Jan 102023
 
 January 10, 2023  Posted by at 3:14 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  18 Responses »


John Koch Conversation 1962

 

 

I don’t really like to do predictions, not without tea leaves and crystal balls, but I do have one. My prediction is that NATO will -try to- expand/widen/deepen the Ukraine conflict in 2023, and not just a little. They have to, because Ukraine as a theater is failing, no matter how much additional weaponry they import into it. And because Ukraine is running out of -under 65- boots on the ground.

Next step will be to actively involve the NATO members who despise Russia most. Ergo: the Baltic States. Problem with that is there’s not a lot of people there. But it’s just a hop across the border from Lithuania to Poland. And Poland is a whole different story. And, like the Baltics, but unlike Ukraine, a NATO member.

Here’s NATO’s own numbers: Defence Expenditure of NATO Countries (2014-2022)

 

Poland has the weaponry, and the trained personnel. No threat to Russia, but you could sell is as such. Poland is just what Washington likes. And Raytheon, Northrop etc. The US cannot send US troops into the theater. And neither can Western Europe. Unpalatable. Countries like Germany, France and Holland won’t even think about sending troops. NATO depends on eastern European cannon fodder. Western Europe, like the US, will only send their second hand armoury. But not so, Poland. Here’s from Politico, November 21 2022:

 

Meet Europe’s Coming Military Superpower: Poland

Poland’s paranoia about Russia prompted it to eschew the prevailing Zeitgeist across much of Europe that conventional warfare was a thing of the past. Instead, it is building what are now on track to become the EU’s heftiest land forces. “The Polish army must be so powerful that it does not have to fight due to its strength alone,” Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on the eve of Poland’s independence day. It’s a shift that has resonated with Poland’s indispensable ally.

“Poland has become our most important partner in continental Europe,” a senior U.S. Army official in Europe said, citing the crucial role Poland has played in supporting Ukraine and in shoring up NATO defenses in the Baltics. While Germany, traditionally America’s key ally in the region, remains a linchpin as a logistical hub, Berlin’s endless debates over how to resurrect its military and lack of a strategic culture have hampered its effectiveness as a partner, the official said. As Germany continues to debate the details of what it calls the “Zeitenwende,” or strategic turning point triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Poland is already making substantial investments.

Warsaw has said it will raise its target defense spending from 2.4% of GDP to 5%. Meanwhile, Germany, which spent about 1.5% of GDP on defense last year, is debating whether it can maintain NATO’s 2% goal after it exhausts a €100 billion defense investment fund it approved earlier this year. Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak pledged in July that his country would have “the most powerful land forces in Europe.” It’s well on its way. Poland already has more tanks and howitzers than Germany and is on course to have a much larger army, with a target of 300,000 troops by 2035, compared with Germany’s current 170,000.

Today, Poland’s military is about 150,000 strong, with 30,000 belonging to a new territorial defense force set up in 2017. These are weekend soldiers who undergo 16 days of training followed up by refresher courses. They were initially seen as a bit of a joke, but Ukraine’s success in using mobile militia equipped with anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles now makes the idea seem much more sensible. “Today, those doubts have disappeared,” Blaszczak said during a recent swearing-in ceremony for new territorial troops.

Unlike Germany, which struggles to attract new troops, Poland’s recruiting drive is gaining attention. “The Poles have a much more positive attitude towards their military than Germany because they had to fight for their freedom,” said Gustav Gressel, a former Austrian military officer and security scholar now with the European Council on Foreign Relations. “In military circles no one questions the quality of the Polish army.”

We would do well to see all this in the light of what Julian Assange said about Afghanistan in 2011. NATO wants a forever war, not a successful one.

 

 

NATO, the US and the rich part of Europe, have nothing to lose. They send plenty of mostly useless weapons into the Ukraine theater, but as long as there are no coffins arriving at their (air)ports, their people won’t complain. On the contrary, their media make sure that they keep cheering it all on. While making sure it remains murky how much it exactly costs them.

I found this very peculiar, through Andrew Korybko:

Top Ukrainian & Former US Officials Are Panicking That $100 Billion In Aid Isn’t Enough

Ukrainian Ambassador to the UK Vadim Prystaiko [..] telling Newsweek: “The West now has a unique chance. There are not many nations in the world who would allow themselves to sacrifice so many lives, territories and decades of development for the purpose of defeating the archenemy…This is what I mean: All hands on deck, every single thing we can spare to help Ukraine win.”

You have a unique chance to have our people shot to bits. We will be happy to sacrifice them for your goals. Just keep giving us weapons, that’s all you have to do. Note the use of the term “archenemy”. For a country whose language and culture is still very much alive for perhaps more than half of Ukrainians. The 2014 US coup unseated a president elected by a majority of the population.

 

For some reason the US dragged two of their biggest old warmongers out of their respective proverbial basements: former US Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Who co-wrote this in the WaPo:

Time Is Not On Ukraine’s Side

Under current circumstances, any negotiated cease-fire would leave Russian forces in a strong position to resume their invasion whenever they are ready. That is unacceptable. The only way to avoid such a scenario is for the United States and its allies to urgently provide Ukraine with a dramatic increase in military supplies and capability — sufficient to deter a renewed Russian offensive and to enable Ukraine to push back Russian forces in the east and south.


Congress has provided enough money to pay for such reinforcement; what is needed now are decisions by the United States and its allies to provide the Ukrainians the additional military equipment they need — above all, mobile armor. The U.S. agreement Thursday to provide Bradley Fighting Vehicles is commendable, if overdue. Because there are serious logistical challenges associated with sending American Abrams heavy tanks, Germany and other allies should fill this need. NATO members also should provide the Ukrainians with longer-range missiles, advanced drones, significant ammunition stocks (including artillery shells), more reconnaissance and surveillance capability, and other equipment. These capabilities are needed in weeks, not months.

It’s starting to look like a desperate push. But it will come. Much stronger than today. Desperation has that kind of effect. The suffering will be in Ukraine and soon likely in Poland and Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia. Western Europe will pay through higher food- and energy prices. The US elites will be sitting pretty.

There is zero doubt that we will have to come back to this, a lot, in the near future. But that’s sort of what you do with predictions. They foretell actual events and conversations.

 

Gonzalo Lira talked about these things back in November 2022:

 

To be continued. As long as the people in the west remain oblivious to their own destiny, fate, reality. We are all used to having unipolar control of the world. But those times are over.

 

 

 

We try to run the Automatic Earth on donations. Since ad revenue has collapsed, you are now not just a reader, but an integral part of the process that builds this site. Thank you for your support.

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime. Click at the top of the sidebars to donate with Paypal and Patreon.

 

Dec 242022
 
 December 24, 2022  Posted by at 10:09 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  27 Responses »


Edvard Munch Christmas in the brothel 1904-05

 

Santa and Satan (Kunstler)
What Should We Make Of The Latest Muppet Show In DC? (Saker)
Kiev Is Mulling Peace Plan, WSJ Reports (RT)
Kremlin Comments On Kiev’s Purported Peace Plan (RT)
US Has Nothing To Lose, Everything To Gain, From Longer Ukraine Conflict (Luk.)
NATO Armies Drained By Ukraine Conflict – Media (RT)
In for a Pound (Schryver)
The US Love For Ukraine Or Hate Against Russia? (Awan)
Russia Sets Its Own Gas Price Cap For EU (RT)
Russia Warns Of Oil Production Cut (RT)
Mass Twitter Suspension Of Accounts Criticizing Zelensky Visit To Congress (PM)
Can China Help Brazil Restart Its Global Soft Power? (Escobar)
United States Attorney Announces Extradition Of SBF To US (SDNY)

 

 

It’s Christmas Eve and all we can talk about is war. The next step once the last Ukrainian dies, as Gonzalo also says, may well be to push Poland forward as the -willing- next proxy. Because the Poles do have the equipment, and the personnel to operate it.

Merry Christmas.

 

 

 

 

Rob Reiner

 

 

Gonzalo Will Poland Be The Next Proxy

 

 

 

 

Pelosi
https://twitter.com/i/status/1606110816540819457

 

 

 

 

Slowak flag

 

 


stationary slit vision

 

 

 

 

Krampus.

Santa and Satan (Kunstler)

The Santa we know came from a mashup of ancient pre-Christian Teutonic and Norse folk figures (Wotan, Odin) with the 4th century Greek bishop, St. Nicholas, a humble giver of gifts to children. That evolved in 19th century Anglo-America, with help from Washington Irving, Charles Dickens, and Clement Moore, into the jolly fat man in a fur-lined cloak, chortling merrily amid the platters of roast goose and baskets of sugarplums. And then, of course, the Santa character was retooled and stylized by the big advertising mills of mid-20th century Madison Avenue into the red-suited icon who functioned as a cosmic delivery-man to suburban houses where the little ones dwell, efficiently distributing Red Ryder BB guns and Barbie Dolls from sea to shining sea out of his reindeer-powered express vehicle, circling the entire globe in a single breathless night of glittering snow and shining stars, plangent with countless wishes from little hearts.

Strange to relate, in some corners of Europe, St. Nick acquired a traveling companion named Krampus. The two went from house-to-house in the dark hours of St. Nick’s name-day (Dec. 6) interrogating children as to their conduct. Dark and hirsute with horns, cloven hooves, and a darting red tongue, this monster acted the “bad cop” of the roving pair, badgering the little ones about their naughty or nice doings, and whacking them with a birch rod if he didn’t like their answers. If especially displeased, he stuffed kids into a basket for transport to Hell. A Krampus-like character reemerged in America this pre-Christmas week in the figure of Volodymyr Zelenskyy, president of Ukraine, who flew halfway around the world in a US government-issue magic sled to meet up with his chum, the new Santa Claus, “Joe Biden,” alleged current president of our land.

Mr. Z, still tricked-out in his wartime olive-green togs and scrufty beard, was here to lecture the boys and girls of Congress about being naughty or nice vis-à-vis “democracy” in his distant land, lately under a siege of angry bears. Ukraine did nothing to make the bears angry, you understand. They just lumbered in from the forest one day and started busting stuff up, as bears will. Ukraine has already received many gifts from Santa’s workshop, formerly known as the USA, toys much more impressive than any Red Ryder BB gun, for sure: howitzers, Javelin missiles, Stinger missiles, High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), Phoenix Ghost tactical drones, Switchblade tactical drones, Puma surveillance drones, Vampire anti-drone systems, Mi-17 helicopters, Harpoon coastal defense systems, and much more. (How did Santa fit it all in his sack?)

“Joe Biden” promised another fifty-billions of dollars to Mr. Z’s bear-extermination project, with the further objective of dethroning the king of all bears, the wicked Putin, who glowers at the world from the mouth of his faraway Kremlin Cave. Then, in Congress Wednesday night, before a coast-to-coast TV audience, Mr. Z tuned-up our elected boys and girls in the great House chamber, forked tongue darting, to tell heart-wrenching tales of bear-provoked terror. He played them like the very keys of a harpsichord — a trick he has performed before with an interesting twist on Ukrainian television. The elect of our land stood and cheered, ready to proclaim Ukraine the fifty-first state. Mr. Z stole a smooch from the ruler of Congress, the winsome Ms. Pelosi, and then disappeared in a puff of smoke that left a tang of sulfur wafting on the stale air.


To underscore his seriousness, and using his secret powers, Mr. Z arranged for a bomb-cyclone storm to roar out of the North Pole a few days after his departure to give Americans a little taste of what it’s like to sit in the cold and dark at Christmas time — because the USA is such a blessed land as to have no problems of its own, and needs to be reminded about the sufferings of the less fortunate. And so it goes this Yuletide of 2022 in our charmed and exceptional country. The elves at Clusterfuck Nation wish you all a merry little Christmas!

Read more …

“..Russia has been preparing non-stop for a full-scale continental war since at least 2014..”

What Should We Make Of The Latest Muppet Show In DC? (Saker)

Since Dubya and Obama the White House has been occupied by weak and frankly clueless leaders, hence the various interests groups which control DC run “their own foreign policy”. So, like vectors, the various goals and means of the key actors add up to create a “sum vector” which can *look* like “a policy” or “a plan”, but it is no such thing. What is true of the US is even MORE true for NATO. Hence the Poles pulling at their chain like rabid dogs to the horror of the comparatively sane(er) Europeans. I fully agree with Andrei Martyanov – the folks in charge in the West are totally clueless and they have absolutely no idea how to walk away from the mess they created.

The Neocons probably would prefer a worldwide nuclear war to a Russian victory, but non-Neocon actors might not want to die for a sick, narcissistic, gang of ignorant yet self-worshiping thugs. Who will prevail? I have absolutely no idea. I am not sure anybody else knows either. What I do know is that Russia has been preparing non-stop for a full-scale continental war since at least 2014. Defense Minister Shoigu has declared that next year Russia will add five new artillery divisions, eight bomber aviation regiments, one fighter regiment, three motor-rifle divisions, two air-assault divisions, and six army aviation brigades to the Russian armed forces!

And, by the way, these “artillery divisions” will be what is called “high power” brigade/division in Russia, that is to say that they get the very heavy weapons, like 203mm and 240mm self-propelled mortars. Something which the newly recreated First Guards Tank Army (a “Shock Army” in Russian military terminology) would need to further increase its huge firepower power. And did I mention that Russia has fully modernized her nuclear triad and that key weapons factories in Russia are now working for 6 days weeks with 3 shifts working non-stop?

Zel DC

Read more …

Kiev and NATO can make any ‘peace plan’ that they know Russia won’t accept.

Kiev Is Mulling Peace Plan, WSJ Reports (RT)

Ukraine may present its vision of peace around the last week in February, near the first anniversary of Russia’s offensive against the country, the Wall Street Journal has reported. The US newspaper, citing European and Ukrainian diplomats, claimed President Vladimir Zelensky and his team are currently working on such a formula. In its article on Thursday, the media outlet alleged that the Ukrainian leadership wants to strengthen its position at the negotiating table by making gains on the battlefield against Russia before unveiling any peace proposals. The topic of peace and how Ukraine sees it was high on the agenda of US President Joe Biden and his Ukrainian counterpart Zelensky during the latter’s visit to Washington on Wednesday.

However, according to the Washington Post, citing an anonymous senior US official, the discussion was largely “academic,” as the US and Ukraine believe Russia is not interested in any such negotiations at this point. Addressing G20 leaders in Indonesia last month, President Zelensky laid out a ten-point peace plan, which called for, among other things, the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine and an “all for all” prisoner swap. The Kremlin, in turn, insisted that Kiev must recognize the “reality on the ground” as a prerequisite for any peace negotiations. In Moscow’s eyes, this reality includes the new status of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions as parts of Russia.

Unnamed Western officials cited by the Wall Street Journal had suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin is preparing to launch a renewed offensive in the coming months and is not interested in any peace talks before he sees how those efforts pan out. Meanwhile, speaking to journalists on Thursday, the Russian head of state said that Moscow’s “goal is not to ramp up this military conflict, but, on the contrary, to end this war, that is what we are striving for and will strive for.” Putin noted that the sooner hostilities in Ukraine come to an end, the better, as the “intensification of fighting leads to unnecessary losses.”

The Russian president went on to insist that the Kremlin has never refused to engage in peace talks with Ukraine. He claimed that it is the leadership in Kiev that “has forbidden itself from” going down this road. This is an apparent reference to a decree signed by Zelensky in early October, according to which Ukraine will not negotiate with Moscow as long as Putin remains in power there. The decision came in response to Moscow officially signing agreements with the Donetsk and Lugansk Peoples’ Republics as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, which joined Russia after holding referendums. “One way or another, all armed conflicts end with some negotiations on the diplomatic track,” Putin argued on Thursday. He also expressed hope that those “who are opposing us” realize this as soon as possible.

Read more …

“..all that he has said until now did not take into account the reality on the ground..”

Kremlin Comments On Kiev’s Purported Peace Plan (RT)

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said that Russia considers previous comments made by Ukraine’s President Vladimir Zelensky about the possibility of peace talks as detached from reality. He’d been asked on Friday to comment on media reports about a new peace plan being formulated by the leader’s office. “We are not aware of it,” the official told journalists during a briefing. “We have heard Zelensky’s statements about various steps, a peace plan. But all that he has said until now did not take into account the reality on the ground, which one simply cannot ignore.” The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that the Ukrainian government could reveal a new peace proposal sometime in February.

The Ukrainian leadership wants to achieve some battlefield victories first, to strengthen its position, the newspaper’s sources in the governments of the US and Ukraine claimed. Zelensky last month made public what he termed a peace plan for his nation during a speech to the G20 leaders, who were meeting in Indonesia. It involved full withdrawal of Russian troops from all territories that Kiev considers under its sovereignty. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the time that the terms were “unrealistic and inadequate” and that Zelensky’s speech was full of “militant, Russophobic and aggressive rhetoric.”

Zelensky was asked about a “just peace” ending the conflict, during a press-conference in Washington that he held this week alongside US President Joe Biden. He replied that he didn’t know what that term meant, before declaring that no amount of reparations would compensate for the losses of some Ukrainians, who want revenge on “inhumans.” Biden intervened to declare that both he and Zelensky ultimately wanted peace. US policy states a strategic defeat of Russia as a primary goal in the crisis. Russia and Ukraine were on the brink of reaching a ceasefire agreement in early April. But Kiev’s Western backers reportedly declined to support the deal that Kiev brought to the negotiation table. Moscow said the US and its allies derailed the talks so that they could inflict more damage on Russia, disregarding Ukraine’s interests.

Read more …

The last Ukrainian.

US Has Nothing To Lose, Everything To Gain, From Longer Ukraine Conflict (Luk.)

Putting aside the pomp, the theatricals designed tug at the heart strings and the rhetorical chatter, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s visit to Washington could indeed be a milestone for the “European security” framework. A recent article by veteran German-American diplomat Henry Kissinger offered a new perspective in that he claimed a neutral status for Ukraine can no longer serve as a subject for negotiation, as the subject is no longer relevant. Ukraine is forming a powerful and capable armed force, actively assisted by the West, primarily the US, so its formal status – whether it’s a member of NATO or not – no longer matters. It is America’s de facto, if not de jure, military ally, in addition to having unique practical experience in a direct large-scale confrontation with Russia. One might add: it is motivated to pursue it.

Elaborating on this thought, it is reasonable to assume that, for the US, it’s even more comfortable for Ukraine to remain outside the formal alliance, as it expands the space for political-military action. There are no legal commitments, the level and scale of support can vary according to the situation at any moment, and the degree of Kiev’s loyalty to Washington as the main guarantor of resources is likely to exceed even that shown by Warsaw or the Baltic states. As will the degree of dependence on external aid. Ukraine, like Poland and the Baltics, is likely to become increasingly distrustful of continental Western Europe, as Kiev will interpret its inevitable internal contradictions as an implicit desire to make peace with Russia.

For the US, this sort of “land-based unsinkable aircraft carrier” will come in handy. Such a trained and loyal satellite, on the one hand beside Russia and on the other pointing towards Western Europe – and Kiev’s narrative that thanks to its efforts, the rest of Europe can live in peace and not under Russian bombs – opens up many opportunities. The territorial configuration of Ukraine in this context is unimportant to Washington. Moreover, the preservation of part of the internationally recognised Ukrainian territory under Russian control cements the conflict, and leaves the rump with a reason to fight on.

For this it should be equipped and trained, but all its wishes don’t necessarily need to be fulfilled. As for preparing its forces, it is crucial, for Washington, to enhance Ukraine’s own capabilities so that any subsequent phases of the confrontation can continue without the direct involvement of US and NATO units. This is a very significant point. The scheme is, in principle, quite rational. There is no guarantee that it will work, because Russia has the power to prevent it (even if, so far, this hasn’t been very visible), but there are few risks for the US. And the notorious European security system – the reform of which was Russia’s key demand a year ago – if it ever comes back on the agenda, it will be under very different circumstances. The old approaches and demands will no longer apply.

Read more …

“We are really low… and we’re not even fighting..”

NATO Armies Drained By Ukraine Conflict – Media (RT)

The fighting in Ukraine has “exposed flaws in US strategic planning” and “revealed significant gaps” in the US and NATO military industrial base, the Washington Post reported on Friday. As Kiev’s forces consume more ammunition than the West can produce, the Pentagon seeks to cope by training them to fight more like Americans. “Stocks of many key weapons and munitions are near exhaustion, and wait times for new production of missiles stretches for months and, in some cases, years,” the Post noted, as part of a narrative about how the US has funneled some $20 billion in military aid to Kiev just this year. Only $6 billion of that has been in new weapons contracts, while the rest came from the Pentagon stockpiles.

The US military-industrial complex can make about 14,000 rounds of ammunition for the 155-mm howitzers, the Post quoted US Army Secretary Christine Wormuth, while Ukrainian forces go through about 6,000 a day during heavy fighting. The US military-industrial complex is “in pretty poor shape right now,” Seth Jones of the Washington-based think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) told the Post. “We are really low… and we’re not even fighting,” Jones said, adding that in scenarios where the US is facing China or Russia in a conventional conflict, “we don’t make it past four or five days in a war game before we run out of precision missiles.” Washington’s allies in Europe are in similar shape, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

Michal Strnad, owner of a Czech ammunition conglomerate, said Ukraine chews through 40,000 rounds a month, while all of the European NATO members put together can produce 300,000 a year. “European production capacity is grossly inadequate,” Strnad said, adding that it would take up to 15 years to restock at current production rates, if the conflict were to somehow end tomorrow. Moscow has repeatedly warned the US and its allies that shipments of increasingly modern and long-range weapons could lead to a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO, and accused the West of prolonging the conflict and causing civilian deaths in Ukraine. While Western officials have demanded a ramp-up of production for months, recent EU legislation blocked many investments into weapons manufacturing by designating it “not sustainable,” according to the Journal.

Germany is now in the process of funding a factory in Romania that could produce both NATO and Soviet-caliber ammunition for Ukraine. The Pentagon is trying to deal with the problem by training Ukrainian troops to “fight more like Americans” and use different tactics, according to the Post. “I think if we can train larger formations — companies, battalions — on how to employ fires, create conditions for maneuver, and then be able to maneuver like you’ve seen [the US military] maneuver on the battlefield, then I think we’re in a different place. Then you don’t need a million rounds” of artillery, a senior US official – who did not wish to be named – told the outlet.

Read more …

“..Russia has unswervingly adhered to the three primary war objectives Putin articulated in his February 24th speech.”

In for a Pound (Schryver)

In his February 21, 2022 speech, Putin meticulously recounted the relevant history of the region dating back multiple centuries, and focused specifically on the events that followed in the wake of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. In addition to Putin’s history lesson, he makes particular reference to a detailed proposal Russia delivered to the United States and its NATO allies in mid-December 2021 – a proposal that effectively amounted to a “final warning”; a last-ditch effort to avoid war in Ukraine. Consider his words carefully, and particularly in light of how Russia has unswervingly adhered to the three primary war objectives Putin articulated in his February 24th speech.

“Last December, we handed over to our Western partners a draft treaty between the Russian Federation and the United States of America on security guarantees, as well as a draft agreement on measures to ensure the security of the Russian Federation and NATO member states. The United States and NATO responded with general statements. There were kernels of rationality in them as well, but they concerned matters of secondary importance and it all looked like an attempt to drag the issue out and to lead the discussion astray.

We responded to this accordingly and pointed out that we were ready to follow the path of negotiations, provided, however, that all issues are considered as a package that includes Russia’s core proposals which contain three key points. First, to prevent further NATO expansion. Second, to have the Alliance refrain from deploying assault weapon systems on Russian borders. And finally, rolling back the bloc’s military capability and infrastructure in Europe to where they were in 1997, when the NATO-Russia Founding Act was signed. – Vladimir Putin, Address by the President of the Russian Federation, February 21, 2022” I submit we can confidently assume Putin was as deadly serious on February 21, 2022 as he was on February 24, 2022; that he was not bluffing; that he was resolved to “raise the stakes” commensurate to whatever was required to achieve the objectives he had so carefully articulated.

I submit that his domestic popularity AND the support of his generals correlates closely to the perception that he will not waver from those objectives, and that it has only been the misplaced sense that he might be failing, or at least stumbling, or that he might even pull back from his stated objectives that has resulted in meaningful criticism arising from his domestic supporters, be it in government, the military, or the general public. I further submit that, in my estimation, it is precisely the burgeoning faith that Putin will resolutely pursue and achieve his stated objectives that has resulted in the unprecedented willingness of China, Iran, India, and other geostrategically important Eurasian and Global South nations to not only openly support Russia in this conflict, but to also, in many instances, openly defy imperial decrees forbidding military and commercial relations with Russia.

Read more …

“..may keep them engaged for a prolonged time to make Russia suffer economically..”

The US Love For Ukraine Or Hate Against Russia? (Awan)

The US is not sincere with Ukraine nor in love. If the Americans love Ukraine, they might have provided unlimited weapons and advanced weapons to make Ukraine win. But, this is not their intention, not their goals. Actually, they are in hate with Russia and wanted to counter the revival of Russia through Ukraine and may keep them engaged for a prolonged time to make Russia suffer economically. The US put sanctions on Russia to harm it economically. Sanctions proved counterproductive and the Russian economy has not suffered at all. Its trade has remained the same, but, the trading partners have changed, China, India, Pakistan, and many other countries are becoming bigger trading Partners with Russia. Pushing out from the SWIFT banking system has no impact on its financial transactions as China has compensated and provided them with alternates.

It Oil and Gas export has not reduced, and India and China have been importing much more. Furthermore, the increase in Oil and Gas prices in the international market has become supported the Russian economy. On the other hand, Europe has been victimized by the Ukraine war. The Fuel and Food prices have jumped much high. Few European countries are providing subsidies to their citizens but not all of the European countries are rich enough to extend subsidies to their citizens. As a result, many Europeans are suffering. The public in Europe is turning against the Ukraine war and demanding the end of this war immediately. There are protests and agitations in some European capitals and slogans are heard against NATO and withdrawal from NATO.

The current leaders in Europe are bound under the agreement to support NATO and Ukraine’s war. But, it is predicted that in the upcoming some of the political parties may come up with the idea to promise the public to end the war, end NATO support or exiting from NATO, etc., may win the general elections. It is pretty sure that public sentiments will dominate in the next elections and visionary politicians will make bold decisions. There is an awareness in the public that blindly following the US is not the ultimate goal, but, must think about national interests. War in Europe is not desired, no one wants it and the public may reflect their anger at the time of voting. The next elections will be decisive and may change the fate of not only Europe but the whole world. Geopolitics might be changed completely. It is a matter of time only, public sentiments must be respected at all costs.

Read more …

“..partially relieves state energy major Gazprom from fulfilling its obligations to its foreign partners..”

Russia Sets Its Own Gas Price Cap For EU (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Thursday that partially relieves state energy major Gazprom from fulfilling its obligations to its foreign partners who hail from countries that have imposed sanctions on Moscow. According to the decree, published on the official government portal, Gazprom and its subsidiaries are prohibited from paying for gas, or for its production and transport, from joint projects with its EU partners in Russia if the amount of payment is higher than the cost established by the Russian government. The decree targets Gazprom’s joint ventures with Germany’s Wintershall and Austria’s OMV. In partnership with the two companies, Gazprom is developing two large natural gas deposits in Russia, the Yuzhno-Russkoye and the Urengoyskoye fields.


The regulation has been introduced retroactively, and so is enforeceable from March 1, 2022, and will be effective until October 1, 2023. The government has been charged with setting a price limit within ten days. Both Germany and Austria are members of the EU, which imposed multiple sanctions against Russia in connection with Ukraine. Head of Wintershall Mario Mehren said in April that Russia had crossed red lines in its partnership with European companies, which means the end of “an era of long and intensive economic cooperation” between Russia and Germany. However, over the summer he said that his company has no plans to quit its joint ventures in the country. OMV has refused to make new investments in Russian projects and has announced plans to review its participation in the Yuzhno-Russkoye field, where it owns a 25% stake. Both companies have yet to comment on Putin’s decree.

Read more …

“..right now, we’d rather take a risk of a production cut than stick to the policy of selling in line with the threshold.”

Russia Warns Of Oil Production Cut (RT)

Russia will not sell oil to countries that impose a price cap on its crude exports, Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Novak warned on Friday. According to Novak, Moscow may respond by reducing oil production by 500,000-700,000 barrels a day in early 2023. Russia is the world’s third biggest oil producer and the cuts would equate to roughly 5-6% of the country’s daily output. The G7 and EU’s $60-per-barrel ceiling on Russian seaborne crude came into force on December 5. The measure, along with a ban on EU imports of seaborne Russian flows, is aimed at curbing the Kremlin’s revenues. Russian oil cargoes that are traded above the threshold cannot access some key services from Western companies, including insurance.

“We are ready to partially cut our production early next year,” Novak warned in an interview with the Rossiya-24 TV channel. “We’ll try to find some common ground with our counterparts to prevent such risks. But right now, we’d rather take a risk of a production cut than stick to the policy of selling in line with the threshold.” The official described the potential production drop as “insignificant” [to Russia], reiterating that Moscow will not sell its crude to those who apply the Western price cap. Russian producers are able to reroute their exports to competing markets, including Asia, as the nation’s energy is still in high demand globally, Novak stressed.

