Mar 232023

Gustav Klimt Pine forest I 1901


In Moscow, Xi And Putin Bury Pax Americana (Escobar)
Multipolarity Was Triggered By The 2003 US Invasion Of Iraq (Kneissl)
Why Hypersonic Weapons Change Everything (Krainer)
EU ‘Delusional’ In Its Push To ‘Decouple’ From Russia – Austrian FM (RT)
Results Of Xi’s Visit To Russia Matter, Not Western Reaction – Kremlin (TASS)
China Gives US Advice On Ukraine (ZH)
West Wants Ukraine To Be Destroyed – Moscow (RT)
West Brings Humankind Closer To Nuclear Armageddon – Antonov (TASS)
UK’s Depleted Uranium Plan Threatens All Of Europe – Moscow (RT)
Russia Calls On US Not To Escalate Situation (TASS)
Russia, China Reject Import Of ‘Color Revolutions’ To Central Asia (TASS)
Russia and China Sign Long-Term Nuclear Deal (RT)
Macron Will Not Seek Re-election, Ready To Sacrifice His Popularity (TASS)
US Trying To ‘Cover Up’ Nord Stream Sabotage Role – Seymour Hersh (RT)
US Must Respond To Nord Stream Accusations – Mexican President (RT)
Elon Musk Urges US To Guarantee All Bank Deposits (RT)
Hunter Biden Used FBI Mole Named ‘One-eye’ To Tip Him Off To China Probes (NYP)














Tucker Moderna



Rand Paul Blinken

















Very few in the west have an overview of how the world changed last weekend.

“..the Russian position remains ironclad: demilitarization, Ukrainian neutrality, and enshrining the new facts on the ground. In parallel, the Russian Foreign Ministry completely ruled out a role for the US, UK, France, and Germany in future Ukraine negotiations: they are not considered neutral mediators.”

In Moscow, Xi And Putin Bury Pax Americana (Escobar)

What has just taken place in Moscow is nothing less than a new Yalta, which, incidentally, is in Crimea. But unlike the momentous meeting of US President Franklin Roosevelt, Soviet Leader Joseph Stalin, and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in USSR-run Crimea in 1945, this is the first time in arguably five centuries that no political leader from the west is setting the global agenda. It’s Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin that are now running the multilateral, multipolar show. Western exceptionalists may deploy their crybaby routines as much as they want: nothing will change the spectacular optics, and the underlying substance of this developing world order, especially for the Global South. What Xi and Putin are setting out to do was explained in detail before their summit, in two Op-Eds penned by the presidents themselves. Like a highly-synchronized Russian ballet, Putin’s vision was laid out in the People’s Daily in China, focusing on a “future-bound partnership,” while Xi’s was published in the Russian Gazette and the RIA Novosti website, focusing on a new chapter in cooperation and common development.

Right from the start of the summit, the speeches by both Xi and Putin drove the NATO crowd into a hysterical frenzy of anger and envy: Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova perfectly captured the mood when she remarked that the west was “foaming at the mouth.” The front page of the Russian Gazette on Monday was iconic: Putin touring Nazi-free Mariupol, chatting with residents, side by side with Xi’s Op-Ed. That was, in a nutshell, Moscow’s terse response to Washington’s MQ-9 Reaper stunt and the International Criminal Court (ICC) kangaroo court shenanigans. “Foam at the mouth” as much as you like; NATO is in the process of being thoroughly humiliated in Ukraine.

During their first “informal” meeting, Xi and Putin talked for no less than four and a half hours. At the end, Putin personally escorted Xi to his limo. This conversation was the real deal: mapping out the lineaments of multipolarity – which starts with a solution for Ukraine. Predictably, there were very few leaks from the sherpas, but there was quite a significant one on their “in-depth exchange” on Ukraine. Putin politely stressed he respects China’s position – expressed in Beijing’s 12-point conflict resolution plan, which has been completely rejected by Washington. But the Russian position remains ironclad: demilitarization, Ukrainian neutrality, and enshrining the new facts on the ground. In parallel, the Russian Foreign Ministry completely ruled out a role for the US, UK, France, and Germany in future Ukraine negotiations: they are not considered neutral mediators.

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“..orientation comes from Orient.”

Multipolarity Was Triggered By The 2003 US Invasion Of Iraq (Kneissl)

In the run-up to the Iraq invasion, there was a great deal of division among UN Security Council (UNSC) members. US Secretary of State Colin Powell presented questionable evidence of Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass destruction, while the foreign ministers of Germany and France publicly opposed the aggression, for which they occasionally received applause in the Council. China and Russia, who vehemently opposed the war, began coordinating their decisions and responses, in part because of their respective oil interests in Iraq. This cooperation between Moscow and Beijing set the stage for a coordinated multilateral approach between the two nations. Both governments understood that a war would open Pandora’s box, leading to the collapse of Iraqi institutions and resulting in widespread regional disharmony.

