Mar 062024
 


Pablo Picasso The Rooster 1918

 

Elon Musk Exposes the Democrats’ Secret Game Plan to Win Every Election (VN)
Democrats Prepare to Resume Disqualification Efforts in Congress (Turley)
Victoria Nuland Quits (RT)
Tucker Carlson Compares US to Roman Empire (RT)
It Has Been NATO Vs. Russia All Along (Pepe Escobar)
NATO’s Role in Ukraine Is as Sleazy as the EU’s (Jay)
‘Untenable Positions’ – Warning Signs Abound (Alastair Crooke)
Defense Ministry Reveals Possible Scenario of Attack on Russia (Sp.)
Russian Armed Forces Continue to Push Ukrainian Troops Westward – Shoigu (Sp.)
German Military Leak Becoming Massive Headache for West (Sp.)
Israel’s Manpower Crisis Worsens As Wave Of Resignations Hits Army (Cradle)
George Galloway Is Not A Threat To Democracy (Hryce)
Galloway Explains Why RT Was Banned: ‘Too many people watched’ (RT)
Gold – We Have Liftoff! (Egon von Greyerz)

 

 

 

 

Jon Stewart

 

 

Trump Elon
https://twitter.com/i/status/1765180141259641194

 

 

Trump

 

 

This freight train’s coming

 

 

Bannon Nuland

 

 

Tucker Ablow

 

 

Lots of outages on Super Tuesday..

 

 

@ SteveLovesAmmo:
I honestly don’t know how Donald Trump does it. He has been relentlessly attacked by the mainstream media since 2015. He has been arrested 4 times with 91 charges and is facing 700 years in prison over political persecution. He lost over 46% of his net worth since his Presidency, while the establishment continues to rake in and fatten their pocketbooks. He flies to numerous cities and states to greet his supporters in between court cases.

He could have thrown in the towel at any point and continued his lavish lifestyle but continues to fight daily for the American people. His home and his wife and sons possessions were violated by the FBI. That’s a man that has been battle tested and worthy of being President of the United States of America. Not some corrupt politician that has been milking the system for over 50 years. Donald Trump is a true American patriot and hero. No one can change my mind.

 

 

@jason_meister
Democrats illegally spied on Trump’s transition team, framed a three-star-general, sabotaged an administration, undermined a sitting US president, banned him from social media, impeached him 2X, arrested him 4X, charged him 91X, indicted him 4X, jailed his supporters, and raided his private residence. When all of that failed they attempted to remove him from ballots. And they go on national television to talk about how we need to vote for Democrats to save democracy.

 

 

 

 

“I mean, that’s a mercenary army by definition.” “Of course,” Macgregor replied, “And mercenaries fight for money. They fight for the people that pay them.”

Elon Musk Exposes the Democrats’ Secret Game Plan to Win Every Election (VN)

Following Biden’s COVID-19 “vaccine” mandates and the war on middle America, the U.S. military is facing recruiting shortfalls. As a response to this challenge, Democrats are proposing illegal immigrants sign up for the armed forces, as a potential path to citizenship. One of the biggest proponents of this proposal is Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL). Not too long ago on the Senator floor, he said, “… if you are an undocumented person in this country and you can pass the physical and the required background test the like, you can serve in our military. And if you do it honorably, we will make you citizens of the United States. Do we need that? You know what the recruiting numbers are.” On Tucker Carlson Uncensored Monday evening, the conservative journalist asked retired Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor if Congress would be stupid enough to pass a law granting citizenship to illegal aliens who enlist in the military — to which Macgregor answered, “YES.”

“The problem is Washington is donor-occupied. Donor occupied. The donors own the political figure. So what do the donors want?” he asked. So, if the donor class wants illegal immigrants in the U.S. military, Macgregor thinks they have a high probability of getting their way. Macgregor also remarked: “I think the largest problem is that Washington is this ideological bubble. And everyone decides that anyone who doesn’t agree with them, that the world has to be refashioned in some new image that exists only in their minds, and that anybody who disagrees with them is by definition a criminal and has to be treated as such. What better solution than finding people who have no connection to the American people, arming them, and then sending them out to oppress us? Sounds like a great solution.” Carlson responded, “I mean, that’s a mercenary army by definition.” “Of course,” Macgregor replied, “And mercenaries fight for money. They fight for the people that pay them.”

On X, formerly known as Twitter, Elon Musk responded to a post by political commentator Ashley St. Clair. She said, “I was called a racist for saying this last year,” featuring a screenshot of a Daily Mail article that reads, “Biden administration ADMITS flying 320,000 migrants secretly into the U.S. to reduce the number of crossings at the border has national security ‘vulnerabilities.’” Musk replied: “It is obvious to anyone who is not a fool that this administration is deliberately importing vast numbers of illegals. “No grand conspiracy theory is needed to explain this, just simple incentives: they are far more likely to vote Democrat than Republican. “This is why Dems are constantly pushing to legalize illegals and won’t deport them, even when they are arrested for crime, which otherwise seem … I dunno … like an opportune time (shrug emoji). “If illegals can beat up American police on camera in Times Square, be released without bail, and get rewarded with free tickets to California, what more do you need to know?”

Is Musk being sensational? Take a listen to Senator Chris Murphy’s (D-Connecticut) words last month. He admitted to MSBNC host Chris Hayes that “the people we care about most” are “the undocumented Americans that are in this country.” TRANSLATION: “We want their votes!”

Hochul

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“It is the political version of the Big Gulp law, voters like consumers have to be protected against their own unhealthy choices..”

Democrats Prepare to Resume Disqualification Efforts in Congress (Turley)

Calling it “one on a huge list of priorities,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D., Md.) announced that he will be reintroducing a prior bill with Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Eric Swalwell to disqualify not just Trump but a large number of Republicans from taking office. The alternative, it appears, is unthinkable: allowing the public to choose their next president and representatives in Congress. It appears that the last thing Democrats want is for the unanimous decision to actually lead to an outbreak of democracy. Where the Court expressly warned of “chaos” in elections, Raskin and others appear eager to be agents of chaos in Congress. Soon after the decision, Raskin went on the air at CNN to assure people that he and his colleagues would not stand by and allow the right to vote be restored to citizens in the upcoming election.

He pledged to offer a prior bill that would declare Jan. 6 an “insurrection” and that those involved “engaged in insurrection.” I previously wrote about these “ballot cleansing” efforts because it would not just disqualify Trump but potentially dozens of sitting Republican members of Congress. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) sought to bar 126 members of Congress under the same theory. Similar legislation offered by Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) to disqualify members got 63 co-sponsors, all Democrats. Raskin’s participation in this effort is crushingly ironic. In 2016, he sought to block certification of the 2016 election under the very same law as violent protests were occurring before the inauguration. The prior bills were sweeping and included members who did not engage in any violent acts (no member has been charged with such violence or even incitement) but merely opposed certification.

Raskin recently offered a particularly Orwellian argument for the disqualification of Trump and his colleagues in Congress: “If you think about it, of all of the forms of disqualification that we have, the one that disqualifies people for engaging in insurrection is the most democratic because it’s the one where people choose themselves to be disqualified.” In other words, preventing voters from voting is “the most democratic” because these people choose to oppose certification . . . as he did in 2016. After the ruling, Raskin added the curious claim that the justices “didn’t exactly disagree with [the disqualification theory]. They just said that they’re not the ones to figure it out. It’s not going to be a matter for judicial resolution under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, but it’s up to Congress to enforce it.”

That was sharply different from the pre-decision Raskin who insisted that there was no real question legally and that the case before the justices was “their opportunity to behave like real Supreme Court justices.” Well, they did act as “real Supreme Court justices” by unanimously opposing what the Court described as the “chaos” that would unfold with such state disqualification efforts. Raskin, however, is seeking a new avenue for chaos through Congress. Raskin’s statement is also bizarre in claiming that somehow the justices agreed with him and the others pushing disqualification. No one, not even the Trump team, questioned that Congress could act to bar people from office. It is expressly stated in the Constitution. It is not an “argument” but a fact. Of course, the Democrats would need to craft the legislation correctly to satisfy the standard and secure the support of both houses. Neither appears likely at this point.

However, Raskin is succeeding in one respect. He and his colleagues have bulldozed any moral high ground after January 6th. Most of us condemned the riot on that day as a desecration of our constitutional process. Yet, the Democrats have responded with the most anti-democratic efforts to prevent voters from exercising their rights in the upcoming election. For these members, citizens cannot be trusted with this power as Trump tops national polls as the leading choice for the presidency. It is the political version of the Big Gulp law, voters like consumers have to be protected against their own unhealthy choices.

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“Russophobia, proposed by Victoria Nuland as the main foreign policy concept of the United States, is dragging the Democrats to the bottom like a stone..”

Victoria Nuland Quits (RT)

US Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland is poised to leave her post soon, Secretary of State Antony Blinken has announced. The senior official, widely regarded as a foreign policy hawk, played a key role in the Western-backed coup in Kiev in 2014. In a statement on Tuesday, Blinken noted that his friend “Toria” has held most of the jobs at the State Department, from a consular officer to ambassador and deputy secretary, over her 35-year career. Her most recent posting was as undersecretary for political affairs. She was also Blinken’s acting deputy after the July 2023 retirement of Wendy Sherman, until Kurt Campbell was confirmed to the post last month. “What makes Toria truly exceptional is the fierce passion she brings to fighting for what she believes in most: freedom, democracy, human rights, and America’s enduring capacity to inspire and promote those values around the world,” Blinken said.

He also noted that her “leadership on Ukraine” will be the subject of study “for years to come” by diplomats and students of foreign policy. Nuland was directly involved in the Maidan uprising and the subsequent coup in Kiev. In December 2013, she visited Ukraine to hand out pastries to the armed protesters in Kiev’s central square. She was then recorded discussing how to “midwife this thing” with then-US ambassador to Kiev, Geoffrey Pyatt, just days before the February 2014 coup. She resigned from the State Department during the Trump administration, taking the helm of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) think-tank before joining the Albright Stonebridge Group and the board of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). She rejoined the government after President Joe Biden’s inauguration in 2021.

In that capacity, she has worked on arming Ukraine and assembling a Western coalition that would supply Kiev with weapons and ammunition for the conflict with Russia. Last month, she pleaded to Congress to approve $61 billion in funding to Ukraine, arguing that most of it would be “going right back into the US economy,” to create jobs in the weapons industry. Her most recent trip to Kiev involved intervening with President Vladimir Zelensky on behalf of General Valery Zaluzhny, though to no avail. Zaluzhny was subsequently fired. In a CNN interview at the end of February, Nuland admitted the defeat of US policy towards Moscow, describing today’s Russia as “not the Russia that, frankly, we wanted.”

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova attributed Nuland’s exit to “the failure of the anti-Russian course of the Biden administration.” “Russophobia, proposed by Victoria Nuland as the main foreign policy concept of the United States, is dragging the Democrats to the bottom like a stone,” Zakharova said. Posting a photo of Nuland taken at an Orthodox church at some point, she said that if the US politician wanted to “go to a monastery to atone for your sins, we can put in a good word.” Nuland is married to neoconservative stalwart Robert Kagan. Her sister-in-law Kimberley Kagan, married to Robert’s brother Fred, runs the Institute for the Study of War. Her temporary replacement at the State Department will be Under Secretary for Management John Bass.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1765092971001848154

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“With four more years of Biden, the hordes of illegal aliens stampeding across our borders will exceed 40 to 50 million people,” Trump claimed, saying healthcare, education, and social security will collapse under the pressure.”

Tucker Carlson Compares US to Roman Empire (RT)

Allowing illegal migrants into the US military as a means of granting them citizenship will lead the country towards inevitable collapse, former Fox News host Tucker Carlson said in a video posted on X (formerly Twitter) on Tuesday. In the clip, Carlson recalled the fall of the Roman Empire, stating that while historians have long debated the reasons for the collapse of one of history’s most powerful empires, one fact has been “pretty obvious.” “The roman military, its legions, became dominated by non-citizens, who in the end, because they weren’t loyal to Rome, turned against Rome’s citizens,” he explained. Carlson went on to say that this course of events was similar to what is currently happening in the US, which has been “flooded” with illegal aliens – over 7.2 million since President Joe Biden entered office, according to the White House’s official estimates.

“That number is greater than the population of 32 states,” he noted. But the main issue, according to the former Fox News host, is that instead of deporting these people, Congress is entertaining the idea of enlisting them into the US military. One such proposal is the Courage to Serve Act introduced by Pat Ryan, a Democratic congressman from New York. The bill would offer “qualified and vetted migrants” an expedited path towards citizenship if they serve in the military, Ryan said, noting that the US military missed its recruiting goals by around 41,000 in 2023. Carlson, however, vehemently rejected the idea, arguing that the military’s struggle to meet recruiting goals is the result of intentionally alienating white American men who have always made up the majority of the country’s fighting force.

But instead of addressing these issues and figuring out why young Americans don’t want to join the armed forces, Calrson claimed that Congress has decided to “allow an invasion of the country, not use the military to stop it, and then populate the military with people who are invading the country and hope for the best.” Former US President Donald Trump warned last month that America would collapse if Joe Biden remains in office following this year’s presidential election, suggesting that the country will have over 18 million illegal migrants by the end of the year. “With four more years of Biden, the hordes of illegal aliens stampeding across our borders will exceed 40 to 50 million people,” Trump claimed, saying healthcare, education, and social security will collapse under the pressure.

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X thread.

“There’s no NATOstan plan B. So back to Plan A: Forever Wars. Bring it on. Russia is ready.”

