May 092024
 
 May 9, 2024  Posted by at 9:17 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  56 Responses »


Pieter Bruegel the Elder Dulle Griet, also known as Mad Meg 1563

 

How May 9th Became The Chief National Holiday In Modern Russia (RT)
Stormy Daniels Day: Alvin Bragg Lights Dumpster Fire in Manhattan
Keeping Fani On RICO Trial Under Scrutiny By Appeals Court (ZH)
RFK Jr. Had ‘Dead Worm’ In Brain in 2010– NYT (RT)
Von der Leyen Facing Growing Discontent In EU Capitals – Media (RT)
A tale of Two Sovereigns, a Lackey and a Nanny (Pepe Escobar)
Being An US “Ally” Means Silently Watching Your Own Destruction (Dionísio)
Zuckerberg Considered Buying Associated Press (RT)
MTG Initiates Ouster of US House Speaker (RT)
Hapless President Biden Caught Between Unhappy Base, Unrepentant Israel (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

Stormy
https://twitter.com/i/status/1788059772513619972

 

 

CNN Stormy
https://twitter.com/i/status/1788062188688580682

 

 

Supercharger

 

 

 

 

It’s been 79 years.

How May 9th Became The Chief National Holiday In Modern Russia (RT)

WWII Victory Day, celebrated in Russia on May 9, has become a special holiday. The war was both the greatest trial and the greatest triumph in Russia’s modern history. However, the celebrations acquired their current shape and form not so long ago, and some important traditions were established quite recently. The Act of Unconditional Surrender of the German Third Reich was signed by Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel on May 8, 1945, at 22:43 Central European Time. In Moscow, it was already the early hours of May 9th. That very morning, Russians found out that the war, which had claimed 27 million Soviet lives, was finally over and the enemy had surrendered. The first celebration of victory in WWII – or the Great Patriotic War, as it is known in Russia – took place that very day.

Army reports instantly dropped their official tone and described how the residents of Prague pulled the troops off their armored vehicles to dance and drink together. In the provinces, people ran out on the streets and congratulated each other. Indeed, some fanatical Nazis continued to put up resistance, Europe was full of mines, and reports stated that there were many losses throughout the month of May. But the big war was over, and to the sound of fireworks, people returned home. No one doubted that victory in WWII was an incredibly important event. However, people were grieving the deaths of their relatives and friends, and their pain was great. May 9 was immediately designated a national holiday. However, lavish celebrations seemed out of place as the country was in ruins, and mentally and physically crippled soldiers, concentration camp prisoners, ‘ostarbeiters’ and refugees returned home.

In Western Ukraine and the Baltic States, battles against nationalist partisans continued. In those years, the Victory Day Parade was held only once, in the summer of 1945. During this grand spectacle, Wehrmacht and SS banners seized in Germany were thrown in front of the Kremlin. But in the following years, the celebrations became more modest. Every year on May 9th there was a fireworks display, but otherwise, from 1947 it was a regular workday (even though a festive one), and veterans usually celebrated it with friends. Things changed in 1965. By that time, 20 years had passed since the end of the war. New Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, himself a WWII veteran, decided to once again make May 9 a day off. From then on, military parades were held on Victory Day jubilees, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier memorial was opened by the Kremlin wall, and the tradition of laying wreaths at the memorials was established. In short, the holiday acquired a grand scale and became quite solemn after the nation’s pain had somewhat subsided.

The country is gone, but the memory remains . The annual large-scale celebration of Victory Day, with parades held across the country and a military parade on Moscow’s Red Square, is a fairly new tradition. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, an obvious question arose – what should be done with the country’s communist legacy and symbology? For example, the Day of the 1917 Revolution was observed on November 7. It was replaced by another holiday, associated with Russian national heroes Minin and Pozharsky, who lived in the 17th century. But no one ever considered revising May 9th as Victory Day.

However, the authorities wanted to separate the holiday from socialist ideology. In the Soviet Union, ideology and victory were inseparable. But in the 90s, a new era had dawned. The USSR had collapsed. Moreover, many war heroes fell prey to new conflicts. For example, Vladimir Bochkovsky, a hero of the battles in Ukraine and Germany, became a citizen of the unrecognized Republic of Transnistria, which started a bloody uprising against the former Soviet Republic of Moldova. Meliton Kantaria – the standard-bearer who had hoisted the Soviet flag over the Reichstag – was forced to flee from Abkhazia when an ethnic conflict broke out between the Abkhazians and Georgians, even though by that time, he was a very old man. At that time, a question arose – what does Victory Day mean for the new republics?

