René Magritte L’avenir (the future) 1936
Laying the Groundwork For the Loss of Ukraine
Michael Hudson: “Let’s do in Ukraine what we did in Afghanistan. Let’s back the crazies!”
-> Must Watch! pic.twitter.com/3Q2EGAum1q
— Lord Bebo (@MyLordBebo) February 9, 2023
“..Ukraine was not actually in charge of its own destiny, but rather, the war was being controlled by the NATO powers..”
• The “Not-Ultimatum” Revisited (Observer R)
Slightly over a year ago, in December 2021, Russia published a proposal for setting up a new security architecture for Europe. Russia also warned of unspecified serious consequences if this proposal was not acted upon. The United States and other Western countries either ignored the Russian offer, or more or less laughed at it. Russia wanted the line of NATO forces moved back to where it was when the Warsaw Pact was dissolved. This meant getting NATO out of the former Eastern European countries, including Ukraine. The Russian proposal was widely termed the “Not-Ultimatum” for ease of discussion, since the Russians were polite about it, but at the same time threatening action. Analysts were busy trying to figure what exactly Russia might do, and offered many different scenarios.
[..] The proposal by Russia for negotiating a new security architecture for Europe was rejected by the US. That was extremely unfortunate for everyone, as it could have prevented the subsequent war in Ukraine. Then, following the Russian SMO, Ukraine and Russia sat down to negotiate in Turkey and came to some sort of agreement. Presumably along the lines of the Minsk Accords. Unfortunately again, this agreement was scuttled when the British Prime Minister flew to Ukraine and had a talk with the officials there. This action indicated that Ukraine was not actually in charge of its own destiny, but rather, the war was being controlled by the NATO powers.
The powers in the West clearly thought that they would come out on top in the war and that this would somehow preserve the US hegemony. Unfortunately yet again, the West guessed wrong and made what will likely be viewed in hindsight as a catastrophic decision. Russia cannot be defeated in a conventional war in Eurasia, and presumably the military experts and intelligence folks in the West should have been aware of this fact. Furthermore, the sanctions against Russia were counterproductive. Russia was already highly self-sufficient and the sanctions greatly sped up import substitution. The dream of a regime change in Russia was likewise a case of hope over reality.
Additionally, by refusing diplomacy, the US turned a problem in Eastern Europe into a de facto WWIII. Now the negotiations over a new security architecture will have to cover the entire globe. This will be a much more difficult undertaking and a problematical outcome for the West. The West is not in a military, nor economic, nor social position to be very successful in negotiations with the East and South. Even having negotiations is problematical, since the East and South view the West as being “not agreement capable.” Thus it will dawn sooner or later on the Western leaders that they bit off more than they could chew.
“This is when they started the war. It lasted for eight years and aimed to exterminate the people who live there and feel themselves tied to Russia..”
• Russia Didn’t Start Hostilities In Ukraine, But Tries To End Them – Putin (TASS)
Russia did not begin hostilities in Ukraine, but it is trying to stop them, as hostilities have been going on since 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a meeting with aviation industry representatives Thursday. “I would like to say it one more time: we did not start any hostilities, we are trying to end them. These hostilities were started by Ukrainian nationalists and those who supported them in 2014, when the coup took place; that is how it all began, the events in Crimea and in Donbass followed after that,” the head of state said.
Putin pointed out that Kiev started the war against Donbass in 2014, and, in violation of all agreements and obligations, effectively blockaded the Donbass regions. “Heavy military vehicles were used against them, major military operations were carried out against them,” the head of state noted. “This is when they started the war. It lasted for eight years and aimed to exterminate the people who live there and feel themselves tied to Russia, Russian culture and the Russian language by blood. How long could we have kept tolerating it?” The President also thanked the participants of the meeting for their support of the special military operation.
The images of Europe’s “leaders” are making me sick. They are followers.
• Ukraine Is Taking Care Of Europe – Zelensky (RT)
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has claimed to EU lawmakers that Moscow poses to a threat to the entire continent. The leader was speaking at the European Parliament on Thursday as part of a tour to rally support and weaponry to prop up Ukraine amid the conflict with Russia. Starting his address with the slogan ‘Glory to Ukraine’, which is commonly associated with World War II-era Nazi collaborators but is widely used in present-day Ukraine, Zelensky reiterated Kiev’s aspirations to join the EU, describing it as “home.” “We want to come home to Europe,” the Ukrainian leader told the assembled lawmakers in Brussels. “I’m here in order to defend our people’s way home.” Zelensky went on to describe Russia as “the most anti-European force” in the world, alleging that Moscow is intent on destroying the “European way of life” for all 27 members of the EU.
