Jun 192024
 


Giuseppe Leone Ragusa Sicily 1953

 

The West Is Lighting the Fuse of War (Paul Craig Roberts)
Russian Ambassador To US Outlines ‘Thorny’ Path To Peace (RT)
Kiev Better Accept Russia’s Peace Proposal – Medvedev (TASS)
Hegemon Orders Europe: Bet On War And Steal Russia’s Money (Pepe Escobar)
Crossing Moscow’s Red Line ‘Permissible’ – Austria (RT)
West Won’t Host Next Ukraine ‘Peace Conference’ – Switzerland (RT)
Prisoners Drafted Into Ukrainian Military ‘Will Run Like Forrest Gump’ (RT)
Steve Bannon Predicts Left Will Sentence Trump To Multiple Years In Prison (MN)
Court Rejects Trump’s Gag Order Appeal (RT)
Confused Biden Clips Are ‘Deepfakes’ – White House (RT)
Mark Rutte: The Choice for NATO Secretary General? (Sp.)
The BRICS Weigh In On Palestine (Pepe Escobar)
US Cryptocurrency as an Offshore Banking Center (Michael Hudson)

 

 

 

 

Bannon June 17


https://twitter.com/i/status/1802823060564869567

 

 

Trump ad
https://twitter.com/i/status/1802824860328149122

 

 

Alex Tucker

 

 

Angels
https://twitter.com/i/status/1802749048639672441

 

 

Anti-corruption bill

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Putin has made one last effort to state conditions for ending the conflict.”

The West Is Lighting the Fuse of War (Paul Craig Roberts)

Putin’s intention after his deception by the West with the Minsk Agreement, was only to drive Ukrainian forces out of the Russian areas that have now been reincorporated into Russia. Apparently Putin did not realize the extent to which the West would involve itself and expand the war. Now that Putin faces an outbreak of a larger war, he clearly stated the conditions for ending the conflict. He said that Russian military action will cease when the remaining Ukrainian forces are withdrawn from the Russian populated areas that have been reunited with Russia and when Ukraine agrees that the country will not become a member of NATO or have foreign bases and missiles on its territory. These are reasonable and generous terms. If these terms are refused, Ukraine faces further conquest and harsher future conditions for ending the conflict.

When Ukraine was broken off from Russia following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian provinces which Soviet leaders had attached to Ukraine should have been left in Russia. Whether or not this was a failure of foresight or malicious intent, it was a mistake that resulted in a conflict that has the potential of engulfing the world. The difference between the 20th century Cold War and the 21st century hot war is that in the Cold War era the US and Soviet leadership, understanding the fatal nature of nuclear weapons, were committed to reducing tensions and building trust, whereas in the 21st century only Russia has sought mutual understanding and mutual security. Washington has fomented conflict and raised an existential threat to Russia by expanding NATO to Russia’s borders and overthrowing governments of former Russian provinces. To avoid war Putin has accepted continuing provocations and insults.

But now faced with such reckless and irresponsible proposals as NATO troops in Ukraine and missiles hitting deep into Russia, Putin has made one last effort to state conditions for ending the conflict. The conditions are immensely better than the outbreak of conflict that would destroy Europe and the United States.The danger today is much worse than the Cuban Missile Crisis. In those days Washington recognized the danger. Today Washington does not. President John F. Kennedy realized that the US had provoked Soviet missiles in Cuba by placing US missiles in Turkey. Kennedy and Khrushchev made a mutual security agreement and both removed the missiles. Putin’s diplomatic effort during December 2021 and February 2022 for a mutual security agreement was cold-shouldered by Washington, NATO, and the EU. With the outbreak of major war looming,

Biden has still not met with Putin. Instead, Biden has provoked animosity by calling Putin the new Hitler. This is an unprecedented level or reckless irresponsibility.The question before us is: Will Putin continue to accept provocations in hope that a change in the Washington regime in the November election will permit the West to come to its senses, or is Serbian President Vucic correct that the train has left the station?As the Western world lacks a truthful media, the people might be indoctrinated with the “Russian threat.” Even if the people realize that the threat is Washington’s pressure on Russia, the people are impotent to affect government policy. Among the Western governments, public opinion is something to be manipulated, not something to which to listen. I believe the West has convinced Putin that the West intends war. Not even Putin has an endless amount of patience. Instead of recognizing the dangerous situation and sitting down with Putin to defuse the situation, the West is lighting the fuse.

Ursula
https://twitter.com/i/status/1802953077734940742

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“Putin’s clear and verifiable conditions stand in stark contrast to “idle talk and failed conferences” of the West, Antonov said.”

Russian Ambassador To US Outlines ‘Thorny’ Path To Peace (RT)

Moscow’s proposals for ending the Ukraine conflict are specific and realistic, unlike the “advertising campaign” coming from the West, Russian ambassador in Washington, Anatoly Antonov, has said. Newsweek published an interview with Antonov on Tuesday, in which the Russian envoy elaborated on President Vladimir Putin’s statements last week, outlining the conditions for starting peace talks with Kiev. “There is a path to peace, even if it is thorny,” Antonov said. It involves “withdrawal of the Ukrainian Armed Forces from four regions of Russia; confirmation of the status of Crimea, Sevastopol, [Donetsk People’s Republic], [Lugansk People’s Republic], Kherson and Zaporozhye regions as subjects of the Russian Federation; Kiev’s refusal to join NATO; Ukraine’s status as neutral, nonaligned and nuclear-free state; its demilitarization and denazification; lifting of Western sanctions; [and] ensuring the rights, freedoms and interests of Russian-speaking citizens of the republic,” the diplomat explained.

“Talks on the above-mentioned issues should be conducted without ‘imperial’ dictates and orders from the White House,” Antonov added. “It is high time the US recognized the futility of constant pursuit to enforce its will on all countries and realized that it will no longer be possible to deter the growing shift towards multipolarity.” Scary stories about Moscow plotting to attack NATO once Ukraine is defeated are simply “an embodiment of the US intentions to keep a tight rein on its satellites, primarily in Europe,” according to Antonov. “The aim is to finally turn the continent into the US ‘back yard’, which is not entitled to its own opinions nor its own history.” Such policies are actually undermining US leadership, though American policymakers “prefer not to notice” that, Antonov added.

The purpose of the peace conference in Switzerland this weekend was “purely opportunistic: to create an illusion of widespread support for the ‘peace formula’ in various capitals, but in reality, to hush up any doubts about the legitimacy of the Kiev regime, which has already been bankrupt for a long time, both politically and economically,” the ambassador said. Putin’s clear and verifiable conditions stand in stark contrast to “idle talk and failed conferences” of the West, Antonov said. The “advertising campaign” by the US and its allies intends not to stop, “but to prolong the bloody ‘project’ that the West has been implementing for more than 10 years,” since the 2014 coup in Kiev, he added.

Russia pursues dialogue and peace, and is “ready for a serious, thoughtful conversation” without any deadlines or rushed photo-ops, Antonov noted. What Moscow wants is “truly equal and indivisible security in Eurasia, based on mutual respect for one and all. ”In a new political architecture reflecting the transition to multipolarity, there would be “no place for aggressive political and economic dominance of individual nations,” or division into blocs, Antonov said. “If in response we continue to hear only Russophobic barking and calls to use more Western weapons and economic sanctions against us, global risks will only increase,” Antonov concluded. “I am sure this is not in the best interests of the citizens of the United States.”

Sachs
https://twitter.com/i/status/1802825807095853155

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“..all this will not work to the benefit of the current Ukrainian authorities. So they have to hurry while they still can..”

Kiev Better Accept Russia’s Peace Proposal – Medvedev (TASS)

Ukraine would be wise to accept Russian President Vladimir Putin’s peace proposal, otherwise Russian troops will press on and make life even more difficult for Kiev, Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev said. “Frankly speaking, I think that the president has said everything, I mean that the next peace proposal Russia makes will be worse for the Ukrainian authorities, no matter how we treat them. Now they have the opportunity to consider Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin’s peace proposal and at least try to make peace and end this part of the conflict,” he told reporters. Otherwise, according to Medvedev, the Russian offensive will continue. “And it will be difficult to say where the lines of the buffer zone that Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned will be. It’s very likely that all this will not work to the benefit of the current Ukrainian authorities. So they have to hurry while they still can,” he added.

However, according to the official, Kiev has already responded with a refusal at the conference in Switzerland, “rejecting any proposals from the outset, taking the discussion back to the very beginning.” “In vain. So it will be worse from now on,” he concluded. On June 14, Russian President Vladimir Putin made new peace proposals for resolving the conflict in Ukraine at a meeting with Russian diplomats. These include the recognition of the status of Crimea, the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, and the Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions as part of Russia, the consolidation of Ukraine’s non-aligned and nuclear-free status, its demilitarization and denazification, and the lifting of anti-Russian sanctions. The Ukrainian side rejected the initiative. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky called Moscow’s proposal an ultimatum, while his adviser Mikhail Podolyak said that the new Russian initiative allegedly does not contain a “real peace proposal.”

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“Russia’s real target is to create a whole new security system for the Eurasian space..”

Hegemon Orders Europe: Bet On War And Steal Russia’s Money (Pepe Escobar)

The Swiss “peace” kabuki came and went – and the winner was Vladimir Putin. He didn’t even have to show up. None of the Big Players did. Or in case they sent their emissaries, there was significant refusal to sign the vacuous final declaration – as in BRICS members Brazil, India, Saudi Arabia, UAE and South Africa. Without BRICS, there’s absolutely nothing the collective West – as in The Hegemon and assorted vassals – can do to alter the proxy war chessboard in Ukraine. In his carefully calibrated speech to diplomats and the leadership of Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Putin delineated an incredibly restrained and strategic approach to solve the Ukraine problem. In the context of the Hegemon’s escalatory green light – actually in practice for several months now – for Kiev to attack deeper into the Russian Federation, Putin’s offer was extremely generous. That is a direct offer to the Hegemon and the collective West – as the sweaty T-shirt actor in Kiev, apart from illegitimate, is beyond irrelevant.

Predictably, NATO – via that epileptic slab of Norwegian wood – already proclaimed its refusal to negotiate, even as some relatively awake members of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine’s parliament) started discussing the offer, according to Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin. Moscow sees the Verkhovna Rada as the only legitimate entity in Ukraine – and the only one with which would be possible to reach an agreement. Russian UN representative Vasily Nebenzya cut to the chase – diplomatically: if the generous proposal is refused, next time conditions for starting negotiations will be “different”. And “far more unfavorable”, according to Duma Defense Committee head Andrei Kartapolov. As Nebenzya stressed that in case of a refusal the collective West will bear full responsibility for further bloodshed, Kartapolov elaborated on the Big Picture: Russia’s real target is to create a whole new security system for the Eurasian space.

And that, of course, is anathema to the Hegemon’s elites. Putin’s security vision for Eurasia harks back to this legendary speech at the Munich Security Conference in 2007. Now, with the steady advance of an irreversible multi-nodal (italics mine) and multi-centric new system of international relations, the Kremlin is pressing for an urgent solution – considering the extremely dangerous escalation of these past few months. Putin once again had to remind the deaf, dumb and blind of the obvious: “Calls to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia, which has the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons, demonstrate the extreme adventurism of Western politicians. They either do not understand the scale of the threat they themselves create, or they are simply obsessed with the belief in their own immunity and their own exclusivity. Both can turn into a tragedy”. They remain deaf, dumb and blind.

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Austria is not in NATO.

Crossing Moscow’s Red Line ‘Permissible’ – Austria (RT)

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer does not perceive the decision by NATO nations to allow Kiev to use their weapons against Russia outside of what they consider Ukrainian territory as a cause for concern. Speaking with the NZZ media group, Neuhammer said he disagreed with Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner, who said earlier this month that the US and its allies had crossed a “red line” by granting Ukraine such permission. The interview with Nehammer was published on Monday, after his liberal-conservative Austrian People’s Party (OVP) lost convincingly to the nationalist Freedom Party of Austria (FPO) in this month’s European Parliament election. The chancellor said the debate on use of Western arms had gone “in the wrong political direction” in a shameful way. His stance is that “under international law, such attacks on Russia are permissible.”

Moscow could withdraw troops and see Western military aid to Kiev “automatically reduced,” he said. The previous restriction on Ukraine’s use of US weapons was imposed by President Joe Biden to “prevent World War III.” According to the media, Washington relaxed it and allowed limited strikes on Russia’s Belgorod Region due to Russian advances in neighboring Kharkov Region. Multiple NATO nations have made similar policy changes regarding arms that they donate to Ukraine. The Austrian foreign minister said that while she perceived that as escalatory, “as a militarily neutral state, it is not our place to judge.” Tanner added that she was happy to hear assurances by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg that members of the US-led bloc will not be required to send troops to Ukraine.

Moscow has described the Ukraine conflict as part of a proxy war on Russia, in which Ukrainians serve as “cannon fodder.” Western nations are de facto participating parties due to the level of their involvement and the influence they have on Ukrainian actions, according to Russian officials. President Vladimir Putin has stated that Russia could send weapon systems similar to those provided to Ukraine to enemies of the US and its allies to be used against Western military assets. This path of escalation leads to an outcome that neither side will like, he warned. He accused his opponents of spreading “Russian narratives” about Ukraine and declared that unlike centrists, “radicals have no answers and are offering pseudo-solutions,” referring to populist forces surging across the EU.

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Saudi?

West Won’t Host Next Ukraine ‘Peace Conference’ – Switzerland (RT)

The next conference on the Ukraine conflict will not take place in the West, Swiss Ambassador Gabriel Luechinger has stated. The senior diplomat, who helped organize last weekend’s gathering at Switzerland’s Burgenstock Resort, indicated that discussions with potential hosts are already underway. In the run-up to the event, a number of nations declined to attend, with China announcing that it would not be sending representatives to Switzerland. Beijing argued that the absence of Russia at the conference would make any attempts at peace futile – an assertion echoed by several countries. Moscow stated in March that it would not attend even if invited, as it would likely be based on Vladimir Zelensky’s ‘peace formula’, which Russia considers to be unrealistic and an ultimatum.

In an interview with Swiss broadcaster SRF on Monday, Luechinger said: “What is clear is that the next peace summit will not be in Europe, and will not take place in the West.” The senior diplomat revealed that several nations had been approached at the conference regarding a potential role in organizing the next summit. “It is now up to them to decide,” he added. “In the next weeks, I think, things will start moving.” Asked whether Saudi Arabia could host a meeting, Luechinger hinted that it could be an option, without going into detail. He also stressed that “Russia should be integrated in the peace process in some way.” While Ukraine has touted the conference at the Burgenstock Resort as a success, around a dozen countries that took part in the talks did not sign the final communique, including India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, the UAE, Mexico, Thailand, Indonesia, Jordan, and Iraq.

The document did not include many of the key points of Kiev’s ‘peace formula’. It called for the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant to be transferred under Ukrainian control, as well as unrestricted access to ports in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov, and the release of all prisoners of war. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Saturday that Moscow “wants to get together next time at a more substantive and promising event.” Last Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin outlined the conditions for a ceasefire, which include the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from all territories claimed by Moscow, as well as the renunciation of Kiev’s NATO aspirations. The Ukrainian government and its Western backers have dismissed the proposal, calling it an ultimatum.

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Run away.

Prisoners Drafted Into Ukrainian Military ‘Will Run Like Forrest Gump’ (RT)

More than 2,750 convicts have been released from prison to join the Ukrainian military and help ease manpower shortages, the Washington Post reported on Sunday. Some service members, however, have voiced concerns about the reliability of former inmates. Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky last month approved a bill that allows certain categories of convicts to be paroled if they agree to enlist in the military and fight Russia. Former inmates will be assigned to special high-risk assault units, although anyone convicted of crimes such as murdering more than two people, rape, terrorism, corruption, or undermining Ukraine’s national security, is ineligible for the program. According to the Washington Post, many of the convicts joining the fight were “jailed for dealing drugs, stealing phones, and committing armed assaults and murders.”

Ukrainian Justice Minister Denis Malyuska insisted to the newspaper that “the motivation of our inmates is stronger than our ordinary soldiers,” arguing that they are enlisting not only to be released, but also because they “want to protect their country and they want to turn the page.” The minister also claimed there is “competition between military commanders” to recruit from prisons as they want to address manpower shortages. Some disagree, however, and one unnamed official expressed concern about possible desertion by former inmates. “They’re all going to run like Forrest Gump,” he stated, adding that despite these misgivings, the measure is still necessary. The official noted that he would prefer to see Ukraine lower the draft age to 18, which he said would allow Kiev to fill the ranks with young and fit soldiers, rather than convicts. He admitted, however, that this measure is unlikely anytime soon.

Malyuska said he expects at least 4,000 men to join the military in the first stage of recruitment. In May, he estimated the total number of convicts ready to enlist at between 10,000 to 20,000. However, the Strana.ua outlet cast doubt on those figures, pointing out that there are a total of 28,000 inmates in Ukraine, including women and those unfit for service. The outlet also claimed, citing its own poll, that very few are actually willing to volunteer. Kiev has tried to address acute manpower shortages by passing two bills this spring, one of which lowered the draft age from 27 to 25, while the other significantly tightened mobilization rules. Earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin estimated Ukraine’s monthly combat losses at 50,000 soldiers.

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“They don’t care about this election, they don’t care how many votes we get. They’re gonna fight us every step of the way..”

Steve Bannon Predicts Left Will Sentence Trump To Multiple Years In Prison (MN)

Former Trump advisor Steve Bannon has warned that the left will stop at nothing to prevent Trump from regaining the White House and that they plan to sentence him to “multiple years in prison” next month. Speaking at Turning Point Action’s “The People’s Convention” in Detroit, Bannon warned “You know on the 11th of July, they’re gonna sentence him for multiple years in prison. You understand that, right?” “They don’t care about this election, they don’t care how many votes we get. They’re gonna fight us every step of the way,” Bannon further proclaimed. He added, “Winning in November is just the first step. From November fifth to the sixth, Jamie Raskin is going to try to steal the election on January 6th. They’re already talking about it right now.” “They’re already going to say, ‘President Trump’s an insurrectionist and we will never certify an election of an insurrectionist,” Bannon further predicted.