On Thursday, President Vladimir Putin told reporters he will sign a decree on the nation’s response to the cap next week, which will feature “preventive measures.” Russia’s full-year oil production in 2022 will probably grow to 535 million tons, equivalent to around 10.74 million barrels per day (bpd), according to Novak. Data shows that in November, the country’s average daily output hit an eight-month high of 10.9 million bpd. Meanwhile, experts have warned that an output cut by Russia could tighten the global energy market as demand in China, the world’s largest oil importer, is forecast to rebound.

Read more …

Ukrainian bots?

Mass Twitter Suspension Of Accounts Criticizing Zelensky Visit To Congress (PM)

Zelensky brought his flag and his ask for cash and weapons to Congress during the prime time hours on Wednesday night, much to the fawning of American legislatures. In response, many who are critical of the massive expenditure to Ukraine, and of the US involvement in a war against Russia at all, took to Twitter to express their disdain. They were banned, and many speculated that it was bots who were to blame. Many accounts shared a photo of the two most powerful women in American politics, Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who are second and third in line for the presidency respectively, hoisting high the flag of Ukraine in the US Congress while Zelensky spoke to that body. Dozens of accounts were summarily banned after criticizing the visit, Zelensky, the US’ involvement in Ukraine, and the horrifying vision of the Ukrainian flag being raised in Congress.

Zelensky was treated to cheers, a standing ovation, and multiple rounds of applause. The flag being raised above Congress added insult to the injury of Zelensky asking for cash, in addition to his stating outright that no matter what the US was giving him it would not be enough. “I’m now getting reports of tons of accounts that were locked out our tweets that were taken down for posting images of Zelensky’s speech last night and being critical of him Seems to be a mass takedown campaign by Twitter,” Jack Posobiec reported. This after prominent account ALX was suspended pending deletion of his tweet criticizing Ukraine, Pelosi and Harris. Elon Musk replied to Posobiec’s post about ALX, saying that he was looking into it as the “tweet doesn’t violate ToS.”

Posobiec offered “Update, could be a mass-reporting situation by trolls or state actors.” The idea is that the tweets critical of Zelensky could have been the target of a mass-reporting campaign, with the intention of silencing anti-Zelensky sentiment on the platform. Former Trump administration official who served in the State Department and the Department of Defense William Wolfe said he was “back after an entirely arbitrary and unfounded suspension.” He had tweeted out the photo of Harris and Pelosi as well, saying “When we say ‘clown world’ this is what we mean.” For that tweet, he was slapped with a 12 hour ban. The Columbia Bugle simply tweeted the photo with “Bring a check next time,” and that caught a ban. The report from Twitter said the ban was for “Violating our rules against posting or sharing privately produced/distributed intimate media of someone without their express consent.” But of course, the image was a screen shot from the live broadcast of Zelensky speech, and Congress’ shilling for Zelensky, that was broadcast across many channels.

 

 

Tucker clapping

Read more …

“..an extraordinary story trespassed by Sisyphean tasks..”

Can China Help Brazil Restart Its Global Soft Power? (Escobar)

The return of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva for what will be his third presidential term, starting January 1, 2023, is an extraordinary story trespassed by Sisyphean tasks. All at the same time he will have to fight poverty; reconnect with economic development while redistributing wealth; re-industrialize the nation; and tame environmental pillage. That will force his new government to summon unforeseen creative powers of political and financial persuasion. Even a mediocre, conservative politician such as Geraldo Alckmin, former governor of the wealthiest state of the union, Sao Paulo, and coordinator of the presidential transition, was simply astonished at how four years of the Bolsonaro project let loose a cornucopia of vanished documents, a black hole concerning all sorts of data and inexplicable financial losses.

It’s impossible to ascertain the extent of corruption across the spectrum because simply nothing is in the books: Governmental systems have not been fed since 2020. Alckmin summed it all up: “The Bolsonaro government happened in the Stone Age, where there were no words and numbers.” Now every single public policy will have to be created, or re-created from scratch, and serious mistakes will be inevitable because of lack of data. And we’re not talking about a banana republic – even though the country concerned features plenty of (delicious) bananas. By purchasing power parity (PPP), according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Brazil remains the eighth-ranked economic power in the world even after the Bolsonaro devastation years – behind China, the US, India, Japan, Germany, Russia and Indonesia, and ahead of the UK and France.

A concerted imperial campaign since 2010, duly denounced by WikiLeaks, and implemented by local comprador elites, targeted the Dilma Rousseff presidency – the Brazilian national entrepreneurial champions – and led to Rousseff’s (illegal) impeachment and the jailing of Lula for 580 days on spurious charges (all subsequently dropped), paved the way for Bolsonaro to win the presidency in 2018. Were it not for this accumulation of disasters, Brazil – a natural leader of the Global South – by now might possibly be placed as the fifth-largest geo-economic power in the world.

Read more …

No wonder they’re eager to sing.

United States Attorney Announces Extradition Of SBF To US (SDNY)

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Michael J. Driscoll, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced the extradition of SAMUEL BANKMAN-FRIED, a/k/a “SBF,” yesterday from the Bahamas.[1] Also unsealed are the guilty pleas of CAROLINE ELLISON, former CEO of Alameda Research, and GARY WANG, co-founder and former Chief Technology Officer of FTX. ELLISON and WANG pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams on December 19, 2022, to charges arising from their participation in schemes to defraud FTX’s customers and investors, and related crimes, and are cooperating with the Government.


U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Last week, we announced charges against Samuel Bankman-Fried for a sweeping fraud scheme that contributed to FTX’s collapse and for a campaign finance scheme that sought to influence public policy in Washington. As I said last week, this investigation is very much ongoing, and it’s moving very quickly. I also said that last week’s announcement would not be our last, and let me be clear once again, neither is today’s.” FBI Assistant Director Michael J. Driscoll said: “With the pleas announced today, Ms. Ellison and Mr. Wang admitted they were willing participants in schemes to defraud FTX.com’s customers and backers out of their money. The FBI will continue to seek justice for the victims of this case. No matter how fraudsters dress it up or sell the scam, we will continue to make every effort to ensure those responsible for the scheme are held accountable in our criminal justice system.”


Check the date. They pled guilty 11 months ago

CAROLINE ELLISON, 28, is charged with and has pled guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, each of which carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; two counts of wire fraud, each of which carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; one count of conspiracy to commit commodities fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. GARY WANG, 29, is charged with and has pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; one count of conspiracy to commit commodities fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Tucker SBF

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

RT
https://twitter.com/i/status/1606347049284165632

 

 

Paramount

 

 


The rainbow starfrontlet (Coeligena iris) is a species of hummingbird in the “brilliants” tribe Heliantheini. Males have a glittering yellow-green forecrown that transitions through golden yellow to blue on the crown

 

 

All time favorite

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 182022
 
 November 18, 2022  Posted by at 9:20 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  76 Responses »


Paul Gauguin Palm trees on Martinique 1887

 

Zelensky Declares Ukraine Corruption-Free (RT)
Ukraine Openly Lied To NATO Over Missile Strike, Diplomat Tells FT (RT)
Zelensky ‘Commanding The US To Lead WWIII’ – Tucker Carlson (RT)
Evidence Suggests Ukrainian Missile Struck Poland – Top Security Official (RT)
Zelensky Backtracks On Missile Claims (RT)
Zelensky Confirms Signals From West On Peace Talks (RT)
Zelensky Cracks Down On Popular News Outlet, Bans CNN, Sky (RT)
Dutch Court Blames Russia for Missile That Struck MH17 (ET)
Enron Liquidator Overseeing FTX Bankruptcy: Never Seen Anything Like This (ZH)
White House Slams GOP For Probing Hunter Biden ‘Conspiracy Theories’
Italian Power Prices More Than Triple – Data (RT)
Elon Musk Eyes Potential Tesla CEO Successor (Axios)
Clinton-Linked Dark Money Group Targets Twitter Advertisers (Turley)
Twitter On Lock Out After Mass Resignation Exodus; Operations At Risk (ZH)

 

 

 

 

Dave

 

 

 

 

Devine

 

 

Monty Python
https://twitter.com/i/status/1593092267619020801

 

 

Mr. Wonderful has most to fear.

 

 


The U.S. says Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s official standing as the sitting head of a foreign government should give him immunity in the lawsuit filed by the fiancée of slain Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi

 

 

Edward Dowd

 

 

“If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.”
– Thomas Paine

 

 

 

 

Ha ha, said the clown.

Zelensky Declares Ukraine Corruption-Free (RT)

Corruption has been eradicated from Ukraine and all Russian influences have left or been chased out, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky told a global audience at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum on Thursday. “No one will be able to forgive corruption in the future Ukraine,” he said, explaining that all the corrupt officials had fled the country in the months following the launch of Russia’s military operation. The remaining officials would not be tempted to “interfere in business operations” because all government services had gone electronic, he added. Zelensky promised there would be “no influence of Russian capital in Ukraine” going forward, explaining that any business interests not “united” behind his government had either “left our enterprises, or we pushed them out” – including the many political parties and media outlets his government has banned, such as the Party of Regions of predecessor Viktor Yanukovych.

The Ukrainian leader revealed he had just met with the vice president of the World Bank in order to “start a ‘pilot’ with them regarding investment insurance in Ukraine” and sought to allay potential concerns about corruption in his country. Investments – particularly by the mining and processing industries – would be safe, he insisted, praising the “independence of the economy, finances, and transparency of investments.” Western media outlets like The Guardian ranked Ukraine at or near the top on lists of the most corrupt nations in the world prior to the start of Russia’s military initiative in the country in February. Last year, Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index ranked it the second-most corrupt in Europe.

Even Zelensky, in his inauguration speech, joked that 28 years of Ukrainian politicians had created a country of opportunities – “opportunities to steal, bribe and loot.” However, many of those voices have since gone quiet for fear of being seen as perpetuating a pro-Russian narrative. In June, the heads of the European Council and European Commission informed members of Zelensky’s government that they would have to “do their homework” to join the EU, tasking them with implementing judicial reforms, “de-oligarchizing” the economy, and fighting corruption successfully. The Council of Europe last month promised to help Kiev along by finding experts to advise it on constitutional reforms and electoral law to help the process along.

Read more …

“..such statements could only be seen as an attempt to trigger a direct clash between Russia and NATO..”

Ukraine Openly Lied To NATO Over Missile Strike, Diplomat Tells FT (RT)

Kiev has been accused of “openly lying” about the recent missile that hit Poland killing two civilians, the Financial Times reports citing an unnamed diplomat from a NATO country. Ukraine rushed to pin the blame on Moscow, while the Russian Ministry of Defense stated that footage from the site showed “elements of a missile from an S-300 air defense system used by the Air Force of Ukraine.” “This is getting ridiculous,” the official told the outlet on Wednesday. “The Ukrainians are destroying our confidence in them. Nobody is blaming Ukraine and they are openly lying. This is more destructive than the missile,” he said. The comments come in response to President Vladimir Zelensky claiming that Ukraine had nothing to do with the missile that struck Przewodow, Poland, on Tuesday, insisting that it was Russia that launched the weapon.

Zelensky has insisted that Ukrainian investigators be given access to the crash site, stating that if it turns out that it was indeed a Ukrainian rocket then Kiev would have to apologize. “But, sorry, first I want an investigation, access, the data you have – we want to have this,” Zelensky said, addressing his Western partners. NATO, the US and Poland have stated that there is no evidence to suggest Russia’s direct involvement in the incident. Polish President Andrzej Duda has indicated that the projectile was likely a Ukrainian air defense missile – an opinion that was seconded by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and US Defense secretary Lloyd Austin.

Moscow, meanwhile, has condemned efforts to paint it as the perpetrator, saying such statements could only be seen as an attempt to trigger a direct clash between Russia and NATO. After several media outlets as well as Ukrainian and Polish officials initially blamed Russia for the attack, Moscow’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, stated that if it had not been for the evidence in the form of photos from the scene, “all facts would have been concealed from the public, and Russia would have been proclaimed the guilty side.” Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has also stated that the initial claims made by Kiev and other Western officials were “yet another hysterical, rabidly Russophobic reaction that was not based on any real information.”

Read more …

“Zelensky’s refusal to admit that a Ukrainian missile caused a fatal explosion in Poland makes him “not worth supporting..”

“It’s a lie that could get millions of Americans killed. So you have to ask yourself, is it time to stop backing this guy? Could the risk be too high? He’s lying on purpose to get us into a war?”

Zelensky ‘Commanding The US To Lead WWIII’ – Tucker Carlson (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky could be “lying on purpose to get us into a war,” Fox News host Tucker Carlson declared on Wednesday night. Zelensky’s refusal to admit that a Ukrainian missile caused a fatal explosion in Poland makes him “not worth supporting,” Carlson suggested. Zelensky “was commanding the US to lead the Third World War immediately” after the blast, Carlson told his viewers. “The only problem is that it was completely and utterly wrong.” The Ukrainian leader described the explosion, which killed two people, as a Russian attack on NATO territory and called on the West to put Russia “in its place” in response. Anonymous US intelligence officials seconded his claims in statements to the press.

Moscow argued that debris at the blast site showed that it was caused by a missile from the S-300 air defense system, a piece of Soviet-era kit fielded by Ukraine. Within hours, the leadership of the US, NATO, and Poland had all publicly stated that the explosion was caused by a Ukrainian anti-air missile. Zelensky doubled down. “I have no doubt that this is not our missile,” he said in a video address. “I believe that it was a Russian missile, based on our military reports.” “That’s not only untrue,” Carlson said. “It’s a lie that could get millions of Americans killed. So you have to ask yourself, is it time to stop backing this guy? Could the risk be too high? He’s lying on purpose to get us into a war?”

“Maybe he’s not worth supporting in the first place. Maybe he’s just another corrupt Eastern European strongman in a tracksuit, getting as rich as he can on American handouts.” Carlson has been a long-time critic of the US’ support for Zelensky, arguing that Ukraine is not democratic, and that intervening in its conflict with Russia is not in the US’ national security interest. Zelensky has since walked back his claims, saying on Thursday that Kiev doesn’t “know for 100%” what happened.

Tucker Zel

Read more …

“It is “normal” for its president to stick to “hypotheses that seem obvious from the national defense point of view” under such circumstances..”

Evidence Suggests Ukrainian Missile Struck Poland – Top Security Official (RT)

Evidence gathered by Poland, the US, and NATO suggests that it was a Ukrainian missile that killed two people on Polish territory not far from Ukraine’s border this week, the head of the country’s National Security Bureau (BBN), Jacek Siewiera, told the local RMF FM radio broadcaster on Thursday. Earlier, Polish President Andrzej Duda said that the missile was likely a Ukrainian one. Washington, meanwhile, admitted it had no evidence that would contradict Duda’s assessment, while Kiev rushed to blame the incident on Moscow. “All the evidence that has been collected on the NATO, American and our sides indicates that we are dealing with an S-300 missile launched by the Ukrainian anti-aircraft defense,” Siewiera said on Thursday, without offering details on the information gathered by investigators.

According to the BBN chief, the Polish Prosecutor’s Office is now leading the probe into the incident. Warsaw would not object to Ukrainian “observers” joining the investigation, Siewiera said, adding that the Polish president in particular “sees no obstacles” for this if all legal requirements are met. He also justified Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s stance on the issue by reasoning that Ukraine is now going through the “hardest period” of its conflict with Russia when it comes to air strikes. It is “normal” for its president to stick to “hypotheses that seem obvious from the national defense point of view” under such circumstances, the BBN head argued.

Zelensky insisted the missile was Russian and backtracked on this claim only after it was disputed by US President Joe Biden. Later, Zelensky maintained that no one can know for sure whose missile killed the two Poles. On Tuesday, Russia said it did not strike any targets closer than 35 kilometers (21.7 miles) from the border with Poland.

Read more …

“The US government always has somebody to ‘hold responsible’ on political grounds.”

Zelensky Backtracks On Missile Claims (RT)

President Vladimir Zelensky has toned down his claims that a Russian missile was responsible for the deaths of two people in a Polish village near the border with Ukraine. “I don’t know what happened this time. We do not know for a 100%,” Zelensky conceded on Thursday. He was responding to a question about the incident during a panel discussion at the Bloomberg New Economy forum in Singapore, which he attended via videolink. “But I am sure that there was a Russian missile and I am sure we were launching air defense missiles,” he added. The incident happened on Thursday evening, as Russia was hitting targets in Ukraine with a barrage of missiles. Zelensky declared that the projectile was Russian and that its landing on Polish territory was an attack on NATO’s collective security, urging retaliation.

Warsaw has since announced that the weapon was most likely a Ukrainian air defense missile that went astray, but Zelensky’s initial reaction was to point the finger at Moscow. The Russian military said it didn’t attack any site near the location of the village and that images of the crash site, which were published by Polish media, clearly identified the projectile as a Ukrainian air defense missile. Zelensky claimed during the Bloomberg panel that the Ukrainian military had told him that the images were not consistent with that kind of weapon. He claimed that nobody could say with full certainty what the origin of the missile was until a full investigation had been carried out.

He also thanked Ukraine’s foreign backers, who put the blame for the deaths in Poland on Russia, regardless of who fired the weapon. NATO and some of its members, including the US, stated that Moscow was responsible because it had launched missiles at Ukraine in the first place. Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, said that Washington’s attitude may give a hint to US citizens about the veracity of American investigations in general. “The US government doesn’t care about getting the results in an investigation,” she said. “The US government always has somebody to ‘hold responsible’ on political grounds.”

Read more …

“The statement follows talks between the head of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Sergey Naryshkin, and CIA Director William Burns, which took place in Türkiye earlier this week.”

Zelensky Confirms Signals From West On Peace Talks (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has acknowledged that Kiev’s foreign backers have been speaking to him about the possibility of peace talks with Moscow. “I had received signals from state leaders, who said: ‘We think [Russian President Vladimir] Putin wants direct negotiations.’ And I said: ‘We will offer a public format [for the talks] because Russia is waging a public war against Ukraine,’” Zelensky told journalists on Wednesday. “I’m ready to recommend such a format. I’ll discuss with my colleagues how to do it,” he said, adding that he does not want to have any “backstage contact”with Russia. Recent reports indicate that Washington has been privately pushing Kiev to drop its uncompromising rejection of the peace process with Moscow.

Last week, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, suggested that a Ukrainian military victory might be unachievable and that winter could provide an opportunity to begin talks with Russia. Zelensky also said he does not believe that the US, which has been among Kiev’s main backers amid the conflict with Moscow, was discussing ways to end the fighting behind Ukraine’s back. “We have an agreement that they – the US – don’t discuss Ukraine without us… Is it really the case? We trust our partners,” he said. The statement follows talks between the head of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Sergey Naryshkin, and CIA Director William Burns, which took place in Türkiye earlier this week. Both the Kremlin and the White House confirmed the meeting, with the US side saying that it was aimed at keeping channels of communication open, and that a Ukrainian settlement was not on the agenda.

Zelensky has been sending mixed messages about the possibility of peace talks with Moscow throughout the conflict, even signing a decree in October that officially made it impossible for him to negotiate with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. In a video address to the G20 on Tuesday, the Ukrainian leader said he was “convinced now is the time when the Russian destructive war must and can be stopped.” Conflict between Moscow and Kiev should conclude “fairly” and on the basis of the UN Charter, Zelensky insisted, stressing that Ukraine “shouldn’t be offered compromises with its sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence” in exchange for peace. He also claimed that Moscow should not be trusted, warning that Russia could use the cessation of hostilities “to grow its forces and launch a new series of terror and global destabilization.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reacted to the speech by saying that Russia is ready for talks, unlike Ukraine, which puts forward “invariably unrealistic and inadequate” terms for dialogue. According to Lavrov, Zelensky’s address was full of “militant, Russophobic and aggressive rhetoric.” Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov also said that the speech by the Ukrainian leader “absolutely confirms”the unwillingness of Kiev to look for a settlement of the conflict through negotiations.

Read more …

Banning all political parties and media that don’t toe the line. Let’s give him another $100 billion. Give him another 50 for banning CNN.

Zelensky Cracks Down On Popular News Outlet, Bans CNN, Sky (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky says he has granted a petition demanding that the government take action against popular opposition news website Starana.ua. The petition, which calls on the authorities to ensure the outlet is completely blocked, was submitted to the president’s website in late September, and has so far garnered more than 25,500 signatures. On Thursday, Zelensky announced that he had considered the petition and ordered the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, Aleksey Danilov, to “address the issues raised in it, take necessary measures in response and inform the author of the results.”

Commenting on the petition, Zelensky accused Russia of using various forms of hybrid warfare against Ukraine, and said “the issues of protecting the domestic information space require constant attention and urgent response.” The author of the petition called Starana.ua “a pro-Russian” media outlet, which continues to “manipulate the opinions of Ukrainian viewers” despite being banned in the country. The website, which was among the most viewed online publications in Ukraine last year, was officially blocked by Zelensky’s government in August 2021, with more restrictions added this February, just over a week before the launch of Moscow’s military operation in the country. At that time, the journalists claimed that they had been persecuted due to their “alternative view” on the conflict in Donbass and Zelensky’s personal animosity towards them.

However, Starana.ua continued to remain accessible in Ukraine through several mirror sites. The outlet also began to actively develop its YouTube channel, which now has more than 600,000 subscribers. Foreign journalists have also faced obstacles working in Ukraine. On Monday, Kiev removed accreditation from a group of media workers, including those from CNN and Sky News, accusing them of reporting from the recently-retaken city of Kherson without the necessary authorization from the Ukrainian military.

Read more …

Said it before: The Dutch are the last party that should have investigated. The main victim does not get to conduct this.

Dutch Court Blames Russia for Missile That Struck MH17 (ET)

A court in the Netherlands determined what country manufactured the missile that struck down a Malaysia Airlines flight in 2014 over eastern Ukraine, killing 298 people. “The court is of the opinion that MH17 (Flight 17) was brought down by the firing of a BUK missile from a farm field near Pervomaisk, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew members,” presiding judge Hendrik Steenhuis said, according to Reuters news agency. That flight is different than Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared in 2014 while flying from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing. The location of Flight 370, which disappeared about four months before Flight 17 was shot down, has still never been determined.


The statement was issued in the trial of several Russians and a separatist Ukrainian who were found guilty in absentia of the mass murder for their alleged involvement in shooting down Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine. Russians Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinskiy, and Oleg Pulatov and Ukrainian separatist Leonid Kharchenko were on trial at the Schiphol Judicial Complex in Badhoevedorp, Netherlands, according to reports. Pulatov was acquitted while the three others were found guilty. None of the defendants appeared for the trial that began in March 2020, and if they’re convicted, it’s unlikely they’ll serve any sentence anytime soon. Prosecutors had sought life sentences for all four. Prosecutors and the suspects have two weeks to file an appeal.

Read more …

Did they even have an accountant?

Enron Liquidator Overseeing FTX Bankruptcy: Never Seen Anything Like This (ZH)

[..] FTX’s new CEO and liquidator, John Ray III, who also oversaw the unwinding and liquidation of Enron, admits that “Never in my career have I seen such a complete failure of corporate controls and such a complete absence of trustworthy financial information as occurred here.” And just in case his shock at FTX’s fraud of epic proportions was not quite clear enough, he adds that “from compromised systems integrity and faulty regulatory oversight abroad, to the concentration of control in the hands of a very small group of inexperienced, unsophisticated and potentially compromised individuals, this situation is unprecedented.”

According to Ray, he has located “only a fraction” of the digital assets of the FTX Group that they hope recover during the Chapter 11 bankruptcy. They’ve so far secured about $740 million of cryptocurrency in offline cold wallets, a storage method designed to prevent hacks. This is just a fraction of the $10-$50 billion in liabilities the company disclosed in its bankruptcy filing. How do we know it’s a fraud: as Ray writes on page 24, although the investigation has only begun and must run its course, it is my view based on the information obtained to date, “that many of the employees of the FTX Group, including some of its senior executives, were not aware of the shortfalls or potential commingling of digital assets.” Many maybe not, but some – and certainly SBF himself – did.

It gets better: Ray said that company’s audited financial statements should not be trusted, Ray said, adding that liquidators are working to rebuild balance sheets for FTX entities from the bottom up. FTX “did not maintain centralized control of its cash” and failed to keep an accurate list of bank accounts and account signatories, or pay sufficient attention to the creditworthiness of banking partners, according to Ray. Advisers don’t yet know how much cash FTX Group had when it filed for bankruptcy, but has found about $560 million attributable to various FTX entities so far.

Read more …

Not probing Huter has been politically motivated from the get go.

White House Slams GOP For Probing Hunter Biden ‘Conspiracy Theories’ (RT)

The White House has dismissed Republican efforts to investigate President Joe Biden and his son’s overseas business ties, rejecting allegations that the commander in chief is under the sway of “foreign dollars” as a baseless conspiracy theory.In a statement to the New York Post on Thursday, a spokesman for the White House counsel’s office, Ian Sams, said House Republicans are “wasting time and resources on political revenge” after several lawmakers pledged to open a probe into the Biden family, namely the president’s son Hunter. “Instead of working with President Biden to address issues important to the American people, like lower costs, congressional Republicans’ top priority is to go after President Biden with politically motivated attacks chock full of long-debunked conspiracy theories,” the spokesman said.

Earlier on Thursday, GOP Reps. James Comer and Jim Jordan announced that an investigation into the president would be a priority during the next round of Congress, saying their probe would center whether Biden has been “directly involved with Hunter Biden’s business deals” and if he is in any way “compromised.” The pair of lawmakers alleged the Bidens “were involved in a scheme to try to get China to buy liquefied natural gas,” and said they would attempt to determine if the president was ever “swayed by foreign dollars or influence.” With Republicans taking back a majority in the House after last week’s midterm elections, Comer and Jordan are set to head up the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, respectively, putting them in better positions to spearhead congressional inquiries.

Hunter Biden’s foreign business ties have been questioned by Republicans since an October 2020 New York Post report which published the contents of one of his laptops. Emails and other communications found on the computer indicate the younger Biden used his father’s political influence for personal gain, and raised other questions about whether Joe Biden was involved in any of his son’s dealings. Until the midterms, however, Democrats held majorities in both houses of Congress in addition to the White House, leaving GOP critics unable to press forward with long-sought investigations.

Read more …

This will topple governments.

Italian Power Prices More Than Triple – Data (RT)

Electricity prices in Italy set an all-time record in October, the country’s oldest consumer association Unc reported on Thursday. Prices for electricity, which is being sold in the Apennines on the free market, have surged 329% since October last year, and topped the Unc rating of the most expensive goods and services. International flights followed power tariffs, with an annual increase in costs equaling 113%. Gas was next in the ranking, with prices surging more than 96% compared to last year. The Unc report comes on the heels of the latest data released by Italy’s official statistics agency ISTAT, which showed that the domestic price index soared 11.8% in October from a year earlier, the highest since March 1984. Annual consumer price growth led by soaring energy costs hit 12.6% in October, jumping from 9.4% in the previous month.


Basic food items have also seen dramatic inflation in Italy, with the prices of various vegetable oils, excluding olive oil, soaring by 55% year-on-year. Butter grew by 43%, followed by sugar, which picked up 17% from September and rose by 38.8% on an annual basis. The sharp increase is expected to make the average annual food bill rise by €761 ($787), at a time when cash-strapped families are already trying to cope with soaring energy bills. For families with one child, this figure will increase to €937 ($969), for those with two children – up to €1038 ($1073), with three – up to €1240 ($1282), Unc president Massimiliano Donna has said.

Read more …

Looking for Twitter CEO. Jack is not available.

Elon Musk Identifies Potential Tesla CEO Successor (Axios)

Elon Musk has recently identified someone as his potential successor to lead Tesla as CEO, according to James Murdoch, one of the company’s directors. Tesla investors have grown increasingly worried about Musk’s divided focus since he initiated steps to buy Twitter earlier this year. As the Twitter saga progressed, Tesla faced its own set of issues — including supply chain challenges in China and the erosion of profits from inflation. Murdoch made the comment while testifying in Musk’s pay package trial on Wednesday. In response to a question from a plaintiff’s lawyer suggesting Musk has never picked anyone as a potential successor, Murdoch responded that Musk “actually has” and has in the “last few months,” but didn’t get into specifics, Reuters reports.


Musk, who also testified Wednesday to defend himself against the lawsuit challenging his large compensation package, has often talked about how much he “hates doing management stuff” and how he doesn’t want to “be the boss of anything.” “I tried not to be CEO of Tesla, but I had to or it would die. I rather hate being a boss. I’m an engineer,” he said last year while testifying about Tesla’s SolarCity acquisition. On the stand this morning, Musk said the CEO title is not an apt description of what he does at his companies. In addition to Tesla, Musk currently leads in one way or another, four other businesses — The Boring Company, SpaceX, Twitter and Neuralink. Musk has served as Tesla’s CEO since October 2008. The pay package he accepted in 2018 stipulates that he stay on as CEO, or chief product officer and executive chairman with a CEO reporting to him, for at least a decade.