“This is our Europe, these are our rules, this is our way of life,” Zelensky added, earning applause from the audience. “Europe will always be, and remain Europe as long as we are together and as long as we take care of our Europe, as we take care of the European way of life.” Joining the EU has been a significant talking point for pro-Western Ukrainian politicians for decades. Yet little to no actual progress had been made along that path prior to hostilities breaking out between Moscow and Kiev last February. The conflict has greatly sped up the accession process, with Ukraine receiving EU candidate status in June. Zelensky’s European tour began a day earlier when he traveled to the UK, meeting the leaders and lawmakers in London. The president inspected the ongoing training of Ukrainian troops on British soil and secured additional support from the UK.
“I am proud that today we will expand that training from soldiers to marines and fighter jet pilots, ensuring Ukraine has a military able to defend its interests well into the future,” said a statement from UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak after he met Zelensky. Ukraine has consistently increased its demands for advanced weaponry from the West, including tanks, drones, fighter jets, and longer-range missiles. Kiev has insisted that the hardware is needed to drive Russian forces out of territories that Ukraine claims as its own. Moscow has repeatedly urged the West to stop “pumping” Ukraine with weaponry, maintaining that continuous military aid will only prolong the hostilities, rather than change their ultimate outcome.
My god bro chill out. At least try to hide it a bit. pic.twitter.com/QOkzTMS2Kb
— Donbass Devushka (@PeImeniPusha) February 9, 2023
“Ukraine, Germany, and France “lied to the people of Donbass, as they had a terrible fate planned for them, which Russia prevented..”
• Zelensky Takes Credit For Derailing Minsk Agreements (RT)
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky personally refused to implement the 2015 Minsk agreements – a roadmap for peace in the east of the country, which was co-sponsored by Germany and France. He made the admission during an interview with Der Spiegel published on Thursday as he continues his tour across Europe. Zelensky said he viewed the agreements as a “concession” on Ukraine’s part, and never once actually sought to implement them. Instead, they were merely used to exchange prisoners with the two breakaway Donbass republics. The president claimed he openly told that to then-German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Russian President Vladimir Putin back in 2019, with all of them acting “surprised.”
“But as for Minsk as a whole, I told Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel: ‘We cannot implement it like this,’” Zelensky stated. “I told [Putin] the same as the other two. They were surprised and said: ‘If we had known beforehand that you would change the meaning of our meeting, then there would have been problems even before the summit.’” The Minsk agreements, originally brokered in 2014 and further expanded in 2015, envisioned a roadmap for reconciliation between Ukraine and the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The two regions rebelled against the country’s new authorities in the aftermath of the 2014 Maidan coup in Kiev, which ousted democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovich. Ukraine’s failure to implement the agreement, which would have seen the breakaway territories reintegrated with the country but retain a special status, ultimately led to the ongoing conflict.
Since the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine, multiple politicians have taken credit for the failure of the Minsk agreements, admitting they were merely a ruse to give Ukraine time to build up its military. Former Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko was the first to admit last year that Kiev never intended to abide by them and used the deal to “create powerful armed forces.” Merkel and another original signatory of the Minsk agreements, former French president Francois Hollande, have also since confirmed that this was actually the true goal of the deal.
Moscow considers these admissions to be evidence that the negotiations were conducted in bad faith and that the Ukrainian government and its backers had always intended for the Minsk agreements to flop and for the Donbass crisis to be resolved by force. Russia claims that its military campaign in Ukraine, launched last February, preempted an offensive planned by Kiev with NATO’s help. Ukraine, Germany, and France “lied to the people of Donbass, as they had a terrible fate planned for them, which Russia prevented,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said back in January. “Germany, France and Ukraine were playing a swindle game with the Minsk agreements. Now is payback time,” he stated at the time.
How to spot a cocaine addict…..
— Donbass Devushka (@PeImeniPusha) February 9, 2023
“..I have to force him to help Ukraine and constantly convince him that this help is not for us, but for the Europeans..”