It Has Been NATO Vs. Russia All Along (Pepe Escobar)

The – gray – cat is finally out of the bag, appropriately via weapons peddler Lloyd Raytheon: “If Ukraine is defeated, NATO will be at war with Russia.” Sideshows: The freakout by Le Petit Warmonger Roi – and his wet dreams of a pink can can Moulin Rouge army parading in the steppes of Novorossiya. Bundeswehr clowns dreaming of blowing up the Crimean bridge. Not to mention the astonishing abjectness 24/7 of the Liverwurst Reichskanzler – the one who betrayed his nation by duly accepting the Nord Streams bombing. The incoming, cosmic humiliation of NATO is one for the ages. And that inevitably extrapolates to the politico-economic sphere – where the strategic autonomy of the EU, the P.R. arm of NATO, is less than zero.

Enter psycho lowly functionaries of the Janet Yellen type dreaming of stealing Russian assets for good – a sort of financial bombing of the Crimean bridge. They actually believe the current free lunch system allows for sovereign assets to be simply stolen by the “rules-based international order” – and still they can get away with it because the US dollar won’t be toppled. It will. It’s just a matter of time. And they know it. De-dollarization is the economic arm of NATO’s cosmic humiliation, with Russia destroying Project Ukraine in the black soil of Novorossiya. There’s no NATOstan plan B. So back to Plan A: Forever Wars. Bring it on. Russia is ready.

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“What is not at all reported, even alluded to, is the racket being run by senior army officers close to him who are drawing the salaries of dead soldiers..”

“..Recently the EU agreed to send to Kiev 12.5 billion euros a year in cash for public sector salaries. Given the racket going on over dead soldiers salaries, this makes Brussels complicit in money laundering..”

NATO’s Role in Ukraine Is as Sleazy as the EU’s (Jay)

Did Jens Stoltenberg really say that he had recently given “permission” to Ukraine to use F-16 fighter jets there in the war against Russia? If so, we can add it to the list of bumbling, buffoonish Freudian slips that he has chalked up himself while in office. But it does at least give us a glimpse of how western elites are no longer bothering to even cover up the fact that the war in Ukraine has, in reality, very little to do with Ukraine but rather is a much bigger war fought by the West against Russia. Yet the whole issue about F-16s in Ukraine will be shrouded in lies, doublespeak and fake news. The real story of these outdated fighter jets from the Netherlands – some might call a bribe to Biden to secure the Dutch prime minister as next NATO boss – will probably never be known. Journalists who even want to ask who will really fly these planes – Ukrainians or U.S. pilots – will never get a straight answer but be fobbed off with the normal NATO ‘secrets and lies’ which are what we have all come to understand is the normal modus operandi for this so-called defence organisation.

Timing is critical. Does Ukraine have the 6 months minimum time that Ukrainian pilots will need just to fly them, following intensive training? It’s a good bet that we will see them operational by the end of the summer with contracted, retired U.S. air force pilots flying them though – probably not in dogfight scenarios as they are no match for the newer Su-35s which Russia has – used in air to ground attacks. Of course, such a shift in strategy will lead Russia to target Ukrainian airfields, which some analysts are reporting is already happening but in reality, like so many decisions taken by NATO, this latest is just the latest in a long line of miscalculations. These 20-year old planes are going to be a real prize for Russia to shoot out of the skies like ducks on a Sunday afternoon. Pity the pilots who will be in their cockpits as they are on a suicide mission. The truth though will be very hard to get to with the F-16s. NATO will have already its fake news ready for the suppliant journalists ready to oblige.

It’s a similar story with a recent statement by Zelensky himself who claimed that something like 30,000 Ukrainians so far had died in battle. Did he forget a zero there reading from his notes? Did too much cocaine affect his vision? Was it a joke? No, it was no joke. Just more fake news dutifully processed by corrupt western media who don’t have journalists among them even capable of questioning the statement. However, the reason why the numbers of dead Ukrainian soldiers is such a polemic is interesting. You might be forgiven for thinking that if the real figure of at least 300,000 dead Ukrainians were to be admitted, that this would have a political consequence for Zelensky himself. And this would be true within a democratic context. But Zelensky has shut down all media that doesn’t replicate his propaganda, eliminated all opposition parties so it’s hardly likely anyone is going to question this ludicrous figure of 30,000 or so. In reality there is a much more salacious, if not mercurial reason why he needs to stick to this work of fiction: graft.

What is not at all reported, even alluded to, is the racket being run by senior army officers close to him who are drawing the salaries of dead soldiers – and how the West turns a blind eye, once again, to this particular scam involving millions of dollars of western aid. Recently the EU agreed to send to Kiev 12.5 billion euros a year in cash for public sector salaries. Given the racket going on over dead soldiers salaries, this makes Brussels complicit in money laundering. Would it be far fetched to assume that senior EU officials are receiving kickbacks, in return? Given Ursula von der Leyen’s murky dealings with Pfizer and the recent news that she is to evade any scrutiny for another 5 years in office, assuming her corrupt friends in the EU support her second term, it becomes clear what the EU and NATO’s objectives are in Ukraine of late: just keep the machine turning over and Zelensky in power.

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“With his plan for Gaza once military operations cease, Netanyahu has formally declared war on Biden and his campaign for re-election..”

‘Untenable Positions’ – Warning Signs Abound (Alastair Crooke)

Tuesday’s local elections were a flashing warning light for Israel. The ultra-Orthodox parties, the religious Zionist groups, and the far-right, racist parties – organized in a few communities and scored gains that are disproportionate to the true size of the groups they represent. Conversely, the democratic camp [largely secular liberal Ashkenazi], which for nearly a year turned out weekly for giant demonstrations on Tel Aviv’s Kaplan Street and dozens of locations around the country, failed in most cases to translate the anger into electoral gains in local governments”. “Another conclusion to draw from the elections” continues the Haaretz Editorial “is the growing similarity between the ruling Likud party and [Ben Gvir’s party] the far-right Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Supremacy). In Tel Aviv, the two parties ran together, in a move that was unimaginable in the pre-Benjamin Netanyahu Likud … We can learn from this that Likud is changing: Meir Kahane [a founder of the Jewish radical Right, and of Kach Party] defeated Ze’ev Jabotinsky; Jewish supremacy and forced population transfer replaced liberty”.

Put starkly, Israel is turning further to the Right. Another warning sign: In a (virtually) uncontested primary in the U.S., “a coalition of pro-Palestinian groups had set a modest target of 10,000 uncommitted votes—Trump’s margin of victory in Michigan in 2016—to send a message that voter frustration over Biden’s backing of Israel’s military campaign could cost him in November … ‘Uncommitted’ however, blew past the 10,000 target and clocked in at nearly 101,400 votes – about 13% of the tally. Biden earned more than 80% of the vote, yet the number of uncommitted votes were enough to send two ‘uncommitted’ delegates to the Democratic Party’s national convention in August”. “The biggest danger for the president here is not that too many people voted ‘uncommitted’”, said former Rep. Andy Levin (D., Mich.), who endorsed the effort. “The biggest danger is if he doesn’t get the message”.

A third warning sign: With his plan for Gaza once military operations cease, Netanyahu has formally declared war on Biden and his campaign for re-election: “Far from moving toward [the] two-state solution being promulgated by Biden, Netanyahu is calling for an increased and time-unlimited Israeli occupation not only of Gaza but also of the West Bank and all other areas of that which otherwise would constitute an independent Palestinian state. In effect, Netanyahu is calling for the total conquest by Israel of the remains of Palestine – the exact opposite of what Biden and the rest of the world are suggesting”. Put plainly: Netanyahu is putting Biden “between the devil and the deep blue sea”. The former knows that Biden is heavily dependent on not only the Jewish vote, but even more importantly, on Jewish money for his potential re-election.

Netanyahu seems to assess that he has the leeway safely to ignore Biden – and for the next eight months or so, to pursue his ambition unhindered: to seize control of ‘Greater Israel’ (up to the Litani River inside southern Lebanon) and to consolidate a Jewish Jerusalem. Even Tom Friedman at the New York Times is showing signs of panic: “It felt to me, at least, that the world was ready, initially, to accept that there were going to be significant civilian casualties if Israel was going to root out Hamas and recover its hostages … But now we have a toxic combination of thousands of civilian casualties and a Netanyahu peace plan that promises only endless occupation … So the whole Israel-Gaza operation is starting to look – to more and more people – like a human meat grinder whose only goal is to reduce the population so that Israel can control it more easily … And, I repeat, it is going to put the Biden administration in an increasingly untenable position”.

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“These factors expand the system of military threats to Russia and require a new level of security, where aerospace forces play a key role..”

Defense Ministry Reveals Possible Scenario of Attack on Russia (Sp.)

An air-ground or air-sea operation could be launched against Russia that would begin with a rapid global strike and several massive missile and air strikes at the same time, reads an article in Military Thought magazine, published by the Russian Defense Ministry. According to the article, foreign experts are considering the emergence of new military structures called “joint operational formations.” These should be compact, highly mobile, multi-sphere groups of troops capable of inflicting a comprehensive defeat on an enemy’s administrative, political, and military-industrial infrastructure in all fields: land, sea, air, space, and information.

“The most expected forms of application of joint operational formations are air-ground campaigns. They begin with air (from 2030 air-space) offensive operations consisting of a quick strike and several (from 2-3 to 5-7) massive missile and air strikes. In this case, aviation will be one of the first to enter combat operations as the most maneuverable and adaptable type of troops, possibly even before the deployment of the main grouping,” the article says. Before the active phase of the operation starts, the enemy’s operational formations will carry out provocative, demonstrative, informational, and other potentially aggressive actions in order to control the situation. The aggressor will intensify all types of reconnaissance, regular aircraft and drone flights near the country’s borders, including flights of strategic bombers. It is also possible that there will be exercises with aircraft carrier groups and ships with cruise missiles.

The article stipulates that the amount of personnel within enemy’s joint operational formations in peacetime may be 50-70% of the troops that would operate during a war. “These factors expand the system of military threats to Russia and require a new level of security, where aerospace forces play a key role,” the Russian Defense Ministry concludes. The utmost importance of the Russian Aerospace Forces in military conflicts raises the need to equip them with new modernized aircraft, including drones and weapon complexes, introduce advanced automated control systems, and improve intelligence support.

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While they’re restructuring..

Russian Armed Forces Continue to Push Ukrainian Troops Westward – Shoigu (Sp.)

The Russian armed forces did not allow Ukrainian troops who fled from the Avdeyevka strongpoint to gain a foothold on the new line and continue to push them westward, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday. “After Ukrainian fighters fled from the Avdeyevka strongpoint, the Russian group of troops did not allow them to gain a foothold on the Stepovoe-Lastochkyno-Severnoe line and continues to push the enemy westward,” Shoigu told a meeting with senior military officials. Russia has created Leningrad and Moscow military districts due to NATO military buildup near the country’s borders, Shoigu said.

“Amid NATO’s military buildup near Russian borders … Two inter-specific strategic territorial units of the armed forces have been created — the Leningrad and Moscow military districts,” Shoigu told a meeting with senior military officials President Vladimir Putin’s decree has established the military-administrative division of Russian, which now incorporates new regions, Shoigu added. Russia plans to create a prototype of a new Il-212 light military transport aircraft with jet engines by the end of 2026, Shoigu said. “The United Aircraft Corporation has already begun developing the technical design of the aircraft. Production of the prototype is planned for the end of 2026,” Shoigu told a meeting with senior military officials.

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“The hybrid war waged by the collective West against the Russian people is in full swing, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said..”

German Military Leak Becoming Massive Headache for West (Sp.)

An audio recording of a conversation between high-ranking German military officers on security topics concerning Russia and Ukraine was published by Russian media on Friday. The publication of German military officers’ conversations about possible strikes on the Crimean Bridge has hurt the position of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, undermined Ukraine’s prospects of getting Taurus missiles, and showed the superiority of Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a Politico article. “After so many years as Russia’s leader, Putin is still a master spy at heart. There is no greater pleasure than outwitting Russia’s adversaries,” the article said. “Nothing on the tape is manipulation. That’s why it’s so powerful: it’s not disinformation, it’s just information revealed,” the article summarized. The leaked recording revealed “the institutional frustration of the German military.”

Opposition politicians may launch an investigation into why Scholz doesn’t intend to send Taurus missiles to Ukraine, but it could take months to finish. This makes it even more unlikely that Kiev will get these weapons, the article concludes. Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of RT and Rossiya Segodnya, Sputnik’s parent media group, published a recording of the February 19 conversation between four German military officers on Friday. German news agency DPA reported earlier that the leaked audio recording was authentic. On Saturday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who has repeatedly ruled out the possibility of supplying Ukraine with Taurus missiles, said that the government was investigating the leak. The Russian Foreign Ministry has requested an explanation from German Ambassador to Moscow Alexander Graf Lambsdorff. The hybrid war waged by the collective West against the Russian people is in full swing, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

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“The situation is simply not good and does not match the threat map..”

Israel’s Manpower Crisis Worsens As Wave Of Resignations Hits Army (Cradle)

The Israeli Army Spokesperson’s Unit, led by Lt Col Daniel Hagari, has witnessed a large wave of resignations. Among those who resigned are Hagari’s second in command, Colonel Butbol, as well Colonel Moran Katz and the army’s International Spokesman Lieutenant Richard Hecht. “A large number of officers recently announced their retirement from the unit responsible for the military’s information system,” Hebrew news outlet Channel 14 reported on 3 March. A number of female officers were also among those who resigned. The resignations came “after things did not work out ‘professionally and personally,’” Channel 14 correspondent Tamir Morg said. Several officers have reportedly complained about not moving up in the ranks, the Hebrew outlet explained.

