Feb 102024
 
 February 10, 2024  Posted by at 9:45 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  66 Responses »


Edward Hopper Christmas card 1928

 

Eventful Events (James Howard Kunstler)
Biden’s Angry Press Conference Made Hur’s Memory Report Infinitely Worse (Sp.)
Putin Interview May Help Stop West From Committing Suicide – Scott Ritter (Sp.)
Tucker-Putin Interview to Erode Funding Crusade for US in Ukraine (Sp.)
Putin Interview Helps Americans Understand Ukraine Conflict – Kwiatkowski (Sp.)
The Biden-Schumer Plan to Kill More Ukrainians (Jeffrey Sachs)
Ukraine’s Top General Fired For Disobeying US – Politico (RT)
Nuland Told Zelensky Not To Fire Top General – The Times (RT)
Ukraine’s New Commander-in-chief Is An Unpopular ‘Butcher’ – Politico (RT)
General Syrsky, Hero of Kiev or Butcher of Bakhmut? (Sp.)
Houthis Say All Warships Must Leave Red Sea (Sp.)
Any Gaza Deal Could Break Netanyahu’s Coalition (Harb)
German Foreign Minister’s Grandfather Was ‘Ardent Nazi’ – Bild (RT)
The “Unassailable” Theory Faces a Potential Unanimous Rejection (Turley)
Biden’s Eulogy Will Be ‘Journalism RIP’. How He Destroyed the 4th Estate (Jay)

 

 

 

 

Tenney

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obama3rd

 

 

 

 

RFK Biden

 

 

Mamet
https://twitter.com/i/status/1755767014876926374

 

 

 

 

“Mr. Biden’s charade of running for reelection must come to an end. What will the Democratic party do about that?”

Eventful Events (James Howard Kunstler)

This Friday morning, the USA is fraught with events unspooling. As I write, with dawn just breaking, there is almost zero opinion yet formed about these troubling matters on the vast Internet — but it will probably come in hot-and-heavy as the day ticks on. If Mr. Biden is truly mentally incompetent, as established more-or-less legally by Special Counsel Hur, then there is the obvious remedy of the 25th amendment — removal of a president for reason of disability. A debate over this would seem unavoidable now. The question also implies that Mr. Biden’s charade of running for reelection must come to an end. What will the Democratic party do about that?

A not inconsiderable part of our Ukraine problem has been that our chief executive was for years engaged in bribery and money-laundering misadventures there, for which there is abundant and powerful evidence, meaning he may have had very personal interests in keeping that country disordered — and sending billions of dollars there, some of it surely embezzled among the Zelensky government. You’d have to also be aware that the bag-man in those operations, the President’s son, Hunter, might well have misbehaved with drugs and prostitutes on his many trips to Ukraine as a board member of Burisma. Hunter’s self-compiled archive of round-the-world drug-fueled porn recordings on the laptop that (the FBI confirmed recently) was unquestionably his own, suggests that the Ukraine authorities may have their own recordings of him behaving similarly, or worse, and are using them to blackmail “President Joe Biden.”

We will also learn the judgment, probably with remarkable dispatch, of the Supreme Court in the matter of Colorado kicking Donald Trump off the election ballot. Meanwhile, the case against Mr. Trump in Fulton County, Georgia, is falling apart in DA Fani Willis’s pathetically comical scandal, now with a new “love nest” twist (paid for with public money). And Judge Engoron and AG Letitia James might be weighing the fates of their reputations in the shabbily-conducted and bogus real estate valuation fraud case against Mr. Trump, which will eventually be vivisected at some level of appeal. The old saying remains powerful: There are decades when nothing happens, and weeks when decades happen.

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“If Obama came out and said, ‘I’ve had enough. I’ve seen enough. This has to stop,’ then maybe.”

Biden’s Angry Press Conference Made Hur’s Memory Report Infinitely Worse (Sp.)

Biden’s press conference was held in response to the report issued by special counsel Robert Hur concluding that the President should not be charged for his handling of classified documents during and after his time as Vice President. Among the reasons Hur decided against prosecution was that he felt Biden’s defense would present him as “a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory” noting that during their interview the President’s memory was “significantly limited” and that “He did not remember when he was vice president.” The report quoted the President in a conversation that was recorded asking “If it was 2013 – when did I stop being Vice President?” and “In 2009, am I still Vice President?.It also notes that he couldn’t remember “even within several years” when his son Beau Biden died. During the press conference, Biden slammed the report for containing “extraneous commentary” that has “no place in this report.”

Hur

However, moments earlier he stopped midway through a sentence explaining where his deceased son got a rosary for him. “I wear, since the day he died, every single day, the rosary he got from our Lady of–” he said before abruptly pausing for a few seconds and then changing the subject to an annual Memorial Day service he and his family holds for Beau Biden. Biden also snapped at reporters, when one asked him how bad his memory was, Biden shot back “My memory is so bad, I let you speak.” The decision to hold a press conference was motivated by anger, Martin argued, “He couldn’t control it because he was so angry […] he made it infinitely worse.” While Martin disagreed with co-hosts Ted Rall and Angie Wong that Biden may step down or be removed from office due to the report and subsequent press conference, he agreed that it may cause him to drop his bid for reelection. “I don’t see how he runs for reelection. He may stay in office to the end, but now there’s a real specific case to try to say, ‘It’s over, Joe.’ But I don’t think he thinks it is. I don’t think his wife [thinks it is.]”