• Zelensky Reveals What He Does To Scholz (RT)
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has revealed he keeps needing to “force” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to send arms to Kiev, constantly reminding him the deliveries are purportedly beneficial for the whole of Europe. The president made the revelation in a lengthy interview with Der Spiegel published on Thursday. Germany did a “good job” of delivering Iris-T anti-aircraft systems and ammunition for them last year, Zelensky said, while appearing to admit that Kiev has been actively spying on Berlin. “We have changed our relationship and understanding. We received IRIS-T anti-aircraft systems, for which I am very grateful to Germany. You saved a lot of lives. I told the chancellor: Olaf, listen, we’re short on rockets. I know that you don’t have any more yourself, we also have an intelligence service.
“I know you give us everything you have,” Zelensky stated, adding that Scholz somehow managed to push manufacturers into producing munitions for Iris-T faster. The looming supply of modern tanks to Ukraine has also proved to be a “difficult” issue for Kiev and Berlin, as Scholz was reluctant to do so. Zelensky claimed he has had to constantly remind the chancellor about the purported importance of such support and its alleged value for the whole of Europe. “Now we are yet again in a difficult phase with this debate about the German tanks, it is emotional and complex. I have to force him to help Ukraine and constantly convince him that this help is not for us, but for the Europeans,” Zelensky stated.
Germany has long been reluctant to deliver modern tanks to Kiev, with Scholz giving in to Kiev’s demands on January 25 and pledging to send in 14 Leopard 2 armored vehicles, as well as allowing other European operators of the German-made tanks to re-export them to Ukraine. Apart from that, Berlin also pledged to send in some 187 older Leopard 1 models to Ukraine from its stocks as well.
Hungary‘s Orban didn‘t applaud to Zelensky
– Viktor has balls pic.twitter.com/NGZU5iKjl9
— Russian Market (@runews) February 9, 2023
All too obvious. But some want that world war.
• Ukraine’s Entry To NATO Would Spell World War – Hungary (TASS)
The Hungarian government does not back Ukraine’s aspiration to join NATO and makes Kiev’s potential entry to the EU contingent on protecting the rights of Ukraine’s national minorities, Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office Gergely Gulyas told reporters Thursday. Answering a question regarding Ukraine’s desire to join NATO, he noted that any country can file a membership application. “However, right now, Ukraine’s immediate accession to NATO would mean world war,” Gulyas cautioned. Speaking about the prospects of Ukraine’s EU membership, he underscored that Kiev must ensure progress in protecting the rights of national minorities – particularly, Ukraine’s Hungarians in the Trans-Carpathian Region – if it wants Budapest to endorse its membership application. So far, legislation on education and the national language, adopted in Ukraine, “does not comply with European norms.” “Progress has to be made” on these issues, the Hungarian official emphasized.
“The Netherlands and Denmark will not send any of their tanks, but agreed to help Germany fund the purchase and refurbishment of around 100 older Leopard 1 models, which were retired 20 years ago and are currently in various states of disrepair..”
• Much-Hyped Tanks For Ukraine In Short Supply – WSJ (RT)
NATO members have developed “sudden misgivings” about sending tanks to Ukraine because they don’t seem to have any to spare, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. Finland, which pressured Germany to approve exports of Leopard 2 tanks, may only be able to send “a few” of its own – and most likely not until it formally joins the US-led military bloc. This has left Berlin as the only major supplier of tanks to Kiev, something Chancellor Olaf Scholz had been keen to avoid, the Journal noted. There are more than 2,000 Leopard 2 tanks in the stocks of various European NATO armies, but only Berlin and Warsaw have committed to sending any. Germany and Poland have promised about 14 apiece. Warsaw will also throw in 60 of its modified T-72s, while Berlin is buying up almost 190 decommissioned Leopard 1s for refurbishment, some of which may need to be cannibalized for parts.
In a December interview, Ukraine’s top general asked for 300 tanks right away. Canada has promised four tanks, while Portugal wants to send three. “The fact that there are so few operational battle tanks and that they are so incompatible with each other should be taken as an alarm signal in Europe,” Nico Lange, a former German defense official who is now a senior fellow at the Munich Security Conference, told the Journal. The Netherlands and Denmark will not send any of their tanks, but agreed to help Germany fund the purchase and refurbishment of around 100 older Leopard 1 models, which were retired 20 years ago and are currently in various states of disrepair. Denmark only has 44 Leopards and the Dutch operate 18 that are on lease from Germany, noted Minna Alander of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. Finland faces a different “limitation” due to its own need to protect the country’s long border with Russia, she added.
