terrorist tactics. Commenting on Washington’s announcement that it will “stand forever” with Israel and President Joe Biden’s proposal of a $14 billion package of military aid to the Jewish state, Hinkle called to “defund Israel” and “defund Ukraine” as well.

“Why is it that US taxpayer dollars are going to nations like this? Or more importantly, nations that are committing such horrific war crimes on a daily basis,” Hinkle questioned. He stated that the US is currently experiencing a crisis on its own southern border and is dealing with over 500,000 homeless people, 60,000 of which he claimed are veterans. “It makes no sense to me that we’re doing this and Joe Biden just sent about 900 US Marines to Israel,” Hinkle said, adding that he believes “we’re about to see a very big war.” The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have been relentlessly bombarding Gaza for almost three weeks, following the October 7 surprise attack on Israel by Hamas, which claimed 1,400 lives. The Gaza Health Ministry has since reported that Israeli strikes have killed over 7,000 people. On Friday, the ministry published the names of 6,747 people, including 2,665 children, it claims have been killed by the IDF. It noted that the list is incomplete as many bodies remain unidentified or missing.

Read more …

When the Arab world gathers, Erdogan will be there. Turkey has a formidable army.

Erdogan’s Deafening Silence On Palestine (Karan)

At this juncture, Turkiye’s stance on the Palestinian issue lags behind that of many Arab states. Israel, with the backing of the US, is pushing for the “evacuation” of Gaza’s civilian population to facilitate its ground military operation, forcing Egypt and Jordan, key regional players, to reject plans for this forced and seemingly permanent displacement of Palestinians. Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi have explicitly rejected this demand, deeming it a red line. Qatar, a financial powerhouse for the Muslim Brotherhood, and Turkiye, once seen as its political representative, now play more static roles in regional affairs. Erdogan’s involvement in Syria, while eroding Turkiye’s historically supportive position for both Fatah and Hamas in the Palestinian struggle, has contributed to a regional realignment in which Iran has grown stronger.

Erdogan, once known for his vocal opposition to Israel, is now positioned as a “peace mediator.” Several geopolitical, political, and economic factors underlie this transformation. The influence of the Muslim Brotherhood has significantly declined after a tragic decade of “Arab Spring-ing,” and Erdogan now needs the support and cooperation of Egypt and the Persian Gulf states, especially Saudi Arabia. He also aims to strike a delicate balance with the US and the EU. His foreign policy motto now revolves around mediation, which has been evident in various conflicts, such as Libya and Ukraine — where Turkiye played a key role in grain distribution. Domestically, Erdogan faces challenges too. Public discontent is growing due to the influx of refugees, as anti-Arab sentiments deepen in Turkish society.

Erdogan’s failed Ottomanist aspirations have given rise to a resurgence of secular Turkish nationalism among the younger generation. The Turkish left, with its history of supporting the Palestinian struggle for a nation-state, protests against religious-based policies, now positioning itself against Islamist perspectives. In these circumstances, Ahmet Davutoglu, the former architect of the disastrous West Asian foreign policy, and now the leader of the opposition Future Party, said the following: “I knew a leader, a leader I was proud to be with, a leader who made my heart flutter when he said ‘One minute’ and when everyone was threatening him, I said ‘Mr. Prime Minister, don’t worry. You made history today. We will do what is necessary’ and I made him apologize to Shimon Peres. Today, my heart cannot accept that that leader has been silent for 10 days. My heart does not accept that he did not come out and shout, ‘O Israel’.”

This reflects the sentiments of many AKP supporters when Davutoglu expressed disappointment in Erdogan’s relatively muted response to the Gaza war. Ironically, the Islamist Turkish president’s policy approach today is more realpolitik than the idealism inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood. While some of his supporters at home and abroad may yearn for the fiery rhetoric of the past, Erdogan’s current approach seems to prioritize stability, economic interests, and a balanced foreign policy over Palestine.

Read more …

Who writes these headlines ?

Orban: EU Not Dare to Admit Ukraine Cannot Win on Battlefield (Sp.)

Ukraine will not be able to win on the battlefield, all military experts are already talking about this, but only politicians do not dare to admit it, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday. At the beginning of the conflict, the victory for Kiev seemed like a realistic scenario, but now it is absolutely obvious that this will not work out and the Ukrainians will not win at the front, the prime minister said. “This is what all the military experts say and write, but politicians do not dare say that they chose a bad strategy,” Orban told a Hungarian radio broadcaster. Orban further suggested that the current leadership of the European Union should be replaced, as it is not able to cope with crisis situations.

There are now “not good enough leaders” in Brussels who cannot solve the problems that have arisen in connection with the conflict in Ukraine, the leader said. “Maybe in times of peace, when the water is not rough, the wind is not blowing and you can sail on a boat, they are good leaders. But now, during a storm, huge waves, when pirate ships are encountered, we will not be able to prosper with this leadership, that is for sure. Change is needed in Brussels,” Orban said. Ukraine launched its much-touted counteroffensive attempt early in June, and quickly ran up against solid Russian defenses and minefields. According to the latest data, the Kiev regime lost over 90,000 troops.

Read more …

“..The easing of live-fire rules was proposed by right-wing National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir even before the surprise attack by Hamas on Israel on October 7..”

Israel To Pass Law Allowing State To Kill Its Own Citizens (RT)

The Israeli government is set to allow police to use live fire against protesting Israeli citizens who block roads or entrances to towns during the “multi-front war” being waged by the country, public broadcaster Kan has reported. Under the new rules, the police will only need permission from a senior officer before shooting to kill, the broadcaster said on Thursday. Israeli Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara has already agreed to fast-track the legislation, which might be introduced as soon as Sunday, it added. The easing of live-fire rules was proposed by right-wing National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir even before the surprise attack by Hamas on Israel on October 7, in which 1,400 people were killed by Palestinian militants.

Ben Gvir told Kan in early October that he was “not ashamed to act, to make it so that it will be easier for our police officers to shoot those who threaten them.”According to the minister, changing the rules is “very important” as it would protect officers and allow them to carry out their duties more effectively. Kan had previously reported that the police leadership and National Security Ministry had been concerned that Israeli citizens of Arab origin could block army convoys in case of a military escalation with the Palestinians or with Lebanese armed group Hezbollah. Arabs make up 21% of Israel’s population of 9.8 million, according to government data.

The discussions stemmed from the outbreaks of violence in cities with mixed Arab-Jewish populations in May 2021 during Israel’s 11-day war with Gaza, the report said. Israeli police currently rely on non-lethal means to disperse riots and can only employ live rounds if they feel that their life is in danger. Such rules were introduced after large-scale protests and inter-communal violence in Israel in October 2000, during which 12 Arab Israelis and one Palestinian were killed, and an Israeli Jew lost his life after his car was stoned by Arab rioters. The commission that investigated the police response to the unrest ruled that the use of live fire against the demonstrators had been inappropriate.

Read more …

“..the commanders in the field made difficult decisions – including shelling houses on their occupants in order to eliminate the terrorists along with the hostages.”

Israel Military Shelled Israeli Citizens With Tanks, Missiles on Oct. 7 (GZ)

Israel’s military received orders to shell Israeli homes and even their own bases as they were overwhelmed by Hamas militants on October 7. How many Israeli citizens said to have been “burned alive” were actually killed by friendly fire. Several new testimonies by Israeli witnesses to the October 7 Hamas surprise attack on southern Israel adds to growing evidence that the Israeli military killed its own citizens as they fought to neutralize Palestinian gunmen. Tuval Escapa, a member of the security team for Kibbutz Be’eri, set up a hotline to coordinate between kibbutz residents and the Israeli army. He told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that as desperation began to set in, “the commanders in the field made difficult decisions – including shelling houses on their occupants in order to eliminate the terrorists along with the hostages.”

A separate report published in Haaretz noted that the Israeli military was “compelled to request an aerial strike” against its own facility inside the Erez Crossing to Gaza “in order to repulse the terrorists” who had seized control. That base was filled with Israeli Civil Administration officers and soldiers at the time. These reports indicate that orders came down from the military’s high command to attack homes and and other areas inside Israel, even at the cost of many Israeli lives. An Israeli woman named Yasmin Porat confirmed in an interview with Israel Radio that the military “undoubtedly” killed numerous Israeli noncombatants during gun battles with Hamas militants on October 7. “They eliminated everyone, including the hostages,” she stated, referring to Israeli special forces.

As David Sheen and Ali Abunimah reported in Electronic Intifada, Porat described “very, very heavy crossfire” and Israeli tank shelling, which led to many casualties among Israelis. While being held by the Hamas gunmen, Porat recalled, “They did not abuse us. We were treated very humanely… No one treated us violently.” She added, “The objective was to kidnap us to Gaza, not to murder us.” According to Haaretz, the army was only able to restore control over Be’eri after admittedly “shelling” the homes of Israelis who had been taken captive. “The price was terrible: at least 112 Be’eri residents were killed,” the paper chronicled. “Others were kidnapped. Yesterday, 11 days after the massacre, the bodies of a mother and her son were discovered in one of the destroyed houses. It is believed that more bodies are still lying in the rubble.”

Much of the shelling in Be’eri was carried out by Israeli tank crews. As a reporter for the Israeli Foreign Ministry-sponsored outlet i24 noted during a visit to Be’eri, “small and quaint homes [were] bombarded or destroyed,” and “well-maintained lawns [were] ripped up by the tracks of an armored vehicle, perhaps a tank.” Apache attack helicopters also figured heavily in the Israeli military’s response on October 7. Pilots have told Israeli media they scrambled to the battlefield without any intelligence, unable to differentiate between Hamas fighters and Israeli noncombatants, and yet determined to “empty the belly” of their war machines. “I find myself in a dilemma as to what to shoot at, because there are so many of them,” one Apache pilot commented.

Read more …

“..a major international meeting of security officials..”

China To Snub Zelensky’s ‘Peace’ Meeting – Bloomberg (RT)

China is likely to skip a major international meeting of security officials in Malta this week devoted to resolving the Ukraine conflict, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. The gathering, which is expected to be attended by representatives of more than 50 nations, will revolve around the Kiev-backed “peace formula” that is rejected by Moscow. According to people familiar with the matter interviewed by the agency, participants in the summit, which will be held on Saturday and Sunday, will include, among others, members of the G7 Group, Qatar, South Africa, India, and Türkiye, while several other countries, such as Brazil and Chile, are expected to join online. Andrey Yermak, the head of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s office, said on Friday that it would address several points of Kiev’s “peace formula,” including food, energy and nuclear security, humanitarian issues, as well as “the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity.”

The ten-point plan, which was first floated by Zelensky last year, also demands that Russia withdraw its troops from territory that Ukraine claims as its own, and calls for the establishment of a tribunal to prosecute Moscow for alleged war crimes. Russia has repeatedly dismissed the proposal as unacceptable, calling it a sign that Ukraine was not serious about the talks. Bloomberg notes that Beijing’s possible no-show at the meeting would be a “disappointment” for Zelensky, who had hoped to drum up support for his initiative at a summit that is seen as a platform for Ukrainian officials to make a pitch to countries that have remained largely neutral on the conflict.

The Malta summit is set to follow similar gatherings in Denmark in June, and in Saudi Arabia in August. While Russia was not present at either, China attended the latter with Beijing’s Foreign Ministry saying at the time that it helped “to consolidate international consensus.” Moscow has said that it sees no value in Ukraine peace talks that exclude Russia. Commenting specifically on the Malta summit on Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called it “pointless and counterproductive,” adding that those who designed the summit’s format rely on “blackmail and threats” to lure in as many neutral countries as possible. Since the onset of the Ukraine conflict, China has refused to join Western sanctions against Moscow, suggesting that the crisis was partly caused by NATO’s expansion after the end of the Cold War.

Read more …

“.. the EU’s strategy for Kiev “has failed” because Ukrainians will not win on the front lines and Russian President Vladimir Putin will not go away..”

Hungary, Slovakia Blocked €50 Billion Ukraine Aid – Politico (RT)

The prime ministers of Hungary and Slovakia opposed a €50 billion ($52.8 billion) aid package for Ukraine during the European Union summit on Thursday, Politico reported, citing an unnamed diplomat. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban reportedly argued that the bloc’s support for Kiev isn’t working, while Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico referred to concerns over corruption in Ukraine. On Friday, Orban told Kossuth Radio that the EU’s strategy for Kiev “has failed” because Ukrainians will not win on the front lines and Russian President Vladimir Putin will not go away. Fico, who on Wednesday became Slovakia’s prime minister for the fourth time, campaigned on a pledge to end military support for Ukraine and criticized sanctions on Russia. Commenting on the EU summit, Fico wrote on Facebook that “Slovakia will have its own opinion in Brussels from today.”

He also noted that he had informed European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen that “the new Slovak government will not support Ukraine militarily,” and will focus only on humanitarian aid. Following Fico’s appointment as prime minister, Orban has gained an apparent ally in his stance against Brussels over the Ukraine conflict. Last week, the Hungarian prime minister met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The move prompted an “emergency meeting” of NATO envoys in Budapest over “deepening relations” between the EU state and Moscow. Speaking to the press after arriving for a summit of EU leaders in Brussels on Thursday, Orban insisted he was proud to have good relations with Moscow, adding that while most bloc members were pursuing a “war strategy,” Hungary had a “peace strategy.”

Securing Western support has also become more challenging for Kiev, whose counteroffensive is “six to nine months behind schedule,” according to Mikhail Podoliak, a senior adviser to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. Since October 7, when the Hamas-Israel conflict escalated violently, Ukraine has faced potential competition for aid and attention from the West. As President Joe Biden’s administration struggles to win approval from US lawmakers for additional military and economic aid to Ukraine, this week a group of Republican senators introduced a bill to split aid to Israel from the money for Kiev. Senator Roger Marshall, who is sponsoring the legislation, argued that help for Israel should not be used as leverage to send tens of billions of dollars to Ukraine.

Read more …

Note: it’s the Ukraine aid that is the problem, not the Israel aid. Almost funny. Opinions overtaken by reality.

Speaker Johnson Plans Separate Votes On Ukraine, Israel Aid (ZH)

In what would be a major setback for the War Party’s increasingly desperate effort to perpetuate the proxy war against Russia in Ukraine, new Speaker of the House Mike Johnson says he wants to break up President Biden’s $106 billion funding request that combines controversial Ukraine aid with widely-supported funding for Israel. Johnson told Fox News on Thursday that he’s met with Biden and has informed White House officials that “our consensus among House Republicans is we need to bifurcate those issues.” Reflecting growing Republican legislator skepticism about the Ukraine war — and sagging support among citizens of all political stripes — Johnson said, “We want to know what the object is there, what is the end game in Ukraine. The White House has not provided that.”

Biden’s $106 billion funding request, which packages aid to Ukraine and Israel with other vote-baiting allocations, was preceded by a rare Oval Office address in which Biden made the case for pouring more weapons and money into both countries. In addition to saying the aid was necessary to defend two democracies, Biden added a new spin to his Ukraine war pitch by saying the spending would be a boon to US arms manufacturers. sTacking Israel aid to the Ukraine request is a political play: The great majority of both Republican and Democratic legislators would hate to be on the record as voting against Israel aid. Of the $106 billion, $61.4 billion would go to Ukraine — where President Volodymyr Zelensky’s much-hyped 2023 counteroffensive resulted in a net loss of territory to Russia — and just $14.3 billion would end up Israel.

Biden’s combo package is also in danger in the Senate. On Thursday, a group of GOP senators introduced a stand-alone bill that would only authorize money for Israel, and none for Ukraine. “My colleagues and I firmly believe that any aid to Israel should not be used as leverage to send tens of billions of dollars to Ukraine,” said Kansas Senator Roger Marshall. He sponsored the Israel bill along with Ohio Senator J.D. Vance, Texas’s Ted Cruz and Utah’s Mike Lee. That goes against the wishes of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who, like Biden, wants to leverage the Israel lobby’s grip on legislators as a means of forcing his colleagues into voting for Ukraine money. The practice of pushing all-in-one mega-bills in front of legislators for a straight up-or-down vote without amendments is one of the grievances that led to the ouster of former speaker Kevin McCarthy. By breaking up Biden’s requests, new Speaker Johnson can also claim that he’s moving the House toward better governance. We’ll see how long that lasts.

Read more …

“We are going to follow the truth where it leads, engage in due process… The evidence is coming together.”

Biden Likely Guilty of ‘Impeachable Offenses’ – Speaker (Sp.)

Newly-elected House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson weiged in on the ongoing congressional probe into Joe Biden’s alleged influence-peddling abroad, and the GOP efforts to impeach the Democratic POTUS. Evidence may prove that US President Joe Biden committed “impeachable offenses,” the Louisiana Republican who was recently elected House Speaker has stated. “If in fact all the evidence leads to where we believe it will, that’s very likely impeachable offenses, that’s listed as a cause for impeachment in the Constitution… Bribery, and other high crimes and misdemeanors,” Mike Johnson stated in a US media interview. Johnson, who himself sits on the House Judiciary Committee, referenced James Comer (R-Ky.), Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, and his investigation, emphasizing that documents and bank records accumulated were the reason why the House shifted into the impeachment inquiry stage on the US President, adding: “We are going to follow the truth where it leads, engage in due process… The evidence is coming together.”

Further along in the interview the host voiced the view, shared by increasingly many House GOP and rank-and-file Americans, as per polls, that 80-year-old President Joe Biden has been struggling cognitively. To this, Mike Johnson agreed, and responded by referring to this as a “concerning reality.” “If you look at a tape of Joe Biden making an argument in the Senate Judiciary Committee a few years ago and you see a speech that he delivers now, there’s a difference. Again, it’s not a personal insult to him. It’s just reality,” stated Johnson. The new gavel-holder in the House also summed up his current vision of the Biden administration as a “failed presidency.” Regarding Johnson’s determination to proceed further with the GOP resolve to impeach Joe Biden, Rep. Andy Ogles of Tennessee told US media that in his opinion the new Speaker “is more than happy to move forward, and will move forward, and the only question is the timeline.” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene agreed, adding: “I definitely think he’ll be supportive.”

Mike Johnson

Read more …

“It is the type of blind purpose that leads — as it did in the McDonnell case — to a unanimous ruling against you on an otherwise divided Supreme Court.“

AG Garland Should Rein in Jack Smith’s War on Free Speech (Turley)

In 2016, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion overturning a conviction that the Department of Justice (DOJ) had seemed willing to secure at whatever cost to the rule of law. The case involved the prosecution of former governor Bob McDonnell (R-Va.), and the lead DOJ prosecutor was now-special counsel Jack Smith. The court dismissed the “tawdry tales” offered by the DOJ and declared that it was far more concerned with the damage that Smith was causing to the legal system with his virtually limitless interpretation of criminality. The rebuke came to mind this week as Smith continued his unrelenting effort to gag former president Donald Trump before the 2024 election. Some of us have previously denounced the gag order issued by U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan as unconstitutional, but even that order was more limited than what Smith had demanded.