Read more …

“The letter insists that free speech will only invite “disinformation, hate, and harassment“

Clinton-Linked Dark Money Group Targets Twitter Advertisers (Turley)

In the shift of the left against free speech principles, there is no figure more actively or openly pushing for censorship than Hillary Clinton. Now, reports indicate that Clinton has unleashed her allies in the corporate world to coerce Musk to restore censorship policies or face bankruptcy. The effort of the Clinton-linked “Accountable Tech” reveals the level of panic in Democratic circles that free speech could be restored on one social media platform. The group was open about how losing control over Twitter could result in a loss of control over social media generally. For Clinton, it is an “all-hands on deck” call for censorship. She previously called upon foreign governments to crackdown on the free speech of Americans on Twitter.

We have been discussing how Clinton and others have called on foreign companies to pass censorship laws to prevent Elon Musk from restoring free speech protections on Twitter. It seems that, after years of using censorship-by-surrogates in social media companies, Democratic leaders seem to have rediscovered good old-fashioned state censorship. Accountable Tech led an effort to send a letter to top Twitter advertisers to force Musk to accept “non-negotiable” requirements for censorship. General Motors was one of the first to pull its advertising funds to stop free speech restoration on the site. Of course, the company had no problem with supporting Twitter when it was running one of the largest censorship systems in history — or supporting TikTok (which is Chinese owned and has been denounced for state control and access to data).

Twitter has been denounced for years for its bias against conservative and dissenting voices, including presumably many GM customers on the right. None of that was a concern for GM but the pledge to restore free speech to Twitter warrants a suspension. The letter is open about the potential cascading effect if free speech is restored on one platform: “While the company is hardly a poster-child for healthy social media, it has taken welcome steps in recent years to mitigate systemic risks, ratcheting up pressure on the likes of Facebook and YouTube to follow suit.” The letter insists that free speech will only invite “disinformation, hate, and harassment” and that “[u]nder the guise of ‘free speech,’ [Musk’s] vision will silence and endanger marginalized communities, and tear at the fraying fabric of democracy.”

Read more …

Lockdown till Monday. Might make sense.

Twitter On Lock Out After Mass Resignation Exodus; Operations At Risk (ZH)

Hundreds of Twitter’s remaining employees have reportedly resigned ahead of Elon Musk’s “extremely hardcore” cultural reset of the company. After Musk gave an ultimatum to his employees to either commit to the company’s new “hardcore” work environment or leave, many more workers declined to sign on than he expected, potentially putting Twitter’s operations at risk, according to Bloomberg sources, as well as internal Slack messages seen by The Verge and employee tweets. On Thursday afternoon, so many employees decided to take severance that it created a cloud of confusion over which people should still have access to company property.

According to a memo seen by Bloomberg and reports from Platformer’s Zoe Schiffer, Twitter closed its offices until Monday; urging employees to “please continue to comply with company policy by refraining from discussing confidential information on social media, with the press or elsewhere.” According to Bloomberg, in the final hours before his deadline, Musk tried to convince people to stay. Key staff were brought into meetings as the Thursday evening deadline neared to hear pitches on the social network’s future, according to people familiar with the matter. Musk, who had earlier said he was strictly against remote work, also sent a follow-up email Thursday softening his tone. “All that is required for approval is that your manager takes responsibility for ensuring that you are making an excellent contribution,” he wrote, adding that staffers should have in-person meetings with their colleagues not less than once per month.

Despite the ultimatum, no Twitter employees have been deactivated — even those who’ve publicly resigned, the Platformer also reported, adding that “Musk and his team only collected the list of “yes’s” — employees who said they want to be part of Twitter 2.0. They’re still trying to track who is out.” Elon’s attempt to ease the terms of the ultimatum wasn’t enough, and Twitter’s internal communications channels filled with employees offering a salute emoji, which has become a symbol for departing the company. Former staff tweeted the salute publicly, too, along with their internal Slack messages. Some employees who were departing speculated that so many were leaving, along with their knowledge of how the product works, that the social network may have trouble fixing problems or updating systems during its normal operations, according to people familiar with the matter.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dog bear
https://twitter.com/i/status/1593051028165111809

 

 

Tiger babies
https://twitter.com/i/status/1593304803047837708

 

 

 

 

Illusion
https://twitter.com/i/status/1592933014790471680

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 172022
 
 November 17, 2022  Posted by at 9:51 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,  71 Responses »


Cimabue Christ mocked c1280 (Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters)

 

Ukraine Admits Firing Missile Near Poland Blast Site – CNN (RT)
Zelensky Doubles Down On Poland Missile (RT)
Gen. Milley Claims He Couldn’t Reach Moscow After Poland Missile Incident (RT)
Poland Should Guard Part Of Ukrainian Airspace – General (RT)
Missile Incident Was Ukrainian ‘Provocation’ – Polish Politician (RT)
Poland Wants Russian Oil Despite EU Embargo – Kommersant (RT)
Drone Strikes Deep In Russian Territory – Governor (RT)
The G20’s Balinese Geopolitical Dance (Escobar)
Eurozone Facing Deep Recession – Economists (RT)
Xi Roasts Justin Trudeau At G20 (RT)
Did SBF Buy Puff-Piece Propaganda? (ZH)
American Attempts To Preserve Hegemony Vs The New World Order (Kortunov)
US Congress Will Continue To Oppose Jet Sale To Turkey – Rep. Malliotakis (K.)
Sperm Counts Plummeting Dramatically – Faster Than Previously Thought (EHN)
Fauci’s Pandemic Leadership Needs to Be Investigated – Dr. Scott Atlas (ET)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kuleba before denials

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lots of RT today. Seems to be the only place for relevant information on Zelensky’s -and Poland’s- attempts to start WWIII.

“It doesn’t matter to Germany whose rocket fell in Poland, in any case, Russia is to blame, because it attacked Ukraine” – Olaf Scholz

Ukraine Admits Firing Missile Near Poland Blast Site – CNN (RT)

Ukrainian military officials told their American and other Western counterparts that they attempted to intercept a Russian missile near the site of a fatal blast in Poland on Tuesday, CNN reported. While Kiev initially blamed the explosion on Russia, Western leaders have since stated that it was likely caused by an errant Ukrainian air defense projectile. Citing a US official, CNN anchor Jim Sciutto said on Wednesday that the Ukrainian military has informed its Western backers that it “attempted to intercept a Russian missile in the same timeframe and near [the] location” of a “missile strike” at the Polish village of Przewowdow a day earlier. “It’s not clear this is [the] same missile that struck Poland, but this has informed ongoing US assessment,” Sciutto added.

The apparent admission by Ukraine’s military marks a dramatic climbdown by Kiev since Tuesday, when Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky called the incident a “Russian attack on the collective security” of NATO. In a video statement, Zelensky urged the West to put Russia “in its place” in response. However, in the time since the blast, Ukraine’s Western backers have all but confirmed that the missile was fired from Ukraine. US President Joe Biden, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and Polish President Andrzej Duda have all stated that the blast was likely caused by a Ukrainian air defense missile, with Duda opting not to call for urgent consultations under Article 4 of the NATO Treaty.

The Russian Defense Ministry reported that analysis of debris at the site of the explosion showed that it was caused by a missile from the S-300 air defense system, a Soviet-era system fielded by Ukraine. Poland is currently leading an investigation into the explosion, which killed two people. The blast occurred during an intense Russian bombardment of Ukrainian command centers and energy infrastructure. Russia has pummeled Ukraine with near-daily missile and drone strikes since October, following what Russian President Vladimir Putin called Ukrainian “terrorist attacks” on Russian territory. Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushenko called Tuesday’s barrage the “most massive shelling of [Ukraine’s] energy system” since the beginning of the conflict in February.

Read more …

“Ukraine’s president Zelensky is pushing back against Western suggestions, including those of the US and Nato, that a stray Ukrainian missile was responsible for the deadly blast in Poland. ‘I have no doubt that it was not our rocket,’ he told reporters.”

Zelensky Doubles Down On Poland Missile (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky continued to insist his military did not fire the missile that killed two civilians in the Polish village of Przewodow. Ukraine wanted to be included in any investigation of the incident, he told reporters in Kiev on Wednesday. “I have no doubt that it was not our missile or our missile strike,” Zelensky said, according to Ukrainian media. Noting that this is what the Ukrainian air force commander told him on Tuesday evening, he added, “It makes no sense for me not to trust them.” The Ukrainian president also said the Przewodow incident was yet another argument for NATO to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine, something he has been asking for since February.

Zelensky was quick to blame “terrorist” Russia for what he described as an attack on NATO and the concept of collective security itself. His foreign minister Dmitry Kuleba did likewise. Neither have retracted their claims, even after Poland announced the missile that struck Przewodow was from a S-300 air defense system. “There is a high probability that it was a Ukrainian air defense missile,” Polish President Andrzej Duda said on Wednesday morning. Meanwhile, CNN quoted unnamed Ukrainian military officials as saying the missile was indeed theirs. Zelensky, however, told reporters he disagreed with phrases like “high probability” and that Ukraine “has the right” to see the evidence and data from partner countries. So far, he said, Kiev has received nothing.

“We must participate in the investigation,” Zelensky said, according to the UNIAN news agency. “I want it to be fair and if it was the use of our air defense, then I want this evidence.” While the incident in Przewodow happened amid a Russian cruise missile attack on key energy and military infrastructure targets in Ukraine, the Russian Defense Ministry swiftly noted that the debris filmed in Poland had nothing to do with any Russian weapon. Nor had anything nearby been targeted by the Russian military, Moscow added. Even the US government acknowledged the projectile that hit the Polish village was not Russian. On Wednesday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also said the missile had been Ukrainian and there were no indications of a Russian attack. He argued that the ultimate responsibility for the incident still lay with Moscow, however.

Candace

Read more …

Bad if he’s lying, bad if he’s not.

Gen. Milley Claims He Couldn’t Reach Moscow After Poland Missile Incident (RT)

US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley tried and failed to reach his Russian counterpart, General Valery Gerasimov, in the wake of a deadly missile incident in Poland, he revealed to journalists. “My staff was unsuccessful in getting me linked up with General Gerasimov,” he said during a joint press conference with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Wednesday. The failed contact happened after a missile hit a Polish village on the border with Ukraine and killed two locals on Tuesday. It came amid a Russian barrage targeting Ukrainian military and energy infrastructure. President Vladimir Zelensky claimed that the weapon was Russian and urged NATO to invoke its collective defense provisions in response. Western nations have since assessed that the projectile was most likely a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile that went astray. But the Ukrainian leader doubled down on his claim that it was not fired by Kiev’s forces.


During the media briefing, both US defense officials declined to comment on the difference of opinion. “We have full confidence in Poland’s ability to conduct this investigation in the proper way, and until that’s complete, again, I think it’s – it’d be premature for anybody to jump to conclusions,” Austin said. Zelensky named Ukraine’s chief of defense, General Valery Zaluzhny, as the source of his information about the projectile’s origin. Milley said he also talked to the general, but declined to say what he was told about the incident. The Russian military has denied responsibility and said images of the missile debris clearly identified it as Ukrainian. The Foreign Ministry accused Kiev of trying to gain more Western support under a false pretext and said that an impartial investigation would expose the Ukrainian “provocation”.

Read more …

In the middle of it all, Ukraine adds another call for a no fly zone. As if we forgot what that means. Trying to get NATO openly into the war.

Poland Should Guard Part Of Ukrainian Airspace – General (RT)

Polish General Roman Polko said that the country’s air defenses should assume responsibility for part of Ukraine’s territory, in the wake of a deadly missile strike on a village near the Ukraine border. Speaking to Radio ZET on Wednesday, Polko, who used to serve as the Deputy Chief of the Polish National Security Bureau, suggested that Poland should protect a “strip of airspace extending into Ukrainian territory and build air defense systems.” “We cannot allow Polish citizens to die,” he stressed, expressing hope that the incident would accelerate deliveries of defense weapons. The general went on to say that Polish authorities should ramp up defense capabilities as well as increase airspace monitoring.

“We should inform Russia that Ukraine and… the border belt will be constantly monitored by the NATO alliance and Russian combat assets will be shot down,” Polko added. He also noted that the “unprecedented attack” should prompt NATO to “finally lift restrictions” and give Ukraine long-range weapons. According to media reports, the US, Kiev’s most prominent backer, has been reluctant to send these types of arms to Ukraine, fearing it would escalate the conflict. While Germany said that, along with its NATO partners, Berlin has no plans to try and close off Ukrainian airspace, noting that such a move could trigger a direct clash between Russia and NATO forces. “Together with all our allies we agreed that we want to avoid a further escalation of this war in Ukraine,” a government spokesperson explained.

Berlin had proposed to help Poland patrol its airspace, according to Germany’s defense ministry spokesman. It comes in the aftermath of a missile strike on the village of Przewodow, close to the Ukrainian border, which killed two civilians. While Poland initially claimed that the projectile was “manufactured in Russia,” later, President Andrzej Duda noted that it was probably launched by Ukrainian air defenses. The Russian Defense Ministry denied involvement, stating that its experts had analyzed the photos from the scene and identified parts of the projectile “as elements of a missile from the S-300 air defense system used by the Air Force of Ukraine.”

Read more …

“Instead of telling “fairy tales” about the missile, the Polish president should tell Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky that Warsaw “will no longer put up with this behavior” by Kiev.”

Missile Incident Was Ukrainian ‘Provocation’ – Polish Politician (RT)

Poland should rethink its position towards the conflict in Ukraine after a “provocation” on the part of Kiev that cost two villagers their lives, a former city councilman in Lublin said on Wednesday. Jaroslaw Pakula, whose term ended four days before the incident, said the missile that struck Przewodow was obviously Ukrainian and that the government in Warsaw needed to send a message to Kiev instead of telling “fairy tales” to its citizens. “Of course, this is a Ukrainian rocket. Of course, this is a provocation on the part of the Ukrainian authorities,” Pakula posted on his Facebook page. “The rocket could not be fired 100km in the opposite direction by mistake.” The purpose of the provocation was to scare the EU and get civil society support for sending even more weapons to Ukraine, Pakula added.

Instead of telling “fairy tales” about the missile, the Polish president should tell Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky that Warsaw “will no longer put up with this behavior” by Kiev. “I urge you to rethink Poland’s position [regarding] this war in the event that the red line is crossed again!” Pakula concluded. Pakula’s Facebook page still has a Ukrainian flag over his portrait photo, and lists him as chairman of the city council of Lublin, the seat of the region where Przewodow is located. The official city website, however, notes that he was no longer in office as of November 11. Zelensky was quick to accuse Russia of attacking Poland and the entire NATO after a missile exploded in Przewodow on Tuesday afternoon, killing two people.

The government in Kiev said the incident showed the need for NATO to “close the sky” over Ukraine, as they have demanded since February. While Zelensky continues to insist the missile was Russian, Warsaw and Moscow have both identified it as a S-300 air defense missile, with Poland calling it “Russian-made” and Russia pointing out it was in Ukrainian service. The US and NATO have also described the missile as an air defense rocket that strayed, seeking to minimize the incident while also arguing that Russia was the ultimate culprit for bombing Ukraine in the first place. The Russian military has pointed out that Tuesday’s missile strikes on Ukrainian military and energy infrastructure targets came nowhere close to the Polish border.

Read more …

And despite accusing Russia of attacking it.

Poland Wants Russian Oil Despite EU Embargo – Kommersant (RT)

Poland plans to continue buying Russian oil in 2023 via the “Druzhba” (Friendship) pipeline, despite vows from the country’s authorities to abandon imports from the sanctioned country, the daily Kommersant reported on Wednesday. Poland’s major oil refiner and retailer Orlen has sent a bid to Russia’s oil and gas transporting company Transneft to receive three million tons of oil through the Druzhba pipeline in 2023, the outlet reported, citing a source in the Polish oil industry. Transneft has confirmed the order without specifying which companies it came from and the requested volumes. On December 5, an EU embargo on Russian crude oil and petroleum products comes into force.

And even though it will not be applied to deliveries via the Druzhba pipeline, Germany and Poland, which receive oil through the northern branch of the pipeline, have officially announced that they will voluntarily give up Russian oil from the beginning of 2023. Kommersant has pointed out that the Polish oil company has active long-term contracts with Transneft and reminded readers that the country’s foreign minister Zbigniew Rau had said on November 14 that Orlen risks paying a penalty in case of a unilateral withdrawal from the agreement. At the moment, Orlen has stopped buying Russian oil on the spot market but continues to receive it under long-term contracts with Tatneft (2.4 million tons per year until 2024) and Rosneft (3.6 million tons per year), the outlet reports.

The contract with Rosneft was renewed for two years in March 2021 and, apparently, will still be valid in January and February 2023. Commenting on the issue, Transneft vice-president Sergey Andronov said that on top of the bids from the company’s clients, which use the southern leg of the Druzhba pipeline, there are “bids from Polish consumers for deliveries through Belarus in 2023.” Andronov added that he hoped that German buyers of Russian crude would be “equally reasonable about securing stable oil supplies” from Russia. Druzhba is one of the longest pipeline networks in the world and carries crude some 4,000 kilometers from the eastern part of European Russia to refineries in the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

Read more …

Reeks a bit of Nordstream.

Drone Strikes Deep In Russian Territory – Governor (RT)

A drone has struck an oil terminal in Russia’s Oryol Region, some 200km (124 miles) from the Ukrainian border, Governor Andrey Klychkov said. “Around 4am today, an apparent drone struck an oil terminal in the village of Stalnoy Kon,” he wrote on his Telegram channel on Wednesday. “Nobody was hurt. Emergency services are working on site,” Klychkov added. Although the region does not share a border with Ukraine, it borders the Russian regions of Kursk and Bryansk where officials reported multiple Ukrainian attacks after Russia launched its military operation in the neighboring state on February 24.


News outlet Baza reported that the drone hit an upper section of a cylindrical steel tank, “a quarter” of which was filled with oil. The outlet added that there were no leaks or fires. According to news outlet Mash, the terminal is part of the Druzhba (Friendship) pipeline network, which delivers Russian oil to Europe. Oryol Region, together with several neighboring regions, was placed on a state of heightened alert last month.

Read more …

“The Americans suddenly interested in talking, and Macron and Scholz approaching Lavrov, point to the heart of the matter: the EU and the UK may not survive next winter, 2023-2024, without Gazprom.”

The G20’s Balinese Geopolitical Dance (Escobar)

The fog thickened because on the backdrop of the G20, the US and Russia were talking in Ankara, represented by CIA director William Burns and SVR (Foreign Intel) director Sergei Naryshkin. No one knows what exactly was being negotiated. A ceasefire is only one among possible scenarios. And yet heated rhetoric from NATO in Brussels to Kiev suggests escalation prevailing over some sort of reconciliation. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was adamant; de facto and de jure, Ukraine can’t and does not want to negotiate. So the Special Military Operation (SMO) will continue. NATO is training fresh units. Next possible targets are the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant and the left bank of the Dnieper – or even more pressure in the north of Lugansk.

For their part, Russian military channels advance the possibility of a winter offensive on Nikolaev: only 30 km away from Russian positions. Serious Russian military analysts know what serious Pentagon analysts must also know: Russia used at best only 10% of its military potential so far. No regular forces; most of them are DPR and LPR militias, Wagner commandos, Kadyrov’s Chechens and volunteers. The Americans suddenly interested in talking, and Macron and Scholz approaching Lavrov, point to the heart of the matter: the EU and the UK may not survive next winter, 2023-2024, without Gazprom. The IEA has calculated that the overall deficit by then will approach 30 billion cubic meters. And that presupposes “ideal” circumstances this coming winter: mostly warm; China still under lockdowns; much lower gas consumption in Europe; even increased production (from Norway?)

The IEA‘s models are working with two or three waves of price increases in the next 12 months. EU budgets are already on red alert – compensating the losses caused by the current energy suicide. By the end of 2023, that may reach 1 trillion euros. Any additional, unpredictable costs throughout 2023 mean that the EU economy will completely collapse: industry shutdown across the spectrum, euro in free fall, rise of inflation, debt corroding every latitude from the Club Med nations to France and Germany. Dominatrix Ursula von der Leyen, leading the European Commission (EC), of course should be discussing all that – in the interests of EU nations – with global players in Bali. Instead her only agenda, once again, was demonization of Russia. No niskala here; just tawdry cognitive dissonance.

Read more …

2023-24.

Eurozone Facing Deep Recession – Economists (RT)

The 19 countries that use the euro are expected to plunge into a much deeper recession in the coming months than earlier predicted, CNBC reported on Wednesday, citing economists. According to the report, the euro area has been under “significant pressure” due to a combination of sanctions against Russia, an abrupt end to Russian gas imports, and the need to provide financial support to households and firms struggling with the energy crisis. CNBC cited data from the European Commission showing that consumer confidence across the Eurozone plunged to a record low in September. It has improved slightly since then, but households still fear for the future and their financial positions, the report says.

“Consumer confidence has plunged so badly that the recession will likely not be shallow,” Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Berenberg Bank, told the news network. Preliminary growth estimates for the region suggest a slowdown in the third quarter from the previous three-month period – from 0.8% growth to 0.2%. According to Spyros Andreopoulos, a senior European economist at BNP Paribas, “It will be deeper than certainly what the ECB [European Central Bank] council expects.” Earlier this month, ECB President Christine Lagarde indicated that “the risk of recession has increased.” Andreopoulos told CNBC that he sees a risk the recession might drag into the second quarter of 2023.

Economists agree that even if the Eurozone emerges from a recession in the first quarter of next year, the subsequent months will still be challenging. s“I expect the recovery to be slow,” chief European economist at UniCredit, Marco Valli, told the network, citing higher interest rates as one of the main factors preventing a faster recovery. When asked if it was going to be an easy year for the euro area, Valli said: “No, absolutely not.”

Read more …

sundance: “If you have not watched this video, you really should. Justin from Canada leaked the content of a private bilateral conversation with Chinese Chairman Xi Jinping to the media. Chairman Xi was not happy with the breach of diplomatic protocol. What makes this video remarkable is the purposeful decision by Chairman Xi to confront Justin from Canada in front of a western audience. Xi never speaks directly in public and is always aware of cameras. The Chinese Chairman almost always goes through spokespeople to relay his public communication, reserving his voice for controlled and disciplined conversation with national leaders. However, not this time. Chairman Xi dresses down Justin from Canada publicly, in view of cameras and microphones. Watch, and stay with it to the end when Justin from Canada awkwardly looks for somewhere to hide. It’s quite funny.”

Xi Roasts Justin Trudeau At G20 (RT)

Chinese President Xi Jinping has publicly dressed down Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for leaking the content of their meeting to the media. Canadian reporters captured the exchange on video during the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia on Wednesday. Barely a minute long, the exchange opens with Xi, speaking through a translator, telling Trudeau that “everything we discussed has been leaked to the papers.” “That is not appropriate. And that’s not the way the conversation was conducted,” Xi added. “If there was sincerity on your part…” “In Canada we believe in free and open and frank dialogue, and that is what we’ll continue to have,” Trudeau replied, speaking over the translator still trying to finish relaying Xi’s words. “We’ll continue to look to work constructively together but there will be things we will disagree on,” the Canadian leader added.


“Let’s create the conditions [for that] first,” replied Xi, offering Trudeau a handshake. While the Chinese leader smiled and moved on, the Canadian PM walked away from the camera, by himself. What Reuters described as “a rare display of public annoyance” by Xi follows media reports about the contents of his meeting with Trudeau on Tuesday. In the course of the ten-minute meeting, Trudeau raised “serious concerns” about China’s “interference activities” in Canada, ranging from industrial espionage to meddling in the 2019 federal election, a “government source” told AFP. According to the same source, they also discussed the situation in Ukraine, North Korea, and the upcoming biodiversity conference in December, which Beijing and Ottawa are co-hosting.

Read more …

How can you write about him without mentioning the Ukraine-FTX-Democrats connection?

Did SBF Buy Puff-Piece Propaganda? (ZH)

As FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried faces extradition to the USA following his fund’s commingled asset implosion, one might be a bit confused about the gravity of the situation given recent press coverage. For example, the NY Times on Monday published a cowering puff-piece which mentioned exactly none of the major accusations against the well-connected Democrat mega-donor. Months before his firm imploded, Vox penned a slobbering review of SBF’s “Effective Altruism” program, painting him as a benevolent crime-fighter in his efforts to help ensure Joe Biden won the 2020 US election. But his motivations aren’t those of an ordinary Democratic donor — Bankman-Fried told Goldstein that fighting Trump was less about promoting Democrats than ensuring “sane governance” in the US, which could have “massive, massive, ripple effects on what the future looks like.” -Vox

Fast forward to Tuesday, when Vox proclaimed that SBF’s support of Democratic candidates to the tune of $40 million, second only to George Soros, is “massively overstated” and essentially no big deal. And what do we have here? SBF gave millions to corporate media outlets according to Tablet, and noted by @balajis, who suggests that it may have been done with “stolen customer funds.” Over the past two years, Bankman-Fried cultivated the media lavishly, if not carefully. Drawing on what then seemed like an unlimited pool of cash, SBF (as we’ll call the mythologized version of the real person) dispersed investments, advertising dollars, sponsorships, and donations to key news outlets—including ProPublica, Vox, Semafor, and The Intercept—with extraordinary effectiveness. -Tablet

And while some of said outlets (Semafor, and The Intercept for example) covered FTX without obvious bias, recent pieces from Vox suggest the investment has paid off in spades. On Wednesday, Vox must have realized how dumb they looked – leading to Vox’s Dylan Matthews (who oddly took the “Vox” reference out of his Twitter bio earlier today) dumping what appears to be incriminating texts with another Vox journo. And while the NY Times wasn’t on the list of outlets that received money, perhaps SBF’s deep-rooted establishment connections have something to do with it.

Read more …

“While US officials use the “politically correct” rhetoric of multipolarity and multilateralism, the Biden administration is determined to restore a unipolar world..”

American Attempts To Preserve Hegemony Vs The New World Order (Kortunov)

NATO was unexpectedly enriched by two promising members, and the American military-industrial complex entered very attractive new markets not only in Europe but also in other parts of the world. Unprecedented export opportunities have also opened up for US energy companies, which are increasing the supply of their expensive liquefied natural gas to Europe as an alternative to the cheap Russian pipeline variety. Among other things, the current crisis has shown that the intellectual and psychological inertia of the old unipolar world is far from being overcome and continues to actively influence the world’s politics and economics. The surprising unanimity shown by the countries of the European Union in their willingness to reject any form of “strategic autonomy” from the US makes one wonder how serious the desire for this very autonomy was in the first place.

But the recurrence of systemic unipolarity is not unique to the West. For example, the threat of secondary sanctions by the US has in many cases proved to be a decisive factor in determining the opportunities and constraints for non-Western countries to develop economic and other cooperation with Moscow. Under US pressure, Turkey decided to refuse to service Russian Mir payment cards, and China’s Huawei was forced to begin winding down its activities in Russia. The new US National Security Strategy recently signed by Biden is steeped in outright restorationist pathos. The document speaks of the indispensability of American leadership, the unchanging task of “containing” China and Russia, the promotion of liberal values around the world, etc.

While US officials use the “politically correct” rhetoric of multipolarity and multilateralism, the Biden administration is determined to restore a unipolar world, exactly as it existed in the 1990s. To quote a well-known aphorism from the days of the Bourbon restoration to the French throne after the Napoleonic wars, one can state that Washington strategists “have learned nothing and forgotten nothing.” Which is not surprising when you consider what age group Biden, Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump belong to.

Read more …

“We are always concerned when we really don’t know what Erdogan may say or do…”

US Congress Will Continue To Oppose Jet Sale To Turkey – Rep. Malliotakis (K.)

US representative Nicole Malliotakis appeared confident on Wednesday that both the Senate and Congress will ultimately uphold a provision banning the sale of F-16s to Turkey without a firm commitment that the fighter jets will not be used against America’s allies. “We feel that we are in a good place and we are going to continue to advocate for the protection of our allies,” Malliotakis told state broadcaster ERT in Washington, after signing a letter along with another 21 representatives urging US lawmakers to uphold the provision. Despite the fact that the provision was dropped by the Senate in its version of the defense spending bill last month, getting the amendment passed in the first place “played a very strong role and also sent a very strong message to the Administration that there is bipartisan opposition in both the House and the Senate,” Malliotakis, a Republican, said.

“We’re working with Senator Menendez as the chair of foreign affairs and I’ve been working with [Michael] McCaul, who I think might be the next chair of foreign affairs in the House, to ensure that there is a not a sign-off on such as sale,” she added, referring to Senator Bob Menendez, one of the original authors of the amendment. Asked whether support for the provision would continue should the Republican party gain control of the House, Malliotakis said that “a majority of the members of the House still oppose [the sale].” “When we had that amendment come to the floor, we were able to get the Republican votes, and they were the ones that actually passed the bill,” she said.

“We are always concerned when we really don’t know what Erdogan may say or do. He has been acting aggressively and his rhetoric has been disturbing, but that’s why we need members of Congress, we need the Administration to reaffirm its support for our allies in the region,” Malliotakis told ERT.