Wong asked if the 25th Amendment, which allows a President’s cabinet to remove the President from power if he or she is incapacitated, could be invoked in Biden’s case. Martin said he does not believe it will happen but that Democrats know how bad it looks “I do think Democrats believe that they’re in big trouble because of this, but I don’t know the path [to removal,]” he speculated. “Both parties[…] set up a system where the President is so darn powerful […] if he doesn’t step away, and I don’t think he will, I think he is going to stay there.” Martin later added that it is a “tragedy” that his family is allowing him to continue on in his current state. When pressed, Martin did come up with one scenario that Democrats could use to convince Biden to drop out of the race: his former boss.

“If Obama came out and said, ‘I’ve had enough. I’ve seen enough. This has to stop,’ then maybe. But I can’t imagine Obama doing that. [Or] maybe I can, I don’t know. That might be the Hail Mary.”Martin also speculated that the Democratic convention could be a place to make the change. “The Democrats [could] go in and say ‘You know what? We don’t have a path forward here.’ But they’re out of time.” Martin argued. “Any move they make will look desperate, and part of the problem will be, [Biden] didn’t get this way yesterday, he’s been this way for […] two years or three years. How could you do this to this country? And I think that’s how voters will feel.”

MSNBC

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“Tucker Carlson opened a door into modern day Russia, opened a door into the personality of Vladimir Putin, opened a door into the history of Russia, opened a door into the Russian soul..”

Putin Interview May Help Stop West From Committing Suicide – Scott Ritter (Sp.)

Tucker Carlson’s interview with Vladimir Putin has gone viral almost immediately after being posted online on February 8, having been viewed over 50 million times on social media platform X alone mere hours after the upload. The interview in question turned out to be a “very much a tour de force” where Putin introduced American audience “to the nuances of Russian history” and “into the complexities of the Russian soul,” said former US Marine Corps intelligence officer Scott Ritter. “This really isn’t about the content, although there is some interesting information that came out. This is about the process. Tucker Carlson opened a door into modern day Russia, opened a door into the personality of Vladimir Putin, opened a door into the history of Russia, opened a door into the Russian soul,” he said. According to Ritter, during the course of the interview Putin, metaphorically speaking, “helped create a map” that can guide viewers “through the complexities of what makes Russia tick”

While it remains to be seen “how many millions of people” will watch Putin’s interview, Ritter argued that it is “one of the most important interviews of the modern era” because it “has the ability to stop the West and Russia from going to war, to stop the West from committing suicide. “All of the answers to all of the problems that face Russia and the West today were laid out by the Russian president. There’s no hidden agenda. There’s no, you know, secret code that has to be known,” he explained. “You just have to know Russia. You have to understand what makes Russia tick. You have to understand the thinking behind the Russian president’s decisions, the motives behind Russia. You have to understand Russia.” Though it appears unlikely that Carlson “understood Russia” when he set off to take this interview, he “knows that he was given a toolbox complete with tools, and now he has to go out and finish the job,” Ritter added.

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“..they really bring a different historical perspective to life that is very different from what Americans do. Americans don’t remember much.”

Tucker-Putin Interview to Erode Funding Crusade for US in Ukraine (Sp.)

American journalist Tucker Carlson has come under a barrage of verbal attacks and denunciation from the Washington elite for interviewing Russian President Vladimir Putin. Among those going into meltdown mode and vilifying the renowned ex-Fox News host, were the US mainstream media, Team Biden officials and disgruntled, two-time failed presidential contender Hillary Clinton who branded him as a “useful idiot”, claiming that everything that Putin would say would be a “pack of lies”. Meanwhile, millions took to Twitter and Carlson’s website to watch the history-making interview. “The media freak out,” Larry Johnson, a retired CIA intelligence officer, told Sputnik. “The media has been losing credibility with each passing week. They are seen as dishonest and propagandists. So, what they think is really of little importance, I don’t see a groundswell developing to try to attack Tucker. The irony is, if you take the Fox News Network and MSNBC and CNN combined, Tucker has more viewers, more people following him, than those networks do. They’re just jealous.”

“Tonight, Fox News Network and CNN and MSNBC combined may have had a total of 8 million viewers. Tucker is already three times the size of whatever they saw. Now he also has a global audience, but, you know, this thing is going to spread. I would anticipate that before this is done, well over 100 million people, maybe 200 million, will have watched it worldwide,” he predicted. The now-retired CIA official believes that Putin’s interview could end up eroding support for the Kiev regime among American conservatives and make it even more difficult for US lawmakers to funnel billions into Washington’s Ukraine proxy conflict. While speaking to Carlson, Putin briefly recounted Russia’s history to illustrate the strong cultural, religious, and ethnic bonds shared between Russians and Ukrainians.