Even the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a leading critic of Trump, has come out against Smith’s efforts as an attack on the First Amendment. Undeterred, Smith now wants to reinstate and expand the gag on Trump, citing Trump’s comments about his former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, who reportedly has been given an immunity deal by Smith. (Meadows’ lawyer disputes those reports.) Smith wants to bar Trump from criticizing any witnesses as well as the prosecution and the court. That would include criticisms of former Vice President Mike Pence, currently one of his opponents for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, on his allegations linked to the earlier election. Of course, gagging Trump will not materially affect the jury pool in the case. The Smith prosecutions are one of the biggest issues in this election.

Moreover, it will not protect potential witnesses from withering criticism in the middle of an election that could turn on the public view of these cases. Indeed, Smith has insisted on trying Trump before the election but now also wants to prevent him from speaking fully about the case before the election. Trump alone would be gagged, even as other politicians and pundits debate the merits of the cases and the countervailing allegations of the weaponization of the criminal justice system. The prior order issued by Judge Chutkan is shockingly vague and overbroad. It bars Trump from “targeting” Smith or his staff or potential witnesses or the “substance of their testimony.” It leaves an undefined and uncertain line as Trump campaigns on what he (and millions of citizens) view as the abuse of the criminal justice system to target President Biden’s main political opponent.

Smith would add to the scope and ambiguity of the order in his latest motion. He is arguing that the court should “modify the defendant’s conditions of release … by clarifying that the existing condition barring communication with witnesses about the facts of the case includes indirect messages to witnesses made publicly on social media or in speeches.” Consider that for a moment: Smith would treat comments about witnesses, such as Meadows or Pence, as an effort to communicate with a witness. Thus, Smith continues to litigate with a sense of utter abandon, showing his signature lack of concern for the implications of his legal arguments. It is the type of blind purpose that leads — as it did in the McDonnell case — to a unanimous ruling against you on an otherwise divided Supreme Court.

Read more …

Wishful thinking?! The case continues… He’s now called for Ivanka to appear…

President Trump Destroys NYC Judge Engoron After Case Collapses (GP)

President Trump used his Constitutional right to Free Speech on Friday to go off on the crooked Judge Arthur Engoron, New York State Attorney General Letitia James for continuing this lawfare suit against President Trump and his family after the star witness testified this week that there is zero evidence that President Trump misrepresented the value of his assets to gain business loans for his company. There is no victim in this lawsuit. President Trump paid off each loan and the banks admitted they would readily loan him money for future projects. Engoron is the same bizarre and unhinged judge who opened the garbage trial against Donald Trump and his business empire by giggling to the cameras.

The case never should have been filed. This is lawfare at its worst. The prosecution even had the gall to suggest that Mar-a-Lago, one of the most expensive properties in the world, was only worth $18 million. This judge and this lawsuit is a sick joke. It appears the only criminal activity in the case was by Letitia James after she misrepresented the numbers and filed an outrageously dishonest suit against Trump and his business empire with no evidence. Trump went off on Truth Social on Friday, saying the judge “HAS GONE CRAZY IN HIS HATRED OF “TRUMP.”

President Donald Trump: The Attorney General case against me in New York State just lost its STAR witness, SleazeBag former attorney Michael Cohen (he was disbarred for lying, and more!), who admitted to lying in this case and clearly stated that I did nothing wrong. The unhinged Judge, a highly political and fully biased Trump Hater, refused to dismiss this HOAX of a case, and has lost all CREDIBILITY. Likewise, he refuses to accept the decision of the Appeals Court, a first in New York. He should be ashamed of himself for having ruled against me before the trial even started, and for not dismissing this RIGGED WITCH HUNT now that the facts are known and that their star witness has been totally discredited, actually ADMITTING TO LYING. It is a Travesty of Justice for all to see. Businesses are fleeing “the least business friendly State in the Nation!” Racist Attorney General Letitia James should focus on record setting Murder and other Violent Crimes, something she cares, or knows, nothing about!

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Yeadon

 

 

 

 

Shoebill

 

 

Strandbeest Roboticss
https://twitter.com/i/status/1718162059504787517

 

 

Sound waves

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 272023
 
 October 27, 2023  Posted by at 8:30 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  45 Responses »


Peter Paul Rubens Saturn devouring one of his sons 1636

 

Netanyahu Dragging US Into War With Iran to Save His Political Career (Tweedie)
US Will ‘Not Be Spared’ If Israel-Hamas War Escalates – Iran (RT)
US Launches Strikes in Syria After Targeted Attacks On US Troops (DeMartino)
Israel and US Fear New Humiliation in Ground Invasion of Gaza (Tweedie)
Lavrov Blasts US Bid to Monopolize Mideast Settlement (Sp.)
Escalations Might All Fuse Into ‘One’ (Alastair Crooke)
Hamas Delegation Arrives In Moscow As Russia Blames US For Escalation (ZH)
Full-Dress Irrationality (Patrick Lawrence)
US Reportedly Changes “Sales Pitch” on Ukraine Aid (Sp.)
Orban ‘Proud’ Of Dialogue With Russia (RT)
Hungary Says Energy Security ‘Impossible’ Without Russia (RT)
Prosecutor Says FBI Resisted Investigation Of Biden Bribery Claim (JTN)
ACLU Declares Trump Gag Order to be Unconstitutional (AG)
Trump Planning To Withdraw US From NATO – Media (RT)

 

 

 

 

Gideon Levy

 

 

Tucker

 

 

 

 

Lula

 

 

Sen. Kennedy

 

 

 

 

Gaetz

 

 

Johnson/Mayorkas

 

 

 

 

“Netanyahu had good reason to allow the situation to erupt on October 7 and to escalate it further, as he was “not in control” of the more extreme members of his coalition government while also facing criminal charges when he leaves office..” “Netanyahu could make this an endless war just to stay in office and to protect himself personally.”

Netanyahu Dragging US Into War With Iran to Save His Political Career (Tweedie)

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu is facing calls to resign over the apparent failure of his government and security services to predict and head off the guerrilla incursion and rocket barrage by Hamas and other Palestinian groups from the besieged Gaza Strip into southern Israel. US President Joe Biden flew to Israel to back Netanyahu following his vow to invade Gaza and “destroy” Hamas, and has sent two US Navy aircraft carrier strike groups and a US Marine amphibious assault group to the region to “deter” other nations from intervening on the Palestinian side. US bases in Iraq and Syria have been attacked 14 times since Israel began its latest bombing campaign against Gaza in preparation for an eventual ground assault. The Biden administration has accused Iran of being behind those attacks by Iraqi militias — originally armed by the US and trained by Iran to fight Daesh* — and has threatened Tehran with dire consequences if they continue.

Security expert Michael Maloof told Sputnik that could dangerously up the ante in a conflict that was already out of control. “So far, they’ll respond to individual attacks. That’ll be it. But what I’m concerned about is that the US is just going to take off and start bombing all over the place and escalate this thing even more,” Maloof warned. “It does represent an escalation to attack US troops, by the way, who are in Syria illegally. They had an invitation into Iraq, but I think they’ve clearly overstayed their welcome.” He said that the White House seemed to be concerned about how the conflict was broadening, but “doesn’t know how to stop it.” “Netanyahu is calling the shots and and the president just a few hours ago basically said that he’s asked for a delay in any invasion,” Maloof noted, “but he can’t control basically tell Netanyahu what to do. And that gives that gives Netanyahu a lot of power to drag us into a conflict that we’re clearly reluctant to get involved in.”

He pointed out that the network of US military bases across the Middle East were just as much of a potential target for Iran, Lebanon’s Hezbollah or the Yemeni Ansarallah government as they were a threat to them — leaving the American personnel there hostages to fortune whose deaths could trigger a wider war. “The game is on, and this this really fulfils Netanyahu’s long passion to get the US engaged. Ultimately, the ultimate goal of Netanyahu is Iran,” Maloof said. Lebanon’s Hezbollah is already in a low-intensity conflict on Israel’s northern border and threatening to open a full-blown second front if Netanyahu launches his Gaza offensive. The Israeli air force has made several missile attacks on airports in the Syrian capital Damascus and the northern city of Aleppo, ostensibly to prevent Iran flying in troops and weapons, while also accusing Syria of shelling IDF positions in the occupied Golan Heights area.
The security advisor said Biden was leading the US into another military fiasco on Israel’s heels.

“This is all a self-made disaster at the hands of the Biden administration. It just didn’t have to be,” Maloof stressed. “And now we’re reaching a point where Israel, as we now know, could be extinguished if the Sunnis and the Shia unite and take on Israel all at once in a swarm approach from all directions.” He said Netanyahu had good reason to allow the situation to erupt on October 7 and to escalate it further, as he was “not in control” of the more extreme members of his coalition government while also facing criminal charges when he leaves office. “Netanyahu could make this an endless war just to stay in office and to protect himself personally.” Maloof argued. “There’s clear evidence now that he knew, he had information and intelligence that Hamas […] was planning an action. He was warned, but he let it happen.”

Old Testament
https://twitter.com/i/status/1717460569601475007

Read more …

“This is our home and West Asia is our region. We do not compromise with any party and any side..”

US Will ‘Not Be Spared’ If Israel-Hamas War Escalates – Iran (RT)

The US will “not be spared from this fire” if Israel’s “genocide” against the Palestinian people continues, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told the UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday. “I say frankly to the American statesmen and military forces who are now managing the genocide in Palestine, that we do not welcome the expansion of the war in this region,” Amir-Abdollahian said in his address. “But I warn [that] if the genocide in Gaza continues, they will not be spared from this fire,” he continued. “This is our home and West Asia is our region. We do not compromise with any party and any side and have no reservations when it comes to our home’s security.”

US President Joe Biden has pledged that Washington will “stand forever” with Israel, and is currently pushing Congress to authorize a $14 billion package of military aid for the Jewish state. Meanwhile, the US has positioned two aircraft carrier groups and other naval assets, a squadron of F-16 fighter jets, air defense systems, and 900 troops to the Middle East since Hamas militants launched their surprise attack on Israel on October 7. Biden and his officials have declared that these deployments are intended to dissuade Iran from getting involved in the conflict, either directly or by instructing Hezbollah forces in Lebanon. Tehran, however, has argued that Washington’s full-throated backing of West Jerusalem makes escalation more likely.

“It’s a great shame that the American president announced that the US would dispatch hundreds of planes, ships and trucks filled with military equipment to the occupied territories to support the mass murder that Israel is committing in Gaza but has managed to coordinate plans for only 20 trucks carrying humanitarian aid to enter the besieged enclave,” Amir-Abdollahian said on Sunday. “If the US and the Israeli regime do not stop their crimes against humanity immediately, there will be a possibility of anything at any moment and the region may spin out of control,” he added. Speaking to Al Jazeera last week, Amir-Abdollahian cautioned that an Israeli ground operation in Gaza – which the Israeli military has been preparing to launch for weeks – would result in “many other fronts being opened.”

Read more …

“..19 of them, were classified as “traumatic brain injuries” and all have since returned to service..”

US Launches Strikes in Syria After Targeted Attacks On US Troops (DeMartino)

Earlier in the day, the Pentagon confirmed that 21 US personnel suffered minor injuries from 16 attacks that began on October 17. Most of those injuries, 19 of them, were classified as “traumatic brain injuries” and all have since returned to service. The US has placed blame for the attacks on “Iranian-backed militia groups.” The US Department of Defense revealed late Thursday that forces had fired strikes against two facilities in Syria following earlier attacks against American and allied troops in Iraq and Syria. “Today, at President [Joe] Biden’s direction, US military forces conducted self-defense strikes on two facilities in eastern Syria used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and affiliated groups,” the release said on Thursday.

“These precision self-defense strikes are a response to a series of ongoing and mostly unsuccessful attacks against US personnel in Iraq and Syria by Iranian-backed militia groups that began on October 17.” The release underscored that the US strikes were not related to the Palestine-Israel conflict. The statement added that the US does not seek an escalation of the conflict in Palestine. “These narrowly-tailored strikes in self-defense were intended solely to protect and defend US personnel in Iraq and Syria. They are separate and distinct from the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, and do not constitute a shift in our approach to the Israel-Hamas conflict,” the release said. Information on the specific targets hit by US forces has not been provided. A US journalist reported that a pair of F-16 fighter jets were used in the attack. The reporter claims, citing US officials, that the attacks hit ammunition depots near Abu Kamal on the eastern Syria border with Iraq.

There have been no reports of fatalities or injuries, and it is unknown if anyone was inside the facilities when the strikes were launched. Earlier Thursday, Pentagon Press Secretary Pat Ryder said the US has, or was in the process of, deploying around 900 troops to the Middle East to bolster security in the area. He did not provide details on where the troops were going specifically, only confirming they would not be deployed to Israel. Ryder further stated that a US response to the attacks would come “at the time and place of our choosing.” Also Thursday, Biden reiterated that he sent a message to Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, warning against strikes on US troops. The remark came after the US president earlier noted he had filed to the Ayatollah that retaliation might be forthcoming. “My warning to the Ayatollah was that if they continue to move against those troops, we will respond, and he should be prepared. It has nothing to do with Israel,” Biden said at a conference with visiting Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Wednesday.

Read more …

“..it’s quite possible that Israel wants to delay because they want to bomb Gaza as much as possible and starve Gaza as much as possible to make any ground invasion easier.”

Israel and US Fear New Humiliation in Ground Invasion of Gaza (Tweedie)

Israel’s threatened ground offensive in Gaza is still on hold, almost three weeks after the devastating Hamas raid into southern Israel. Independent journalist Sam Husseini and veteran war correspondent Elijah Magnier argued that fear of another defeat was holding Israel back. Israel fears a second military defeat by Hamas if it goes ahead with an offensive to destroy the Palestinian group and free hundreds of hostages, two journalists say.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called up some 350,000 military reservists after a surprise Hamas attack from the Gaza Strip left almost 300 Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) troops and over 1,000 civilians dead, with more than 200 taken captive. Earlier this week, US media reported that US President Joe Biden’s government was pressuring Israel to delay its ground invasion in the hope of negotiating the release of dual US-Israeli nationals taken hostage there by the Hamas movement.

But journalist Sam Husseini told Sputnik that it was not Washington holding the IDF back, but Israel’s fear of taking heavy casualties in the assault. “I’m not positive that Israel wants to go in sooner rather than later,” Husseini said. “That seems to be the case, but it’s quite possible that Israel wants to delay because they want to bomb Gaza as much as possible and starve Gaza as much as possible to make any ground invasion easier.” He said Netanyahu’s vow to destroy Hamas in return for the October 7 attacks was merely a “pretext” for ethnic cleansing and a land-grab. “Israel is doing what it’s long wanted to do, which is to go after the civilian Palestinian population, to decimate Palestinian society as much as possible in order to drive out more and more Palestinians from their lands so they can take it, so they can take the resources, the gas reserves off the coast of Gaza, for example, as well as just another ethnic cleansing as they did in 1948, 1967,” Husseini said.

He also focussed on the release of two elderly Israeli women held hostage by Hamas in Gaza. One of the women, Yukhfed Livshitz, told reporters how the militants had treated her and others humanely and with dignity, promising not to harm them and even bringing a doctor to check on them every few days. The journalist said that surprising turn of events was the motive for the IDF’s “Hannibal Directive” that an Israeli is “better dead than abducted” by Israel’s enemies. “Israel basically says we’re going to kill anyone Hamas or any other Palestinian group takes hostage,” Husseini stressed. “The standard interpretation of that has been that they don’t want Hamas to take to be taking people in that to be leverage over Israel. But there’s another interpretation, which is that they don’t want these people to come out alive to say Hamas treated us perfectly fine.”

Read more …

“..such a state was “promised to the Palestinian people 75 years ago.”

Lavrov Blasts US Bid to Monopolize Mideast Settlement (Sp.)

Russia’s top diplomat Sergey Lavrov participated in a Minsk-hosted conference on Eurasian security and delivered a speech on today’s most pressing foreign policy issues. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed in his speech that Washington’s attempt to “monopolize the Middle East settlement process has led to a catastrophic situation.” He vehemently denounced terrorist attacks and any other actions that cause harm to civilian populations or that otherwise violate international humanitarian law. In addition, he urgently called for an immediate ceasefire. However, he added that the negotiations on “establishing a sovereign Palestinian state” must start and highlighted that such a state was “promised to the Palestinian people 75 years ago.” Foreign Minister Lavrov dismissed Ukraine’s attempts to secure unilateral security guarantees, stating that they are all in vain.

“The Kiev regime’s attempts to secure unilateral security guarantees from its Western masters are also futile. This also suggests that the goal is to tear Russia and Belarus away from the arrangements that the West subsequently wants to build on the continent,” Lavrov said at a high-level international conference dubbed “Eurasian Security: Reality and Prospects in a Transforming World.” The West has demolished the system of confidence-building measures and arms control in Europe, the diplomacy chief said, referring to the US withdrawal from the treaties on missile defense, and on the prohibition of intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles, among other things. “Mounting strategic risks are created due to the forward deployment of American nuclear weapons in a number of European countries and the implementation of so-called joint nuclear missions. This has an extremely destabilizing effect. Against the backdrop of a general increase in threats from NATO, it forces us to resort to compensatory measures,” Lavrov stressed.

Read more …

“..Israeli military leaders are actually more hawkish than the prime minister now. They are red with rage and determined to deliver a blow to Hamas that the whole neighbourhood will never forget”.

Escalations Might All Fuse Into ‘One’ (Alastair Crooke)

Tom Friedman uttered his dire warning in the New York Times on Thursday last: “I believe that if Israel rushes headlong into Gaza now [unilaterally] to destroy Hamas — it will be making a grave mistake that will be devastating for Israeli interests and American interests”. “It could trigger a global conflagration and explode the entire pro-American alliance structure that the U.S. has built…I am talking about the Camp David peace treaty, the Oslo peace accords, the Abraham Accords and the possible normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia. The whole thing could go up in flames. “Unfortunately, the senior U.S. official told [Friedman], Israeli military leaders are actually more hawkish than the prime minister now. They are red with rage and determined to deliver a blow to Hamas that the whole neighbourhood will never forget”.

Friedman here is talking, of course, about an American alliance system, pivoted around the idea of Israel’s military prowess being invincible – the ‘Little NATO’ paradigm that acts as the essential substrata for the spread of the American-led Rules Order through West Asia. It is analogous to the substrata of the NATO alliance, whose claimed ‘unchallengeability’ has underpinned U.S. interests in Europe (at least until the Ukraine war). One Israeli Cabinet member put it to the veteran Israeli defence correspondent Ben Caspit that Israel just cannot permit its long-term deterrence being undermined: “This is the most important point — ‘our deterrence’”, the senior war Cabinet source said. “The region must quickly understand that whoever harms Israel the way Hamas did, pays a disproportionate price. There is no other way to survive in our neighbourhood than to exact this price now, because many eyes are fixed on us and most of them do not have our best interests at heart”.

In other words, the Israeli ‘paradigm’ hinges on manifesting overwhelming, crushing force directed to any emerging challenge. This has had its origin in the U.S. insistence that Israel have both the political leading-edge (all strategic decisions lay with Israel uniquely under Oslo), and equally, that it has the military cutting leading-edge over all its neighbours too. Despite being presented as such, this is not a formula by which to reach any sustainable, peaceful accord by which the 1947 UNGA Resolution 181 (the division of Mandate-era Palestine) into two states can be reached. Rather, Israel under the Netanyahu government has been moving closer and closer to an eschatological founding of Israel on the (Biblical) ‘Land of Israel’ – a move that expunges Palestine totally.