Finland will be “part of the Leopard 2 cooperation in some way,” an anonymous senior official told the Journal, but declined to give any details. Helsinki has “signaled” it would “most likely” avoid tank deliveries until it officially joins NATO, according to a senior bloc official, likewise unnamed. Even then, it may only be able to spare a few of its 240 operational tanks. The UK has promised 14 of its Challenger 2 tanks, saying they ought to be delivered by the end of March. The US pledged 31 Abrams tanks as well, but getting them to Ukraine might take up to two years. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has already moved on, demanding fighter jets on his trip to London, Paris and Brussels. The US and its allies have spent over $120 billion to prop up the Kiev government over the past year, while insisting they are not a party to the conflict. Moscow has warned them that supplying Ukraine with weapons only prolongs the fighting and risks direct confrontation.
• UK Not Sending Fighter Jets To Ukraine (RT)
The UK is currently focused on helping Ukraine ensure air cover by providing long-range missiles and drones, rather than the less “realistic” option of sending fighter jets, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said on Thursday. Speaking to the BBC, Wallace cautioned that sending aircraft to Kiev could potentially take months, and ruled out any immediate transfers, while saying it would be “more realistic and more productive” to provide Ukraine with aircraft after the conflict with Russia has ended, for long-term security purposes. “This is not a simple case of towing an aircraft to the border,” Wallace told the broadcaster, adding that Britain “knows what Ukraine needs and is very happy to help in many ways” which would not take as long as fighter jet deliveries would.
Wallace dismissed suggestions made by former Prime Minister Boris Johnson that London could provide Kiev with 100 Typhoon warplanes. The defense secretary insisted that he has a duty to ensure the UK and NATO maintain a sufficient number of fighter planes to ensure their own defense. Earlier this week, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky made his first trip to the UK since the fighting broke out between Kiev and Moscow. Ahead of the visit, the UK prime minister’s office announced that Britain would be providing training to Ukrainian pilots on how to operate NATO-standard aircraft. PM Rishi Sunak also committed to expanding the UK’s recruit training program, which has already seen 10,000 Ukrainian soldiers brought to battle readiness in the last six months. The UK now hopes to train an additional 20,000 troops this year.
It’s a slow development, but it does continue.
• Russia-Iran Dump The Dollar And Bust US Sanctions (Escobar)
The agreement between the Central Banks of Russia and Iran formally signed on 29 January connecting their interbank transfer systems is a game-changer in more ways than one. Technically, from now on 52 Iranian banks already using SEPAM, Iran’s interbank telecom system, are connecting with 106 banks using SPFS, Russia’s equivalent to the western banking messaging system SWIFT. Less than a week before the deal, State Duma Chairman Vyachslav Volodin was in Tehran overseeing the last-minute details, part of a meeting of the Russia-Iran Inter-Parliamentary Commission on Cooperation: he was adamant both nations should quickly increase trade in their own currencies.
Confirming that the share of ruble and rial in mutual settlements already exceeds 60 percent, Volodin ratified the success of “joint use of the Mir and Shetab national payment systems.” Not only does this bypass western sanctions, but it is able to “solve issues related to mutually beneficial cooperation, and increasing trade.” It is quite possible that the ruble will eventually become the main currency in bilateral trade, according to Iran’s ambassador in Moscow, Kazem Jalali: “Now more than 40 percent of trade between our countries is in rubles.” Jalali also confirmed, crucially, that Tehran is in favor of the ruble as the main currency in all regional integration mechanisms. He was referring particularly to the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), with which Iran is clinching a free trade deal.
The SEPAM-SPFS agreement starts with a pilot program supervised by Iran’s Shahr Bank and Russia’s VTB Bank. Other lenders will step in once the pilot program gets rid of any possible bugs. The key advantage is that SEPAM and SPFS are immune to the US and western sanctions ruthlessly imposed on Tehran and Moscow. Once the full deal is up and running, all Iranian and Russian banks can be interconnected. It is no wonder the Global South is paying very close attention. This is likely to become a landmark case in bypassing Belgium-based SWIFT – which is essentially controlled by Washington, and on a minor scale, the EU. The success of SEPAM-SPFS will certainly encourage other bilateral or even multilateral deals between states.