Elsewhere during the speech, Bannon stated that Trump’s inner circle is planning to go after those who are currently weaponising the justice system against him. “We’re going to get every single receipt. And to the fullest extension of the law, you’re going to be investigated, prosecuted, and incarcerated,” Bannon vowed, adding “This has nothing to do with retribution. It has nothing to do with revenge… this has to do with justice.” Bannon’s comments come in the wake of a Rasmussen poll last week that found a whopping two-thirds of Americans believe the outcome of the 2024 US presidential election will be affected by cheating. The survey found that of those two thirds, 40 percent are ‘very concerned,’ and only thirty-one percent aren’t concerned, including just 14 percent who said they are ‘not at all concerned’ about cheating in the election.

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“..The appeals court has ruled that “no substantial constitutional question is directly involved..”

“.. Joe Biden is making Trump’s conviction a centerpiece of his 2024 campaign and will most likely bring it up at the first presidential debate, scheduled for later this month – while his Republican rival won’t be able to respond.”

Court Rejects Trump’s Gag Order Appeal (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump remains banned from speaking about his criminal case in Manhattan, even after the jury’s verdict, the New York Court of Appeals said on Tuesday. Judge Juan Merchan imposed the gag order on Trump during his trial on 34 counts of “falsifying business records,” which District Attorney Alvin Bragg alleged had somehow violated campaign finance laws and improperly influenced the 2016 election. The jury found the former president guilty on all counts at the end of May. Trump’s lawyers have protested the gag order from the start, pointing out that it directly impacts his 2024 presidential campaign. The appeals court has ruled that “no substantial constitutional question is directly involved,” so the order can stay in place.

“The Gag Order wrongfully silences the leading candidate for President of the United States, President Trump, at the height of his campaign,” Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said on Tuesday, adding that the president’s attorneys will “continue to fight” against the “unconstitutional” measure. According to the campaign, the gag order “violates the First Amendment rights of President Trump and all American voters, who have a fundamental right to hear his message.” The First Amendment of the US Constitution prohibits the government from censoring speech and the press. Trump has called his prosecution politically motivated and a “witch hunt” by Biden and his administration.

The former president’s lawyers have pointed out that President Joe Biden is making Trump’s conviction a centerpiece of his 2024 campaign and will most likely bring it up at the first presidential debate, scheduled for later this month – while his Republican rival won’t be able to respond. Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee for the 2024 presidential ticket, which will be formally announced at the national convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin next month. However, Merchan has scheduled the sentencing hearing for July 11, just days before the convention is scheduled to start.

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Anything we don’t like is now deepfake.

Confused Biden Clips Are ‘Deepfakes’ – White House (RT)

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has claimed that recent videos showing US President Joe Biden looking confused at public events have been manipulated, describing them as “cheap fakes.” Jean-Pierre’s comments come after several videos of Biden have gone viral on social media in recent weeks. In one clip, the president could be seen having trouble sitting down during a D-Day memorial event in France. A number of commenters suggested that the US leader was “completely lost” or having “some kind of episode.” Another video showed Biden standing together with G7 leaders in Italy watching a skydiving demonstration. At one point, the US president turned away and wandered off from the group, before Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni took him by the hand to guide him back to the other members.

In another clip from an LA fundraising event with former President Barack Obama and late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, Biden appeared to freeze up as he was waving goodbye to the crowd. Obama could then be seen taking Biden by the hand and patting him on the back while leading him off stage. A clip from a White House Juneteenth concert also appeared to show the 81-year-old president awkwardly frozen as everyone around him danced to the music.
Speaking to reporters during a White House Press event on Monday, Jean-Pierre stated that “we are seeing these deepfakes, these manipulated videos, and it is again, done in bad faith.” The press secretary claimed that reports on these incidents are “attacks” on Biden that demonstrate the “desperation” of Republicans who refuse to acknowledge the president’s achievements.

Asked to comment specifically on the incidents with Meloni and Obama, who appeared to give Biden “stage directions,” Jean-Pierre insisted that these were “cheap fakes” and that “this did not happen, in the sense of what people were saying they were seeing or what was being falsely reported.” She also dismissed claims that Biden had frozen during the Juneteenth concert, suggesting the president simply didn’t want to dance. “Excuse me, I did not know that not dancing was a mental health issue. That is a weird thing to flag,” Jean-Pierre said. According to multiple recent polls, Biden’s mental health has been a longstanding concern among American voters, many of whom believe he is mentally and physically unfit for office. A recent Wall Street Journal report also claimed that aside from his frequent public mental gaffes, Biden has shown “signs of slipping” in closed-door meetings with US lawmakers.

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Only good NATO boss is someone who doesn’t want the job.

Mark Rutte: The Choice for NATO Secretary General? (Sp.)

As NATO stands on the brink of appointing a new Secretary General, the spotlight falls on Dutch PM Mark Rutte. Recent developments suggest that Rutte, who has served as the Netherlands’ PM since 2010, is now the frontrunner to succeed Jens Stoltenberg, following the removal of Hungary’s veto and the anticipated withdrawal of Romania’s opposition. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, speaking at a joint press conference with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, praised Rutte as a “strong candidate” and hinted at an imminent decision on his successor. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s endorsement, conditioned on Rutte’s commitment to Hungary’s non-involvement in NATO operations in Ukraine, has been pivotal in removing the last significant obstacle to his appointment.

Rutte’s potential ascension to NATO’s top post has elicited varied reactions, with some expressing cautious optimism while others remain deeply skeptical. Mikael Valtersson, a former officer of Swedish Armed Forces/Air Defence, former defence politician and chief of staff with Sweden Democrats, provides a perspective on Rutte’s suitability for the role. Valtersson argues that Rutte’s tenure as Prime Minister has been marked by a rigid stance on military support to Ukraine, trait that does not bode well for a role that requires diplomatic finesse and a balanced approach to global security challenges. Rutte’s critics contend that his leadership could exacerbate existing tensions rather than foster dialogue and de-escalation. Rutte’s track record reflects a staunchly pro-Ukrainian and anti-Russian stance. Under his leadership, the Netherlands has committed substantial financial aid to Ukraine, including €3 billion annually for 2024 and 2025. The Netherlands has also been at the forefront of supplying Ukraine with military hardware, notably the F-16 fighter jets, reinforcing Rutte’s hawkish posture.

In March 2024, Rutte signed a significant security treaty with Ukraine, a move that underscores his commitment to Ukraine’s defense but also raises questions about the appropriateness of such actions by a caretaker government. This treaty, signed despite the electoral victory of right-wing Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, highlights Rutte’s prioritization of support for Ukraine over the potential policy shifts anticipated from the new government. Critics argue that Rutte’s actions indicate a preference for military solutions over diplomatic engagement. His strong backing for Ukraine and consistent alignment with NATO’s hardline stance against Russia suggest that his leadership would likely continue Stoltenberg’s pro-Ukraine policies without exploring avenues for peace or compromise.

Valtersson and other critics suggest that Rutte’s appointment represents a missed opportunity for NATO to choose a leader who could steer the alliance towards a more nuanced and peaceful approach to the Ukraine conflict and broader global tensions. “All this shows that Mark Rutte will not be someone who will try to de-escalate the conflict in Ukraine… It’s a pity that NATO didn’t take the opportunity to choose a more peaceful new General secretary,” stated Valtersson. The concern is that Rutte’s leadership will perpetuate a cycle of military escalation rather than fostering diplomatic resolutions. As NATO prepares to finalize its decision, it must take into consideration, that, while Rutte’s candidacy has garnered support from key NATO members, his track record and recent commitments raise legitimate concerns about his capacity to lead the alliance towards a more balanced and peaceful global strategy.

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“..never underestimate the power of a genocide committed in broad daylight, on video..”

The BRICS Weigh In On Palestine (Pepe Escobar)

Something of extraordinary magnitude happened in Moscow on 23 May. Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa personally asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to help organize a peace conference on Palestine, at which Russia would be the first non-Arab nation invited. Al-Khalifa and Putin had two rounds of discussions – one of them closed – during which the main focus was always Palestine. The Bahraini monarch noted that in a rare show of unity, the Arab world had finally come together in agreement to end the war in Gaza. It was implied that Russia was subsequently chosen as the most reliable mediator to end the brutal conflict. Bahrain – and the Arab League – recognize that the Russian position centers around what Putin had previously defined as the “UN formula”: an independent Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem. That happens to be the position of the BRICS-10 nations and virtually the whole Global Majority.

Crucially, it is also the common position of China and the Arab world, reaffirmed in Beijing only one week after the Russia-Bahrain meeting. The problem is how to implement the “formula” when the US hegemon, Israel’s unconditional ally, has a virtual stranglehold on the United Nations. By 2020, as Tel Aviv was openly announcing the inevitable annexation of the West Bank, the Abraham Accords were smashing a major Arab taboo on openly supporting Israel, via the normalization agreements signed in Washington DC by Bahrain, the UAE, Morocco, and Sudan. Nine months ago, Palestine was virtually isolated, and destined to extinction via quiet Israeli policies to incrementally force expulsion. But never underestimate the power of a genocide committed in broad daylight, on video. Today, the Russia-China strategic partnership, BRICS, and the Global Majority have been mobilized to enshrine Palestine as a sovereign state – faithful to the recent super-majority UN General Assembly vote to accept Palestine as a UN member.

It will be a long, winding, and thorny road that has the potential to split the world in two. The St. Petersburg forum last week offered three crucial messages to the Global Majority, focused around BRICS. The crux of the sessions may have been geoeconomics, but a now-unavoidable message of support to Palestine crept into the sidelines. After a panel ostensibly debating the supply and demand of oil and gas, and which touched upon the principled role of Yemen in the Red Sea directed against the Gaza genocide, support for Palestine, amidst friendly smiles (but off the record), was emphatic from everyone – from OPEC secretary-general Haitham al-Ghais to the UAE’s Minister of Energy Suhail Mohamed al-Mazrouei. Same on a Russia-Oman panel, coming from Minister of Commerce Qais bin Mohammed bin Moosa al-Yousef.

Earlier this week, the Palestine tragedy was addressed in detail – on points 34 and 35 – in the joint statement of the BRICS 10 Ministers of Foreign Affairs, who sat at the same table for the first time in Nizhny Novgorod, preparing for the extremely important annual BRICS summit next October in Kazan, under the Russian presidency. Three very important points were made there: First, the Ministers “reaffirmed their rejection of any attempt aiming at forcefully displacing, expelling or transferring the Palestinian people from their land.” Second, they collectively “expressed serious concern at Israel’s continued blatant disregard of international law, the UN Charter, UN resolutions and Court orders.” And third, the ten foreign ministers:

“Reaffirmed their support for Palestine’s full membership in the United Nations and reiterated their unwavering commitment to the vision of the two-state solution based on international law including relevant UNSC and UNGA resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative that includes the establishment of a sovereign, independent and viable State of Palestine in line with internationally recognized borders of June 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital living side by side in peace and security with Israel.” This is BRICS speaking with one voice – including, crucially, representatives of major Muslim-majority states: Iran, Saudi Arabia, the UAE. and Egypt.

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“If the stablecoin fund was a country, it would be in “the top ten of countries holding Treasuries..”

US Cryptocurrency as an Offshore Banking Center (Michael Hudson)

The Wall Street Journal ran a revealing op-ed today (June 14, 2024) by Paul D. Ryan, “Crypto Could Stave off a U.S. Debt Crisis.” Mr. Ryan, libertarian Republican House Speaker 2015-2019 and now at the right-wing American Enterprise Institute, writes that: “Stablecoins backed by dollars provide demand for U.S. public debt and a way to keep up with China.” He reports that “According to the Treasury Department and DeFi Llama, a cryptocurrency analytics site, dollar-based stablecoins are becoming an important net purchaser of U.S. government debt.” If the stablecoin fund was a country, it would be in “the top ten of countries holding Treasuries – smaller than Hong Kong but larger than Saudi Arabia.” So the result of officially promoting them “would be an immediate, durable increase in demand for U.S. debt.”Ryan says that “bipartisan support in Congress … would help dramatically expand the use of digital dollars at a given critical time.”

Here’s the real logic. I’ve written before about how c. 1966 or ’67, I was Chase Manhattan’s balance-of-payments economist, and a bank officer, apparently having joined from the State Dept., asked me to review a memo proposing to make the United States “the new Switzerland,” that is, a haven for the world’s drug money and other criminal money laundering, for kleptocrats and tax evaders in order to help stem the U.S. balance-of-payments deficit that resulted entirely from foreign military spending in Southeast Asia and elsewhere around the world. Today, as foreign countries de-dollarize their trade – for instance, when Russia and China trade for oil and industrial products in each others’ currencies – U.S. financial strategists worry about what this will mean for the dollar’s exchange rate. Actually, transacting such foreign trade in non-dollar currencies has no effect on the U.S. balance of payments. It does not appear in the trade balance or even in foreign investment, although de-dollarization may deprive U.S. banks of currency-trading commissions to handle such transactions

What does affect the demand for dollars is conversion of assets denominated in foreign currency into the dollar. This king of confidential banking is what pressed up the Swiss franc so much in the 1970s and ‘80s that it priced Swiss manufactures out of foreign markets. Companies like Ciba-Geigy had to move their production across the border to Germany to prevent the rising franc’s valuation from making them uncompetitive. (When that company brought me over in 1976, I found that the price of a coke was over $10, and a regular meal cost $100.) The U.S. is seeking to protect the dollar’s high value, not lower it, so it sees acting as the destination for world’s tax avoiders, criminals and others as a positive national strategy. (“Kleptocracy is us.”) The plan is not to condemn tax crime and more violent criminal activities, but seeking to profit for being the banker for these functions. The logic is, “As the world’s leading free-market democracy, we’re providing a secure for the world’s capital, however it may be ‘earned’ or otherwise obtained.”

I should have added the real kicker. Stablecoins don’t pay interest. So buyers will get the equivalent of a US Treasury security — but NOT the interest (now in the high 4% range). The Stablecoin company will get that. This is a HUGE bonanza for them — and a correspondingly huge foregone income by Stablecoin holders. Why don’t they simply buy US Treasury bills, notes or bonds themselves? The answer must be ideology (imagining Stablecoins to be anti-government when the money is lent to governments), ignorance, and SECRECY. They pay a huge opportunity cost for hiding their identity and the source of their money.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Reflex

 

 

Panda
https://twitter.com/i/status/1803038703184728401

 

 

Dachs
https://twitter.com/i/status/1803224285646835847

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 172024
 


Edward Hopper Cape Cod morning 1950

 

Putin’s Peace Initiative Last Chance To Save Ukrainian State – Medvedchuk (TASS)
Putin’s Peace Proposals on Ukraine Are ‘Golden Opportunity & Lifeline’ (Sp.)
A Proposal, A Last Chance, An Ultimatum (SCF)
Zelensky Set The Trap That Threatens To Destroy Us (Dionísio)
Ukraine ‘Peace Summit’ Is ‘Animal Farm’ – Medvedev (RT)
Polish President Calls For ‘Decolonization’ of Russia (RT)
US Tried to Provoke China Into Attacking Taiwan – Xi (Sp.)
The Changing Nature Of Nuclear Deterrence (Malinen)
Europe’s Elections as a Mirror (Patrick Lawrence)
Musk Says “Eliminate Electronic Voting Machines” (ZH)
Biden-Trump Debate Rules Revealed (RT)
Biden “Losing Focus”, “Worst He’s Ever Been” (MN)
AI is Digital Control, You’ve Been Warned – Catherine Austin Fitts (USAW)
Judges Named for Assange Appeal (Lauria)

 

 

 

 

Elon multiply
https://twitter.com/i/status/1802120341768089711

 

 

 

 

Amnesty

 

 

Wisdom

 

 

Meloni

 

 

 

 

 

 

This may be Putin’s final peace plan. Better consider it.

“This is a concentration camp for the Ukrainian people, with everyone wanting to flee except the gang that is criminally reigning..”

Putin’s Peace Initiative Last Chance To Save Ukrainian State – Medvedchuk (TASS)

The peace initiative of Russian President Vladimir Putin is the last chance to preserve the Ukrainian state, Viktor Medvedchuk, the former leader of the Opposition Platform-For Life party now banned in Ukraine, told TASS in an interview. “The new peace initiative of Vladimir Putin is the last chance to preserve the Ukrainian state. Ukraine at present with its illegitimate president, the regime adversary to the people, legal nihilism and the Nazi state ideology cannot be considered to be the state anymore,” the politician said. “Vladimir Putin suggests returning the state to Ukrainians, making it neutral, sovereign, demilitarized and denazified,” Medvedchuk said.

“The peace proposals returns not only the peace to Ukraine but also rights of Ukrainian citizens criminally overturned by the regime of [Vladimir] Zelensky,” he stressed. Ukraine at present “cannot exist without huge external borrowings. This is actually a bankrupt country, a black hole for the Western economy,” Medvedchuk noted. “This is a concentration camp for the Ukrainian people, with everyone wanting to flee except the gang that is criminally reigning,” he added. On June 14, Russian President Vladimir Putin named conditions for settlement of the situation in Ukraine, including withdrawal of the Ukrainian army from Donbass and Novorossiya and refusal of Kiev to join NATO.

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“It is to be expected that the West will do everything possible to prevent Ukraine from accepting Russia’s peace initiatives..”

Putin’s Peace Proposals on Ukraine Are ‘Golden Opportunity & Lifeline’ (Sp.)

Kiev should agree to the preconditions for peace talks laid out by Russian President Vladimir Putin, otherwise its position both in the combat zone and at the negotiating table will only get much worse, Persio Gloria de Paula, an expert at the Naval War College in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, told Sputnik. “One should bear in mind that Ukraine is suffering both hardware and personnel losses. For the first, it relies on its patrons in the West, while to replenish the second it will need to push through increasingly stringent mobilization and lower the conscription age,” he remarked. At the same time, the Russian proposal poses a challenge to Kiev and its sponsors on the eve of the so-called peace summit in Switzerland. “This calls into question the goals and effectiveness of a summit which is not attended by all the sides involved,” Persio Gloria de Paula said.