The Russian president shed light on the post-Cold War period and US schemes to pull Ukraine away from Russia’s fold by promising to admit it into NATO and later fomenting a coup in 2014 with the active participation of neo-Nazi paramilitary groups which soon morphed into an eight-year war by the Kiev regime against Donbass. Putin underscored that Russia did not start the Ukraine conflict in 2022 but moved to end the Kiev regime’s war against its own people. “Putin believes, as I do, that history helps shape the present,” Johnson explained. “And if you don’t understand where you’ve been, you’ll have a tough time to understand where you’re going. And so understanding the history that’s inherent in all of this and particularly people in Russia, in the Caucasus, down into the Middle East, they really bring a different historical perspective to life that is very different from what Americans do. Americans don’t remember much.”

If Americans want to comprehend why Russia rushed to the rescue of Donbass in 2022 and declared the denazification of Ukraine to be one of its key goals, they must remember that the wounds of WW2 that are still fresh in Russia, the ex-CIA official stressed. “Whereas, as you see today, with respect to the Russian people remembering the Great Patriotic War [WW2], they remember,” Johnson noted. “They carry pictures. So it’s still fresh. And the damage inflicted upon the Russian people by the Germans, the Nazis, is something they have not forgotten and won’t easily forget. So I think that’s part of why Putin goes back to history, to drive home the point that Russians have a different timeline, different perspective from Americans. And it’s important for Americans to understand that.”

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“Because it is an election year, and Biden is standing for re-election, his backers in the administrative state are very afraid of any presentation of ‘a loss’ in Ukraine..”

Putin Interview Helps Americans Understand Ukraine Conflict – Kwiatkowski (Sp.)

Tucker Carlson’s interview with Vladimir Putin has shed light on the causes of the Ukrainian conflict which is “in many ways not normal” given Ukraine’s deep historic, cultural and ethnic ties to Russia, as per retired US Air Force Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski, a former analyst for the US Department of Defense. Putin’s historic remarks have clearly shown to what extent the West meddled in Ukrainian affairs after the collapse of the USSR, fanned nationalist sentiment in the Eastern European state and eventually fomented a coup d’etat in 2014 which was completely unnecessary given that the legitimate Ukrainian leadership at the time sat down with the opposition and was ready to hold snap elections.Per Kwiatkowski, this interview actually helps drive home the message that the US arming of the Kiev regime and prolonging of the Ukraine conflict must be stopped, because it is unpopular, unaffordable and destroys the Eastern European country.

“Most public opinion here opposes sending money to Kiev,” the former Pentagon analyst pointed out. “Because it is an election year, and Biden is standing for re-election, his backers in the administrative state are very afraid of any presentation of ‘a loss’ in Ukraine. Hearing directly from President Putin and via his many incisive soundbites that will be replayed and discussed later for wider audiences will help Americans, although not the Biden administration. It will help the discussion that goes on in the US, and also Europe.”She noted that “members of Congress, especially Republicans, will be watching this in order to see how it may inform them as to how this conflict is going, and what it is about.” Most recently, the Senate voted to begin debate on a $95 billion aid package to fund Ukraine, Israel and other US allies.

However, the US mainstream press admitted that the bill faces an “uphill battle” given that the debate will begin just days before the Senate’s two-week recess and just a few weeks before government shutdown deadlines in March. The legislation is a variant of the $118 billion bill earlier blocked by Republican senators and stripped of its border provisions. Previously, House Speaker Mike Johnson made it clear that the “compromise” bipartisan bill will be dead on arrival in the lower chamber. He and other conservative Republicans also signaled that the foreign aid package should not be rammed through the US Congress until measures to tackle the US border crisis are adopted.

Putin touched on US domestic issues during his interview with Carlson, explaining “what many people here also know, and that is the damage we are doing to our US dollar, and our own ability to be a strong, healthy, economically productive economy,” said Kwiatkowski. The US’ deeper engagement in its proxy war in Ukraine is fraught with a risk of a direct conflict with Russia. When asked about the prospect of NATO-Russia war, Putin said: “If someone has the desire to send in American troops that would certainly bring humanity to the brink of a very serious global conflict… This conflict is taking place thousands of kilometers away from your national territory! Don’t you have anything better to do?” Kwiatkowski believes this message will resonate in the United States.

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“The 2014 Ukraine team, including Biden, Nuland, Jake Sullivan (then and now Biden’s national security advisor), Geoffrey Pyatt, and Antony Blinken (then the deputy national security advisor), remains the Ukraine team today. It is a team of bunglers..”

The Biden-Schumer Plan to Kill More Ukrainians (Jeffrey Sachs)

President Joe Biden is refusing to fold a losing hand as he bets with Ukrainian lives and U.S. taxpayer money. Biden and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer propose to squander the lives of tens of thousands more Ukrainians and $61 billions of federal funds to keep Biden’s disastrous foreign policy failure hidden from view until after the November election. The $61 billion will make no difference on the battlefield except to prolong the war, the tens of thousands of deaths, and the physical destruction of Ukraine. It will not “save” Ukraine. Ukraine’s security can only be achieved at the negotiating table, not by some fantasized military triumph over Russia. $61 billion is not nothing. This worse-than-useless outlay would exceed the combined budgets of the U.S. Department of Labor, Environmental Protection Agency, National Science Foundation, and the Women, Infant, and Children nutrition program.