It is no coincidence that Netanyahu flourished a map of Israel during his General Assembly address last month in which Israel dominated from the River to the Sea – and Palestine (indeed any Palestinian territory) was non-existent. Tom Friedman in his NYT reflections may fear that just as NATO’s impaired performance in Ukraine has ruptured ‘the NATO myth’, so too the 7 October Israeli military and intelligence collapse and what happens in its wake in Gaza ‘might explode the entire pro-American alliance structure’ in the Middle East. The confluence of two such humiliations might break the spine of western primacy. This seems to be the gist to Friedman’s analysis. (He likely is correct).

Nap Crooke

Read more …

“Will Russia press the delegation to release more captives? Likely this is high on the agenda for Moscow.”

Hamas Delegation Arrives In Moscow As Russia Blames US For Escalation (ZH)

In a somewhat unexpected development, a delegation of Hamas leaders have arrived in Moscow for talks, the Russian Foreign Ministry has confirmed Thursday evening (local time). “I can confirm that representatives of the [Hamas] Palestinian movement are visiting Moscow,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a press briefing, vowing to provide relevant details as the talks unfold. The visit had not been previously announced by either side, and the Hamas delegation is being led by a senior member of the group, Moussa Abu Marzouk. Hamas is a designated terror organization in the US, European Union, and some other countries; but it has official relations with countries like Iran, Turkey, Syria, and now apparently Russia.

Russia, however, has said it remains willing to talk to all sides of the conflict in hopes of achieving ceasefire and peace. After the US exit from Afghanistan, Moscow had similarly hosted a Taliban delegation. It’s as yet unclear whether Russia’s top diplomat, Sergei Lavrov, will meet with the Hamas representatives, given he’s said to currently be in Minsk. RIA Novosti has reported that Hamas has during opening meetings with Russian officials “commended Putin’s position and the efforts of Russia’s diplomacy.” The Kremlin has said it is engaged in crisis diplomacy talks with both the Hamas and Israeli sides, at a moment that over 220 hostages are still being held in Gaza. Four have been released thus far, including two Americans, due in large part to the mediation of Qatar. Will Russia press the delegation to release more captives? Likely this is high on the agenda for Moscow.

Just days ago Russia blamed the United States for stoking escalation by positioning Navy warships in the Mediterranean near Israel. FM Lavrov said Monday during a meeting in Tehran that “the more a state takes this kind of proactive measures, the greater the risk and the danger of an escalation of the conflict”. He called out Washington as “already among the countries intervening the most” since the October 7 Hamas terror attack. The Biden administration as of course rejected the charge, and blamed Iran for ultimately being behind Hamas and regional terror.

At the UN in New York, Russia and China have also just vetoed US drafted UN Security Council resolution on Gaza. The dueling sides have rejected the proposals of the other given Washington’s pro-Israel stance, and the willingness of Moscow and Beijing to heap criticism on Tel Aviv for the humanitarian crisis and soaring death toll among Palestinians. Turkey has also been a foremost critic of Israel’s assault on Gaza, as the death toll surpasses 7,000 – with President Erdogan blasting the West’s double standard on the crisis.

Read more …

“..all of late-imperium America’s wars: They are money-laundering operations by way of which the taxes Americans pay in the name of national security, global leadership and all the rest is recycled to the military-industrial complex behind the Chinese screen of patriotism..“

Full-Dress Irrationality (Patrick Lawrence)

I am not an economist and I don’t think overmuch about the federal budget, but to me what the national government spends on education is the single most important decision the federal bean counters make if we want to think about the prosperity, safety, and altogether the future of this country, our children and their children, etc. The Education Department’s budget for FY 2024 comes to $90 billion—$15 billion short even of this interim spend on wars and confrontations abroad. To be noted in this connection: of the $105 billion, $61.4 billion goes to Ukraine. Except for one thing: Half of this $61.4 billion does not go to Ukraine. It goes to the Pentagon, which is to say the defense contractors.

An acquaintance told me the other day about a clever adage he saw mounted on someone’s office wall: “The main thing to remember is that the main thing is the main thing.” It is perfectly apropos. And the main thing to remember as we contemplate Biden’s $105 billion is that it will go to one war the U.S. cannot win (Ukraine), to the provocation of another war the U.S. cannot possibly win (with China over Taiwan) and to Israel’s purposely disproportionate violence against Palestinians, the end-point of which we call ethnic cleansing, although you have to wonder how long until we ought to push the vocabulary to the freighted “extermination”? There is no calling this state of affairs rational. I go to Julian Assange’s observation some years ago.

His reference was to Afghanistan, but the thought applies to all of late-imperium America’s wars: They are money-laundering operations by way of which the taxes Americans pay in the name of national security, global leadership and all the rest is recycled to the military-industrial complex behind the Chinese screen of patriotism, high ideals, duty and whatever else people such as Joe Biden come up with. Why else would Washington spend so extravagantly on wars it cannot win and unnecessary confrontations from which it will emerge the loser? Given that the system Julian Assange identified actually works even as it claims unspeakable numbers of lives and impoverishes American life, there seems only one way to think of it: This is a textbook case of what I call the irrationality of hyperrationality.

Read more …

Good for American jobs…

US Reportedly Changes “Sales Pitch” on Ukraine Aid (Sp.)

US President Joe Biden’s earlier request for $24 billion in aid for Ukraine led to the threat of a government shutdown in September when Republican congressmen refused to approve a budget that included funds for the Kiev regime. The Joe Biden administration is privately speaking to each representative of both political parties in Congress to justify the need for further aid to Ukraine by the fact that it will allegedly become the key to economic growth in the US itself, media reported. The White House aides are “quietly” distributing talking points among the lawmakers to make the case that shoring up the Kiev regime “is good for American jobs,” the outlet reported. “As we replenish our stocks of weapons, we are partnering with the US defense industry to increase our capacity and meet the needs of the US and our allies both now and in the future,” a copy of the talking points obtained by the outlet reads.

The outlet described the talking points as “an implicit recognition” that the Biden administration “has work to do in selling its $106 billion foreign aid supplemental request [announced in POTUS’ speech last week] – and that talking about it squarely under the umbrella of national security interests hasn’t done the trick.” The White House’s apparent change “in sales pitch” comes as the latest opinion polls indicate that Americans are becoming skeptical about Washington’s aid to Kiev and continuing to question Biden’s handling of the US economy. The outlet noted in this regard that some Republicans berate the Biden administration for its “subpar” rhetoric about Ukraine, purportedly adding that the White House should “change its message” in order to gain House GOP support and preserve the stronger backing in the Senate.

An unnamed senior Republican congressional aide was quoted by the outlet as saying that the Biden administration has privately “realized that their messaging on Ukraine specifically has been a disaster […] and that they need to change.” “There has been a bit of effort to help the administration understand that their messaging is wholly inadequate, and they’re using phrases that Republicans don’t respond to, and they’re not making convincing arguments,” the aide added. The remarks came after former State Department diplomat James Carden argued that Biden’s nationally broadcast speech last week, in which he sought broad support for stepping up already huge levels of US aid to Ukraine, was another unthinking, reflexive expression of the globalist mindset that has been destroying the US economy over the past several decades.

Zelya

Tucker

Read more …

“We are the only one who is speaking on behalf and in favor of the peace which would be the interest of everybody in Europe..”

Orban ‘Proud’ Of Dialogue With Russia (RT)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said he is “proud” to maintain good relations with Russia, accusing other European nations of pursuing a “war strategy” that will only stoke more conflict. Speaking to reporters after arriving for an EU leaders’ summit in Brussels on Thursday, Orban explained that his country’s approach differs from the “majority” of the bloc, which has adopted a range of hostile policies targeting Russia since Moscow sent forces into Ukraine in February 2022. “We keep open all the communication lines to the Russians. Otherwise, there will be no chance for peace. This is a strategy. So we are proud of it,” he said, adding that while most EU members follow “a war strategy,” Hungary has “a peace strategy.” The PM’s remarks followed a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Beijing last week, which Orban defended while in Brussels.

“We are the only one who is speaking on behalf and in favor of the peace which would be the interest of everybody in Europe,” he continued. The Hungarian leader has faced criticism over the sit-down with Putin, with Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel saying it amounted to a “middle finger” to Ukrainians. Estonian premier Kaja Kallas also said she would discuss the issue with Orban. While Budapest condemned the Russian military operation in Ukraine soon after it was launched last year, Orban has refused to take part in the US-led sanctions campaign against Moscow, and refused to provide arms to Kiev. The PM previously argued that Western sanctions had “backfired,” saying that Brussels had “shot itself in the foot” following a spike in energy prices across Europe.

Orban has been highly critical of the EU in the past. Speaking to mark the anniversary of Hungary’s failed 1956 uprising against the Soviet Union earlier this week, Orban slammed the bloc as a “bad contemporary parody” of the USSR, saying it has worked to impose a model of liberal democracy that the Hungarian people have rejected. “We had to dance to the tune that Moscow whistled,” Orban said of Hungary’s decades under Soviet control. “Brussels whistles too, but we dance as we want to, and if we don’t want to, then we don’t dance.”

Read more …

“It is the duty and responsibility of the Hungarian government to guarantee safe energy supplies in the country.”

Hungary Says Energy Security ‘Impossible’ Without Russia (RT)

Eastern and Western economies were “exceptionally” mutually dependent for decades, but after severing ties with Russia it is unclear how the EU can remain competitive, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has warned. As an example, he cited electricity prices in the bloc, which are reportedly now three times higher than in China. Speaking at an international conference on Eurasian security in the Belarusian capital Minsk on Thursday, Szijjarto stated that “the success of Western countries is almost impossible to imagine without cooperation with Eastern countries. And the opposite is also true.” The diplomat emphasized that the car industry, which he described as the “backbone of the European economy,” will not be able to enter a “new age” of electric vehicle production without affordable resource supplies.

Szijjarto argued that for decades, a combination of Western technology and affordable Eastern energy had been the “foundation” of the world economy. “And this combination has now fallen apart, unfortunately. As a result, people in Europe now pay four times more for gas. We pay three times more for electricity than people in China. It is difficult to understand how the European economy can be competitive in such conditions,” the minister said. He claimed that over the past year and a half, issues of energy supplies have become “hostage to political debate,” even though energy has nothing to do with politics as it is a matter of “physical reality.”

“It is the duty and responsibility of the Hungarian government to guarantee safe energy supplies in the country. And since it is physically impossible without Russian resources, we will continue to cooperate in reasonable relations with Russia,” Szijjarto said. The diplomat prioritized the resumption of “civilized dialogue” between the East and the West, adding that Hungary is ready to become a point of contact between the two sides.

Read more …

“even ‘simple’ requests to the FBI and DOJ, like ‘extending the assessment,’ required a renewal every 30 days […] it required 17 different people..”

Prosecutor Says FBI Resisted Investigation Of Biden Bribery Claim (JTN)

Former Pittsburgh U.S. Attorney Scott Brady revealed to the House Judiciary Committee that his team found enough credible evidence in its initial review of Hunter Biden’s dealings with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings and possible corruption by Joe Biden to refer criminal matters to three separate U.S. Attorney’s offices in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Delaware for further investigation. But almost immediately after he was assigned by the Justice Department in 2020 to review Biden family matters in Ukraine, Brady said he encountered resistance at both the FBI and the Delaware U.S. Attorney’s office that at times required him to escalate to his bosses in the deputy attorney general’s office. “It was a challenging working relationship,” Brady said of the FBI in testimony earlier this week that was reviewed by Just the News.

“I think there was reluctance on the part of the FBI to really do any tasking related to our assignment from DAG Rosen and looking into allegations of Ukrainian corruption broadly and then specifically anything that intersected with Hunter Biden and his role in Burisma. It was very challenging.” Brady’s testimony emerged the same day that Sen. Chuck Grassley revealed that the FBI had more than 40 informants providing evidence of possible criminality by the Biden family dating back years but that most leaders were shut down, particularly by the FBI’s Washington field office or its New York counter-intelligence office. Brady was critical of the FBI, noting the bureau never told his office it had Hunter Biden’s laptop and had corroborated its contents even as DOJ prosecutors investigated the Ukraine allegations.

“I would have thought that would be something, especially as has been publicly reported, there’s information relating to Hunter Biden’s activities on the board of Burisma in Ukraine, that might have been helpful in our assessment of the information that we were receiving about him. I would have expected that be shared,” he said. Brady said he encountered similar resistance and skepticism as he tried to hand off evidence and investigative leads to Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss and his deputy Lesley Wolf in fall 2020, corroborating similar testimony provided to the House Ways and Means Committee earlier this summer by IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler. “Speaking generally, from a process perspective, I think there was both a skepticism of the information that we were developing, that we had received, and skepticism and then weariness of that information,” Brady said of Weiss’ office. “I think they were very concerned about any information sharing with our office.

[..] Brady said he was struck throughout his work by the FBI’s reluctance to engage in the Hunter Biden probe and the unprecedented layers of approval that FBI headquarters imposed on the agents working for him in Pittsburgh. Brady said that “even ‘simple’ requests to the FBI and DOJ, like ‘extending the assessment,’ required a renewal every 30 days […] it required 17 different people, including mostly at the headquarters level to sign off on it before the assessment could be extended.” He opined that Biden’s role as the Democratic nominee for president in the 2020 election likely played a role in the FBI’s behavior. “Certainly anything related to Ukraine and Ukrainian nationals that intersected with Hunter Biden and his role serving on the Burisma board was sensitive and certainly in 2020, months before an election cycle when different policies kick in for the Department and for the FBI,” he testified.

Read more …

Ask SCOTUS.

ACLU Declares Trump Gag Order to be Unconstitutional (AG)

On Wednesday, the far-left American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) made a surprising statement condemning a federal judge’s attempted gag order on former President Donald Trump. As Politico reports, the ACLU’s statement came as a shock to many who support the group, as it had been one of Trump’s primary enemies during his presidency, frequently suing his administration to block many of his policies. But in a new friend-of-the-court brief, the ACLU agreed with Trump’s assertion that a gag order by U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan is a violation of his First Amendment rights to freedom of speech, as well as a violation of the public’s right to hear him speak. “The obvious and unprecedented public interest in this prosecution, as well as the widespread political speech that it has generated and will continue to generate, only underscores the need to apply the most stringent First Amendment standard to a restraint on Defendant’s speech rights,” the ACLU’s statement read.

The ACLU told Chutkan that she should re-evaluate her order, parts of which the group described as so vague that it was “unknown and perhaps unknowable.” The group focused on one particular portion which forbade President Trump from making any statements that could be perceived as making a “target” out of Special Counsel Jack Smith, the prosecutors, court personnel, or attorneys or witnesses in the case. “Reading the order, Defendant cannot possibly know what he is permitted to say, and what he is not,” the ACLU noted. Chutkan had tried to justify her decision by claiming that Trump’s status as a leading presidential candidate does not make him any different from any other defendant in a criminal case, but the ACLU disagreed, citing the heightened public interest in his case and other legal cases.

“Defendant’s ability to speak publicly about the substance of the prosecution, even including potential witnesses and testimony, is in many ways inextricable from the 2024 presidential campaign in which he is a declared candidate,” the ACLU observed. Judge Chutkan recently agreed to temporarily halt her own gag order as President Trump’s legal team appeals the order itself. President Trump also faces three other cases, with another being in Washington D.C., one being in New York City, and one in Atlanta, Georgia. The cases generally revolve around his efforts to combat voter fraud in the 2020 election, as well as accusations of “inciting insurrection” for his speech to a crowd of peaceful protesters on January 6th, 2021. Despite the dozens of charges he faces, President Trump’s approval ratings have consistently gone up every time a new indictment was announced, both in polling for the GOP presidential primary and for the general election in a head-to-head matchup with Joe Biden.

Read more …

“Starting World War III” over some of the bloc’s smaller members makes no sense, Trump vented to his advisers in mid-2018, arguing that most Americans had never even heard of some of these countries.”

Trump Planning To Withdraw US From NATO – Media (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump has discussed pulling the country out of NATO or dramatically scaling back America’s commitment to the bloc if he wins the 2024 election, Rolling Stone magazine reported on Monday. Citing two sources who allegedly heard him make the comments, Rolling Stone claimed that Trump has expressed openness to leaving NATO altogether, or remaining in the military alliance if its European members increase their defense spending and scrap Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty – which treats an attack on one member state as an attack on all 31. “Starting World War III” over some of the bloc’s smaller members makes no sense, Trump vented to his advisers in mid-2018, arguing that most Americans had never even heard of some of these countries.

Attributed to a ‘former senior administration official’, this anecdote backs up what former National Security Advisor John Bolton told the Washington Post last year: that Trump was ready to announce the US departure from NATO at the bloc’s 2018 summit, but ultimately backed down on Bolton’s advice. “In a second Trump term, I think he may well have withdrawn from NATO,” Bolton said at the time. With conflict raging in Ukraine and NATO’s Eastern European and Baltic members urging the alliance to step up its military aid to Kiev, Trump has repeatedly warned of the likelihood of “World War III” breaking out in Europe. If elected, Trump has promised to cut off military aid to Ukraine and force its president, Vladimir Zelenzky, to negotiate a peace deal with Russia.

In a campaign video released earlier this year, Trump blamed the conflict on “all the warmongers and ‘America Last’ globalists in the Deep State, the Pentagon, the State Department and the national security industrial complex,” who he said were “obsessed with pushing Ukraine towards NATO.” According to Rolling Stone’s sources, Trump has made it clear that his second administration would not be staffed by “NATO lovers.”

The sources said that Trump studied a policy proposal by conservative writer Dr. Sumantra Maitra earlier this year entitled ‘Pivoting the US Away from Europe to a Dormant NATO’ and liked some of its ideas. In the paper, Maitra wrote that “the NATO bureaucracy” is “prone to push missions that are beyond NATO’s core role and, at times, opposed to the domestic interests of the United States. Radically reducing the NATO bureaucracy should be a chief aim.” “He still wants out,” one Trump adviser told Rolling Stone. The aide acknowledged that Trump might not actually follow through on this desire, but “wants a policy team around him nowadays that is much, much tougher on NATO than anything he’s done in the past.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 


The last photo of Muhammad Ali, 2016

 

 

Artificial stone
https://twitter.com/i/status/1717198132574851218

 

 

 

 

Street artist

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 212023
 


Pablo Picasso Les femmes d’Alger 1955

 

US State Department Arms Transfers Chief Resigns Over Israel (RT)
Russia’s Neutrality Ballet On Israel-Palestine (Pepe Escobar)
Scott Ritter: Hamas ‘Laid Trap’ for Israel as US Cannot Replenish Iron Dome (Sp.)
Biden Speech ‘Awkwardly Militaristic, Threatening’ – Former DoD Analyst s(Sp.)
Biden Speech Embodied ‘America Last’ Policy – Ex-Diplomat (Sp.)
Iran’s Missile Program (DD)
Western Leaders Complicit in Israeli War Crimes and Genocide (SCF Op-ed)
White House Proposes To Cut Ukraine Financial Support (RT)
Washington Pressures Israel To Delay Gaza Ground Op – Bloomberg (RT)
Blind Israel Support Makes US Global Pariah – Analyst (Sp.)
How Von Der Leyen Discredited The EU In The Israel-Palestine Conflict (Fomenko)
NATO Envoys Hold ’Emergency Meeting’ Over Putin-Orban Talks – Media (RT)
“The Whole George Floyd Story Was A Lie”: Tucker Carlson (ZH)
The Trump Gag Order Should Be Struck Down (Turley)

 

 

 

 

IDF
https://twitter.com/i/status/1715135551672901890

 

 

Rogan

 

 

 

 

Channel 4

 

 

Brook Jackson
https://twitter.com/i/status/1715408401071530101

 

 

Biden’s request to Congress includes:
$14 billion for Israel
$60 billion for Ukraine
$10 billion for general humanitarian aid
$7 billion for the Indo-Pacific
$100 million for Gaza
$14 billion to process illegals faster at the border

 

 

 

 

A thinking man.