That makes the US a participant.
• US Military At European Base Provide GPS-Targeting For Ukrainian Rockets (PM)
The United States has provided Ukraine with HIMARS, which are targeted missile systems, and it turns out the US is also providing Ukraine with the targets at which to launch those missiles. Biden has said the US would fund Ukraine’s war effort “as long as it takes.” A report from the Washington Post states that “Ukrainian officials say that they almost never launch HIMARS rounds without detailed coordinates provided by U.S. military personnel situated elsewhere in Europe.” Those coordinates are either “provided or confirmed” by the US and its NATO allies before Ukraine launches their strikes against Russia, which invaded Ukraine nearly one year ago. That the US was giving over not only the HIMARS but the means by which targets would be ascertained by the Ukraine military was not previously disclosed by the Pentagon.
What this means is that the Pentagon is not only providing weapons and aid, but is actively engaged in making war on Russia. This is not something the Biden administration has been forthcoming about. The Pentagon issued a statement from Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, reading “We have long acknowledged that we share intelligence with Ukraine to assist them in defending their country against Russian aggression, and we have optimized over time how we share information to be able to support their requests and their targeting processes at improved speed and scale. The Ukrainians are responsible for finding targets, prioritizing them and then ultimately deciding which ones to engage. The U.S. does not approve targets, nor are we involved in the selection or engagement of targets.”
Biden has insisted that the US is merely helping Ukraine have the tools to wage war, but actively assisting Ukraine in assessing targets and then attacking those targets is not something that, to the knowledge of the American public, has been approved by Congress. A US official who spoke to WaPo under the condition of anonymity said that the US providing “targeting assistance” increased the ability of Ukraine to launch missiles with accuracy, thereby not wasting their limited amunition. Ukraine uses their own targeting methods for attacks with their own weapons, but when it comes to HIMARS, the “U.S. provides coordinates and precise targeting information solely in an advisory role.”
As to how that process works, it was reported that it goes like this: “Ukrainian military personnel identify targets they want to hit, and in which location, and that information is then sent up to senior commanders, who then relay the request to U.S. partners for more accurate coordinates. The Americans do not always provide the requested coordinates, the official said, in which case the Ukrainian troops do not fire. A third Ukrainian official cited by WaPo “confirmed that targeting all goes through an American installation on NATO soil and described the process as ‘very fast.'”
The emptiest gesture so far?! “One of the most important questions is how Ukraine will use the bulbs when it’s suffering power outages as a result of the war?”
• EU’s Aid For Ukraine Is Effectively Public Aid For Itself (RMX)
Let there be light! President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen has announced that the EU is to deliver 35 million energy-saving LED light bulbs to Ukraine worth €50 million. They will be made available free of charge at post offices across the country. She said that Ukraine should be an inspiration to Europe, with thousands of Ukrainians changing to LED bulbs to work towards cleaner energy. “They are energy-saving, very good,” she says in footage shot during the visit. The EU once again shows it thinks climate change is more important than anything else. The light bulbs are an even more surreal gift than the 5,000 helmets the Germans gave at the start of the war.
One of the most important questions is how Ukraine will use the bulbs when it’s suffering power outages as a result of the war? Finally, we should not have the wool pulled over our eyes. If the EU bought these bulbs from the largest European producers, which come from Germany, the Netherlands, and France, this is nothing more than a way of giving public aid to these companies. Once again, Germany shows its transactional face.
Not terribly convincing so far.
• Details Emerge On Chinese ‘Spy Balloon’ – WSJ (RT)
The alleged Chinese “spy balloon,” shot down off the coast of South Carolina last weekend, was equipped with advanced surveillance equipment capable of picking up sensitive communications, an unnamed senior State Department official told the Wall Street Journal on Thursday. The Biden administration is reportedly planning to retaliate. While China has maintained the balloon was a civilian airship that drifted off course while collecting meteorological data, the source claimed its manufacturer had a “direct relationship” with the Chinese military. It was fitted with “large” solar panels to power the extensive instrumentation on board, which allegedly included antennas, sensors and other equipment capable of intercepting communications and gathering other intelligence.