Read more …

“..a decline in sperm count in North America, Europe, Australia and parts of Asia of 28.5% between 1973 and 2011..”

“..average global sperm count in 2018 was 49 million per milliliter of semen. When a man’s sperm count drops below about 45 million per milliliter, his ability to cause a pregnancy starts dropping dramatically..”

Sperm Counts Plummeting Dramatically – Faster Than Previously Thought (EHN)

For years, scientists across the world have gathered evidence showing declines in sperm quality. Now, new research compiling the results of those studies has found that sperm count has dropped dramatically around the world, and the rate of decline is accelerating.

In a new analysis, researchers at Mount Sinai Medical Center, the University of Copenhagen, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, among others, found that sperm count globally dropped by more than half between 1973 and 2018, and that the decline is accelerating: Since 1972, sperm count has dropped by about 1% each year. Since 2000, the annual decrease has been, on average, more than 2.6%. The findings raise concerns that an increasing number of people will need assistance to reproduce, as well as concerns about the overall health of human society, since low sperm count is linked to higher rates of some diseases. And while scientists are still trying to tease out the reasons for the drop, chemical exposures, especially to pesticides, are a likely factor — and climate change may even play a role. Researchers are calling for urgent action to bolster more research into sperm count, determine the causes of the decline, and prevent further deterioration of male reproductive health. “We have clear evidence that there is a crisis in male reproduction,” Hagai Levine, lead author on the study and an epidemiologist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, told EHN.

The study builds on the team’s previous research, which showed a decline in sperm count in North America, Europe, Australia and parts of Asia of 28.5% between 1973 and 2011. Adding data from 38 studies to the new analysis has made the case for sperm decline stronger, Shanna Swan, an author on the paper and a leading reproductive epidemiologist at Mount Sinai, told EHN. “It’s really alarming,” said Swan, who is also an adjunct scientist with Environmental Health Sciences, which publishes EHN.org. Swan authored the book Count Down: How Our Modern World Is Threatening Sperm Counts, Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development, and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race. The research found that the average global sperm count in 2018 was 49 million per milliliter of semen. When a man’s sperm count drops below about 45 million per milliliter, his ability to cause a pregnancy starts dropping dramatically, said Swan.

She said the results could mean that in the coming decades, large swaths of the global population of men could be subfertile or infertile, or could require assisted reproduction techniques, like in vitro fertilization, or IVF, hormone treatment, or a technique called intracytoplasmic sperm injection, in which sperm are directly injected into an egg. In addition to the drop in average sperm count, Levine said it was surprising that the rate of decline was accelerating, rather than slowing down. “Is there a tipping point, that once you cross, you get an even worse situation?” he said. “That’s something to really pay attention to.”

Read more …

Well, they got the House now… Let’s go!

Fauci’s Pandemic Leadership Needs to Be Investigated – Dr. Scott Atlas (ET)

Former White House COVID-19 adviser Dr. Scott Atlas sees multiple reasons for an investigation into Dr. Anthony Fauci, the outgoing director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Such a probe has been discussed as Republicans inch closer to a House majority that would grant them subpoena powers. Some Republican lawmakers have accused Fauci of playing a role in misleading the public about the origins of COVID-19 and supporting pandemic mandates they describe as draconian. While Atlas, a vocal critic of the NIAID head, is “very skeptical” that an investigation like this could get away from politics or the perception of it being political, he thinks it’s warranted. Fauci’s changing stance on certain COVID-19 policies needs to be put under the spotlight, Atlas recently said on EpochTV’s “Newsmakers.”

“The real, clear public airing of exactly what happened needs to be done,” said Atlas, a senior fellow in health care policy at the Hoover Institution and contributor to The Epoch Times. “I personally am very skeptical that a political investigation, no matter who does it, is going to be done without politics, or if it’s going to be perceived as nonpolitical. I don’t trust people in government at all. They don’t deserve to be trusted, to be objective. “What was the motivation to flip flop multiple times with policy?” His question was referring to Fauci’s changing stance on pandemic school closures that drew criticism in late 2020.

He further questioned if there had been any “cover-up” of funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Fauci’s division, citing the awards to the Wuhan Institute of Virology through the New York nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance as an example. EcoHealth Alliance, which continues to receive millions of dollars in grants from the NIH, was subjected to scrutiny by multiple federal agencies over its partnership with the Wuhan lab. The Office of Investigations of the Department of Health and Human Services in late 2020 briefly opened a probe over alleged “major fraud against the United States.” The probe was closed in January 2021, according to internal documents, which had the reasons for the closure redacted. The allegation states that “the COVID-19 virus was generated in … China with the assistance of an NIH Grant.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Schwab Bali

 

 

 

 

Wray

 

 

 

 

Good morning bear

 

 

Deep Field: The Impossible Magnitude of our Universe

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 162022
 


Rembrandt van Rijn Self portrait with Saskia 1636

 

Russia, India, China, Iran: The Quad That Really Matters (Escobar)
China Embraces Multipolar World – FM (RT)
Findings Suggest Missile That Hit Poland Was Fired By Ukrainian Forces (AP)
Biden Suggests Russia Not Behind Poland ‘Missile Strike’ (RT)
Biden Unveils $37BN More In Emergency Ukraine Aid (ZH)
Conflict In Ukraine Is Hybrid War – Lavrov (RT)
France’s Macron Urges More Chinese Pressure To End Ukraine War (AlA)
US Goal Is To Destroy Russia – Security Chief (RT)
Conflict In Ukraine Best Thing To Happen To US In 10 Years – Roger Waters (RT)
Twitter Blue Was The Most Effective Anti-Capitalist Tool Ever (Blankenship)
The Aftermath and After That (Kunstler)
Roll Back ‘Election Month’ Or Learn To Take Advantage Of It (Fed.)
‘Ballot Curing’ Might Cost Lauren Boebert Her Colorado Seat (Li)
Trump Announces 2024 Campaign: ‘We Have To Get Out Of This Ditch’ (JTN)

 

 

The original western story was that the missile found in Poland was fired by Russia. Now we find it was an S-300 fired by Ukraine, ostensibly to intercept Russian missiles. But S-300 batteries cost $120-150 million each. And: “The S-300 is a series of long range surface-to-air missile systems. Because of the production backlogs and limited fielding to date, few systems will be available for transfer to Ukraine (from Oct 2022). According to the IISS Military Balance, the Ukrainians had about 250 S-300s before the war.

Maybe it’s me, but it sounds curious. And the trajectory also looks weird. It won’t have come from the Polish side. But where then? Belarus is the only option. We’ll keep on reading. BTW: Russia fired 100 missiles into Ukraine. One dead.

 

 

Jesse Watters

 

 

Mr. Wonderful

 

 

 

 


Half of world’s GDP is in 3,6% of the land area.

 

 

“We went from “2 weeks to flatten the curve” to “we’re going to change your child’s sex, ration your food and gasoline, digitize your currency, make ballot gathering and counting a 2 month ordeal, you’ll own nothing and be happy, and if you aren’t, you’re a threat to democracy”

 

 

 

 

What happens in the real world…

Russia, India, China, Iran: The Quad That Really Matters (Escobar)

Southeast Asia is right at the center of international relations for a whole week viz a viz three consecutive summits: Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Phnom Penh, the Group of Twenty (G20) summit in Bali, and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Bangkok. Eighteen nations accounting for roughly half of the global economy represented at the first in-person ASEAN summit since the Covid-19 pandemic in Cambodia: the ASEAN 10, Japan, South Korea, China, India, US, Russia, Australia, and New Zealand. With characteristic Asian politeness, the summit chair, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen (or “Colombian”, according to the so-called “leader of the free world”), said the plenary meeting was somewhat heated, but the atmosphere was not tense: “Leaders talked in a mature way, no one left.”

It was up to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to express what was really significant at the end of the summit. While praising the “inclusive, open, equal structure of security and cooperation at ASEAN”, Lavrov stressed how Europe and NATO “want to militarize the region in order to contain Russia and China’s interests in the Indo-Pacific.” A manifestation of this policy is how “AUKUS is openly aiming at confrontation in the South China Sea,” he said. Lavrov also stressed how the West, via the NATO military alliance, is accepting ASEAN “only nominally” while promoting a completely “unclear” agenda. What’s clear though is how NATO “has moved towards Russian borders several times and now declared at the Madrid summit that they have taken global responsibility.”

This leads us to the clincher: “NATO is moving their line of defense to the South China Sea.” And, Lavrov added, Beijing holds the same assessment. Here, concisely, is the open “secret” of our current geopolitical incandescence. Washington’s number one priority is the containment of China. That implies blocking the EU from getting closer to the key Eurasia drivers – China, Russia, and Iran – engaged in building the world’s largest free trade/connectivity environment. Adding to the decades-long hybrid war against Iran, the infinite weaponizing of the Ukrainian black hole fits into the initial stages of the battle. For the Empire, Iran cannot profit from becoming a provider of cheap, quality energy to the EU. And in parallel, Russia must be cut off from the EU. The next step is to force the EU to cut itself off from China.

All that fits into the wildest, warped Straussian/neo-con wet dreams: to attack China, by emboldening Taiwan, first Russia must be weakened, via the instrumentalization (and destruction) of Ukraine. And all along the scenario, Europe simply has no agency.

Read more …

“Putin had also said that he and Xi “hold largely the same views on addressing the world’s problems.”

China Embraces Multipolar World – FM (RT)

Beijing will cooperate with Moscow to build a multipolar world, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Tuesday, after meeting his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia. “China is ready to work with Russia and other like-minded countries to promote the development of a multipolar world, firmly support the democratization of international relations, and defend the international system based on the United Nations,” he said, according to remarks posted by the Chinese Foreign Ministry. Wang’s phrasing echoes statements made by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping, when they met in Beijing in early February. Putin had also said that he and Xi “hold largely the same views on addressing the world’s problems.”

In a cordial meeting with his Russian colleague on Tuesday, Wang also said Beijing would “continue to take an objective and fair stand” on the conflict in Ukraine and “play a constructive role in facilitating peace talks.” China also praised Russia’s “rational and responsible position” on the use of nuclear weapons. Moscow has repeatedly and explicitly reaffirmed its commitment to the joint statement against nuclear war by the five major atomic powers, adopted in January, that nuclear war is unacceptable and should never be fought. That hasn’t stopped Western governments from accusing Russia of making nuclear threats, as US President Joe Biden did in his meeting with Xi on Monday.


While Xi’s remarks before and after the meeting with Biden expressed a desire to improve relations with the US, the Chinese president also clearly set out Beijing’s “red lines.” He warned the US against supporting separatists on the island of Taiwan and asked Washington to live up to its written commitments. “A statesman should think about and know where to lead his country. He should also think about and know how to get along with other countries and the wider world,” Xi told Biden.

Read more …

Use article 5 against Ukraine?

Findings Suggest Missile That Hit Poland Was Fired By Ukrainian Forces (AP)

Poland said a Russian-made missile fell in the country’s east, killing two people, though US President Joe Biden said it was “unlikely” it was fired from Russia. The blast, which Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy decried as “a very significant escalation”, prompted Biden to call an emergency meeting of G-7 and Nato leaders. A deliberate, hostile attack on Nato member Poland could trigger a collective military response by the alliance. But key questions around the circumstances of the missile launch remained amid the confusion caused by a blistering series of Russian airstrikes across the nearby border in Ukraine, none larger than who fired it. Russia denied any involvement in the Poland blast.


Three US officials said preliminary assessments suggested the missile was fired by Ukrainian forces at an incoming Russian one amid the crushing salvo against Ukraine’s electrical infrastructure Tuesday. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to discuss the matter publicly. That assessment and Biden’s comments at the Group of 20 summit in Indonesia contradict information earlier Tuesday from a senior US intelligence official who told the AP that Russian missiles crossed into Poland. The Polish government said it was investigating and raising its level of military preparedness. Biden pledged support for Poland’s investigation. A statement from the Polish Foreign Ministry identified the weapon as being made in Russia. President Andrzej Duda was more cautious, saying that it was “most probably” Russian-made but that its origins were still being verified.

Read more …

“..it is unlikely, in the minds of the trajectory, that it was fired from Russia..”

Biden Suggests Russia Not Behind Poland ‘Missile Strike’ (RT)

US President Joe Biden said it is “unlikely” that Russia was behind an alleged missile strike on a Polish border town that left two people dead, noting that the trajectory of the munition was inconsistent with an attack launched by Russian forces. Speaking to reporters at the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia on Wednesday morning following early consultations with NATO members, Biden was asked whether it was “too early to say whether this missile was fired from Russia.” “There is preliminary information that contests that,” Biden answered, adding “I don’t want to say that until we completely investigate, but it is unlikely, in the minds of the trajectory, that it was fired from Russia. But we’ll see. We’ll see.”

The White House previously said Biden had convened an “emergency” roundtable among senior officials from NATO states, as well as Japan, to discuss the mysterious explosion in Przewodow, Poland on Tuesday. In a joint statement after the sit-down, the leaders said they agreed to “support Poland’s investigation” into the incident and would “remain in close touch to determine appropriate next steps.” It is unclear what action might be taken in response, as officials say that will be determined by the findings of their probe. However Warsaw previously suggested it could invoke NATO’s Article 4 provision, which requires the bloc’s 30 states to hold consultations if any member believes they are under military threat or wishes to discuss any other “issue of concern.” The measure is distinct from Article 5, a collective security guarantee that compels all NATO states to come to the defense of another member.


According to Reuters, Polish President Andrzej Duda said it is “highly probable” Poland would soon invoke Article 4, though added investigators currently lack concrete evidence pointing to any responsible party behind the blast. While Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky wasted little time before pinning the explosion on Moscow, the Russian Defense Ministry issued a statement denying any responsibility, insisting that photos circulating in Polish media purporting to show missile fragments “have nothing to do with Russian weapons.” The ministry added that such allegations are “a deliberate provocation in order to escalate the situation.” Hours after the blast on Tuesday, the US military said it could not corroborate claims of Russian involvement, apparently rebutting an earlier Associated Press report citing an unnamed US intelligence official who said a Russian missile had struck the Polish village.

Read more …

How much of the previous “aid” did Ukraine “invest” with FTX? That would all be gone now?!

Biden Unveils $37BN More In Emergency Ukraine Aid (ZH)

At the close of a wild roller-coaster of a day following the alleged “Russian missile attack” on a Polish border town, and despite little to nothing in the way of official confirmation of just what happened or whodunnit, and urgent phone calls flying between Western heads of state pledging “solidarity” – it’s perfect timing for the US to shovel out another nearly $40 billion to Ukraine… “President Joe Biden is asking Congress to provide more than $37 billion in emergency aid to Ukraine, a massive infusion of cash that could help support the nation as Russian forces suffer battlefield losses in their nine-month-old invasion,” Reuters is reporting late in the day. Biden unveiled the proposed massive aid infusion while at the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia.

It was also announced just as President Biden held a phone call with Poland’s President Andrzej Duda following the explosion in the village of Przewodów. Biden offered Poland “full U.S support for and assistance with Poland’s investigation” and “reaffirmed the United States’ ironclad commitment to NATO,” according to a call readout. The two leaders also vowed to remain in “close touch to determine appropriate next steps as the investigation proceeds.” According to a breakdown of the fresh aid proposed for Ukraine, it includes “$21.7 billion for military, intelligence and other defense support, $14.5 billion in humanitarian aid and to help keep the Ukrainian government functioning, $900 million for health care and support services for Ukrainians living in the U.S. and $626 million for nuclear security support to Ukraine and for modernizing the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.”


This follows Ukraine’s President Zelensky urging more, more, more weapons and funding, especially missiles, artillery shells, and anti-air defense systems. According to more from Reuters, “Shalanda Young, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, said that more than three-fourths of the $40 billion approved by Congress earlier this year for Ukraine has already been disbursed or committed.”

Read more …

“..Russia is essentially facing Western nations, which triggered the crisis in the first place..”

Conflict In Ukraine Is Hybrid War – Lavrov (RT)

The conflict in Ukraine is a hybrid war, in which Russia is essentially facing Western nations, which triggered the crisis in the first place, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said. He gave the assessment on Tuesday on the sidelines of the summit of G20 leaders in Indonesia. The minister, who heads the Russian delegation, said that the US and its allies were pushing to include the Ukraine issue in the final declaration, which participants are set to sign on Wednesday. “They wanted to add wording that would have condemned the actions of Russia on behalf of the entire G20 club, including Russia itself,” Lavrov said. Moscow’s delegation believes the issue to be irrelevant to the agenda of the gathering, but suggested reflecting the difference of opinion about it, he added.

“Sure, there is a war underway in Ukraine. A hybrid war that was unleashed by the West and which it prepared for many years, starting with the moment it supported the [2014] armed coup [in Ukraine] and the empowerment of openly racist and neo-Nazi powers” there, the diplomat added. The launch this week of an EU mission, which aims to train 15,000 Ukrainian troops over two years, is the latest example of how Western nations are taking part in the “hybrid war”, Lavrov told journalists. The arming and funding of Ukrainian troops, supply of intelligence and assistance in picking targets for military action, which Western nations do, make them participants, he explained.


Lavrov noted that Western nations resembled the USSR in the way they championed the Ukraine cause at unrelated forums. During a Communist Party gathering at some Soviet factory, which was supposed to be about some manufacturing issues, “it was considered correct to start a discussion with the obligatory condemnation of American imperialism. Western nations have used a similar approach at the G20,” he noted. By repeating the mantra about Russia’s supposedly “unprovoked aggression”against Ukraine, Western nations are convincing non-aligned countries that the conflict was actually provoked by them and was not an act of aggression by Russia, but a legitimate response to threats created by the West, Lavrov stated.

Read more …

No, you can’t drive a wedge between China and Russia.

France’s Macron Urges More Chinese Pressure To End Ukraine War (AlA)

French President Emmanuel Macron urged China’s Xi Jinping on Tuesday to bring Russia to the negotiating table over the war in Ukraine, the presidency said. The two leaders held talks just before the opening of the G20 summit in Indonesia, Bali, where Moscow is under pressure over its eight-month invasion and its disastrous consequences for global food and energy prices. Macron called on Xi to “pass messages to President Putin to avoid escalation and return seriously to the negotiating table,” the French presidency told reporters after talks that lasted nearly an hour. The pair shook hands as they opened talks, with Macron saying the nations must “unite forces to respond… to international crises like Russia’s war in Ukraine.”


Xi made no direct mention of the conflict, according to a readout on Chinese state news agency Xinhua, but described the world as being in a “period of turbulence and transformation” and called for “openness and cooperation.” The pair met a day after Xi held marathon talks with US President Joe Biden, with the leaders vowing to prevent their rivalry from spilling over into outright conflict. Xi, on his second overseas trip since the pandemic, has commanded the spotlight in Bali — with officials lining up to hold face-to-face talks with the leader of the world’s second-largest economy.

Read more …

“The US wants to weaken and destroy Russia, and is using Ukraine as a “battering ram” to achieve that goal..”

US Goal Is To Destroy Russia – Security Chief (RT)

The US wants to weaken and destroy Russia, and is using Ukraine as a “battering ram” to achieve that goal, the secretary of Russia’s national Security Council has warned. While Washington declares Russia “a source of instability”, it also fosters “anti-Russian alliances, builds up military strength, deploys NATO forces at our border,” Nikolay Patrushev said on Tuesday during a government meeting. “The puppet Kiev regime, which took power through a coup that was supported by [the US and its closest allies], is being used as a battering ram against Russia,” Patrushev added, as quoted by TASS news agency. “The US goal is to weaken, disunite and ultimately destroy our nation.” The official claimed Washington will stop at nothing to achieve its “selfish goals” aimed at global supremacy and is pushing the world “towards a global war” through policies that pit other nations against each other.


Patrushev made the remarks during a meeting on Russian domestic security, which he chaired in the city of Bryansk. He called for possible safety lapses at strategic sites to be fixed, and said Ukrainian saboteurs pose an increasing threat to Russia and its people. “Attempts to infiltrate Russian territory by members of radical and extremist structures, who seek to conduct sabotage activities and terrorist attacks, have significantly increased,” he stated. Transport and energy sites are of particular interest for would-be plotters, he stressed. Patrushev added that Russian law enforcement agencies have thwarted 28 terrorism-related crimes this year, including nine attempted acts of sabotage.

Read more …

“..because it was “really good for business.”

Conflict In Ukraine Best Thing To Happen To US In 10 Years – Roger Waters (RT)

British rock star Roger Waters has hit out against the US for profiting off of the ongoing military conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which he says Washington allowed to happen because it was beneficial to American interests. Discussing US foreign policy on the Bad Faith podcast on YouTube, the Pink Floyd co-founder stated that the conflict in Ukraine was “the best thing to happen to them in the last 10 years,” because it was “really good for business.” “Part of their business is making money from the war through making weapons and selling them to the people and taking the profits from it,” Waters explained, adding that this money never goes to ordinary people. “It’s not you or me, not ordinary people who invest in the war industry. It’s people with tons of cash, and they get very well paid when there’s war.”


Another benefit of the war for the political establishment, according to Waters, is that it allows it to convince people who struggle to make ends meet and end up homeless that their woes are the fault of the Russians and Putin, who is compared to Hitler and accused of being responsible for “destroying everyone’s lives.” Waters says he has now been banned from performing in Poland for openly criticizing the West’s military meddling and calling for peace between Russia and Ukraine. Previously, the musician had written letters personally addressed to presidents Vladimir Putin, Zelensky and Joe Biden, calling for diplomatic talks to end the conflict, stating it is “the worst possible thing that can be happening,” due to the potential of an all-out nuclear war.

Read more …

??

Twitter Blue Was The Most Effective Anti-Capitalist Tool Ever (Blankenship)

If you’re anything like me then you hate billionaires. In fact, more than that, you also really, really hate the corporations that dominate our day-to-day life. The ongoing controversy surrounding social media platform Twitter, particularly its now-defunct ‘Blue’ paid verification scheme, is embarrassing the world’s richest man and causing large multinationals to lose tens of billions in market capitalization. At the end of October, billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk completed a $44-million deal to take over Twitter. He immediately cut thousands of jobs, including many in the communications department and from high-ranking positions in charge of trust and safety. Then Twitter Blue, a service that provides official verification for an $8-per-month fee, was rolled out. Chaos ensued after that and the service was suspended.

To be specific, tons of impersonators posed as prominent public figures. We saw the fake accounts of George W. Bush and Tony Blair lament that they miss killing Iraqis; meanwhile, someone pretending to be OJ Simpson admitted to murder. But what was more consequential was the fact that large brands were impersonated. For instance, an account claiming to be pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly & Co said the company was giving away free insulin and immediately plunged its stocks. An account supposedly representing Lockheed Martin also said it was halting weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, Israel and the US pending human-rights investigations. The weapons contractor also saw its stocks crater in response to these tweets.


The list goes on. Companies like Chiquita, American Girl, Roblox, BP and Tesla, as well as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) were impersonated by Twitter users and made controversial statements. These ranged from praising apartheid in Israel to saying that a fruit company had overthrown Brazil’s government. For its part, Twitter is in hot water over this situation. That’s obviously why it suspended its verification system, and, at the same time, Elon Musk has said the company could face bankruptcy in the near future. There’s no doubt that the social media platform has lost significant value since the Tesla CEO’s takeover, probably to the tune of several billion. The roll-out of Twitter Blue was a predictable disaster that posed serious challenges to advertisers, clearly, which is why they’ve bounced from the social media platform.

Read more …

“..if she loses, she is prepared to sue the living shit out of Maricopa County election officials and Katie Hobbs – whose position as AZ Secretary of State left her in charge of an election she ran in..”

The Aftermath and After That (Kunstler)

The stalling of election results also allows for wholesale correction of results that don’t come in as desired. At a certain threshold, the Marc Elias Lawfare-sponsored ballot-harvesting machinery kicks in and, voila, ten thousand or so mail-in ballots appear courtesy of, say, the Culinary Workers Union in Nevada, and … problem solved! The correct candidates win! My guess is that this happened in other select districts all over the USA. Will it be detected and looked into? Probably not. That would be election denial, a newly-taboo toxic reservoir of “disinformation.” Which is why the Arizona governor’s race, where the dynamic Kari Lake (R) ran against the inert and corrupt Katie Hobbs (D), is so interesting. Maricopa County, the second-largest election district in the USA, has dribbled out the results all week to make sure it looked like Ms. Lake was losing, while Democratic Party activists scrambled to generate more early mail-in ballots to make sure that Ms. Lake does lose, if at all possible.

Either way, it may not go down so easily. If she wins, Ms. Lake will do everything possible to reform the sketchy Arizona election laws; if she loses, she is prepared to sue the living shit out of Maricopa County election officials and Katie Hobbs — whose position as AZ Secretary of State left her in charge of an election she ran in, and all the janky machinery behind it. The post-election mood across America is labile and incendiary. So-called Red America, the opposition to Woke Jacobin tyranny, smolders in fury facing two more years of censorship, war-mongering, FBI-DOJ-IRS persecution, “vaccine” fuckery, economic breakdown, and the WEF-inspired killing-off of Western Civilization. Blue America, personified by the smugly sclerotic “Joe Biden,” ghoulishly salivates over the dying carcass of the country it intends to devour. Between the two factions there is no space for the normal operation of politics — the contest of ideas about running human affairs — especially with the public arena of speech and ideas in Woke lockdown.


Yet, other events look like they are out-pacing whatever the mood is on any side. So many crises are already underway threatening to upend everyday life that neither Red or Blue Americans will escape hardship and damage. The on-the-ground economy has imploded. Inflation is for-real and is crushing the country’s standard-of-living. Before long, it may shift into deflation, which means instead of having a lot of money losing value, you’ll have no money at all. Rising interest rates killed off the real estate part of the Everything Bubble, and the building, selling, and remodeling of houses has been the locus of the few remaining good-paying jobs. The car industry is dying under several forms of stress: steeply rising unit prices, a strapped middle-class, growing scarcity of capital for lending, broken supply lines for vehicle inventory and parts, and the insane “green” crusade to make all motoring electric. Even fixing things of value — existing houses, cars, machinery in general — becomes increasingly impossible when nobody can get replacement parts to work with.

Read more …

“..the party’s neglect in adapting to our new jungle of an election process.”

Roll Back ‘Election Month’ Or Learn To Take Advantage Of It (Fed.)

Republicans apparently learned very little from the 2020 election which turned voting and vote counting into a chaotic multi-week affair, all to the great advantage of Democrats. After finding their party blown out of the water by early votes and mail-in ballots, both vastly expanded to accommodate the pandemic hysteria, elected GOP leaders seem to have thought to themselves, “Well, better luck next time!” And here we are. In an election year that should have seen major gains for Republicans across the board, the party failed to take the Senate, could still (a week after Election Day) fail to secure the House, and is now on life support for the governorship in Arizona. There isn’t just one reason for the shortcomings but none are more important than the party’s neglect in adapting to our new jungle of an election process.

For the past two years, every Republican should have been either attempting to beat back the flood of “no excuse” mail-in ballots saturating swing states, or building up a party network that could adapt to it. There were some efforts to manage the mail-in voting problem in Arizona and Georgia but otherwise the party said its prayers and hoped for the best heading into the midterms. We see how that strategy turned out. Democrats once again turned on the ignition and their army of activists began knocking on doors and dialing up their reliable voters to be sure that every single one of them knew the time to vote was now. Whether it was three weeks or a month before actual Election Day, it didn’t matter. Now. In response, Republicans donned a toothy smile and told their voters to keep Tuesday open. Wait in line— no matter how long it takes.


True, Republicans tend to be a lot more motivated than Democrats to vote in a non-presidential campaign year. They’re happy to drive to the booth and wait their turn. But the new reality is that elections are happening for weeks before the designated day for official in-person voting. That’s a lot of time for dedicated activists to call or visit the homes of their voters, no matter how unmotivated they are, and tell them that they don’t have to wait at all. They can cast their ballot right now. Want me to do it for you?! Where is Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel on this? Where is National Republican Congressional Committee Chair Tom Emmer? Where is National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair Rick Scott? They’re the ones responsible for leading on these things but they did nothing.

Read more …

Let’s add another week to the counting…

‘Ballot Curing’ Might Cost Lauren Boebert Her Colorado Seat (Li)

Officials will not know the results for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District until at least Thursday because of ballot curing and military and overseas ballots. Incumbent Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert leads Democrat Adam Frisch by about 1,100 votes, which is 0.3%. If it stays that way, they’ll get an automatic recount. What is ballot curing? From Newsweek: “Every year in Colorado, thousands of ballots are reportedly rejected for issues related to signature verification, like a missing signature or a discrepancy in the signature. Local officials then alert voters of the issue, giving them a week time to fix the problem and make their vote count. The process, which is done in 23 other state besides Colorado, is called “ballot curing.”