“I believe that in our current course with regards to the continued – indeed, expanded and expedited – provision of lethal arms to Israel – I have reached the end of that bargain..”

US State Department Arms Transfers Chief Resigns Over Israel (RT)

A senior official in the US Department of State responsible for weapons transfers has resigned in protest, stating that Washington’s rush to arm Israel was “shortsighted, destructive, unjust, and contradictory to the very values that we publicly espouse.” Josh Paul had served as the director of the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM) for more than 11 years. On Wednesday, he published his resignation letter on his LinkedIn profile. Huffington Post was the first major news outlet to report it on the same day. Paul said he took the job knowing that it entailed “moral complexity and moral compromises” and strived to make sure that “the harm I might do could be outweighed by the good I could do.” “I believe that in our current course with regards to the continued – indeed, expanded and expedited – provision of lethal arms to Israel – I have reached the end of that bargain,” he explained his decision.

Washington was repeating the same mistakes that it made for decades, he wrote. The policy is “an impulsive reaction built on confirmation bias, political convenience, intellectual bankruptcy, and bureaucratic inertia.” The letter cited Paul’s academic experience in the Middle East and official work with Israel and the Palestinian Authority. He said he had “deep personal ties” to both sides of the conflict, and denounced the biased approach, which he claimed obfuscates wrongdoing by the party that the US is partnered with. Paul condemned the murder of civilians by “terrorists” whether the victims “dance at a rave” or “harvest their olive grove” and the kidnapping of children “whether taken at gunpoint from their kibbutz or taken at gunpoint from their village.”

Collective punishment is an enemy of the desire to build a better world, “whether it involves demolishing one home, or one thousand; as too is ethnic cleansing; as too is occupation; as too is apartheid,” he stated. Violence escalated in the region after the Palestinian militant group Hamas launched a surprise incursion into southern Israel this month, killing hundreds of people and capturing scores of hostages. Paul described the raid as “a monstrosity of monstrosities” in his letter. Israel responded by ramping up its blockade of Gaza and subjecting it to intense bombardment. The Israeli government said it was determined to “obliterate” Hamas. US President Joe Biden visited Israel on the day Paul tendered his resignation letter, pledging to ask Congress to allocate additional aid to meet the ally’s military needs. He will reportedly ask for $10 billion in emergency spending this week.

Read more …

“All three West Asian powers are Muslim-majority states, important affiliations for a multipolar Russia that hosts its own sizable Muslim population.”

Russia’s Neutrality Ballet On Israel-Palestine (Pepe Escobar)

Is it possible that the philo-Semitic Russian President Vladimir Putin is slowly but surely re-evaluating his geopolitical assessment of Israel? To call this the key riddle in Moscow’s corridors of power is actually an understatement. There are no outward signs of such a seismic shift – at least when it comes to the officially “neutral” Russian position on the intractable Israel-Palestine drama. Except for one stunning statement last Friday at the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Summit in Bishkek, when Putin blasted Israel’s “cruel methods” employed to blockade Gaza, and compared it with “the siege of Leningrad during World War Two.” “That’s unacceptable,” declared the Russian president, and warned that when all of Gaza’s 2.2 million civilians “have to suffer, including women and children, it’s hard for anyone to agree with this.”

Putin’s comments may have been one hint at the changes underway in the frustratingly opaque Russia-Israel relationship. A close second is this very important article published last Friday on Vzglyad, a security strategy website close to the Kremlin, diplomatically titled “Why Russia remains neutral in the conflict in the Middle East.” It’s crucial to note that only six months ago and mirroring a near consensus among Russia’s intelligence community, Vzglyad editors were calling for Moscow to shift its considerable political weight toward supporting the number one issue for the Arab and Islamic worlds. The article noted the key points Putin voiced in Bishkek: there’s no alternative to negotiations; Tel Aviv was subjected to a brutal attack and has the right to defend itself; a real settlement is possible only via an independent Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem.

The Russian president favors the UN’s original “two states” solution and believes that a Palestinian state should be established “by peaceful means.” But, as much as the conflict was “a direct result of the failed policy of the United States in the Middle East,” Putin rejects Tel Aviv’s plans to launch a ground operation in Gaza. This qualified hedging is certainly not evidence of Putin swinging to what is a near consensus among the General Staff, the siloviki in several intel agencies, and his ministry of defense: They consider that Israel may be a de facto enemy of the Russian Federation, allied with Ukraine, the US and NATO. Tel Aviv has been extremely cautious not to frontally antagonize Russia in Ukraine, and this may be a direct consequence of the notoriously cordial relations between Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Yet way more consequential than Israel on the geopolitical chessboard are Moscow’s evolving relations with Arab states today, especially OPEC+ partner Saudi Arabia which has helped thwart western efforts to control oil prices. Also highly central to Russia’s regional policymaking is its strategic partnership with Iran, which has reaped dividends in Syria and the Caucasus, and which helps contain US expansionism. Finally, Moscow’s complex, multi-layered, back-and-forth with Ankara is crucial to Russian economic and geopolitical ambitions in Eurasia. All three West Asian powers are Muslim-majority states, important affiliations for a multipolar Russia that hosts its own sizable Muslim population.

Read more …

“..if Hezbollah comes in with everything they have, they will seize northern Israel in its totality, all the way up to the Sea of Galilee. Syria will recapture the Golan Heights, and there isn’t anything Israel can do to stop it.”

Scott Ritter: Hamas ‘Laid Trap’ for Israel as US Cannot Replenish Iron Dome (Sp.)

The US cannot give Israel the arms it needs for a war with Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran — or even maintain its own forces — says a military veteran. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared war on the Hamas movement that rules in the besieged Gaza Strip in the wake of the surprise attack by several allied militant groups on October 7. The incursion and subsequent skirmishes — including with Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas on Israel’s northern border – has left almost 300 Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) troops dead with 200 more held captive in Gaza. around 1,000 Israeli civilians were also killed. That represents Israel’s worst losses since its 1982 invasion of southern Lebanon. Tel Aviv has called up some 350,000 IDF reservists and has bombed Gaza for almost two weeks in preparation for a ground offensive, which Economy Minister Nir Barkat said had been given the “green light” on Thursday.

But that invasion has yet to materialise. Former US Marine and UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter told Sputnik the IDF simply “can’t go into Gaza.” “If they go into Gaza, they will be slaughtered by Hamas who has deliberately set this trap,” Ritter stressed. “Hamas is waiting for them to come in. Hamas will kill them in large numbers.” Along with the risk of heavy casualties in Gaza, Israel is wary of Hezbollah’s threat to launch a major attack from the north if the IDF goes in. “Israel cannot beat Hezbollah,” Ritter argued. “There’s a real likelihood that if Hezbollah comes in with everything they have, they will seize northern Israel in its totality, all the way up to the Sea of Galilee. Syria will recapture the Golan Heights, and there isn’t anything Israel can do to stop it.”

US president Joe Biden visited Tel Aviv on Wednesday to pledge unqualified support to Israel — while endorsing Netanyahu’s claim that it was a stray Islamic Jihad rocket that killed 471 Palestinian refugees at the al-Ahli Baptist hospital in Gaza, not an Israeli bomb or missile. Israel has asked Washington for large quantities of military equipment and munitions, including tens of thousands of 155mm-calibre artillery shells previously earmarked for Ukraine, and as many missiles for its Iron Dome air defense system — used to intercept rockets launched from Gaza — as the US could supply. “Israel has exhausted its Iron Dome. They sent an emergency request to the United States for all of the Iron Dome ammunition we had,” Ritter noted. But while “Israel’s hoping to get several thousand rounds, maybe 10,000 rounds,” all the US could offer was “360-some odd. That’s all we have.”

“Hamas will exhaust that in one night, firing two salvos of 150 rockets each. That’s it,” he warned. “And Hezbollah’s sitting on a stockpile of tens of thousands. And if they fire these… and Israel has nothing to knock them down, that means Hamas will eviscerate Israel will destroy Israel’s leadership capacity, industrial capacity, military capacity.” Ritter said Israel’s leaders had “backed themselves into a corner” by vowing to destroy Hamas, a goal they have failed to achieve several times in the past. “They’ve let their rhetoric get the better of them,” he said, noting that even Biden had told Netanyahu to “calm down.”

Read more …

“..and how great it was that in these wars we support – we don’t have to die in them, that is for the Ukrainians and the Israelis..”

Biden Speech ‘Awkwardly Militaristic, Threatening’ – Former DoD Analyst (Sp.)

Joe Biden’s speech from the Oval Office on Thursday was at once “militaristic”, “threatening”, steeped in “self-aggrandizement”, and permeated with “direct lies”, retired Lt-Col Karen Kwiatkowski, a former analyst for the US Department of Defense, told Sputnik. Joe Biden’s slurred address to the nation, conceived as an impassioned plea to support Israel and Ukraine, also appeared to have been pre-recorded, suggested Kwiatkowski, who noticed a glitch in the footage. It would hardly be surprising if that were the case, bearing in mind how prone the 80-year-old POTUS is for making gaffe-riddled public statements. In his rare address on Thursday, Biden announced he would be sending a budget request to Congress to “fund America’s national security needs.”

By that he meant sending further support to the ongoing NATO proxy war with Russia in Ukraine, and aiding Israel in its fight against Hamas. Previous reports indicated that the additional funding request may include as much as $60 billion in aid to the Kiev regime and a total of $40 billion in aid for Tel Aviv, as well as Taiwan and the US-Mexico border. The US President underscored that the bill he is sending to Congress will help Israel “have what they need” and will “sharpen” their qualitative military edge, including helping to fund their Iron Dome defense system. Biden likened Russia’s military operation in Ukraine to hostilities between Palestine and Israel, and warned that if the US were to step away from aiding Ukraine, “conflict and chaos could spread” abroad.

“That’s why tomorrow I’m going to send to Congress an urgent budget request to fund America’s national security needs – needs to support our critical partners, including Israel and Ukraine. It’s a smart investment that’s gonna pay dividends for American security for generations,” Biden said. Biden’s martial speech making the case for pumping further aid to Ukraine, and for supporting Israel, ended with the words “God protect our troops”, Kwiatkowski pointed out. “It is usually ‘God Bless America’… His ending tonight is unusual, especially given that the wars he is talking about in Ukraine and Israel are not covered by any existing US mutual defense treaties. Congress certainly has not declared war, or even approved US troops – and Biden himself noted that we give this ‘aid’ that he supports and is asking for as an ‘investment’ in America’s own upgrade of its military capacity. He mentioned several states where military weapons and munitions are made, and how great it was that in these wars we support – we don’t have to die in them, that is for the Ukrainians and the Israelis,” the former DoD analyst said.

[..] Biden, who recently visited Israel to show his support for the long-time non-NATO ally, “coughed when he spoke of concern and protection of innocents in Gaza, under the laws of war,” Kwiatkowski said. “He also curiously spoke of the United States as a beacon of freedom of religion and speech – even as he was asking for billions more to send to countries where churches and religions are being banned, where elections are suspended, and the allied governments’ – in Tel Aviv and in Kiev – intolerance and war against different ethnicities, religions and cultures reminds the world of 1939 Germany,” Kwiatkowski emphasized.

As to the “lies” littering Biden’s speech, the former DoD analyst pointed to his reporting to the nation that “the Ukrainian Army has taken back 50 percent of the territory initially taken by Russia”, and said that that did not ring true. Surprised that Biden’s speechwriters even allowed this to remain in his address, Kwiatkowski continued: “I understand that the line of demarcation between Russian and Ukrainian troops is roughly what it was last year, and that the summer counteroffensive was a net loss to Ukraine. I’m not sure how they are going to explain that 50% of territory taken back by Kiev.”

Read more …

“..validated George Kennan’s view that the United States is similar to one of those prehistoric monsters with a body as long as this room and a brain the size of a pin,”

Biden Speech Embodied ‘America Last’ Policy – Ex-Diplomat (Sp.)

President Joe Biden’s nationally broadcast speech seeking broad support for stepping up already huge levels of US aid to Ukraine and Israel was another unthinking, reflexive expression of the globalist mindset that has been destroying the US economy and society over the past several decades in pursuit of crazed international goals, former State Department diplomat James Carden said. “The speech will be remembered, if at all, as a perfect encapsulation of the ‘America Last’ mindset of our ruling class, which privileges foreign countries over middle and working class Americans,” Carden said. The US president said he was requesting that Congress fund renewed supplies of weapons and other aid to President Volodymyr Zelensky’s regime in Ukraine and he was linking that goal with pushing through a parallel enormous increased aid package to Israel as it prepares to invade Gaza to eliminate Hamas.

However, Carden pointed out that Biden paid no attention to the out of control crime, security, economic, social and drug crises now sweeping the United States. “Biden spent no time at all addressing the sufferings of the domestic communities that have been destroyed over the past three decades by free trade agreements, endless wars and an open border policy that has flooded the country with fentanyl and opioids which are killing what little remains of their communities”, Carden said. The almost-81-year-old president gave no hint of new thinking, moderation, compromise or flexibility in his address, Carden added. “Biden’s speech signals that there will be no rethinking US policy toward Ukraine or the Middle East,” he said, adding that instead, the “strategic assumptions in the speech were absurd and obsolete”.

Biden’s comments “validated George Kennan’s view that the United States is similar to one of those prehistoric monsters with a body as long as this room and a brain the size of a pin,” Carden added. sThe Biden administration is requesting from Congress funds in the amount of $106 billion, primarily for the defense needs of Ukraine and Israel, but also for strengthening the United States’ position in the Indo-Pacific and for operations on the southern US border. Of the total sum, the administration is requesting more than $60 billion for Ukraine.

Read more …

X thread. “Russia has openly shown interest in Iranian missiles, not the other way round..”

Iran’s Missile Program (DD)

About the expiry of the UN’s resolution regarding Iran’s missile program Some have commented and shared news that due to the expiry of the UN’s resolution on Iranian missiles, Russia can now freely export missiles to Iran, which is technically true. However, they also claim more specifically and without evidence, that Russian hypersonic missiles are ‘probably’ already arriving in Iranian ports. First of all, Iran has their own domestically produced hypersonic missile (Fatah HGV) which was released earlier this year, they don’t need Russian ones, and there is no evidence to suggest that Iran has expressed any interest in Russian missiles, and they’re definitely not already arriving in Iranian ports. This whole story was made up on the spot and based on a false premise, and to be honest I don’t know where it came from.

Second of all, whoever wrote that Iran will be interested in obtaining Russian missile technology, is seeing it the wrong way. The significance of the expiry of this UN charter was not for Russia to be able to export to Iran, but for Iran to be able to export to Russia. Iranian missiles are known to be extremely accurate, hard to intercept, and most importantly cost effective. This is why Russia has openly shown interest in Iranian missiles, not the other way round. Iran’s ballistic missile industry is fully domestic and self sufficient, and Iran does not seek to acquire any foreign missiles, as this is not needed. However, cooperation in the field of technological development, specifically when it comes to increasing the missile’s range, cannot be excluded.

Read more …

“Biden and the parade of other Western politicians to Israel to embrace the warmongering regime of Benjamin Netanyahu is a disgusting spectacle. It is a parade of criminals and psychopaths.”

Western Leaders Complicit in Israeli War Crimes and Genocide (SCF Op-ed)

What needs to be recognized is that the Israeli state has been waging a murderous occupation against Palestinians for decades since the violent establishment of the state in 1948. The sordid inception of Israel was a deal worked out by British and American imperialism to cover up for their own guilt of anti-Semitism and manipulation of Arab nations. The Palestinians paid the price and continue to pay the price. bWestern states, primarily the United States, have given Israeli regimes a license to continue and expand their occupation in flagrant violation of international law. Washington has used the Israeli state as a garrison to project its imperialist power in the oil-rich Middle East. When that crime is resisted by Palestinians the acts of defiance are desperate and bloody. No one can condone the killing of innocent civilians. But one has to understand the systematic conditions for violence and the hegemonic power play that ensures no peace can ever be achieved.

Ending the cycle of violence means ending the Western-sponsored Israeli occupation and genocidal repression against the Palestinians. The denial of national rights and statehood to Palestinians is unacceptable but this prolonged denial is partly why there is no peace in that region. Russia, China and most other nations of the world recognize that there must be justice for Palestinians if there is ever to be peace. For Western leaders to keep invoking Israel’s right to self-defense is a cynical distortion of reality. An illegal, brutal occupying regime does not have such a right. It is an oxymoron and an insult on top of injury. Biden and the parade of other Western politicians to Israel to embrace the warmongering regime of Benjamin Netanyahu is a disgusting spectacle. It is a parade of criminals and psychopaths.

Netanyahu had the gall to describe this week’s situation as “the world’s darkest hour”. How right he is, but for completely opposite reasons. When men, women and children are being butchered and the killers are openly backed by Western governments then that situation certainly amounts to a “darkest hour”. The war crimes being committed in Gaza and the West Bank are comparable to the murderous conduct of the Nazi Third Reich. And yet the Zionist regime carrying out the present-day genocide shamelessly, relentlessly invokes the Nazi Holocaust for its supposed credentials. Netanyahu called Hamas the “new Nazis”.

Western leaders lining up with the Israeli regime in its genocidal barbarity are fully complicit in that genocide. The Western public and the rest of the world can see the real and ugly quality of the United States and its allies who have indulged in duplicity and deceit for so long. Biden on returning to Washington after giving Tel Aviv license to expand its mass murder had the brass neck to address his nation in a prime-time speech from the Oval Office. He announced his administration was seeking to give $100 billion in “emergency aid” to Israel and the Nazi regime in Kiev fighting the proxy war against Russia. Biden called this a “smart investment”. In his mumble-filled, incoherent televised address, Biden said: “American leadership is what holds the world together.”

Read more …

Between the lines…

White House Proposes To Cut Ukraine Financial Support (RT)

The $105 billion funding request US President Joe Biden sent to Congress would see the monthly subsidy to the Ukrainian government slashed to $825 million, according to documents made public on Friday. As Biden outlined in his Thursday evening speech, the aid to Ukraine is getting bundled with funding for Israel, Taiwan, and the US border. The bundling is intended to secure bipartisan support in Congress, according to the US media. Ukraine aid would account for $61.4 billion and Israel would get $10.6 billion, under the 69-page proposal the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) sent to the acting Speaker of the House, Patrick McHenry. One of the revelations in the document is that the US has been sending $1.1 billion a month to Ukraine as part of the Economic Support Fund program, enabling Kiev to plug holes in its budget and pay government employees.