Unfortunately, this is precisely what happened. The subsequent years saw weekly attacks, an expansion of Salafi terror groups like Al Qaeda, the rise of ISIS in 2014, and perpetual internal Iraqi conflict. Anyone familiar with the country‘s conditions was aware of the looming catastrophe when the illegal invasion of Iraq began on 20 March, 2003. Twenty years to the day, Chinese President Xi Jinping will embark on a three-day state visit to Moscow, and the focus will extend beyond bilateral energy relations, which have been a consistent priority since 2004. As previously stated in their joint declaration in Beijing in February 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart aim to coordinate their foreign policy and advance it together. Their discussions may also touch on the Ukraine dossier, although media expectations in the west may be overestimated.

It may be pure coincidence that the meeting coincides with the 20th anniversary of the Iraq invasion. Yet it also highlights how extensively Russian and Chinese strategies have intertwined over the past two decades. Today, increasingly, “orientation comes from Orient.” Cooperative geostrategic leadership and sound alternative propositions to resolve global conflicts are being shaped in Beijing and Moscow – because the old centers of power can offer nothing new. Twenty years after the US invasion of Iraq, a failed ‘war on terror,’ the proliferation of extremism, millions of dead and displaced in West Asia, and never-ending conflict, China and Russia have finally teamed up to systematically advance their view of the world, this time with more resolve and global clout.

Brzezinski 1997

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“Russia is the only country in the world that has deployment-ready hypersonic missiles – not one but three types..”

Why Hypersonic Weapons Change Everything (Krainer)

It was in 2018 that Vladimir Putin took the stage to present Russia’s new hypersonic weapons. The term “hypersonic” refers to missiles that fly at speeds of 5 mach and higher. At the time, many in the west dismissed Putin’s claims and thought it was a bluff. We now know that he wasn’t bluffing. Russia is the only country in the world that has deployment-ready hypersonic missiles – not one but three types: Zircons, Kinzhals and Avantguards. Domazet explained why these weapons are radical game changers in warfare. Namely, in World War 1, tanks were the game changing military technology. Since World War 2, it’s been the air-force. Aircraft carrier strike groups have been an irresistible force wherever they travelled, dominating the seas ever since. But hypersonic precision missiles have rendered that force obsolete overnight.

The main military front in today’s global conflict, according to Domazet, are the Anti-Ballistic (ABM) batteries which the US has set up on the Poland-Romania axis, and the Russians on the North Pole-Kaliningrad-Crimea-Syria axis. These are defensive systems, conceived to intercept incoming nuclear missiles (though they can easily be converted to offensive nuclear missiles). However, today’s ABM systems are only effective against missiles flying at speeds up to mach 3.5 (3.5 x the speed of sound). Russia’s new Kinzhal missile flies at speeds of mach 12 to mach 15 and nothing in western defensive arsenals can stop its strike. During the war in Ukraine, Russia staged a stunning demonstration of its power.

The first Kinzhal strike, delivered one month after the beginning of hostilities in Ukraine, was perhaps the most significant: Russian forces targeted a large weapons depot in Ukraine which had been built during the Soviet times to withstand a nuclear strike. It was buried 170 meters (over 500 ft) underground and protected by several layers of armored concrete. The Kinzhal flies at altitudes of between 20 and 40 km, with a maximum range of 2,000 km. When above target, it dives perpendicularly and accelerates to 15 mach, generating enormous kinetic energy in addition to its explosive payload. That first strike with a single Kinzhal missile destroyed Ukraine’s nuke-proof underground weapons depot. This was a message for the west.

[..] Western intelligence estimated that Russia had some 50 Kinzhals at the start of the war in Ukraine, and thus far it has used only 9 of them. Last week, they fired six Kinzhals in a single salvo. That too, was a message. Here’s how Domazet explained it: United States have 11 aircraft carrier strike groups. Of these, fewer than half will be active at any one time (while others are in dock for maintenance, or in preparation). Firing six Kinzhals in one go is military-speak for, “we have the capability to sink ALL of your aircraft carriers at once.”

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“91% of Western companies are still in Russia and doing what is sensible: waiting, containment, ring fencing.”

EU ‘Delusional’ In Its Push To ‘Decouple’ From Russia – Austrian FM (RT)

Russia will always remain important for Europe, Austria’s foreign minister told Reuters on Wednesday as he defended Raiffeisen Bank’s continued operations in the sanctioned country. Alexander Schallenberg made his comments after the US sanctions authority launched a probe into the Austrian lender over its business related to Russia last month. “Let’s get real,” he said. “91% of Western companies are still in Russia and doing what is sensible: waiting, containment, ring fencing.” Raiffeisen Bank International is Austria’s second-largest lender and, despite sanctions, still plays a critical role in the Russian economy.

It’s one of only two foreign banks on the Russian central bank’s list of 13 systemically important credit institutions. The other is UniCredit, a pan-European commercial bank. “To think that there won’t be Russia anymore and we can decouple in all areas is delusional,” Schallenberg told Reuters, adding that while Austria would loosen ties, this “can’t happen overnight.” Schallenberg also discouraged Europe from introducing further sanctions against Russia. “It is a very blunt weapon,” he said. “We’ve had massive sanctions packages. Give them time to work.”


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“Dmitry Medvedev [..] pointed out that he was pleased that most Westerners were furious about Russia-China high-level talks..”