Opinions differed. In the Baltic states, national elites believed that in the 40s their countries had been held hostage by two totalitarian regimes. Moreover, unofficially, the Nazis were preferred over the communists – for example, in Latvia, the memorial day of the Latvian SS Legion was officially celebrated for some time. In many other former USSR republics, Victory Day is celebrated in one way or another. In Russia, Victory Day has remained one of the most important national holidays, and a key moment in Russian history. However, the holiday has lost some of its political meaning. For example, Lenin’s Mausoleum is draped on May 9 in order to avoid ideological ties, and a new symbol has been added to the celebrations – the black and orange St. George ribbon, which resembles both the ribbon of the Order of St. George (the highest military decoration in Imperial Russia) and the ribbon of the Order of Glory – a WWII soldier’s award.

Russian communists and leftists didn’t like the fact that the Soviet symbols were replaced. However, for the majority of Russian people, other aspects turned out to be more important. WWII impacted almost every family in Russia, and most people consider the Soviet era as simply one period in the country’s history. Therefore, national motives are considered more important than Soviet symbology.

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“The court was told that this would happen, it happened, and now the court wants to ask the jury to pretend that it did not happen..”

Stormy Daniels Day: Alvin Bragg Lights Dumpster Fire in Manhattan

Before the start of the Manhattan prosecution of former president Donald Trump, I characterized the case of District Attorney Alvin Bragg as based on a type of obscenity standard. In a 1984 pornography case, Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart wrote “I shall not today attempt further to define [obscenity]. . . . But I know it when I see it.” Bragg has refused to clearly define the crime that Trump was seeking to conceal when payments for a non-disclosure agreement were listed as a legal expense. We would just know it when we saw it at trial. We are still waiting, but this week, Bragg seems to be prosecuting an actual obscenity case. The prosecution fought with Trump’s defense counsel to not only call porn star Stormy Daniels to the stand, but to ask her for lurid details on her alleged tryst with Trump. The only assurance that they would make to Judge Juan Merchan was that they would “not go into details of genitalia.”

For Merchan, who has largely ruled against Trump on such motions, that was enough. He allowed the prosecutors to get into the details of the affair despite the immateriality of the evidence to any criminal theory. Neither the NDA nor the payment to Daniels is being contested. It is also uncontested that Trump wanted to pay to get the story (and other stories, including untrue allegations) from being published. The value of the testimony was entirely sensational and gratuitous, yet Merchan was fine with humiliating Trump. Daniels’ testimony was a dumpster fire in the courtroom. The most maddening moment for the defense came at the lunch break when Merchan stated, “I agree that it would have been better if some of these things had been left unsaid.” He then denied a motion for a mistrial based on the testimony and blamed the defense for not objecting more.

That, of course, ignores the standing objection of the defense to Daniels even appearing, and specific objections to the broad scope allowed by the court. This is precisely what the defense said would happen when the prosecutors only agreed to avoid “genitalia.” There was no reason for Daniels to appear at all in the trial. Even if he was adamant in allowing her, Merchan could have imposed a much more limited scope for her testimony. He could also have enforced the limits that he did place on the testimony when it was being ignored by both the prosecutors and the witness. Merchan said that he is considering a limiting instruction for the jury to ignore aspects of the testimony.

But that is little comfort for the defendant. The court was told that this would happen, it happened, and now the court wants to ask the jury to pretend that it did not happen. Merchan knows that there is no way for the jury to unhear the testimony. More importantly, the prosecution knew that from the outset. Daniels appeared eager to share the stories for the same reason that she was eager to sell her story. While she said that she “hates” Trump and wants him “held accountable,” Daniels is no victim.

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“..Trump and other defendants argued that McAfee was wrong not to remove both WIllis and Wade, writing that “providing DA Willis with the option to simply remove Wade confounds logic and is contrary to Georgia law.”