“This request provides a glidepath from $1.1 billion per month in direct budget support to $825 million per month,” for a total of $11.775 billion, the OMB request states. These numbers are based on the latest International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates of Ukraine’s 2024 budget and US “assumptions of robust burden sharing by the EU, Japan, and other donors.” Propping up Kiev is necessary because Russia “is explicitly seeking to ensure that Ukraine’s economy collapses in order to secure Ukraine’s surrender,” according to the OBM letter. It adds that the money will be provided “through the World Bank as reimbursements for authorized and verified expenditures to the Government of Ukraine in line with the current conditionality framework” developed by the US.

Among the other notable requests in the OMB proposal were changing the drawdown limit for military aid from $100 million to $7 billion and doubling the loan guarantees for Ukraine from $4 billion to $8 billion. Congressional action is needed “to ensure that we can continue to meet Ukraine’s battlefield needs and protect its people,” because the funding previously approved by Congress “has nearly run out,” Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters in a conference call on Friday. The House of Representatives has been without a speaker since October 3, when Kevin McCarthy was ousted in a rebellion by several Republicans, reportedly over striking a secret deal on Ukraine funding with the White House. His replacement has yet to be elected.

Read more …

“Asked on Friday whether Israel should delay the ground operation, President Joe Biden told reporters “Yes.” However, the White House later clarified that the president was “far away” and had misheard the question.”

Washington Pressures Israel To Delay Gaza Ground Op – Bloomberg (RT)

The US government and some European allies are pushing Israel to postpone its ground attack on the Gaza Strip in order to negotiate the release of more hostages held by Hamas, Bloomberg reported. Israeli forces are planning a major operation in the Palestinian enclave in response to a deadly terrorist attack earlier this month. Though Israel previously signaled it would soon deploy troops to Gaza, it has “agreed under US pressure to hold off,” multiple sources familiar with the hostage negotiations told the outlet on Friday. Hamas, the Palestinian militant faction that rules Gaza, captured more than 200 people during its October 7 terrorist attack on Israel, including several US citizens. Washington has taken part in “secret,” Qatari-brokered talks to free the captives in the weeks since, according to Bloomberg.

On Friday, US officials confirmed that two American hostages had been released, a mother and daughter identified as Judith Tai Raanan and 17-year-old Natalie Raanan. They are now under the care of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), which attributed their release to military “pressure” placed on Hamas. The Qatari Foreign Ministry later called the move a “breakthrough,” adding that it followed “many days of continuous communication between all the parties involved.” The ministry vowed to maintain dialogue with Hamas in hopes of freeing “all civilian hostages from every nationality.” Though the White House has been vocal in its support for Israel in recent weeks, Washington has also warned against a lengthy occupation of Gaza in private talks, according to US and other Western officials cited by CNN.

One unnamed NATO defense minister told the outlet that Israel’s allies “completely respect their right to go after Hamas,” but have merely urged caution. “So it’s not ‘Don’t do it,’ but it is ‘Think about what happens and have a strategy, not just a tactical maneuver.’ We expect Israel to act within international humanitarian law, but we understand that they’re dealing with an enemy here,” the official said, echoing public comments from other Western governments. Asked on Friday whether Israel should delay the ground operation, President Joe Biden told reporters “Yes.” However, the White House later clarified that the president was “far away” and had misheard the question.

“The question sounded like ‘Would you like to see more hostages released?’ He wasn’t commenting on anything else,” White House spokesperson Ben LaBolt said in a statement. The latest round of violence has left thousands killed and injured on both sides, with over 4,100 Palestinians and some 1,400 Israelis reported dead, according to local officials. The IDF has launched weeks of heavy airstrikes on Gaza since the Hamas attack earlier this month, prompting warnings from the United Nations and other rights groups about a looming humanitarian disaster in the enclave.

Read more …

“All the work we have done with the Global South [over Ukraine] has been lost … Forget about rules, forget about world order. They won’t ever listen to us again.”

Blind Israel Support Makes US Global Pariah – Analyst (Sp.)

The Biden administration has continued to firmly back Israel after two weeks of war in the Gaza Strip, refusing calls for a ceasefire and blocking attempts in the United Nations to bring a stop to the fighting. While Hamas’ initial and unprecedented attack on Israeli border towns killed more than 1,300 Israelis, the all-out siege and bombing campaign in Gaza has killed more than 4,000 Palestinians. Now, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) are gathering their strength for an invasion of Gaza to destroy Hamas, ordering 1.1 million people to evacuate. The shocking destruction of the conflict had sharply divided the world into supporters of Israel and of the Palestinians, with citizens and governments alike either demanding a ceasefire, or sending money and weapons to Israel, or even joining in attacking Israeli forces from nearby countries.

As a consequence, the conflict in Ukraine is no longer dominating headlines, and as one senior diplomat from a Group of Seven nation told a London-based newspaper earlier this week, the dissonance in Washington’s positions has undermined efforts to win global support for Ukraine and to isolate Russia. “We have definitely lost the battle in the Global South,” the diplomat said. All the work we have done with the Global South [over Ukraine] has been lost … Forget about rules, forget about world order. They won’t ever listen to us again.” “What we said about Ukraine has to apply to Gaza. Otherwise we lose all our credibility,” the diplomat added. “The Brazilians, the South Africans, the Indonesians: why should they ever believe what we say about human rights?”

US labor and human rights lawyer, writer and activist Dan Kovalik told Radio Sputnik’s The Critical Hour that in fact, Moscow was never a global pariah, it’s the G7 nations that have isolated themselves from the majority of humanity. “The majority of countries, representing a majority of the world’s people, have been backing Russia ever since the special military operation began last year. But even putting that aside, I mean, I think the point is well taken that the US claims to be so offended that Russia, in their words, ‘invaded Ukraine’ … now the US is is backing Israel to the hilt in an assault on Gaza, which is much worse in terms of its intended effect on civilians, than Russia’s intervention in Ukraine.” “Especially in light of the bombing of the hospital that killed at least 500 people in an instant – there’s no type of incident like that that we know of in Russia’s intervention in Ukraine.

And the number of children killed: Israel’s killed over a thousand children in Gaza since in the last, what, ten days or so – again, that’s on a scale that has not happened in Ukraine. So, yeah, the US looks like a huge hypocrite and that’s obvious to the world.” However, the hosts noted there was one way the US had been consistent: in both Israel and Ukraine, US President Joe Biden has intervened to shut down potential peace deals championed by Russia and China in favor of keeping the conflicts going. “The US does this time and time again,” Kovalik pointed out. “It kills peace in order to keep the wheels of war moving.”

Read more …

“.. an unapologetic neoconservative and transatlanticist who is single-handedly undermining the autonomy, respect, and foreign policy stature of the EU..”

How Von Der Leyen Discredited The EU In The Israel-Palestine Conflict (Fomenko)

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s showboating in support of Israel in the current Middle East conflict has reportedly provoked a backlash from EU lawmakers and diplomats. When the Israel-Gaza war broke out just over a week ago, von der Leyen made the decision to offer unconditional support to West Jerusalem rather than urge for calm or mediation, having Israel’s flag projected onto the European Commission headquarters and paying a visit to Israel herself. She clearly did so out of an inclination to appear in line with the US. But her actions have aged poorly as reports of civilian deaths and humanitarian disaster in the besieged Gaza Strip continue to mount.

Anyone familiar with von der Leyen knows that she is an unapologetic neoconservative and transatlanticist who is single-handedly undermining the autonomy, respect, and foreign policy stature of the EU by actively working to make the bloc subordinate to the US in multiple areas, all while attempting to showcase herself as a true regional leader. If the EU sees itself in a fundamental competition with China and Russia, there could not be a worse advert to the rest of the world than her leadership, and her Israel blunders may be her most damaging decisions yet.

Von der Leyen’s foreign policy legacy involves dragging the EU into several confrontations it could have done without. This week, she is heading to Washington DC to try to forge a deal on steel and aluminum trade targeted at China, but that will ultimately resort in throwing the EU market under the bus, again. Other acts have included backing the American position on Ukraine and striving for full escalation of the war there, promoting energy decoupling with Russia, as well as inventing the term “de-risking” with China and seeking to undermine the bloc’s lucrative relationship with Beijing. Throughout this, she has been repeatedly eager to pull large sums of money out of thin air and propose fantasy projects which amount to little more than posturing, and which her office alone is not even able to authorize.

For example, that includes offering Belarus billions if it goes ahead with a US-backed regime change, or inventing numerous “infrastructure” schemes to compete with China, such as the Global Gateway, among other things. She has thus repeatedly used the stature of her office to follow American objectives and try to shape the continent without establishing any kind of due consensus. Almost immediately after the war in Gaza broke out, the European Commission announced all EU aid to Palestine would be frozen. Regardless of what you think of Hamas, with hindsight that decision now appears spiteful, reactionary and inhumane, which tells you how fast the Commission was to jump to the American position of unconditional support for Israel.

But this time there is a widespread feeling it has gone too far. Rather than allowing Europe to have staked out a moderate position on the Gaza conflict, even if it would not be too sympathetic to Palestine, the decision was essentially outsourced to the US, discrediting the EU and only serving to contribute to the growing backlash starting to emerge among Muslim communities in response to the conflict. For countries such as France, this is disastrous. This hurts the EU’s image across the Islamic world and the Global South by seemingly siding with the oppressors.

Soon enough, a series of embarrassing U-turns followed, including the reinstatement of aid, combined with tweets in Arabic, but the damage had already been done, because Israel has long been given the green light to pursue unparalleled destruction in Gaza, at seemingly whatever the cost. In doing so, von der Leyen has in fact undermined, in yet another way, the bloc’s ability to present itself as a serious and comprehensive political actor. She seems to have no love for the idea that the EU should have strategic autonomy and be capable of calibrating its own interests and place in the world, and would prefer that it instead be a simple parrot of the US.

Of course, if she took into greater consideration the interests and positions of member states it would be less of a problem. But she does not and instead essentially serves as a completely disruptive force, in practice undermining European diplomacy and preventing the EU from building relations with a wide range of states. In the end, this favors only the US.

Read more …

“European people have become poorer, while Russia has not fallen on its knees.”

NATO Envoys Hold ’Emergency Meeting’ Over Putin-Orban Talks – Media (RT)

The ambassadors to Hungary of NATO countries have held an unscheduled meeting amid concerns about a recent encounter between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Beijing, the US state-run media outlet Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported Thursday. The gathering of the bloc’s ambassadors and the representative of Sweden, whose NATO membership has yet to be ratified by Türkiye and Hungary, took place in Budapest on Thursday. At the meeting, the diplomats discussed “security concerns” about the “deepening relations” between Moscow and the NATO and EU member, David Pressman, the US ambassador to Hungary, told the outlet.

Pressman also noted that Washington expects the Hungarian government to take these “legitimate security concerns” seriously, calling the Putin-Orban meeting “worrying.” On Tuesday, the day of the meeting, Pressman posted a picture on X (formerly Twitter) of Orban and Putin shaking hands, with the caption that Hungary’s prime minister was choosing to stand with Russia “alone among our allies.” Orban’s chief of staff, Gergely Gulyas, told ATV channel on Wednesday that “the US ambassador is not competent to determine Hungarian foreign policy because that is the job of the Hungarian government.” Putin and Orban met on October 17 in the Chinese capital, where the international Belt and Road Forum was held.

It was the first meeting between the Russian president and the Hungarian prime minister since the conflict in Ukraine erupted. Over the past decades, relations between Moscow and Budapest “have been built solely on the basis of taking into account each other’s interests,” Putin said during the meeting, noting that Russia’s relations with many European countries are “maintained and developed,” which can only cause satisfaction. Last September, Orban criticized EU sanctions on Moscow, claiming that “European people have become poorer, while Russia has not fallen on its knees.” He called for a ceasefire to end the Ukraine conflict, noting that the restrictions on Russia were hurting Europe’s economy.

Read more …

“The Democratic party uses BLM and Antifa as theirs, throwing the rock and hiding the hand. Of course, they’re going to do it; they’ve always done it, even at the beginning, they used the Ku Klux Klan..”

“The Whole George Floyd Story Was A Lie”: Tucker Carlson (ZH)

“In other words, George Floyd, according to the official autopsy, was not murdered. He died instead of what we used to call natural causes, which, in his case, would include decades of drug use, as well as the fatal concentration of fentanyl that was in his system on his final day,” Carlson continued – laying out how the initial George Floyd storyline was endorsed and amplified by mainstream media, and ignited nationwide protests, intensive racial discourse, and movements like Black Lives Matter. These changes encompassed police defunding efforts, corporate hiring practices, and the institutionalization of new cultural observances like Juneteenth. Carlson interviewed Vince Everett Ellison, author of “Crime Inc.” – who discussed the possibility of orchestrated degradation and victimization within the Black community by political entities, particularly the Democratic party.

Ellison suggests that the glorification of figures like George Floyd represents an insidious strategy to perpetuate a certain stereotype of blacks who are reliant on the system, thereby solidifying a voting base and maintaining a form of socio-political control. Drawing parallels between movements like BLM and historical or international groups used for political leverage, Ellison’s commentary insinuates that these organizations could be modern iterations of ‘domestic militias’ utilized by the Democrats for social manipulation and power consolidation. The unsettling comparison of BLM to groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, or the historical utilization of the Ku Klux Klan, paints a grim picture of political machinations where civil unrest is a tool rather than a byproduct. “The Democratic party uses BLM and Antifa as theirs, throwing the rock and hiding the hand. Of course, they’re going to do it; they’ve always done it, even at the beginning, they used the Ku Klux Klan,” he said.

Read more …

“..she has imposed a vaguely worded court order that could turn campaign speeches into criminal contempt..”

The Trump Gag Order Should Be Struck Down (Turley)

The imposition of a gag order on former President Donald Trump was overwhelmingly applauded by pundits and press alike. Journalists described the order from U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan as “narrow” and “limited.” Most of them lionized Chutkan as an “unflinching” and “no-nonsense” judge who would not tolerate Trump’s penchant for personal attacks and reckless rhetoric. However, this order should concern everyone who values freedom of speech. While the odds may favor Chutkan on appeal, this order should be overturned as overbroad and dangerous. For years, many of us have been criticized Trump for his personal attacks on judges and opponents alike. Undeterred, Trump has continued such inflammatory attacks on “deranged” Special Counsel Jack Smith and the “biased, Trump-hating Judge” Chutkan.

Smith has pushed aggressively for a gag order, even though one of the major issues in Trump’s campaign is whether the Biden Administration has weaponized the criminal justice system against him and other Republicans. This week, Chutkan issued a partial gag order and stressed that she will not allow Trump to conduct a “smear campaign” in which he seeks to “vilify and implicitly encourage violence against public servants who are simply doing their jobs.” She stressed that “no other criminal defendant would be allowed to do so, and I’m not going to allow it in this case.” Chutkan reflects this trend in stating categorically that these are the limits that must be imposed regardless of the defendant. These orders come at a great cost — limiting both parties and counsels in raising objections to alleged abuses of the government.

The First Amendment was written in the aftermath of such abuses, including the infamous prosecution of publisher John Peter Zenger 290 years ago in 1733. Some polls show that a majority now believe the Trump prosecutions are “politically motivated.” Tens of millions oppose the prosecutions, and this will be the single most-discussed issue of the campaign. Yet, one candidate would be both the subject of this national debate and a gag order barring full participation in it. Chutkan steadfastly refused to recognize that either this case or this defendant are far from typical. Her order bars Trump from making statements against Smith, his staff, court personnel, and potential witnesses. That last category could include one of Trump’s opponents in the presidential election, former Vice President Mike Pence.

If Chutkan had simply barred statements targeting court staff or jurors, there would be no controversy. But she has imposed a vaguely worded court order that could turn campaign speeches into criminal contempt. While appellate courts have largely ruled in favor of lower courts’ gag orders, there have long been constitutional concerns over these limits on not just the free speech rights of defendants but also their zealous representation by defense counsel. It is not surprising that Smith dismisses such concerns. Smith has long adopted extreme legal positions that ignore constitutional values. This includes his prosecution of the former governor of Virginia, Robert McDonnell (R), which was reversed in a unanimous 8-0 decision by the Supreme Court in 2016.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grass cutter ants
https://twitter.com/i/status/1715293925802426403

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 042023
 


Albrecht Dürer Study of the left hand of an apostle (for the Heller Altar) c.1508

 

RFK Can Become President as an Independent (Jeffrey Tucker)
US House Removes McCarthy From Speakership in Historic Vote (Sp.)
Trump Hit With Gag Order After ‘Disparaging’ Attacks Against Court Clerk (Sp.)
New Messages to Hunter Deepen Concerns Over Chinese Influence (Turley)
Ukraine Forbids Troops To Group Together Fearing Mutiny – Macgregor (TASS)
No Arms Left For Ukraine In Europe – Politico (RT)
EU Incites Ukrainian Conflict and Stigmatizes Peace Talks – Hungary FM (Sp.)
EU Wants To Pay Hungary €13BN So Orban Doesn’t Veto Ukraine Aid (ZH)
UK Advises Zelensky to Enlist Young Ukrainian Recruits (Bridge)
‘Experiments Carried Out’: Ukrainian Soldiers Become Antibiotic-Resistant (Sp.)
US ‘Failing’ At Life Expectancy – WaPo (RT)
“The Beasts With A Red Star On Their Foreheads” (Helmer)
Murderous Work on mRNA Technology Wins the Nobel Prize (VN)

 

 

Not NATO
https://twitter.com/i/status/1709146534074302648

 

 

 

 

Ukr nazis

 

 

 

 

Gaetz
https://twitter.com/i/status/1709320755572289570

 

 

De Gaulle grandson

 

 

 

 

 

 

“That would put him in the solid category of a real Democrat—half a century ago. Times have changed, and dramatically so.”

RFK Can Become President as an Independent (Jeffrey Tucker)

As predicted two weeks ago, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. appears ready to declare as an independent for president. Already polling at 20 percent nationwide, he will announce that he’s severing ties with the Democratic National Committee (DNC). This is because the DNC has set up impossible roadblocks to victory within the party apparatus and the primary process. The Biden administration is denying him Secret Service protection despite apparent attempts on his life. Of all figures in public life today, Mr. Kennedy has the strongest claim to the legacies of his father and uncle, ideologically and culturally. That would put him in the solid category of a real Democrat—half a century ago. Times have changed, and dramatically so.

He started off this campaign with the belief that he would help guide his family’s party back to a principled commitment to the common good. But he has discovered that this isn’t what the party is about anymore, at least not according to the masters at the top. This is a man who believes that America isn’t lost, not foundationally corrupt, not a complete goner. He looks around at the people in this nation and sees goodness, a love of country, a desire for freedom, and a strong devotion to making things right. Conventional American politics, however, seems designed to block real solutions. Because he still wants to make a difference—one senses that he believes it’s his destiny—he will continue his run for president as an independent.