The conditions laid out by President Putin to resolve the Ukraine conflict are “a golden opportunity both for Kiev and the European countries to begin negotiations,” Iranian political scientist Emad Abshenas told Sputnik. “Of course, as expected, Russia insists on its key demands,” he noted, including a neutral, non-nuclear status for Ukraine, “as well as guarantees of independence, rights, freedoms and interests of the Russian-speaking population of the country.” He singled out Putin’s remarks that these fundamental parameters along with Ukraine’s demilitarization and de-Nazification were broadly agreed on during the Istanbul negotiations in 2022. However, on Western countries’ orders, Kiev ultimately rejected these conditions, the expert said. It is to be expected that the West will do everything possible to prevent Ukraine from accepting Russia’s peace initiatives, said Unver Sel, chairman of the Federation of Crimean Tatar Culture Societies of Turkiye.

Once again, settlement of the conflict will be delayed. When asked if the West will claim responsibility for what is currently happening in Ukraine, the pundit said:“It is naive to hope that the West will suddenly acknowledge its responsibility. This did not happen in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, or Syria… The West will continue to behave like a spoiled child who does not understand the consequences of his actions, and acts solely based on his own selfish goals.”

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“The Ukrainians will only have to bear the burden of a slow, long and bloody defeat. And NATO, the sponsor of the spectacle of death, will be responsible for every life lost on the battlefield.”

A Proposal, A Last Chance, An Ultimatum (SCF)

While the Kiev regime and its supporters continue to organize the “peace summit” in Switzerland, the Russian Federation is advancing its plans to bring a real end to the conflict. For Moscow, the conditions for peace or war are clear: either Ukraine recognizes the territories already liberated as Russian and promises neutrality, or the responsibility for the bloodshed from now on will lie entirely with NATO. Russia has never been in any kind of “rush” in this conflict. With less and less casualties, an overwhelmingly economic growth, and having the opportunity to destroy NATO military software and neutralize foreign mercenaries, there is no reason for the Russians to want to quickly end hostilities. The Russian initiative to put forward peace terms is due to a sincerely humanitarian concern, since, unlike the Kiev neo-Nazi junta, decision-makers in the Kremlin see the Ukrainian people as a sister nation and a vital part of Russian civilization.

Since February 2022, Russia has constantly offered peace terms in accordance with the update of its strategic interests. Before the referendums for the union of the New Regions with the Russian Federation, Moscow’s demand was limited to the recognition of Donetsk and Lugansk as independent countries – there was not even any interest in reintegrating them into Russia at the time. It was Western interventionism in the peace negotiations and the fascist government’s subservience to NATO that prevented an agreement from being reached in the early stages of the special military operation. The lack of guaranteed recognition for Donetsk and Lugansk led the war to continue and motivated these regions to ask to return to their eternal home (the Russian Federation).

Then Ukrainian insistence on boycotting the normalization of life in Crimea led Russia to also reintegrate Kherson and Zaporozhye. For now, the four New Regions and Crimea (already reintegrated ten years ago) are Russia’s only formal territorial demands. The only thing Russia is asking for in addition to that is a guarantee of neutrality and demilitarization so that its civilian areas are not attacked, which Ukraine can provide simply by promising not to seek NATO membership. Obviously, Zelensky will not be able to accept the agreement proposed by Putin. Firstly, because he is a puppet who only obeys NATO orders. Furthermore, NATO has not yet managed to open another front to maintain its proxy war against Russia. The anti-Russian lobby in Moldova is still not enough to move aggression against Transnistria or Gagauzia, while in Georgia the Parliament said “no” to foreign saboteurs.

Without another flank, NATO will not allow any negotiations in Ukraine. Kiev will have to keep fighting, even if it is very close to reaching the “last Ukrainian”. And from this perspective, Putin’s proposal becomes an ultimatum. The last chance was given to end this war with “only” half a million Ukrainians dead and 25% of the (former) Ukrainian territory liberated. With the obvious Ukrainian rejection, it is clear that there will be an update of these interests. Only the Russians will be able to say how much more territory they will demand from now on. The Ukrainians will only have to bear the burden of a slow, long and bloody defeat. And NATO, the sponsor of the spectacle of death, will be responsible for every life lost on the battlefield.

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“Now, to finance the war effort, the illegitimate Zelensky [..] is preparing to sell what he still has left..”

Zelensky Set The Trap That Threatens To Destroy Us (Dionísio)

Bandera’s Ukraine, which has been furiously privatizing its remaining state properties left to it by Russia and the USSR, already has a large part of its valuable black lands in the hands of Blackrock, Monsanto and other U.S. interests. These are joined by energy, mining, agro-industrial and real estate ownership. Now, to finance the war effort, the illegitimate Zelensky, who is currently usurping the position of president (I can already see the meaning of that kiss from von der Leyen, the usurpers recognize each other), is preparing to sell what he still has left. The exigencies from the IMF and from financial agreements with the European Union always require privatizations and the businesses in question are, in some cases, important natural monopolies.We all know who will profit most from the purchase of these state assets. The U.S. will get the best share, but the United Kingdom, Germany, France, in that order, will also get their “fair share”.

If the Hotel Ukraine is the most famous asset of all those announced in this new package, here is a list, which the Kiev regime itself says is a “large privatization”. Energy companies, Port of Odessa, mining sector, distilleries, heavy machinery factories, such as a locomotives factory…The most serious thing about all this, the most tragic thing for all of us, is that the sale of the country to the interests of the United States and the West is not innocent and goes far beyond a simple act of corruption or handing over the country to foreign interests. Consciously or unconsciously, the acquisition of large and profitable properties, by large Western corporations, constitutes a very important step towards worsening the conflict and one that I believe goes unnoticed by many good people, normally concentrated in the specifically military aspect. In these cases, the military aspect is nothing more than the peak of the Iceberg, which hides all the complexity of economic relations that, at the base, constitute the reason for everything that is happening.

Recourse to the military happens when relationships at the base become irreconcilable. Zelensky, certainly aware that the war can only be won with the direct entry of the U.S., even if we all have to lose it (in wars everyone loses) for him to win it, as he hands over his country to the oligarchies that support the American political apparatus, will know how important it is, the control of Ukrainian properties, by those powerful interests. What better way to protect access to the Black Sea than by handing over the Port of Odessa to Western interests? History tells us that Western corporate interests, especially the United States, protect their assets, even if, to do so, they have to invade countries and occupy them. Consequently, Zelensky knows that the greater the dominance of American corporations in Ukraine, the greater the likelihood of worsening the conflict and direct U.S. entry.

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“According to an earlier Bloomberg report, Biden skipped the summit because it overlapped with a campaign fundraiser in California..”

Ukraine ‘Peace Summit’ Is ‘Animal Farm’ – Medvedev (RT)

The Swiss-hosted Ukraine ‘peace summit’ has turned out to be an erratic and dysfunctional event whose participants have no clue what they are doing there, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said. The June 15-16 conference at the Burgenstock Hotel near Lake Lucerne focuses on three points of Vladimir Zelensky’s ‘peace formula’, including prisoner exchanges and nuclear and food security. The plan calls for Russia to withdraw from all territories claimed by Kiev, but has been dismissed by Moscow as divorced from reality. Russia was not invited to the event. President Vladimir Putin has argued that it is simply an attempt by the West to create the illusion of a global anti-Russian coalition and distract attention away from the root causes of the conflict.

Writing on Telegram on Sunday, Medvedev, who is currently the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, compared the summit to George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’. The novel, which is considered to be a veiled reference to the Stalin-era Soviet Union, reflects on how ideals of equality and freedom can become distorted and betrayed after a ruthless leader takes over. The ex-Russian president said the Swiss event is “pure surrealism” and that “none of the participants in the ‘peace forum’ know what they are doing there and what their role is.” He went on to say that the Swiss “shepherd boys” invited only “trustworthy animals,” including a “crazy puny swine” and his sidekick, as well as “a flock of slow-witted Western Alpine sheep blithely bleating about peace, as well as a pack of European chained dogs to guard the livestock.” Medvedev did not specify who these remarks were directed at. According to the former president, the ‘dogs’ are “barking and spitting poisonous saliva” to maintain order, which he said is warranted since the “sheep often bleat out of place and confuse the memorized statements.”

In an apparent reference to US President Joe Biden, he said the flock is led by “an elderly, weak-minded owner” suffering from “progressive dementia.” He added that the US, instead of sending Biden, sent “a soft-headed deputy who… said a phrase learned by heart and quickly went home,” referring to Vice President Kamala Harris. ”To sum it up, the grazing of cattle in the Alps is just a sad pile of poop that is burning up taxpayers’ money,” Medvedev said. According to an earlier Bloomberg report, Biden skipped the summit because it overlapped with a campaign fundraiser in California ahead of the presidential election this November. Zelensky criticized the US president’s absence, suggesting it “would only be met with applause by Putin.” A number of Western officials have acknowledged that the Ukraine conflict cannot be resolved without Moscow’s participation in talks.

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“..over 190 ethnic groups that speak more than 270 languages and dialects..”

Polish President Calls For ‘Decolonization’ of Russia (RT)

Polish President Andrzej Duda has called for the “decolonization” of Russia, claiming that ethnic minorities should break away from Moscow’s rule and form their own states. Russia is one of the most diverse countries in the world and comprises over 190 ethnic groups that speak more than 270 languages and dialects, according to the government. Speaking at the so-called “Peace for Ukraine” conference in Switzerland on Sunday, Duda described Russia as a “prison of nations.” The country is “home to almost 200 ethnic groups,” which “became the residents of Russia as a result of methods used in Ukraine today,” the Polish leader claimed, referring to the conflict between Moscow and Kiev.

“Russia remains the largest colonial empire in the world, which, unlike European powers, has never undergone the process of decolonization and has never been able to deal with demons of its past,” Duda stated. “As a member of the international community, we have to finally say – there is no [space] for colonialism in the modern world.” Poland has been one of the most vocal proponents of aid to Ukraine since Russia launched its military operation in the neighboring state. According to the Polish media, Duda’s main mission in Switzerland was to “highlight the scale of the Russian threat.”

Earlier this year, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk suggested his country’s readiness to potentially host US nuclear weapons, which Moscow called a “provocation” and “deeply hostile policy.” Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly stated that Moscow has no intention of attacking NATO members and has dismissed claims to the contrary as scare tactics. In August 2023, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote an op-ed for the Izvestia newspaper, condemning “the crimes of colonialism” committed by the West and arguing that Western overseas possessions, such as France’s New Caledonia, Britain’s Gibraltar, and US’ Guam, are modern-day “colonies.” She insisted that “the free world will undoubtedly win, and the process of decolonization will be completed.”

Duda
https://twitter.com/i/status/1802051162373550439

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“..continues to pursue the one-China policy and does not support Taiwan’s independence.”

US Tried to Provoke China Into Attacking Taiwan – Xi (Sp.)

Chinese President Xi Jinping has repeatedly underscored that the Taiwan issue in China-US relations is a major red line that must not be crossed. Beijing has also urged Washington to stop sending “erroneous signals” to Taiwanese separatists. Xi Jinping warned Ursula von der Leyen about Washington’s attempts to provoke Beijing into attacking Taiwan, the Financial Times reported. China’s president delivered the cautionary message in April 2023 both to the European Commission president and officials in his own country, according to insiders. The gist of Xi’s warning was reportedly that the Biden administration was trying to goad the People’s Republic of China (PRC) into invading Taiwan, but the Chinese leader would not be taken in that easily.

When delivering the warning last year, Xi purportedly added that a conflict with the US would dismantle many of his country’s impressive achievements and undercut the stated goal of achieving a “great rejuvenation” by 2049. The report laid emphasis on the fact that if true, this would have been the first known case of Xi Jinping making such a claim to a foreign leader. There has been no comment specifically on the report from either the Chinese Embassy in Washington or von der Leyen’s spokesperson.

[..] The FT report comes amid heightened US-China tensions. Beijing has referred to the Taiwan issue as a “red line” that must not be crossed in its relations with Washington. “We will not turn a blind eye to the separatist activities of forces advocating ‘Taiwan’s independence’ and the connivance and support [of these forces] by outside forces,” Xi Jinping was quoted by the Xinhua news agency as telling US President Joe Biden during a phone conversation in April. Biden, in turn, reportedly said that the US does not support Taiwan’s independence and is not planning to enter into a conflict with China. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken echoed these statements, telling Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi that the United States “continues to pursue the one-China policy and does not support Taiwan’s independence.”

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“According to how history is currently written..”

The Changing Nature Of Nuclear Deterrence (Malinen)

When I was around eight years old, my baby-sitter let me watch a documentary on nuclear war. Unsurprisingly, it shook me to the core. It’s kind of hard to know what went on in her head, but those images of nuclear detonations never left my head. Looking back at it now, this ‘incident’ starts to make sense, kind of. This is because over the decades I’ve read a lot on nuclear deterrence and on nuclear war simulations. I have had this graving to understand nuclear warfare and deterrence basically throughout my adult-life. Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962 became something of a case study on nuclear deterrence to me. This was in no small part because of the magnificent movie, Thirteen Days (published in 2000), documenting the crisis through the eyes of President Kennedy and the White House. I have also had the privilege to grow with a highly objective lecturer of history, my mother, who has always questioned the current knowledge on history.

One of her best quotes is, “According to how history is currently written”. It summarizes all you need to understand about research of history. We simply do not know all the facts and politics plays a major role on how history is being written. In the movie Thirteen Days, there’s a scene where Bobby Kennedy (played memorably by Steven Culp) and Special Advisor Kenneth O. Donnell (always great Kevin Costner) arrive to Russian (Soviet) embassy, where they are burning secret documents in preparation for an evacuation. I vaguely remember that I would have talked with my mom about this scene and that she would have confirmed that such a thing (burning of documents) actually happened, but I cannot vouch for that. In any case, it was a beautiful movie trick, intensifying and underlining the gravity of the situation the world faced. Unfortunately, we are very close of such a situation, again.

During the Cuban crisis, the ‘Doomsday Clock’, kept by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, was set to seven minutes to midnight. Currently, it stands at 90 seconds to midnight, closest to midnight it ever has, and I am expecting that it will be moved to 60 seconds to midnight during the next 12 months. While the Bulletin, quite unnecessarily, recently mixed “climate change” to the setting of the clock, the unprecedented warning on the close proximity of a nuclear holocaust should be taken extremely seriously. I have been pondering the growing nuclear threat since basically the onset of Ukrainian conflict in early 2014. It has become very pervasive in my thinking during the past few weeks mostly due to strikes of Ukraine to Russian early-warning system. During my academic studies, I have taken two courses in game theory. One during graduate and the other during post-graduate studies. During those courses, I read also on game theoretical simulations of nuclear warfare.

I cannot help to think that I did this, because of the misjudgement of my baby-sitter all those years ago. Past week, I started to build game theoretical model on a tactical nuclear first strike to understand the situation better. In this entry, which is likely to start a short series on nuclear deterrence and war, I go through the basic building blocks of modern nuclear deterrence starting from tactical nuclear weapons. Then I explain the foundational principle of nuclear deterrence, mutually asserted destruction, or MAD, and lastly I go through the weak spots of modern nuclear deterrence. All detailed information on nuclear weapons and deterrence is based on recent research by several scholars, only few of which I will detail (link) here. My model describes in more detail, why deterrence is so close of failing, and I return to that later. In the conclusions I also comment the recent steps of escalation, i.e., the Russian flotilla just off the Floridan coast and fresh U.S. sanctions to Russian financial sector.

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“..the “center” liberal authoritarians speak of as some kind of sacred space..”

Europe’s Elections as a Mirror (Patrick Lawrence)

The E.U. Parliament, to get straight a few basic details, is one strut of the three-legged stool of which the union is made: The unelected technocrats are in Brussels, the unelected central bankers are in Frankfurt, and the elected legislature is in Strasbourg. Belgium, Germany, and France: The distribution of institutional power in this way is meant as a display of the Continent’s hard-won unity. The catch here, and the reason I and many others got off the E.U. bus years ago, is that the lawmakers in Strasbourg are essentially powerless. Yes, you had inspired MEPs such as Claire Daly and her colleague Mick Wallace, both Irish (and you have to love Daly’s lilting brogue). They made use of the legislative chambers in Strasbourg to articulate principled positions on Gaza, Ukraine, and other such questions, but there has never been any question of the E.U. Parliament having the power to legislate the union’s direction.

Parenthetically, Daly and Wallace were voted out of office in last week’s elections. The E.U. is as it has long been—an undemocratic institution atop which sit neoliberal ideologues and austerian central bankers, technocrats who take no interest in the democratic process or the wishes of the E.U.’s citizenry. Readers may recall the brutality with which Brussels and Frankfurt had Athenians eating out of garbage cans nine years ago to protect the interests of bond investors holding Greek sovereign debt. That was the E.U. in action, the E.U. that has perverted the worthy vision of its postwar founders.

When we look at the polls held June 6–9 across the Continent, we must recognize a certain paradox. The MEPs elected will have little power, as European voters know better than anyone, but it was precisely to protest the corruption of European democracy that these voters delivered so severe a blow to mainstream parties and the Brussels technocrats from whom they are virtually inseparable. The outstanding question in the European capitals now is whether the profound animosity evident in last week’s election results will carry over to national polls due in political seasons to come. Figures such as Emmanuel Macron think that in legislative contests that will have actual consequences, unhappy voters will pull back from the brink: The E.U. vote as an acting out, let’s call this reasoning. I am not sure the French president is right about this. The conditions that produced last week’s E.U.–wide results are clearly leading to a substantial migration away from the “center” liberal authoritarians speak of as some kind of sacred space.

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“The risk of being hacked by humans or AI, while small, is still too high.”