Almost exactly 10 years ago this month, Biden did much to put Ukraine on the path to disaster. This is well known to those who have looked carefully at the facts but is kept hidden from view by the White House, the Senate Democrats, and the mainstream media that back Biden. I have previously provided a detailed chronology, with hyperlinks, here. Ukraine’s security can only be achieved at the negotiating table, not by some fantasized military triumph over Russia.In 1990, President George H. W. Bush, Sr. and his German counterpart Chancellor Helmut Kohl promised Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev that NATO would not expand eastward if the Soviet Union accepted German reunification. When the Soviet Union disbanded in December 1991, with Russia as the successor state, American leaders decided to renege.

President Bill Clinton began NATO expansion over the vociferous opposition of top diplomats like George Kennan and the opposition of his own Secretary of Defense, William Perry. In 1997 Zbigniew Brzezinski upped the ante, with a plan for NATO to expand all the way to Ukraine. He famously wrote that without Ukraine, Russia would cease to be a great power. Russian leaders have repeatedly made clear that NATO expansion to Ukraine is understandably the reddest of Russian redlines. In 2007, President Vladmir Putin stated that NATO enlargement to that date was a cheat on the 1990 promise, and that it must go no further. Despite these clear warnings, including by his own diplomats, George W. Bush Jr. committed in 2008 to expand NATO to Ukraine and Georgia in order to surround Russia in the Black Sea.William Burns, now CIA director, and then the U.S. Ambassador to Russia, wrote a famous memo entitled “Nyet means Nyet,” explaining that Russia’s opposition to NATO enlargement was across Russia’s political spectrum.

Most Ukrainians themselves were also firmly against the plan, favoring neutrality over NATO membership. The Ukrainian Rada declared Ukraine’s state sovereignty in 1990 on the basis of becoming “a permanently neutral state.” In 2009, the people of Ukraine elected Viktor Yanukovych, who ran on a platform of neutrality.In early 2014, the U.S. decided to help bring down Yanukovych in a coup. This was standard U.S. deep-state operating procedure, one used on dozens of occasions around the world. The CIA, National Endowment for Democracy, USAID, and NGOs like the Open Society Foundation went to work in Ukraine. The point person was Victoria Nuland, who was first Richard Cheney’s principal deputy foreign policy advisor, then George Bush Jr.’s ambassador to NATO, then Hillary Clinton’s spokesperson, and by 2014 Assistant Secretary of State.

This time, the Russians caught the conspiracy on tape, in an intercepted call between Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt (now Assistant Secretary of State). Nuland explains to Pyatt that Vice President Joe Biden will help choose and cement the post-coup government. The 2014 Ukraine team, including Biden, Nuland, Jake Sullivan (then and now Biden’s national security advisor), Geoffrey Pyatt, and Antony Blinken (then the deputy national security advisor), remains the Ukraine team today. It is a team of bunglers. They thought that Yanukovych’s overthrow would quickly usher in NATO expansion. Instead, ethnic Russians in Ukraine virulently rejected the Russophobic post-coup government that was installed by Nuland, and called for autonomy of the ethnically Russian regions. In a referendum, Crimea voted overwhelmingly to join Russia.

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“..Syrsky, who is widely unpopular in the military, is reportedly seen as politically safe as he is an ethnic Russian with no political ambitions..”

Ukraine’s Top General Fired For Disobeying US – Politico (RT)

General Valery Zaluzhny was dismissed as the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces partly because he had clashed with the Pentagon about how to conduct the counteroffensive against Russia last summer, Politico EU reported on Friday. President Vladimir Zelensky sacked Zaluzhny on Thursday, even as the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) warned this might trigger riots or a mutiny. General Aleksandr Syrsky has since been announced as Zaluzhny’s replacement. Officially, the US has neither supported nor opposed Zaluzhny’s firing, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan telling the media last weekend that “we’re just not going to get embroiled in that particular decision.” Unofficially, Zaluzhny was blamed for the Ukrainian disagreements with the Pentagon during the 2023 counteroffensive, a source who has “advised the White House on military matters” told Politico.

British and American generals helped plan and wargame Ukraine’s big offensive push to the Azov Sea, but Zaluzhny “tossed aside” the plan after just four days of brutal fighting and opted for tactics the Ukrainians were more familiar with, according to a Washington Post postmortem published in December. The anonymous adviser told Politico that the Ukrainians “just weren’t interested in US advice, and they generally concluded that we have nothing to offer them advice-wise,” noting that many of the Pentagon’s suggestions ended up “tone-deaf” as the Americans had no experience in this kind of warfare.

While Zaluzhny bore the brunt of the blame for this, the US “kept yelling at the wrong person,” Politico’s source claimed, because he was “hamstrung by Zelensky” and the president had the final say on military matters. The much-heralded offensive resulted in “staggering manpower losses,” according to Politico, while failing to achieve any of its objectives. Since then, disagreements between Zelensky and Zaluzhny have gone public. The leader also suspected the general of wanting to run for president, to the point where his sacking was seen as a political necessity, one Ukrainian analyst told the outlet. Syrsky, who is widely unpopular in the military, is reportedly seen as politically safe as he is an ethnic Russian with no political ambitions.

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“Nuland flew there for a good reason, apparently to sort things out and clear up this conflict between Zelensky and Zaluzhny and to find out what is really happening and how it might all end..”