[..] Few people really want to see a Biden/Trump rematch, and those who do are motivated by a burning passion to reverse or reinforce the 2020 election, the results of which are widely disputed thanks to President Trump’s aggressive protests against irregularities. Let’s just say that this constitutes about one-third of the electorate. What about everyone else who would like to see something like normalcy return to this country without the incredible corruption that has invaded our public lives? Mr. Kennedy makes a credible claim that he has the knowledge and ability to begin to clean up the system in Washington, precisely because he has been litigating against it for many years. What else does he have going for him? There’s an authenticity to his language and approach that no other candidate can match. He’s obviously not a professional politician.

He speaks and sounds more like the best professor you ever had, with an incredible and ever-present command of facts and information about a huge range of subjects. His recall seems at times to be photographic concerning names, dates, data, and anecdotes. His speeches often seem more like teaching seminars. In a strange way, we need that now. Regardless of what you think about his views on this topic or that, everyone has to admit that he has an amazing command of all the issues, whether health policy, foreign policy, censorship, or environmental problems. In a startling way, when he doesn’t know something, he outright admits it and seeks out experts to help him. What’s especially beautiful about Mr. Kennedy is his absolute refusal to censor himself. He believes that the CIA was involved in the killing of his uncle and says that, bringing the receipts.

He believes that the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are deeply corrupt, sacrificing American liberty and health in the pay of the legally privileged pharmaceutical industry, and he says that, too. He looks around the country and sees a government/corporate cartel crushing the interests of small businesses, farmers, and the middle class generally, and he says that, too. Most striking of all, none of these points are politically strategic, much less put together by consultants with focus groups. They come from his own mind and heart. He has ruminated on them for many years. Running for president is just his chance to reach a larger audience with a message that’s his alone.

Read more …

Next: Gaetz, Scalise, Trump?!

Trump is a nice option, but he’ll be in court much of the time.

US House Removes McCarthy From Speakership in Historic Vote (Sp.)

Over the weekend, Congress narrowly passed a continuing resolution funding the government for another 45 days, to give more time to debate a series of spending bills that form the 2024 budget. After a vote of 216 to 210, the US House of Representatives on Tuesday removed US Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as speaker of the House. It was the first time the lower chamber voted on vacating the speaker’s office in 113 years and the first time it has ever succeeded. The decision came after an earlier motion to table the vote failed, with 11 Republicans voting with Democrats against the motion and allowing it to proceed. “It’s to the benefit of this country that we have a better speaker than Kevin McCarthy,” said US Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who called the vote against McCarthy. “The reason he went down today is because no one trusts him.”

Gaetz said the California representative “is a feature of the swamp … we are breaking the fever now and we should elect a speaker that is better.” Shortly after the motion cleared the congressional chamber, Republican held a closed-door meeting to discuss next steps, specifically who would be put forward to permanently fill the position. At present, it’s temporarily filled by US Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC). McCarthy has since detailed that he will not be making another bid for the speakership. “I will not run for speaker again, I’ll have the conference pick somebody else,” McCarthy said Tuesday evening. “I wouldn’t change a thing.” The former speaker added the country is too great for the small visions of the eight Republicans who voted alongside Democrats to oust him from his post. Moreover, McCarthy said he will look into whether he will remain in Congress.

US President Joe Biden has weighed in on the latest developments and urged the House chamber to immediately elect a new speaker. Democrats are expected to hold a meeting at 9 a.m. local time on Wednesday to address the McCarthy fallout. Gaetz has suggested US Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) would make a better speaker than McCarthy. The Florida lawmaker is a member of a small GOP faction that has used the party’s slim House majority to push its own agenda on McCarthy. The faction, which is closely aligned with the Freedom Caucus and former US President Donald Trump, allowed McCarthy to become speaker in January only after extracting a series of agreements on policies, such as a willingness to engage in brinksmanship regarding budget cuts.

Even then, McCarthy only became speaker after 15 rounds of voting, with several members of the faction ultimately only agreeing to vote “present” during the vote instead of against the California lawmaker. After McCarthy spent months refusing to raise the debt ceiling in an attempt to force Democrats into agreeing to steep budget cuts – a key demand of the Freedom Caucus – the speaker then agreed to cut a deal with Democrats in late May that provided for some limitations on the forthcoming budget, but well below what hard-liners had demanded. Gaetz and his coterie saw this as a betrayal and the threat to oust McCarthy has hung over the House chamber for months.

McCarthy’s fate was ultimately sealed after he blinked a second time in the showdown with Democrats over the fiscal 2024 budget this past weekend. Without a budget, the federal government would have shut down many of its non-essential functions until new funding could be passed. Republicans made clear they saw this as an acceptable outcome if it meant pressuring the Democrats into large budget cuts, but McCarthy again cut a deal with Democrats at the last minute to pass a 45-day funding extension, giving lawmakers more time to debate the budget without facing a shutdown.

Trump speaker

Read more …

“Schumer’s girlfriend, Alison [sic] R. Greenfield, is running this case against me. How disgraceful! This case should be dismissed immediately!!”

Trump Hit With Gag Order After ‘Disparaging’ Attacks Against Court Clerk (Sp.)

The judge presiding over Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial in New York issued a limited gag order for the former president and other parties involved in the case, barring them from publicly speaking about his staff. The order came after Trump’s Truth Social account posted about the judge’s principal court while he sat feet from her in court. Judge Arthur Engoron did not mention Trump by name while issuing the order, saying instead that “one of the defendants” posted a “disparaging, untrue and personally identifying post” about his staff. The judge ordered the post deleted, but by that time it had already been shared across the internet. “Personal attacks on members of my court staff are not appropriate and I will not tolerate it under any circumstances,” Engoron said, adding that he warned counsel about the issue previously.

During the trial, Trump’s Truth Social account posted a picture of the clerk, Allison Greenfield, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). “Schumer’s girlfriend, Alison [sic] R. Greenfield, is running this case against me. How disgraceful! This case should be dismissed immediately!!” the now-deleted post read, which also shared a link to one of Greenfield’s social media accounts. The photo showed Schumer and Greenfield smiling while standing next to each other. Schumer’s arm can be seen high on Greenfield’s shoulder and the two do not seem to be in any kind of embrace. The image has been likened to photos people take with celebrities or politicians. Screenshots of the post include a comment by Greenfield saying it was taken at a brunch event for the Chelsea Reform Democratic Club Founders. Greenfield also took a photo with US Rep.Carolyn Maloney (D-NC) at that event.

There have been no credible accusations that Greenfield and Schumer have an inappropriate relationship or any relationship at all. Schumer has been married since 1980. Trump was apparently sharing an accusation made by a conservative account on X (formerly Twitter) that started posting about Greenfield shortly before the trial began. The same account previously accused Engoron of drinking on the job. It is not clear if the account, which has less than 500 followers, is satirical in nature. It purports to be “applying the 69th Amendment to the internet.”

Read more …

“Hunter Biden’s massive spending and addictions would have been a draw for intelligence services..”

New Messages to Hunter Deepen Concerns Over Chinese Influence (Turley)

Messages from longtime Biden associate Fran Person show the Chinese stepping in to support Hunter’s lavish lifestyle as funds dried up during his divorce. Person wrote Hunter that Chinese businessman Bo Zhang “will help you with what you need.” Fran Person was not just a close aide to Joe Biden for years, but someone that the First Lady Jill Biden described as a member of the family: “Fran has been like a son to Joe and me. For eight years, we traveled the country, shared holidays together … Fran may be leaving the office, but he will always be a part of our family.” Fran left the staff of Joe Biden and went to work with Chinese figures . . . and Hunter. In a July 2017 WhatsApp message, Person told Hunter that Zhang was aware that he was in financial distress during his divorce and would cover his costs.

Hunter sounds desperate for the Chinese support as he gushes money to fund his lavish lifestyle: “100K at least gets me until next month.” Person assures him that Zhang has his back: “He will help you with what you need.” Fox News Digital reported on Person’s messages. They include this assurance: “I talked to Bo previously about the 37K – he didn’t flinch. I will talk to him about 56K and possibly 100K. It really depends on his liquid assets in the US…I will ask. His only problem is getting large sums out of China (especially right now).” Hunter appears in distress and presses Person if he knew whether anything was wired or if they were in a “holding pattern.” Person responds “No holding pattern…he was on his way to the bank this morning. He will be in touch when it’s confirmed.”

“He will help you with what you need. He also mentioned that you should take a trip to China some time this month to just get away for a week or so…just decompress.” Hunter later schedules the trip. The concern is that Hunter was receiving money from figures closely associated with foreign governments and foreign intelligence agencies, including the CCP. These operatives often look for people who are in desperate situations to exercise influence over them. Hunter Biden’s massive spending and addictions would have been a draw for intelligence services. He offered an obvious entry into potential influence or access with regard to Joe Biden. At one point, Hunter offers in July 2017 to have Zhang at his father’s McLean home after Joe Biden left the vice presidency.

Zhang met repeatedly with Hunter Biden, Person, and Eric Schwerin. Person’s message shows him showering Hunter with praise and promises of Chinese funds. In one message, Person told Hunter that he “selfishly want[s] to work” with him “because I know what the hell your capable of, AND I want to learn from you. I’m putting myself out there right now, and I’m learning quickly. But I’d love to be there with you doing some of this stuff. I mention the 500K on 10M raise be I’m about to get started on that, and I could really use your help. We could knock it out together. I’d think that’d help take some bite out, and you wouldn’t feel like your ‘resorting’ to anything…I’ve got one loyalty brother. That’s to my family. Your family.”

Person is obviously going to be busy during this impeachment inquiry. Despite President Biden’s repeated denials that anyone in his family received any money from China, The Washington Post and other media outlets have found those denials to be false. Indeed, at least two transfers of funds to Hunter Biden in 2019 from a Chinese source listed the President’s home in Delaware where Hunter sometimes lived and conducted business. The latest messages reveal how Hunter Biden’s personal and financial distress may have been viewed as an opportunity for foreign interests. Hunter suggests that he was existing month to month on such payments. The question is what he did in return for such foreign generosity in what is clearly an influencing peddling operation.

Read more …

“..whittle down the squads to three or four men to prevent larger formations from forming that might actually rebel..”

Ukraine Forbids Troops To Group Together Fearing Mutiny – Macgregor (TASS)

The leadership of the Ukrainian armed forces does not allow its servicemen to gather in large groups for fear of a large-scale rebellion, retired Colonel Douglas Macgregor, a former adviser to the Defense Secretary of Defense under former US President Donald Trump, said.”They (the Ukrainian military leadership – TASS) whittle down the squads to three or four men to prevent larger formations from forming that might actually rebel,” Macgregor said on the air of the YouTube channel Judging Freedom. He pointed out that distrust pervaded a military that sees its leadership send them to their deaths. “It’s a terrible condition. The people (the Ukrainian servicemen – TASS) are simply being fed systematically into the so-called meat grinder. <…> I would expect that to continue and even worsen in time,” the colonel added.

Earlier, Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist Seymour Hersh said that Ukrainian troops had suffered enormous losses during the counteroffensive and were effectively forced to call it off. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the Ukrainian army has been making unsuccessful attempts to launch a counteroffensive since June 4. On September 12, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the Ukrainian armed forces had lost 71,500 servicemen, 543 tanks and almost 18,000 armored vehicles of various classes. The head of state stressed that the Ukrainian counteroffensive yielded no results.

Read more …

“..the “big elephant in the room” in Europe is the concern that Washington could abandon Ukraine..”

No Arms Left For Ukraine In Europe – Politico (RT)

EU countries have given Ukraine all the arms they can without compromising their own defense, Politico has reported, citing a European official. Kiev is facing cuts to both arms supplies and cash injections as “cracks appear”in Western support, according to the outlet. “We cannot keep on giving from our own stockpiles,” the European source said as quoted on Monday. There may still be robust political support, but “we’ve given everything that will not endanger our own security.” The comment was made to Politico as part of its coverage of last week’s International Industries Defense Forum in Kiev, during which the hosts went on a “charm offensive directed at weapons-makers,” as explained in the report. In a separate story on Tuesday, the outlet said that support for funding the Ukrainian government was “showing more cracks than ever.”

The failure of the US Congress last week to allocate aid money in its stopgap budget, the election victory of former Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, who vowed to stop assistance to Ukraine on the campaign trail, and Kiev’s ongoing diplomatic row with Poland all send “a chilling message.” The Ukrainian government expects to receive at least $42.8 billion from international donors next year, as outlined in its projected budget. An expected fight over the EU’s joint budget means that “no one dares to predict anything” at this point, a diplomatic source told the news outlet. Another diplomat said the “big elephant in the room” in Europe is the concern that Washington could abandon Ukraine. The event in Kiev was part of its effort to ramp up domestic military production. Germany’s Rheinmetall and the UK-based BAE have made some commitments to open production facilities in Ukraine.

Kiev’s goal is to become “an Israel in Europe – self-sufficient but with help from other countries,” Daniel Vajdich, a Washington-based advocate for Ukraine, told Politico. President Vladimir Zelensky floated the idea of paying for the proposed build-up with “confiscated Russian assets” when he spoke at the forum. Prime Minister Denis Shmygal indicated that the proposed plants would not be safe. He said 37 of Ukraine’s own facilities have been damaged by Russian strikes. Russian officials have stressed that foreign-funded arms manufacturing sites in Ukraine would be treated as legitimate military targets. Denis Pushilin, the head of the Donetsk People’s Republic, reiterated the policy during an interview on Monday.

Read more …

“..other countries do not understand why Europe “has made this conflict global” and why people living in Asia, Africa and Latin America have to pay for it due to growing inflation, energy prices and unstable food supplies..”

EU Incites Ukrainian Conflict and Stigmatizes Peace Talks – Hungary FM (Sp.)

The world outside Europe does not share its position on the Ukraine conflict and does not understand European double standards applied to conflicts in other parts of the planet, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has said. “I can say that the world outside Europe is already really looking forward to the end of this war, because they do not understand many things. They do not understand, for example, how it can be that when a war is not in Europe, the European Union, looking down with fantastic moral superiority, calls on the parties to peace, advocates negotiations and an immediate end to violence. However, when there is a war in Europe, the European Union incites the conflict and supplies weapons, and anyone who talks about peace is immediately stigmatized,” Szijjarto said in an interview on Monday. He also said that other countries do not understand why Europe “has made this conflict global” and why people living in Asia, Africa and Latin America have to pay for it due to growing inflation, energy prices and unstable food supplies.

Szijjarto added that Hungary’s position on the issue is treated with “great respect” outside the EU, which he was witnessing more than once during the UN General Assembly. Hungary has consistently opposed sanctions on Russian energy resources and sending weapons to Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian military operation in Ukraine in February 2022. The Hungarian parliament issued a decree banning the supply of weapons to Ukraine from the country’s territory. Szijjarto explained that Budapest seeks to secure the western Ukrainian region of Zakarpatye, where ethnic Hungarians live, since the supply of weapons through its territory would become a military target for Russia. The country’s leadership has repeatedly emphasized that Hungary stands for the earliest possible start of peace negotiations.

Read more …

“..so that EU aid to Ukraine doesn’t get blocked at a crucial moment that Washington funding is drying up..”

EU Wants To Pay Hungary €13BN So Orban Doesn’t Veto Ukraine Aid (ZH)

“The European Commission is preparing to unfreeze around €13 billion in funds for Hungary to try to avoid Prime Minister Viktor Orbán vetoing EU aid for Ukraine, in a move likely to draw criticism from the European Parliament,” Politico reports Tuesday. “The Commission needs the unanimous backing of the bloc’s 27 countries for an update to the EU’s long-term budget, which includes a €50 billion funding pot for Ukraine,” the report adds. Akin to what’s currently going down in Washington with a group of Republicans holding up Ukraine funding, Brussels may soon have its own Ukraine aid blockage problem. EU aid for Kiev which was previously approved runs out in December, hence the urgency for EU leadership in wanting to push through a new package.

A week ago, Orbán gave a speech declaring Hungary will no longer support Ukraine in any way unless certain significant policies are changed both in Kiev and in the European Union. He stressed in the words given before parliament that “Hungary is doing everything for peace” but that “unfortunately the Russian-Ukrainian war continues, tens of thousands of people are victims.” Thus, he continued, “Diplomats must take control back from the hands of the soldiers, otherwise it will be in vain for women to wait for their sons and fathers and husbands to come home.” The Hungarian leader has stood against ratcheting Western sanctions on Moscow, instead choosing to maintain a generally positive diplomatic relationship with the Kremlin. He also a week ago charged that Kiev and its backers have cheated Budapest by “Ukrainian grain dumping” into his country.

He had also laid out, per The Hill: … that he was protesting a 2017 law in Ukraine that limits ethnic Hungarians from speaking their own language, particularly in schools and said Hungary would not support Ukraine on international issues “until the previous laws are restored. Needless to say EU officials are panicking, and are readying a lucrative quid pro quo with Hungary (based on freeing frozen funds related to the prior years’ so-called “rule of law” punitive measures”), so that EU aid to Ukraine doesn’t get blocked at a crucial moment that Washington funding is drying up.

Read more …

“Ukraine will eventually have to restore its dangerously depleted demographic numbers if it hopes to survive in some form..”

UK Advises Zelensky to Enlist Young Ukrainian Recruits (Bridge)

On the same day that the party of pro-Russian populist Robert Fico emerged victorious in Slovakia’s parliamentary election, potentially destabilizing European unity for Ukraine, Ben Wallace, the former UK Secretary of State for Defence, penned a zinger of an opinion piece in The Telegram where he argues without a hint of irony that “Ukraine’s counteroffensive is succeeding.” “Whisper it if you need. Dare to think it. But champion it you must. Ukraine’s counteroffensive is succeeding. Slowly but surely, the Ukrainian armed forces are breaking through the Russian lines. Sometimes yard by yard, sometimes village by village, Ukraine has the momentum and is pressing forward.” There’s just one problem with Wallace’s hyperbolic pep talk – it’s absolute malarkey, yet so many people are lapping up the war propaganda and asking for seconds.

Across the line of conflict, the Ukrainians have spent the last four months of their counteroffensive taking one step forward and two steps back in the face of an impenetrable, multilayered Russian defense line, complete with mines, artillery and almost total air superiority. When the Ukrainian forces have succeeded in seizing a village or plot of land – increasingly on foot, as they no longer trust their lives inside the deathtraps of armored vehicles – it almost always turns out to be a self-defeating Pyrrhic victory. Since June, the Ukrainians have lost an estimated 81,000 troops in their efforts to seize Russian acquired territories in the Zaporozhye, Donetsk, Lugansk, and Kherson regions. At the same time, over 10,000 Ukrainian fighters have surrendered since summer using a special radio frequency set up by the Russian forces. Needless to say, Kiev’s stated goal of ultimately cutting off Russian forces from the land bridge connecting to the Crimean peninsula has thus far proven illusory.

And this is where Wallace’s message to the Ukrainian people takes on a very dark and even sinister tone. While imploring Ukraine to “play its part,” as if it has been sitting on its laurels all this time, the former defense minister lectured Kiev about its mobilization, particularly its lack of young blood. “The average age of the soldiers at the front is over 40. I understand President Zelensky’s desire to preserve the young for the future, but the fact is that Russia is mobilising the whole country by stealth. (In fact, there is nothing “stealth” about Russia’s recruitment efforts, as it’s widely known that 300,000 Russians have volunteered for military service since the start of the special military operation in February 2022).”