Musk Says “Eliminate Electronic Voting Machines” (ZH)

Elon Musk on Saturday suggested that electronic voting machines should not be used in elections, as “The risk of being hacked by humans or AI, while small, is still too high.” Musk was responding to the recent news that Puerto Rico is ‘reviewing’ their contract with Dominion Voting Systems after a ‘software issue’ caused machines supplied by the company to miscalculate vote totals, according to the country’s elections commission. According to AP, vote counts reported by Dominion machines were lower than paper counts in some cases, and some machines reversed totals or reported zero votes for some candidates. “The concern is that we obviously have elections in November, and we must provide the (island) not only with the assurance that the machine produces a correct result, but also that the result it produces is the same one that is reported,” said Padilla. The island nation used more than 6,000 Dominion voting machines in their June 2 primary.

The company claims that the software issues stemmed from the digital files used to export the results from the primaries. The President of Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives, José Varela, has Dominion’s back – calling for Padilla to appear at a public hearing on Thursday to address the issues. “We cannot allow the public’s confidence in the voting process to continue to be undermined as we approach the general elections,” he said. “The problems called to mind the island’s botched 2020 primaries, when a lack of ballots at some centers forced the government to reschedule voting in a first for the U.S. territory. On June 2, Puerto Rico held primary elections to select gubernatorial candidates for the pro-statehood New Progressive Party and the Popular Democratic Party, which supports the island’s territorial status. In a surprise upset, Jenniffer González, Puerto Rico’s congressional representative, beat Gov. Pedro Pierluisi in the primary held by the New Progressive Party. Meanwhile, Puerto Rico Rep. Jesús Manuel Ortiz defeated Sen. Juan Zaragoza in the primary held by their Popular Democratic Party. Both parties reported hundreds of ballots showing inaccurate results, with the PNP reporting over 700 errors and the PPD pointing to some 350 discrepancies. These inaccuracies affected ballots for positions including governor, mayor and resident commissioner.” -AP

Following the discrepancies, the elections commission conducted a full vote tally and audited paper receipts from hundreds of ballot-counting machines – after which Ombudsman Edwin García Feliciano called the incident a “threat” to the island’s electoral system, and called on the governor and the island’s federal control board that oversees the island’s finances to establish a plan to improve election security. “All planning is based on resolving emergencies, including unlikely ones,” said García Feliciano, adding “But predictable circumstances, which are well known to the public, cannot be addressed by improvisation and in a rush.” The island’s general election will be held in November, where citizens will choose a new governor and local representatives. Meanwhile in Georgia, a federal judge ruled in February that Georgia’s electronic voting machines had issues related to security and transparency – yet she declined to immediately halt the use of said machines.

Despite identifying several problems with the state’s election system, US District Judge Amy Totenberg allowed Georgia to continue using the current electronic voting system while acknowledging the plaintiffs’ concerns about the risks to the integrity of the voting process. Also meanwhile; In March, Headline USA reported that during defamation lawsuit between Dominion Voting Systems and former Overstock.com CEO and Donald Trump supporter Patrick Byrne, one of Byrne’s attorneys, Stephanie Lambert, who was later arrested, leaked evidence that foreign nationals remotely accessed voting machines used in Michigan in the 2020 elections. In February of 2022, top officials at a U.S. federal cybersecurity agency are urging a judge not to authorize at this time the release of a report that analyzes Dominion Voting Systems equipment in Georgia, arguing doing so could assist hackers trying to “undermine election security.”

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“Let’s see if Joe can make it to the stand-up podium.”

Biden-Trump Debate Rules Revealed (RT)

US President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will get two breaks when they face off in a CNN debate this month, and will not be allowed to talk to their campaign staff during the event, the network has announced. Biden and Trump agreed last month to a live debate at CNN’s studio in Atlanta, Georgia on June 27. The debate, the first head-to-head showdown of the 2024 election season, will be moderated by CNN hosts Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, with no studio audience present. CNN released a host of further details on Saturday. According to the network, both candidates will stand at podiums chosen by a coin toss, and will not be allowed any props or pre-written notes. Biden and Trump will both be given a pen, a pad of paper, and a bottle of water. Each candidate’s microphone will be muted while the other speaks, and the 90-minute debate will be punctuated by two commercial breaks, during which Biden and Trump are forbidden from interacting with their campaign staff.

The debate was organized after months of challenges from Trump, who said in March that he would face off against Biden “any time, anywhere, any place.” After multiple non-committal responses, Biden released a video message last month calling on Trump to “make my day, pal.” Biden and Trump agreed to the CNN debate on June 27 and an ABC News debate on September 10, while Trump has also called on his opponent to accept two more debates – on Fox News and NBC News – before November’s election. Trump and Biden debated twice before the 2020 election, with both candidates proclaiming victory. In the runup to this year’s debates, Trump has repeatedly ridiculed his 81-year-old opponent’s propensity for verbal gaffes and slip-ups. “Crooked Joe Biden is the worst debater I have ever faced – he can’t put two sentences together,” Trump said in a statement last month. “Let’s see if Joe can make it to the stand-up podium.”

Meanwhile, Biden told ABC News this month that he intends to let Trump “say what he thinks,” betting that the American public will be shocked by the former president’s “off the wall” comments. The CNN debate is open to any candidate who has received at least 15% support in four separate national polls and is registered on ballots in enough states to reach the 270 electoral vote threshold to win the presidency. Only Trump and Biden satisfy these requirements at present, although independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has received 15% in three polls and is on the ballot in six states worth 89 electoral votes. Earlier this week, Kennedy claimed to have collected enough signatures for ballot access in 22 states, totaling 304 electoral votes.

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“I hear now we’re sitting at tables. I don’t want to sit at a table.” “I said, ‘No, let’s stand.’ But they want to sit at a table..”

Biden “Losing Focus”, “Worst He’s Ever Been” (MN)

A report quoting insiders at the G7 summit this past week has warned that Joe Biden struggled to focus at the meeting of world leaders in Puglia, Italy. According to one source, Biden is “the worst he’s ever been,” with attendees from other delegations saying it was “embarrassing.” As we highlighted, Biden was seen wandering off like a dementia patient and looking perpetually confused. The footage of Biden prompted mocking headlines.

Biden also skipped the dinner later in the evening, before returning to the US. Of course, the Biden campaign claims it’s all “lies” and the footage of him was “taken out of context.” Biden’s campaign spokesperson Adrienne Elrod described the headlines and reports as “disinformation” and suggested that social media platforms should prevent it from being shared. It has also been reported that the debate between Biden and Trump scheduled for June 27 will see the pair seated at tables at the request of Biden’s campaign. Trump told the hosts of the Cats & Cosby Show last month “I hear now we’re sitting at tables. I don’t want to sit at a table.” “I said, ‘No, let’s stand.’ But they want to sit at a table,” Trump further remarked, adding “So we’ll be sitting at a table as opposed to doing it the way you should be, in my opinion, in a debate.”

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“..artificial intelligence takes off on its own, and it starts functioning in a way it makes no sense. . . . and it’s just lying. It’s just making stuff up and lying. It’s literally like it’s under demonic possession.”

AI is Digital Control, You’ve Been Warned – Catherine Austin Fitts (USAW)

Catherine Austin Fitts (CAF), Publisher of The Solari Report, financial expert and former Assistant Secretary of Housing (Bush 41 Admin.) is sounding the alarm about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how it will impact your world in very negative ways. It’s all in a new report called “The AI Revolution: The Final Coup d’Etat.” CAF explains, “This is a very serious look at Artificial Intelligence and how it’s going to be used to implement control. . . . This past week, there was this huge open board meeting at OpenAI. There were board members put there to make sure OpenAI and its products were in alignment with the best interests of the human race. Some of them got booted out. Now, we see the former head of the NSA (National Security Agency) get put on the board. I just realized it today, and I had not realized it before. Edward Snowden just tweeted out and said you should never use any of these products, which include ChatGBT. Snowden also said, ‘You have to understand where this is going. You have been warned.’

“The AI Revolution” also warns that AI “. . . will alter the prospects for a free society, even free will. . . and . . . attempt to seed the idea human-only decision-making will become a rarity and, in time, cease to exist.” Don’t think sophisticated AI is some idea that is far into the future. AI is here now, and CAF points out, “I just see more and more companies using this type of technology to institute financial fraud and make money from financial fraud in their pricing. . . . You also have thousands of companies to track you for their benefit. . . . It is trying to extract data from you to accomplish whatever its goal is. . . . It’s like a swarm of invisible locusts that are all trying to surveil and track, and none of them are trying to optimize your life and give you a free and inspired life. They are just trying to get their piece.”

AI will also be used to ignore and break all laws. After all, it’s robotic and can’t be held accountable. CAF says, “By removing moral obligations and legal and obedient respect for laws, the speed at which you can do evil is extraordinary. . . . One of my concerns, and I have said this for many years, I think this kind of technology allows interdimensional intelligence to act as material reality so that, literally, demonic intelligence can have far more influence and impact in our world. It operates at such high speed, and then you combine that with the payment systems in the financial system. . . the things that can go wrong are phenomenal. One of the main problems that we have seen in the past year is artificial intelligence takes off on its own, and it starts functioning in a way it makes no sense. . . . and it’s just lying. It’s just making stuff up and lying. It’s literally like it’s under demonic possession.”

CAF says, no matter what, “AI can’t beat God.” And instead of worshiping Jehovah and Jesus (like you should), the creators of AI want you to trust whatever this tech tells you to do. CAF says, “They want an AI Religion Revolution.” Don’t buy into this crap because AI is a disaster for humanity and your freedom. CAF thinks the Democrats will be forced to replace Joe Biden come November, and she explains why. Now, more than ever, CAF thinks physical gold and silver are good investments. She encourages people to expand the use of cash. CAF thinks two of the best weapons against this sort of artificial intelligence used for control and tyranny is to enforce the US Constitution and, above all, do not lose your faith in God the Father and Christ Jesus.

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“the same who granted Assange a rare victory last month..”

Judges Named for Assange Appeal (Lauria)

The judges in Julian Assange’s two-day appeal hearing on July 9-10 are the same who granted Assange a rare victory last month: his right to appeal the Home Office’s extradition order to the United States. Justices Jeremy Johnson and Victoria Sharp granted Assange the right to appeal on only two of nine requested grounds, but they are significant: 1). his extradition was incompatible with his free speech rights enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights; and 2.) that he might be prejudiced because of his nationality (not being given 1st Amendment protection as a non-American). However the denial of his rights in an American courtroom would go beyond the First Amendment to all of his U.S. constitutional rights, according to the 2020 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in USAID v. Alliance for Open Society International Inc., which says that a non-U.S. citizen acting outside the U.S. has no constitutional protections at all.

The United States was unable to provide assurances that the European equivalent of his constitutional rights would be protected, required under British extradition law. That raises hopes for Assange in his appeal. Assange has been imprisoned in London’s notorious Belmarsh Prison for more than five years on remand pending the outcome of his extradition. He has been charged in the United States for publishing classified documents that revealed prima facie evidence of U.S. state crimes. CN has received an award and many accolades for our coverage of the Julian Assange case. We will be inside the courtroom and outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London for both days of the hearing, bringing you the latest news, analysis and commentary.

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Hooker

 

 

Hitchens

 

 

King

 

 

Linden

 

 

Swim rabbits

 

 

Dachs

 

 

Dog tree

 

 

Humpback

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jun 152024
 


Édouard Vuillard In bed 1891

 

Russia and NATO Are Drifting Towards A Major War (Timofeev)
Putin Names Two Conditions For Ending The War ‘This Very Minute’ (ZH)
Putin Names Conditions For Ukraine Peace Talks (RT)
Ukraine’s ‘Room For Compromise Is Diminishing’ – Medvedev (RT)
Zelensky Responds To Putin’s Peace Offer (RT)
America Prepares for Global War, Restarts Draft for 18-26 Year Olds (Kucinich)
Scott Ritter: West Has to Decide If It Wants Peace After Putin’s Proposal (Sp.)
Biden’s 10-year Security Pact With Ukraine is Nothing But a PR Stunt (Sp.)
Moscow Reveals Further Steps After Putin’s Ukraine Offer (RT)
Russia Was Ready To Withdraw From Southern Ukraine – Putin (RT)
Russian Troops Never Intended To Capture Kiev – Putin (RT)
US Government Uses NGOs To Corrupt ‘Civil Society’ Around The World (Diesen)
Fossil Fuels: The Best-Kept Secret in Our World Today (RCW)
The Confiscation of Reality (Sinead Murphy)
The Afterlives of Lies (Patrick Lawrence)
Sick Of and Done With (Kunstler)
The Faux Outrage Over the Alito Flags and Tapes (Turley)
Searching for the Truth About the Raid at Mar-a-Lago (Julie Kelly)

 

 

 

 

Tucker Alex

 

 

Black vote
https://twitter.com/i/status/1801357121130287270

 

 

77

 

 

Logan Paul

 

 

 

 

“..it’s clear that foreigners are fighting on Ukraine’s side, that their participation is systematic rather than accidental, and that at least some of them are citizens of Western countries.”

Russia and NATO Are Drifting Towards A Major War (Timofeev)

Is it possible that NATO forces could become directly involved in the military conflict between Russia and Ukraine? Until recently, such a question seemed very hypothetical given the high risks of escalation of the military confrontation between the US-led bloc and Russia into a large-scale armed conflict. But this scenario should be taken seriously now. The direct participation of individual NATO countries or the entire bloc in hostilities could gradually spiral out of control. Crossing red lines can lead to the belief that there will be no consequences for engaging in war. The result of such movements can manifest itself at an unexpected moment and lead to a much more dangerous situation than the current one. Strictly speaking, NATO countries have long been involved in the conflict. This takes several forms.

First, Western countries provide Kiev with substantial financial and military assistance, including increasingly advanced and destructive weapons systems. As the stockpiles of Soviet-style kit in the arsenals of the USSR’s former allies in the Warsaw Treaty Organisation have been depleted, the Ukrainian army is receiving more Western systems and ammunition. So far, mass deliveries have been limited by the production capacity of the Western defence industry and size of existing stockpiles. But if hostilities are prolonged, industrial capacity has the potential to grow. Increasing supplies are also inevitable in the event of a peaceful pause, which would allow Ukraine to prepare for a new phase of hostilities. Russia can hardly hope that the West lacks the political will and resources to increase support for Kiev. Moscow appears to be preparing for the worst-case scenario, namely a steady increase in substantial and long-term military assistance to Ukraine. In addition to the supply of arms and ammunition, this aid includes the training of personnel, help with the development of military industry and infrastructure, and the reimbursement of expenses in other areas that allow Ukraine to focus its resources on the defence sector.

Second, Ukraine receives extensive Western support in the form of intelligence, including technical data from satellites, radars, reconnaissance aircraft, etc. The information received enables a wide range of operations, from scoping the theatre of operations to the identification of specific targets. Data providers can be selective in granting the Ukrainian side access. But its use in military operations against Russia is not in doubt. Third, military specialists who are citizens of NATO countries are involved in combat operations. Their role does not always appear to be official. They may be ‘volunteers’ or simply mercenaries, whose participation the authorities of their countries turn a blind eye to. Russian estimates put their number at around 2,000 in October 2023. Whether that is accurate or not, it’s clear that foreigners are fighting on Ukraine’s side, that their participation is systematic rather than accidental, and that at least some of them are citizens of Western countries.

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“As soon as Kyiv says it is ready to do this and begins really withdrawing troops and officially renounces plans to join NATO, we will immediately — literally that very minute — cease-fire and begin talks..”

Putin Names Two Conditions For Ending The War ‘This Very Minute’ (ZH)

Russian President Vladimir Putin in a Friday speech addressed the West’s efforts to host a major Ukraine peace summit in Switzerland this weekend. Though scores of world leaders will be there, Russia has not been invited, and China has snubbed the event citing that it’s pointless without Moscow’s representation given it is a party to one side of the war. Putin outlined his “conditions” for peace. He said for the military operation to be halted Ukrainian forces would have to withdraw from the four regions annexed by the Russian Federation. “Ukrainian troops must be completely withdrawn from the Donetsk People’s Republic, the Luhansk People’s Republic, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions,” Putin said in a televised address. Russia held referendums in late September 2022 for these war-torn oblasts, and the overwhelming majority of voters were in favor of being absorbed into Russia, which Kiev and the West called a “sham” election.

Putin also stipulated a second main condition for ending the war: Ukraine must reject ambitions to join the NATO alliance. “As soon as Kyiv says it is ready to do this and begins really withdrawing troops and officially renounces plans to join NATO, we will immediately — literally that very minute — cease-fire and begin talks,” Putin said in the talk given to a gathering of diplomats. Interestingly, Putin showed signs he could be willing to compromise when it comes to territory, which is a bit of the first and hopeful sign that he’s serious about finding ways to wind down the war. According to AFP: The Russian leader said he did not “rule out maintaining Ukrainian sovereignty” over the southern Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions “on the condition that Russia has a strong land link with Crimea.”

But despite what appears to be very serious possible overtures, the Zelensky government has long maintained that it will not countenance negotiations or peace settlement until there is a full withdrawal of Russian armed forces from Ukrainian territory as existed pre-February 2022. The weekend Swiss peace summit is expected to focus on gaining full international backing for Zelensky’s 10-point peace formula, however international press has acknowledged this as still “a largely symbolic effort”. The sixth point of Kiev’s plan reads as follows: it calls on Russia “To cease the hostilities, Russia must withdraw all its troops and armed formations from the territory of Ukraine, plain and simple. Ukraine’s full control over its state border, recognized internationally, needs to be restored.”

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“Our side will order a ceasefire and start negotiations the minute Kiev declares that it is prepared to take this decision and starts actual withdrawal of troops from those regions..”

Putin Names Conditions For Ukraine Peace Talks (RT)

Ukraine must remove its troops from Russia’s new regions before any meaningful peace talks can begin, President Vladimir Putin has said. Moscow rejects Kiev’s claims of sovereignty over five formerly Ukrainian regions, four of which have joined Russia amid the ongoing hostilities. People in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions voted for the transition in late 2022, though hostilities continue in all of them. Ukrainian troops must be removed from these territories, Putin said on Friday at a meeting with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and other senior Russian diplomats. “I stress: the entire territory of those regions as defined by their administrative borders at the time they joined Ukraine [in August 1991],” Putin stated.