Frisch said the district has to count between 3,000 and 6,000 votes. However, some think there won’t be much of a change once all the ballots come in: Matt Crane, executive director of the County Clerks Association in Colorado, and says don’t expect a big change. “When a recount happens our experience here in Colorado is that this reflects that the original count was accurate,” he said. Still outstanding are military voters and Coloradoans overseas ballots, many of which may have already been counted. Crane explained, “Colorado has an electronic portal that’s direct to the Secretary of State’s office that allows people to vote electronically and send their votes back that way.”

Read more …

“We want all ballots counted by election night..”

Trump Announces 2024 Campaign: ‘We Have To Get Out Of This Ditch’ (JTN)

Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday evening announced that he would again seek the presidency in 2024, vowing to reverse the policies of his successor, Democrat Joe Biden. “We have to get out of this ditch,” he declared. “I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States,” Trump also said as he spent much of his 70-minute speech lamenting the state of the nation. “This isn’t a campaign,” he contended. “It’s a quest to save our country.” “The Washington establishment wants to silence us, but we will not let them do that,” he told a cheering crowd at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. “What we have built together over the past six years is the greatest movement in history because it is not about politics. It’s about our love for this great country, America, and we’re not going to let it fail.


“We have to get out of this ditch. And once we’re out, you’ll see things that nobody imagined for any country. It’s called the United States of America. And it’s an incredible place.” Trump vowed to impose the death penalty for drug traffickers and called for the elimination of early voting and a return to paper ballots. “We want all ballots counted by election night,” he declared. Throughout the speech, Trump touted his own successes during his time in office, including negotiating the Abraham Accords between Israel and Arab nations, effectively eliminating the Islamic State terror group and achieving American energy independence. “I am running because I believe the world has not yet seen the peak of what this nation can be,” he said. “We have not reached that pinnacle.”

Trump ad
https://twitter.com/i/status/1592738013309972480

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

DeSantis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rhino
https://twitter.com/i/status/1592536293762019328

 

 


Whilst out snorkelling one afternoon in Jervis Bay, photographer Jordan Robins stumbled across this common stingaree slowly hovering above the shallow sand flats. He managed to take this amazing photo where you can see above and below the water.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 092022
 
 November 9, 2022  Posted by at 9:20 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  86 Responses »


Rembrandt van Rijn Portrait of Rembrandt with gorget 1629

 

Super-States in Core Eurasian Geopolitics (Straight-Bat)
Moscow Suggests How Many Countries Want To Join BRICS (RT)
US and Russia To Hold Nuclear Talks (RT)
Why Does The Western Narrative Sound So Stupid And Unrealistic? (Romatzki)
American Pundits Have Got It Backwards About China (Blankenship)
American Voters Don’t Need Russian Trolls To Tell Them How Bad Things Are (RB)
Russian Oil Exports Surging (RT)
Poland Draws A Line In The Sand With The EU (Remix)
EU ‘Sucking Gas Away’ From Poorer Countries (RT)
What Do You Run On….. (Denninger)
Germany Faces Sharp Drop In Real Income (RT)
Polish Ex-PM Links Low Birth Rates To Women Drinking (RT)
Will You Survive The ‘Tripledemic’? (Mercola)
COVID-19 Conspiracies Are a Gateway to Other Conspiracy Theories (SAlert)

 

 

It didn’t seem useful to address the midterms here and now, given the time it will take to count the votes. But at the same time, the voting sucks almost all of the air out of the media. A strange feeling. Nobody talks about Ukraine today.

What I did gather so far is that there was no Red Wave, and Trump endorsements did poorly. While Ron DeSantis won bigly. Which will lead to some head scratching. But overall, prepare for a lot of speculation and likely court cases. The country is divided like never before.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Von Der Leyen is under investigation

 

 

“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”
~ Dalai Lama

 

 

 

 

“..rendering the Western Hemisphere and Oceania geopolitically peripheral..”

Super-States in Core Eurasian Geopolitics (Straight-Bat)

I have been deliberating on the question whether core Eurasia could really be treated as the ‘heartland’, control of which is a prerequisite to exercise total control over the world? Before one could sincerely take up the issue for a discussion, he/she must be able to grasp the definition of ‘core Eurasia’. Geologically, ‘Eurasia’ is a tectonic plate that lies under much of Europe and Asia. However, there is no well-defined geographic boundary of ‘core Eurasia’ in international politics. The European (geopolitical) strategists and Asian intellectuals converge on this subject remarkably well — the landmass that lies between Pacific Ocean in the east and river Vistula plus Carpathian mountain range in the west, and between Arctic Ocean in the north to the line joining Arabian Sea coast-Himalayan mountain range-South China Sea coast in the south can be termed as ‘core Eurasia’.

This particular question has a definite answer – ‘core Eurasia’ indeed can be assumed as heartland because of two reasons. Firstly, the countries that dot the entire landscape of core Eurasia are not only home to 25% of the global population currently but has enough arable land, water, and forest resources for a healthy and continuous population growth. Secondly, the entire landmass of core Eurasia hold deposits of minerals, fossil fuels, rare earth, and gems in disproportionately high quantities compared to its share of total surface area of earth. Hence, the human civilization can grow, sustain, and flourish as a stand-alone phenomenon in core Eurasia even if civilizations in other regions of the world fail to sustain – this, in my opinion, is the single most important characteristic of core Eurasia why it may be considered as the ‘heartland’.

Readers who are conversant with the works of geopolitics pundits like Brzezinski will easily conclude that I don’t subscribe to Brzezinski’s thought on this issue which was centred around ‘exercising power to control the world’ as he noted, “The control over Eurasia would almost automatically entails Africa’s subordination, rendering the Western Hemisphere and Oceania geopolitically peripheral to the world’s central continent.”

Read more …

More than a dozen. Among them: Algeria, Argentina, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Türkiye, Egypt, Afghanistan.

Moscow Suggests How Many Countries Want To Join BRICS (RT)

More than a dozen countries have expressed an interest in joining the BRICS group, which incorporates some of the world’s major emerging economies, as the bloc gains more global standing, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday. Speaking at a meeting with his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Lavrov indicated that membership of the BRICS bloc is in high demand. “The interest in this global association is very, very high and continues to grow,”he said. He confirmed that “more than a dozen” countries are eager to join, including Algeria, Argentina, and Iran. However, Lavrov continued, before accepting any new members, BRICS intends to reach an agreement on criteria and principles for further potential expansion.


“Given that applications are already being submitted officially, we, of course, expect that harmonization of the criteria and principles for the expansion of BRICS won’t take too long,” he said. BRICS is an international socio-economic and political forum, which incorporates Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. It accounts for over 40% of the global population and nearly a quarter of the world’s GDP. The Russian Foreign Minister’s comments come after Algeria applied to become a member of the group, following applications by Iran and Argentina. Algeria’s bid came after Russian President Vladimir Putin called for stronger ties with Middle Eastern and North African countries, arguing that they are playing an “increasingly significant role” in the formation of the “multipolar system of international relations.” The bloc is also expected to consider adding Saudi Arabia, Türkiye, Egypt and Afghanistan.

Read more …

New START.

US and Russia To Hold Nuclear Talks (RT)

American and Russian diplomats will meet to discuss the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty “in the near future,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters on Tuesday. Earlier, Bloomberg and Kommersant cited sources to report that a meeting of the Bilateral Consultative Commission (BCC) may soon be held in Egypt. “We have agreed that the BCC will meet in the near future. Under the terms of the New START treaty, the work of the BCC is confidential, but we do hope for a constructive session,” Price said at a press briefing. The US believes in the “transformative power of diplomacy and dialogue” but is “clear-eyed and realistic” about what it can accomplish when it comes to Russia, Price added.

The conversations are “focused on risk-reduction” but Washington wants to ensure that the ability to pass messages back and forth with Moscow “does not atrophy.” “If there is, and it sounds like there will be, a meeting of the BCC, that is a good thing,” Price added, before correcting himself to say that the meeting will definitely happen. While Price would not name the venue for the meeting, Bloomberg mentioned Cairo as the neutral location more acceptable to Russia than Geneva, since Switzerland has joined the US and EU sanctions against Moscow over the Ukraine conflict. The New START is the last remaining nuclear arms control agreement between the US and Russia, set to expire in 2026 unless renewed. The BCC last met in October 2021.

Moscow suspended the inspection regime under the treaty in August, citing Western sanctions that have prevented Russian inspectors from doing their work in the US, thus putting Washington at an unfair advantage. The Russian Foreign Ministry said the inspections would continue once the principle of parity and equality is restored. Inspections had previously been disrupted by lockdowns in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Read more …

“They are just towing the line, even selling their souls and reputations just to prevent their cancellation.”

Why Does The Western Narrative Sound So Stupid And Unrealistic? (Romatzki)

Reference is constantly made to WW2 , the Cuban Missile Crises, etc. However that was a different world and era where people and leaders still had Values, Religions was strong, Families were strong, where Integrity, Honour, Patriotism, etc. … had meaning ….. a proper culture. This has all been destroyed. By whom? That is a debatable point, but it did happen. Society has been transformed and the Western Culture has been destroyed. There is now very little left of the original culture of the 1950/1960/1970/1980 and before. The family concept is being destroyed. Fewer Children are born, people marry less, Feminism is pushed, Affirmative actions is pushed, Homosexuality is rampant and encouraged, Gender identity is driven to the absurd.,

Science is destroyed by money, etc. Religion has been destroyed by the introduction of other cultures and religions into society. Inter-race marriages have been promoted and encouraged. And then … Wokeness and Cancel Culture has become dominant. With the loss in a stable anchor, derived from one’s family and culture, who can resist these dominant forces? People have become isolated and vulnerable and easy to manipulate. Integrity is thrown out of the window and now everybody is for himself. Gone are the days were one would stand up for his values and deny a job, money or position. All of it has now become monetised and self preservation is the order of the day. Money has played the corruptible factor.

Money and wokeness has become the driving forces of the population. Cancel Culture and Social media have become the tools. Given the facts above, who can then NOT understand why the Western Commentators spew the fake news and ridiculous narratives? In my assessment I believe it is Selfish Interests, Lack of strong Values, Money, Fear of being Cancelled and a lack of proper Information derived from reality, that drives the Western commentators to create such “devoid of reality” narratives. They are just towing the line, even selling their souls and reputations just to prevent their cancellation.

Read more …

“The US is the most cartoonishly nationalistic country in the history of our species..”

American Pundits Have Got It Backwards About China (Blankenship)

In recent years, but notably in the wake of the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) 20th National Congress that just concluded at the end of October, Western writers have rushed to accuse Beijing of becoming anti-Western. This is seen in several examples by Western writers, such as the New Yorker’s Evan Osnos or a quintessential China-blaming piece recently published by the New York Times’ Thomas Friedman. In his article, titled “How China Lost America,” Friedman says that there are four trends in China that have soured the US-China relationship: market manipulation, hyper-nationalism, aggressive foreign policy and Beijing’s “zero-Covid” policy. But he does not elaborate these points to any convincible degree and fails to acknowledge the extent to which Washington’s own policies are to blame for China’s perceived turn from the West.

First of all, a lot of what is called intellectual property theft (which Friedman mentions in his piece) is just ordinary intellectual diffusion. The FBI started an entire ‘China Initiative’ to investigate such instances in top US universities and companies – and it came up almost completely empty-handed to the point that it had to be shut down for devolving into a vehicle for anti-Asian racism. This also doesn’t even acknowledge the extent of the US’ own market manipulation, namely through the sheer influence that its multinationals have in creating trade and economic policy, or its promiscuous use of unilateral sanctions. The US also routinely violates its World Trade Organization (WTO) duties in its trade war against Beijing. The organization even allowedChina to impose duties on $645 million worth of imports over US trade malpractice in January.

For an American to call China hyper-nationalist is laughable. The US is the most cartoonishly nationalistic country in the history of our species: children in most public schools are required to swear a ‘pledge of allegiance’ to the flag every morning, Americans only know one language on average and the American flag is draped everywhere in the country. Chinese people are, on balance, much less chauvinistic and more open-minded. Likewise, it’s hard to take insinuations of Beijing’s supposed “aggressive” foreign policy seriously either. The People’s Republic of China has never started a war since its inception and has not been involved in a proxy war in decades. Compare that to the fact that the US has been at war for nearly every single year of its existence since 1776. It is actually America’s aggressive foreign policy that is prompting resistance from Beijing.

Finally, on the zero-Covid point, this is just sensible policy. Virtually every country in the world has caved into public pressure to relax Covid-related restrictions. That’s fairly understandable because of how ineffective they were in most countries. But that doesn’t change the fact that Covid-19 is an extremely deadly and debilitating disease that is continuing to kill many people and leave many more disabled. If one could choose to eliminate Covid-19 from society, then why wouldn’t they? Thankfully, China has effectively used its technology to do just this – and it works. A January report by Citigroup, based on three surveys conducted by the American Chamber of Commerce China, the EU Chamber of Commerce China and the Japan External Trade Organization, found that China is their favorite investment destination. Among the top reasons listed was the country’s supply-chain resilience and the effectiveness of its Covid-19 controls.

Read more …

Robert Bridge, published on RT and only RT. So for those who can’t access RT, the whole article.

American Voters Don’t Need Russian Trolls To Tell Them How Bad Things Are (RB)

As US voters head to the polls for the much-anticipated Midterms, talk of Russian trolls monkeying with US democracy is back in the news. But does the country really need Russia’s help in “stoking anger” among the electorate? If the hyper-liberal New York Times can be taken at face value just two days before an epic election, Russia’s underground army of trolls is, once again, attempting to seed the minds of malleable US voters to the Kremlin’s advantage. If those charges sounded outlandish in 2016, when the Democrats accused Russian ‘influencers’ of denying Hillary Clinton the presidency, they seem doubly so today. The Times reported that the goal of the reactivated Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg is to “stoke anger among conservative voters and to undermine trust in the American electoral system.

”Judging by the looks of things, the Russians are a bit late to the party. It would be hard to name another period in US politics when the level of anger and distrust has been so extreme, and that is something the Russian trolls, despite their supposed superhuman abilities, can’t take credit for. Take inflation, for example, the single most pressing issue among US voters. It doesn’t require any sort of Russian mind-bending operation to inform Americans that the economic situation is deteriorating before their eyes, and has been ever since Biden entered office. They only need to look at their food and utility bills each month, and the price at the gas pump, to feel fury for what the Biden administration has done to the economy in a shockingly short period of time. Any effort to blame these negative sentiments on “the Russians” is just another way of the Democrats saying that soaring prices is “disinformation”and unworthy of your attention.

The Times mentions another point of contention among US voters, particularly the Republicans, and that is the blank-check powers that have been awarded to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. Citing the work of “cybersecurity researchers,” the article alleges that the Russian influence campaign “appears intended to undermine the Biden administration’s extensive military assistance to Ukraine.”Again, here is an issue that has already been undermined by the Republicans ever since the Democrats commenced with their proxy war in Ukraine against Russia, a massively hazardous venture where no expense is considered too great. On this point, the Democrats are able to claim, much like in 2016, that the Russians and the Republicans are working in collusion, this time against Kiev. The Russians are anxious to see US military spending on Ukraine come to an end as all of those sophisticated weapons are only prolonging the conflict.

Meanwhile, some of the Republicans campaigned on promises to terminate funding to the Zelensky regime and divert those billions of dollars to national security projects, like fortifying their own border and fighting crime. It would be a mistake to think that Americans are not acutely aware of the issues now dividing the country. Every day, social media users can see for themselves everything they need to know about crime, inflation, transgender issues, and the border, to name just a few of the hot-button issues dividing the country. To suggest that Russian trolls are required to “stoke conservative anger” is to grossly underestimate the political intelligence of the average US voter, who appears better informed than ever before. The fact is, the Democrats are afraid of being wiped out in a landslide come Tuesday. Conjuring up the ghost of Russia interference at the 11th hour reveals their insecurity and will provide them some partial excuse in the event of a blowout.

With regards to these latest accusations of election interference, Moscow is understandably losing its patience. It requires either a certain lack of self-awareness, or an astonishing excess of arrogance, for the United States to lecture any country on the question of meddling. After all, in the case of Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 election, we’re talking about a mere $150,000 spent on several thousand Facebook ads, many of which had no political message whatsoever. When it is considered that US presidential elections have turned into multi-billion-dollar pageants, with no expense spared on campaign attack ads, it is hard to imagine that Russia’s severely limited campaign had any effect whatsoever (it needs emphasis that not even Facebook is entirely sure where the posts originated from. Alex Stamos, Facebook’s chief security officer, would only say they “likely operated out of Russia”).

Now compare that to the way the United States “meddles” in the affairs of foreign countries, like Ukraine. In November 2013, after the government of President Viktor Yanukovich opted in favor of closer ties with Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union instead of the EU, protests broke out in the country. How did the United States respond? Not with internet trolls, that’s for sure. It dispatched high-ranking US officials to Kiev, like Senator John McCain and Assistant US Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, where they agitated the masses against the democratically elected government. On the question of who would ultimately govern the splintered country, Nuland was overheard in a phone call with the US ambassador to Ukraine handpicking the eligible candidates.

Once again, the United States proved that there are rules for itself and rules for the rest of the world, and increasingly it is the American people who must pay the price for that supreme arrogance.

Read more …

Seaborne, that is.

Russian Oil Exports Surging (RT)

Shipments of Russian seaborne crude surged to 3.6 million barrels per day last week, reaching the highest since early June, while the less volatile four-week average is the highest since August, Bloomberg reported on Monday. A total of 34 tankers were loaded with some 25.2 million barrels of Russian crude oil in the week to November 4, according to vessel-tracking data and port agent reports, as quoted by the media. That’s up by 3.2 million barrels. The exports were ramped up more than a month before the EU sanctions, supported by the G7 nations and Australia, kick in on December 5. The penalties will see Western companies banned from providing insurance and other services to vessels loaded with Russian crude, unless the cargo is purchased below a yet-to-be-agreed price cap.


The biggest increase, in both volume and percentage terms, was reportedly recorded in shipments from the Arctic terminal of Murmansk. Cargoes carrying Russian oil are becoming more cagey about their destinations, according to Bloomberg. The agency noted a big jump in vessels showing their next destination as Port Said or the Suez Canal, and a drop in the volume on tankers indicating that they’re headed to India. The media highlighted that many more ships carrying crude are leaving Russian ports without signaling a final port of discharge. Russia’s revenues from crude-export duty reportedly rose by $16 million to $149 million in the seven days to November 4, with the four-week average income also increasing, gaining $6 million to $134 million.

Read more …

“The National Recovery Fund for Poland involves €24 billion in grants and €11.5 billion in loans, but it is just one type of fund that Poland has yet to receive from Brussels.”

Poland Draws A Line In The Sand With The EU (Remix)

The Polish government says it will make no further concessions to the European Union in order to unlock tens of billions in EU funding, arguing that Poland has fulfilled all its obligations and Brussels owes them the money. “Poland fulfilled all conditions set by the European Commission regarding the payment of the Recovery Funds it is due,” Polish President Andrzej Duda said. He added that “he does not intend to answer any comments from Brussels on the matter.” Brussels, for its part, has threatened Poland with catastrophic funding cuts totaling up to €110 billion; this would hobble the Polish economy, which has suffered due to the global economic downturn, inflation, and the refugee crisis from Ukraine.

In an interview for the conservative Sieci, Duda admitted that he does not believe that trying to fulfill the expectations of “the other side” could bring any results. “I believe that a lot of good will was showcased from the Polish side,” he stated. “And we know very well that there is a group from Poland there that has a policy of contradicting the basic interests of the Polish state and is content when Poland is being harmed by Brussels,” said Poland’s president. He also mentioned the liberal-left representatives who “have seats in the European Commission and want to change the ruling party in Poland at all costs.” According to the latest statements of the Polish authorities, Poland has still not sent a request for a payment of the Recovery Funds to Brussels.

Meanwhile, information has appeared in the public space that the Commission confirmed that Warsaw has fulfilled 15 out of 20 milestones necessary for the payments of the first tranche of funds. The National Recovery Fund for Poland involves €24 billion in grants and €11.5 billion in loans, but it is just one type of fund that Poland has yet to receive from Brussels. In June, the European Commission finally accepted the Polish plan, however, it made the payment of the funds dependent on the fulfillment of the so-called milestones. In the case of Poland, those milestones concern mostly the judicial system. Brussels does not recognize that Poland fulfilled its obligations, so the payment of the National Recovery Fund remains frozen.

Read more …

“We are borrowing other people’s energy supplies,” Vitol Group Chief Executive Officer Russell Hardy told the media. “It’s not a great thing.”

EU ‘Sucking Gas Away’ From Poorer Countries (RT)

The EU energy crisis is inevitably leading to energy poverty in developing countries, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday citing an energy analyst at Credit Suisse. “Europe is sucking gas away from other countries whatever the cost,” Saul Kavonic told the media. Despite soaring energy bills, the EU is expected to survive the upcoming heating season, as the bloc members have purchased enough oil and natural gas. However, this comes with a high price tag for the world’s poorest nations that have been cut off from the gas market due to Europe’s ravenous demand. Emerging market countries are reportedly at serious risk of being unable to meet their energy needs. Factory shutdowns, more frequent and longer-lasting power shortages, as well as social unrests are the most likely consequences due to the energy security challenges.

Exporters across Qatar and the US are accepting bids from European buyers seeking to purchase as much fuel as possible to fill their storages. That leaves developing countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh and Thailand unable to compete on price with Germany and other bigger economies. “We are borrowing other people’s energy supplies,” Vitol Group Chief Executive Officer Russell Hardy told the media. “It’s not a great thing.” According to traders cited by Bloomberg, soaring prices prompted some suppliers to South Asia to simply cancel long-scheduled deliveries in favor of better yields elsewhere. “Suppliers don’t need to focus on securing their LNG to low affordability markets,” Raghav Mathur, an analyst at Wood Mackenzie said, adding that the higher prices they can get on the spot market more than make up for whatever penalties they might pay for shirking planned shipments.

“LNG will belong first to the ‘developed,’ with the leftovers for the ‘developing.’”the expert said, adding that this dynamic is likely to hold for years. The European Union is struggling with an energy crisis as a result of the reduction of imports from Russia. Earlier, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said that it took the bloc eight months to replace two-thirds of Russian gas supplies. She added that the EU had significantly diversified the range of foreign suppliers, but that had “been costly.”

Read more …

“Biden claims inflation is not his fault and he’s bringing it down by spending more deficit money. This is mathematically impossible, incidentally.”

What Do You Run On….. (Denninger)

…. when you have nothing to run on? Let’s just be straight here, ok — neither party, when you get down to it, has anything to run on. But: When you’re in the left seat, and the plane crashes, its your fault. That’s just how the cookie crumbles. Just as an example the “authorities” won’t release the surveillance or body camera tapes from the Paul Pelosi assault. Why not? The only reason not to is that what’s there renders irrevocably false the story told thus far. In what way? I don’t know, but it doesn’t matter. If the footage documents the affidavit “as told” then there’s no reason not to release it as it will cement the case not only in court but in public opinion as well. Therefore it clearly doesn’t. Biden claims inflation is not his fault and he’s bringing it down by spending more deficit money. This is mathematically impossible, incidentally.

He either doesn’t know this or he’s lying. It matters not which it is; he ran on and promoted blowing more money around so he has no place to hide. Biden told us all that if you took the Covid shots you would not get covid. He said that conclusively. He lied; his top advisor, Birx, has stated in public she knew this was not true before he took office. Therefore either he hired her and is responsible or she told him and he deliberately lied. Either way: He’s in the left seat, he had opportunity to not lie, thus he owns it. On Biden’s watch Ukraine and Russia went to war. Biden has poured tens of billions of dollars and weapons not only in munitions into Ukraine he’s paying the salaries of their people with our money. The total at this point is well over $100 billion, which is a quite-material part of the fiscal deficit.

By what authority? Well, Congress appears to be ok with it, aren’t they? Indeed. Who controls Congress? Uh huh. Oh, spending more money than you take in causes inflation? Well, prosecuting this war over there is part of it then, on purpose. Again, sit in the left seat, you’re responsible when there’s a smoking hole in the ground and nothing larger than a quarter can be identified. There have been a couple of million people streaming into our nation illegally over the last two years. Inflationary? You bet. What’s worse? The guy who is accused of attacking Pelosi is here illegally and has been for years. How many others have been victimized by criminals who were here illegally? Remember “A Girl in Iowa” anyone? Sit in the left seat, it’s your problem, especially when you sue, as Biden has done, to block Arizona and others from sealing said border.

Biden has declared war on carbon-based fuels. Refiners are closing and have on his watch and will not restart because he has made clear that any investment in them is a zero. It is his expressed intent to destroy said investment so nobody will make it. Do you light $100 bills on fire for fun? Neither does anyone else, so if you think gas or diesel prices are coming down on a durable basis exactly how when there is no increase in refining capacity coming online to meet demand? You can’t build an electric car without carbon-based fuels and in fact to build and operate one requires more carbon-based fuel than just refining and burning the gasoline. This is fact and yet Biden does not care if you get screwed.

Read more …

Germany faces many problems. A drop in income is not the worst.

Germany Faces Sharp Drop In Real Income (RT)

The German economy is expected to lose billions of euros by the end of 2023 due to skyrocketing energy prices, the Ifo Center for Macroeconomics said in a report published on Tuesday. According to the forecast, real income loss will reach €110 billion ($110 billion) during the 2021-2023 period, which equals 3% of Germany’s annual economic output. “The only time this figure was higher was during the second oil crisis of 1979-81, when the loss in economic output was 4%,” said Timo Wollmershaeuser, senior economist at Ifo. The surge in energy prices is expected to take a heavy toll on the German economy this year, with an anticipated €64 billion loss, or 1.8% of the country’s output.


The estimated loss for 2021 exceeded €35 billion, and a €9 billion drop is expected for 2023, according to Ifo. German citizens will continue to feel the impact of the energy crisis over the next few years with a drop in real incomes, Wollmershaeuser warned, adding that losing Russia as the main energy supplier will result in long-term high oil and gas prices. He also predicted that Germany will not wean itself off energy imports “overnight” as the country has long been dependent on external supplies. In late October, Ifo predicted that the German economy would contract by 0.6% in the fourth quarter. According to an Economy Ministry forecast, Germany will see growth of 1.4% this year and a 0.4% slump next year.

Read more …

Stunning.

Polish Ex-PM Links Low Birth Rates To Women Drinking (RT)

The leader of Poland’s ruling conservative Law and Justice Party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, has claimed that women are choosing not to have children because they drink too much. The former prime minister made the remarks on Saturday during a trip to Elk, a city in northeastern Poland. Reflecting on the country’s low birth rate, Kaczynski said “cultural factors”contribute to a woman’s decisions on childbearing, and “it is sometimes necessary to say bitter things openly.” “If, for example, it is maintained that, until the age of 25, young women drink as much as men of their age, there will be no children,” Kaczynski said. “Remember that a man, in order to become an alcoholic, has to drink excessively for 20 years on average… while a woman has to do it for only two years.” “I say this seriously,” the conservative politician stated, adding that he knew a doctor who “managed to cure a third of his male alcoholic patients, but no women.”


“I really am a sincere supporter of women’s equality, but I’m not in favor of women pretending to be men and men pretending to be women because it is something completely different,”Kaczynski said. “This is a typical statement from a patriarchal grandpa during a traditional Polish wedding,” said Joanna Scheuring-Wielgus, a legislator from the New Left party, dismissing Kaczynski’s words as “foolish.” Her fellow MP Urszula Paslawska said she does not know “whether to laugh or to cry.” Another New Left lawmaker, Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bak, argued that alcohol affects the fertility of both men and women. “In order to have children, other issues need to be solved, and Kaczynski is silent on them,” she said. “There is a shortage of two million housing units in Poland, so young people have to live with their parents.” She added that women, including mothers, need better protection in their jobs and in the labor market.

Read more …

RSV [respiratory syncytial virus] is the flavor of the day for Big Pharma.

Will You Survive The ‘Tripledemic’? (Mercola)

As predicted, “health experts” are starting to call for voluntary indoor masking again,(11) even though all the evidence garnered over the past three years confirms what we already knew in 2020, which is that face masks do nothing to stop viral infections. And, as before, in the absence of actual scientific evidence the narrative focuses instead on virtue. Masking up is said to be a way to protect everyone,(12) so just “do your part” and wear it, even though, in reality, it protects no one. The same goes for vaccination. Both the flu vaccine and the COVID shots are proven ineffective, yet the recommendation(13) to get them continues. And this season, you’re expected to get both! The fact that RSV [respiratory syncytial virus] is now being highlighted as a severe risk is understandable in light of the fact that the first-ever RSV vaccines are now in the pipeline.

According to CNN,(14) four different RSV shots are “nearing review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration” and more than a dozen others are in trials. This includes a “long-acting injection” specifically for babies, to be given “right after birth” to protect them from RSV “for as long as six months.” If that’s not a perfect example of how the media tries to change the perception of the basic meaning of a term, I don’t know what is. Six months is hardly long-acting! Historically, most vaccines have at least offered antibody-only “protection” for years, not months. Please recognize all vaccines fail to use cellular immunity to protect you, which is far more important than humoral antibody protection. This extremely short duration of antibody-only protection appears to be a hallmark of mRNA technology however, and indeed, at least some of these new RSV shots are mRNA based.