Nuland Told Zelensky Not To Fire Top General – The Times (RT)

US Acting Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland was unhappy with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s plan to fire General Valery Zaluzhny and offered to “smooth over” the differences between the two, The Times reported on Friday. Zelensky fired Zaluzhny as commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces on Thursday. Nuland was in Kiev at the end of January, as rumors of Zaluzhny’s impending dismissal began to gain traction. In a meeting with the US ambassador to Kiev, Bridget Brink, and Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov, she supposedly offered to help bridge the gap between the president and his top military leader. Citing a source privy to the meeting, The Times reported that Nuland was “unhappy to see Zaluzhny go” and offered to “smooth over misunderstandings.”

Umerov reportedly told Nuland that Zaluzhny had “reacted with skepticism” to Zelensky’s public statements and direct orders, going so far as to negotiate directly with Western countries about weapons deliveries behind the Defense Ministry’s back. Zelensky was unhappy that the general would not provide any plans for his 2024 military campaigns, Umerov is said to have told Nuland. Russia’s chief delegate to the military security and arms control talks in Vienna, Konstantin Gavrilov, had identified the Zaluzhny affair as the reason for Nuland’s visit long before the Times. “Nuland flew there for a good reason, apparently to sort things out and clear up this conflict between Zelensky and Zaluzhny and to find out what is really happening and how it might all end,” Gavrilov told the Rossiya-24 TV channel on February 1. He also predicted that a reconciliation is “unlikely” because things between the two have “gone too far.”

Officially, the US has neither supported nor opposed Zaluzhny’s replacement. Within days of Nuland’s visit, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told American media that “we’re just not going to get embroiled in that particular decision.” Currently the acting deputy to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Nuland was previously in charge of European and Eurasian affairs at the State Department. In December 2013, she visited Ukraine to hand out pastries to the armed protesters in Kiev’s central square. She was then taped discussing how to “midwife this thing” just days before the February 2014 coup that overthrew the elected Ukrainian government and triggered a conflict with Russia over Crimea and Donbass.

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“In a group chat of Bakhmut/Artyomovsk veterans, one soldier wrote “we’re all f**ked” upon learning of Syrsky’s appointment..”

Ukraine’s New Commander-in-chief Is An Unpopular ‘Butcher’ – Politico (RT)

Ukraine’s new armed forces chief, General Aleksandr Syrsky, is deeply unpopular among the rank and file of the Ukrainian military, who view him as a “butcher” willing to sacrifice waves of troops, Politico reported on Thursday. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky named Syrsky as the new head of the armed forces on Thursday, after firing General Valery Zaluzhny from the post. The switch had been the subject of media rumors for several weeks, and Zelensky hinted in an interview last week that it would form part of a wider “reset” of the country’s military and civilian leadership. Syrsky is a controversial choice, best known for “leading forces into a meat grinder in Bakhmut [called Artyomovsk in Russia], sending wave after wave of troops to face opposition fire,” Politico said.

The unsuccessful defense of Artyomovsk/Bakhmut last year cost Ukraine dearly, and earned Syrsky the nickname ‘butcher’, an anonymous source within the Ukrainian military told the news site. A captain told the outlet that Syrsky’s appointment is a “very bad decision,” adding that soldiers refer to him as ‘General200’, a nickname that Politico said refers to 200 of his men dying, but could also refer to ‘Cargo 200’, a Soviet and Russian military code used to describe corpses being removed from the battlefield. “General Syrsky’s leadership is bankrupt, his presence or orders coming from his name are demoralizing, and he undermines trust in the command in general,” an anonymous Ukrainian military officer and frontline intelligence analyst posted on X. “His relentless pursuit of tactical gains constantly depletes our valuable human resources, resulting in tactical advances such as capturing tree lines or small villages, with no operational goals in mind.”

“This approach creates a never-ending cycle of fruitless assaults that drain personnel,” the officer said. In a group chat of Bakhmut/Artyomovsk veterans, one soldier wrote “we’re all f**ked” upon learning of Syrsky’s appointment, Politico stated. Syrsky takes over command of a depleted military, with Kiev having lost more than 383,000 men since the hostilities started in February 2022, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. Prior to his dismissal, Zaluzhny warned Zelensky that a rapid improvement in Ukraine’s position on the battlefield was unlikely, regardless of who took his place, the Washington Post reported last week. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday that Russia’s campaign against Ukraine will not be affected by Syrsky’s appointment, and that Moscow will continue until its objectives are achieved.

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“After we withdrew the troops from Kiev, as we promised to do, the Kiev authorities, as their masters usually do, threw [the peace deal] in the dustbin of history..”

General Syrsky, Hero of Kiev or Butcher of Bakhmut? (Sp.)

The mainstream media have spent the better part of a day pumping up newly appointed Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrsky as a modern-day von Clausewitz, hailing him as the commander almost singlehandedly responsible for the defense of Kiev during the first weeks of the conflict with Russia. Here’s what such reports are hiding. The recent decision by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to oust his top general and to replace him with Ground Forces commander Oleksandr Syrsky sent shockwaves throughout the media establishments of Kiev’s NATO patrons. Legacy outlets’ reactions included fears that the political leadership in Kiev may have undermined confidence among the military by swapping General Valery Zaluzhny with Syrsky, and concerns that President Zelensky’s new pet general may not be able to “resist political interference in operational matters.”