“Our side will order a ceasefire and start negotiations the minute Kiev declares that it is prepared to take this decision and starts actual withdrawal of troops from those regions, and also formally informs us that it no longer plans to join NATO,” the Russian leader pledged. Putin outlined the conditions after condemning Kiev’s Western backers for allegedly preventing it from holding peace talks with Moscow while accusing Russia of rejecting negotiations.“We are counting on Kiev to take such a decision on withdrawal, neutral status, and dialogue with Russia, on which the future existence of Ukraine depends, independently based on the current realities and guided by the true interests of the Ukrainian people and not at Western orders,” Putin stated. At this point, Moscow will not accept a frozen conflict, which would allow the US and its allies to rearm and rebuild the Ukrainian military, Putin claimed. The full resolution of the issue will involve Kiev recognizing the four new regions as well as Crimea as part of Russia, he insisted.

“In the future, all those basic principled positions have to be enshrined in fundamental international agreements. Naturally, that includes the lifting of all Western sanctions against Russia,” Putin stated. Accepting these terms will allow everyone involved to turn the page and gradually rebuild damaged relations, the president said. Eventually, a pan-European security system that works for all nations on the continent could be created, Putin added, noting that Moscow has sought this outcome for years.The Russian president’s keynote remarks came ahead of a Swiss-hosted summit supposedly meant to further peace in Ukraine. Kiev has insisted that Moscow could not be invited to the event because it would try to “hijack” it by promoting alternatives to the “peace formula” pushed by the Ukrainian government. Putin claimed that the event was meant to distract public opinion from the “true roots” of the conflict, and that Vladimir Zelensky has usurped power in Ukraine after his presidential term expired last month. Nothing but demagoguery and accusations against Russia can come out of the Swiss gathering, he predicted.

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“The room for compromise is diminishing like shagreen leather, together with the shrinking territory of the dying country.”

Ukraine’s ‘Room For Compromise Is Diminishing’ – Medvedev (RT)

Russia has repeatedly sought to resolve the Ukraine crisis through diplomatic means since 2014, but Kiev and its Western backers have always responded with either “manipulation” or “deception,” former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday. Now that the latest peace proposal has been offered by Russia, the time for compromise is running out, he warned. Kiev is about to face a “catastrophic scenario,” Medvedev, who currently serves as deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, said in a statement published on his social media account. The former Ukrainian territories Kiev still lays claim to have officially become part of Russia as a result of referendums held there in 2022, Medvedev pointed out. “And this is forever.” Now, Moscow will only agree to peace talks if this fact is taken into account, he added.

“The room for compromise is diminishing like shagreen leather, together with the shrinking territory of the dying country.” The official was referring to the latest peace proposal put forward by President Vladimir Putin during his meeting with senior Russian diplomats on Friday. Moscow is demanding that Kiev withdraw its troops from all the regions that voted to join Russia in 2022 and forgo its plans to join NATO. In exchange, Russia is ready to order a ceasefire and start talks the moment Ukrainian officials agree to these terms. Medvedev described this weekend’s Ukraine peace conference in Switzerland as a “summit of the doomed” that will end in “total failure.”

Kiev has been actively promoting the conference, to which Russia has not been invited, to push its own peace plan. It includes the withdrawal of Russian troops from territories it claims as its own, a war crimes tribunal, and reparations. Medvedev dismissed Kiev’s peace proposal as a “stillborn formula,” commenting that its only purpose is to provide legitimacy to Vladimir Zelensky. Zelensky, whose presidential term officially expired in May, is nothing but an “usurper,” a “nobody” with “no real authority,” according to Medvedev. He has now seized power and “took the entire population hostage” while still “sending soldiers forth to die,” the Russian official concluded.

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“..Ukraine received very generous peace terms in March 2022, but rejected them “on orders from the British.”

Zelensky Responds To Putin’s Peace Offer (RT)

The terms Russian President Vladimir Putin outlined for ending the conflict are an “ultimatum” to Ukraine and as such unacceptable, Vladimir Zelensky has said. Speaking at a meeting with senior Russian Foreign Ministry officials on Friday, Putin said that Kiev would have to cede all the territory of four regions that chose to join Russia and guarantee it would never join NATO before peace talks could begin. “What can I say? These messages are ultimatum messages, they are nothing different than other ultimatums that he has made before,” Zelensky told the TV network Sky TG24 while attending the G7 meeting in the south of Italy. “He wants us to give up part of our occupied territories, but he also wants the unoccupied ones. He talks about regions of our country, and he won’t stop,” Zelensky claimed.

Zelensky’s characterization of Putin’s offer as an ultimatum was dismissed as “a wrong understanding, definitely,” according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Friday. “This is a comprehensive, very deep and constructive proposal,” Putin’s press secretary told Izvestia. If the terms seem harsher than those Moscow proposed in the spring of 2022, he explained, that’s because “a different situation has arisen,” with four regions choosing to become part of Russia. Residents of Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions as well as the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics voted overwhelmingly in September 2022 to leave Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. Kiev and its Western backers have denounced the vote as “rigged” and a “sham,” just as they refused to recognize Crimea’s return in 2014.

Peskov reminded Izvestia that Ukraine received very generous peace terms in March 2022, but rejected them “on orders from the British.” Ukrainian media and officials have confirmed that Boris Johnson, UK prime minister at the time, told them they should not accept any deal with Russia. Announcing the military operation against the government in Kiev, in February 2022, Putin said that Moscow intended to achieve the “demilitarization and denazification” of Ukraine and secure guarantees that Kiev would never join NATO or any other anti-Russian military bloc.

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“There is no other conceivable reason to require more than 16 million American males to be automatically registered for the draft, other than to prepare for a large-scale war.”

America Prepares for Global War, Restarts Draft for 18-26 Year Olds (Kucinich)

Our government is planning a big draft, conscripting millions of young Americans for an even bigger war! I call to your attention a Democratic amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which was slipped into the almost trillion-dollar Pentagon war spending bill, by voice vote, in the House Armed Services committee. The Democratic Amendment to H.R. 8070, the National Defense Authorization (NDAA) reads: “Section 531. Selective Service System: Automatic Registration. SEC. 3. (a)(1) “Except as otherwise provided in this title, every male citizen of the United States, and every other male person residing in the United States, between the ages of eighteen and twenty-six, shall be automatically registered under this Act by the Director of the Selective Service System.”

This amendment is in the NDAA legislation and there is no pending amendment to strip it from the bill. So, when the NDAA passes, as early as this week, Congress will have taken steps to make automatic conscription the law of the land. Why an automatic draft? Members of Congress and the President have an obligation to explain to the American people to which foreign land will their sons, and perhaps their daughters, be sent to die? The U.S. has been in a continuous “State of Emergency” since September 11, 2001, which provides a president with over 100 powers he would not ordinarily have. Notwithstanding that the automatic draft provision will go into effect in a year, a presidential order invoking emergency powers and/or an Act of Congress, could readily move millions from their civilian lives to the front lines of a war. WHAT WE KNOW: We know that America is fomenting wars around the world We know that the military industrial complex controls our government We know that we are on the precipice of a global war, provoking aggression rather than resolution with Russia, China and in the Middle East.

The only winners in these wars are the war profiteers. They’re now going to take our children to fight in unnecessary, destabilizing, dangerous, debt-creating wars. Just today President Biden committed the U.S. to an additional decade of support for Ukraine’s war with Russia. There is no other conceivable reason to require more than 16 million American males to be automatically registered for the draft, other than to prepare for a large-scale war.

The Selective Service System is the vehicle by which individuals are inducted into the armed forces. This NDAA Automatic Registration amendment facilitates an efficient, large-scale draft. The new law will automatically register all males between the ages of 18 and 26. Selective Service will notify in writing every young American male that they have been registered and will prescribe regulations which can require the registrant to provide “date of birth, address, social security account number, phone number and email address….” There are members of Congress who advocate that young women also be included in any draft, which could bring to 32 million the number of Americans of draft-eligible age. The U.S. currently has over 1,300,000 men and women, career soldiers, as well as volunteers, serving in the all-volunteer armed forces.

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“No longer will they be talking about Zelensky’s unrealistic expectation of having Russia leave the new territories. The West will now be saying, what about this offer? Can we do this offer?”

Scott Ritter: West Has to Decide If It Wants Peace After Putin’s Proposal (Sp.)

President Vladimir Putin has outlined another proposal to solve the Ukraine crisis once and for all at a meeting with top diplomats at the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow, making clear that Moscow is not interested in freezing or postponing the conflict. According to the president, Russia is ready to cease fire and start negotiations once Ukraine begins to withdraw from the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions within their administrative borders and officially renounces plans to join NATO. Additionally, Russia requires Ukraine to adopt a neutral, non-aligned, and non-nuclear status. “We are ready to sit at the negotiation table tomorrow,” said Putin. “Today, we made another specific, real peace proposal. If Kiev and the Western capitals refuse it, as they have previously, then ultimately, it is their matter, their political and moral responsibility for the continuation of bloodshed,” the president stressed.

Putin’s new peace proposal is a brilliant move, according to former US Marine Corps intelligence officer Scott Ritter. “A [Western] peace conference in Switzerland [from June 15 to 16] that was never going to succeed now has a completely different angle to it,” Ritter told Sputnik. “It will now be discussing the Russian peace initiative. No longer will they be talking about Zelensky’s unrealistic expectation of having Russia leave the new territories. The West will now be saying, what about this offer? Can we do this offer? The NATO summit won’t be about ‘How do we expand, how do we enlarge?’ It will be about ‘What do we do about the Russian peace proposal?’ This puts the West in the horns of a dilemma. That’s exactly where Russia wants them.” Ritter underscored that Russia isn’t looking for a ceasefire or freezing the conflict to make it fester any longer: “Russia’s looking for conflict resolution. They want a genuine peace plan.” The plan is based on the 2022 Istanbul communiqué while taking into account the reality on the ground, the former US Marine Corps intelligence officer noted.

The roadmap proposed by Vladimir Putin also meets the initial goals of the special military operation launched on February 24, 2022, i.e. de-militarization and de-Nazification, the military expert continued. “Demilitarization will occur through the negotiation process. When Ukraine commits to not being a member of NATO, this resolves a number of issues, such as what to do with all of this NATO equipment that has been accumulated by Ukraine. There’s no longer a need for it. It will go away. So too will the NATO advisors. Demilitarization has been accomplished.” “De-Nazification… Vladimir Putin made it clear that Volodymyr Zelensky is not the political future of Ukraine. Neither are the right-wing political parties that have produced Nazi-type organizations like the Right Sector, Svoboda*, Azov**, and other neo-Nazi-affiliated paramilitary and military organizations.

These will, of course, have to be done away with. But who’s going to do away with that? Russia’s not occupying Ukraine. This will be part of the post-conflict political rebuilding, restructuring of Ukraine. And again, once Ukraine has walked away from NATO and has assumed a position of genuine neutrality, this changes the domestic political dynamic inside Ukraine, empowering political entities that otherwise have been suppressed, the opposition that Volodymyr Zelensky has sought to silence over these many years,” Ritter explained. The military veteran pointed out that the Russian president has also made it clear that if the proposals are snubbed, the military confrontation will continue and the future requirements for peace could be very different.

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“The deal is not a “treaty”, but an “executive agreement” since Biden didn’t seek a congressional approval to make it..”

Biden’s 10-year Security Pact With Ukraine is Nothing But a PR Stunt (Sp.)

US President Joe Biden struck a 10-year security deal with the Kiev regime at the recent G7 Summit. Volodymyr Zelensky, whose presidential tenure expired on May 20, inked the agreement on behalf of Ukraine. Despite the White House calling the deal “historic” the US media says its future is in doubt. The deal is not a “treaty”, but an “executive agreement” since Biden didn’t seek a congressional approval to make it. Treaties, which require the consent of two-thirds of US senators, are legally binding agreements between nations; they become part of international law. Executive agreements are concluded on the authority of the incumbent president and don’t necessarily bind his successors. President Donald Trump tore apart his predecessor Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran (which was not confirmed by Senate) in 2018. This illustrated the fragility of the executive agreement – which was also called “historic” in July 2015.

Recent YouGov, Yahoo News, Emerson polls show Trump leads Biden in the 2024 presidential race. Trump is also leading Biden in key battleground states which provided for Biden’s victory in the 2020 elections, as per RealClearPolitics.
Even if Biden wins in 2024, his second tenure will end in 2029, meaning the fate of the 10-year accord will depend on his successor. Treaties aren’t immune to the US president’s unilateral action: In 1978, President Jimmy Carter withdrew from 1954 Mutual Defense Treaty with the island of Taiwan. President George W. Bush tore apart the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty with Moscow in 2002. Last but not least, in the absence of clarification of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, Zelensky’s legitimacy as a signatory is null and void: under the nation’s Constitution, the presidential tenure is limited to five years and is not subject to extension under martial law.

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“..the lack of will and responsibility on part of the Western elites is the main obstacle on the road towards a durable peace..

Moscow Reveals Further Steps After Putin’s Ukraine Offer (RT)

Russia’s diplomats will communicate President Vladimir Putin’s latest Ukraine peace proposal to Western leaders in “in meticulous detail,” Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told journalists on Friday. Earlier the same day, the head of state set conditions for peace negotiations with Kiev. The Russian president’s initiative includes a demand that Kiev withdraw its troops from all former Ukrainian territories that joined Russia following referendums in the fall of 2022 and abandon its plans to join NATO. Moscow is ready to order a ceasefire and start negotiations “the minute” Ukraine agrees to those terms and starts the withdrawal, he told Lavrov and other senior Russian diplomats at a meeting.

Following the event, Lavrov told journalists that he believes the world is already well-aware of the president’s proposal. Moscow has no plans to issue the offer in a formal document, the minister said. Russia’s ambassadors will nevertheless hand the text of Putin’s speech to the relevant foreign officials and clarify the Kremlin’s stance, he said. “We won’t chase after anyone,” Russia’s top diplomat said, adding that Moscow would simply make its position clear and “look at the reaction” of the foreign nations. He stated that his ministry plans to raise the issue at the meetings of BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as well as in talks with China and the Latin American and African nations.

The minister also expressed his hope that the initiative would be discussed at the ongoing G7 summit in Italy and at the conference on Ukraine which Switzerland is set to host this weekend. When further asked by journalist Pavel Zarubin if he believes the latest peace initiative could lead to some meaningful dialogue with the West, Lavrov responded by saying that “hope is the last to die.” “Those that have ears to hear, let them hear. Those that have brains, let them understand,” the minister said, adding that, although he was “not sure that everything is alright with those organs” when it comes to the Western politicians, he still hopes that some good can come of it.

Putin’s proposal was also lauded by Valentina Matvienko, the head of the Russian Federation Council – the upper house of the national parliament. She described the initiative as a “real peace offer” opening the “only possible path towards the end of the Ukraine conflict.” The Russian president’s words also made it clear that “the lack of will and responsibility on part of the Western elites is the main obstacle on the road towards a durable peace,” she said. The initiative came just a day before the start of the Swiss-hosted summit supposedly meant to further peace in Ukraine. Kiev insisted that Moscow could not have been invited to the event because it would try to “hijack” the agenda by presenting alternatives to the plan being proposed by the Ukrainian government. Putin stated that the meeting was only meant to distract the public opinion from the real roots of the conflict.

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“..when Bennett traveled to Kiev to present Moscow’s proposal to the Ukrainian government, it was rejected, and the Israeli leader was branded a Russian sympathizer..”

Russia Was Ready To Withdraw From Southern Ukraine – Putin (RT)

Russia was open to withdrawing its troops from Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions early in the Ukraine conflict on the condition that Kiev agreed to an uninterrupted land connection between Crimea and the mainland, President Vladimir Putin stated on Friday. Speaking at a meeting with the country’s senior diplomats, Putin revealed that in early March 2022, as Russian troops were advancing into southern Ukraine, a senior foreign politician representing the West proposed mediating the conflict between Moscow and Kiev. While Putin did not name the leader, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev identified him as then-Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. According to the Russian president, Bennett asked officials in Moscow at the time why Russian troops were operating in Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, given that their stated goal was to help Donbass.

Bennett was told the decision to send Russian troops to those regions was made based on the plans drawn by the General Staff, which sought to bypass heavily fortified Ukrainian positions in Donbass, Putin explained. According to the Russian leader, when Bennett asked whether Russian troops would remain in Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions after the end of the conflict, Putin said he was open to the idea of pulling them back to their bases. “I replied that, in general, I do not rule out that Ukraine will retain its sovereignty over these territories, provided that Russia will have a solid land connection to Crimea.” Putin noted that to secure the guarantee, Moscow and Kiev would have to sign a legally binding “servitude” agreement, a property law that ties rights and obligations to the ownership or possession of land. The deal would then have to be finalized with the involvement of the UN Security Council, as well as local citizens and the Russian public.

However, when Bennett traveled to Kiev to present Moscow’s proposal to the Ukrainian government, it was rejected, and the Israeli leader was branded a Russian sympathizer, Putin noted. Now, this proposal is off the table, given that Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, along with the two Donbass republics, voted to join Russia in public referendums in the fall of 2022, Putin stated. “There can be no talk of violating our national unity… This question is closed forever and beyond any debate.” At the same time, Putin signaled that Moscow was ready for talks with Ukraine on the condition that Kiev fully withdraws its troops from Donbass, Kherson, and Zaporozhye regions and abandons plans to join NATO. But the proposal has been rejected by Kiev, which insists upon returning the country to its 1991 borders.

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“On March 29, 2022, we withdrew our troops from Kiev because we were assured that it was essential to create conditions for the conclusion of the political negotiating process..”

Russian Troops Never Intended To Capture Kiev – Putin (RT)

Russian forces did not plan to storm Kiev when they advanced towards the Ukrainian capital in the first weeks of the conflict between the two countries, President Vladimir Putin has said. During a meeting with his Russia’s top diplomats on Friday, Putin noted continued “speculation” in Ukraine and the West about the intentions of Russian units when they reached the outskirts of Kiev in late February 2022. “But there was no political decision to storm the city of 3 million, no matter what anyone says due to their lack of thought,” Putin insisted. According to the president, the Russian advance towards Kiev was “nothing more than an operation to persuade the Ukrainian regime to [make] peace.” “The troops were there to motivate the Ukrainian side to engage in negotiations, to try to find an acceptable solution and this way end the war unleashed by Kiev against Donbass back in 2014,” he said.