Moderna has announced it is working on an mRNA jab for RSV, which is scheduled for release in 2023.(15) They’re also working on a combination mRNA jab for COVID, RSV and the flu. (Ultimately, Moderna wants to create an annual mRNA shot that covers all of the top 10 viruses that result in hospitalizations each year.[16]) Janssen is also working on an RSV shot using an adenovirus vector, the same technology used in its COVID shot, while Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) are testing “protein subunit” RSV vaccines for pregnant women and seniors.(17) According to Forbes,(18) Pfizer announced November 1, 2022, that it is ready to seek FDA authorization for its RSV vaccine. In clinical trials this shot was given to pregnant mothers and the efficacy was measured not by whether it prevented RSV, but by severity of the infection in hospitalized babies during their first months of life.(19)

Read more …

Pretend science. What insane nonsense.

COVID-19 Conspiracies Are a Gateway to Other Conspiracy Theories (SAlert)

Thinking that the COVID-19 pandemic is in some way a hoax could serve as a ‘gateway’ for individuals to engage with more complex conspiracy theories, claim a team of researchers from Ohio State University in the US. According to a recent analysis of two longitudinal studies that tracked participant beliefs in various theories, mistrust in expertise over real-world events can quickly bloom into a general acceptance of conspiracy theories that aren’t supported by robust evidence. The technical term here is conspiracist ideation, which measures someone’s confidence in explanations of events that rely on the power of groups to manipulate outcomes to an unlikely, if not near impossible degree.

For the study’s purpose, the researchers considered conspiracy theories to be beliefs that aren’t supported by any evidence – and which are actually contradicted by the evidence that does exist. These can be anything from believing the Moon landing was staged to thinking that legitimate elections are rigged. In the case of COVID-19, conspiracy theories include the idea that the pandemic was largely exaggerated by the government or the media, and the belief that the virus was released on purpose by a particular agency for sinister means. “It’s speculative, but it appears that once people adopt one conspiracy belief, it promotes distrust in institutions more generally – it could be government, science, the media, whatever,” says psychologist Russell Fazio, from The Ohio State University.

“Once you start viewing events through that distrustful lens, it’s very easy to adopt additional conspiracy theories.” Two different studies were the focus of the analysis. The first queried 107 participants about their beliefs in June 2020. In December of that year, a second study looked at how individuals who considered COVID-19 to be a hoax progressed in their conspiracist ideation. Statistical analysis showed that those who believed the SARS-CoV-2 virus was deliberately released or that the severity of the COVID-19 outbreaks was exaggerated were also more likely to distrust the official results of the 2020 US election. What’s more, members of the ‘conspiracy minded’ group also tended to show an increase in conspiratorial thinking between June and December.

The second study used publicly available data from 1,037 participants, surveyed between March 2020 and December 2020. Again, belief that the pandemic was a hoax predicted a rise in conspiracist ideation over the course of the year. “If you read interviews or forums frequented by conspiracy theorists, you see a phenomenon where people tend to go down the rabbit hole after something happens in their life that triggers general interest in conspiracy theories,” says psychologist Javier Granados Samayoa, from The Ohio State University. “With COVID-19, there was this large event that people could not control, so how could they make sense of it? One way is by adhering to conspiracy theories.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Chaplin

 

 

“There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward.”
~ Khalil Gibran

 

 

Marvin Gaye

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 012022
 
 November 1, 2022  Posted by at 12:11 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  24 Responses »


Vincent van Gogh Quay with Men Unloading Sand Barges 1888

 

 

A comment by notorious daily commenter Dr.D. on Sunday took me back a few years. He was reacting to someone who wrote this about our take on the Ukraine situation:

“I am just adding a little balance to a very one sided group who have very deep seated bias against the West and are blind to any faults on the other side.”

Absolutely brilliant. People easily forget that they are being bombarded with one-dimensional echo chamber “news” 25 hours a day, and when someone says something that differs from this, they think they must parrot the 25 hour-a-day stuff to provide “balance”. The MSM can spout one dimension as much as they wish, but if you call BS on that, you have to quote the entire echo chamber, or you are not believable. I swear people don’t see that they are doing it.

That is exactly what happened in 2015 when Trump “unexpectedly” became a threat to Hillary’s god-adorned aspirations. The entire media apparatus, with very few exceptions, started churning out a hundred Orange Man Bad pieces a day. And when I dared put out some different views, I became a blind Trump groupie. Then, just as now, I said: we ARE the balance. To be credible to these folks, I should have said bad things about Trump. But everybody was already doing that. So we wouldn’t have added anything, just confirmed bias.

In the same vein, many people became labeled dangerous anti-vaxxers for asking questions about Pfizer and Fauci and his gang. It’s such a predictable chain of events, it’s embarrassing. Well, nobody was ever investigated and persecuted to the extent that Trump was, and every last little bit of it fell flat on its face. But it still goes on. Inside the echo chamber, nobody hears the echo.

The evidence of harm done by the vaccines, lockdowns and masks is slowly creeping out into daylight despite the biggest cover-up campaign in history, but the vaccines and mandates also continue. It takes a long time to right so many wrongs. Because a lot of influential people would have to eat a lot of crow, and they lean on each other. And on Pfizers payouts.

And now we play the same fools game, because, as Dr. D. says below: “What did Russia do to us? Even after 1945? Not much really. We hated them on general principles of rival powers: ‘Keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down’ – 1st NATO commander. “

To repeat, we ARE the balance, we don’t have to provide it, it’s all already there right in front of your eyes.

Here’s the Dr.:

 

 

Dr. D.: I dunno, there’s a lot of history to go around. We’re hearing a lot of anti-Russia, in general news, we here become the counterweight to that, and then you become the counter-counter weight, or…simply the party line? See why it doesn’t go off well.

Oh yeah, there’s a lot in all those parts. I don’t especially care about either of them because they’re not my countries, but the thing has been run so badly they’ve given me strong opinions I don’t want. Of our own country antagonizing them, like everyone else on earth. And Ukraine, or translation: “Borderlands” have been a Western special-op for CENTURIES. The Vatican and West were meddling there to piss off Russia in order to shove back Eastern Orthodox rivals. The Holodomor was real and I used to mention it quite often. However, that doesn’t mean that Stalin’s enemies, who would have flipped his government, weren’t actually from there, because, again, the British and other countries are always there, always doing the same thing.

“Charge of the Light Brigade.” This time Stalin got off the British/Western leash they assassinated the Tsar Nickolas for…and all his heirs of course. They were British family – as they’re all inbred with the Coburg Saxes – so it’s either more brutal, or the more’s I don’t care being an American. Let them. But I would expect they were using Ukraine as always to recapture Russia for the British/NY Bolsheviks they paid a fortune to install. …They did steal all the gold in Russia and sent it to London under Trotsky tho, so they broke even.

You have to understand, and from the “Poland Invades” article that — unlike the U.S. and Oz — there are no stable borders there. There is no “Poland”. There is no “Ukraine”. There is no “Germany”. Those ethnic peoples live all over and the borders change every 50 or 70 years in yet another war, going back to the stone age. So Russia has been “invaded”, and also “invaded” others. But most of the time, who can tell? Right now Russia has “invaded” to “make” Russians Russia. Which they already were. And already wanted. And the Ukrainians by shelling them showed they didn’t want it. Does that make any sense?

And no, it’s nowhere near just those four Oblasts, for example Yanukovych got about 50% of the vote, right down Russian/Ukraine lines, and that was pretty normal going back to Ukraine’s independence, which was a totally new event, as Ukraine wasn’t a country with these principles or borders ‘til 1990. Is that one of the youngest nations on earth? So which Ukraine are we supporting? Ivan’s? Nicholas II’s? Stalin’s? Khrushchev’s? Biden and London support Khrushchev, it seems, and no surprise. So Russia could take about half the country, which is well over 60% Russian support, and probably will. We’ve said this many times, including the people you disagree with, like Lira. They will carve off the rest in pieces as being too much trouble, and hand that trouble to Poland, but remains to be seen as you say.

 

Was Maidan real? Yes. All Color Revolutions are “real”. The same way the Summer of Love non-stop riots and murders by BLM and Antifa are “real”. There are ALWAYS grievances and differences, NATO and the Lettermen pay huge money, easily seen, to fund the dissent, pay the protestors (this was wide open and reported) and provide the fringe with guns and training. Poland’s no different. Sure, a lot of Poles, maybe 90% of them didn’t like the Russian control. I wouldn’t either. But that doesn’t mean MI6 didn’t send millions a month there to stir up trouble: we know they did and MI6 is very proud of it. When the USSR fell, they didn’t stop or anything, they stole Poland and then used Poland to steal Russia like all nations would. So is that “Real”? Or “Not Real”? If I pay $1M for your neighbor to hate you and give you a hard time, does he really? Or if I stopped would he stop too? The world may never know because MI6 and others will never stop.

Easy to see real conflict between Poland, Lithuania, even Finland, a little over that. What’s hard to see is the far harsher, irrational, unforgiving hatred of Russian ALLIES to hate and destroy them. Again, Britain and the U.S. were Russian – Soviet, Stalin’s – ALLIES. What did Russia do to us? Even after 1945? Not much really. We hated them on general principles of rival powers: ‘Keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down’ – 1st NATO commander. That was the PURPOSE of NATO. To destroy Germany like they did last week with NordStream. What? Why? Why keep the Germans down? For that matter, why keep the Yanks in? GTFO. Said so at the time. Say so every day.

What Atonement would or should Russia make? They were destroyed and their life expectancy dropped by 10 years. They were mercilessly plundered by the West. Don’t you think they paid and WE should be the ones to atone now? Poland said Ukraine never apologized or atoned for them either, if we’re all picking sides here. So maybe we should invade Ukraine and give it to Poland? The U.S. not only hasn’t atoned, but commits a new invasion and war crime daily, and use Australian help to do it. I could care less if anyone atones compared to just stop doing it, which is about all we can ask.

Like, as you say, China, which is making daily moves to do this right now, undermining nations, making trouble, buying politicians, setting up their own police. Who atones first? Them? Or us for doing the same thing to them since 1949? They only JUST stopped a color revolution there, with the Umbrella Fiasco, and we’re trying to cripple them, their chips, Taiwan, their food, and any other murder we can think of.

And back to Ukraine: no, the war is not organic, is obviously and enormously paid for, wide open in the news. Like if I pay your neighbor $50B to kill you, that’s CLEARLY not organic. By us, the U.S. U.K. and Oz, and Ukraine, as a country that sort of doesn’t exist is split several ways but at a minimum half and half Ukr and Rus, as seen in the entire 30 year history of voting. Russia is merely taking the 90+ Russia supporter areas (so far), not even the 80% voters that run over to the Dnieper. That’s actually UN approved, as it’s bloody Chapter 1, Article 1, “To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples.”

It was re-affirmed in 14 December 1960 with the “Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples”, which supported the granting of independence to colonial countries and people by providing an inevitable legal linkage [of] self-determination”

 

This of course is when the wind blows from the west and the UN can tell a hawk from a handsaw. All even-numbered days they declare every existing borders worldwide is sacrosanct (except our own) and you can’t just rewrite them or secede ‘cause you feel like it. The two legal principles are in direct opposition, so they simply pick whatever London and NY prefer at the time. It’s an even-numbered day today, so London sez Crimea and Ukraine are illegal votes, but India and Serbia are legal ones. When they lost in 2013 and Ukraine democratically voted to side (trade) with Russia, they called shenanigans and ran an open, paid, illegal coup AGAINST democracy and self-determination which remains to this day.

So…what do you mean? The only power is POWER. The only purpose is POWER. Law is what you can enforce with a gun. By murdering Russians. London enforced Ukraine with a gun in Kiev from 2013 to now. Russia is merely un-enforcing a small part of it. See?

 

 

 

We try to run the Automatic Earth on donations. Since ad revenue has collapsed, you are now not just a reader, but an integral part of the process that builds this site. Thank you for your support.

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime. Click at the top of the sidebars to donate with Paypal and Patreon.

 

Sep 292022
 


Kazimir Malevich Sportsmen 1931

 

A Possible Strategy For Peace (Gav Don)
American Roulette (Batiushka)
Fourth Leak Found On Nord Stream Pipelines, Swedish Coast Guard Says (R.)
Nord Stream Damage Might Be Irreparable (RT)
Denmark Comments On Future Of Nord Stream (RT)
Lugansk Republic And Kherson Region Appeal To Moscow (RT)
Germany and EU Have Been Handed Over A Declaration Of War (Escobar)
Poland Wants ‘Devastating’ Retaliation Against Russia (RT)
Poland Attacks Germany And Blames Russia (John Helmer)
The Anglo-American Axis Benefits (Korybko)
Kremlin Says Nord Stream Explosions ‘A Big Problem For Russia’ (RT)
Russia Issues Emergency Call To UN Security Council (RT)
Brussels ‘Imposes’ Anti-Russia Sanctions On EU Members – Orban (RT)
EU To Ban Russian Toilet Paper (RT)
Giorgia On Our Mind (Escobar)

 

 

 

 

More Meloni

 

 

 

 

 

 

Record debt + record drawdown = strong dollar.

 

 

RIP

 

 

 

 

“If a negotiated peace is not available Moscow can still opt for an imposed one, in which it would complete the occupation of Donetsk Oblast and call a unilateral halt to offensive operations.”

A Possible Strategy For Peace (Gav Don)

Notwithstanding the Nordstream attacks it is possible to see, inside the announcements and moves that have emerged this week, the skeleton of a Russian strategy towards a negotiated peace with Kyiv. An uncomfortable one, to be sure, but peace nevertheless. If a negotiated peace is not available Moscow can still opt for an imposed one, in which it would complete the occupation of Donetsk Oblast and call a unilateral halt to offensive operations. Presented with that fait accompli Kyiv is likely to continue its present policy of shelling civilians in Russian-occupied territory wherever its guns can reach – a policy in blatant breach of the Law of Armed Conflict but one which has been consistently and thoroughly ignored by the major media channels in both Europe and the USA, and even by Turkish and Iraq media.

An enforced peace would therefore require Russia to create and police an effective artillery “no fire” zone for some 20 kms west of its new imposed border with Ukraine, and a “no-rocket” zone for another 50 kms on top. Russia’s present artillery and rocket forces cannot do that, since Ukrainian artillery can evade counterbattery fire by the tactic of “shoot and scoot”. Russian air forces are also unable to enforce a no-fire zone because at high altitude they are vulnerable to a SAM shoot-down, and at low altitude to the widespread presence of Man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS). To create an effective no-fire zone Russia needs a force of unmanned drones capable of delivering 20-40 kgs of high explosive within 2 metres of their targets, both stationary and evading counterfire in “scoot” mode.

These drones would have to be sufficiently numerous to give saturation coverage day and night, working in pairs (so that one of the pair can engage MANPADS and SAM launchers which target the other member of the pair), and cheap enough to be disposable. At the start of the war Russia did not have a drone with those specifications, but now it does. The 1,000 or so Shahed 136 drones ordered this month are beginning to arrive (the first examples of 136 wreckage with their distinctive wingtips have now appeared in Ukraine). Russia has renamed the model the Geranium.

The 136 is an ideal candidate for enforcing a deep no-fire zone. Its 36 kg warhead can completely destroy a heavy artillery piece, a mortar or a Multiple Launch Rocket launch truck. The 136 can loiter for some 20 hours at heights well above the reach of MANPADs, before being dived onto the target by its operator. It can also carry out a chase of a moving target (it was a 136 which hit the bridge of the merchant ship Mercer Street while under way off Oman last year), and can break away and re-attack repeatedly if the target evades successfully.

Read more …

“..when you depend on that someone else for vital gas, oil, fertiliser, wheat, paper, titanium etc, maybe you really should after all make an effort to understand their viewpoint.”

American Roulette (Batiushka)

1. Another Ukraine There will always be an East Slav-speaking country between south-eastern Poland and south-western Russia, whatever it will be called. However, in the future it will be a country within its natural borders, occupied only by those who voluntarily identify with the government and culture in their capital of Kiev. Moreover, deNazified, it will present no military, biological or nuclear threat to its neighbours and will be independent of geopoliticians in Washington and Brussels.

2. Another Russia As a result of the War against NATO, Russia will be freed of the froth of Westernised sycophants formed in the 1990s, the liberal chattering classes, called in Russian ‘the creative class’. The 5% who are enserfed to the West and its overpriced consumer baubles are only repeating the treason of the Westernised ruling class and traitors from before 1917 who also wasted their fortunes on overpriced Western consumer baubles. Those who will continue to behave like chimpanzees with regard to their Western lords and masters should go and live in the West, if they have not already fled Russian justice for Finland, Georgia or elsewhere. Russia at war against NATO (= the US) is a land that needs patriots, not traitors.

3. Another Europe At the present time Central and Western Europe risk ‘Donbassisation’ as a result of US demands for absolute obedience to their anti-Russian tyranny, known as ‘sanctions’. This means that NATO-ised Central and Western Europe will become deindustrialised, impoverished, cold, hungry and also left defenceless, as their arms will have been destroyed in the Ukraine. However, it is only at that low point that they will begin to understand that their future is not across the Atlantic, but next door, with Eastern Europe and Eurasia, the gateway to Asian growth and prosperity.

4. Another World Seven billion of the eight billion people of the world, 87.5% of the planet, await the day of freedom from Western imperialism, exploitation and nuclear threats, aspiring to humanity, truth, justice and prosperity. Their only hope is the coming Russian victory over the US. Once that is here, much will fall back into its natural place. Asia with China and India, Africa, Latin America and all the Western peoples (basically, Western and Central Europe, North America and Oceania), so long oppressed by the gloomy darkness of the feudal Western elite, will be able to follow in Russian footsteps and walk, at first dazzled, into the bright daylight of freedom.

In 1939, quite infamously, Winston Churchill expressed his extraordinary ethnocentric ignorance by calling Russia ‘a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma’. Like many ignorant people, he was of course talking about himself. When you cannot be bothered to understand someone else’s viewpoint, just call it ‘a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma’. You will then have successfully defined yourself as a blinkered and selfish narcissist. The only thing is, when you depend on that someone else for vital gas, oil, fertiliser, wheat, paper, titanium etc, maybe you really should after all make an effort to understand their viewpoint. Otherwise, they will definitely consider your death-wish, the totally suicidal behaviour of your American Roulette as, ‘a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma’.

Read more …

No surprise.

Fourth Leak Found On Nord Stream Pipelines, Swedish Coast Guard Says (R.)

Sweden’s coast guard discovered a fourth gas leak on the damaged Nord Stream pipelines earlier this week, a spokesperson told the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper. The European Union suspects sabotage was behind the gas leaks on the subsea Russian pipelines to Europe and has promised a “robust” response to any intentional disruption of its energy infrastructure. “Two of these four are in Sweden’s exclusive economic zone,” coast guard spokesperson Jenny Larsson told the paper late on Wednesday. The other two breaches are in the Danish exclusive economic zone.


The coast guard did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on Thursday. While neither pipeline was in use at the time of the suspected blasts, they were filled with gas that has been spewing out in the Baltic Sea since Monday’s ruptures. The fourth leak was on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, in close proximity to a larger hole found on the nearby Nord Stream 1, the Swedish coast guard said.

Read more …

This looks overdone. Maybe go look first?! They will have to take out damaged pipes anyway. Once that is done, the salt will be removed with pressurized gas. An issue only if it takes years to repair.

Nord Stream Damage Might Be Irreparable (RT)

What is being touted as potential sabotage on the Russian Nord Stream gas pipelines might have dealt them irreparable damage, Germany’s Tagesspiegel reported on Wednesday, citing “government circles.” The two pipelines were seriously damaged earlier this week. If the damage is not repaired quickly enough, too much salty sea water could run into the pipes lying at the bottom of the Baltic Sea and irreversibly corrode them, German officials have warned, according to the news media outlet. Denmark said on Wednesday that its authorities would be able to launch a probe into the issue no sooner than in a week or two due to “safety concerns,” Tagesspiegel added. The media outlet does not mention any plans for repair work by either Russia or Germany.

A group of senior German MPs were quick to point the finger at Russia and blame Moscow for the incident. “An attack on the energy supply infrastructure is intended to spread fear and terror,” Roderich Kiesewetter, a German MP and spokesman for crisis prevention for the Conservative Union parliamentary group, told the RND media group. “Therefore, it is likely that Russia is trying … to stir up uncertainty among the European population” and supposedly demonstrate its ability to attack critical infrastructure, he added, accusing Moscow of employing a “state terrorism” approach. The head of the German parliament’s Defense Committee, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, told journalists that “it cannot be ruled out that [such attacks] will be directed by Russia in order to shake our markets.”

She also used the occasion to call on Germany and the EU to “free” themselves from the “dependence on Russian raw materials as quickly as possible.” Danish authorities confirmed leaks on the pipelines on Monday after their operator reported a loss of pressure on both Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines earlier that day. Danish and Swedish authorities then spoke of a series of undersea explosions in the area. Russian, American, and Swedish authorities said the leaks might have been the result of a deliberate attack. The EU vowed “the strongest possible response” to any attacks on its active energy infrastructure but stopped short of naming any suspects in the Nord Stream incident. Russia branded the incident a “terrorist attack” and said it would summon a UN Security Council meeting over it.

Read more …

Maybe not so irreparable.

“German gas pipeline grid company Gasunie Deutschland said the damage could be repaired. “There are good teams in place to handle pipeline accidents, there are emergency pipe inventories and experts for onshore and offshore..”

Denmark Comments On Future Of Nord Stream (RT)

More than half of all of the gas contained in the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines has spilled out, the head of the Danish Energy Agency, Kristoffer Boettzauw, told journalists on Wednesday. The pipelines suffered a leak on Monday following what many officials suspect to have been a deliberate attack. Gas will keep leaving the pipes until at least the end of the week, Boettzauw said, speaking about a future investigation into the incident. Only after the pipes run out of gas can the Danish authorities “try to get out and investigate what the cause is, and approach the pipes,” he added. The ongoing emissions are not poisonous, the nation’s specialists said, according to the media.


Denmark’s energy agency also said that the leaks could discharge an equivalent of one third of Denmark’s total annual greenhouse emissions. The pipelines’ operators told the Danish authorities that the damaged pipes contained a total of 778 million standard cubic meters of natural gas. Earlier, the German media warned that the pipes could be rendered permanently inoperable if the damage was not repaired before sea water got into the pipes and corroded them. German gas pipeline grid company Gasunie Deutschland said the damage could be repaired. “There are good teams in place to handle pipeline accidents, there are emergency pipe inventories and experts for onshore and offshore,” its managing director, Jens Schumann, told Reuters, adding that he was “relatively optimistic” about the prospect of repair work.

Read more …

Russia is bringing troops to the regions, some newly conscripted, AND some from the northern Ukraine border.

Lugansk Republic And Kherson Region Appeal To Moscow (RT)

The leader of the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) and his counterpart in Kherson Region have officially asked President Vladimir Putin to be accepted into the Russian Federation. The move follows referendums on joining Russia, where the overwhelming majority voted in favor. In a video address published on Wednesday, LPR leader Leonid Pasechnik said the republic’s residents have not received support from any country other than Russia, and have been continuously bombarded by Kiev’s forces for the past eight years. Vladimir Saldo, leader of Ukraine’s Kherson Region, which is now mostly controlled by Russian forces, penned a similar address to Putin on Wednesday. In his letter, he also asked for his territory to be accepted into Russia, stating that the people of Kherson have expressed their desire to “reunite” with the country, which has “always lived in their hearts.”


The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (LPR and DPR), along with Kherson Region and part of Zaporozhye Region in southern Ukraine, voted to join Russia in referendums that were held between September 23 and 27. While the process of officially integrating these new provinces into the Russian Federation may take some time, as it requires approval from parliament and the president, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has expressed optimism that it will be done “fast enough.” Meanwhile, the EU and the US have called the referendums a “sham” and have vowed to “never recognize” the regions as part of the Russian Federation.

Read more …

“The crucial vector is that we may be facing the case of a EU/NATO member involved in an act of sabotage against the number one EU/NATO economy. That’s a casus belli.”

Germany and EU Have Been Handed Over A Declaration Of War (Escobar)

It gets curiouser and curiouser when we know that simultaneously to the sabotage the Baltic Pipe from Norway to Poland was partially opened, a “new gas supply corridor” servicing “the Danish and Polish markets”: actually a minor affair, considering months ago their sponsors were in trouble finding gas, and now it will be even harder, with much higher costs. NS2 had already been attacked – in the open – all along its construction. Back in February, Polish ships actively tried to prevent the Fortuna pipe-laying vessel from finishing NS2. The pipes were being laid south of – you guessed it – Bornholm. NATO for its part has been very active on the underwater drones department.

The Americans have access to long distance Norwegian underwater drones which can be modified with other designs. Alternatively, professional navy clearance divers could have been employed in the sabotage – even as tidal currents around Bornholm are a serious matter. The Big Picture reveals the collective West in absolute panic, with Atlanticist “elites” willing to resort to anything – outrageous lies, assassinations, terrorism, sabotage, all out financial war, support to neo-Nazis – to prevent their descent into a geopolitical and geoeconomic abyss. Disabling NS and NS2 represents the definitive closure of any possibility of a German-Russia deal on gas supplies, with the added benefit of relegating Germany to the lowly status of absolute US vassal.

So that brings us to the key question of which Western intel apparatus designed the sabotage. Prime candidates are of course CIA and MI6 – with Poland set up as the fall guy and Denmark playing a very dodgy part: it’s impossible that Copenhagen was not at least “briefed” on the intel. Prescient as ever, as early as in April 2021 Russians were asking questions about the military security of Nord Stream. The crucial vector is that we may be facing the case of a EU/NATO member involved in an act of sabotage against the number one EU/NATO economy. That’s a casus belli. Outside of the appalling mediocrity and cowardice of the current administration in Berlin, it’s clear that the BND – German intel – as well as the German Navy and informed industrialists sooner or later will do the math.

This was far from an isolated attack. On September 22 there was an attempt against Turkish Stream by Kiev saboteurs. The day before, naval drones with English language IDs were found in Crimea, suspected of being part of the plot. Add to it US helicopters overflying the future sabotage nodes weeks ago; a UK “research” vessel loitering in Danish waters since mid-September; and NATO tweeting about the testing of “new unmanned systems at sea” on the same day of the sabotage. [..] Gazprom is threatening to sue the Ukrainian energy company Naftofgaz for unpaid bills. That would lead to the end of Russian gas transiting Ukraine towards the EU.

As if all of that was not serious enough, Germany is contractually obligated to purchase at least 40 billion cubic meters of Russian gas a year until 2030. Just say no? They can’t: Gazprom is legally entitled to get paid even without shipping gas. That’s the spirit of a long-term contract. And it’s already happening: because of sanctions, Berlin does not get all the gas it needs but still needs to pay.

Read more …

“..the Russian military doctrine, which states that nuclear weapons may only be employed if such arms or other weapons of mass destruction are being targeted at the country or its being faced with an existential threat from conventional arms.”

Poland Wants ‘Devastating’ Retaliation Against Russia (RT)

NATO’s response to any use of tactical nuclear weapons by Russia in Ukraine must be “devastating” but only employ conventional arms, as Moscow’s threat is not directed at the bloc, Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau has said. “To the best of our knowledge, Putin is threatening to use tactical nuclear weapons on Ukrainian soil, not to attack NATO, which means that NATO should respond in a conventional way,” Rau claimed during his Wednesday’s appearance on NBC News program Meet the Press. “But the response should be devastating. And I suppose this is the clear message that the NATO alliance is sending to Russia right now,” the minister pointed out.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday that “the consequences would be horrific” for Russian if it uses nuclear weapons in Ukraine, adding that this message has already been communicated to the Russian leadership publicly and privately. The warning followed an address by Vladimir Putin a week ago, in which he announced partial mobilization in Russia and slammed “some senior officials in NATO states” for suggesting that deploying nuclear weapons against Russia was justified. The President made it clear that such a move won’t be left unanswered by Russia, reminding that it has its own arsenal of destructive weapons, some of which surpass their Western-counterparts. “If the territorial integrity of our nation is threatened, we will certainly use all the means that we have to defend Russia and our people. It’s not a bluff,” Putin stated.

Over the past week, the US and allies have increased intelligence gathering and surveillance over concerns that signs that Russia decides to deploy nukes could “come too late,” Politico reported on Tuesday. According to US officials, who talked to the outlet, air, space and cyberspace monitoring of Russian units in Ukraine that could potentially receive the nuclear order from the Kremlin has been stepped up, with special attention also being paid to Russia’s western exclave of Kaliningrad. Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergey Ryabkov reiterated last week that “we are not threatening anyone with nuclear weapons.” He referred the journalists to the Russian military doctrine, which states that nuclear weapons may only be employed if such arms or other weapons of mass destruction are being targeted at the country or its being faced with an existential threat from conventional arms.

Read more …

John Helmer is sure it was Poland. He approaches the issue in a different way than I did yesterday. I simply asked: Cui bono?