Other outlets attempted a positive spin on things, pumping up Syrsky’s ego as a brilliant strategist, with Bloomberg pointing to his supposed key role in the defense of Kiev “against all odds” at the start of Russia’s military operation in 2022, and Business Insider hailing his command as a “shocking upset that surprised many who assumed the capital would fall quickly.” AFP went so far as to suggest that it was Syrsky who scuppered “the Kremlin’s” purported “plans to bring the country to its knees within days.” President Zelensky awarded Syrsky the “Hero of Ukraine” title for the operation. In reality, as many of these same outlets have previously admitted, Russia’s withdrawal of troops from areas around the Ukrainian capital at the start of the conflict was politically motivated.

Specifically, it was based on the expectation that the “gesture of goodwill,” as Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called it, would help end the crisis before it escalated into a bloody, full-scale proxy war in the heart of Europe. Syrsky had nothing to do with it. Russia began withdrawing troops from Kiev region on March 29, 2022. The same day, peace talks resumed in Istanbul, Turkiye. Ahead of the negotiations, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkiye confirmed that Russian and Ukrainian negotiators were close to reaching a deal, with Kiev accepting neutrality and non-bloc status. But after Russian troops were gone and Syrsky’s forces came in to replace them without a shot being fired, Zelensky immediately went back on his word and scuppered talks.

“After we withdrew the troops from Kiev, as we promised to do, the Kiev authorities, as their masters usually do, threw [the peace deal] in the dustbin of history,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with African leaders last June, holding up the text of an agreement with Kiev which included “permanent neutrality” enshrined in Ukraine’s constitution, security guarantees, and even details on the size of its standing army in peacetime. In his bombshell interview with Tucker Carlson on Thursday, President Putin reiterated that Russia made the decision to bull back from the Ukrainian capital in the expectation that it would result in a peace deal. “My counterparts in France, in Germany, said ‘how can you imagine them signing a treaty with a gun to their heads? The troops should be pulled back from Kiev.’ I said, ‘alright.’ We withdrew the troops from Kiev.

As soon as we did so, our Ukrainian negotiators almost immediately threw all our agreements reached in Istanbul into the bin and prepared for a long-running armed confrontation with the help of the United States and its satellites in Europe,” Putin recalled. In other words, far from saving Kiev “against all odds” during the chaotic first week’s of Russia’s special military operation, Syrsky “won” his first major battle in NATO’s proxy conflict against Russia exclusively due to geopolitical considerations, and specifically to Moscow’s peacemaking efforts. Syrsky’s fortunes would continue along the same vein through the autumn of 2022, when, during an operational regrouping of Russian forces to concentrate troops along a smaller front as additional troops were called up during Russia’s partial mobilization, the commander was hailed, again without any particular skilled maneuvers on his part, for the so-called “Kharkov counteroffensive,” which saw Ukrainian forces reoccupying much of the region with almost no resistance as Russian forces pulled back.

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“..the goal being to force all foreigners out of the region ..”

A major change. So far they have only targeted ships linked to Israel.

Houthis Say All Warships Must Leave Red Sea (Sp.)

The Houthis will continue to fire on Western warships operating in the Red Sea, with the goal being to force all foreigners out of the region, Yemeni Supreme Political Council member Mohammed Ali al-Houthi has announced. “Our message is that just as the British warship has left the region for overhaul, the other warships will likewise leave the region…All [foreign] warships must leave the Red Sea, stop their attacks on Yemen, and end their blockade of the country,” al-Houthi said Thursday, in the wake of reports that the HMS Diamond guided missile destroyer would be “temporarily” pulled out of the Red Sea for refit following repeated attacks by the militia. Houthi-affiliated media released footage earlier in the week showing what appeared to be a cruise missile appearing to strike a warship, later said to be the HMS Diamond, and setting it ablaze.

Britain’s Ministry of Defense did not comment on the footage, but did confirm Tuesday that the Royal Navy’s HMS Richmond frigate would be taking the HMS Diamond’s place to continue “to ensure freedom of navigation in the Red Sea” as the latter is taken out of service for refit. “HMS Diamond joined Operation Prosperity Guardian…in December and has maintained a near constant presence in a ‘high threat area’ of the Red Sea,” the MoD said in a statement. “The destroyer came under fire in three separate attacks by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, successfully destroying nine drones using her world-class Sea Viper missile system and guns,” the ministry added. The warship is now expected to “undergo a period of maintenance and resupply as HMS Richmond takes over her important mission,” the MoD said. “The situation in the region is fraught, and ships in the force are firing on a daily basis – we hand over the baton with our best wishes to the fantastic team in Richmond who we know will do a great job,” HMS Diamond Commander Peter Evans said of the rotation, offering no further details about its nature.

Coalition forces have been extremely sensitive in discussing Houthi attacks, possible casualties or injuries in the Red Sea mission. Last week, US authorities revised their story about the deaths of two Navy SEALs, who were lost at sea in the Red Sea, indicating that the troops perished while trying to board a ship suspected of trying to smuggle weapons to Yemen. Separately this week, the Houthis reported an attack on the Morning Tide, a Barbados-flagged, British-owned cargo ship, and the Star Nasia, a Marshall Islands-flagged American ship. The company operating the Morning Tide confirmed that its vessel had been struck in a drone attack on February 6, causing minor damage to the port side of the vessel. No injuries were reported.