The conflict between the Ukrainian government and the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, which erupted after the Western-backed coup in Kiev in February 2014, “posed a threat to the security of our country, to the security of Russia,” Putin stressed. The move by Russia did result in talks that led to agreements that “in principle, suited both Moscow and Kiev,” he said, referring to the negotiations that took place between the two sides in the Turkish city of Istanbul in late March 2022. “On March 29, 2022, we withdrew our troops from Kiev because we were assured that it was essential to create conditions for the conclusion of the political negotiating process,” the president recalled. “Our Western colleagues” insisted back then that the Ukrainian authorities “cannot sign such agreements… with a gun to their head,” he added.

However, Kiev and its Western backers have been claiming that the Russian withdrawal from the area of the Ukrainian capital was not a goodwill gesture by Moscow, but the result of military successes achieved by Kiev’s troops. Already in April 2022, US President Joe Biden said “the ‘Battle of Kiev’ was a historic victory… won by the Ukrainian people with unprecedented assistance by the US and our allies.” The next day after the Russian troops left, the Ukrainian leadership seized their participation in the negotiating process, staging “a provocation” in Bucha, Putin said.On April 1, 2022, the Zelensky government blamed the Russian military for massacring civilians in the town of Bucha near Kiev. Moscow denied those accusations, saying that the purported evidence of the crimes was fabricated. “I think it’s clear now that this dirty provocation was needed to somehow explain the rejection of the results that had been achieved during the negotiations. The path to peace was again turned down,” the Russian leader stressed.

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“..they rest on the source credibility of being “non-governmental” and merely devoted to human rights, which increases the effectiveness of their messaging..”

US Government Uses NGOs To Corrupt ‘Civil Society’ Around The World (Diesen)

In the West, and beyond, pressure groups operating under the banner of “human rights non-governmental organizations” (NGOs) have become key actors in disseminating war propaganda, intimidating academics, and corrupting civil society. These outfits act as gatekeepers determining which voices should be elevated and which should be censored and canceled. Civil society is imperative to balance the power of the state, but governments are increasingly seeking to hijack it through NGOs they fund. They can enable a loud minority to override a silent majority. In the 1980s, the Reagan doctrine exacerbated the problem as these “human rights NGOs” were financed by the government and staffed by people with ties to intelligence agencies, to ensure civil society won’t deviate significantly from government policies.

The ability of academics to speak openly and honestly is restricted by these gatekeepers. In a case in point today, NGOs limit dissent in academic debates about the great power rivalry in Ukraine. Well-documented and proven facts that are imperative to understanding the conflict are simply not reported in the media, and any efforts to address these facts are confronted with vague accusations of being “controversial” or “pro-Russian,” a transgression that must be punished with intimidation, censorship, and cancellation. I will outline here first my personal experiences with one of these NGOs, and how they are hijacking civil society. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is financed by the US government and CIA-cutout the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). They regularly publish hit pieces about me and rarely miss their weekly tweets that label me a propagandist for Russia. It is always name-calling and smearing, rather than anything that can be considered coherent argument.

The standard formula for cancellation is to shame my university in every article and tweet for allowing academic freedom, with the implicit offer of redemption by terminating my employment as a professor. Peak absurdity occurred with a seven-page article in a newspaper in which it was argued I’d violated international law by spreading war propaganda. They grudgingly had to admit that I have opposed the war from day one, although for a professor in Russian politics to engage with Russian media allegedly made me complicit in spreading war propaganda. Every single time I am invited to give a speech at any event, this NGO will appear to publicly shame and pressure the organizers to cancel my invitation. The organization also openly attempts to incite academics to rally against me to strengthen their case for censorship in a trial of public opinion. Besides whipping up hatred in the media by labeling me a propagandist for Russia, they incite anonymous online troll armies such as “NAFO” to cancel me online and in the real world.

After subsequent intimidations through social media, emails, SMS and phone calls, the police advised me to remove my home address and phone number from public access. One of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee recently posted a sale ad for my house, which included photos of my home with my address for their social media followers. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee also infiltrates and corrupts other institutions. One of the more eager Helsinki Committee employees is also a board member at the Norwegian organization for non-fictional authors and translators (NFFO) and used his position there to cancel the organization’s co-hosting of an event, as I had been invited to speak. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is also overrepresented on the Nobel Committee, to ensure the right candidates are picked.

Why would a humanitarian NGO act like modern Brownshirts by limiting academic freedom? One could similarly ask why a human rights NGO spends more effort on demonizing Julian Assange rather than exploring the human-rights abuses he exposed. This “human rights NGO” is devoted primarily to addressing abuses in the East. Subsequently, all great power politics is framed as a competition between good values versus bad ones. Constructing stereotypes for the in-group versus the out-groups as a conflict between good and evil is a key component of political propaganda. The complexity of security competition between the great powers is dumbed down and propagandized as a mere struggle between liberal democracy versus authoritarianism. Furthermore, they rest on the source credibility of being “non-governmental” and merely devoted to human rights, which increases the effectiveness of their messaging.

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“For a group claiming to seek “Our Children’s Trust,” this activist group seems to be deliberately abusing children’s trust.”

Fossil Fuels: The Best-Kept Secret in Our World Today (RCW)

Apparently, you can litigate anything these days, and it’s gotten far more insidious than suing McDonald’s over hot coffee being, you know, hot. A new climate activist group called Our Children’s Trust is suing state and federal government agencies on behalf of individual children, claiming that fossil fuel regulators are negligently ruining their future. That children should feel entitled to come of age under a specific set of favorable environmental and political circumstances — and to demand punishment for individuals they disagree with — isn’t just a testament to the egocentrism dominating the 21st Century. It also exposes our culture’s deeply warped understanding of climate science, which, surprisingly to many of us, actually shows global warming has no meaningful negative effects on our lives or our environment.

In fact, we have fossil fuels to thank for the twenty-first century for being the best time in human history to be alive. Unfortunately, it’s the best-kept secret in our world today. If we really want to earn “our children’s trust,” we should teach them the truth instead of foisting crippling and needless anxiety on an entire generation. Contrary to the attention-grabbing clips of forests burning and shock-inducing statistics about record-high temperatures, modern climate science suggests that warming is likely to remain mild and manageable while our resilience continues to improve. In fact, despite average global temperatures increasing about 1° Fahrenheit and our population quadrupling in the last century, climate-related disasters claim 99% fewer lives.

Our resistance to severe weather events (which actually have remained consistent or even declined in recent decades) is actually growing at a faster rate than non-weather-related natural disasters like volcanoes and earthquakes. The alarmists want you to believe a changing climate is jeopardizing human lives; however, the opposite is true. Our environment is also better than ever. The U.S. has cut air pollution by nearly 80% in the last 50 years and ranks number one in the world for access to clean drinking water. In fact, those infamous greenhouse gases may actually help the planet. Mild increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide create a “global greening” effect that stimulates plant growth, which both helps natural ecosystems and makes agricultural production more efficient.

Meanwhile, this is the best time in human history to be alive, thanks largely to widespread access to affordable, reliable energy. Children today have a far greater chance of living a long, healthy, fruitful life than ever before. Around the world, in both developing and developed nations, poverty has plummeted and people are enjoying the tangible, life-improving benefits of lower infant and child mortality, better nutrition, improved education, lower infectious disease rates, more economic opportunity, gender equality, and longer lives. It’s no coincidence that global quality of life spiked and has continued to improve consistently since the Industrial Revolution — or that communities without access to electricity are still plagued by poverty, danger, and disease. For a group claiming to seek “Our Children’s Trust,” this activist group seems to be deliberately abusing children’s trust.

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“It appears, however, that we do not want it back, that the lockdown mode continues to tantalize..”

The Confiscation of Reality (Sinead Murphy)

The UK Meteorological Office has just reported that we have enjoyed the hottest May on record. Meanwhile, those of us who have lived in the UK during May have endured unseasonal cold and rain, and have complained to one another constantly about it. Welcome to the age of abstraction, when lived experience is irrelevant and theoretical constructions carry the day – when what is deemed right and true is unmoored from what is actually happening here and now. Over four years ago, Covid lockdowns staged a dramatic confiscation of present reality. The question is, did we ever get it back? When the UK government ordered its first lockdown at the end of March 2020, the present reality was put on hold – businesses were shut, schools closed, social activities banned, and human interactions restricted. Chaos and suffering inevitably ensued. But in the midst of the misery, there arose a new possibility.

With present reality in abeyance, we were freed of its reality check. And we began to indulge in a new and joyous expectancy, of a wonderful future to revive a glorious past. ‘We’ll meet again,’ Queen Elizabeth assured us, reprising in her words and presence a fondly recalled togetherness of the last world war and promising its restoration as if it had only just been paused – as if the decades-long decimation of community and family and individual had never happened, as if only a temporary order to Stay Home stood between us and a lost world. This new possibility was tantalizing and quickly took hold of Middle England, the BBC-believing bastion of British Values, bent ever more implausibly on keeping calm and carrying on. By 2020, this beleaguered demographic had been all but spent from spotting certainties and consolations on the horizon of Left and Right, to forestall a looming vertigo at elite interests dashing its hopes from above and state-reliant deplorables whose fate beckoned from below.

Middle England, front and centre of policy and institution, had long been demoralized by its present reality: Consigned to jobs made ever more bullshit by the erosion of ambition and discipline; flip-flopping between debt and the dregs of old desires; addled by precarity and the virtuosity that survives it; overseeing the retreat of human sympathy everywhere and applying for relief to anxiously awaited festivals that never failed to disappoint. Lockdowns’ suspension of this reality was in itself a great boon. But greater still was what followed: unimpeded anticipation, of a happy tomorrow to follow a happy yesterday, in which all we would do because all we had done was Hug Granny and Play Whist and Toast Marshmallows and Sing Carols. This was not nostalgia. It was infinitely more potent. mIn nostalgia, the past is glorified as what is dead, as what is ‘vintage’ or ‘retro,’ as what can therefore only be remembered, however wistfully. In lockdown, the past was reanimated, suddenly reframed as what would be again once universal cocooning came to an end.

Lockdowns relieved us of the one thing that had stood between us and fantastic recollections of Digging For Victory and Winning At Cribbage: present reality. We were free now to regret the past, not hopelessly as what was lost and gone, but hopefully as what had just been put on hold and would soon resume once things got back to normal. Yes, we still went through the present realities of 2020 and 2021. We ate food and washed clothes and logged on, and drank too much and fought too hard and lost our sense of purpose. But suddenly, all of that was in parentheses – not real at all, just for now. Lockdowns achieved a transfer of the reality-effect from an inglorious present, sodden with disappointment, to a host of abstract ideas plundered from an invented past and projected to an inflated future. Over four years on, we are no longer supported in our exemption from present reality by government orders to Shelter In Place. Present reality is returned to us, after a fashion. It appears, however, that we do not want it back, that the lockdown mode continues to tantalize.

The reluctance with which many have relinquished their facemask has surely warned of this. As has the ongoing normalization of work-from-home. But there is another and more insidious aspect to our cleaving to lockdowns’ suspension of present reality: our growing enthusiasm for theoretical constructions for which present reality is irrelevant. During lockdowns, we plundered the almost-dead stock of yesteryear for content for the new mode of fond expectancy – abstract ideas of Dunkirk Spirit and Oh! What A Lovely War were hastily put abroad, adorned with Union Jack bunting, mugs of builders’ tea, allotment lemonade, and royal memorabilia. But already before lockdowns ended, the stock of abstract ideas began updating. The widely disseminated death of George Floyd launched a Black Lives Matter theme complete with its cartoon fist, and the rainbow of Gender was a seamless segway from the I Heart NHS refrain that had played ad nauseam for Covid. As lockdowns receded, we were encouraged to extend our exemption from present reality by a growing fund of available abstractions: Climate, Health, Equity, Security, Safety, Identity…

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“.. those who continue to peddle the junk conjured by the Israeli propaganda machine will merely expose themselves as unserious buffoons..”

The Afterlives of Lies (Patrick Lawrence)

Last Friday, while President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron and other Western leaders, along with the reporters who clerk for them, were in Normandy busily airbrushing out the Red Army’s heroism in defeating the Reich 80 years ago, something truer to history occurred in the pages of The Times of London. Under the headline, “Israel says Hamas weaponized rape. Does the evidence add up?” two investigative reporters, Catherine Philp and Gabrielle Weiniger, decisively shredded the dense fabric of lies on this topic, woven these past eight months by the Israelis, Western media, freakishly obsessed Zionist sympathizers and various feminist poseurs.Philp and Weiniger have produced an exceptional piece of journalism, the virtues of which I will shortly consider. For now, just this: You will never read a piece of this integrity on this side of the Atlantic — and certainly never in The New York Times, whose infamous dishonesty in the matter of alleged sexual violence in the Gaza crisis has few matches in the history of the once-but-no-longer newspaper of record.

But the significance of The Times piece extends well beyond its quality as first-rate work. Mainstream media have at last reported on the monstrous propaganda operation that has fabricated lurid allegations of sexual abuse on the part of Hamas militias. The surface of silence has finally been disturbed. The historians will have a record with which to work. And the record will include, as reflections in a mirror, the base derelictions of other major media — The New York Times, the BBC, the wire services, and so on down a long list — as they collaborated with the Zionist state to advance this edifice of lies to justify the barbarities of the Israel Occupation Forces. (And let us rename these savages in uniform.) [Three Israeli experts claim their comments were misrepresented in The Times of London piece.]

I liked Aaron Maté’s remark when he posted a link to The Times piece on X soon after it came out: “Establishment media starting to catch up with independent journalists and a squirrel Twitter account” – the latter a reference to the man, woman, or entity that flagged the piece when it was published last Friday. Just the point, or one of many. Various independent publications, notably but not only The Grayzone, Mondoweiss, Electronic Intifada and The Intercept, were swift to expose the Israelis’ aggressive propaganda op when, with Jeffrey Gettleman’s breathtakingly counterfeit pieces in The New York Times last December, the lying got entirely out of hand. These publications kept the light shining on a story that otherwise would have disappeared in darkness. We see in their reports the increasing power of independent media to force accurate accountings of events into the record. In this case if not in many others, those airbrushing the picture failed.

Answering the question posed in the headline atop their piece, Philps and Weiniger reply with an unambiguous “No”: there is no sound evidence whatsoever that Hamas militias, and others that crossed into southern Israel with them last Oct. 7, engaged in systematic, officially planned sexual violence against Israelis, women and men, during their attacks on various kibbutzim just across the Gaza–Israel border. These fabrications began to appear within days of the Oct. 7 events and have ever since polluted public discourse across the West. We must now bear another bureaucratic acronym, CRSV, “conflict-related sexual violence,” to secure the gravity of the charges in our minds. Prominent faux-feminists — Hillary Clinton and Sheryl Sandberg chief among them — continue to indulge in “the politicization of rape,” as one of Philps and Weiniger’s sources calls it. But the air begins to clear. From here on out, those who continue to peddle the junk conjured by the Israeli propaganda machine will merely expose themselves as unserious buffoons in the service of an apartheid state. Let them.

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“Biden is not well. Everyone knows this even those who support him…the difference is they don’t care and that’s the most frightening aspect of this situation.” — Edward Dowd

Sick Of and Done With (Kunstler)

I’m a little sorry to go all quasi-supernatural with you about this, but we are truly faced with the fact that the devastation in sexual relations and failures of family formation in recent decades has produced a very particular form of anomie in Western Civ’s female population — and the dynamic has badly deranged increasingly feminized men, too. Covid-19 was basically a Munchausen-by-proxy event, which ChatGPT describes accordingly:”. . . a psychological disorder wherein a caregiver, typically a parent, exaggerates, fabricates, or induces illness or injury in a person under their care, usually a child. The primary motive is to gain attention, sympathy, or praise from medical professionals and others, rather than any tangible benefit like financial gain.”

Actually, ChatGPT was wrong about the financial gain part. There were billions made off Covid by Big Pharma, including hundreds of millions in royalties doled out to public health employees. The government played the role of “mother” in the Covid caper, keeping you (her “children”) safe. You’ve noticed, I’m sure, that claims about safety and safe places have been major themes in Wokery both before and during Covid. Anyway, as usual with Munchausen-by-proxy syndrome, the “children” (i.e., the US population) were injured badly by the “treatment,” the mRNA vaccines. And also as usual with mothers displaying Cluster-B personality disorder, the “bad” children who refuted the narrative and refused the specified “treatment” were punished severely. (Cluster-B is sadistic.)

One thing this suggests is that the cabal running things behind the empty suit “Joe Biden” is dominated by women, and my guess would be the women directly associated with Barack Obama: Susan Rice, Lisa Monaco, Kathryn Ruemmler, Sally Yates, Valarie Jarrett, Samantha Power, Avril Haines, Torie Nuland, give-or-take some combo of them, et al. I have alleged for years that the motif driving batshit-crazy, Cluster-B Democratic Party women is that Donald Trump represents Daddy’s-in-the-house. In their boundaryless state-of-mind nothing threatens the Cluster-B ladies as much as the imposition of boundaries by a fearsome daddy figure. Daddy = the monster of monsters to them.

Thus, the “Biden” regime’s remorseless persecution of Mr. Trump — like the village rabble hunting down Frankenstein with torches and pitchforks — and the fantasies, were he allowed to live, about being sent to concentration camps by the likes of Rachel Maddow. There’s nothing like barbed-wire and sentry towers to vividly suggest the imposition of “boundaries” on your behavior.

I have strayed a bit from my initial theme concerning the grotesque game of “pretend” being played around “Joe Biden’s” re-election candidacy. Let’s say this: it is the terminal op being run by an out-of-control Deep State blob now losing its mojo in big gobs each day as its epic dishonesty gets exposed. This blob had some very potent tools at its command to jerk around the people of this land, especially the legacy news media. Most of that consisted of deception which is to say the tactical application of untruth. The op was tragically effective for some years, but its victims — US citizens — are onto the game now and they are angrily flipping over the game board. Mark this essential fact of life: truth is sturdy and lies are fragile. So, now you know what must, in the end, prevail.