Results Of Xi’s Visit To Russia Matter, Not Western Reaction – Kremlin (TASS)

It is the results of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia that matter, not the Western coverage that was predictably hostile, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday. “Undoubtedly, the most important thing is not the West’s reaction after all, but the results of these talks that have taken place. The main thing is the results of the state visit itself,” the Kremlin spokesman said. “As for the reaction of the Western countries, it is practically on all issues nothing but unfriendly and deeply hostile, this is not a secret to anyone. The coverage of this important visit is not an exception,” Peskov stressed.

Chinese President Xi Jinping was on a state visit in Russia from March 20 to 22. On Monday, he had a tete-a-tete informal meeting with Putin, which lasted for 4.5 hours. On Tuesday, the Chinese leader met with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and then arrived in the Kremlin for official talks with Putin. The leaders signed two joint statements after the talks. They both pointed out that the talks were successful. Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev, who was part of the expanded circle of Russian delegates at the talks, pointed out that he was pleased that most Westerners were furious about Russia-China high-level talks.

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“..contrary to popular assumptions in the West, the global community stands by China on the side of diplomatically pursuing peace.”

China Gives US Advice On Ukraine (ZH)

Putin had told Xi that the peace plan “correlates to the point of view of the Russian Federation”; but the message out of Biden officials was “don’t be fooled” as it’s all about Moscow seeking to “freeze the war on its own terms,” in the words of Secretary of State Blinken. Also on Tuesday, NSC spokesman John Kirby said China is not an impartial mediator and that China “keeps parroting the Russian propaganda”. On Wednesday the Chinese foreign ministry hit back, charging that Washington is “adding fuel to the fire” of the conflict by its “continuous supply” of weapons to the battlefield. Spokesman Wang Wenbin was asked directly about Kirby and Blinken’s comments from the day prior.

“The US side claims that China’s stance isn’t impartial. But is it impartial to continuously supply weapons to the battlefield? Is it impartial to constantly escalate the conflict? Is it impartial to allow the effects of the crisis to spill over globally?” Wang said. “We advise the American side to rethink its own stance on the Ukraine issue, turn away from the erroneous path of adding fuel to the fire, and stop shifting the blame to China,” he added. The spokesman further insisted Beijing has “no selfish motives on the Ukraine issue, has not stood idly by… or sought profit for itself,” but that “what China has done boils down to one thing, that is, to promote peace talks.” He went on to assert that contrary to popular assumptions in the West, the global community stands by China on the side of diplomatically pursuing peace. According to a transcript:

“On the Ukraine issue, voices for peace and rationality are building. Most countries support easing tensions, stand for peace talks, and are against adding fuel to the fire. This is also China’s position. President Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia is a journey of friendship, cooperation and peace. It has been warmly received internationally. We call on the US to reflect on its own role in the Ukraine issue, stop fueling the flames, and stop deflecting the blame on China.”

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“..if London follows through with its plans, then “Russia will be forced to react accordingly, bearing in mind that the collective West has already started to use weapons with a nuclear component.”

West Wants Ukraine To Be Destroyed – Moscow (RT)

The British government’s plans to send depleted uranium shells to Kiev for use in the conflict with Moscow show that Western claims of caring about peace and the future of Ukraine are lies, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has claimed. Speaking to Radio Sputnik on Wednesday she insisted that the statement by London is a sign of the “absolute recklessness, irresponsibility and impunity” of the US and Britain when it comes to international affairs. She stressed that munitions containing depleted uranium are not only more powerful and have greater penetrating ability, but they also contaminate the soil with radiation, delivering lasting damage to the environment and affecting many generations of people living in the area.

“Everything that we hear from those countries [the US and UK] about peace, the settlement of the conflict, the future of Ukraine, the well-being of the Ukrainian people – it’s all a lie, falsehood and absolute disorientation of the international community. In reality, the goal is completely different,” Zakharova said. After the UK announced plans to supply armor-piercing depleted uranium shells to the Kiev government, “there can’t be any doubts that we’re talking about is the strongly pronounced intention of the collective West, headed by the US and Britain, to see Ukraine completely destroyed,” she stressed. On Monday, Annabel Goldie, the UK Minister of State for Defense, said that “alongside our granting of a squadron of Challenger 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine, we will be providing ammunition including armor-piercing rounds which contain depleted uranium.”

According to the official, such ammunition should be sent to Kiev because it is “highly effective in defeating modern tanks and armored vehicles.” The announcement by Goldie is “yet another British provocation,” which is aimed at escalating the conflict in Ukraine to a new level, Zakharova said. It’s no coincidence that it was made during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Moscow for talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, which were focused on international stability and the Chinese peace initiative for Ukraine, she suggested. The rounds containing depleted uranium are actually “weapons of mass destruction with a nuclear component,”the spokeswoman insisted, adding that “the WMD issue is part of Anglo-Saxon logic of destabilizing the global international situation.” She recalled how Washington’s unsubstantiated claims that the government of Saddam Hussein had been in possession of weapons of mass destruction became a pretext for the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.