Keeping Fani On RICO Trial Under Scrutiny By Appeals Court (ZH)

One day after former President Donald Trump’s classified documents trial was postponed indefinitely after we learned that the DOJ mishandled evidence in the case (with Judge Aileen M. Cannon citing a mountain of ‘outstanding’ pre-trial matters that would make a May 20 trial ‘imprudent’), another Trump case appears to have no chance of going to trial before the 2024 election. On Wednesday, a Georgia appeals court agreed to review a lower court ruling which allowed Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to remain on the Trump RICO prosecution despite being highly conflicted. To review, Atlanta Judge Scott McAfee of Fulton Superior Court, who donated to Fani Willis when she was running for office, ruled in March that the Fani simply had to kick her lover, Nathan Wade, off the case after she paid him more than $600,000. The two notoriously took several lavish vacations together on Wade’s dime (which Fani swears she repaid in cash).

According to McAfee, while he found the “appearance of impropriety,” no “disqualification of a constitutional officer necessary when a less drastic and sufficiently remedial option is available,” adding “that the prosecution of this case cannot proceed until the State selects one of two options.” And now, the Atlanta Court of Appeals has agreed to hear an appeal from the defendants over whether McAfee erred in his decision. Willis indicted Trump and 18 other defendants last August, accusing them of a wide-ranging scheme to attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in the state. All of the defendants were charged under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, or RICO, law. Trump and most of the other defendants have pleaded not guilty. In their appeal application, Trump and other defendants argued that McAfee was wrong not to remove both WIllis and Wade, writing that “providing DA Willis with the option to simply remove Wade confounds logic and is contrary to Georgia law.”

Most recently, Willis has defiantly refused to appear before a Georgia Senate Investigative Committee, telling reporters earlier this week (via RedState): REPORTER: Would you appear before a Georgia Senate committee without a subpoena? WILLIS: Well first of all I don’t even think they have the authority to subpoena me, but they didn’t learn the law. REPORTER: Will you appear, yes or no? WILLIS: I will not appear to anything that is unlawful. I have not broken the law in any way. I’ve said it, you know, I’ll say it amongst these leaders—I’m sorry folks get p***ed off that everybody gets treated even. FAITH LEADER STANDING NEXT TO HER: I think she answered that very well.

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Is it still there?

RFK Jr. Had ‘Dead Worm’ In Brain in 2010– NYT (RT)

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. once thought he had a brain tumor but the dark spot on the scans turned out to be a dead parasitic worm, the New York Times has reported citing legal documents. President John Kennedy’s nephew, who is currently running an independent presidential campaign, has argued that he is both younger and healthier than incumbent President Joe Biden and his chief rival Donald Trump. In 2010, however, RFK Jr. was experiencing “brain fog” and memory loss so severe, he turned to top neurologists for advice about a possible tumor, according to the Times. One New York doctor gave him a different opinion, however: a dead parasite. The anomaly seen on the scans “was caused by a worm that got into my brain and ate a portion of it and then died,” Kennedy said in a 2012 deposition.

In the same legal interview, Kennedy said he “clearly” had cognitive problems, including short-term and longer-term memory loss. In a subsequent interview with the Times, however, he attributed those to mercury poisoning, caused by his fish-heavy diet at the time. Blood tests found mercury levels 10 times higher than the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers safe, Kennedy said, adding that he fully recovered after undergoing chelation therapy to remove the heavy metal from his body. According to the Times article, the cyst containing the dead worm remained in Kennedy’s brain and did not require treatment, nor did he have any aftereffects from it. He said he did not know what type of parasite it may have been or how he contracted it, though he suspected it was on a trip to South Asia.

The 2012 document was related to divorce proceedings from Mary Richardson Kennedy, RFK Jr’s second wife. Kennedy argued at the time that his earnings potential had been diminished by cognitive struggles. Kennedy has been outspoken about another obvious mental condition, a neurological disorder called spasmodic dysphonia that causes his voice to become hoarse and strained. RFK Jr. initially launched a primary challenge to Biden within the Democratic Party, but switched to an independent bid after several months of stonewalling from the party apparatus. Biden, 81, is widely believed to suffer from several cognitive impairments due to his age and prior medical conditions – though his doctors have insisted that the oldest US president ever to be inaugurated was just fine.

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Another dead worm.

Von der Leyen Facing Growing Discontent In EU Capitals – Media (RT)

EU elites are growing increasingly disenchanted with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Swiss newspaper Neue Zurcher Zeitung has claimed. Bloomberg reported last month that French President Emmanuel Macron, widely regarded as a key backer in von der Leyen’s rise, is eyeing a replacement for her. Although she is unelected, von der Leyen’s fate still indirectly depends on the outcome of the European parliamentary elections scheduled for next month. She remains the main candidate for the center-right European People’s Party (EPP), which has the most seats in the European Parliament. Despite an expected right wing surge in the upcoming votes, it is expected to reinforce its dominant position in June. Any EPP nominee would still require the backing from an absolute majority of MEPs and von der Leyen has refused to rule out a coalition with right wing groups in order to secure another five-year term.