“The picture is complex, since it is a military system and sometimes people reach retirement age and leave for no particular reason, but despite this, the number of people who retire at once during a war is unusual,” the correspondent said. The Israeli military has not responded to requests for comment. The resignations come as significant tension has overtaken Israel’s military establishment. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has been calling for an end to draft exemptions for Israel’s ultra-Orthodox community, citing a severe manpower crisis in the army. Gallant said he would only support legislation to settle the issue if certain members of the ruling coalition backed it.

“The army is in need of manpower now. It’s not a matter of politics, it’s a matter of mathematics,” the defense minister said on Sunday. Gallant’s position is causing tension with ultra-Orthodox parties in the coalition, viewed as integral to the current government’s survival, according to Hebrew media. Israel is taking severe losses from its genocidal war in Gaza and its attempt to eradicate the Palestinian resistance. While Israel claims that Gaza’s southernmost city of Rafah is the final Hamas stronghold, the group’s military wing, along with several other factions, continue to fiercely confront Israeli troops across the strip. “The situation is simply not good and does not match the threat map,” Ynet reported on 1 March.

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“Galloway received 12,335 votes – over 40% of the votes cast – while the Conservatives gained 3,731 votes, and Labour, 2,402..”

George Galloway Is Not A Threat To Democracy (Hryce)

Last week’s exchange of insults between newly elected MP George Galloway and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak highlighted the festering political divisions that have recently emerged in Western democracies over the ongoing conflict in Gaza. Their vituperative exchange also made clear that rational debate over Gaza is virtually impossible in those Western nations in which both major political parties uncritically support America’s pro-Israel foreign policy in Gaza. Debates over domestic culture war issues in the West have for decades been characterized by irrationality, demonization of opponents, the abolition of history, and the refusal to acknowledge the right to express a view contrary to dominant woke ideologies. Within such a neo-totalitarian intellectual culture, it would be foolish to expect that a debate over a historically contentious issue like Gaza could be conducted rationally. Nevertheless, last week, Galloway won a by-election in Rochdale, a poor Midlands electorate in the UK formerly held by the Labour Party.

It was an astounding and comprehensive victory. Galloway received 12,335 votes – over 40% of the votes cast – while the Conservatives gained 3,731 votes, and Labour, 2,402. Galloway labeled his win as “a thumping victory” over both major parties – and he described Keir Starmer and Sunak, in characteristically provocative fashion, as “two cheeks of the same backside” that he had just “spanked.” Galloway is a controversial and charismatic political figure. He is a former Labour and Independent MP who courageously opposed Tony Blair and George Bush’s war against Iraq, and he has been a trenchant defender of the Palestinian cause for decades. In the Rochdale by-election – an electorate with a Muslim population of around 30% – Galloway focused his campaign on calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. In the UK, the Gaza conflict has become a deeply divisive political issue over the past six months. During that time, more than 30,000 people have been killed by the Israeli military, most of them civilians and many of them women and children.

Many citizens in the West – to their credit – have refused to turn a blind eye to the distinction between terrorists and civilians, and the humanitarian crisis that America’s continuing support for the Netanyahu government has created in Gaza. It cannot be disputed that America’s persistent refusal to support a ceasefire in Gaza has resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent Palestinian civilians. In the UK and Australia, the governments and major opposition parties have, up until now, resolutely supported America’s stance and refused to call for an immediate ceasefire. In these countries, it has fallen to minor left-wing parties to oppose America’s position – in the UK, it has been Galloway’ Workers Party, and in Australia, it has been the Greens. But principled opposition to America’s Gaza policy does not end there.

Deep-seated divisions have emerged within the Democratic Party in America, the Labour Party in the UK, and the Labor government in Australia – as a result of significant segments of these parties strongly opposing the stance on Gaza taken by US President Joe Biden, UK Labour leader Keir Starmer, and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. The British parliament recently descended into complete chaos when Starmer pressured the speaker of the House of Commons to breach parliamentary convention and prevent debate over a Scottish National Party (SNP) motion calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

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“I give interviews to everybody. I’m a free man, I’m an elected free man. I have the right to speak and I will go on speaking to whomsoever wants to hear me..”

Galloway Explains Why RT Was Banned: ‘Too many people watched’ (RT)

Fresh from his election to parliament to the British parliament, MP George Galloway spoke with RT on Tuesday about the state of media freedom in Britain and London’s disastrous policies in the Middle East and Ukraine. Galloway trounced both Tory and Labour candidates in last week’s Rochdale by-election, winning twice as many votes than both major parties combined. PM Rishi Sunak denounced the result as “beyond alarming” and a threat to “our democracy itself.” As Galloway pointed out, however, he has been elected to Parliament a total of seven times – far more than Sunak or Labour leader Keir Starmer. “These people are hypocrites. Things like democracy, human rights, rule of law, rules-based international order, it’s just lipstick on a pig. They wipe the lipstick off whenever they no longer feel the need to look prettier,” he claimed.

“As Sunak’s speech outside Number 10 [Downing Street] on Friday about my election makes clear, it’s not beyond them even to cancel elections,” he added. British authorities have banned RT and the Iranian PressTV outright, refused to renew the license of China’s CGTN, and blocked outlets like Venezuela’s TeleSur. “The reason is pretty simple if you think about it: Too many people were watching these TV channels. Too many people were watching RT. Not just in Britain, but even more so in Germany. That is why RT was closed down. Because too many of the public were watching it. How’s that for freedom?” said Galloway. The best illustration of press freedom in the UK is that “a good friend of mine is lying in the dungeon of Belmarsh top security prison,” Galloway said. “His name is Julian Assange He is convicted of no crime. And yet he is being held with mass murderers and terrorists in the worst prison for the worst people in England. And for what? For telling the truth as a publisher.”

He admitted the government might retaliate against him for speaking to RT, but said, “I don’t care.” “I give interviews to everybody. I’m a free man, I’m an elected free man. I have the right to speak and I will go on speaking to whomsoever wants to hear me. Nothing is solved by covering things up. Nothing is solved by denying people access to a different point of view,” Galloway said, recalling RT’s long-time slogan, “Question More.” Galloway is no stranger to RT. He has written many op-eds for the outlet and hosted his own TV show called ‘Sputnik Orbiting the World’ during his hiatus from Parliament.

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“..if we include off balance sheet assets including the shadow banking system and derivatives, we are looking at assets (which will become liabilities) in excess of $2 quadrillion..”

Gold – We Have Liftoff! (Egon von Greyerz)

All Empires die without fail, so do all Fiat currencies. But gold has been shining for 5000 years and as I explain in this article, Gold is likely to outshine virtually all assets in the next 5-10 years. In early 2002 we made major investments in physical gold for our investors and ourselves. At the time gold was around $300. Our primary objective was wealth preservation. The Nasdaq had already crashed 67% but before the bottom was reached, it lost another 50%. The total loss was 80% with many companies going bankrupt. In 2006, just over 4 years later, the Great Financial Crisis started. In 2008, the financial system was minutes from imploding. Banks like JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and many others were bankrupt – BANCA ROTTA – Virtually unlimited money printing postponed the collapse and since 2008 US total debt has almost doubled to $100 trillion. Gold backing of a currency doesn’t always solve a debt problem but it certainly makes it more difficult for the government to cook the books which they do without fail.

So tricky Dick (Nixon) couldn’t make ends meet in the late 1960s – early 70s partly due to the Vietnam war. Thus in 1971 Nixon, by closing the Gold window, started the most spectacular bonfire of the US government budget books. How wonderful, no more accountability, no more shackles and no more gold deliveries to de Gaulle in France who was clever to ask for gold instead of dollars in debt settlement from the US. So from August 1971, the US embarked on a money printing and credit expansion bonanza never seen before in history. Total US debt went from $2 trillion in 1971 to $200 trillion today – up 100X! Since most major currencies were linked to the dollar under the Bretton Woods system, the closing of the gold window started a global free for all with the printing press (including bank credit) replacing REAL MONEY i.e. GOLD.

The consequences of this “temporary” move by Nixon is that all Fiat or paper money has declined by 97-99% since 1971. The price of assets have obviously inflated correspondingly. In 1971 total US financial assets were $2 trillion. Today they are $130 trillion, up 65X. And if we include off balance sheet assets including the shadow banking system and derivatives, we are looking at assets (which will become liabilities) in excess of $2 quadrillion. I forecast the derivative bubble and demise of Credit Suisse in this article (Archegos & Credit Suisse – Tip of the Iceberg) and also in this one (The $2.3 Quadrillion Global Debt Time Bomb). Luke Gromen in his Tree Rings report puts forward two options for the world economy which can be summarised as follows:

1. Dedollarisation continues, the Petrodollar dies and gold gradually replaces the dollar as a global commodity trading currency especially in the commodity rich BRICS countries. This would allow commodity prices to stay low as gold rises and drives a virtuous circle of global trade. If the above option sounds too good to be true especially bearing in mind the bankrupt status of the global financial system, Luke puts forward a much less pleasant outcome. And in my view, Luke’s alternative outcome is sadly more likely, namely:

2. “China, the US Treasury market, and the global economy implode spectacularly, sending the world into a new Great Depression, political instability, and possibly WW3…in which case, gold probably rises spectacularly all the same, as bonds and then equities scramble for one of the only assets with no counterparty risk – gold. (BTC is another.)”

Yes, Bitcoin could go to $1 million as I have often said but it could also go to Zero if it is banned. Too binary for me and not a good wealth preservation risk in any case. As Gromen says, there is a virtuous case and there is a vicious case for the world economy. But above both cases shines GOLD! So why hold the worthless paper money or bubble assets when you can protect yourself with Gold!

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Plastic roads
https://twitter.com/i/status/1764876916194959761

 

 

Baby peacock

 

 

Hippo

 

 

Big Cats

 

 

Mutualism

 

 

Trunk
https://twitter.com/i/status/1764757944799727681

 

 

Puppies
https://twitter.com/i/status/1765103517000143069

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 052024
 


Pablo Picasso The Rooster 1918

 

Supreme Court Rules 9-0 That Trump Cannot Be Kicked Off Any State Ballot (PM)
House Dems Implode Over Supreme Court Decision (ZH)
‘Uncommitted’ Voters Unite Against Biden Ahead of Super Tuesday (RT)
The Five FUBARs (Jim Kunstler)
‘Ukraine is Russia’ – Medvedev (RT)
Draft-Eligible Ukraine Men Flee ‘Certain Death’ (Sp.)
The Good Germans Are Blowing Smoke (Helmer)
The Brainwashing of Germany in Preparation for War (Bittner)
German Defense Ministry Uses ‘1234’ As Password (RT)
Zelensky and the West Have A New Scam – And Taxpayers Will Foot The Bill (RT)
Losing to Russia Shatters Western Leaders’ Belief in Their Exceptionalism (Sp.)
Is Tehran Winning the Middle East? (Juan Cole)
The EU’s American Queen (Lily Lynch)
Musk’s X Could Face New EU Restrictions (RT)
Ballot Drop Boxes Installed Along Border Wall (BBee)

 

 

 

 

2024 ad

 

 

New Yorker profile of Biden: “The former Hollywood executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, a co-chair of Biden’s campaign, urged him to embrace his age with swagger, like his fellow-octogenarians Mick Jagger and Harrison Ford.”

 

 

Free falling

 

 

 

 

Tucker Macgregor
https://twitter.com/i/status/1764850563940794481

 

 

Social media arrests
https://twitter.com/i/status/1764691399331754399

 

 

 

 

San Diego

 

 

2007

 

 

There’s a separate 5-4 decision hidden in this unanimous decision. Roberts, Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh affirmatively rule that Congress has the sole power to enforce the “Insurrection” provision. Barrett objects for unelaborated reasons, Sotomayor, Kagan, Jackson dissent

 

 

“We conclude that States may disqualify persons holding or attempting to hold state office. But States have no power under the Constitution to enforce Section 3 with respect to federal offices, especially the Presidency,” the Court ruled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BBC: “Donald Trump says today’s Supreme Court decision that he cannot be banned from Colorado’s presidential ballot, is “both unifying and inspirational”. Speaking to Fox News, Trump said: “A great win for America. Very, very important!” He went on to highlight another legal case that is set to fall to the Supreme Court: that of presidential immunity. “Equally important for our country will be the decision that they will soon make on immunity for a president – without which, the presidency would be relegated to nothing more than a ceremonial position, which is far from what the founders intended.

“No president would be able to properly and effectively function without complete and total immunity.” The Supreme Court will hear arguments in April on whether Trump is immune from being prosecuted on charges of trying to overturn the 2020 election. Trump had claimed that he was immune from all criminal charges for acts that he said fell within his duties as president. A US Court of Appeals panel has already rejected Trump’s argument..”

Supreme Court Rules 9-0 That Trump Cannot Be Kicked Off Any State Ballot (PM)

In a stunning reversal on Monday morning, the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously decided against the Supreme Court of Colorado in their decision to remove Donald Trump from the state’s ballot. They further said that this ruling applies to any state who wishes to make this move. Trump cannot be removed from the ballot in any state. Colorado had made the determination that Trump could not stand for office and justified their tactic through invoking the “insurrection” clause of the 14th Amendment, section 3. After their ruling, other states jumped on board, saying that Trump would not be permitted to stand for office in their states, either. The Court states that “if States were free to enforce Section 3 by barring candidates from running in the first place, Congress would be forced to exercise its disability removal power before voting begins if it wished for its decision to have any effect on the current election cycle. Perhaps a State may burden congressional authority in such a way when it exercises its ‘exclusive’ sovereign power over its own state offices.”