She also noted that NATO had used munitions with depleted uranium during its bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999. “Some 15 tons of depleted uranium 238” were dropped on Yugoslav territory back then, and Serbia is still suffering from the fallout, reporting record numbers of some forms of cancer, Zakharova added. After the announcement of the deliveries of shells with depleted uranium to Ukraine, “we have no grounds anymore to doubt in principle who stands behind the activation, the launch of the conflict in Ukraine in all its phases. It is certainly the NATO-centric collective West, which is headed, in the first place, by the US and UK,” she insisted. Speaking about the issue on Tuesday, President Putin warned that if London follows through with its plans, then “Russia will be forced to react accordingly, bearing in mind that the collective West has already started to use weapons with a nuclear component.”

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“There is a continuous flow of lethal weapons to Ukraine, which are used to annihilate civilians, residential areas, schools, hospitals, kindergartens..”

West Brings Humankind Closer To Nuclear Armageddon – Antonov (TASS)

Western countries led by the US have decided to bring the humankind to the brink of a nuclear Armageddon, Russia’s Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said in Washington on Wednesday. He was responding to statements by US officials that depleted-uranium munitions are a standard type of weapons that’s been used for decades and doesn’t pose any heightened risk. “Commenting on this kind of nonsense is really hard. US officials have reached a new low with their irresponsible statements. There is a continuous flow of lethal weapons to Ukraine, which are used to annihilate civilians, residential areas, schools, hospitals, kindergartens,” Antonov said, according to a statement from the embassy.

“It seems that the enlightened West, led by Washington, has irrevocably decided to bring humanity to a dangerous line, beyond which a nuclear Armageddon is looming ever more distinctly.” According to a statement published on Monday, UK Minister of State for Defense Annabelle Goldie wrote in response to an inquiry from a member of the House of Lords that the British government would send Ukraine munitions containing depleted uranium and featuring enhanced effectiveness against armored vehicles. Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that Russia will have to react appropriately to the fact that the “collective West begins using weapons with a nuclear component.”.

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“..depleted uranium munitions, which can contaminate the battlefield and cause health risks for generations to come..”

UK’s Depleted Uranium Plan Threatens All Of Europe – Moscow (RT)

The British decision to supply depleted uranium munitions to Kiev is part of a dangerous trend that makes the Ukraine conflict a threat to the whole of Europe, Russian State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin has warned. “The war to the last Ukrainian could become a war to the last European,” the politician said in a social media post. Numerous Russian officials have claimed that Kiev’s Western backers are prepared to sacrifice every Ukrainian for their geopolitical interests. Volodin argued that Kiev’s acquisition of depleted uranium munitions, which can contaminate the battlefield and cause health risks for generations to come, could become a stepping stone to even more dangerous weapons. The next step “could be the use of a dirty bomb by the Kiev regime or the deployment of a tactical nuclear weapon,” added Volodin.

President Vladimir Putin expressed concern about the British decision earlier this week, warning that Russia “will be forced to react accordingly, bearing in mind that the collective West has already started to use weapons with a nuclear component.” The Russian military claimed last October that two organizations in Ukraine had been given instructions to build a so-called ‘dirty bomb’, using materials that Kiev has had access to since it was part of the Soviet Union. The Russian Defense Ministry provided a list of locations in Ukraine where nuclear fuel and nuclear waste is present. A dirty bomb has a conventional explosive core surrounded by a radioactive jacket, and when detonated, it causes serious contamination.

Kiev denied the allegations and invited the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN’s nuclear watchdog, to inspect several of its atomic facilities, including the Eastern Mineral Enrichment Plant in Dnepropetrovsk Region and the Institute for Nuclear Research in the Ukrainian capital. IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi reported in November that monitors found no evidence of undeclared activities at those two locations or a third site, a rocket-building plant in the city of Dnepr. The British government announced on Monday that it will send Ukraine armor-piercing rounds containing depleted uranium, alongside Challenger 2 main battle tanks that had already been promised.


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“They consider supplying the Kiev regime with even more lethal, longer-range, modern sophisticated systems. Thus, the United States once again shows itself as a party directly involved in the conflict..”

Russia Calls On US Not To Escalate Situation (TASS)

Russia urges the United States not to continue down the path of escalation, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told reporters on Wednesday, commenting on the US Congress’ calls to supply Kiev with cluster munitions. “We call on the US side not to escalate,” he said, answering a question from TASS. The senior diplomat also pointed out that the US once again proved its direct involvement in the Ukrainian crisis by supplying Kiev with more and more lethal weapons. “They consider supplying the Kiev regime with even more lethal, longer-range, modern sophisticated systems. Thus, the United States once again shows itself as a party directly involved in the conflict,” the diplomat said.

Ryabkov pointed out that the US Congress didn’t even realize “what consequences such an initiative could lead to for the security of the US-led NATO and for any chances of potentially normalizing relations with Washington.” The Politico newspaper reported earlier that four high-ranking Republicans in the US Senate and the House of Representatives sent US President Joe Biden a letter, urging the American leader to supply Ukraine with cluster munitions.

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“The sides are ready to strengthen mutual coordination to support Central Asian countries’ efforts to ensure their sovereignty and national development..”