It is the absolute height of arrogance and cynicism for one country to entreaty another on behalf of a lower military recruitment age, especially when the primary purpose does not seem connected to securing victory, but for sustaining a steady flow of profits for the Western arms manufacturers. After all, no soldiers, no need for expensive weapons systems. And lest we forget, millions of young Ukrainians have already fled their country, never to return. Yet Ukraine will eventually have to restore its dangerously depleted demographic numbers if it hopes to survive in some form, a fact that has conveniently escaped Wallace’s attention.

Read more …

“..healthcare networks in Europe now consider prior hospitalization in Ukraine to be a critical risk factor for colonization of MDR organisms..”

‘Experiments Carried Out’: Ukrainian Soldiers Become Antibiotic-Resistant (Sp.)

Hospitals in several European countries have recorded significant growth of antibiotic resistance among Ukrainians arriving for treatment. So far, the exact cause of this remains unclear. The first case was announced in a research letter for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Germany in August, when a Ukrainian soldier was diagnosed with a number of dangerous infections that were not treatable with antibiotics. Western media recently highlighted that similar incidents were registered in several unnamed European countries, where wounded soldiers and refugees from Ukraine had gone. They cited “hospital and hygiene infrastructure” problems in Ukraine as one of the reasons the diseases spread, making “it harder to take the usual precautions against antibiotic resistance.”

Media also pointed out the absence of tests to determine the correct antibiotic use in Ukrainian hospitals. Therefore, infections and antibiotic-resistance are often found only in Europe. However, experts told Sputnik that antibiotic resistance could be a sign that these people had undergone biological experiments. The German CDC report claims the first case was officially registered in Germany. The wounded Ukrainian soldier was taken from Dnepropetrovsk to Kiev first, and then to an American military hospital in Germany. It was only when he was there that he was tested for infections and the unexpected discovery was made. “Doctors obtained blood, urine, respiratory, and peri-rectal surveillance cultures. Surveillance cultures grew A. baumannii, Enterococcus faecium, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and two distinct morphologies of P. aeruginosa.

Blood cultures grew a third P. aeruginosa. By using the Vitek 2 automated system, the gram-negative organisms were found to be non-susceptible to almost every antibiotic tested,” the paper explained. According to the CDC, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Klebsiella pneumoniae can cause pneumonia, meningitis, as well as infections in wounds and in the urinary tract. Ukrainians, both military personnel and refugees, can be carriers of dangerous infections across both Ukraine and Europe. Thus, US researchers warned European countries of an “increased risk” of the spread of multidrug-resistant organisms (MDR): “As a result, healthcare networks in Europe now consider prior hospitalization in Ukraine to be a critical risk factor for colonization of MDR organisms (7,10). Healthcare practitioners treating citizens of Ukraine need to be aware of the increased risk for MDR organism transmission and infection imposed by the conflict in Ukraine and implement appropriate infection control measures to mitigate their spread.”

Read more …

Also a kind of experiment…

“..almost 42% of adult Americans are obese, compared to 11.6% in 1990. Medical professionals and scholars interviewed by the Post blamed a variety of factors, from lack of preventive care and focus on treatment, to racism.”

US ‘Failing’ At Life Expectancy – WaPo (RT)

The US is dead last among “peer countries” in terms of life expectancy for its population, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday. Months of research and interviews have revealed a widespread problem with obesity, cancer, heart conditions, and diabetes, as well as a growing gap between poor and wealthy Americans. “Among wealthy nations, the United States in recent decades went from the middle of the pack to being an outlier. And it continues to fall further and further behind,” according to the Post. American life expectancy peaked at 78.9 years in 2014, the same year the Affordable Care Act – also known as ‘Obamacare’ – fully went into effect. It has been declining ever since. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of 2021 it was at 76.4 years.

The Post reporters looked at county-level death records over the past five decades, finding the largest increase in excess deaths among the 35-64 demographic. In that group, chronic diseases kill twice as many Americans as “all the [drug] overdoses, homicides, suicides and car accidents combined.” Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, liver failure, and other chronic ailments are the main culprits. Cases of breast, thyroid and colorectal cancer are “mysteriously” rising among Americans under 50. Meanwhile, almost 42% of adult Americans are obese, compared to 11.6% in 1990. Medical professionals and scholars interviewed by the Post blamed a variety of factors, from lack of preventive care and focus on treatment, to racism.

They said advances in medicine, nutrition, and technology have been “overwhelmed by poverty, racism, distrust of the medical system, fracturing of social networks and unhealthy diets built around highly processed food.” While the US medical system is great at treating diseases, “growing healthy people to begin with, we’re the worst in the world,” according to William Cooke, a doctor in Austin, Indiana. Elena Marks, a senior health policy fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, argued that the US has built a “health industrial complex” that costs trillions of dollars but focuses on treatment.

“Eighty-plus percent of health outcomes are determined by nonmedical factors,” said Marks, who used to be the health and environmental policy director for the city of Houston in Texas. There is a major “wealth gap” in life expectancy, according to the Post. In 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic, the poorest Americans were 61% more likely to die than the richest ones, and had “far lower” life expectancy than poor people in comparable countries. While wealthy Americans enjoyed longer lives on average, they too lagged behind their counterparts in Canada, France, or Japan. The Post also highlighted the racial disparities in life expectancy, with Native Americans coming in dead last at 65 and Asian-Americans leading at 84. Meanwhile, Hispanics were at 78, whites at 76, and African-Americans at 71.

Read more …

“They were all murdered by June 1943 when the town was declared Judenfrei. Hunka remembered that time as “the happiest years of my life..”

“The Beasts With A Red Star On Their Foreheads” (Helmer)

Canada’s parliament, the Canadian Armed Forces and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) demonstrate what the other NATO allies keep trying to hide. They aim to reverse the outcome of World War II and resume Adolf Hitler’s operation to destroy Russia. However, the fate of soldier Yaroslav Hunka of the SS Waffen Galician division, whom the MPs, the chief of the Defence Staff, and the RCMP commissioner, saluted a few days ago for his exploits killing Jews and Poles in the Ternopil region of western Ukraine between 1943 and 1945, now rests with two dossiers. One is in the archive of the Polish war crime prosecuting authority, the Institute of National Remembrance, in Warsaw. The second is the Soviet Army intelligence and KGB archives on the operations of Hunka’s unit before it fled a thousand kilometres southwest to Austria in order to surrender to the British Army.

“Beasts in human form with a red star on their foreheads,” Hunka has called the Russians whom he was afraid to fight. His Jewish schoolmates in the Berezhany Gymnasium – 32 of them refugees from Poland – caused him to “wonder why they ran away in front of such a civilized Western people as the Germans.” They were all murdered by June 1943 when the town was declared Judenfrei. Hunka remembered that time as “the happiest years of my life [dreaming] of the company of charming girls.” A year later, the Red Army launched its offensive against Lvov and in four weeks Hunka’s division was destroyed at Brody, 70 kilometres north of Hunka’s home. Of 11,000 of the Galicians with Hunka in the battle of the Brody pocket, less than a third survived. He fled with the retreating Wehrmacht towards Graz, Austria. “It was now every man for himself”, a recent history of the Battle of Brody (lead image, July 14, 1944) has described the outcome for the Galicians.

What Hunka had already done to the “charming” Jewish girls of Berezhany, and what he did when facing the Russians has been described by the Speaker of the Canadian House of Commons, in a script drafted by the Canadian Foreign Ministry, applauded by General Wayne Eyre, chief of the Defence Staff, as “heroic”. With Hunka as their inspiration, the Canadian military wants to repeat this battle against “the beasts with a red star on their foreheads” — this time with the Canadian Jewish community for allies, one of them the Leader of the House of Commons, Karina Gould. But she and her fellow government ministers must now decide whether to block Polish and Russian requests for assistance in documenting Hunka’s war record from Canadian, British and US military intelligence files. If they refuse, they will be protecting Hunka from prosecution for the war crimes in the Ukraine they declare they know nothing about, in order to improve themselves on Hunka’s performance at Brody seventy-nine years ago.

Read more …

“COVID is just the beginning. And what will likely ensue will be subsequent campaigns to get more mRNA injected into every man, woman, and child.”

Murderous Work on mRNA Technology Wins the Nobel Prize (VN)

Katalin Karikó and Dr. Drew Weissman have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their work on messenger RNA (mRNA). Their collaboration has not only transformed vaccine development but also opened up possibilities for other novel treatments for various diseases. Karikó, a Hungarian-born biochemist, spent a significant portion of her career at BioNTech, the German pharmaceutical company that partnered with Pfizer to create the first COVID-19 vaccine. On the other hand, Weissman, a physician-scientist, holds a prestigious position as a professor of vaccine research at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. Soon, mRNA technology will be coming to flu vaccines. Supporters tout that the adaptability of mRNA technology allows for quicker response times in developing vaccines that can more accurately target circulating influenza strains, potentially making yearly flu shots more effective.

Furthermore, work is being done to apply mRNA technology to “treat” various other diseases. It is being explored as a potential treatment for sickle-cell disease and the autoimmune disorder, multiple sclerosis. Additionally, its application in cancer treatment is under investigation, with the aim of harnessing the immune system to combat malignancies. The fight against HIV, a long-standing global health challenge, is also on mRNA’s radar. Currently, three experimental HIV vaccines, built on an mRNA design akin to the COVID-19 vaccines, are in the early stages of human clinical trials. Dr. Robert Malone, a renowned scientist, medical doctor, and pioneer in mRNA vaccine technology, made some fiery comments on “X.”

He stated, “Kariko and Weissman get the Nobel, not for inventing mRNA vaccines (because I did that) but for adding the pseudouridine that allowed unlimited spike toxins to be manufactured in what could have been a safe and effective vaccine platform, if safely developed.” Malone further criticized the integrity of the award process, suggesting undue influence from pharmaceutical giants. “Pfizer has been campaigning for this since 2020 – at first, they even claimed (as did Kariko) that she invented the mRNA vaccine platform technology. Pfizer donates heavily to the Karolinska Institute, which awards the Nobel. Science has been hijacked again by big pharma.” The decision to honor Karikó and Weissman while omitting key contributors like Dr. Robert Malone raises questions about the narrative that’s being pushed surrounding mRNA technology. One thing is sure: COVID is just the beginning. And what will likely ensue will be subsequent campaigns to get more mRNA injected into every man, woman, and child.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Kinetic

 

 

 

 

Baseball

 

 

Yamyam?!

 

 

Any regrets?

 

 

 

 

Howlin wolf
https://twitter.com/i/status/1709229230570029235

 

 

Cat Python

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 012023
 
 October 1, 2023  Posted by at 8:54 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  26 Responses »


Pable Picasso Le Pengouin 1907

 

Ukraine Can Use German Missiles To Attack Russia – Bundestag (RT)
UK Defense Chief Wants To Send British Troops To Ukraine (RT)
Biden Demands Uninterrupted Cash Flow To Ukraine (RT)
“More Deceit”: Gaetz Rages Over McCarthy-Ukraine Side Deal To Pass Stopgap (ZH)
Ukraine Absent From Emergency US Government Funding Deal (RT)
Thousands of Ukrainian Troops Surrender via Russian Radio Hotline (sp.)
Pro-Russian ex-PM Fico Wins Slovak Election, Needs Allies For Government (RT)
Ukraine Conflict A ‘Slavic Fraternal War’ – Orban (RT)
Ukraine Plan to Stage New Counteroffensive ‘Act of Desperation’ – Analyst (Sp.)
Abrams Tanks Will Become ‘Mobile Steel Coffins’ for Ukrainian Crews (Scott Ritter)
Melania Trump Renegotiates Prenup Amid Potential 2nd Term, Legal Troubles (Sp.)
Prosecutors: Trump May Have Violated Federal Gun Law At Campaign Event (Sp.)
Trump Plans To Appear At New York Court Hearing In Fraud Case (TASS)

 

 

“I am still well but my condition is deteriorating. I am trying with all my strength to keep a small part of myself alive. A small part which I will use when I get out of prison to exist again, to be Julian again. I’m a fighter and I know that’s what I have to do.”
Julian Assange

 

 

Tucker must see
https://twitter.com/i/status/1707932271406461168

 

 

 

 

Blame

 

 


U.S. Banks are facing some $600 billion of unrealized losses, roughly 25% of total banking capital, near the highest levels in history

 

 

 

 

“America is a corpse being devoured by maggots. The Democrats root for the maggots, the Republicans root for the corpse.”

 

 

 

 

My immediate reaction: what would the Bundestag suggest Russia use to attack Germany? They might as well opine on that too now they just positioned themselves square into the middle of this “conflict”.

Ukraine Can Use German Missiles To Attack Russia – Bundestag (RT)

The head of the Bundestag’s Defense Committee Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann has spoken in favor of providing Ukraine with German-made Taurus cruise missiles. The lawmaker also argued that Kiev has the right to strike targets in Crimea, and on Russian soil in general. So far, Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government has been reluctant to supply the long-range rockets to Kiev, despite its repeated requests. In an interview with Berliner Morgenpost newspaper published on Saturday, Strack-Zimmermann argued that Berlin “should now immediately deliver Taurus,” as the deployment of such cruise missiles could help the Ukrainian military disrupt Russian supply lines. When asked if she had any issue with Kiev potentially using these rockets to strike targets on Russian soil, the MP replied in the negative, adding that “that includes Crimea.”

According to the lawmaker, international law gives Ukraine the right to “attack military targets also on the territory of the Russian aggressor,” using any weapons at its disposal, regardless of their origin. The deliberate use of Taurus missiles against civilians would, however, be off-limits, much like the deployment of German troops to Ukraine, Strack-Zimmermann clarified. When asked whether she was concerned over the potential cutting of American aid to Kiev should Donald Trump become president next year, the head of the Bundestag Defense Committee acknowledged that, without Washington’s support, the conflict would develop differently. However, she insisted that, if Europe were united in its effort, it could shoulder the burden of supporting Ukraine alone.

While the UK and France have in recent months provided Ukraine with their respective long-range Storm Shadow and SCALP-EG missiles, the German government has so far been unwilling to follow suit. Explaining this stance, Chancellor Scholz has said that Ukrainian attacks deep into Russian territory could trigger a major escalation. Other German officials have pointed out that the US has yet to make a similar move. The Taurus missile carries a 500-kilogram warhead and has a range of about 500 kilometers (300 miles). Earlier this month, Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said that, while she fully understands Kiev’s desire to get hold of these rockets, such deliveries are “not something that can be done quickly,” as “every detail has to be worked out beforehand.” Russia, for its part, has consistently warned the West against supplying arms to Kiev, arguing that it only prolongs this conflict, while also risking a direct confrontation between NATO and Moscow.

Read more …

Are they all aiming to be directly involved now? US next? Is this all part of a big change?

UK Defense Chief Wants To Send British Troops To Ukraine (RT)

The newly-appointed Defence Secretary, Grant Shapps, has unveiled ongoing discussions about expanding the UK-led training program for Ukrainian troops and potentially relocating British instructors into the country itself, as well as offering Kiev unspecified naval support in the Black Sea. “I was talking today about eventually getting the training brought closer and actually into Ukraine as well,” Shapps told The Telegraph after a visit to a Salisbury Plain training ground, on Friday. During his trip to Kiev earlier this week, the new defense chief, who got his post in a government reshuffle a month ago, apparently saw an “opportunity” to “bring more things in country.” Shapps explained he meant “not just training,” but also weapons manufacturing, as he praised the British arms giant BAE Systems for its plans to localize in Ukraine.

“I’m keen to see other British companies do their bit as well by doing the same thing. So I think there will be a move to get more training and production in the country,” he added. In his discussions with the Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, Shapps also reportedly said that Britain’s Navy “could play a role in defending commercial vessels” the Black Sea, according to The Telegraph. The UK military conducted an official operation to train and arm Ukrainian troops since 2015, which has since shifted out of the country. British Royal Marines also conducted several high-risk “discreet operations” in Ukraine last year, according to one general, but officially London never admitted to having any significant presence in the country after the conflict with Russia escalated in 2022.

However, several classified US military documents that leaked online earlier this year suggested that some 50 British special operatives were still active in Ukraine. The open deployment of British military personnel would be yet another escalation, after the UK became the first NATO country to supply Kiev with depleted uranium shells as well as long-range cruise missiles which Ukraine has since repeatedly used in attacks against Russian infrastructure. Moscow has repeatedly described the conflict in Ukraine as one between Russia and the “entire Western military machine,” while Russian President Vladimir Putin said last year that there are entire military units in Ukraine “under the de-facto command of Western advisers.”

British intelligence experts were also involved in studying ways to blow up Russia’s Crimea Bridge using divers or maritime drones, according to independent news website The Grayzone. Last year’s attack on the bridge was carried out using a truck bomb, rather than the options discussed in the UK analysis, but in July Kiev used two suicide sea drones in a deadly strike that damaged a span of the road and killed two civilians. Earlier this week, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova accused UK and US intelligence agencies of helping to coordinate the latest Ukrainian strike on Sevastopol, Crimea, which targeted the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

Read more …

Those days are gone..

Biden Demands Uninterrupted Cash Flow To Ukraine (RT)

President Joe Biden has welcomed a bipartisan short-time budget deal that will keep the US government open for the next 45 days, but was disappointed that none of the billions of dollars in various aid to Kiev that he had requested made it to the final bill. “We cannot under any circumstances allow American support for Ukraine to be interrupted,” Biden said in a brief statement on Saturday night, shortly after the Congress passed the measure. Biden had requested an additional $24 billion for Ukraine in order to ensure an uninterrupted flow of aid to the country, but critics argued that Washington has more important priorities and should have stronger safeguards against the misappropriation of the aid it sends to Kiev.

The US leader, however, blamed “extreme House Republicans” for causing a “manufactured crisis”and “demanding drastic cuts that would have been devastating for millions of Americans.” “I fully expect the Speaker will keep his commitment to the people of Ukraine and secure passage of the support needed to help Ukraine at this critical moment,” the US president added. The Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy had to rely on Democrats in order to pass the bill and avert government shutdown as 90 Republicans opposed any short-term funding measures denying him the much needed votes.

As a part of the deal McCarthy increased federal disaster assistance by $16 billion, but had to forgo the border security provisions sought by the GOP. After no new aid to Ukraine made it to the final bill, the House Democratic leadership said in a statement on Saturday that they expect McCarthy to bring a separate Ukraine aid package to vote when the House returns. The Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin also welcomed the bill passing, but called on the Congress to “live up to America’s commitment to provide urgently-needed assistance” to Kiev. “America must live up to its word and continue to lead,” he added in a statement published on Saturday.

Read more …

“If you’re telling the American people with a straight face you will shut down the American government over Ukraine, then shame on you..”

Ukraine Absent From Emergency US Government Funding Deal (RT)

The US House of Representatives and the Senate both approved a stopgap spending bill on Saturday. The resolution keeps the government open for the next 45 days at the current spending level and adds billions of dollars in funding for US disaster relief – but excludes new aid to Ukraine despite President Joe Biden’s request. The so-called continuing resolution was passed in a 335-91 vote in the House and sent to the Senate just a few hours before the shutdown deadline. The House then adjourned until Monday, meaning the lawmakers did not expect to try something else if the Senate failed to approve the legislation. The Senate approved the bill in a 88-9 vote, and passed it to President Biden, who had decided to stay in Washington this weekend, on standby to sign it. The new plan, branded as a ‘clean’ bill by the Republicans, won the support from more House Democrats than Republicans, with just one Democrat voting against the short-term funding measure.