“But,” they continued, “it is implausible to suppose that the Constitution affirmatively delegated to the States the authority to impose such a burden on congressional power with respect to candidates for federal office.” The Court further stated that the petitioners on behalf of Colorado were unable to identify any “tradition of state enforcement of section 3 against federal officeholders or candidates in the years following ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment.” The key aspect, however, is what they had to say about the implications of letting a ruling like that in Colorado stand. “Conflicting state outcomes concerning the same candidate could result not just from differing views of the merits, but from variations in state law governing the proceedings that are necessary to make Section 3 disqualification determinations. Some States might allow a Section 3 challenge to succeed based on a preponderance of the evidence, while others might require a heightened showing.”

“Certain evidence (like the congressional Report on which the lower courts relied here) might be admissible in some States but inadmissible hearsay in others. Disqualification might be possible only through criminal prosecution, as opposed to expedited civil proceedings, in particular States. “Indeed, in some States—unlike Colorado (or Maine, where the secretary of state recently issued an order excluding former President Trump from the primary ballot)—procedures for excluding an ineligible candidate from the ballot may not exist at all.” “The result could well be that a single candidate would be declared ineligible in some States, but not others, based on the same conduct (and perhaps even the same factual record).” “The ‘patchwork’ that would likely result from state enforcement would ‘sever the direct link that the Framers found so critical between the National Government and the people of the United States’ as a whole. U. S. Term Limits, 514 U. S., at 822.”

“But in a Presidential election ‘the impact of the votes cast in each State is affected by the votes cast’— or, in this case, the votes not allowed to be cast—’for the various candidates in other States.’ Anderson, 460 U. S., at 795. An evolving electoral map could dramatically change the behavior of voters, parties, and States across the country, in different ways and at different times. “The disruption would be all the more acute—and could nullify the votes of millions and change the election result—if Section 3 enforcement were attempted after the Nation has voted. Nothing in the Constitution requires that we endure such chaos—arriving at any time or different times, up to and perhaps beyond the Inauguration.” “For the reasons given, responsibility for enforcing Section 3 against federal officeholders and candidates rests with Congress and not the States,” the Court determined.

“The judgment of the Colorado13 Cite as: 601 U. S. ____ (2024) Per Curiam Supreme Court therefore cannot stand.” “All nine Members of the Court agree with that result,” they wrote. “The judgment of the Colorado Supreme Court is reversed.” The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case earlier in February, taking on the case on an emergency basis. In their hearing of the case, they appeared to lean toward the conclusion that state’s do not have the right to unilaterally remove candidates, thereby denying their citizens the right to cote for the candidate of their choice. Illinois, Maine and other states that have attempted this tactic will now find that they are powerless to carry it out.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1764686616805908867

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“President Biden… Fight your fight yourself. Don’t use prosecutors and judges to go after your opponent… our country is much bigger than that..”

House Dems Implode Over Supreme Court Decision (ZH)

Update (1400ET): Not satisfied to let the Supreme Court-enforced Democratic process play out, House Democrats are now preparing legislation to try and keep Trump off the ballot. “Congress will have to try and act,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, in a comment to creepy deep state mouthpiece Axios (which swears the border is extra-secure!). Raskin, a former member of the Jan. 6 select committee, said he is already crafting the bill, telling Axios, “I’m working on it – today.” Raskin pointed to legislation he introduced with Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) in 2022 creating a pathway for the Justice Department to sue to keep candidates off the ballot under the 14th Amendment. “We are going to revise it in light of the Supreme Court’s decision,” Raskin said. -Axios

“I don’t have a lot of hope that Speaker [Mike] Johnson will allow us to bring enforcement legislation to the floor, but we have to try and do it,” said Raskin, who said he’ll ‘beseech’ Republicans to join the bill. Very Democratic, Jamie. Update (1320ET): Former President Trump has responded to the Supreme Court’s ruling keeping him on the ballot in Colorado (and therefore, everywhere else). According to Trump, the decision was “very well crafted,” and “will go a long way toward bringing our country together.” Trump also slammed Biden for ‘weaponizing’ prosecutors against him. “President Biden… Fight your fight yourself. Don’t use prosecutors and judges to go after your opponent… our country is much bigger than that,” Trump said, speaking from Mar-a-Lago.

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“..Nikki Haley suffered an embarrassment when she became the first candidate to lose to ‘no-one’ in the Nevada GOP primary since the option was introduced in 1975..”

‘Uncommitted’ Voters Unite Against Biden Ahead of Super Tuesday (RT)

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), the largest socialist organization in the US, has urged primary voters to cast their ballots for ‘uncommitted’ rather than President Joe Biden to show their opposition to his stance on the Israel-Hamas war. The announcement comes just two days before the primary elections on March 5 – known as Super Tuesday – when millions of Americans are expected to vote. In a series of X (formerly Twitter) posts on Sunday, the DSA, which has more than 92,000 members and chapters in all US states, demanded that the White House end the bloodshed in Gaza by revoking military assistance to Israel, saying Biden will be to blame if former President Donald Trump is reelected this year.

“Today, DSA endorses ‘Uncommitted’ in the remaining Democratic presidential primaries. Until this administration ends its support for Israel’s genocide in Gaza and delivers a permanent, lasting ceasefire, Joe Biden will bear the responsibility for another Trump presidency,” the organization said, adding that “defeat is certain” if Biden continues on the current course. “This week’s brutal ‘Flour Massacre’ has proven once again that Israel is a brutal, inhumane apartheid state which carries a legacy of 75 years of genocide and occupation. Over 30,000 Palestinians have already died; how many will be ENOUGH for Joe Biden to stop this war?” the DSA said in a follow-up post, referring to the tragedy on February 29 when at least 112 Palestinians were killed and more than 750 were injured while waiting for much-needed food aid in Gaza City.

The campaign calling on Democrats to vote ‘uncommitted’ was organized by local chapters of the DSA and the Colorado Palestine Coalitions last week and is gaining popularity amid protests against the Gaza war. The DSA noted that over 100,000 people voted ‘uncommitted’ in the Michigan primary last week. The movement was also endorsed by a major labor union, UFCW 3000, which represents more than 50,000 grocery workers in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Biden is not the only one feeling the heat from voters who are choosing ‘none of the above’. Last week, Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley suffered an embarrassment when she became the first candidate to lose to ‘no-one’ in the Nevada GOP primary since the option was introduced in 1975.

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“..DA’s and AG’s who make election promises to “go after” individuals without such niceties as probable cause..”

The Five FUBARs (Jim Kunstler)

You saw last year how the blob elite greeted the transfer of illegal immigrants to their happy little island of Martha’s Vineyard. (They were not amused by Governor DeSantis’s prank, and off-loaded the mutts post-haste.) But that same smug demographic doesn’t care if hundreds of thousands are distributed to the big cities, which are now fiscally destabilized by them to an extreme, probably to bankruptcy. Of course, that is not the main thing to worry about with what altogether amounts to millions of border-jumpers flooding our land. The main reason to worry is what the blob that invited them here intends for them to do, which, you may suspect, is to unleash mayhem in the streets, malls, stadiums, and upon our infrastructure just in time to derail the election — perhaps even to make war on us right in our homeland.

The US government is paying for this whole operation, you understand, funneling our tax money to international cut-out orgs who set up the transfer camps in Panama, and buy the plane tickets for the mutts to cross the ocean, and coordinate with the Mexican cartels to shuttle this horde of mystery people among us to work their juju for the Democratic Party. The pissed-off-ness of the public has passed the red line on this. A third FUBAR is the lawfare campaign of the Democratic Party and its regime in power against the citizens of this land. This folder includes overt and obvious political prosecutions by DA’s and AG’s who make election promises to “go after” individuals without such niceties as probable cause. It includes the gigantic new scaffold of inter-agency censorship and propaganda. It includes the psychopathic struggle sessions mandated by “diversity and inclusion” policy. It includes election-rigging directed by the likes of Marc Elias and Norm Eisen, getting states to fiddle laws on voter ID and mail-in ballots.

It includes the political protection of rogue groups ranging from looter flash-mobs to Antifa anarchists who bust up things and people and burn buildings down. It includes state officials who peremptorily kick candidates off the ballot. It includes a nakedly biased judiciary, and especially the use of the DC federal district court to punish people extralegally, unjustly, extravagantly, and cruelly. In short, lawfare is the complete perversion of law, and we-the -people are entreated by reprobate officials such as Merrick Garland and Letitia James to accept it. A fourth item on this list is the US economy which has been overwhelmed by maladministration of an overgrown monster bureaucracy, and the gross (perhaps fatal) mismanagement of the government’s money. The people of this land are not being allowed to do business, to find a livelihood, to transact fairly. “Joe Biden’s” shadow string-pullers are messing as badly with the oil and gas producers as they have messed with Ukraine. And they are doing it in pursuit of a laughable mirage: their “green new deal.”

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”The best fate they can expect [from the West] is to become slaves to the ailing European freak show..”

‘Ukraine is Russia’ – Medvedev (RT)

Ukraine lies within the sphere of Russian strategic interests and has no future in any other capacity, Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy chair of the Russian Security Council, has stated. Russian people consider Ukraine to be part of the larger Russian civilization, the senior official said in a speech at a youth conference in Sochi on Monday. Moscow considers it to be the country’s “soft underbelly,” from which no threat to Russia should be allowed to be projected. ”The territories on both banks of the Dnieper River are an inalienable part of Russian strategic historic borders,” he said, using his preferred term for what is usually known as ‘sphere of influence’ in geopolitics. “All attempts to change them by force, to cut its living body, are doomed.”

He noted the title of a book by Leonid Kuchma, the second president of Ukraine following its independence from the USSR, which declared: ‘Ukraine is not Russia’. “This concept must vanish forever. Ukraine is without a doubt Russia,” Medvedev said. He blasted the current government in Kiev as the “main threat” to its own people, considering its anti-Russian policies. Ukrainians have “fallen into a stupid trap” set for it by the US and its allies, who have successfully turned the nation into a weapon against Russia, he said. ”The best fate they can expect [from the West] is to become slaves to the ailing European freak show,” Medvedev said, referring to the leaders of the EU and UK, who he described as incompetent and subservient to Washington.

”[The Ukrainians] will play the role of a deaf-mute servant who is raped every day in a European kitchen by a lord from overseas,” the former president added. Russia is not interested in territorial conquest, Medvedev said. Whatever natural riches Ukraine has, Russia also has in abundance, he claimed. ”The great treasure that we will not surrender to anyone for anything is the people,” he said. The Ukrainians have become “confused” by Western propaganda, but at their core they have the same values and way of life as the Russians, and need to be rescued, Medvedev said.

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“These individuals may be restricted from traveling abroad, have their driver’s license suspended, or their bank accounts seized if they fail to do so..”

“..two categories of citizens are currently not involved in the mobilization, namely “those who are behind bars and those who are not.”

Draft-Eligible Ukraine Men Flee ‘Certain Death’ (Sp.)

Ukraine’s lack of any clear mobilization strategy aimed at plugging the gaping holes in the ranks of its armed forces is fueling “deep divisions in Ukraine’s parliament and more broadly in Ukrainian society,” The Washington Post reported. Despite mounting losses, which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been downplaying to wheedle more money from the West, there is still “no political consensus” on how to remedy the severe shortage of troops on the battlefront. There is a yawning split between Zelensky and his top military commanders on a plan to conscript the thousands of soldiers they need as Russia continues to advance after liberating the stronghold of Avdeyevka. As a result, Ukraine’s military has been “relying on a hodgepodge of recruiting efforts and sown panic among fighting-age men,” the publication stated. It referenced the package of aid to Kiev still stalled in the US Congress, adding that many of Ukraine’s men “have gone into hiding, worried that they will be drafted into an ill-equipped army and sent to certain death.”

Infighting over how many more troops Ukraine needs “factored” into Zelensky’s sacking of his top general in February, the outlet noted. The previous Ukrainian commander-in-chief, Gen. Valery Zaluzhny, was dismissed, with Colonel General Oleksandr Syrsky taking over, amid an overall reshuffle of the military command by Zelensky. Zaluzhny’s ouster came after months of intrigue between himself and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who slammed the commander for revealing that Kiev’s summer 2023 counteroffensive had ended in failure. But, apparently, new Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrsky has so far failed to bring new clarity regarding Ukraine’s mobilization efforts. Syrsky has been tasked with auditing the armed forces to scrape up more combat-eligible troops, added the publication. This comes after President Zelensky’s office recently announced that only some 300,000 have fought at the frontline of the one million people who have been mobilized.

With Ukraine’s rapidly dwindling troop strength described as a “strategic crisis,” Oleksiy Bezhevets, an adviser to the Defense Ministry on recruitment, was cited as saying that civilians of fighting age must recognize the fact that “there’s no time for you left to sit home.” Volodymyr Zelensky said in December 2023 that the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces had stressed the need to recruit an additional 450,000-500,000 men for the army. Accordingly, the government submitted a draft law on mobilization to parliament on January 30. However, the result has been a drawn-out and heated debate. The bill, which would broaden the scope of the draft, lowering the eligibility age from 27 to 25 years, caused outrage in the country and was sent back for revision.

It also obligates people liable for military service to report to military commissariats to clarify their information within 60 days, Ukrainian media reported. These individuals may be restricted from traveling abroad, have their driver’s license suspended, or their bank accounts seized if they fail to do so. Amid the debate over such draconian measures in January, panicky account holders withdrew over $700 million in a single month, the WaPo added. In February, Ukrainian Justice Minister Denys Maliuska proposed giving prisoners weapons and shovels when they are mobilized for the Ukrainian Armed Forces. He underscored that in Ukraine, two categories of citizens are currently not involved in the mobilization, namely “those who are behind bars and those who are not.” Maliuska previously said that at least 50,000 men of military age with criminal records are hiding from Ukrainian draft boards and are not registered with the military.