“Joe Biden” is not long for this world as a token in that game. Mere days, I’d say. There is no way that the Democratic Party can afford to put him in a debate arena June 27th with Mr. Trump. Two minutes in, “JB” would be leaking sawdust and stuttering incoherently. The Party would be revealed as a fraud for the ages. And then, by the time you’re scarfing down blueberry pie on the Fourth of July, Hillary Clinton (better known here as Rodan the Flying Reptile, or She-Whose-Turn-It-Is) will be flapping her leathery wings on-high in triumph as “JB’s” emergency replacement. I am here to save our democracy, caw caw—! Wait for it! Trouble is, batshit crazy women are exactly what our country is sick of and done with.

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“I don’t think it’s something we can do. We have a very defined role and we need to do what we’re supposed to do. But this is a bigger problem. This is way above us.”

The Faux Outrage Over the Alito Flags and Tapes (Turley)

In a world of moral relativism, Lauren Windsor may reign supreme. The Democratic activist recently lied to justices in order to record answers at a dinner. In an interview with CNN, the filmmaker (who has been lionized by many in the media for her dishonesty) cheerfully explained that she lies to “elicit truths that serve the greater public good.” The “greater good” is to contribute to a campaign of harassment and attacks on Supreme Court justices by academics, the media and Democratic members. The chief target of these efforts lately has been the author of the decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, Justice Samuel Alito.

For years, the left has maintained a well-funded, unrelenting campaign against the court and its conservative majority. This has included an effort by such figures as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) to pack the court immediately with a liberal majority. Warren declared that the court must be packed because it is daring to oppose “widely held public opinion.” The statement, of course, ignores that the court was designed to resist public pressure (and even members of Congress) in order to protect the constitutional rights and liberties of minority groups.

Unsurprisingly, the usual suspects have assembled again to call for resignations and impeachments after Windsor’s surreptitious taping of both Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts. That includes Warren, who declared that “Alito is an extremist who is out of touch with mainstream America. His rising power on the Supreme Court is a threat to our democracy.” It did not matter that what Windsor captured on her secret recording was neither surprising nor unethical. Pretending to be a religious conservative at a dinner of the Supreme Court Historical Society, Windsor successfully induced the deeply religious Alito to say . . . wait for it . . . that he believes the country should return to a place of “godliness.”

It was an otherworldly moment as this notoriously anti-conservative activist asked an unsuspecting Alito why the nation was so filled with rage. In the recording, Alito laments the divisions in the country, stating, “I wish I knew. I don’t know. It’s easy to blame the media, but I do blame them because they do nothing but criticize us. And so they have really eroded trust in the court…American citizens in general need to work on this to heal this polarization because it’s very dangerous.” When pushed on what the court can do, Alito again answered honestly: “I don’t think it’s something we can do. We have a very defined role and we need to do what we’re supposed to do. But this is a bigger problem. This is way above us.”

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“What the hell was the Secret Service management thinking, letting the FBI in there with guns? It was a protected facility.”

Searching for the Truth About the Raid at Mar-a-Lago (Julie Kelly)

Top officials at the Department of Justice are downplaying recently disclosed documents showing FBI agents were authorized to use deadly force during their 2022 raid of Donald Trump’s Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago. Responding to Trump’s claim that “Joe Biden was locked & loaded ready to take me out & put my family in danger,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said the bureau was following “standard operating procedure” as it executed a search warrant on Aug. 8, 2022, regarding classified material that the former president was holding at Mar-a-Lago. While noting that Trump was not present during the raid, Attorney General Merrick Garland dismissed Trump’s claim as “false” and “dangerous.” Garland said the same language was used in a later search warrant seeking classified documents President Biden was storing in various locations.

But critics argue that there was nothing ordinary about the Mar-a-Lago raid, in which more than 30 FBI agents descended on Trump’s Palm Beach estate, potentially creating a dangerous situation with the armed Secret Service agents on site. “There was zero reason to create an unnecessary, even one in a thousand chance, of a blue-on-blue situation with firearms,” former Secret Service agent and political commentator Dan Bongino said on his podcast. “The FBI, DOJ, and management of the Secret Service effed this up royally.” Even as the DOJ presents its actions as business as usual, the newly released documents and other public records suggest the department’s actions entered uncharted territory. While the department claims that all citizens must be treated equally, critics note that no former president was ever the subject of an FBI search warrant before Trump.

A recently discovered Department of Defense memo suggests that the federal government may well have had copies of the documents in Trump’s possession, also raising questions about the need for the raid. The content of those documents has not been disclosed but, critics ask, if Trump was not retaining copies of information that threatened national security, what was the need for an armed raid? Many on the right see the Mar-a-Lago raid as part of a broader effort by the Department of Justice to intimidate its political enemies. They say it is part of a larger pattern that includes the armed morning raid on the home of Trump associate Roger Stone in 2019, the arrest of anti-abortion activist Mark Houck by dozens of armed agents in 2022 a year after he was accused of pushing someone outside a Philadelphia clinic, and the DOJ’s aggressive efforts to find and charge to date more than 1,400 people connected to the Jan. 6 protest at the Capitol.

The recent court disclosures also underscore the very different treatments the department has accorded to Trump and the Biden family. Trump, who has asserted that his presidential authority empowered him to retain and declassify documents, got a surprise nine-hour raid a few months before announcing his plans to run for reelection. President Biden, who never had the authority to declassify or take home classified records as a senator or vice president, received the courtesy of at least two consensual FBI searches, presumably unarmed. IRS whistleblower Joseph Ziegler, who has worked on tax cases involving Biden’s son Hunter, has testified that Hunter Biden’s lawyers were tipped off that investigators had probable cause to search his Northern Virginia storage unit. Trump’s attorneys are now asking Judge Aileen Cannon, who is presiding over Special Counsel Jack Smith’s espionage and obstruction case against Trump in Florida, to prohibit Smith from using any of the materials seized during the Mar-a-Lago raid at trial. The FBI sought the warrant as part of its attempt to recover classified records, including national defense materials, which Trump supposedly took with him at the end of his presidency.

[..] Another section of the order addressed a possible response if the Secret Service attempted to impede the search or if Trump showed up that day. (Trump, at the time, was residing at his Bedminster, New Jersey, home for the summer.) “Should FPOTUS [Former President of the United States] arrive at MAL [Mar-a-Lago], FBI [agents] will be prepared to engage with FPOTUS and USSS [U.S. Secret Service] Security Team,” the order read. In a partially redacted portion of the plan, agents were advised to “engage” with an unidentified Secret Service contact “should USSS provide resistance or interfere with FBI timeline or accesses.” Dan Bongino faulted the Secret Service for permitting armed police into Mar-a-Lago. “What the hell was the Secret Service management thinking, letting the FBI in there with guns? It was a protected facility.”

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Ryan Cole
https://twitter.com/i/status/1801334739766231492

 

 

Elon semi

 

 

Grouper

 

 

 

 

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Feb 192023
 


Utagawa Yoshitoshi Ariko weeps as her boat drifts in the moonlight 1886

 

Nuclear War, Debt Collapse Or Energy Depletion? (Egon von Greyerz)
There Is Fire In Our Crowded Theater (Gaertner)
Putin Must Turn ‘360 Degrees’ – German FM Baerbock (RT)
China To Present Its Ukraine Peace Proposal (RT)
‘Stop Dangerous Acts,’ China Tells NATO (RT)
US Fears China May Provide Russia With Lethal Weapons – Blinken (TASS)
Raisi in Beijing: Iran-China Strategic Plans Go Full Throttle (Escobar)
Iran-China Strategic Partnership: The Big Picture (Escobar)
NATO Chief Reveals Biggest Risk In Terms Of Ukraine Conflict (TASS)
Poland, Baltic States Seek To Dismember Russia – Envoy To UN (TASS)
EU ‘Indirectly At War’ With Russia – Orban (RT)
Highlights from the Munich Security Conference (RT)
Ukraine SitRep – Casualty Numbers, Lack Of Tanks, Something Is Up (MoA)
Biden Admin To Sign Deal to Give WHO Authority Over US Pandemic Policies (ET)

 

 

 

 

Sy Hersh
https://twitter.com/i/status/1626878540175101953

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brazil vaccination
https://twitter.com/i/status/1626765113633001472

 

 

 

 

McCullough
https://twitter.com/i/status/1627061416250474497

 

 

1925

 

 

Derivatives
https://twitter.com/i/status/1626818461338079234

 

 

 

 

Von Greyerz is not a politician or journalist; he’s a gold dealer. Maybe that’s why he can paint such a clear picture.

Nuclear War, Debt Collapse Or Energy Depletion? (Egon von Greyerz)

War is obviously a potentially catastrophic threat since the sheer existence of the world and mankind is now at maximum risk. Wars are horrible whoever starts them. Since the beginning of mankind there have probably been over 100,000 important wars and conflicts. Wars are horrible whoever starts them. Most wars end in major fatalities and injuries and a massive human and financial cost. And at the end of the war, the situation is often worse than when it started, like in for example Afghanistan, Vietnam, Iraq and Libya which countries the US invaded unprovoked. The same will most probably be the case in Ukraine. There are always two sides to a war. I learnt many years ago that before we judge someone, we must walk three moon laps in his moccasins. So let us first walk in Putin’s moccasins.

The whole West hates Russia and have personalised it to Putin. Few realise that many of the people behind Putin are extreme hardliners and much more dangerous. Historically, Ukraine (like many European countries) has had a motley existence. Since the late 1700s to 1991 Ukraine was part of Russia / Soviet Union with a brief interruption after the Bolshevik revolution in 1917. After the Maidan Revolution in Ukraine in 2014, the Minsk agreement brokered by Germany and France stipulated that parts of the Donbas region should be granted self-government. There should also be a ceasefire and withdrawal of heavy weapons by the Ukrainians. The Minsk agreement was never honoured and Ukraine continued to kill over 20,000 Russians in the region and to bomb the Donbas. As the bombing intensified in early February 2022, (allegedly at the insistence of the US), Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

So the above is how Russia and Putin sees the Ukrainian situation. Wearing America’s moccasins, the US Neocons are extremely worried about losing the US hegemony. Since WWII, the US has basically failed with every war they have been involved in. But in their view, if they fail in the present conflict, that will be the end of US dominance both politically and financially. Ukraine is clearly just a pawn in a much bigger game between the two titans – USA and Russia. I watched Zelensky’s latest speech live to UK parliamentarians where he was begging for planes, weapons and money. This is obviously the role of a defending leader although he is clearly sacrificing his people. But wars are really really bizarre. Clapping every sentence that Zelensky uttered about the evil Russian invaders were around 1,000 politicians whose British ancestors, over a 400 year period, had invaded, conquered and ruled over 400 million people and 25% of the world’s landmass including major parts of Asia, Australia, Africa, Middle East and America. But today the shoe is on the other foot.

Politicians are masters at throwing stones whilst sitting in glass houses. But wars are always about CONSEQUENCES. It is clear at this point that the West is sadly ignoring the potential consequences of this war as they keep sending money and weapons but no peace makers. The US has no desire for peace at this stage and Europe just follows blindly whatever the US initiates without thinking of the consequences which both economically and militarily are much graver for Europe. Zelensky has asked for tanks and is getting them. He is now asking for planes which the NATO countries are also considering. There are not yet any NATO troops in Ukraine officially but it is clear that there are many NATO soldiers there without the official uniforms. An Austrian colonel confirms that if a NATO soldier takes off his uniform, he is a mercenary and this seems how NATO sends troops to Ukraine unofficially. Also the Mozart group led by a retired US Marine Corps Colonel acts in Ukraine as mercenaries. So what is clear that there are not only NATO weapons in Ukraine but also soldiers. This by definition is as close to WWIII as the world can get.

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“The entire Eastern Seaboard of the US may soon be pervasively contaminated by carcinogenic vinyl chloride & other toxic chemical waste. I’ve spent days collecting limited data & agonizing over whether to publish this. This is my warning. Pray I’m wrong.”

“..if you are in the affected area – that is, anywhere east of the Mississippi – LEAVE. Or, don’t – I’m not your mother.”

There Is Fire In Our Crowded Theater (Gaertner)

Up to two and a half million gallons of one of the most toxic substances known to man have been released into the air, water and soil of the Eastern Seaboard, and are presently making their way south and east. Acid rain, which in this case is hydrochloric acid mixed with concentrated, unburned vinyl chloride, has (so far) been reported in every direction: West: 400 miles west to Lafayette (probably further). North: 1200 miles north up to Durham, Canada; East: 1200 miles east to NYC and Boston today more. South: 800 miles southwest to Kentucky so far. Vinyl chloride is water-soluble, takes months to degrade in soil or water (the Camp Lejeune spill was just a few thousand gallons), boils at 8F, and its metabolites absolutely maul DNA: safe exposures are considered to be in the parts per billion (“Standards”), and we’re talking about parts per million exposure likely coming for everybody east of the Mississippi.

There will likely be some isolated parts of the eastern United States that escape contamination. However, I sure as hell would not want to wait around to find out which ones will be passed over. There are 250 million people living to the east of the Mississippi River, and considering the rate at which it is progressively moving south with the water and east on the winds, every single person on the entire eastern seaboard may have only a few more days to leave before they are exposed to a lethal concentration of vinyl chloride. Everybody in the areas which have received acid rain have already been exposed, and will likely develop extensive cancers over the coming few months.

I will just say: If you live anywhere east of the Mississippi River – in my humble opinion – LEAVE. Maybe plan to come back in a couple of weeks; the magnitude of this will be more evident by that time. We have been at war for the last three years, and somebody may have just landed the killing blow with an utterly, historically unprecedented chemical weapons attack.

I’ve waited as long as I can, in good conscience, to gather evidence and to write this. I fully understand what I’m saying, and that 99% of people either can’t leave, or want to wait for more information, or just generally refuse to believe something of this scale could ever happen here. Not to mention that there’s absolutely no way this article will reach everybody that needs to hear it. I can scarcely believe I’m writing this, and I have been praying to be wrong. I really, really hope that I am wrong, but I do not think so. The authorities sure aren’t going to tell us the truth about any of it. So, for those of you who are inclined to take it seriously, or aren’t quite sure yet, read on for the data and events thus far, share this with anybody you care about, and if you are in the affected area – that is, anywhere east of the Mississippi – LEAVE. Or, don’t – I’m not your mother. Time is short. I hope I’m wrong.

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Yeah, 360º sounds about right. Sweet Jesus. These people are selected for incompetence.

Putin Must Turn ‘360 Degrees’ – German FM Baerbock (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin must “change by 360 degrees” in order for Ukraine to be safe, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told the Munich Security Conference. In other words, former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev pointed out, he must continue doing exactly what he is doing. Appearing alongside American Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba on Saturday, Baerbock was asked whether there is “any chance of Ukraine being safe in the long term” if Putin remains in office. “If he doesn’t change by 360 degrees, no,” the German FM replied. “It’s hilarious that Europe is run by such ignorant people,” former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev wrote on social media. “There is no doubt, connoisseur of geometry, that it will be so,” he mocked. “We are holding our ground.”

Baerbock, Blinken, and Kuleba spoke at a panel entitled ‘Visions for Ukraine,’ in which the three attempted to sketch out an image of what the country might look like post-conflict. All three agreed that to get there, Russia must unconditionally withdraw from territory claimed by Kiev, which includes the Russian region of Crimea and the four formerly Ukrainian regions that voted to join Russia in September. Echoing previous statements from Kiev, Kuleba said that a “long vision” of victory for Ukraine involves not only a Russian withdrawal, but “compensations for the damage inflicted, accountability for perpetrators of crimes, and most importantly, Russia must change.” “As long as Putin is in power, we will be in trouble,” he claimed, adding that his removal or retirement would lead to “a period of opportunity for all of us.”

Ukraine’s Western backers are not unanimous on the topic of regime change. While US Deputy Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland – who largely orchestrated the pro-Western coup in Kiev in 2014 – has explicitly called for this outcome, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday that such an approach is doomed to fail. “When I hear a lot of people advocating for regime change, I would just ask them: for which change? Who’s next? Who is your leader? How to implement it? We experienced several times in the past decade a lot of regime change in a lot of countries. It’s a total failure,” he told the Munich conference.

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“..some forces might not want to see peace talks materialize.” “They don’t care about the life and death of Ukrainians or the harm to Europe..”

China To Present Its Ukraine Peace Proposal (RT)

China will present a plan aimed at peacefully resolving the conflict in Ukraine, Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the Munich Security Conference on Saturday. Those calling for continued fighting “don’t care about the life and death of Ukrainians,” he also warned. “We will put forth China’s position on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis,” Wang said, without providing a timeline for the proposal. “We will stand firm on the side of peace and dialog.” Wang did not outline any specifics of the plan but said that “the territorial integrity and sovereignty” of those involved should be respected, as should the “legitimate security concerns” of the belligerents. “Attacks on nuclear power stations” must also be opposed, he said, likely in reference to the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, which Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of shelling.

China is well positioned to broker peace, he said, as it is “not a party directly concerned, but [it] did not sit idly by” since Russia’s military operation in Ukraine began nearly a year ago. China has refused to join the Western-led sanctions regime against Russia, and has deepened its economic ties with Moscow over the last year. During this time, Wang said that China backed the peace talks in Belarus and Türkiye, the latter of which were abruptly ended by the Ukrainian side last spring, despite an agreement being reached in principle. Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has claimed that Kiev withdrew from these talks at the West’s request, while Ukrainian media reports blamed former British PM Boris Johnson for urging the Ukrainians to back out of a deal.

“We saw a framework text on the peaceful resolution of the crisis, however that was stopped” Wang told his audience in Munich. Without directly blaming any Western countries, the Chinese diplomat suggested that “some forces might not want to see peace talks materialize.” “They don’t care about the life and death of Ukrainians or the harm to Europe,” he continued. “They might have strategic goals greater than Ukraine itself.” American and NATO officials have consistently urged Ukraine to keep fighting, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken declaring in December that a ceasefire would lead to “a phony peace.” European leaders, meanwhile, have largely stuck to the US line that Kiev will decide when to sit down to talks.