“This time the attack is targeting the Germans, especially the business and union lobby and the East German voters, with a scheme to blame Moscow for the troubles they already have — and their troubles to come with winter.”

Poland Attacks Germany And Blames Russia (John Helmer)

The military operation on Monday night which fired munitions to blow holes in the Nord Stream I and Nord Stream II pipelines on the Baltic Sea floor, near Bornholm Island, was executed by the Polish Navy and special forces. It was aided by the Danish and Swedish military; planned and coordinated with US intelligence and technical support; and approved by the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. The operation is a repeat of the Bornholm Bash operation of April 2021, which attempted to sabotage Russian vessels laying the gas pipes, but ended in ignominious retreat by the Polish forces. That was a direct attack on Russia. This time the attack is targeting the Germans, especially the business and union lobby and the East German voters, with a scheme to blame Moscow for the troubles they already have — and their troubles to come with winter.

Morawiecki is bluffing. “It is a very strange coincidence,” he has announced, “that on the same day that the Baltic Gas Pipeline opens, someone is most likely committing an act of sabotage. This shows what means the Russians can resort to in order to destabilize Europe. They are to blame for the very high gas prices”. The truth bubbling up from the seabed at Bornholm is the opposite of what Morawiecki says. But the political value to Morawiecki, already running for the Polish election in eleven months’ time, is his government’s claim to have solved all of Poland’s needs for gas and electricity through the winter — when he knows that won’t come true.

Inaugurating the 21-year old Baltic Pipe project from the Norwegian and Danish gas networks, Morawiecki announced: “This gas pipeline is the end of the era of dependence on Russian gas. It is also a gas pipeline of security, sovereignty and freedom not only for Polish, but in the future, also for others…[Opposition Civic Platform leader Donald] Tusk’s government preferred Russian gas. They wanted to conclude a deal with the Russians even by 2045…thanks to the Baltic Pipe, extraction from Polish deposits, LNG supply from the USA and Qatar, as well as interconnection with its neighbours, Poland is now secured in terms of gas supplies.”

Baltic Pipe
https://twitter.com/i/status/1574954366456700928

Read more …

While Andrew Korybko, American living in Moscow, feels sure it is NOT Poland.

The Anglo-American Axis Benefits (Korybko)

The unprecedented damage done to the Nord Stream pipelines Monday night was certainly an act of sabotage exactly as Denmark, Germany, Poland, and Russia suspect, though nobody can agree on who carried out this ecological terrorist attack in the Baltic Sea. Kiev, however, predictably blamed Russia for destroying its own pipeline in a remix of its earlier conspiracy theory alleging that Russia regularly bombs the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant that’s also under its control. That ridiculous scenario can therefore reasonably be ruled out, especially since Moscow could just keep the tap turned off for technical reasons without risking getting caught sabotaging its own pipelines in NATO-controlled waters.

Continental European countries like Poland also shouldn’t be suspected either even though that aspiring regional leader’s newly inaugurated Baltic Pipe from Norway makes it a major energy player nowadays. There’s just too much risk of serious ecological blowback to that country’s direct interests to justify carrying out such an act of terrorism just to forever cripple its only potential pipeline competitor, the two Nord Streams. That said, the attack nevertheless does indeed serve Poland’s larger interests for exactly that reason even if it most likely wasn’t behind what happened or had any advance knowledge about it, which is why suspicion should fall on its allies in the Anglo-American Axis (AAA).

Both have an interest in dividing and ruling the EU by facilitating Poland’s rise as a continental Great Power capable of eventually competing with the bloc’s de facto German leader (at least in Central & Eastern Europe [CEE]), which was explained in my mid-September analysis about how “Poland’s Hyping Up The German Threat To Central Europe To Consolidate Its Regional Influence”. In order to knock Germany out of the geopolitical and geo-economic game for good, the AAA must not only successfully trick it into committing economic suicide through its compliance with the anti-Russian sanctions, but also destroy any chance of a strategically meaningful rapprochement with Russia in the future.

Sabotaging the Nord Stream pipelines accomplishes precisely that by completely disincentivizing Germany from potentially clinging to whatever energy-driven plans it might have for eventually repairing relations with Russia. With that scenario confidently discounted after Monday night’s ecological terrorist attack in the Baltic Sea, which also served the purpose of making Poland among the continent’s most pivotal energy hubs, Germany might also figure that it doesn’t have anything more to lose vis a vis Russia by possibly being the first country to send cutting-edge battle tanks to Kiev. This artificially manufactured strategic inertia would thus doom Russian-German relations for decades. Considering these outcomes, both immediate and emerging, there’s no doubt that the AAA benefits the most from the ecological terrorist attack that was just carried out in the Baltic Sea against the two Nord Stream pipelines. They’re insulated from the consequences of the ecological disaster that they created and are thus able to advance their grand strategic goals without any cost to themselves.

Read more …

“American LNG suppliers, on the other hand, have been making incredible profits after having multiplied their deliveries to the European continent, Peskov pointed out, adding that these companies are “very interested in maintaining these super-duper profits in the future.”

Kremlin Says Nord Stream Explosions ‘A Big Problem For Russia’ (RT)

Moscow has denounced as “stupid and absurd” any allegations of its being behind the suspected explosions of the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines earlier this week, stating that the incident actually creates many issues for Russia. Speaking to journalists on Wednesday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov explained that the damage to the pipelines posed a “big problem” for Russia as it had essentially lost its gas supply routes to Europe. Both lines of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline were pumped full of gas and were prepared to deliver it to Europe at the time of the alleged explosion, said Peskov, adding that “this gas is very expensive and now it is all going up in the air.”

Peskov also noted that neither Russia nor Europe had anything to gain from the destruction of the pipelines, especially Germany, for which this incident poses a threat to the future development of its industry, as well as its profitability and competitiveness. American LNG suppliers, on the other hand, have been making incredible profits after having multiplied their deliveries to the European continent, Peskov pointed out, adding that these companies are “very interested in maintaining these super-duper profits in the future.” While no suspects behind the incident have officially been named, the Kremlin spokesperson advised against making any official announcements before a proper investigation into the incident is carried out.

Peskov did, however, draw attention to US President Joe Biden’s statements from early February, when the American leader threatened to “bring an end” to Nord Stream 2. “What the US president meant by that, we don’t know,” admitted the Kremlin official, but highlighted the “borderline insane hysterical-euphoric reaction” of Polish officials who have already thanked Washington for sabotaging the pipeline. The Kremlin’s response comes after some European and Kiev officials, including President Vladimir Zelensky’s adviser Mikhail Podolyak, suggested that the attack on the pipeline was a “false flag” operation carried out by Russia in order to make Ukraine look bad and to further drive energy prices up in the EU.

However, after the former Polish FM publicly thanked the US for the apparent sabotage on Twitter, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova urged the EU to treat the US as the possible culprit behind the attacks on the Nord Stream pipelines. She said Moscow would call for a UN Security Council session over the incident. A number of Western nations have repeatedly opposed Russia’s undersea pipelines delivering gas to Europe, both before and after Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine. The recently built Nord Stream 2 network, which never went into operation due to Germany’s refusal to certify it, has drawn particular opposition from countries like the US and Poland, which has called for the pipeline to be “totally scrapped.”

Read more …

As multiple countries want to kick Russia off the council.

Russia Issues Emergency Call To UN Security Council (RT)

Moscow wishes to call an emergency UN Security Council session over the “provocations” at the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday in a Telegram post. Both pipelines were severely damaged earlier this week in what many suspect was a deliberate attack. Danish authorities confirmed gas leaks from the pipelines not far from the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea on Monday after the operator reported a loss of pressure in both Nord Stream 1 and 2. Swedish and Danish authorities later confirmed a series of undersea explosions had been detected before the leaks were confirmed.

Russian, American, and Swedish officials all said that the damage might have been the result of a targeted attack on pipeline infrastructure. No suspects behind the incident have officially been named, although in a tweet former Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski “thanked” Washington for destroying the pipeline. Moscow, which called the incident a “terrorist attack,”also named the US as a potential suspect. Several high-ranking German MPs have pointed the finger at Russia, accusing it of attempts to “stir up uncertainty among the European population.”

There has been no shortage of threats from sfome Western nations against Russian undersea pipelines, particularly Nord Stream 2 both before and after late February, when Moscow sent troops into Ukraine. It had been ready to pump gas since September last year, but was not put into operation due to Germany’s refusal to certify it. Polish President Andrzej Duda demanded last month that the pipeline be “totally scrapped.” US President Joe Biden warned in early February, before Russia began its military operation in Ukraine, that if Moscow acts against Kiev, “there will no longer be a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.” A journalist asked him to clarify what exactly he meant, to which Biden responded: “I promise you, we will be able to do that.”

Read more …

He resorts to democracy (!), with national consultations. Can’t have that. If the people decide, we’ll have …. anarchy!

Brussels ‘Imposes’ Anti-Russia Sanctions On EU Members – Orban (RT)

The EU has forced anti-Russia sanctions upon the people of the bloc’s member states, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Wednesday, as he announced the launch at home of national consultations on the matter. Brussels did not ask Europeans about their opinion on the sanctions policy but made them pay the price as restrictions it imposed on Russia backfired, Orban said, in a series of posts on Facebook. The EU sanctions introduced over Russia’s military operation in Ukraine “will cause huge damage to Europe,” he warned, adding that the restrictions had already made “Europeans poorer”because of skyrocketing energy prices. “It is time to get honest about it with our American friends. Until it is too late,” the prime minister said, pointing to the role the US played in the global sanctions campaign against Russia.

The sanctions have failed to end the conflict in Ukraine, Orban argued, adding that they also appear to hurt Europe more than Russia. Hungary is heavily dependent on Russian energy supply. It has also been one of the staunchest opponents of Brussels’ energy sanctions against Moscow and in particular opposed banning imports of Russian oil until it was granted a waiver by Brussels. Budapest still declared a state of emergency over tightening energy supplies this summer. On Wednesday, Orban confirmed the plans to hold the national consultations on the EU sanctions imposed against Russia, saying that he’d asked “everyone to have their say, because we can only put an end to rising energy prices by acting together.” Hungary is the first EU nation to do so.

The developments come amid an ongoing energy crunch in the EU. Since the start of Russia’s military offensive against Ukraine in late February, gas prices have climbed to record highs in Europe. In late July, EU member states agreed on a plan to reduce their gas consumption by 15% over the coming months, to increase the bloc’s energy security at a time when it seeks to rid itself of its dependence on Russian energy. Russia also reduced its gas exports to Europe, citing technical issues related to sanctions the West imposed over Russia’s military action. Massive gas leaks on the Russian Nord Stream pipelines, which have allegedly been a result of a targeted attack, has sent gas prices in Europe further up.

The prices have been climbing up for quite some time, leaving some EU nations, including Germany –the EU’s economic powerhouse– in a bind. In early September, Germany’s largest gas importer, Uniper, requested additional financial aid from the government as it was struggling to replace missing Russian gas supplies despite already receiving billions of euro to cover gas purchases. The operators of the Large Hadron Collider – the European nuclear research center (CERN) – also admitted in September that the ongoing energy crisis threatens the operation of the world’s largest particle accelerator. It could be shut down to decrease the energy consumption burden at peak demand periods, CERN said at that time.

Read more …

As EU companies can’t produce because of energy prices.

EU To Ban Russian Toilet Paper (RT)

Seeking to deprive Moscow of trade revenue over the conflict in Ukraine, the EU has proposed banning the import of Russian-made hygiene products, from soap and shaving needs to toilet paper and deodorant. The eighth wave of anti-Russian sanctions, unveiled in Brussels on Wednesday, would also ban the import of several steel products and attempt to impose a price cap on Russian oil. “We do not accept the sham referenda and any kind of annexation in Ukraine, and we are determined to make the Kremlin pay for this further escalation,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced in Brussels. According to her, the proposed sanctions package is expected to deprive Russia of “an additional 7 billion euros ($6.7 billion) in revenues.”

The scheme requires EU residents to make do without Russian-made “beauty or make-up” products, shaving supplies, “personal deodorants,” dental floss, soap, and toilet paper, according to Politico. Von der Leyen’s announcement comes just days after one of Germany’s pioneer toilet paper manufacturers, Hakle, filed for bankruptcy citing the skyrocketing prices of energy and source materials. Hakle and other German companies had asked the federal government to cap the energy price as a way of staying solvent – but that was before a series of explosions on Monday damaged the two Nord Stream pipelines and cut off Germany from Russian natural gas, perhaps permanently. Meanwhile, government officials have been instructing Germans to shower less and use washcloths, to save on hot water.

Commenting on the proposed sanctions, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that between the sanitation products and water savings, “one involuntarily recalls the famous letter from 200 years ago,” in which the French Emperor Napoleon allegedly told his wife Josephine, “Do not wash.” The EU also intends to sanction philosopher Aleksandr Dugin, whose daughter Darya was assassinated last month in a Moscow car bombing. Russia has identified two suspects in the terrorist attack, both Ukrainian nationals.

Read more …

“Ursula “My Grand Dad was a Nazi” von der Leyen, the sadomaso dominatrix in charge of the European Commission. The prime catfight cage match to watch in fact is Giorgia versus dominatrix Ursula.”

Giorgia On Our Mind (Escobar)

No one ever lost money betting on the EU oligarchy always behaving like a bunch of self-entitled, stubborn, unelected pricks. They never learn anything. And they always blame everyone except themselves. Giorgia, following her instincts, has a decent shot at burying them even deeper. She is more calculating and less impulsive than Salvini. She won’t go for a euro exit and much less an Italexit. She won’t interfere with her Finance Minister – who will have to deal with the ECB. But she remains a “semi-fascist”, so Brussels will want her scalp – in the form of cutting off Italy’s budget appropriations. These Eurocrats would never dare doing it against Germany or France. And that brings to the political set up of the – supremely undemocratic – European Council.


Giorgia’s party is a member of the European Conservatives and Reformists bloc, along with only two other members, the PMs of Poland and Czech Republic. The Socialists & Democrats bloc has seven members. And so does Renew Europe (the former “liberals”): that includes the president of the European Council, the supremely mediocre Charles Michel. The center-right European People’s Party has six members. That includes Ursula “My Grand Dad was a Nazi” von der Leyen, the sadomaso dominatrix in charge of the European Commission. The prime catfight cage match to watch in fact is Giorgia versus dominatrix Ursula. Once again, Mediterranean swagger against the Teutonic techno-barbarians. The more Brussels harassment of Giorgia, the more she will counter-attack, with full support of her post-truth Roman legions: Italian voters. Grab the Negronis and the Aperol Spritz; it’s show time.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ardern

 

 


Saying goodbye to a species, the very last male Northern White Rhino. 2018

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Sep 282022
 
 September 28, 2022  Posted by at 3:00 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  45 Responses »


M.C. Escher Fish and Boat 1948

 

 

For the past 24 hours, I’ve been reading, and jotting down quotes, like an idiot, about the Nordstream pipes’ sabotage. Just trying to figure out what the hell happened. I doubt we will ever know who “killed Kennedy”, but we can try. I find it remarkable how eager certain parties are to blame Russia for blowing up its own infrastructure, how equally eager to discard alternative options, and most of all perhaps how eager “EU functionaries” are to claim they want a full investigation. Really? Even if your own allies did it?

Thinking that Russia blew up its own pipeline, while they could just close the tap, much easier and cheaper, appears to be very far fetched. In any Whodunnit you want some logic. First, my notes, from the past day, much from Twitter, plus some other sources, more or less in random order:

Nord Stream 2 pipeline cost over 11 billion dollars and ten years to build. It’s going to take years to fix.

Note: it will take weeks, if not months, to just get started. Because all the gas will have to flow out first. The pipes were not active, but they were full of gas, over a very long distance. They were ready to go and supply Europe. Then when Germany suddenly reneged on the deal, where were they going to put the gas?

Laying (building) undersea pipelines is never an easy job, But the Baltic Sea adds a few extra problems, as per Lookout at the Saker :

Sitrep On Nord Stream 1 And 2 Gas Pipelines

The first step to building an offshore pipeline is to conduct extensive surveys of the seabed. In the case of NS2, this involved detailed seabed survey of areas potentially harmful to the building and operation of a pipeline. This was certainly the case for NS1 and NS2, especially in areas that were used to dump explosives and chemicals.


The Baltic Sea was the scene of maritime battles, laying of mines during WW2. Additionally, areas of it were used as a dumping ground for obsolete, damaged, or expired munitions & chemicals. This was widely carried out following the end of both world wars. “It is estimated that the Baltic Sea alone has around 50,000 tonnes of chemical munitions, 500,000 tonnes of conventional weapons, and 10,000 wrecks on its seabed.”

I loved this little bit:

German Economy Minister Habeck: “speculations about the reason for nord stream 1 leak are currently forbidden.”

That’s German politics on its last legs. Y’all, shut up!

Nordstream has never been uncontested. This is from November 2015, at pipeline-journal.net:

Explosive-Laden Drone Found Near Nord Stream Pipeline

Ruling out sabotage, the Swedish military has successfully cleared a remote operated vehicle (drone) rigged with explosives found near Line 2 of the Nord Stream Natural Gas offshore pipeline system. The vehicle was discovered during a routine survey operation as part of the annual integrity assessment of the Nord Stream pipeline. Since it was within the Swedish Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) approximately 120 km away from the island of Gotland, the Swedes called on their armed forces to remove and ultimately disarm the object. “We don’t consider it to be dangerous to merchant vessels or the pipeline at this point,” Jesper Stolpe, Swedish Armed Forces spokesman, told Radio Sweden. According to Stolpe, the cable used to control the drone and to set off the explosive was cut off, so at the moment the vehicle is relatively harmless.

And more recently, there was activity in the area as well. Guess who…

Apparently US 6th Fleet undersea explosives specialists were “scoping out” the situation back in June.

An expeditionary detachment of US Navy ships led by the universal amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge days ago was in the Baltic Sea. It was 30 km from the site of the alleged sabotage on the Nord Stream-1 gas pipeline and 50 km from the threads of Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline

Tin Foil Hats: Russia and Germany were negotiating behind the scenes for gas, but a “3rd party caught on and put an end to it”.

The Nordstream 2 pipeline allows Russia to send gas to Western Europe without paying transit fees to Ukraine and Poland. Russia just completed it in the teeth of massive opposition from Ukraine, Poland and USA. Now they are trying to convince you it was Russia who blew it up.

The mother of all coincidences:

Baltic Pipe. This is the new Norway-Poland Baltic Pipeline that just coincidentally opened today.

A former Polish defense minister has credited the United States with blowing up two Russian natural gas pipelines to Europe, Nord Stream 1 & 2, the day before Poland opened a major new pipeline from Norway. A new 900km pipeline “Baltic Pipe” will be opened today, a branch connecting from the Norway-Germany ‘“Europipe”. This branch bypasses Germany.

That former Polish defense minister, Radek Sikorski, [now] Chairman of the European Parliament’s delegation for relations with the US, and married to WaPo’s Anne Applebaum, writes “Thank you, USA”

[..] looks like the pipeline attack wasn’t totally successful, as it failed to breach one of the NS2 lines – taking down only three of the four pipes. it will be interesting to see if there is any attempt to finish the job.

Javier Blas, Bloomberg: The size of the Nord Stream pipeline gas leak is huge. According to the Danish armed forces, it measures about 1 kilometer in diameter. The smaller circle in the center is approximately 200 meters wide

Each line of the pipeline consists of about 100,000 24-tonne concrete-weight coated steel pipes laid on the seabed. The pipelines have a constant internal diameter of 1.153m, according to Nord Stream. Sections lie at a depth of around 80-110m.

The approximate locations of the leaks are in the Bornholm Basin area (mean depth of 43m), closest to the island. The depth is shallow enough for specialised diving operations as well as the use of Remotely Operated Vehicles, (as was the case for the construction of both pipelines). The shallow area of the Bornholm Strait separating the Arkona Basin from the Bornholm Basin has a maximum depth of 45 metres.

The steel pipe itself has a wall of 4.1 centimeters (1.6 inches), and it’s coated with another 6-11 cm of steel-reinforced concrete. Each section of the pipe weighs 11 tonnes, which goes to 24-25 tonnes after the concrete is applied.

Assessment is that the second, bigger explosion corresponded to more than 100 kilos of dynamite.

 

This gives us at least some idea. That Russia would kill its own $11 billion 10-year hard-fought investment makes little sense. Not impossible, but very unlikely. The US, however…

 

We have Biden in February this year:

And Victoria Nuland just before that:

 

Tucker Carlson summarized it pretty well last night:

 

But now we still don’t know Whodunnit.

Gonzalo Lira says it’s “The Americans Declared War On Europe”:

 

 

I’m sure the Americans had a role in it. But that’s not the same as saying they were the direct perpetrators. There are still other candidates. Let’s rule out Russia, unless someone comes with a good explanation for why they would have acted against their own interest -or the semblance of it.

Germany is another party to this. But they are suffering already, and may indeed have held secret talks with Russia about gas deliveries. Now, they can forget about that for a long time to come. There are voices saying today that the pipelines are damaged beyond repair. I’m not sure that’s true, maybe they can replace one damaged pipe segment with a non-damaged one, but it would certainly take a lot of time and money.

So we strike off Russia and Germany, and keep the US in the back of our heads. That leaves two very obvious parties. First, the Ukraine, which loves not having to compete with Nordstream. But as far as we know, Kiev doesn’t have the equipment and/or capability to blow up a pipeline 100 meters under water. They could have asked the US, though, true enough.

That leaves one country that no-one is talking about, but is in the thick of it all: Poland.

The Poles stand to profit in two different ways from the explosions (and unlike Ukraine, they have the equipment to make it happen). First, there is a pipeline from Russia to Germany that runs through Poland, and for which they can now demand a user fee if any gas would flow. Second, they just opened the Norway-Poland branch of the Norway-Germany “Europipe” yesterday, which is labeled the Baltic Pipe.

Poland can make a killing off of the situation. There’s no way they could pull it off without the US knowing about it, but that can be arranged.

 

This all still leaves me with a few questions. As I knew it would. For the same reason I don’t know who killed Kennedy. First, why did the CIA warn of an attack on Nordstream weeks in advance?

And second, why are people like Von der Leyen, Borrell etc. clamoring so loudly for a thorough investigation when the Whodunnit logic says it may well point to one of their allies? Do they know something they’re not telling, do they think they can suppress whatever comes out? To be continued.

 

 

 

We try to run the Automatic Earth on donations. Since ad revenue has collapsed, you are now not just a reader, but an integral part of the process that builds this site. Thank you for your support.

 

 

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

 

Aug 092022
 
 August 9, 2022  Posted by at 8:35 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  46 Responses »


Piet Mondriaan Trees by the Gein at Moonrise 1908

 

The FBI has Raided President Trump’s Home (Techno Fog)
The Sickening Quickening (Kunstler)
Liz Cheney’s Husband Is Partner At Law Firm Representing Hunter Biden (Fed.)
West Wants To Destroy Russia – Medvedev (RT)
‘Millions’ In Germany Won’t Be Able To Pay For Heating – Union (RT)
Germany Rules Out Emergency Use Of Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline (RT)
Netherlands To Shut Down 11,200 Farms To Meet Climate Goals (Sweden)
Europe Is Being Hit By A Climate-Driven Drought Crisis (G.)
CIA’s Strategy Towards China Revealed (RT)
Ukrainian Region Announces Vote On Joining Russia (RT)
Austrian Barbarians Go Home! (Batiushka)
Poland Proceeding With Its Plans For Ukraine – Moscow (RT)
An Unpleasant Truth For Ukrainians Is Coming To Light (Milacic)
CBS Caves Into Ukrainian Pressure On Weapons Revelations (RT)
Russia Accuses Ukraine Of ‘Nuclear Terrorism’ (RT)
Time for a Red-State NATO-like Alliance on Boycotts (Turley)
Australian Labor Party & Assange: Burying the Politics (Tranter)

 

 

NOTE: I know there are a lot of RT articles here lately. But it is simply the best source for Ukraine news. And rather than being Russian propaganda, it’s the only English-language source that is not rabidly anti-Russian.

 

 

 

 

The French with photos of relatives who have died from the vaccine !!

 

 

Denmark.

 

 

DMED database

 

 

A typical UK gas and power bill this winter.

 

 

 

 

“..the criminalization of politics..”

The FBI has Raided President Trump’s Home (Techno Fog)

Breaking news for a Monday night: President Trump announced his home in Palm Beach – Mar-A-Lago – “is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents.” [..] According to the New York Times, the search has to do with materials taken home by President Trump after he left the White House: “The search, according to two people familiar with the investigation, appeared to be focused on material that Mr. Trump had brought with him to Mar-a-Lago, his private club and residence, after he left the White House. Those boxes contained many pages of classified documents, according to a person familiar with their contents. Mr. Trump delayed returning 15 boxes of material requested by officials with the National Archives for many months, only doing so when there became a threat of action being taken to retrieve them.”

The politics of the search can’t be ignored. If the New York Times is to be believed, Trump’s purported crime – the delay of returning materials that may be classified – could have been resolved in another manner that didn’t involve raiding his home and breaking open a personal safe. No doubt the search is an escalation by a desperate Regime confronted by their own failures at home and abroad. What about the relation of the search to January 6? I’ve gone back and forth as I’ve written this, but it’s certainly possible they were also after documents related to January 6. There are no guarantees, considering the politicization of Biden’s DOJ, which has thus far protected friends in politics, the killer of Ashley Babbitt, supporters in academia, and the President Biden’s own corrupt son.

One can be certain, however, that if the Biden Administration will carry out this raid, then it will also be aggressive to pursue charges against Trump related to January 6. As if there were any doubt. After all, last week there was reporting that a federal grand jury investigating January 6 had issued subpoenas to the Trump White House Counsel, Pat Cipollone, and his top deputy, Patrick Philbin. Perhaps the roadmap for the DOJ comes from the January 6 Committee, which has poured out the thin gruel of purported criminal charges against Trump, alleging he and others, including attorney John Eastman, could be charged with: • Obstruction of an Official Proceeding (18 USC 1512(c)(2)); and • Conspiracy to Defraud the United States (18 USC 371). Each of these counts, and really the DOJ’s pursuit of Trump and his attorneys and advisors, amounts to the criminalization of politics.

Read more …

“My personal theory is that the Covid-19 release was wholly and entirely about getting rid of Donald Trump and nothing else..”

The Sickening Quickening (Kunstler)

Do you still doubt that the federal bureaucracy and the elected government parasitically attached to it seek to harm the people they rule (i.e., us) by any means necessary? They’re still pushing Covid “vaccines” in a futile effort to eliminate the control group of their massive eugenics experiment — that is, the unvaccinated, who are not getting the many vaccine-induced diseases behind the rise of all-causes mortality in people under 65. But the vaxx scam isn’t working anymore. Too many people have already been hurt, or killed, or seen friends and relatives go down mysteriously and they’re taking a pass on any more shots. Parents have evidently seen enough to not bring their little children in for the life-altering mRNA treatments. The CDC, the FDA, and their cohorts hide their information, lie when pressed, and pretend that they are acting scientifically.

But really, at this point, many public health officials must be secretly wondering how they will evade prosecution. They won’t when fraud is proven in a court of law. Even with all the lies and redactions issued by the CDC and the FDA, the evidence is piling miles high that the Pfizer and Moderna drug trials were covered-up botches and the entire administration of the vaccine program has been an unnecessary disaster. Fraud vitiates immunity from liability. The pharma companies will go out of business and their profits will be clawed back in countless lawsuits. The drug company executives will go to prison along with Rochelle Walensky, Anthony Fauci, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, and many of their lieutenants.

My personal theory is that the Covid-19 release was wholly and entirely about getting rid of Donald Trump and nothing else, in order to protect the permanent bureaucracy, a.k.a. the deep state, which was faltering in its countless turpitudes against the people, including the FBI and DOJ’s complicity in the criminal frauds and seditions of RussiaGate, and the CIA’s complicity in the “whistleblower” shenanigans behind Trump impeachment No. 1. The “long game” in the Covid-19 scam of 2020 was obviously to set-up the loosest mail-in voting apparatus possible to enable maximum ballot fraud in that year’s elections. The catch is, the Covid-19 play did not protect the deep state; it only further demonstrated its malevolence.

Read more …

It’s a big club… In a small world.

Liz Cheney’s Husband Is Partner At Law Firm Representing Hunter Biden (Fed.)

Philip Perry, who is married to Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, is a partner at the same law firm representing President Joe Biden’s scandal-ridden son, Hunter. Last week, the Daily Mail reached out to Hunter Biden’s attorney for comment on a story unearthing new details to the extent the younger Biden leveraged the family name for lucrative overseas business ventures. In 2014, the paper reported, then-Vice President Biden met with a pair of Chinese energy executives connected to Hunter Biden’s foreign business deals. An attorney named Christopher Clark, who is listed with the firm Latham & Watkins as partner, responded to the Daily Mail’s request for comment calling the reporter a “parasite” in an otherwise nonsensical email full of typos.