The Russian Defense Ministry earlier said that amid the disruption of mobilization plans and in order to conceal massive losses of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the Kiev regime has intensified the recruitment of mercenaries. Fighters from the United States, Canada, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East have joined the ranks of the Ukrainian military. Furthermore, NATO soldiers under the guise of mercenaries are involved in combat operations in Ukraine, Colonel-General Sergei Rudskoy, head of the Russian General Staff’s Main Operational Directorate, told Russian media.

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“What remains is for the Kremlin and General Staff to decide to teach the Germans the only lesson by the only method they understand..”

The Good Germans Are Blowing Smoke (Helmer)

The political comprehension of the Germans — to adapt Mao Zedong’s axiom that political power comes out of the barrel of a gun — only comes out of the barrel of a Russian gun. The good Germans define themselves publicly by wishing this weren’t true because they realise there’s nothing they can do to stop the rest of their countrymen from throwing themselves at Russian guns until there are no more of them, the good Germans among them. One of these wishfully good Germans is called Florian Roetzer, who founded the widely read internet publication Telepolis in 1996, and retired to write elsewhere in 2021. Roetzer has just published his analysis of the transcript of last month’s teleconference at which the chief of the German Air Force, Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz, discussed with three subordinates a plan of attack on Russian civil and military targets with the German Taurus KEPD 350E cruise missile; conceal this German operation behind British, French, and Ukrainian forces and German commercial companies; accelerate the missile deliveries; and present the plan for approval by German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius and Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Gerhartz is not only waging personal war against Russia, as he explained on the telephone two weeks ago, on February 19. Last November he declared personal war in alliance with the Israel Air Force in implementing the genocide of Gaza. In Roetzer’s new analysis, published on March 2 in Overton magazine, the problem is not (in Roetzer’s mind) that Gerhartz and the Bundeswehr are losing their war on the Ukrainian battlefield, or that they are aiming to provoke Russian counterattack against German targets outside that battlefield. “The fact that Russia was able to eavesdrop on the conversations of the German officers…is a major problem for the Bundeswehr, also in relation to its partners, who may no longer trust it.” “The bigger [sic] problem, however, has been Putin’s for quite some time, after one red line after another has been crossed by the NATO countries, without Russia really reacting to it, apart from warnings…But so far, Putin has accepted any military support for Ukraine.

“But if it is now becoming more and more public knowledge that NATO countries are directly supporting Ukraine with target data and in general in attacks with Western missiles and cruise missiles through the participation of soldiers in civilian and intelligence officers, and thus become parties to war, then Putin, who propagates that Russia is defending itself in Ukraine, has the problem of showing weakness and only bluffing, if no action is taken against it.” “It is obvious” – according to Roetzer – “that Russia cannot compete against a NATO weakened by the Ukraine war and therefore avoids a direct conflict. But if the attacks on Russia continue to increase and Western weapons are openly used, Putin will lose support in Russia if there is no military response…With the publication of the wiretapped conversation of the German officers, the Russian leadership may have harmed itself – if only because the Bundeswehr must now try to close the security gap. It is possible that [state media director Margarita] Simonyan has gone too far here. The question is whether the publication was coordinated with the Kremlin.”

That Germany is at war with Russia has been understood in Moscow for a long time. That there are good Germans like Roetzer who would like it to be otherwise for moral, legal, German national, or personal reasons is also well-known. Some of these good Germans have even served as German generals. What the Navalny Novichok episode of the autumn of 2020 revealed, followed by the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines in September 2022; and now last month’s teleconference conducted by Gerhartz – what all three episodes reveal is not how the Germans are understood in Moscow, but rather how the good Germans react when confronted with the war they are powerless to deter or stop their countrymen from waging. The impotence of the German opposition to this war is also well understood in Moscow. What remains is for the Kremlin and General Staff to decide to teach the Germans the only lesson by the only method they understand. That is the lesson the Germans have been failing to learn for seventy-nine years next month — since April 30, 1945, when Adolf Hitler shot himself before he could be captured by the Red Army waiting outside his bunker in Berlin.

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“And then she added : “But Putin…”.

The Brainwashing of Germany in Preparation for War (Bittner)

Recently my friend G., with whom I still correspond occasionally, wrote to me saying that he had read my book “State of Emergency” and got the impression that I had fallen into a “filter bubble”. He comes from a wealthy family, his father was a senior teacher, his mother a doctor, and at a young age he was a professor of mathematics at a southern German university and also a guest lecturer in Japan, South Korea and the USA. He cannot understand the fact that I am of the opinion that it is not Russia but the USA and its allies that are to blame for most of the conflicts in the world, especially the war in Ukraine and the economic decline in Germany and Western Europe. G. would like to give me friendly advice to reconsider my political views and to please obtain information from the public media and “reputable” newspapers such as Frankfurter Allgemeine, Welt or Süddeutsche and not from so-called alternative media. If I see “evil” in the USA rather than in Putin, all he can say about himself is that he would rather live “under the evil of the Americans” than that of the Russians.

And if the NATO protective umbrella, under which the Europeans have set themselves up so well, were to become leaky, things would not look rosy for Western Europe compared to a country like Russia full of nuclear weapons. It is sad that so much money has to be spent on “defensive armament”, but it is good that Putin is getting older and older and that the end of his tyranny is imminent at some point in the near future for the good of humanity. Like other acquaintances and friends, G. is firmly convinced that he knows everything and is right. All we agree on is that wars are terrible and must be avoided. But at this point the dissent begins again, because G. considers “humanitarian interventions”, such as those carried out by the USA again and again, to be legitimate and even necessary to defend freedom and democracy. I can describe the views represented by G. as exemplary. German society is thoroughly rabble-roused, and it is divided between those who have retained an eye for the facts and the others, the far greater majority, who have succumbed to years of influence.

My hairdresser, with whom I discussed, is of the opinion that Germany needs the atomic bomb to protect itself from “the Russian” who will soon attack Poland and the Baltic countries. When I countered that Vladimir Putin had called for cooperation and a common economic zone from Vladivostok to Lisbon in a memorable speech to the German Bundestag in 2001, he replied: “This Putin is lying as soon as he opens his mouth.” The resulting dispute ended He asked me the completely serious question: “Why do you think you can judge the political situation better than me?” He told me that he reads the newspaper in the morning and watches the Tagesschau in the evening. He also speaks to customers every day who all have different opinions than me. Every now and then I gave lectures and discussed things publicly. Most of the time, listeners and discussants came who shared my views or at least kept an open mind. After one such event, a middle-aged woman who identified herself as a judge said to me: “Everything you said was logical and well-documented, although from an unusual perspective, but you largely convinced me.” And then she added : “But Putin…”.

Indoctrination has not stopped at the doors of universities either. There are still some contacts with colleagues there from the time when I was a visiting professor in Poland, but they have become fragile. My friend Tomasz, who unfortunately also succumbed to US-controlled propaganda against Russia and for Ukraine, wrote to me: “I cannot understand the people who prefer to look the other way after the Russian attack on Ukraine. Stop this policy that is killing thousands of innocent people. “Putin with his megalomania has destroyed a long and stable peace in Europe.” He really believes that and he continued: “For me, Putin resembles Hitler to a T.” It is not Ukraine, which wants to go its own sovereign way, that is to blame for the war, but Putin, for whom Ukraine is just an appetizer. He built gas pipelines behind the EU’s back and against Poland’s interests. This shows his true colors, leading and oppressing other countries like dogs on a leash.

At least I was able to have a somewhat civilized conversation with my German friend and with Tomasz, if only by holding back. The space for debate has become increasingly narrow, and the authorities are no longer relying on the previous psychological warfare. Rather, the pressure on those who think differently, their patronization and harassment, is increasing dramatically. Anyone who doesn’t step up and stand out must expect the destruction of their existence and worse.

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“..the Russians could have simply logged on to the unsecured WebEx call without the officers noticing..”

German Defense Ministry Uses ‘1234’ As Password (RT)

The German Defense Ministry has protected a press statement on leaked military communications behind the password “1234.” German media has mocked the ministry for the “extremely embarrassing” security detail. The statement, made by Defense Minister Boris Pistorius on Sunday, was posted in audio format on the ministry’s website on Monday. Under a link to a cloud storage service hosting the file, the ministry informed visitors that they could access the recording by entering the password “1234.” While the file is not classified and the password was likely chosen as a placeholder, its use was roundly mocked by German tabloid Bild. “After the wiretapping attack on the Bundeswehr [German military] by Russian spies, this is extremely embarrassing,” the paper wrote on Monday.

On Friday, RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan published a transcript and audio recording of a conversation between four officers of the German Air Force, including its top general, Ingo Gerhartz, saying that she had obtained the file from Russian security officials. Over a WebEx video call, the officers discussed the potential use of German-made Taurus missiles against the Crimean Bridge, wondering how they could maintain plausible deniability of involvement in such an attack. The conversation also revealed that – according to the officers – Britain has already sent its own military specialists to Ukraine to operate Storm Shadow cruise missiles given to the Ukrainian armed forces.

It is unclear how Simonyan’s contacts obtained the audio. However, the deputy chairman of the German parliament’s oversight committee, Roderich Kiesewetter, said on Sunday that the Russians could have simply logged on to the unsecured WebEx call without the officers noticing. Berlin confirmed the recording’s authenticity on Saturday. In his statement on Sunday, Pistorius did not address the apparent security lapses that led to the leak. Instead, he accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of orchestrating the incident as part of an “information war” against the West.

For months, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has been under pressure from Kiev and members of his own cabinet to approve shipments of Taurus missiles to Ukraine. However, he has thus far refused, and the Wall Street Journal noted on Saturday that the leaked conversation could make their eventual delivery less likely. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that the leak proves that “plans to launch strikes on Russian territory are being substantively and specifically discussed within the Bundeswehr.” A day earlier, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned that “Germany is preparing for a war with Russia.”

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“..turning Ukraine into a giant factory showroom for Western weapons..”

Zelensky and the West Have A New Scam – And Taxpayers Will Foot The Bill (RT)

What do you do to boost GDP when your country is neck-deep in military conflict and your allies’ main interest is using you to wash taxpayer cash into their own military industrial complexes? Make that your whole national identity! And demand that the West help you transition. “Our country will become one of the world’s key producers of weapons and defense systems. And this is no longer just an ambition or a prospect, it is a potential that is already being realized,” Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said in September 2023. That plea has echoed all over the Western press. You’d think that it may have thought to “realize” that “potential” before it went live with the big “Ukrainian counteroffensive” show. But hey, making lemonade from lemons, there’s definitely a business opportunity in losing on the battlefield that wouldn’t exist if Ukraine had proven to be adequately stocked up and victorious. Any ambulance-chasing weapons salesman would be attracted by that.

And on top of that, Russia’s whole stated objective from the very outset has been “de-militarization.” Right now, Ukraine is to Western weapons producers what the Cheesecake Factory is to a fat kid. Those slightly less cynical might be tempted to view all this as the path to victory for Ukraine, but a recent incident strongly suggests otherwise. In a leaked audio recording obtained by Russian intelligence and authenticated by the German government, senior Luftwaffe officers, including the Air Force’s chief, are overheard talking about how even the delivery of the German Taurus missiles to Kiev wouldn’t change the course of the conflict in Ukraine’s favor. If even the gold standard German cruise missile that doubles the strike distance of its Western rivals isn’t considered a game changer in the overall conflict with Russia at this point, then odds don’t sound too good for much else.

And who’s going to pay for Ukraine’s identity change, anyway? Western Europe and the US will pay for the transition, of course. Just as they’re also paying to keep all of Ukrainian society afloat, funding salaries and pensions. It’s not like investors are flocking to Ukraine right now. Much of the weapons-making infrastructure from the Cold War has been decimated, and in a country that ranks near the top of the global corruption index, it probably won’t come as a surprise that the industry itself is rife with “mismanagement.” While it’s clear who’s going to pay, what’s less obvious is who will actually benefit from turning Ukraine into a giant factory showroom for Western weapons. Some Western arms manufacturers have rushed into Ukraine to set up shop, such as Germany’s Rheinmetall, which started operating an armored vehicle plant in the country last year. Guess it’s just good business to be cranking out tanks right on the battlefield where they can be blown up coming off the assembly line. May as well just set fire to that Western taxpayer cash funding this charade the moment that it pops out of the ATM.

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“..from [the perspective of] the people who run the United States, the blob, the deep state… this war was absolutely essential.”

Losing to Russia Shatters Western Leaders’ Belief in Their Exceptionalism (Sp.)

There is “sincere panic” among Western leaders who are forced to “face the inevitable fact” that they are losing to Russia, Mark Sleboda, a foreign relations and security analyst told Sputnik’s Fault Lines on Monday. “It is shattering both their preconceptions of this conflict and also shattering their belief in their own exceptionalism and seniority,” he told co-hosts Melik Abdul and Jamarl Thomas. The comments came after discussing the leaked German plans to coordinate a strike on the Crimean bridge or an ammo depot in Krasnodar, which Sleboda said was “planning an act of war on the Russian Federation” noting that Russia would have “every right” to respond. “They were plotting an act of war and [the] Ukrainians in all of this, they weren’t doing the planning, they wouldn’t be doing the implementation, the programing of the missiles on the ground. They were talking about having it be done by German officials and the number [of] people with American accents and civilian clothes,” he said, adding “Their biggest concern, other than which was the more feasible target… was their plausible deniability.”