Russia, China Reject Import Of ‘Color Revolutions’ To Central Asia (TASS)

Russia and China reject attempts to organize “color revolutions” and foreign interference into domestic affairs of Central Asian countries, according to the joint statement signed by Russian and Chinese Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, after their talks in Moscow on Tuesday. “The sides are ready to strengthen mutual coordination to support Central Asian countries’ efforts to ensure their sovereignty and national development. They reject attempts to import ‘color revolutions’ and foreign interference into regional affairs,” the statement reads. The two leaders also lauded the positive contribution of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) to regional security and the potential of cooperation between the CSTO and China to ensure peace and stability in the region.

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“China already operates five Russian nuclear reactors and currently has four more under construction..”

Russia and China Sign Long-Term Nuclear Deal (RT)

Russia and China are deepening their partnership in nuclear energy and will draw up a roadmap for cooperation in developing so-called fast-neutron reactors for decades to come, Russia’s state-run nuclear energy giant Rosatom announced on Wednesday. According to the company, the comprehensive program lays the ground not only for bilateral cooperation, but will essentially influence the shape of the global nuclear energy sector. The document signed between Rosatom and the China National Nuclear Corporation covers “key areas” and is focused on expanding current cooperation as well as launching new projects “related to fast-neutron reactors, the production of uranium-plutonium fuel and the management of spent nuclear fuel.”

The announcement of a long-term nuclear deal came among a raft of agreements presented during a three-day visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Moscow. China already operates five Russian nuclear reactors and currently has four more under construction, which makes Russia the largest nuclear supplier to the country. Last year, Rosatom launched the construction of the Xudabu-4 reactor and the Tianwan-8 reactor in the Jiangsu province in eastern China. The reactors will be powered by third-generation pressurized water reactor technology supplied by Rosatom, with operations set to begin between 2026 and 2028, according to the agreement. The cost of construction at each site is estimated to be $1.7 billion.

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He should just leave.

Macron Will Not Seek Re-election, Ready To Sacrifice His Popularity (TASS)

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday against the backdrop of the pension reform unfolding in the country that he was ready to sacrifice his popularity for France’s interests as he did not intend to be re-elected. “I am not going to do another term, I cannot do it according to the Constitution. Between the opinion polls and the interests of the country I will choose the latter,” he told the TF1 and France-2 TV channels in an interview. “If I have to face unpopularity, I am ready for it,” he added. The head of the state admitted that he had a responsibility to “settle the understandable anger”, however, he pointed out that this anger should not turn into violence, which he said was unacceptable.

“Rallies, the participants of which show protest – this is legal. But its legality should not exceed the legality of democratic decisions, which come to life through the decisions of the people’s deputies,” Macron said. A draft pension reform to raise the retirement age in France from 62 to 64 years was presented in January. This initiative sparked rallies and strikes across the country. On March 16, the head of the French cabinet, Elisabeth Borne, used her constitutional powers and announced that the bill would be adopted without a vote in the National Assembly (the lower house of parliament). This decision sparked a new wave of rallies, which often ended in clashes with the police.

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Hersh’s newest is behind a paywall.

US Trying To ‘Cover Up’ Nord Stream Sabotage Role – Seymour Hersh (RT)

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh claims the US intentionally provided false stories to the media to cover up Washington’s involvement in the destruction of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline. In a post on his Substack blog, the veteran reporter claims the CIA was tasked with preparing a cover story in collaboration with German intelligence to provide the American and German press with an “alternative version” of the Nord Stream 2 explosions. “In the words of the intelligence community, the agency was ‘to pulse the system’ in an effort to discount the claim that Biden had ordered the pipeline’s destruction,” Hersh wrote, citing an anonymous source with access to diplomatic intelligence. He noted that the CIA had completed its task and, with the help of Germany, planted stories in the New York Times and German weekly Die Zeit. These referred to a supposed “ad hoc ‘off the books’ operation” carried out by a “pro-Ukrainian group,” which allegedly used a luxury sailing yacht to plant explosives on the Nord Stream pipelines.

“It was a total fabrication by American intelligence that was passed along to the Germans, and aimed at discrediting your story,” a source within the American intelligence community reportedly told Hersh. “The disinformation professionals inside the CIA understand that a propaganda gambit can only work if those on receiving are desperate for a story that can diminish or displace an unwanted truth. And the truth in question is that President Joe Biden authorized the destruction of the pipelines,” he added. In February, Hersh published a bombshell report on last September’s Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipeline blasts, accusing Washington of orchestrating the attack. The White House denied responsibility. Last week, several Western media outlets claimed the culprits may have been linked to Ukraine. Moscow dismissed the reports as “a coordinated media hoax campaign.”

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“the US has “never been ones to indicate that we are the government of the world or some kind of edict like that.”