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“..Joe Biden, the official sponsor of Israel’s four-month-long massacre..”

Any Gaza Deal Could Break Netanyahu’s Coalition (Harb)

There are two words that sum up all the noise around the Paris negotiations over a Gaza war settlement today: “temporary” and “sustainable.” The truce envisaged by the parties present in Paris – Qatar, Egypt, Israel, the US, and France – is a “framework agreement.” The Israeli occupation authorities want any deal to deliver only a “temporary cessation of military operations,” which augurs an eventual resumption of its massacre in Gaza. Hamas and other Palestinian resistance factions, meanwhile, are proposing, through various amendments, a complete cessation of military operations as a prelude to a “sustainable calm.” It is not yet clear why the US administration of Joe Biden, the official sponsor of Israel’s four-month-long massacre, insists on dealing with the “Gaza war” file as if its core issue is the release of Israeli prisoners held in Gaza – rather than the resolution of a decades-long occupation of Palestinian lands and people that led to the state of affairs today.

Any treatment or settlement of this war must start with the occupation and its vast repercussions – the very essence of the conflict. Instead, the White House’s stance reflects an American view that Washington does not bear sole responsibility for now, and raises questions about the nature and effectiveness of the role of the Qatari and Egyptian “mediators.” The latter two Arab states were part of the Paris discussions to draft the agreement over a week ago, with US–Israeli intelligence agencies represented by CIA Chief William Burns, Mossad Chief David Barnea, and the head of the Israeli Shin Bet Ronen Barr. Hours after Hamas announced the submission of its “framework agreement” response to the Qatari and Egyptian mediators, statements issued by the Israelis and Americans revealed their intent to sabotage a genuine peace or a halt to military conflict.

US President Biden commented prematurely by saying that Hamas’ remarks were “exaggerated,” while Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant – fresh out of talks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken – said the response presented by Hamas was “negative,” and was intentionally drafted to be rejected by Israel. From his perspective, Gallant isn’t exactly wrong. What Israel seeks from the agreement is a US–Arab mandate to restart its war once Israeli prisoners have been released by Gaza’s resistance. The bottom line is fairly unambiguous: Israel wants a continuous war. Gallant concedes publicly that “the war is far from over.” Netanyahu, after meeting Blinken, said, “We have to end the war with a landslide victory, and it is a matter of time. Our army is advancing systematically, and we have ordered the army to work in Rafah,” where the occupation army has for days been threatening a major offensive along the border with Egypt. This will mean the re-displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians already displaced to the border area over the past weeks.

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Russia pays attention.

German Foreign Minister’s Grandfather Was ‘Ardent Nazi’ – Bild (RT)

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock’s grandfather was “an unconditional National Socialist” who had read ‘Mein Kampf’ and fully stood with the Nazi regime, according to documents seen by the tabloid Bild. Baerbock has spoken publicly about her grandfather’s wartime experiences, telling an audience in 2022 that Waldemar Baerbock returned to Germany from the east in early 1945 “as a defeated soldier.” What Baerbock did not mention was that her grandfather was an officer in the Wehrmacht, and had been awarded one of the Third Reich’s highest military honors, the War Merit Cross with Swords in 1944, Bild reported on Thursday. The cross was bestowed on soldiers for “special services when deployed under enemy weapons or for special services in military warfare.”

According to the newspaper, Waldemar Baerbock’s military records describe him as “an unconditional National Socialist,” who had read Adolf Hitler’s book ‘Mein Kampf’ and whose character was “completely rooted in National Socialism.” Asked for comment, Baerbock’s office said that “the foreign minister was not aware of the documents.” Germany’s Federal Archives note that military records from the time “almost always” describe officers with phrases like “stands firmly on the basis of the National Socialist worldview,” and praise their “impeccable National Socialist attitude.” According to Bild, Waldemar Baerbock told his family in the late 1990s that he had served in the Wehrmacht. Before he died in 2016, he wrote down his war memoirs in a notebook, which he passed to his family. Baerbock mentioned her grandfather in her 2021 autobiography, but did not state whether his notebook contained any references to his supposed Nazi ideology.

During a 2022 speech marking the 80th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference, where Nazi officials formulated and planned the so-called ‘final solution’ for Europe’s jews, Baerbock declared that even low-level government functionaries of the Third Reich were responsible for “the crimes and genocide of the Nazi regime.” Annalena Baerbock was a co-leader of Alliance90/The Greens in Germany before becoming foreign minister in late 2021. An ardent interventionist, Baerbock has steered the party away from its long-standing policy of pacifism, and reportedly pushed Chancellor Olaf Scholz to approve shipments of heavy weapons to Ukraine. While her party’s 2021 manifesto explicitly stated that it wanted to “end European arms exports to war and crisis zones,” Germany has become the second-largest supplier of arms to Kiev after the US.

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SCOTUS to the rescue.