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When China has a peace proposal, everyone must listen. But the US doesn’t want negotiations or peace. The first thing to come out would be the end of the unipower: they would have to acknowledge they have already lost. They don’t want that put in black and white.

‘Stop Dangerous Acts,’ China Tells NATO (RT)

The main reason for Europe’s current “security plight” is NATO’s insistence on pursuing absolute security and political exclusion against specific countries, China’s ambassador to the United Nations Zhang Jun has claimed. Speaking at the UN Security Council briefing on Friday, the envoy noted that the ongoing crisis in Ukraine is the result of NATO’s continued expansion towards the east and urged the US-led military bloc to abandon its Cold War mentality and to stop being “a troublemaker.” He also pointed out NATO’s “self-contradictory” behavior, where it promotes itself as a “defensive alliance” while at the same time constantly seeking to “breach its geographic confines and expand its agenda, stoke division and tensions, create fears and confrontations.”

“Pursuing absolute security and political exclusion and containment by force against a specific party is the very crux of the reason why Europe is in the security plight,” he said. “Europe, and even the whole world, will be caught up in greater turmoil” unless NATO changes its mindset, the diplomat added. Zhang reiterated China’s calls for a ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine, and urged them to start peace negotiations as soon as possible. He also suggested that the US, EU and NATO should sit down with Moscow for a “comprehensive and in-depth dialogue” based on the principle of security indivisibility. “They should discuss how to build a balanced, effective, and sustainable security architecture and realize common security,” he said, adding that it is crucial to stop any attempts to “hype up” the conflict in order to avoid further escalation and expansion.

Meanwhile, Beijing has seen its own relations with the US deteriorate to new lows over the recent downing of an alleged Chinese spy balloon earlier this month. The US has announced it would be shutting down military communications with China after the incident and imposed sanctions on implicated Chinese companies and institutions. Beijing, in turn, has denied the allegations, arguing the balloon was a civilian airship. It has nevertheless vowed retaliation over the incident and has reduced its military and diplomatic ties with the US. Beijing has also repeatedly criticized Washington for allowing a number of US officials to make repeated visits to the self-governing island of Taiwan, which China considers to be part of its sovereign territory. As the White House has also continued to greenlight arms sales for Taipei’s military, Beijing imposed sanctions on US arms manufacturers Raytheon and Lockheed Martin.

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Desperate attempt to drag China into the conflict.

What weapons does China have that Russia does not?

US Fears China May Provide Russia With Lethal Weapons – Blinken (TASS)

The United States fears that China is allegedly considering giving Russia lethal weapons, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told NBC in an interview, a fragment of which was broadcast on Sunday. According to Blinken, in a conversation with Chinese State Councilor and Director of the CCP Central Foreign Affairs Office Wang Yi, he “had an opportunity <..> to share our [the US’] very real concerns about China’s support for Russia.” “What we’ve seen over the past years is, of course, some political and rhetorical support, even some non-lethal support. But we’re very concerned that China’s considering providing lethal support to Russia,” the US Secretary of State said.


He said that providing “lethal support” to Russia would have “serious consequences [for Beijing] in our [China-US] relationship”. He also recalled that this was something that “President [Joe] Biden shared with [Chinese] President Xi [Jinping] on several occasions”. In late January, John Kirby, Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the US National Security Council, said that the United States urged China not to support Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine. According to him, Washington intended to take action against those companies, including the Chinese ones, that violated the US sanctions regime against Moscow.

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China is focused elsewhere.

Raisi in Beijing: Iran-China Strategic Plans Go Full Throttle (Escobar)

Beijing and Tehran are already actively cooperating in the construction of selected lines of Tehran’s subway, the Tehran-Isfahan high-speed railway, and of course joint energy projects. Chinese tech giant Huawei is set to help Tehran to build a framework for a 5G telecom network. Raisi and Xi, predictably, stressed increased joint coordination at the UN and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), of which Iran is the newest member, as well as a new drive along the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). While there was no explicit mention of it, underlying all these initiatives is the de-dollarization of trade – in the framework of the SCO but also the multipolar BRICS group of states. Iran is set to become one of the new members of BRICS+, a giant step to be decided in their upcoming summit in South Africa next August.

There are estimates in Tehran that Iran-China annual trade may reach over $70 billion in the mid-term, which will amount to triple the current figures. When it comes to infrastructure building, Iran is a key BRI partner. The geostrategy of course is hard to match: a 2,250 km coastline encompassing the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, Sea of Oman and the Caspian Sea – and huge land borders with Iraq, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Every think tank in China sees how Iran is irreplaceable, not only in terms of BRI land corridors, but also the Maritime Silk Road. Chabahar Port may be a prime Iran-India affair, as part of the International North South Transportation Corridor (INSTC) – thus directly linked to the Indian vision of a Silk Road, extending to Central Asia.

But Chinese port developers do have other ideas, focused on alternative ports along the Persian Gulf and in the Caspian Sea. That will boost shipping connections to Central Asia (Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan), Russia and the Caucasus (Azerbaijan). And that makes perfect sense when one combines port terminal development with the modernization of Iran’s railways – all the way to high-speed rail. An even more revolutionary development would be China coordinating the BRI connection of an Iranian corridor with the already in progress 3,200 km-long China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), from Kashgar in Xinjiang to Gwadar port in the Indian Ocean.That seemed perfectly plausible when Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was still in power, before being ousted by a lawfare coup. The key of the whole enterprise is to build badly needed infrastructure in Balochistan, on both sides of the border. On the Pakistani side, that would go a long way to smash CIA-fed “insurgents” of the Balochistan Liberation Army kind, get rid of unemployment, and put trade in charge of economic development.

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“..All that spells out Iran’s full reconnection with Asia – after those arguably wasted years of trying an entente cordiale with the collective West..”

Iran-China Strategic Partnership: The Big Picture (Escobar)

The key takeaway of President Ebrahim Raeisi’s state visit to Beijing goes way beyond the signing of 20 bilateral cooperation agreements. This is a crucial inflexion point in an absorbing, complex, decades-long, ongoing historical process: Eurasia integration. Little wonder that President Raeisi, welcomed by a standing ovation at Peking University before receiving an honorary academic title, stressed “a new world order is forming and taking the place of the older one”, characterized by “real multilateralism, maximum synergy, solidarity and dissociation from unilateralisms”. And the epicenter of the new world order, he asserted, is Asia. It was quite heartening to see the Iranian president eulogizing the Ancient Silk Road, not only in terms of trade but also as a “cultural bond” and “connecting different societies together throughout history”.

Raeisi could have been talking about Sassanid Persia, whose empire ranged from Mesopotamia to Central Asia, and was the great intermediary Silk Road trading power for centuries between China and Europe. It’s as if he was corroborating Chinese President Xi Jinping’s famed notion of “people to people exchanges” applied to the New Silk Roads. And then President Raeisi jump cut to the inescapable historical connection: he addressed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), of which Iran is a key partner. All that spells out Iran’s full reconnection with Asia – after those arguably wasted years of trying an entente cordiale with the collective West. That was symbolized by the fate of the JCPOA, or Iran nuclear deal: negotiated, unilaterally buried and then, last year, all but condemned all over gain.

Beijing and Tehran, now on overdrive and with no time to lose, may face all manner of challenges – and threats – from the Hegemon; but their 25-year strategic deal does honor historically powerful trading/ merchant civilizations now equipped with substantial manufacturing/ industrial bases and with a serious tradition in advanced scientific innovation. The serious possibility of China-Iran finally configuring what will be a brand new, expanded strategic economic space, from East Asia to West Asia, central to 21st century multipolarity, is a geopolitical tour de force. Not only that will completely nullify the US sanction obsession; it will direct Iran’s next stages of much needed economic development to the East, and it will boost the whole geoeconomic space from China to Iran and everyone in between.

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“The risk of an escalation of the conflict in Ukraine for NATO is incomparable with the danger of a Russian victory”
– Stoltenberg

The support of Europe hinges on the idea that Russia wants to conquer the entire continent. Made up from thin hot air.

NATO Chief Reveals Biggest Risk In Terms Of Ukraine Conflict (TASS)

There are no risk-free options in terms of the conflict in Ukraine but the biggest risk of all is if Russia wins, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, addressing the Munich Security Conference on Saturday. “Some worry that our support to Ukraine risks triggering escalation. Let me be clear: there are no risk-free options, but the biggest risk of all is if Putin wins,” he noted, adding: “This will make the world more dangerous and us more vulnerable.” The NATO secretary general highlighted the need to learn “some important lessons” from the Ukraine conflict. “First, we must sustain and step up our support to Ukraine” and “give Ukraine what they need to win,” Stoltenberg pointed out.


“The second lesson is that we need to continue to strengthen our deterrence and defense,” he went on to say. “The third lesson is that we need to strengthen the resilience of our societies. Military forces are necessary to protect our security but they are not sufficient. We must also secure our cyberspace, our supply chains and our infrastructure,” the NATO chief stressed. According to him, the most important lesson is that “North America and Europe must stand together.”

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“..and gain control over its natural resources..”

Poland, Baltic States Seek To Dismember Russia – Envoy To UN (TASS)

Poland and Baltic countries are seeking to dismember Russia and gain control over its natural resources, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya told the UN Security Council on Friday. “When, how, and on whose prompting was the OSCE taken hostage by those ravaging Russophobes – Poles, Balts, and other young Europeans, who no longer even try to conceal their plans to dismember Russia and seize its natural resources? If you do not take it from me, check against the manifest that Ms. Anna Fotyga, ECR MEP from Poland, published recently in Euractiv,’” Nebenzya told a UNSC briefing dedicated to the anniversary of Resolution 2202 that endorsed the Minsk Package of Measures on Ukrainian reconciliation.

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“..everyone there is on the side of war except us.”

EU ‘Indirectly At War’ With Russia – Orban (RT)

Europe has become “immersed in war” due to its policy of supplying arms and military intelligence to Ukraine throughout its conflict with Russia, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Saturday, addressing his country’s refusal to send weapons to Kiev. Speaking at his annual state-of-the-nation speech in Budapest, Orban reiterated that Hungary won’t fall in line with other EU member states by supplying military aid to Ukraine, its northeastern neighbor, adding that European leaders appear to be “sleepwalking” into an expanded conflict. “It started with helmets and now we are already at the delivery of tanks, in the future also of airplanes, and before long we will hear about the so-called peacekeeping units,” Orban said.

“Europe is getting immersed in war, in reality they’re already indirectly at war with Russia,” he added. Orban, who has served as Hungary’s Prime Minister since 2010, stated that Hungary will “maintain economic relations with Russia and recommend this to our allies” even as Western leaders continue to impose sanctions on Moscow. He also said that while Hungary remains a proud member of both the EU and NATO, the military bloc must remain a defensive alliance and not be used to “collectively attack a third country” – adding that a “sovereign Ukraine between Hungary and Russia” is in Budapest’s best interests.

The premier maintained that Hungary has shown “great humanitarian aid” for Ukrainian refugees, and said he’d like the Russia-Ukraine conflict to end immediately but that he does not have the influence within NATO and the EU to get that done, as “everyone there is on the side of war except us.” While he also discussed issues such as inflation and domestic political affairs, around half of Orban’s hour-long speech was centered around policy matters involving Moscow and Kiev. There will be no resolution in Ukraine, Orban concluded, until lawmakers in both Moscow and Washington sit at the negotiation table. Until then, only more fighting – and the threat of a world war – awaits.

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That Sunak guy is a dangerous fool:

“..Now is the time to “double down” on military support for Kiev, he added, no matter the cost in “blood and treasure.”

Highlights from the Munich Security Conference (RT)

Running from Friday to Sunday, the Munich Security Conference is a global affair, attended by guests from more than 100 countries. However, this year’s conference mostly focused on Ukraine, with President Vladimir Zelensky urging his Western backers to provide more “modern weapons,” and the leaders of the UK, France and Germany seemingly eager to meet his demands. Speaking at the conference on Friday, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called on Western leaders to give Ukraine “advanced, NATO-standard capabilities.” Now is the time to “double down” on military support for Kiev, he added, no matter the cost in “blood and treasure.” The UK is the largest supplier of military aid to Ukraine after the US, with London committing £2.3 billion ($2.77 billion) to Kiev’s forces last year.

Ursula

In addition to training 20,000 Ukrainian soldiers and pilots this year, Sunak recently announced that the UK would send 14 Challenger 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine, along with the country’s entire stock of AS90 artillery guns. Russian President Vladimir Putin is “betting we will lose our nerve,” Sunak said, promising that the UK would “prove him wrong” by increasing the supply of artillery ammunition, armored vehicles, and air defense systems. However, reports suggest that the flow of weapons to Ukraine has left British stockpiles almost depleted. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called on allies to send Ukraine Leopard 2 main battle tanks from their own stockpiles. Berlin has been “intensively campaigning” for this since it gave operators of the Leopards permission to export them to Ukraine last month, he claimed.

Scholz’s position marks a dramatic turnaround, given that his government initially refused to authorize delivery of the tanks. Berlin relented in the face of a pressure campaign from its allies, but these allies have since tempered their enthusiasm. Denmark, Greece, Switzerland, and Turkey have outright refused to donate their Leopards, and Finland – which led the “free the Leopards” campaign to pressure Germany – only promised to train Ukrainian soldiers on the tanks. Canada, Norway, Portugal, and Poland are among the few other states that have agreed to supply Leopards, though German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius acknowledged this week that they had only assembled “half a battalion” so far.

French President Emmanuel Macron declared on Friday that Paris does not seek “regime change” in Moscow, a position not shared by his allies in Kiev. “When I hear a lot of people advocating for regime change, I would just ask them: for which change? Who’s next? We experienced several times in the past decade a lot of regime change in a lot of countries. It’s a total failure,” Macron said. Macron has maintained contact with Putin since the military operation in Ukraine began, and has cautioned the West against trying to force “humiliating” peace terms on Russia. However, he has continued to provide Kiev’s forces with progressively heavier weapons, including infantry fighting vehicles and artillery guns.

Kamala Munich Security Conference
https://twitter.com/i/status/1626914577748295681

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Blinken said yesterday in Munich that 200,000 Russians have been killed or wounded. The BBC counts 14,709 killed.

Ukraine SitRep – Casualty Numbers, Lack Of Tanks, Something Is Up (MoA)

There is some interesting news on the casualty count in the war in Ukraine. Ivan Katchanovski translated bits from a Russian language BBC report: “Based on open sources, the BBC managed to establish the names of 14,709 Russian soldiers who died in the war in Ukraine. Throughout 2022, Russian sources typically reported about 250-300 dead each week. In January, these figures doubled.” #Russia 1/ “But in just two weeks in February, the BBC Russian Service, together with Mediazona (recognized as a “foreign agent” in Russia) and a team of volunteers, managed to confirm the names of 1,679 dead, which is five times more than the usual weekly numbers.” #Ukraine #ukrainewar 2/

The war started in eighths week of 2022. There were thus 44 weeks in the rest of the year. With 300 dead per week the number of Russians killed until the end of 2022 was 13,200. (These numbers likely included the number of Wagner mercenaries killed but probably not those of the Donbas militia.) The BBC then counts 2,400 killed in January and 1,700 in February. The total is thus below 20,000 the number Col. MacGregor and others have estimated for the Russian side. The BBC says it estimates that it only catches half of the dead but gives no sound reason why that would be the case.

The daily losses on the Ukrainian side are much higher. The daily clobber list of the Russian Ministry of Defense mentions about 400 Ukrainians killed every day. This is consistent with the numbers Ukraine’s government mentioned last summer and fall. Over the 358 days of the war the total sums up to about 143,000. The Russian reports do not include the number of those who got killed by the Wagner mercenaries in the Bakhmut area. That number is by likely well above 20,000.

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The WHO lost all credibility in the pandemic. For decades.

Biden Admin To Sign Deal to Give WHO Authority Over US Pandemic Policies (ET)

The Biden administration is preparing to sign up the United States to a “legally binding” accord with the World Health Organization (WHO) that would give this Geneva-based UN subsidiary the authority to dictate America’s policies during a pandemic. Despite widespread criticism of the WHO’s response to the COVID pandemic, U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra joined with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in September 2022 to announce “the U.S.-WHO Strategic Dialogue.” Together, they developed a “platform to maximize the longstanding U.S. government-WHO partnership, and to protect and promote the health of all people around the globe, including the American people.”

Alex Jones Ventura

These discussions and others spawned the “zero draft” of a pandemic treaty, published on Feb. 1, which now seeks ratification by all 194 WHO member states. A meeting of the WHO’s Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) is scheduled for Feb. 27 to work out the final terms, which all members will then sign. Written under the banner of “the world together equitably,” the zero draft grants the WHO the power to declare and manage a global pandemic emergency. Once a health emergency is declared, all signatories, including the United States, would submit to the authority of the WHO regarding treatments, government regulations such as lockdowns and vaccine mandates, global supply chains, and monitoring and surveillance of populations.


“They want to see a centralized, vaccine-and-medication-based response, and a very restrictive response in terms of controlling populations,” David Bell, a public health physician and former WHO staffer specializing in epidemic policy, told The Epoch Times. “They get to decide what is a health emergency, and they are putting in place a surveillance mechanism that will ensure that there are potential emergencies to declare.” The WHO pandemic treaty is part of a two-track effort, coinciding with an initiative by the World Health Assembly (WHA) to create new global pandemic regulations that would also supersede the laws of member states. The WHA is the rule-making body of the WHO, comprised of representatives from the member states.

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Flash light fish

 

 


The Mwanza flat-headed rock agama also known as the Spider-Man agama, can’t spin webs but can climb up vertical walls with ease

 

 

Amur leopard
https://twitter.com/i/status/1626940933810913281

 

 


The ocean sunfish (Mola mola) is one of the heaviest known bony fishes in the world. Adults typically weigh between 247 and 1,000 kg (545–2,205 lb). Yet, Newly hatched sunfish larvae are only 2.5 mm (3⁄32 in) long and weigh less than one gram

 

 

Sturgeon

 

 

 

 

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