US Must Respond To Nord Stream Accusations – Mexican President (RT)

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has argued that the US should respond to allegations that it sabotaged the Nord Stream pipelines. The remarks came as the Mexican leader hit out at Washington following criticism of his country. “If we are talking about acts of violence, how is it that an award-winning journalist in the United States claims that the US government sabotaged the gas pipeline from Russia to Europe?” Lopez Obrador asked during a press conference on Tuesday. The Mexican president was referring to claims by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh that the Biden administration blew up the Nord Stream pipelines linking Russia and Germany last year. Lopez Obrador’s remarks came as part of a rebuttal to accusations of “violence” by Mexican authorities, made in an annual human rights report issued by the US State Department this week.

The report alleged “significant human rights issues” in Mexico and cited “credible reports” of unlawful or arbitrary killings by the police, as well as torture and forced disappearances. Lopez Obrador rejected the findings as “lies,” and noted Washington’s own list of alleged wrongdoings. According to the Mexican president, that includes the US extradition demands against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who remains in detention in the UK. In addition, Lopez Obrador pointed to failed American efforts to halt the opioid crisis plaguing the country, which caused over 71,000 deaths in 2022 alone from fentanyl-linked overdoses and drug poisonings. The Mexican leader went on to argue that “lying” and “politicking” is in Washington’s nature, and asserted that the US “do[es] not want to change, so they believe they are the government of the world, and they only see the speck in someone else’s eye and not the beam in their own.”

State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel responded to Lopez Obrador’s remarks by insisting that the US has “never been ones to indicate that we are the government of the world or some kind of edict like that.” Patel suggested that the Mexican police, military, and other government structures were responsible for serious acts of corruption and unlawful killings, which is why these issues were highlighted in the State Department report. Lopez Obrador, however, has repeatedly insisted that there is an “anti-Mexico” conservative element within the US government that is trying to inflame tensions between the two countries. “Mexico is safer than the United States,” Lopez Obrador insisted earlier this month.

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“..Moody’s downgraded its outlook for the US banking system from ‘stable’ to ‘negative,’ citing the “rapidly deteriorating operating environment.”

Elon Musk Urges US To Guarantee All Bank Deposits (RT)

Elon Musk has proposed a solution to the current banking crisis in the US. The government must do away with the current $250,000 insurance cap on all deposits to stop panicking clients from withdrawing their money, the Tesla CEO wrote in a Twitter post on Tuesday. His comments come in response to a media report that US officials are studying ways to temporarily insure deposits beyond the current limit, without having to get approval from Congress. “Absolutely required to stop bank runs,” Musk wrote. The banking crisis began in the US earlier this month with the sudden collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), a major US lender focused on the tech and startup sectors. Over 92% of deposits in the bank were uninsured and the lender was shut down by regulators after massive deposit outflows.

SVB’s failure caused the closure of another lender, Signature Bank. Panicked customers have withdrawn tens of billions of dollars in cash from the smaller banks and placed them with bigger lenders. The billionaire entrepreneur and head of Tesla, Twitter and SpaceX, first proposed the idea last week. “FDIC needs to change to unlimited coverage to stop bank runs… Right now,” he wrote on March 18. The government has guaranteed all deposits of SVB and Signature Bank customers. However, according to a recent study, nearly 200 American banks are facing similar risks. SVB, like many other banks, had invested billions in US government bonds when interest rates were at near-zero and suffered losses when the Federal Reserve hiked them in a bid to curb inflation.

The failures of SVB and Signature Bank sent ripples across the entire US banking industry. Many other financial institutions have seen their stocks plunge, with the six largest Wall Street banks losing around $165 billion in market capitalization, or some 13% of their combined value. Last week, credit ratings agency Moody’s downgraded its outlook for the US banking system from ‘stable’ to ‘negative,’ citing the “rapidly deteriorating operating environment.”

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“..Ye offered Hunter $1 million to be his “private counsel” and flew to China, leaving his wife, daughter, son, mother, and nanny in his $50 million penthouse at 15 Central Park West. He was detained in Shanghai three months later and disappeared.”

Hunter Biden Used FBI Mole Named ‘One-eye’ To Tip Him Off To China Probes (NYP)

Hunter Biden had an FBI mole named “One-Eye” who tipped off his Chinese business partners that they were under investigation, according to an Israeli energy expert arrested in Cyprus last month on gunrunning charges. The House Oversight Committee is investigating the explosive claims by Dr. Gal Luft, a former Israel Defense Forces lieutenant colonel with deep intelligence ties in Washington and Beijing, who says he was arrested to stop him from revealing what he knows about the Biden family and FBI corruption — details he told the Department of Justice in 2019, which he says it ignored. Luft, 56, first made the claims on Feb. 18 on Twitter, after being detained at a Cyprus airport as he prepared to board a plane to Israel.

“I’ve been arrested in Cyprus on a politically motivated extradition request by the U.S. The U.S., claiming I’m an arms dealer. It would be funny if it weren’t tragic. I’ve never been an arms dealer. “DOJ is trying to bury me to protect Joe, Jim, and Hunter Biden. “Shall I name names?” Luft remains in jail awaiting extradition to the US over what he says are trumped-up charges of arms trafficking to China and Libya, and violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Through his American lawyer, Robert Henoch, Luft said he tried four years ago to inform the DOJ that Chinese state-controlled energy company CEFC had paid $100,000 a month to President Biden’s son Hunter and $65,000 to Joe’s brother Jim, in exchange for their FBI connections and use of the Biden name to promote China’s Belt and Road Initiative around the world.