Sleboda noted that it is an open question if German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who has been publicly against sending Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine, was lying or if “he [was] unaware of what his own military was doing.” Recently, Scholz -seemingly on accident- revealed that British and American personnel are on the ground in Ukraine to help coordinate the long-range missiles provided by those countries to the Kiev regime. “That’s exposing that America and the UK have military people on the ground in the guise of volunteers or mercenaries or humanitarian workers… which means they are at war with Russia. It’s simply undeclared,” Sleboda argued. Noting that the plans violated the “rules” of the conflict by planning a strike inside of Russia’s mainland. “Russia had two options,” Sleboda explained. “They could escalate back or [which they tried] instead expose this, hoping that it will at least dampen down.”

“The West has two options in response, they can either back down or they can escalate in response,” he added. However, the West has a lot at stake in Russia because they bet Western hegemony on the conflict. “We’ve heard from every Western leader… a Russian victory in Ukraine would be a defeat of NATO. They did this to themselves, they invested this much political and geopolitical capital. They’ve said… that US global leadership… is at stake in the outcome of this conflict.” “The world might not have originally reached the same conclusion, but now they forced them to because they… said it so authoritatively.” Host Jamarl Thomas lamented how the West didn’t need to provoke Russia into the conflict, but Sleboda disagreed, saying that it was inevitable from the perspective of the “deep state.”

“They are fighting for US hegemony over the world – that’s why. From their point of view, this was also an inevitability, from [the perspective of] the people who run the United States, the blob, the deep state… this war was absolutely essential.” Sleboda noted that the US did manage to gain one advantage in the war, it made Europe more subservient to them. “They tied Europe more directly to them. Europe is now spending their money on two to four times more expensive [Liquefied Natural Gas] LNG than they were on Russian energy, which means that Europe’s economy, yes, is facing de-industrialization. But, on the plus side, a lot of those European businesses are going to the US. So they achieved very real geopolitical results out of this conflict.”

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“..their leaderships do agree that the days of marginalizing the Palestinians are over..”

Is Tehran Winning the Middle East? (Juan Cole)

Despite their fiery rhetoric, their undeniable backing of fundamentalist militias in the region, and their depiction by inside-the-Beltway war hawks as the root of all evil in the Middle East, Iran’s leaders have long acted more like a status quo power than a force for genuine change. They have shored up the rule of the autocratic al-Assad family in Syria, while helping the Iraqi government that emerged after President George W. Bush’s invasion of that country fight off the terrorist threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). In truth, not Iran but the U.S. and Israel are the countries that have most strikingly tried to use their power to reshape the region in a Napoleonic manner. The disastrous U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, and Israel’s wars on Egypt (1956, 1967), Lebanon (1982-2000, 2006), and Gaza (2008, 2012, 2014, 2024), along with its steady encouragement of large-scale squatting on the Palestinian West Bank, were clearly intended to alter the geopolitics of the region permanently through the use of military force on a massive scale.

Only recently, Ayatollah Khamenei bitterly asked, “Why don’t the leaders of Islamic countries publicly cut off their relationship with the murderous Zionist regime and stop helping this regime?” Pointing to the staggering death toll in Israel’s present campaign against Gaza, he was focusing on the Arab countries — Bahrain, Morocco, Sudan, and the United Arab Emirates — that, as part of Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner’s “Abraham Accords,” had officially recognized Israel and established relations with it. (Egypt and Jordan had, of course, recognized Israel long before that.) Given the anti-Israel sentiment in the region, had it, in fact, been rife with democracies, Iran’s position might have been widely implemented. Still, it was a distinct sign of terminal tone deafness on the part of Biden administration officials that they hoped to use the Gaza crisis to extend the Abraham Accords to Saudi Arabia, while sidelining the Palestinians and creating a joint Israeli-Arab front against Iran.

The region had already been moving in a somewhat different direction. Last March, after all, Iran and Saudi Arabia had begun forging a new relationship by restoring the diplomatic relations that had been suspended in 2016 and working to expand trade between their countries. And that relationship has only continued to improve as the nightmare in Israel and Gaza developed. In fact, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi first visited the Saudi capital, Riyadh, in November and, since the Gaza conflict began, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has met twice with his Saudi counterpart. Frustrated by a markedly polarizing American policy in the region, de facto Saudi ruler Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei resorted to the good offices of Beijing to sidestep Washington and strengthen their relations further.

Although Iran is far more hostile to Israel than Saudi Arabia, their leaderships do agree that the days of marginalizing the Palestinians are over. In a remarkably unambiguous statement issued in early February, the Saudis offered the following: “The Kingdom has communicated its firm position to the U.S. administration that there will be no diplomatic relations with Israel unless an independent Palestinian state is recognized on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, and that the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip stops and all the Israeli occupation forces withdraw from the Gaza Strip.” Significantly, the Saudis even refused to join a U.S.-led naval task force created to halt attacks on Red Sea shipping by the Houthis of Yemen (no friends of theirs) in support of the Palestinians. Its leaders are clearly all too aware that the carnage still being wreaked on Gaza has infuriated most Saudis.

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“..a “sweeping” European defence industry strategy, which will shift the EU’s defence industry to a war-footing..”

The EU’s American Queen (Lily Lynch)

Von der Leyen’s tenure has been marked by an acceleration of what Perry Anderson has termed “European coups” — the gradual agglomeration of power in Brussels. Even the manner in which she became Commissioner in 2019 represented a break with a procedure designed to lend the EU executive greater democratic legitimacy. In 2003, a Franco-German agreement established the foundations of what would become the Spitzenkandidaten (“lead candidate”) process, whereby the political family with the most votes in the European Parliamentary elections would secure the office of Commissioner for its pre-chosen candidate. But in 2019, Von der Leyen was not the Spitzenkandidat of her European People’s Party (EPP) — instead, she was handpicked by EU leaders Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron. The EPP’s Spitzenkandidat, Manfred Weber was thwarted by Macron, who viewed him as unqualified. Von der Leyen, on the other hand, was a long-time Merkel loyalist and, as Macron noted, spoke French exceptionally well.

The then-German Defence Minister was also amenable to closer military cooperation with France and had spoken of the need to create “an army of Europeans” — another point in her favour for Macron. In other words, Von der Leyen’s very rise constituted a quiet coup. Beyond the pretty verbiage about defending democracy, it amounted to what Anderson has described as “the quiet settling of affairs between elites in camera, above the heads of an inert populace below”. Perhaps as a result, Von der Leyen has started to rewrite her origin story, claiming that she “ran in 2019” — referencing a campaign that never happened. For the Queen of Europe, both reality and democracy are malleable. Yet Von der Leyen’s weightiest revisionism concerns the EU’s foreign policy. In 2019, she identified the creation of a “geopolitical commission” as one of her main priorities as Commissioner. The EU, she asserted, needed to become a major “geopolitical” actor “to shape a better world order”.

Chaos and crisis demanded that it “learn to speak the language of power”. Then came the twin threats of Russia and another Trump administration, both of which lent these aims a greater urgency. The result is that Von der Leyen’s EU is gradually being retooled for war. Two years ago, EU officials broke the taboo on financing lethal weapons when they decided to fund the provision of lethal military aid to Ukraine. As article 41.2 of the Treaty of the European Union explicitly prohibits “expenditure arising from operations having military or defence implications”, this move required some creativity to circumvent. Towards this end, the EU mobilised the European Peace Facility (EPF), a misnomer for a tool engineered to finance military engagements abroad. To get around the proscription on the financing of war, the EPF has been designed as a €5 billion “off-budget” instrument. Nor does the drumbeat of war stop there. On Tuesday, the Commission is set to unveil a “sweeping” European defence industry strategy, which will shift the EU’s defence industry to a war-footing, while “upending the way it finances and sells arms”.

Von der Leyen has said it will aim to “turbocharge our defence industrial capacity over the next five years”, with a focus on joint procurement. This approach draws on the Commission’s precedent-setting joint procurement of Covid vaccines, an effort now being touted as a model for success but still mired in major controversy: Von der Leyen’s private text message exchange with Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Bourla — hammering out the details of the April 2021 deal for 1.1 billion doses of the vaccine — has been shrouded in secrecy, with both journalists and the European Court of Auditors stonewalled in their attempts to gain access to the conversation. Suffice it to say such a precedent does not bode well for transparency in the massive new defence procurement process.

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“Companies that fail to abide by the EU’s rules may face fines of up to 10% of their total worldwide annual turnover, or up to 20% in the event of repeated infringements..”

Musk’s X Could Face New EU Restrictions (RT)

Elon Musk’s X (formerly Twitter) could be forced to follow a set of strict guidelines in the EU after the European Commission (EC) announced that the platform may be classified as a ‘gatekeeper’ under the Digital Markets Act (DMA). The EC explained that companies can be subject to additional regulations if they operate what is described as a “core platform service,” including search engines, app stores, and messenger services. They must have over 45 million monthly active end users, more than 10,000 yearly business users, or over €75 billion ($81 billion) in market capitalization.

According to an announcement published on the EC’s website on March 1, X, as well as travel website Booking.com and TikTok owner ByteDance, have submitted notifications that their services potentially meet the DMA thresholds. The commission now has 45 days to decide whether to designate the three companies as gatekeepers. If so, they will have six months to comply with DMA requirements. Companies that have already received the gatekeeper designation include the likes of Apple, Meta, Amazon, Microsoft, and Alphabet. Companies that fall under the rules are required to let third parties inter-operate with their services, to allow business users to access the data they generate on the platform, and to let them conclude contracts with their customers outside the gatekeeper’s ecosystem.

At the same time, the targeted companies must also refrain from favoring their own services over competitors or blocking users from removing pre-installed software or apps. They must also seek explicit consent from users to track their activity outside the gatekeeper’s core platform service for the purpose of targeted advertising. Companies that fail to abide by the EU’s rules may face fines of up to 10% of their total worldwide annual turnover, or up to 20% in the event of repeated infringements. Businesses may also be slapped with periodic penalty payments of up to 5% of their average daily turnover.

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“Some around town think it has something to do with Presiden Biden’s visit to the border..”

Ballot Drop Boxes Installed Along Border Wall (BBee)

Texas residents woke up Thursday morning to find general election ballot boxes had been placed along the southern border wall that divides parts of the U.S. from Mexico. “I’m not sure where these ballot drop boxes came from,” Brownsville resident Tom Walker told reporters. “Some around town think it has something to do with Presiden Biden’s visit to the border. I saw some of his folks down handing out mail-in ballots to these illegal guys who keep coming into town. Makes a person wonder what’s up.” Biden’s team denied placing the boxes strategically along the border wall right where the main surge of illegal immigrants are crossing into the country.

“This isn’t some crazy ploy to rig the election in favor of President Biden by handing out ballots to the millions of illegal aliens that have been streaming into the country over the past three years,” Biden spokesperson Alexander Sheperd told the press. “On a completely unrelated note, does anyone know how to say ‘President Biden will give you a prepaid $10 thousand Visa cash card if you vote for him’ in Spanish?” As of publishing time, Biden aids were seen rounding up as many filled-out ballots as they could in an effort they said would “restore fair and free elections and prevent that fascist Trump from taking office ever again.”

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Gaza 1970

 

 

Circle of life

 

 

Hedgehog

 

 

Floki

 

 

Survive

 

 

Coyote

 

 

Kiwi

 

 

Putin

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 042023
 


John French Sloan McSorley’s Bar 1912

 

Trump Hit With 34 Felony Counts – No Handcuffs, No Mug Shot, No Jail Cell (GP)
Trump Lawyers Believe Manhattan Judge Will Impose A Gag Order On Monday (DM)
Trump’s Legal “Super Tuesday” (Turley)
How’s That War Going? (Kunstler)
Saudi Arabia Makes Its Eurasian Shift (Cradle)
More Countries May Join Oil Production Cut – Official (RT)
French Streets and American Sofas (Patrick Lawrence)
Why The Battle For Bakhmut May Decide The Ukraine Conflict (Poletaev)
Kiev, Western Puppeteers Do Everything To Prolong Conflict – Lavrov (TASS)
West ‘Not So Eager To Find Out’ Who Bombed Nord Stream – WaPo (RT)
EU Unfriendly To Russia – Lavrov (TASS)
Lavrov Ready To Meet Blinken At UN Headquarters (TASS)
“Türkiye Only NATO Country That Can Hold Discussions With Russia” (RT)
Stoltenberg Announces Finland’s NATO Accession Date Is Today (RT)
You Know (Denninger)

 

 

Update on the bombing in St. Petersburg:
– The package was not allowed in by security
– The bomber, Darja started talking to Vladlen from her seat during the event
– She said “I brought you a figurine as present”
– He asked “Where is it?”
– She said “They said it may be a bomb, so it’s at the entrance with the security”
– He asked for it to be brought forward
-> Couple of minutes later he was dead and dozens of people injured.

 

 

 

 

Putin Gaddafi
https://twitter.com/i/status/1642876085070098433

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In no time, they went from one misdemeanor count -which had expired- to 34 felony counts.

Trump Hit With 34 Felony Counts – No Handcuffs, No Mug Shot, No Jail Cell (GP)

Another day, another leak. President Trump was hit with 34 FELONY COUNTS for falsification of business records, according to a leak to the Deep State’s favorite actor Michael Isikoff. President Trump will not be handcuffed and there will be no mug shot, according to Yahoo’s Isikoff. Yahoo reported: “Donald Trump will be placed under arrest on Tuesday and informed that he has been charged with 34 felony counts for falsification of business records, according to a source who has been briefed on the procedures for the arraignment of the former president. A New York City Police arrest report summarizing the charges against Trump will then be prepared and entered into the court system before he is led into a courtroom to be formally arraigned on the charges, none of which are misdemeanors.”