In an article on Wednesday, Neue Zurcher Zeitung claimed that “in the capitals, many are dissatisfied with [von der Leyen’s] record, with her excessive climate policy [and] the weakening economy.” The media outlet added that “accusations of nepotism and non-transparency” have also cast a shadow on her prospects. According to the Swiss newspaper, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, along with French President Macron, are considering alternatives to von der Leyen, including former European Central Bank president Mario Draghi. Citing anonymous sources, Bloomberg also claimed in April that Macron was discussing potential replacements with other EU leaders. The media outlet likewise named Draghi as a possible candidate.

Macron has taken several thinly veiled swipes at von der Leyen in recent months. In March, he complained that while the “commission presidency is there to defend the general interest,” it has become “over-politicized.” Von der Leyen’s standing has also been shaken by several high-profile scandals. Last month, the commission president found herself in hot water after giving fellow German MEP Markus Pieper the lucrative job of “special adviser” on a reported salary of €17,000 ($18,000) a month. EU heavyweights such as the bloc’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, and Commissioner Thierry Breton have sounded the alarm over “questions about the transparency and impartiality of the nomination process.”The commission, however, insisted that the “process [to appoint Pieper] took place in full compliance with procedures.”

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“..it’s idle to dwell on what can only be described as suicidal stupidity..”

A tale of Two Sovereigns, a Lackey and a Nanny (Pepe Escobar)

Startling mirror images swirl around two major developments this week directly inbuilt in the Grand Narrative that shapes my latest book, Eurasia v. NATOstan, recently published in the U.S.: Xi Jinping’s visit to Paris and the inauguration of Vladimir Putin’s new term in Moscow. Inevitably, this is a contrasting tale of Sovereigns – the comprehensive Russia-China strategic partnership – and lackeys: the NATOstan/EU vassals. Xi, the quintessential hermetic guest, is quite sharp at reading a table – and we’re not talking about Gallic gastronomic finesse. The minute he sat at the Paris table he got the Big Picture. This was not a tete-a-tete with Le Petit Roi, Emmanuel Macron. This was a threesome because Toxic Medusa Ursula von der Leyen, more appropriately defined as Pustula von der Lugen, had inserted herself in the plot.

Nothing was lost in translation for Xi: this was graphic illustration that Le Petit Roi, the leader of a third-rate former Western colonial power, enjoys zero “strategic autonomy”. The decisions that matter come from the Kafkaesque Eurocracy of the European Commission (EC), led by his Nanny, the Medusa, and directly relayed by the Hegemon. Le Petit Roi spent the whole of Xi’s Gallic time babbling like an infant on Putin’s “destabilizations” and trying to “engage China, which objectively enjoys sufficient levers to change Moscow’s calculus in its war in Ukraine”. Obviously no pubescent adviser at the Elysee Palace – and there’s quite a crowd – dared to break the news to Le Petit Roi about the strength, depth and reach of the Russia-China strategic partnership.

So it was up to his Nanny to volunteer out loud the fine print on the “Monsieur Xi comes to France” adventure. Faithfully parroting Treasure Secretary Janet Yellen in her recent, disastrous Beijing incursion, the Nanny directly threatened the superpowered hermetic guest: you are exceeding in “over-capacity”, you are over-producing; and if you don’t stop it, we will sanction you to death. So much for European “strategic autonomy”. Moreover, it’s idle to dwell on what can only be described as suicidal stupidity.

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“..if anything is falling, it’s American hegemony, whose containment strategies have so far only resulted in even stronger and more capable opponents..”

Being An US “Ally” Means Silently Watching Your Own Destruction (Dionísio)

The Chinese foreign minister, Wang Yi, once said that the formula used by the European Union to manage its relations with China is “impractical”, “it’s like driving a car to an intersection and looking at the traffic light and seeing the yellow, green and red lights on at the same time”. I would say more… In addition to the confusion with the traffic light indications, the driver — for the Chinese only — still has to watch out for nails, oil and potholes in the road, which can lead to a crash or damage to the vehicle.