Luft learned about the scheme through his own relationship with Hunter’s Chinese business partners, Patrick Ho and Ye Jianming, the chairman of CEFC. From 2015 to 2018, Luft organized international energy conferences in partnership with Ho’s think tank, the nonprofit China Energy Fund Committee (CEFC-USA), a front organization for Ye’s CEFC. Ye confided to Luft that Hunter had an informant in the FBI “or formerly of the bureau, extremely well placed, who they paid lots of money to [provide] sealed law enforcement information,” says Henoch. The FBI mole was called “One-Eye.” “One-Eye” told Ye that the Southern District of New York was investigating him and/or Ho in late 2017, and that “an Asian, an African, and a Jewish guy” were named on a sealed indictment, says Henoch. Soon after that tipoff, Ye offered Hunter $1 million to be his “private counsel” and flew to China, leaving his wife, daughter, son, mother, and nanny in his $50 million penthouse at 15 Central Park West. He was detained in Shanghai three months later and disappeared.

Read more …








The giant Pacific octopus is the largest octopus in the world: the largest individual on record weighed an impressive 270 kg and measured 9 m across in length. Along with 8 arms, an octopus also has 3 hearts and 9 brains



Dead leaf



Every row, left to right:
Eastern box turtle
Pancake tortoise
Bell’s hingeback tortoise
Radiated tortoise
Florida box turtle
Burmese star tortoise
Spotted turtle
Bourret’s box turtle
European pond turtle






Jonathan is 189 years old



Jacanas are colorful water birds with long legs and incredibly long toes/claws. The super-long toes spread the bird’s weight over a large area. This allows them to walk across floating vegetation, especially lily pads. This is a baby Jacana





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Jul 252019
 July 25, 2019  Posted by at 1:43 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  4 Responses »

Salvador Dali The knight of death 1934



Another article from Alexander Aston, from whom I published among other things the series Quantum, Dada and Jazz this past November.



“Dulce et Decorum est” is a poem written by Wilfred Owen during World War I, and published posthumously in 1920. The Latin title is taken from Ode 3.2 of the Roman poet Horace and means “it is sweet and fitting …”. It is followed there by “pro patria mori”, which means “to die for one’s country”.



“The muffled tongue of Big Ben tolled nine by the clock as the cortege left the palace, but on history’s clock it was sunset, and the sun of the old world was setting in a dying blaze of splendour never to be seen again.”

– Barbara W. Tuchman, The Guns of August


Alexander Aston: If you have not read Barbara Tuchman’s The Guns of August you should do so, it is one of the great, accessible works of history. Tuchman details with great clarity the diplomatic failures, miscalculations and political logics that ensnared the imperial powers of Europe into the cataclysm of the Great War. It was the book that Kennedy drew upon when navigating the Cuban missile crisis. Just over a century since the guns fell silent in Europe, and nearly fifty years since nuclear holocaust was averted, the world is teetering on what might very well be the largest regional, potentially global, conflict since the second world war.

The United States is a warfare economy, its primary export is violence and it is through violence that it creates the demand for its products. The markets of the Empire are the failed states, grinding civil conflicts, escalating regional tensions and human immiseration created by gun-boat diplomacy. In true entrepreneurial spirit, the United States has repeatedly overestimated its abilities to control the course of events and underestimated the complexities of a market predicated on violence. However, since the beginning of the twenty-first century the American Imperium has proven itself as incompetent as it is vicious. After nearly two decades of intensifying conflicts, a fundamentally broken global economy and a dysfunctional political system, Washington has turned feral, lashing out against decline.

The points of instability in the global system are various and growing, and the only geo-political logics that the Imperium appears to be operating under are threats, coercion, and violence. It is at this moment, with the most erratic president in the country’s history, surrounded by some of the most extreme neo-conservative voices, that the United States has been belligerently stumbling across the globe. In the past few months we have witnessed a surrealistic reimagining of the Latin American coup, the medieval melodrama of Canadian vassals taking a royal hostage from the Middle Kingdom and British buccaneers’ privateering off the coast of Gibraltar. The Imperial system is in a paroxysm of incoherent but sustained aggression.


It has long been clear that if another Great War were to emerge, it would likely begin in the Middle East. Just over a century later, we have found ourselves amidst another July crisis of escalating military and diplomatic confrontations. European modernity immolated itself in the Balkans though miscalculation, overconfidence and the prisoners dilemma of national prestige. The conditions of the contemporary Middle East are no less volatile than those of Europe when the Austro-Hungarian Empire decided to attack Serbia. If anything, conditions are far more complex in a region entangled with allegiances and enmities that transgress and supersede the national borders imposed in the wake of the first world war.

The United States’ withdrawal from the JCPOA and the stated aim of reducing Iranian oil exports to zero has enforced a zero-sum logic between the American Imperium and Persia. With each move and counter move the two countries are further entangled into the dynamics of a conflict. Much like the run up to July 28th 1914, tanker seizures, drone shoot downs, sanctions, military deployments and general bellicosity reinforce the rational of the opposing sides and make it harder to back down without losing face and appearing weak.