“But, the source said, Trump will not be put in handcuffs, placed in a jail cell or subjected to a mug shot — typical procedures even for white-collar defendants until a judge has weighed in on pretrial conditions. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office, which has been consulting with the Secret Service and New York City court officials, concluded that there was no reason to subject the former president to handcuffs or a mug shot. The stated reason for handcuffing defendants is on the grounds that the suspect might be a flight risk or a threat to the district attorney or court personnel, neither of which were judged to be relevant to the handling of a former president protected at all times by a phalanx of Secret Service agents.”

President Trump landed at New York’s LaGuardia Airport in Queens on Monday afternoon. President Trump will spend the night at Trump Tower New York and will show up to court for his arraignment on Tuesday at 2:15 pm ET. Trump’s lawyers will immediately file a motion to dismiss after they have the opportunity to review the indictment. Recall Michael Isikoff was involved in the Deep State’s attempt to oust Trump from office. No one in the media is more accommodating to the deep state than ‘old faithful’ – Yahoo’s Michael Isikoff. In 2017, it was reported that Isikoff’s Yahoo report was used to obtain FISA warrants to spy on President Trump while at the same time Isikoff was working with the DNC.

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Don’t seem to have happened. Maybe today. Still, gagging a presidential candidate?!

Trump Lawyers Believe Manhattan Judge Will Impose A Gag Order On Monday (DM)

Donald Trump’s legal team is preparing for a New York judge to slap a gag order on the former president on Monday, DailyMail.com can reveal, a day before he is due to be arrested in Manhattan. The extraordinary move to potentially silence a candidate for president will likely enflame Trump’s supporters as he prepares to fly out of his Florida home. ‘The Trump legal team now thinks that the Manhattan judge will take the unprecedented step of silencing the presidential frontrunner with an unconstitutional gag order tomorrow,’ said a source. ‘The Trump legal team is considering adding a First Amendment lawyer to the effort to combat this and will fight it all the way.’ Breaking the gag order could trigger a fine of $1000 and a prison sentence of as much as 30 days, under New York law.

On Sunday morning, Trump’s campaign announced that the former president would make a speech at his Mar-a-Lago home on Tuesday evening after returning from New York. That could now be in doubt. But it did not change his Sunday schedule. He headed to his West Palm Beach golf club where he could be seen playing the course accompanied by one of his lawyers, Lindsey Halligan. At the same time it emerged that his legal team will lodge a motion to immediately dismiss the case against him. ‘We will take the indictment. We will dissect it,’ Trump’s attorney Joe Tacopina told CNN on Sunday morning. ‘The team will look at every, every potential issue that we will be able to challenge, and we will challenge. ‘And of course, I very much anticipate a motion to dismiss coming because there’s no law that fits this.’

Taken together they mark the latest twists in a fast running story that exploded into life on Thursday when it emerged that a Manhattan jury voted to indict the former president. The charges remain sealed but are believed to relate to a $130,000 hush money payment made to adult movie actress Stormy Daniels in 2016. Trump has repeatedly lashed out at Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for pursuing a case that had been dropped by federal prosecutors. And he has also turned his fire on Manhattan’s Acting Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, who will hear the case and is believed to be preparing a gag order. ‘The campaign is preparing for this scenario,’ said a Trump campaign source.

It will only add to Trump’s anger at Merchan, who previously presided over last year’s tax fraud case when the Trump Organization was found guilty. In a Truth Social post on Friday, Trump said the judge had ‘railroaded’ his former CFO to try to get him to take a plea deal. ‘The judge “assigned’ to my Witch Hunt Case, a “Case” that has NEVER BEEN CHARGED BEFORE, HATES ME,’ he wrote.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1643059772235677696

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“Elections often raise the politics of crime — but in this election, it may be hard to separate the politics from the crime.”

Trump’s Legal “Super Tuesday” (Turley)

While a newly elected Trump could only pardon himself for the federal crimes, it is the federal case that likely represents the greatest threat to him. Moreover, the two state cases would add to Trump’s narrative of facing ‘political prosecutions’ from a ‘weaponized’ legal system on every level. Trump often campaigns on just such a primal level. He knows that a man chased by a dog can spark public outcry — but a man chased by a pack of dogs can spark public outrage. It is not simply the election that could take a carceral turn, however. What would happen if Trump were elected but convicted in either state case? Such a trial would likely occur after the election. Even if courts extended a trial until after the 2024 election, it would be difficult to delay it for four years.

The last time a president faced the threat of a criminal trial was in 1872, when Ulysses S. Grant was arrested for speeding in his horse-drawn carriage in Washington. I have long maintained that a sitting president can be indicted and tried. Almost 25 years ago, I wrote an academic work, “‘From Pillar to Post’: The Prosecution of Sitting Presidents,” that challenged immunity theories protecting presidents. I do not believe the indictment of a president or former president is a national tragedy. To the contrary, it is the ultimate affirmation that no one is above the law. However, that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t get weird if Trump loses in court but wins in the election. If Trump were convicted in a state proceeding, it would not bar him from running — or serving — as president.

A state judge could grant probation or an alternative sentence to avoid imprisonment. Moreover, appeals on the issue of incarceration could take years to address a state order conflicting with the performance of a federal function. Once that time was exhausted, a court could order any incarceration to be delayed until after the end of the presidential term, since Trump could not be elected a third time. We may have to face one of these scenarios. The question is whether voters may not only accept this prospect but some might even invite it. Regardless of how it works out, this election is about to take a carceral turn. Elections often raise the politics of crime — but in this election, it may be hard to separate the politics from the crime.

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“..a judge with any self-respect would toss it in a pre-trial hearing like a six-day-dead carp at the slightest prompting by a defense attorney..”

How’s That War Going? (Kunstler)

Now how about that other war: our government’s war against us? What canny reporters (Taibbi, Schellenberger) are calling the Censorship Industrial Complex has been pretty well outed. Everybody knows that the FBI, CIA, DHS, and many other agencies, via hijacked social media, have worked tirelessly to confound and bamboozle the public debate about, really, everything that matters. The odd part is that roughly half of America doesn’t seem to care. Of course, that is the same half of the country that has fallen in love with surveillance, censorship, political prosecutions, election monkey business, mandated mRNA shots, and other excursions into bad faith. Their auditors in the mainstream news media actually seem to relish their roles as enforcers of unreality.

This degenerate wickedness has been escalating since one Donald Trump stepped onstage years ago. The “Joe Biden” regime affects to have trapped him finally in the lair of Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg. Now the game gets interesting. Since the charges are the sheerest vapor, the actual aim of this prosecution, as Tom Luongo and Martin Armstrong point out, is to goad Mr. Trump into a civil contempt citation that will allow the New York authorities to lock him up. The judge in the case will impose a gag order on Mr. Trump speaking out about the proceedings against him, and when he opens his yap — as he is certain to do — they’ll throw a net around him and drag him off to the hoosegow, and keep try to keep him there indefinitely, as they kept the Jan 6 suspects in the DC jail. That is, if the Bragg operation in New York City can extract the former president from the state of Florida, which may not be so easy, now that Governor DeSantis has indicated a disinclination to allow it.

As to the case itself, a judge with any self-respect would toss it in a pre-trial hearing like a six-day-dead carp at the slightest prompting by a defense attorney — based, as it is, on multiple specious novelties of criminal law, not to mention being well beyond the statute of limitations. If it can actually get to trial, the prosecution will be a jurisprudential joke for the ages. If they get a Big Apple jury to go along with the joke, it will be short-listed through the appeals process clean up to the Supreme Court in a New York minute.

And if that whole thing falls apart like the janky jenga tower it is, there are two other cases in the wings — the bullshit case in Fulton County, Georgia, where the grand jury process was already compromised by a jury fore-person, self-identified as a “witch,” shooting her mouth off to the press; and the operation out of the DC Federal District run by one Special Counsel Jack Smith in the Mar-a-Lago classified papers matter — another loser case, considering all the other high officials currently entangled in similar complaints, as yet unmolested by any official charges.

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Brent: Russia and India abandon Europe-dominated oil price, agree to use Dubai oil price benchmark.

Saudi Arabia Makes Its Eurasian Shift (Cradle)

On 6 March, 2023, Iranian and Saudi officials held a meeting in Beijing where they agreed to restore bilateral relations. The agreement was significant not only for the mutual de-escalation of tensions in West Asia, but also for Saudi Arabia’s growing importance in the process of Eurasian integration led by China and Russia. By welcoming Chinese mediation, the kingdom has positioned itself as an independent actor capable of opening doors for Beijing and Moscow in a region where they have traditionally been overshadowed by a great power rival, the US. This move boosts Saudi Arabia’s importance in the geopolitical landscape and strengthens its ties with Beijing and Moscow.

For much of its history, Saudi Arabia was a staunch ally of the US in the Persian Gulf region. However, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s (MbS) military quagmire in Yemen – among other things – damaged Washington’s perception of the kingdom as a stable and reliable outpost in the region. The feeling was mutual and forced MbS to seek assistance from other nations to help lower tensions on Saudi frontiers. Between 2021 and 2022, Riyadh engaged in several rounds of an Iraq-hosted dialogue with Iran to negotiate assistance from Tehran in preventing its allies in Yemen and Iraq from attacking Saudi territory. What is particularly noteworthy to China and Russia is that MbS did not use this diplomacy as a means to restore the US’ traditional centrality in the kingdom’s regional and security policies. Instead, he made a point of cooperation with Beijing and Moscow while simultaneously snubbing Washington.

For example, in October 2022, Saudi Arabia partnered with OPEC+ partner Russia to cut oil production, breaking commitments made to US President Joe Biden during his July visit to Jeddah. MbS also overshadowed Biden’s trip with a much grander welcome for Chinese President Xi Jinping in December, during which Riyadh also hosted the first China-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit to underscore the Saudi view of China as a regional partner rather than just a bilateral one. Against this backdrop, the Saudi decision to sign a Chinese-brokered deal with Iran without Washington’s involvement has been interpreted as a “middle-finger to Biden,” in the words of former US State Department analyst Aaron David Miller. Similarly, Riyadh’s nascent Russian-brokered detente with Syria, whose Iran and Russia-allied government is still opposed by the US, also illustrates Saudi Arabia’s willingness to move away from its traditional pro-American stance.

Rubio
https://twitter.com/i/status/1642872629282340870

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“..as you know, there are 23 members in OPEC+..”

More Countries May Join Oil Production Cut – Official (RT)

More oil-producing nations may slash their crude output, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Novak warned on Monday. His comments follow the decision on Sunday by several members of the OPEC+ group to introduce voluntary additional cuts to their output starting from May until the end of 2023, in order to stabilize the oil market. Some of the major producers, such as Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait, pledged a total of 1.66 million barrels per day (bpd) of cuts on top of the ones already introduced in November. The move sent oil prices roughly 6% higher on Monday, with US benchmark WTI Crude surpassing $80 a barrel.

“Since so far nine countries … have said that they would voluntarily cut [their oil output], and as you know, there are 23 members in OPEC+, there were discussions that other countries could also join and announce some additional cuts of their own, if they felt it was necessary in order to stabilize the market,” Novak said in an interview to the Rossiya 24 TV channel. Novak’s comments were echoed by a report from Chief OPEC Correspondent Amena Bakr, who said on Twitter that more OPEC+ states were being encouraged to join the voluntary cuts.

The latest reductions come on top of the 2 million bpd cut introduced last year that’s set to run until the end of 2023. Russia also announced on Sunday that it would synchronize with OPEC+ and extend its own 500,000 bpd cut to the end of this year. According to Novak, the measure is necessary to ensure predictability in the oil market in a period of high volatility due to the ongoing banking crisis in the US and Europe, general global economic uncertainty, and unpredictable and short-sighted energy policy decisions.

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“On March 16 Macron made his wrongest choice. Unwilling to risk a vote in the National Assembly, he resorted to a provision de Gaulle wrote into the Fifth Republic’s Constitution in 1958, which allows the president to pass legislation without parliamentary approval under certain defined and rare circumstances—emergencies..”

French Streets and American Sofas (Patrick Lawrence)

You might be Brazilian or Malian or Singaporean, it is remarkable the world over to watch the French explode into the streets of dozens of cities and towns to protest the imperial president residing in Élysée Palace. It is altogether singular to follow the demonstrations against Emmanuel Macron as an American. The French are still citoyens and take to their streets and public squares. Americans long ago cashed in their citizenship to live as consumers—and take to their sofas no matter how abusively political elites treat them, no matter how many wars they start, no matter how corrupt the financial system, no matter how many people live in poverty, no matter how grotesque the “defense” budget, no matter how poisoned the environment, no matter… let me not go on. Please pass the Fritos and turn on the big game.

They burned city hall in Bordeaux last week. The Place de la Concorde, where the French protested the monarchy in 1789, is again shoulder-to-shoulder every day and night. Video footage records fires, barricades, appalling confrontations with baton-wielding CRS, the French riot police. Uncollected garbage is everywhere in the capital. The luxury shops along the grand boulevards have boarded up their windows. This started, of course, as a protest against Macron’s plan to raise the retirement age in France from 62 to 64 as part of a sweeping reform of the pension system. I have heard many Americans ask, “Two years? What’s the big deal?” It is telling enough that Americans would pose this question, missing all the reasons why Macron’s plan is a very big deal. The French work to live, as they like to say, while Americans live to work. Pushing up the retirement age had a semiotic meaning from the first, signaling the creeping incursion of American neoliberalism into French society.

There is the choice Macron had. I don’t think too many people dispute the demographics and fiduciary numbers at issue. More older French are reaching retirement age while fewer younger French are advancing into the workforce. This is a reality in France as in many other developed nations, though not the near-term crisis Macron made it out to be. Macron’s choice lay between raising taxes on the wealthy and the corporations or pushing the problem on the shoulders of the working class. He made the wrong choice. Remember, Macron was a merchant banker before going into politics. Early in his first term he was nicknamed “the president of the rich.” He failed to understand that serving as a national leader meant leaving behind the merchant banking in favor of the common good. So he made himself a sort of comprador, an import agent introducing Anglo–American neoliberal orthodoxies into a society that has long, long stood outside the Anglosphere.