It ensures that the federal operations are going at the current spending level, but includes none of the $24 billion funding for Ukraine that Biden said was necessary. In a speech on the House floor Saturday, Rep. Michael Lawler (R-N.Y.) urged his colleagues not to allow the government to shut down simply because the bill excludes aid for Ukraine. “If you’re telling the American people with a straight face you will shut down the American government over Ukraine, then shame on you,” Lawler said. With the government shutdown looming at midnight, the Senate will now face immense pressure to pass the House bill even without aid for Ukraine. The new bill was introduced by the Republicans on Saturday morning, after an earlier plan aimed at steep social spending cuts and tougher border security measures was rejected on Friday.

Read more …

This may well be it for McCarthy. Gaetz the next Speaker?

“More Deceit”: Gaetz Rages Over McCarthy-Ukraine Side Deal To Pass Stopgap (ZH)

Update (2155ET): Following the Senate’s passage of the Continuing Resolution, Rep. Matt Gaetz took to Twitter, where he was enraged over a side deal made between Speaker Kevin McCarthy and the Democrats for Ukraine funding, which Gaetz says he “didn’t tell House Republicans” about until after the vote. Gaetz was responding to Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman, who related a message from House Democratic leadership. “When the House returns, we expect Speaker McCarthy to advance a bill to the House Floor for an up-or-down vote that supports Ukraine, consistent with his commitment to making sure that Vladimir Putin, Russia and authoritarianism are defeated. We must stand with the Ukrainian people until victory is won.”

[..] Update (2109ET): The Senate has voted 88-9 to pass the House’s Continuing Resolution stopgap funding bill, which stripped out funds for Ukraine, includes $16 billion for disaster relief, and will keep the US government running for another 45 days. Among the Senate “Yea” votes was Michael Bennet (D-CO), who was absolutely flipping his lid over the lack of Ukraine funding earlier in the day. The bill, which passed the House earlier in the day by a bipartisan vote of 335-91, was passed with just three hours to go before a shutdown. Just before the vote, Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) vowed to keep fighting for more US taxpayer dollars for Ukraine, saying that he and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have “agreed to continue fighting for more economic and security aid for Ukraine.”

“We support Ukraine’s efforts to defend its sovereignty against Putin’s aggression,” said Schumer – to which McConnell said he’s “confident” that the Senate can pass more “urgent assistance to Ukraine later this year. But let’s be clear,” that the “alternative,” a shutdown, “would not just pause our progress on these important priorities, it would actually set them back.”

Update (1755ET): After an afternoon of theatrics from Rep. Jamal Bowman (D-NY), it appears that the stopgap legislation to keep the government running through November 17 will now pass at the 11th hour. According to the Wall Street Journal, the bill to keep the government funded past 12:01 Sunday includes $16 billion in disaster relief, but does not include Ukraine funds. “The House voted 335-91 for the funding measure, which includes $16 billion in disaster relief but omits aid for Ukraine. It also excludes border-security measures sought by Republicans. The margin exceeded the two-thirds majority needed to clear the bill through the House, which considered the legislation under special procedures requiring a supermajority of votes. All but one Democrat voted in favor of the measure, while nearly half of Republicans voted against it.” -WSJ

Read more …

“Unlike in spring when one or two Ukrainian soldiers surrendered, now whole UAF units are laying down the arms; surrendering, there were no company [units]; we even witnessed platoon surrenders..”

Thousands of Ukrainian Troops Surrender via Russian Radio Hotline (sp.)

Clayton Morris, an American journalist, has expressed his astonishment at a series of videos showcasing the significant surrender of Ukrainian armed forces (UAF) servicemen. This surrender was seen even through the utilization of a newly established Russian radio frequency. “This is amazing. This is a story the Western media does not want you to see,” Morris said on his YouTube channel, referring to “tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers laying down the weapons and surrendering to the Russian troops.” According to a reliable source, recently there has been a significant increase in the number of Ukrainian troops utilizing a dedicated radio frequency to communicate their willingness to disarm. The revelation comes after the individual’s statement was reported by Russian media. The frequency was set up by Russian forces in mid-summer.

“Now more than 10,000 Ukrainian servicemen have already chosen life and used the 149.200 ‘Volga’ frequency to surrender. The captives are well-fed and provided with all necessary medical care,” the source said. According to the insider, the process of UAF soldiers laying down their arms has recently accelerated as Ukrainian troops have begun surrendering in groups rather than individually, particularly around the village of Rabotino, one of the main flashpoints of the Ukraine conflict. After the start of Kiev’s counteroffensive in early June, Governor Yevgeny Balitsky of the Zaporozhye region confirmed that a large number of Ukrainian Armed Forces servicemen began surrendering in great numbers. “Unlike in spring when one or two Ukrainian soldiers surrendered, now whole UAF units are laying down the arms; surrendering, there were no company [units]; we even witnessed platoon surrenders,” Balitsky pointed out.

He added that the Ukrainian POWs have decent living conditions and that no one beats or tortures them. The remarks came after a source in the Russian special services told Sputnik that on the Zaporozhye frontline, Ukrainian soldiers are being urged to surrender with the help of leaflets in the form of hryvnias, which are being dropped on UAF positions. “We are working to prevent pointless bloodshed among by Ukrainian soldiers. We are distributing leaflets asking those servicemen to surrender,” the source stressed. The leaflets contain information on how UAF troops can contact the Russian military to discuss the time and place of surrender, according to the insider. Since early June, the UAF has been trying to advance on the Zaporozhye, Yuzhnodonetsk and Artemovsk fronts, not least with the help of combat units trained and armed by NATO instructors.

Read more …

Fico ran on “not a penny more for Ukraine”.

Pro-Russian ex-PM Fico Wins Slovak Election, Needs Allies For Government (RT)

Slovakia’s leftist former Prime Minister Robert Fico beat his progressive rival in a parliamentary election after campaigning to end military aid to Ukraine, but he will need to win over allies to form the next government, nearly complete results showed on Sunday. With 98% of voting districts reporting in the Saturday election, Fico’s SMER-SSD party led with 23.37% of the vote. The liberal Progressive Slovakia (PS) followed with 16.86% and the HLAS (Voice) party, which could become the kingmaker for forming the next government, was third with 15.03%.

Former Fico colleague and leftist HLAS leader Peter Pellegrini kept his options open on future coalitions. A government led by Fico and his SMER-SSD party would see NATO member Slovakia joining Hungary in challenging the European Union’s consensus on support for Ukraine, just as the bloc looks to maintain unity in opposing Russia’s invasion. It would also signal a further shift in the region against political liberalism, which may be reinforced if conservative PiS wins an election in Poland later this month.

Read more …

“..the “deterioration of the economic situation in the West will force countries to stand up for peace..”

Ukraine Conflict A ‘Slavic Fraternal War’ – Orban (RT)

The Ukraine conflict is a face-off between two Slavic nations in which the rest of the world should not get involved, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said. He added that most other Western countries are doing everything they can to spread the hostilities. In an interview with Kossuth Radio on Friday, Orban said the conflict between Kiev and Moscow “is not our war,” but rather a “Slavic fraternal war between two countries.” For this reason, he said other nations should strive to “isolate it, separate it, prevent it from spreading further.” He acknowledged, however, that Budapest and the rest of the Western world have markedly different views on the situation, with the latter intent on globalizing the conflict and seeing it as their war. According to Orban, this approach is mistaken as Western nations are risking severe consequences without having a clear goal.

He attributed this difference in positions to the fact that Hungary directly borders Ukraine, while most of Kiev’s backers are quite far away from the country. The Hungarian prime minister noted that, while “tens of thousands die,” the front lines remain stationary, and there is a “constant danger” of other nations being affected by the conflict. Orban also suggested that it would be a mistake to admit Ukraine into the European Union before the conflict is over. He noted that Kiev and Moscow have territorial disputes, and it is therefore difficult to predict how big or small Ukraine will end up being, and how much of the population will remain when hostilities end. He said these are key parameters for distributing responsibilities and resources within the EU.

The prime minister concluded by claiming that the bloc is short of funds, and currently has to decide between supporting Ukraine or its own less-developed member states, such as Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Croatia. Earlier this month, Orban predicted that the “deterioration of the economic situation in the West will force countries to stand up for peace,” and they will urge Kiev to negotiate with Moscow. Since the conflict broke out in February 2022, Hungary has been highly critical of Western economic sanctions on Russia, as well as the shipment of increasingly more advanced weaponry to Ukraine.

Read more …

” I think the majority of Ukrainians want to see the war ended..”

Ukraine Plan to Stage New Counteroffensive ‘Act of Desperation’ – Analyst (Sp.)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his curators from the US and the UK have reportedly agreed on Kiev’s new counteroffensive in early October in the Kherson and Zaporozhye areas, an informed source told Sputnik. The source argued that a large group of marines from the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) is currently stationed in the Nikolayev region awaiting an order to cross the Dnepr River. Additionally, UAF special forces, who were trained by British military instructors, plan to seize the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, according to the insider. Earl Rasmussen, for his part, told Sputnik that this plan “doesn’t make a lot of sense,” something that can also be described as an “act of desperation.” “This is a catastrophe, this spring/summer/autumn counteroffensive,” the analyst said, referring to Ukraine’s huge death toll.

“The [Ukrainian] army is basically diminished… I think he [Zelensky]’s getting pressure from the West to continue to show some type of progress,” according to Rasmussen. He insisted that “the planned autumn counteroffensive is definitely not a good idea.” The analyst stressed that, “It makes absolutely no military sense, and it’s purely being used to appease some people,” namely, the Zelensky regime’s “Western backers” rather than ordinary Ukrainians. “It is appeasing them and it is because they’re willing to fight to the last Ukrainian as well as Western backers. I do not think that it’s an act to appease the majority of Ukrainians. I think the majority of Ukrainians want to see the war ended,” Rasmussen said.

When asked to comment on the situation when the use of terms such as “war fatigue” and “Zelensky fatigue” is becoming more mainstream among Western politicians, the analyst said that “a lot of people don’t understand ‘Why are we involved with this?’ “They bought into the propaganda over here, the worst censorship that I’ve ever seen in my lifetime… But the censorship is unbelievable with media being shut down, with YouTube lines being blocked,” Rasmussen added.

Read more …

“This was the case with the German Leopard 2A6, with the Swedish Strv 122, and the British Challenger 2. And it will be the case with the American M1A1..”

Abrams Tanks Will Become ‘Mobile Steel Coffins’ for Ukrainian Crews (Scott Ritter)

The United States has reportedly begun delivering M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks to Ukraine. These tanks are part of a 31-tank package approved by the Biden administration earlier this year which has seen a significant delay in delivery. The delay in delivering these tanks is attributed to the need to train Ukrainian crews on how to operate and maintain the 68-ton vehicles, each of which is crewed by a four-person team. Around 500 Ukrainian soldiers have undergone an intensive ten-week course on the operation and maintenance of the M1A1 at the US Army’s Grafenwöhr training facility in West Germany. This course is derived from the “Black” phase of the M1A1 operator course conducted at Fort Benning, Georgia, that is designed to train soldiers for the 19K military occupational specialty (MOS), Armored Crewman.

The 19K training includes significant motor pool time, where the trainees are instructed on how to conduct what is known as ten-level (organizational) maintenance, namely the kind of work performed by an operating unit on a day-to-day basis in support of its own operations. This includes lubricating, cleaning, preserving, tightening, replacing, and performing authorized adjustments. The Ukrainians, however, will not be instructed on intermediate-level maintenance, including diagnosis and fault isolation. Such maintenance will be done at a depot facility outside of Ukraine (most likely in Poland). Once the Ukrainian trainees know the basics of how to perform day-to-day maintenance of the M1A1 tank, they are taught about what is expected of them as tank drivers and what steps and actions they must take to prepare the M1A1 for operation.

As part of this training, the soldiers will spend many hours in the Tank Driver Simulator (TDS), a full-scale mockup of the M1A1 driver’s station that gives the trainee a “feel” for how the tank handles before they actually drive one. After time in the TDS, the trainee advances to the Basic Drivers Course, where he learns how to drive an actual tank in road conditions. Once the trainee is qualified to drive the M1A1 tank, he receives training on how to operate the breech and load the 120mm ammunition used by the M1A1. They also learn how to operate the radios and communications system of the M1A1. At the end of the “Black” phase, the trainee will take what is known as the Armor Crewman Test, which covers the tasks involved with preparing the driver’s and loader’s stations. The trainee is also tested on basic maintenance and safety drills.

[..] The Ukrainian soldiers trained by the US Army will possess only the most basic skill levels associated with the M1A1 Abrams. They will lack any tactical or operational skill when it comes to the employment of the tank in combat. Their gunnery skill will be rudimentary (they will more than likely miss their target on the first try, a kiss of death in modern combat), and they will lack the experience and skill necessary to troubleshoot the range of complex malfunctions that occur in the tank turret, electrical, hydraulic, armament, and fire control systems that come with the kind of intensive operations experienced in combat, but not during basic training.

The M1A1, when crewed by an experienced team of soldiers, is a lethal weapon. When crewed by Ukrainians possessing only basic skills—especially when going up against veteran Russian soldiers equipped with modern tank-killing weapons—the M1A1 is little more than a death trap, a mobile steel coffin for the four men inside. This was the case with the German Leopard 2A6, with the Swedish Strv 122, and the British Challenger 2. And it will be the case with the American M1A1.

Read more …

This is about securing money and assets away from that crazy judge. Just in case.

Melania Trump Renegotiates Prenup Amid Potential 2nd Term, Legal Troubles (Sp.)

In a discreet move, Melania Trump has reportedly renegotiated her prenuptial agreement with former President Donald Trump, according to insider sources. This latest revision marks at least the third time the couple has adjusted their marital contract since their marriage in 2005. While the specifics of the renegotiation remain undisclosed, it is said to encompass financial assets and property. The primary motive behind this revamped agreement might lie in Melania’s concern for securing a substantial trust for her son, Barron, who is currently 17-years-old, reports US media. Sources suggest that Melania sought to increase her financial security through this renegotiation, with a particular focus on providing for Barron’s future. This renegotiation’s timing is intriguing, as it aligns not only with the possibility of Trump serving a second term but also with his ongoing legal battles.

Donald Trump currently faces potential financial liabilities in a $250 million civil case initiated by New York Attorney General Letitia James against both him and his real estate business. Additionally, he is under a court order to pay $5 million to E. Jean Carroll for defamation, a case he is actively appealing. Thus far, representatives for the Trumps have refrained from commenting on this development. This isn’t the first time rumors of Melania renegotiating the prenup have surfaced. In 2020, a book authored by US media writer Mary Jordan alleged that Melania had sought a prenup revision in 2017, aiming to secure financial equality for Barron, especially concerning opportunities and inheritance compared to Trump’s older children from previous marriages.

Despite previous denials and criticism surrounding such claims, this latest renegotiation underscores Melania’s unwavering commitment to her family’s financial well-being, especially in light of Trump’s ongoing legal entanglements. Melania has been regarded by some as Trump’s “secret weapon” in politics, recognized for providing a stabilizing influence during tumultuous times. However, the full implications of this latest development on the Trumps’ relationship and financial arrangements remain uncertain and will likely continue to fuel speculation and discussion.


Donald Trump is not a small man at 6’3‘‘ (190cm). But his son Barron, at 17 years old, is already 6’8‘‘ (203cm).

Read more …

Someone shows him a nice gun with his likeness. He says: nice, I should get myself one. They: arrest him!

Prosecutors: Trump May Have Violated Federal Gun Law At Campaign Event (Sp.)

Special counsel Jack Smith questioned whether the former president violated the conditions of his release at a South Carolina gun shop Monday, forcing his campaign to offer a clarification. The US president’s son Hunter Biden is set to face federal weapons charges Tuesday at a courthouse in Delaware. For a brief moment this week it appeared 2024 contender Donald Trump might be joining him. The controversy started Monday afternoon with a post on the X platform from Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung. “President Trump purchases a @GLOCKInc in South Carolina!” posted Cheung, tagging the account of the US gun manufacturer. An accompanying video showed Trump examining a handgun bearing the former president’s likeness.

The campaign deleted the tweet shortly after, clarifying, “President Trump did not purchase or take possession of the firearm. He simply indicated that he wanted one.” That didn’t stop prosecutors from weighing in on the controversy, writing, “the defendant either purchased a gun in violation of the law and his conditions of release, or seeks to benefit from his supporters’ mistaken belief that he did so.” Federal law prohibits people facing felony charges from obtaining new firearms; the former president is currently facing 91 felony charges. In addition to pointing out the supposed violation of gun laws, prosecutors have also sought a gag order for Trump, noting his social media comments about retiring Joint Chiefs chair Mark Milley and other witnesses in his case.

“No other criminal defendant would be permitted to issue public statements insinuating that a known witness in his case should be executed; this defendant should not be, either,” wrote the prosecutors. Conservative gun rights advocates have questioned the validity of the kinds of restrictions faced by both Trump and President Biden’s son. Expert Stephen Gutowski noted that a federal judge in Texas found the prohibitions to be unconstitutional. However, barring a similar ruling from the Supreme Court or a federal court of appeals, such restrictions currently remain in effect.

Read more …

Donald Trump before becoming President: 0 CHARGES IN 70 YEARS.
Donald Trump after becoming President: 91 CHARGES FROM 4 SEPARATE INDICTMENTS IN 1 YEAR.

A guy with a strong 50-year career in New York real estate vs a judge who knows very little about it.

Trump Plans To Appear At New York Court Hearing In Fraud Case (TASS)

Former US President Donald Trump plans to come to New York next week and personally attend the court hearing in the civil fraud case in which he and his company Trump Organization are defendants, Bloomberg reported, citing sources. The start of the trial is scheduled for Monday, October 2. As expected, Trump will at the hearing with his lawyers. The court is ready to provide additional security measures in connection with the arrival of the former American leader and is working with the New York police on this issue, the news agency added. It is noted that Trump also plans to testify in court, but will do so at a later date.

The action of the New York prosecutor’s office against Trump and his company in a civil fraud case was sent to court in September 2022. According to the version of the Public Advocate Letitia James, the company provided false information about the value of assets in order to obtain more favorable conditions for loans and insurance. According to the prosecutor’s office, the value of assets was overstated by $2.23 billion to $3.6 billion. In particular, prosecutors say the value of Trump’s Florida estate, his apartments in Manhattan’s Trump Tower skyscraper, a number of office buildings and golf courses were overstated. Trump’s defense insists the allegations are baseless and that the price of the properties could have changed over time for various reasons. The trial is expected to wrap up in December. The civil cases do not involve jail time or restrictions on political activity.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1708304737076994086

Read more …

 

 

 

 

@jack

 

 

Dowd
https://twitter.com/i/status/1708219664004767936

 

 

Water crisis

 

 

 

 

Lift
https://twitter.com/i/status/1707779768278462707

 

 

Monarch
https://twitter.com/i/status/1708112506634248429

 

 

Narcomedusa
https://twitter.com/i/status/1708373314828140963

 

 

Dana

 

 

 

 

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