And who would cause such dangers along the way? Given the desperation of the actors involved and the unidirectional nature of the actions… Consequently, the exasperated and catastrophic tone that we find in the Western press, as opposed to a more triumphalist tone that was still in force six months ago (maybe even less than that), tells us everything we need to know. It’s incredible how Western emotions run riot, going from one extreme to the other in very short periods of time. From certain victory in Ukraine against Russia, we move on to widespread panic, in which Sullivan, Biden, Borrell or Macron, who as recently as September were already bathing in the good waters of Crimea, have now moved on to the certainty that Russian troops will not stop at the Dnepr and perhaps not even at the Danube, Rhine or Elbe.

During 2023 we all watched the unstoppable succession of predictions of the fall of the Chinese economy — remember, the Russian one was already “in taters — only now to be panicked by the flood of high-quality, low-cost products that the lazy West can’t even dream of competing with. It’s happening in cars, as well as semiconductors and agricultural machinery, and we’re gradually discovering, from the hysterical tone of Janet Yellen and Blinken, that if anything is falling, it’s American hegemony, whose containment strategies have so far only resulted in even stronger and more capable opponents. After all, it’s hard work that shapes character. The rentier capitalist elite of the West is too used to the easy money of royalties to be able to compete with those who have never abandoned industry, agriculture and truly productive activities.

The fact is that, in the Washington Post, David Ignatius, a researcher linked to the U.S.’s largest think thank, based on work by the Rand Corporation itself, says that analysts say the U.S. is entering a decline from which few powers have recovered; it is also RAND that provides us with an article entitled “U.S.-China rivalry in a new middle age”, pointing to the need for decision-makers to develop a neo-medieval mentality, namely by having to wage war in the knowledge that the “public” doesn’t want it; Borrell says that the U.S. is no longer hegemonic and that China has already become a superpower, something that Brzezinski had promised would never happen again; or the statistics on the U.S. economy, which say that it grew by only 1.6% in the first quarter of 2024, which shows a slowdown compared to the forecast. A big slowdown, considering the 2.7% predicted by U.S. broadcasting networks such as the IMF.

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To speed up its demise?!

Zuckerberg Considered Buying Associated Press (RT)

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg considered acquiring or taking a major stake in the Associated Press news agency, Business Insider reported on Tuesday, citing sources. The potential deal was mooted after the social media giant faced accusations of influencing the 2016 US presidential election. Now known as Meta, the company’s role in the election, in which Donald Trump was voted into power, faced intense scrutiny from Washington amid claims that the platform had helped spread fake news. The moral panic worsened after Facebook disclosed that a Russian agency had spent $100,000 on social network ads that allegedly attempted to incite divisions during the presidential campaign.

Moscow has denied any attempt to interfere in the US election, while Facebook’s vice president for advertising, Rob Goldman, later revealed that the Russian spending had in fact come after the election. Zuckerberg, however, was still forced to make significant changes to Facebook’s services and privacy policies, and even officially apologized to the US Congress in 2018 for his management of the platform. According to Business Insider, the CEO had the idea of acquiring a news outlet around the same time. Sources said Zuckerberg had planned to use it as a reliable source of information to create high-quality news posts and tackle controversy over the platform’s content. The billionaire reportedly discussed the idea extensively within Facebook. While Zuckerberg is said to have considered several media outlets for acquisition, he eventually focused on the Associated Press (AP), the major international news agency based in New York.

The AP is a news cooperative, which made an outright acquisition difficult, sources claimed. Instead, Zuckerberg reportedly focused on the potential permanent subsidization of the agency. According to the report, the tech boss was set on acquiring the AP and even involved Facebook’s mergers and acquisitions team in his plans. He ultimately dropped the idea, however, supposedly fearing even more regulatory scrutiny over the move. Later, Zuckerberg reportedly mulled the idea of launching Facebook’s own news organization to produce original content, and considered luring top journalists from other outlets with financial incentives. This idea was also said to have been abandoned amid concerns about the lack of public trust in the social media giant at the time.

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Too late now.

MTG Initiates Ouster of US House Speaker (RT)

Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia has filed a motion to vacate the chair of the US House of Representatives, accusing Speaker Mike Johnson of Louisiana of betraying his party. According to the text of the resolution, made public by fellow Republican Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Johnson “has not lived up to a single one” of the seven tenets he announced when he was elected speaker last October. Johnson’s tenure “is defined by one self-serving characteristic: When given a choice between advancing Republican priorities or allying with Democrats to preserve his own personal power, Johnson regularly chooses to ally himself with Democrats,” Greene said. The House leadership responded to Greene’s proposal with a motion to dismiss the resolution. The final vote was 359 in favor (196 Republicans and 163 Democrats) to 43 opposed, saving Johnson’s speakership.