The vice president’s 2014 encounter with Chinese energy tycoons marks the fifteenth such meeting with businessmen tied to Hunter Biden’s financial interests, and contradicts Biden’s repeated claims of never discussing business with his son, “or with anyone else.” The first son is currently under federal investigation for money laundering and foreign lobbying. Perry is also listed as a partner with Lathan & Watkins on the firm’s website while his wife runs for re-election on an anti-Trump platform ahead of the Wyoming primary next week. Cheney faces an uphill contest from Trump-endorsed attorney Harriet Hageman in a state that voted for former President Donald Trump two years ago by a wider margin than anywhere else in the country.

A poll sponsored by the Casper-Star Tribune last month shows Hageman up by 22 points as Cheney tries to clinch a fourth term by appealing to Democrats. Even if every Democrat in the state were to change their registration to back Cheney in the primary, however, Cheney’s Trump-backed opponent remains likely to prevail where Republicans outnumber Democrats more than 200,000 to 43,000. On Sunday, the New York Times published a profile of the race ahead of next week’s contest chronicling Cheney’s failing campaign. “She no longer provides advance notice about her Wyoming travel and, not welcome at most county and state Republican events, has turned her campaign into a series of invite-only House parties,” the Times reported.

“What’s more puzzling than her schedule is why Ms. Cheney, who has raised over $13 million, has not poured more money into the race, especially early on when she had an opportunity to define Ms. Hageman,” the paper added. “Ms. Cheney had spent roughly half her war chest as of the start of July, spurring speculation that she was saving money for future efforts against Mr. Trump.”The Wyoming congresswoman likely to lose her seat in the next Congress has been laying the foundation for a presidential run in 2024. “If I have to choose between maintaining a seat in the House of Representatives or protecting the constitutional republic and ensuring the American people know the truth about Donald Trump, I’m going to choose the Constitution and the truth every single day,” Cheney said on CNN last month.

Read more …

“..neither Kiev nor Tbilisi will ever become members of NATO or the EU, and that “even the unshaven guy in a green T-shirt from Kiev” understands this.”

West Wants To Destroy Russia – Medvedev (RT)

The West has launched an aggressive “geopolitical process” aimed at destroying Russia, former President Dmitry Medvedev claimed in an interview with TASS published on Monday. Asked if the hostilities between Russia and Georgia in 2008 and the current conflict in Ukraine are “links in the same chain,” Medvedev said they are without a doubt part of the same scheme orchestrated by the West. “This is a single process and a common plan directed against Russia. It consists of the desire of the West, primarily the United States and other Anglo-Saxon countries, to rock the situation in our country. How? Through neighbors in close proximity to the borders of Russia,” Medvedev, the deputy head of the National Security Council, and president of Russia from 2008 to 2012, explained.

He noted that before the conflict with Georgia began in 2008, when Tbilisi’s forces began shelling the disputed region of South Ossetia and killed a number of Russian peacekeepers and civilians, the US was “cynically engaged” in the training, funding, and arming of the Georgian Army, and Washington was actively encouraging then-Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili to launch an attack against the civilian population in the area. The same “provocative and, let’s face it, criminal policy of the US” is currently being aggressively pursued in Ukraine, Medvedev said, adding that this time, the process is receiving more active support from the EU, which he says has “finally lost its independence.” “But the end goal remains the same,” he claimed, “to destroy Russia,” arguing that this goal is the root cause of the “extremely aggressive, Russophobic geopolitical process initiated by the West.”

The former president went on to say that despite NATO’s attempts to expand along Russia’s borders, which has become “a global problem that makes all reasonable people sick,”the US-led bloc has no intention of allowing either Ukraine or Georgia to become members. “They understand that anything they undertake in beleaguered countries such as Ukraine or Georgia, which are in territorial disputes with Russia, will be more expensive for themselves. The costs will be enormous,” Medvedev noted, adding that neither Kiev nor Tbilisi will ever become members of NATO or the EU, and that “even the unshaven guy in a green T-shirt from Kiev” understands this.

Read more …

On top of this, they announced a new fuel tax last week.

‘Millions’ In Germany Won’t Be Able To Pay For Heating – Union (RT)

At least a third of Germans on low incomes may not be able to pay increasingly high energy bills, the German Tenants’ Association (DMB) has warned, urging the government to make changes to housing programs. “That’s a hell of a lot of people,” Lukas Siebenkotten, the DMB’s chief, told newspaper Der Tagesspiegel on Sunday. “We’re talking about millions here.” Siebenkotten urged the government to allow more people to claim housing benefits in the wake of rising energy prices. “Tenants must also be protected from the termination of contracts if they cannot make increased advance payments,” he said. The remarks came after Klaus Mueller, the head of the Federal Network Agency, Germany’s gas regulator, warned that consumers should conserve at least 20% of gas in order to avoid shortages during the winter.

“In all other scenarios, we either face the threat of a gas shortage as early as December, or have low-level shortages at the end of the upcoming heating season,” Mueller said, describing current gas prices as “astronomically high.” High inflation and increased energy costs in Germany have been exacerbated by fears that Russia might completely cut off supplies of natural gas to the country. Germany and other EU states imposed sweeping sanctions on Moscow in response to its military campaign in Ukraine and unveiled a plan to phase out Russian gas. However, the German government has repeatedly warned that an immediate end of supplies from Moscow would badly damage the economy, increase unemployment and lower living standards.

Russian gas company Gazprom decreased the flow to Germany through the Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline and then suspended deliveries altogether for 10 days last month for maintenance work. According to Gazprom, the routine maintenance process had been disrupted by the hold-up of a repaired turbine in Canada, which Ottawa initially refused to return to Germany due to sanctions. Berlin rolled out a gas-saving plan late last month, which includes boosting reserves in gas storage facilities and using more coal power plants.

Read more …

How will these governments survive the cold? People will discover that the only reason their kids are freezing is an ideological one.

Germany Rules Out Emergency Use Of Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline (RT)

Germany is not going to put Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline into operation even if the situation with energy supplies deteriorates in the coming months, government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said on Monday. “What is clear is that we stand firmly on the side of Ukraine, that we support the sanctions that we jointly adopted in the EU and in consultations with the international community… What is also clear is that Nord Stream 2 is not certified and is not currently going through the certification process and thus is not available [for operation],” the spokesman said at a press briefing. When asked specifically if German Chancellor Olaf Scholz rules out using the pipeline in the coming fall and winter if the situation with gas supplies in the region becomes more complicated, Hebestreit said “yes, he rules it out.”


The government representative agreed that the upcoming heating season may be difficult for Germany, but noted that the government is taking the necessary steps to ease the situation. The construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, aimed at boosting Russian natural gas supplies to the EU, was completed last year. However, Berlin halted its certification shortly before Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine in late February. Hebestreit’s comments echo those of German Economy Minister Robert Habeck, who said last month that Germany does not plan to revive the Nord Stream 2 certification process despite fears of supply disruptions, and urged his country to conserve natural gas and continue decreasing its dependence on supplies from Russia.

Read more …

“..1/5 of all farms will be forced to shut down and almost 1/3 of farms forced to scale down and reduce livestock..”

Netherlands To Shut Down 11,200 Farms To Meet Climate Goals (Sweden)

If you have followed my reporting you probably know about the protests happening in the Netherlands. Tens of thousands of farmers have taken to the streets to protest against new climate goals which will force farmers to shut down their farms. They have set hay bales on fire on motorways and dumped manure and even blocked supermarket distribution centers. According to calculations done by the Finance ministry, a whopping 11 200 livestock farmers will be forced to shut down by the government to reduce nitrogen emissions in order to meet European environmental rules. Another 17 600 farmers would need to reduce the amount of animals they keep to meet these climate goals.

And this is bad. Because there are about 54 000 farms in the Netherlands, meaning that around 1/5 of all farms will be forced to shut down and almost 1/3 of farms forced to scale down and reduce livestock. Meaning that thousands and thousands of farmers will be losing their livelihoods in order to meet government climate goals. They are literally going to make people loose their livelihoods in order to meet climate goals. That is crazy. Not only that, think about all the food that will be lost as a result of this. We are already facing a food crisis due to sky high fertilizer prices and grain shortages due to the war in Ukraine. We need more food now, not less! The climate change fanatics are trying to bring us back to the middle ages.


The state is planning on forcing farmers to sell their farms to the state (buying them out). State sanctioned appropriation of farms and land. Now where have I heard about that kind of thing before…? Oh yes, under Communism. I told you that this is Climate Communism and that The Great Reset is just another word for Global Communism. And it seems like people in the Netherlands are not happy with these government plans, as the political party of the Prime Minister in the Netherlands, VVD, has reached a new all-time low in the polls. If there was an election now, they would lose 13 of their 34 seats in parliament. A whopping 7 out of 10 voters say that they are dissatisfied with the Cabinet of the Prime Minister. Meanwhile the new party called Farmer-Citizen Movement is now polling in second place.

Read more …

WIth the recent revelations about the Great Barrier Reef, maybe take it easy with the term “Climate-Driven”.

Europe Is Being Hit By A Climate-Driven Drought Crisis (G.)

Europe’s most severe drought in decades is hitting homes, factories, farmers and freight across the continent, as experts warn drier winters and searing summers fuelled by global heating mean water shortages will become “the new normal”. The EU European Drought Observatory has calculated that 45% of the bloc’s territory was under drought warning by mid-July, with 13% already on red alert, prompting the European Commission to warn of a “critical” situation in multiple regions. Conditions have deteriorated since as repeated heatwaves roll across the continent. In France, the prime minister, Élisabeth Borne, last week activated a crisis unit to tackle a drought Météo-France described as the country’s worst since records began in 1958.

More than 100 French municipalities have no running drinking water and are being supplied by truck, green transition minister Christophe Béchu said, adding: “We are going to have to get used to episodes of this type. Adaptation is no longer an option, it’s an obligation.” With surface soil humidity the lowest ever recorded and July rainfall 85% lower than usual, water restrictions including hosepipe and irrigation bans are in place in 93 of the country’s 96 mainland départements, with 62 classified as “in crisis”. Amid rising food prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, France’s agriculture minister warned the corn harvest is likely to be more than 18% lower than last year, while farmers’ unions say a shortage of cattle fodder as a result of the drought could lead to significant milk shortages in the autumn and winter.

The electricity utility EDF was last week forced to reduce output from one of its nuclear reactors in south-western France because of high water temperatures in the Garonne River, and has issued multiple similar warnings for reactors along the Rhône. Spain’s water reserves are at all-time low of 40% and have been falling at a rate of 1.5% a week through a combination of increased consumption and evaporation, according to the government, in what is likely to be the driest of the past 60 years. The country has received less than half its expected rainfall for the time of year for the past three months, with restrictions in place from Catalonia in the north-east to Galicia in the north-west as well as western Extremadura and Andalucía in the south. Most water restrictions have been imposed on domestic users, with rural authorities often reluctant to rein in farmers’ frequently illegal exploitation of an increasingly scant resource despite agriculture accounting for nine-tenths of Spain’s water consumption.

Read more …

“..cutting-edge technologies developed by China, including advancements in quantum science, artificial intelligence and other areas “that are likely to disrupt how future wars are fought and economies are structured.”

CIA’s Strategy Towards China Revealed (RT)

The CIA’s shift of focus to “great power competition” with China means that “money and resources would be increasingly shifted”away from counterterrorism (CT), the spy agency’s second-highest ranking officer reportedly told leaders of its CT branch. The meeting was held some weeks ago behind closed doors, the Associated Press reported on Monday, citing anonymous sources. Deputy Director David Cohen assured officials during the meeting that fighting terrorists would remain a priority for the agency to a significant degree, the report said. The entire US intelligence community has been pivoting towards China under the current administration, with hundreds of officers reassigned, including from counterterrorism, according to the news agency.

The CIA is also moving in that direction, hiring new officers fluent in Chinese and teaching the language to current employees, the AP said. The realignment, which is being done under pressure from Congress, means inevitable cuts of funding and manpower in other areas, the news agency said. Lawmakers are particularly interested in cutting-edge technologies developed by China, including advancements in quantum science, artificial intelligence and other areas “that are likely to disrupt how future wars are fought and economies are structured.” Last October, the CIA announced a major structural reform, which included the creation of two so-called mission centers. One is dedicated to China and the other to emerging technologies.

The AP’s report comes on the back of last week’s announcement of the CIA-led assassination of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who was killed by a drone strike in Kabul, US President Joe Biden announced last Monday. The agency noted that supporters of the White House say the strike showed the US can deal with terrorist threats despite pulling out from Afghanistan last year. Critics, meanwhile, have suggested that Zawahiri’s presence in the country indicated a resurgence of terrorism after the Taliban takeover. Afghanistan’s new authorities rejected US claims that the al-Qaeda leader had been granted protection and the green light to live in the capital.

Read more …

“..Zelensky on Sunday reiterated a warning that if the two regions go through with their plans, Kiev will break off all talks with Russia..”

What talks?

Ukrainian Region Announces Vote On Joining Russia (RT)

aporozhye Region will hold a referendum on whether to secede from Ukraine and request joining Russia, the head of its administration announced on Monday. Evgeny Balitskiy said that he had signed an order to organize the plebiscite during a regional forum held in the city of Melitopol. Over 700 representatives from various parts of the Ukrainian region approved the idea, according to RIA Novosti. Earlier comments by administration officials indicated the referendum may be held as soon as mid-September. Russian forces took partial control of the region during the initial offensive against Ukraine launched in late February. The eponymous city located in the north of the region on the Dnepr River remains under Ukrainian control.

Officials in Kherson Region, another Russia-controlled part of Ukraine, voiced similar plans to put to a vote the proposal of breaking away from Kiev and seeking to join Russia. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky on Sunday reiterated a warning that if the two regions go through with their plans, Kiev will break off all talks with Russia. Moscow in response suggested that the Ukrainian president should address the citizens of those regions. “The thing is, this is what the residents of the region plan. It’s not like we [Russia] are holding a referendum. Here, apparently, it is necessary to understand to whom Zelensky is addressing this statement – to the citizens of Ukraine of the mentioned regions or to the citizens of Russia? If it’s to the citizens and leadership of Russia, then we are the wrong address,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented on Monday.

There have been no peace talks between Russia and Ukraine for months, as Kiev rejected such contacts and claimed it would only negotiate after defeating Russian on the battlefield with the help of Western military aid. Before the talks broke off, the two nations appeared to have made progress in resolving their differences. During a meeting in Istanbul in late March, Kiev had pledged to become a neutral country and accept restrictions on its military. Moscow said it prepared a draft peace agreement based on those proposals, but Ukraine never responded. An indirect Russian-Ukrainian deal was mediated last month by the UN and Turkey to allow grain exports from three Ukrainian ports to resume via the Black Sea. The scheme was formalized in two separate agreements that were signed by Russia and Ukraine with the other two parties.

Read more …

“..our forces have been victorious everywhere, constantly boldly retreating..”

Austrian Barbarians Go Home! (Batiushka)

(With apologies to the peoples of Austria and France) As we write, the wicked Austrian terrorist State under its manic leader Putzin continues its completely unprovoked invasion of East France. President Putzin is well-known, as he is very short (not that we wish to belittle him) and has only one testicle, as everybody knows. His invasion and occupation of East France have been going on for nearly six months now and our forces have been victorious everywhere, constantly boldly retreating. However, as the younger among you may need a reminder to the facts of the background of this evil invasion, we give this below.

In 1945 France liberated defeated Nazi Germany and set about looking after it. As the word ‘Germany’ is such an ugly word, it was replaced by ‘East France’. Here hordes of workers made products for the Paris government which for nearly three generations very generously allowed the East France people to speak their German dialect. However, enough was enough and the time came when in 2014 Paris declared that all education would in the future be in French and that the German dialect would be banned in public places. If any East French were dissatisfied, too bad for them, they would just have to go and live in another country. Another huge act of generosity on the part of our glorious Paris government. Almost immediately, and in a quite unprovoked and totally unexpected manner, the evil Austrian regime annexed Bavaria.

(They called it an ‘Anschluss’, though how you pronounce such a long, complicated and ugly word, we have no idea). True, they held a referendum, in which over 90% of Bavarians voted to join Austria, but obviously nobody believes those results. Quite typically Putzin probably threatened to shoot anyone who did not vote for him. Then, on top of that, Austrian-backed, German-speaking separatists began to fight against Paris forces in Saxony. Leipzig was reduced to rubble by our brilliant artillerymen and over 10,000 separatist civilians, including over 400 children, were eliminated. However, on 24 February 2022, the Putzin regime invaded Saxony, murdering civilians and raping tens of millions of women and children, throwing babies out of incubators and bayoneting them. These are well-known facts.

Read more …

“..President Andrzej Duda has expressed hope that there will be no border between Poland and Ukraine in the future, calling the two nations “fraternal.”

As Zelensky shouts about defending Ukraine, he’s selling it off at large discounts. And if Poland get their share, Hungary will demand theirs.

As for deploying Polish “peacekeeping” forces in Ukraine, beware.

Poland Proceeding With Its Plans For Ukraine – Moscow (RT)

Warsaw is looking to send “peacekeeping” forces into Western Ukraine and take over sectors of the economy, Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service claims Warsaw continues to carry out an apparent attempt to “reclaim” parts of Ukraine in accordance with its “far-reaching plans” for the country, Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) said in a statement posted on Monday. According to Russian intelligence, Poland is not only setting up a scenario to deploy its “peacekeeping” forces to the western parts of Ukraine, but is also trying to establish control over promising sectors of the Ukrainian economy, first and foremost – agriculture. The SVR claims that Polish companies have taken advantage of the difficult condition Ukrainian farmers are in by arranging to purchase their goods at reduced prices, which is allegedly pushing some Ukrainian agriculture enterprises toward bankruptcy.

The intelligence agency claims that Polish entities will then buy up these assets and lands at bargain prices. “This can be illustrated, for example, by the purchase of new barley crop at $30 per ton, which is almost 5 times cheaper than the real cost of this product,” the SVR noted in its report. The agency goes on to claim that Poland is investing in the creation of transport infrastructure and other logistics for the unimpeded export of Ukrainian food to Europe and other markets where prices are much higher. All of this is being done under the new legal framework created by Kiev, the SVR explains, referring to a law on special guarantees for Polish citizens introduced in late July, and also one that allows Ukrainian industrial enterprises to be sold at a 50% discount.

Thus, the current Kiev authorities have essentially already started selling off the country, giving priority in this ‘business project’ to their Polish neighbors. In April, SVR chief Sergey Naryshkin claimed that intelligence obtained by Moscow suggested that Poland and the US were working on a plan for Warsaw to regain control of Ukrainian areas that they consider as “historically belonging” to it. He also suggested that the first phase of this “reunification” project would see Polish troops deployed to parts of Ukraine as “peacekeepers” under the pretext of protecting Ukraine from “Russian aggression.” Poland has categorically denied these claims, although President Andrzej Duda has expressed hope that there will be no border between Poland and Ukraine in the future, calling the two nations “fraternal.”

Read more …

Amnesty did thorough research. Just like CBS.

An Unpleasant Truth For Ukrainians Is Coming To Light (Milacic)

Amnesty says survivors and eyewitnesses of Russian attacks in Donbass, Kharkiv and the Mykolaiv region told researchers that the Ukrainian military was conducting operations near their homes at the time of the attacks, exposing the areas to counterfire from Russian forces. Amnesty International researchers have witnessed such behavior in numerous locations. International humanitarian law requires all parties to a conflict to avoid locating, to the greatest extent possible, military targets within or near densely populated areas. Other obligations to protect civilians from the effects of attacks include removing civilians from the vicinity of military targets and providing effective warning of attacks that may affect the civilian population.

– The army was stationed in the house next to ours and my son often brought food to the soldiers. I begged him several times to stay away, because I feared for his safety. That afternoon, when the attack happened, my son was in our yard and I was in the house. He died on the spot. His body was mutilated. Our house was partially destroyed – said the mother of a man (50), who was killed in a rocket attack on June 10 in a village south of Nikolaev. Amnesty International found military equipment and uniforms in the house next to hers. Nikola, who lives in the block in Lisichansk in Donbass, which the Russians regularly targeted and killed at least one person, said that it is not clear to him “why our army fires from the cities and not from the fields”.

Another resident said that “there is definitely military activity in the neighborhood.” – We hear “outgoing” and then “incoming” fire” – he said. Amnesty International teams saw soldiers using residential buildings located 20 meters from the entrance to the underground shelter, which was used by residents and where an elderly man was killed. In one Donbas town on May 6, Russian forces used cluster munitions over a neighborhood of mostly one- or two-story houses where Ukrainian forces were manning artillery. Shrapnel damaged the walls of the house where Ana (70) lives with her son and 95-year-old mother.

In early July, a farm worker was injured when Russian forces attacked an agricultural warehouse in the Nikolayev area. Hours after the attack, Amnesty International researchers witnessed the presence of Ukrainian military personnel and vehicles in the grain storage area, and witnesses confirmed that the military was using the warehouse, which is located across from a farm where civilians live and work. As researchers surveyed damage to residential and public buildings in Kharkiv and villages in the Donbass and east of Mykolaiv, they heard gunfire from nearby Ukrainian military positions. In Bakhmut, several residents said the Ukrainian military was using a building barely 20 meters across the street from the high-rise. On May 18, a Russian rocket hit the front of the building, partially destroying five apartments and damaging nearby buildings.

Read more …

“..saying there is “no proof” that weapons entering his country are unaccounted for, despite similar warnings from the Russian government, Europol, Canada, the CIA and a number of US Republicans..”

CBS Caves Into Ukrainian Pressure On Weapons Revelations (RT)

CBS News has pulled a documentary and amended a story featuring claims that 70% of foreign weapons never make it to the front lines in Ukraine. The changes were made amid an outcry from the Ukrainian government and its supporters. The documentary originally featured an interview with Jonas Ohman, the founder of a Lithuania-based organization supplying the Ukrainian military. Ohman told CBS that getting foreign weapons to Ukrainian troops involves navigating a network of “power lords, oligarchs [and] political players,” and that of all the aid arriving at the border in Poland, “kind of like 30% of it reaches its final destination.” Amnesty International’s Donatella Rovera also appeared in the film, saying that “there is really no information as to where [the weapons are] going at all.”

The documentary was released online on Thursday, and was set to air on CBS on Sunday evening. Pro-Ukrainian social media accounts hounded CBS over the weekend, accusing the American network of spreading “Russian propaganda. ”Ukrainian presidential adviser Mikhail Podoliak waded in, saying there is “no proof” that weapons entering his country are unaccounted for, despite similar warnings from the Russian government, Europol, Canada, the CIA and a number of US Republicans. The documentary was pulled from CBS’ website on Sunday night, and Ohman’s quote removed from a text version of the story. Atop this story, CBS placed a note saying that arms deliveries have “significantly improved” since its filming in April, and that the US sent a senior military official to Kiev in recent days “for arms control and monitoring.”

Ohman’s organization issued a statementsaying that the documentary took his words “out of context,” but did not deny that 70% of incoming military aid was going missing in April. Weapons were not being “stolen” or “sold on the black market,” the organization explained, but ending up in the hands of “different power players” attempting to “solidify their positions.”Who these players were was left unexplained. CBS said that it is “updating” its documentary and will air the edited version at a later date. Rovera, already slated by the Ukrainian government and its supporters over a recent Amnesty report accusing Kiev of placing weapons in civilian areas in violation of humanitarian law, also attempted to backpedal.

In a Twitter post on Sunday, she claimed that the responsibility for tracking arms shipments lies with the states providing the weapons, not with Ukraine. The Ukrainian government welcomed the CBS retraction. Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba nevertheless declared that the US network had “misled a huge audience by sharing unsubstantiated claims and damaging trust in supplies of vital military aid to a nation resisting aggression and genocide.” “There should be an internal investigation into who enabled this and why,” he concluded. Others criticized the changes, which journalist Max Blumenthal said were made following “a coordinated freakout by the Ukraine lobby.”

Read more …

As Ukraine accuses Russia of targeting a plant they already control, with missiles. Easier to just pull a switch or two?!

Russia Accuses Ukraine Of ‘Nuclear Terrorism’ (RT)

Ukrainian troops have committed “a new act of nuclear terrorism” by continuing to shell the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday. The nuclear plant, Europe’s largest, in southern Ukraine was seized by Russian forces in late February, when Moscow launched its military operation in the neighboring state. The facility continues to operate under Russian control with Ukrainian personnel. In a daily briefing, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov said that Ukraine’s 44th Artillery Brigade fired at the plant on Sunday from the village of Marganets on the opposite side of the large Kakhovka water reservoir.

The shelling damaged a high-voltage power line, causing a short circuit at the plant, Konashenkov said. He added that a fire broke out at the facility, which was then put out. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, it was the second time Ukrainian shelling has caused a fire and a partial power outage at the plant since Friday. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the attacks on the nuclear facility could have “catastrophic consequences for a huge territory, including the territory of Europe.” “We hope that countries which have an absolute influence on the Ukrainian leadership will use this influence to rule out such shelling,” Peskov said.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky accused Russia of shelling the Zaporozhye plant on Friday. “Russian nuclear terror requires a stronger response from the international community,” he tweeted, also warning about a potential nuclear disaster. Ukraine and the US previously accused Russian soldiers of using the plant as cover in the fight against Ukrainian troops. Russia has rejected these claims. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres condemned the “suicidal” attacks on the plant, expressing hope that international inspectors will be able to access the facility soon.

Read more …

Blue states start boycotting red states. Civil War here we come.

Time for a Red-State NATO-like Alliance on Boycotts (Turley)

“An attack on one is an attack on all.” That reference to Article 5 of the NATO treaty is a virtual mantra in Washington these days as “the bedrock of peace and security in Europe for over half a century.” But the benefits of such deterrence should not be lost on another group under increasing threat for their political alliances: America’s red states. From California to Illinois, legislators are moving to boycott any state contracts with businesses in states with anti-LGBTQ legislation or restrictive abortion laws. At the same time, many Democratic leaders are pressuring companies to boycott red states too. This past week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) called upon Hollywood production companies to stop filming in states such as Georgia or Oklahoma with strict anti-abortion laws.

In Georgia, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams has warned that companies will cut off ties with such states, including her own, if they do not change their laws. (Abrams previously was criticized by conservatives for fueling the boycott of her own state which led to the withdrawal of the All-Star Game from Atlanta over election reform laws.) Such campaigns have succeeded, particularly with private companies. Indeed, in both restricting speech and boycotting states, the left has found greater success with private companies than with voters in pushing their agenda. The New York Times warned pro-life states that they risk their “competitive edge” in the market if they do not change their laws to conform with blue-state views. The boycott threats have been growing since 2016, when North Carolina was targeted for passing a bill limiting bathroom access by biological gender.

The point of these campaigns is to pressure state officials to ignore the will of a majority of their citizens and pass laws to appeal to corporations and other states in a competitive market. Such boycotts by private citizens or groups are an important form of political speech; various state laws barring state contracts with those who support boycotts of Israel, for example, have been struck down as unconstitutional, although an appellate court recently upheld an Arkansas law. However, states or companies engaging in such boycotts is a different matter. Many consumers do not want companies like Disney to engage in political debates over issues like transgender rights. One poll showed 67 percent opposed corporate opposition to an “anti-grooming” law, a view that appears to be impacting Disney.

Read more …

Bunch of cowards.

Australian Labor Party & Assange: Burying the Politics (Tranter)

The difficulty for the Australian Labor government in deciding how to respond to the Julian Assange case is that once a prosecution is characterised as a political prosecution then, by its nature, there can be no expectation of due process. The U.S.-U.K. Extradition Treaty forbids extradition in the case of “political offences.” Former Australian High Commissioner to the U.K. George Brandis — who was commissioner for almost the entirety of Assange’s Belmarsh imprisonment since 2019 — doesn’t agree that Assange is a political prisoner. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and its new Minister Penny Wong have consistently stated a view that the case is not political but purely a legal matter: “Australia is not a party to Julian Assange’s case, nor can the Australian government intervene in the legal matters of another country.”

However, the most vocally outspoken Labor MP on the Assange case has now thrown that position on its head. “This is a political case, Labor MP Julian Hill told Consortium News in a video interview on July 28. “It is a political decision to extradite. And we’ve conveyed our view to the U.K. government regarding that. And it’s also a political decision in the U.S.” The government suggesting its hands are tied as Australia is “not a party” to the Assange case and they can’t intervene in “legal matters,” ignores the evident truths that the Assange case is indeed political, that its result will have global political consequences and that a pathway exists for a political intervention towards a political resolution.

Labor also strains to maintain credibility in its stated expectations of Assange receiving fair and humane treatment, on the one hand, and on the other remaining silent on the findings of Nils Melzer, the then-U.N. special rapporteur on torture, who had found Assange had suffered both psychological torture and political persecution. There has also been a silence on the extraordinary acts of the U.S. intelligence agencies, in particular the fact that Assange’s legally privileged conversations and papers were recorded and handed to U.S. intelligence agencies, and also on the C.I.A.’s plans to kidnap or assassinate Assange.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Ukrainians migrating from Zelensky controlled areas to Russian controlled #Kherson

 

 

 

 


The Himalayan Vulture

 

 

 

 

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