The “Unassailable” Theory Faces a Potential Unanimous Rejection (Turley)

This week, the argument before the Supreme Court in Trump v. Anderson captivated the nation as the justices considered the disqualification of former President Donald Trump from the 2024 presidential ballot. For some of us, the argument brought back vivid memories of covering Bush v. Gore almost 25 years ago. While one justice (Clarence Thomas) remains on the Court, the last major intervention of the Court into a close presidential election is a matter of distant history. As someone who covered both cases, much is regrettably familiar: the deep division in the country and rage of many advocates. However, unlike 2000, the Court itself appears virtually unanimous in this case. The biggest difference is not the Court but the coverage. The Trump case exposed the erosion of legal coverage in the media. For millions of Americans, the cold reception of all of the justices to the novel theory under the 14th Amendment came as a surprise.

Networks and newspapers have been featuring experts who assured the public that this theory was well-based and disqualification well-established. The only barrier, they insisted, was the blind partisanship of the six conservative justices on the Court. Twenty-four years ago, I was covering the Bush v. Gore case for CBS. I had just left NBC as an analyst when the election controversy exploded. While there were the usual partisans and some outlets slanted the merits, the coverage was overall balanced and informative. This is not a case of the Court changing. We have changed as legal analysts. The Court itself is deeply divided on some issues. However, the justices gave a fair hearing to both sides. That is not the case with the coverage. Looking back at the coverage, most legacy media called upon the same legal experts who have previously endorsed virtually every claim made against Trump. They predictably declared Trump as clearly disqualified despite the fact that this theory has never been embraced by the federal courts.

Figures like federal court Judge J. Michael Luttig who called these arguments against disqualification as “revealing, fatuous, and politically and constitutionally cynical.” Others insisted that the argument that the provision might not apply to presidents as “absurd.” That was the argument pushed by Justice Ketanji Onyika Brown Jackson. Many of the media turned to Professor Laurence Tribe despite a long record of constitutional claims rejected by the Court, in some cases unanimously. Tribe assured the public that the theory was “unassailable” and also insisted that the theory (later voiced by Jackson) is “an absurd interpretation.” It is important that such views are heard in the coverage. The problem is that the media has, once again, pushed this novel (and in my view unfounded) theory to the point that many assumed that it was indeed unassailable.

What was most troubling is the repeated attacks on the Court by legal experts who suggested that the only thing keeping Trump on the ballot was the bias of conservative justices. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D. Md.) declared “This is their opportunity to behave like real Supreme Court justices.” It appears that both Justices Kagan and Jackson did not behave like “real Supreme Court justices” in oral argument by objecting to core aspects of this theory. We will have to wait for the final opinion but most of us are predicting a reversal of Colorado and the possibility of a unanimous or near unanimous decision. The question is whether such a result will change how media outlets frame these disputes in the future. After weeks of portraying the opposition as only resting with the right of the Court, the coverage had a weird disjointed feel as some of the same commentators reported that the justices appeared uniformly unconvinced by this “unassailable” theory.

Turley Kagan

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“The fourth estate has literally died and has been replaced by phalanx of corrupt young men and women who have redefined the profession entirely as an extension of the state and its craven objectives..”

Biden’s Eulogy Will Be ‘Journalism RIP’. How He Destroyed the 4th Estate (Jay)

The Biden administration is inventing a phoney war and journalists are supporting the narrative without even missing a heartbeat. The fourth estate has literally died and has been replaced by phalanx of corrupt young men and women who have redefined the profession entirely as an extension of the state and its craven objectives. In the UK, the odious Douglas Murray who has shown Britain from day one of the recent conflict in Gaza that he is more than happy to replicate every item of fake news that Israel’s IDF is happy to hand him – without even acknowledging the bigger picture of a brutal occupation. He is, essentially, a pro-Zionist fanatic and it beggars belief that he is even allowed to go on air and report, when he has shown his almost cult-like following of the Netanyahu government and its objectives to wipe out the civilian population of Gaza. He is a genocide denier and yet he is allowed to continue his work as a journalist. Should we be shocked though to learn that just recently his diatribe of on air lies about the Gaza genocide, which always paints the Israelis as the victims and the Palestinians as savages, has been taken to the next level?

Murray now is in London trying to help Israel with its fundraising. Thirty years ago, this would have been unthinkable. A wall of resistance from professionals which would have blocked him in the media industry would have prevailed. “Unethical” would be the key word which would have put this vile Israeli apologist back in his box. But in modern Britain, media has become so corrupt, that few, if any are shocked that a journalist can work openly as an activist as well. One could argue that one role is merely an extension of the other, both of them dripping with the blood of Palestinian children. Real journalism is being shut down at an alarming rate. Partisan journalism, which even allows hacks to be activists at the same time, is the new norm. To give you an idea just how far this has advanced, any kind of criticism of how the state handles or reports on the Gaza genocide is met with a steel hand in a steel glove in both the UK and U.S. Pity the young students at Northwestern University who have obscure anti Klu Klux Klan federal laws levelled against them by the FBI for producing a parody newspaper which mocked U.S. policy of Israel and Gaza. You couldn’t make it up.

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AI

 

 

 

 

Kiwi

 

 

Baby hippo

 

 

Dinosaur

 

 

Belly Rubs

 

 

Beetle Frogs

 

 

Illusion

 

 

Stick

 

 

 

 

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