Due to the asymmetry of the two powers the Iranians have the fewest options for de-escalation while the American establishment perceives the least incentive. This dynamic is further exacerbated by major regional powers agitating for a conflict they believe they will benefit from. Indeed, the slide to war might be inexorable at this point, the momentum of historical causality may have already exceeded the abilities of those in power to control. Czar Nicholas and Kaiser Wilhelm were cousins that desperately wanted to avoid war and were nonetheless impotent to avert disaster. There is nowhere near such intimacy, communication and motivation in our current context.

If war with Iran erupts, the Pax Americana will come to an end and humanity will fully enter a new historical epoch. The most unlikely scenario is an easy victory for the United States, yet even this outcome will only exacerbate the decline of the Empire. The other great powers would expedite their exit from the dollar system and drastically increase investment into the means to counter American hegemony. Likewise, victory would further reinforce Washington’s hubris, generating more serious challenges to the Imperial order and making the US prone to take on even bigger fights. Ironically, easy military success would almost assure the outbreak of a third world war in the long-term.


War with Iran would likely ignite violence in Israel-Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq, re-energise and expand the ongoing wars in Syria and Yemen as well as generate sectarian violence and domestic insurgencies across the Middle East. Under such conditions regional actors would likely utilise a dramatically intensifying conflict as cover for their own agendas, for example with a renewed Turkish assault on the Syrian Kurds. The conditions for rapid escalation are extremely high in which non-linear dynamics could easily take hold and quickly outstrip any attempts to maintain control of the situation.

Pyrrhic victory for either side is the most likely outcome, making the parallels to the Great War all the more salient. Global conflagration is a possibility, but with “luck” the fighting could be contained to the region. Nonetheless, amplified refugee crises, supply chain disruptions and immense geopolitical realignments will cascade out of such an event. Undoubtedly, there would be concerted efforts to abandon the dollar system as quickly as possible. Furthermore, rapid increases in the price of oil would all but grind the global economy to a halt within a matter of months, tipping citizenries already saturated with private debt into financial crises.

Furthermore, the entanglement of the military-industrial complex, the petrodollar reserve currency system and the omni-bubble generated by quantitative easing has left the Empire systemically fragile. Particularly, the bubble in non-conventional fuels precipitated by QE, depressed oil prices with scaled down exploration, R&D and maintenance makes the possibility of a self-reinforcing collapse in the American energy and financial systems extremely plausible. It is a Gordian knot which war with Persia would leave in fetters.

The most likely long-term outcome of a war with Iran would be the economic isolation and political fragmentation of the United States. What is assured is that whatever world results it will not look anything like the world since 1945. The first world war collapsed the European world system, dynasties that had persisted for centuries were left in ruins and the surviving great powers crippled by the overwhelming expenditures of blood and treasure. We are on the precipice of another such moment. The American world system is fundamentally dependent upon the relationship between warfare, energy dominance and debt.


Conflict is required to maintain control of the energy markets which prop up a financialised economy. A dynamic that puts the nation deeper in hock while amplifying resistance to financial vassalage. Losing energy dominance undermines the country’s reserve currency status and weakens the Empires ability to generate the debt necessary to sustain the warfare economy. Likewise, the system of national and international debt peonage parasitizes global populations to work against their own best interests. This fuels resentment and resistance which further drives the warfare economy. It is, in the inimitably American expression, a “self-licking ice cream cone.”

On August 3rd 1914, one week into the war, the British Foreign Secretary Edward Grey famously remarked that “the lamps are going out across Europe and we shall not see them relit in our lifetime.” At the beginning of the twenty-first century, we face similar, terrifying prospects. Indeed, we could witness the collapse of democratic societies for a very long time to come. If we have any hope of averting calamity we need to generate loud opposition to imperialist warfare.

This does not mean some hackneyed anti-war movement based on past glories and the parochialism of domestic politics, but earnest effort to find common cause in resisting the insanity of those that seek profit in our collective suffering. This means working with people that we have very deep disagreements with by respecting our mutual opposition to the masters of war. It also means serious commitment to strategies such as tax and debt strikes as expressions of non-consent as well as other peaceful means of direct action. Indeed, it is from a place of agreement that we can potentially rebuild civil discourse and renew our trust in the ability of democratic institutions to mediate our quarrels. Perhaps it is too late to change course, but how sweet and fitting it is to face madness with dignity.


“What is the cause of historical events? Power. What is power? …power is a word the meaning of which we do not understand. ”

“Kings are the slaves of history.”

– Tolstoy, War and Peace



Just a thought from Beau of the Fifth Column:



Dulce et Decorum Est

by Wilfred Owen

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.



Alexander Aston is a doctoral candidate in archaeology at the University of Oxford and is on the board of directors with the Centre for Cognitive Archaeology at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs. He has prior degrees in philosophy and history. His work lays at the intersection of Cognitive Archaeology, Deep History and Natural Philosophy, examining the relationship between ecology, material culture and social cognition. Alexander grew up between Zimbabwe, Greece and the United States.