Only 11 Republicans and 32 Democrats voted to support Greene’s resolution, indirectly proving Greene’s point that the speaker is aligned with the “uniparty” in Washington. Among the things Greene and Massie – who backed her proposal – blamed Johnson for was the expulsion of Congressman George Santos in December. His seat was taken over by a Democrat in a special election. Johnson counted on Democrats to pass the omnibus government funding bill in March and the $61 billion funding package for Ukraine in April; on both occasions, the majority of House Republicans voted against. “By passing the Democrats’ agenda and handcuffing Republicans’ ability to influence legislation, our elected Republican Speaker Mike Johnson has aided and abetted the Democrats and the Biden administration in destroying our country,” Greene added.

Bills that Johnson worked to pass funded all of President Joe Biden and the Democrats’ agenda, Greene argued, including the “deadly border invasion,” the “energy-killing Green New Deal climate agenda,” the “weaponized” FBI and the Department of Justice, the “trans agenda on kids,” continued full term abortions, and the “fueling of foreign forever wars.” Greene’s resolution called Johnson’s excuses for these actions “pathetic, weak, and unacceptable,” noting that even with a razor-thin majority in the House, the GOP still has the power of the purse. Johnson also trampled his previous record as a defender of civil liberties to vote against requiring a warrant for FISA spying on Americans, Greene said, and funded the Democrats’ “witch hunt” against the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump.

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They never expected the blowback.

Hapless President Biden Caught Between Unhappy Base, Unrepentant Israel (Sp.)

Six months out from November’s election, US President Joe Biden continues to flounder on a key foreign policy issue. “We’ve made clear our views about operations in Rafah that could potentially put more than a million innocent people at greater risk,” said White House spokesman John Kirby Monday. “[Biden] also made clear that we continue to believe that the hostage deal was the best way to avoid that sort of an outcome while securing the release of those hostages.” Days later, the IDF’s operation in the southern Gazan city of Rafah continues with no apparent progress on a deal to bring it to an end. The incident is characteristic of the White House’s relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, claimed analyst Hasan Unal, which leaves the US president with the impossible task of attempting to please both pro-Palestine elements in his party and Israel’s far-right leadership. The professor of political science and international relations at Bashkent University joined Sputnik’s Fault Lines program Wednesday to discuss these latest developments and their strategic and humanitarian implications.

“I think Israel would’ve wanted to see Hamas rejecting any deal on that,” said Unal after reports emerged the Palestinian group had accepted a proposal negotiated with the help of the US, Egypt and Qatar. “That would have cleared the way for Israel, particularly the Netanyahu government, to undertake that awful military operation in Rafah… It has certainly placed Israel in a very difficult corner in that sense. So Hamas has won the tactical game.” “That doesn’t mean that that is going to stop Israel,” he explained. “Don’t forget, the United States is the only country perhaps in the world that has so much leverage over Israel. On the one hand, yes, there is the Israeli lobby, which is very powerful in the United States. But at the same time the United States has enormous influence and leverage over Israel.”

Unal recounted the United States’ efforts to rein in Israel in the past, such as during 1956’s Suez Crisis in which the US, the Soviet Union, and international authorities ordered Israel to end its occupation of Egyptian territory in the Sinai Desert. The US again forced Israel into a compromise during the 1978 signing of the Camp David Accords and once again when former President Ronald Reagan ordered the country to end its bombing of Beirut in 1982. In 1991 US Secretary of State James Baker succeeded in delaying US loan guarantees to Israel until it agreed to pause illegal settlement building in Gaza and the West Bank. Baker and former President George H.W. Bush faced strident opposition for the move from AIPAC and other pro-Israel interests. Bush lost reelection the following year, and US leaders have shown little willingness to challenge Israel ever since.

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How we do
https://twitter.com/i/status/1787808759756341374

 

 

Sequoia

 

 

Big cat belly

 

 

Shark
https://twitter.com/i/status/1787935687821369683

 

 

Empires
https://twitter.com/i/status/1788209987740639713

 

 

Ghost
https://twitter.com/i/status/1787949929907851646

 

 

Pet shower

 

 

 

 

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