For the French, the English Channel and the Atlantic are wide. On March 16 Macron made his wrongest choice. Unwilling to risk a vote in the National Assembly, he resorted to a provision de Gaulle wrote into the Fifth Republic’s Constitution in 1958, which allows the president to pass legislation without parliamentary approval under certain defined and rare circumstances—emergencies, in a word. So has Macron turned a big deal into a big, big deal and now a big, big, big deal.At this point the pension reform crisis has jumped the levee to become something far broader. Now demonstrators tip over into protesting the war in Ukraine, U.S. hegemony, NATO, and, on the domestic side, de Gaulle’s constitution.

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“..a ‘strategically unimportant’ town..”

Why The Battle For Bakhmut May Decide The Ukraine Conflict (Poletaev)

Since the beginning of the year, the Ukrainian front has been shrouded in a deceptive silence. Various insiders and anonymous sources predicted a looming large-scale offensive by the Russian Armed Forces. First expected around New Year, it was then anticipated in early February, and again around February 24 – the anniversary of Russia’s attack, last year. Days came and went, but nothing happened. With the arrival of spring, there has been talk of an equally imminent offensive – but this time by the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) in the south. Allegedly, the plan of the AFU is to break through to the Sea of Azov and cut off the land corridor to Crimea. Any success or failure in this direction will make a considerable strategic impact. If the estimates are correct, Kiev is preparing new military units and stocking up on Western weapons –including the widely discussed British tanks and depleted uranium shells to go with them– precisely for this endeavor.


However, in contrast to widespread opinion, Ukraine’s permanently ongoing mobilization is not being conducted to expand the army – the new recruits only make up for the losses. Estimates show that the number of service personnel in the AFU remains stable at about 400,000 active fighters. Considering the importance of the southern direction of the front, the Russian Armed Forces will either hold defense or cut off a possible Ukrainian breakthrough with counterattacks. This requires appropriate forces, shells, and equipment, as well as advance preparation. Russia’s intentions are quite serious. This is evident from its goal of capturing the city of Ugledar [“1” on the map] – a fortress in the area of the AFU’s possible breakthrough. Having Ugledar under Russian control is important since it would create a threat for the advancing units. A similar offensive has been carried out in the western section of the front in the Zaporozhye region, north of Vasilevka [“2” on map]. The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation captured several small towns there in January. As is evident from the serious work done on the construction of defensive lines, Russia will not retreat from Melitopol and Berdyansk as easily as it backed out of Izium or Kherson. This time, the stakes are too high.

In recent weeks, the Russian army has been successful in the area of Kremennaya [“3” on the map] and managed to advance six or seven kilometers (a good indicator for a static front line) towards the city of Liman, which it retreated from last October. Liman is located on the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic, so Russia would need to take it in any case, as it’s claimed as Moscow’s territory. However, the Russian Army’s breakthrough area here is relatively narrow and this makes it vulnerable to flank attacks. Battles for the suburbs of the city of Donetsk, ongoing since the beginning of the military offensive, have finally begun to bear fruit. In recent weeks, the Russian Armed Forces have partially surrounded Avdeevka [“4” on the map].


This place is particularly important since the AFU have been launching attacks on Donetsk from this spot for the past four years. In order to stop the constant shelling of the city from barrel artillery and “Grad” rocket launchers, the front line must be moved at least several dozen kilometers away from Donetsk. Apparently, these advances have become possible due to the battles for Artyomovsk (Bakhmut) [“5” on the map] which have helped to drain Ukraine’s forces. By itself, Artyomovsk holds no strategic importance – it is just one of the many cities in Donbass that still need to be taken. That’s why in a sense, Moscow decided to “outsource” this painstaking, dirty, and bloody work.

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“..We note the West’s unwillingness to engage in an inter-state dialogue based on principles of equality..”

Kiev, Western Puppeteers Do Everything To Prolong Conflict – Lavrov (TASS)

The Kiev regime and its Western puppeteers do everything they can in order to prolong hostilities, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview for air.ru, published on the Foreign Ministry website Tuesday. Commenting on peace plan for Ukraine, proposed by China, Lavrov noted that it is consonant for key Russian approaches. “Especially regarding the need to ensure equal and indivisible security for all countries in Europe and in the world in general,” the Minister noted. “So far, the peace process has been hindered by Kiev and its Western puppeteers who exert all efforts in order to prolong the hostilities.” Lavrov noted that Russian and Chinese leaders Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping stated “the importance for further close coordination on foreign policy.”


“We see the causes of main challenges in the international security area in a similar way. We note the West’s unwillingness to engage in an inter-state dialogue based on principles of equality. We oppose the use of sanctions pressure methods and other instruments of unscrupulous competition,” the Foreign Minister continued. “Meanwhile, our strategic cooperation is not aimed against third countries. It contributes to balanced development of the entire international system.” The Minister underscored that the Chinese side reaffirmed its “weighted position on the Ukrainian issue.” “We welcome Beijing’s readiness to play a constructive role in political and diplomatic resolution of the conflict,” he concluded.

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Seymour Hersh’s is the only view left standing.

West ‘Not So Eager To Find Out’ Who Bombed Nord Stream – WaPo (RT)

Western officials would rather not know who bombed the Nord Stream pipelines, lest they discover that their allies were responsible, the Washington Post reported on Monday. The report listed Polish and Ukrainian operatives as likely perpetrators, but left out one key suspect. “Don’t talk about Nord Stream” is now an unwritten rule at gatherings of European and NATO policymakers, an unnamed European diplomat told the newspaper. “Leaders see little benefit from digging too deeply and finding an uncomfortable answer,” the Post added, stating that officials “would rather not have to deal with the possibility that Ukraine or its allies were involved.” “It’s like a corpse at a family gathering,” the diplomat continued, explaining that while everyone can see the metaphorical body, they pretend it’s not there. “It’s better not to know,” the source said.

The Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines were destroyed in a series of near-simultaneous explosions off the Danish island of Bornholm in September. The blasts severed a key conduit of Russian natural gas to Europe, although the flow along Nord Stream 1 had been shut earlier that month, and the German government halted the activation of the newly-constructed Nord Stream 2 immediately after Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine last February. Multiple European investigations into the explosions are ongoing, and a number of theories about who carried out the attack have emerged. The Post pointed to theories that a Polish company hired a yacht to transport explosives to the blast site on behalf of Kiev; that another “pro-Ukrainian group” was to blame; and that “saboteurs from other countries” committed the attack without the Ukrainian government’s knowledge.

The Post did not, however, entertain the idea that the US government blew up the pipelines. Citing US intelligence sources, American reporter Seymour Hersh claimed in February that the Biden administration ordered the CIA to bomb the lines with the help of the Norwegian Navy. The rented yacht story, Hersh said afterwards, was planted in the US and German media as a red herring by the CIA and its German counterpart, the BND. Russian President Vladimir Putin said last month that he “fully agrees” with Hersh’s conclusions. Prior to the publication of Hersh’s report, Putin blamed the explosions on “the Anglo-Saxons,” a Russian colloquialism for the US-UK transatlantic alliance. The Russian president argued that the US in particular benefited from the attack due to its position as a supplier of LNG to Europe.

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The EU is committing hara-kiri to please America.

EU Unfriendly To Russia – Lavrov (TASS)

Russia is viewing the European Union as an unfriendly association now, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with aif.ru posted on the Foreign Ministry’s website on Tuesday. “The European Union has ‘lost’ Russia. However, it is its own making. Exactly the EU member-states and leaders of the Union openly state the need of inflicting the strategic defeat to Russia, as they say. They are filling the criminal Kiev regime with weapons and munitions and send instructors and mercenaries to Ukraine. These are the reasons why we consider the EU to be the unfriendly association,” Lavrov said. The Russian side made necessary conclusions from this situation, the minister stressed. Moscow will act in response to hostile steps “decidedly if necessary, being governed by national interests of Russia and the reciprocity principle commonly adopted in the diplomatic practice,” he added.

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April 24-25.

Lavrov Ready To Meet Blinken At UN Headquarters (TASS)

Russia is ready to a possible meeting between Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Secretary of State Antony Blinken during the Minister’s visit to the UN Headquarters on April 24-25 if the US side has the desire to meet, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya said at a press conference. “I think that depends on two factors. First, where Secretary Blinken will be at that time, and on his ability and willingness to meet with our Foreign Minister,” the Russian diplomat said. The Russian side has never “run away from whatever meetings with those people who want these meetings,” he noted. “If such a meeting is requested, I presume that Minister Lavrov will be ready to meet Secretary Blinken,” Nebenzya added.

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Probably true, and certainly insane.

“Türkiye Only NATO Country That Can Hold Discussions With Russia” (RT)

Today, Türkiye is the only country within NATO that can hold discussions with Russia and take steps per the interests of the international community, based on a common denominator in certain areas with Russia, Levent Gumrukcu, Turkish representative in NATO, told Anadolu, Report informs. He said that Türkiye is the only country that maintains contact with both sides in the war in Ukraine and tries to create an atmosphere of trust between the parties: “The role we play in matters such as the grain agreement and exchange of prisoners is a manifestation of this. This position of ours is of serious importance not only for Ukraine but also for the Euro-Atlantic area and NATO.” The diplomat added that NATO and Türkiye have common interests in many regions, including the Balkans, Central Asia, the South Caucasus, the Middle East, and North Africa.

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“Prime Minister Sanna Marin loses the Finnish elections. The Finns did not like her handling of the Russia conflict. She sold out Finland to NATO and the Anti-Russia coalition. She put international politics first and her people second.”

She did her job. Finland’s in NATO and she’s no longer needed. NATO can go place weapons along its longest border with Russia.

Stoltenberg Announces Finland’s NATO Accession Date Is Today (RT)

Finland will officially become the 31st member of NATO on Tuesday, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced in a statement on Monday. “This is a historic week,” Stoltenberg told reporters on the eve of a meeting of NATO foreign ministers. “From tomorrow, Finland will be a full member of the alliance,” he said, adding that “it will be a good day for Finland’s security, for Nordic security, and for NATO as a whole.” Finnish president Sauli Niinisto and Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen are expected to attend the accession ceremony in Brussels along with Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto, who vowed to emphasize NATO’s support to Ukraine during the meeting.

The move comes just three days after Turkish President Reccep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed ratification of the Nordic country’s passage into the organization. It ends a protracted accession process that began last summer when Finland and Sweden abandoned their traditional position of neutrality and applied to join NATO, citing concerns of possible Russian aggression. Türkiye had objected to the bids by Helsinki and Stockholm citing their alleged support of “terrorist groups.” Last month, however, Erdogan praised Finland’s “authentic and concrete steps” to address Turkish security concerns. He has yet to give a clear indication as to when Ankara will ratify Sweden’s request to join the bloc.

Moscow, meanwhile, has reacted to Finland’s accession to NATO by stating that Russia will have no choice but to reinforce its military potential on the Western and North Western borders in response. “In the event that forces and assets of other NATO members are deployed in Finland, we will take additional steps to reliably ensure Russia’s military security,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told RIA Novosti on Monday. Last month, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow “regrets” Finland’s and Sweden’s decision to join the US-led bloc, stating that Russia “does not pose any threat to these countries, since it does not have any disputes with them.”

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The crowd called for the death of Christ in the same way it clamored for forced vaccination.

You Know (Denninger)

Palm Sunday. Many Christians share my dread of this Holy Day. It starts out fun, with all of us outside. We grab palm leaves. The kids immediately start sword fighting with them and the older folks fold them into crosses or other shapes like religious balloon animals! Then the mood shifts. We file into our pews in silence and a pall settles over the sanctuary. There is no music to guide our steps. We know what’s coming. Palm Sunday commemorates (because celebrate is not the right term for the second) two events: Jesus returning to Jerusalem and his crucifixion. Some of the disquiet is annoyance. It is the longest Mass most of us attend. But there is no denying the heavy reason we’re here. Palm Sunday’s Gospel reading is Christ’s crucifixion, and even worse, the congregation reads the parts of the crowd out loud.

Each of us demands the murder of an innocent man. Even though we know how it ends, it’s sobering. The silence is appropriate. For me, it was never only the heavy subject matter, it was doubt. What would I have done in the crowd? Scream to let a killer go? Would I participate in murdering the lamb of God? I really wanted to believe, “Of course not! I’m an upstanding person, I would never hand Christ over for execution!” Doubt crept in, no matter how forcefully I repeated the mantra. I am flawed, a sinner, and most importantly, rarely brave. After the past three years, I know the answer. So do all of you. Know, not believe.

I did not cave when “friends” tried to shame me into wearing a tard rag. People drifted out of my life. My blood is still pure, despite the crowd screaming for submission. These two actions mean there are very few left in my life, and almost none I call “friend” sincerely. It’s a reasonable conclusion to assume what held true recently would have in Jerusalem. God didn’t tell me His plan for the last three years, He wouldn’t have told me back then. I state this not out of grandiosity or claiming to hear the Word of God, simply my own actions. This year I will stand with the rest of the congregation, but not speak any of the lines because I would have walked off rather than go along with the crowd.

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Roughnecks

 

 

Bricks
https://twitter.com/i/status/1642907102988337156

 

 

Bernoulli

 

 

Chameleon
https://twitter.com/i/status/1642859388409978881

 

 

Monkey frog
https://twitter.com/i/status/1642896852231020547

 

 

Hitchcock TO CATCH A THIEF (1955)

 

 

 

 

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