The unnamed official said the US military spent the eight days the alleged spy craft was traversing the continental US gathering information about the device, using high-altitude U2 spy planes. Authorities are also reportedly examining the debris found floating in the Atlantic Ocean. The House and Senate are set to be briefed by military, intelligence and diplomatic officials regarding the balloon on Thursday. The newly declassified information is meant to “justify the US’s impending action” that President Joe Biden is preparing to take against “China’s surveillance program,” the outlet said. Beijing uses similar balloons for surveillance across five continents, administration officials claimed on Wednesday. The Pentagon asserted that China had nearly doubled the size of its satellite fleet between 2018 and 2021 and now had 260 surveillance, intelligence and reconnaissance satellites monitoring the globe.
The balloon, which drifted over a nuclear missile site and other sensitive military assets, could have been carrying explosives in its multi-ton payload, US Northern Command Chief General Glen VanHerck told Politico on Monday, adding that several similar Chinese craft have flown over the US before, but the Pentagon somehow missed them. Despite the apparent threat of explosives, the White House has said the military waited to destroy the balloon until it was over water, so as not to imperil any civilians or property with falling debris. Airspace over parts of North and South Carolina was closed, as fighter jets were finally sent to shoot it down on Saturday. China’s Foreign Ministry has demanded the return of what was left of the balloon, reminding Biden on Tuesday that “the airship does not belong to the US – it belongs to China.”
Did Biden just say the US needs fossils only for 10 more years? Was he just talking about himself there?
• GOP-Led House Panels Shift Gears, Go Full Throttle for Domestic Energy Production (ET)
With Republicans assuming control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the November 2022 midterm elections, the newly installed GOP leadership has been doing just that across the chamber’s 20 standing permanent committees and their 104 subcommittees and select temporary panels. That transitional shift-change has been clearly evident this week in seminal session meetings of the 52-member House Energy and Commerce Committee and its six subcommittees and in the 45-member House Natural Resources Committee and its five subsidiary panels.
During four years of Democratic control, climate change, environmental protection, and “green” energy development were among the primary policy drivers in adopting legislation designed to coax the nation away from reliance on oil and gas, including the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and $740 billion Infrastructure Reduction Act (IRA). Over two days and nearly eight hours of hearings before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Feb. 7 and the House Natural Resource Committee on Feb. 8, Republicans made it clear that many initiatives passed under the Biden administration promoting electric vehicles, carbon capture, green energy, and environmental protection are on the proverbial chopping block.
During the near-six hour House Energy and Commerce Committee meeting, six witnesses testified on a raft of 17 Republican-sponsored measures that proponents argue are key to “restoring American energy dominance.” Among the proposals that will dominate the committee’s and its subsidiary panels’ agendas in the coming months are bills prohibiting restrictions on hydraulic fracking without congressional approval, expanding natural gas exports, repealing the IRA’s Green House Reduction Fund, and amending the Clean Air, Toxic Substances Control, Solid Waste Disposal, and National Gas Tax acts. Within the tranche of proposed legislation on the committee’s “unleashing American energy agenda” are bills calling for permitting reform, promoting development of “critical minerals,” and prohibiting the import of Russian uranium.
In kicking off the day-long hearing, Republicans argued that “unleashing American energy, lowering energy costs, and strengthening supply chains” must be a priority if the United States is to be economically competitive in the 21st century and beyond. “America has been blessed with an abundance of natural resources. We should be working towards developing a predictable regulatory landscape across-the-board that inspires innovation, entrepreneurship, and technological leadership, hydropower, nuclear, fossil energies, wind, solar, and batteries,” House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) said in opening the proceedings.
“..Hersh tells the story of the US destruction of the Nordstream pipelines in forensic detail, giving dates, times, method and military units involved..”
When you feel compelled to smear your only left real journalists, you’re in deep.
• Sy Hersh and The Way We Live Now (Craig Murray)
It is a clear indicator of the disappearance of freedom from our so-called western democracies, that Sy Hersh, arguably the greatest living journalist, cannot get this monumental revelation on the front of the Washington Post or New York Times, but has to self-publish on the net. Hersh tells the story of the US destruction of the Nordstream pipelines in forensic detail, giving dates, times, method and military units involved. He also outlines the importance of the Norwegian armed forces working alongside the US Navy in the operation. One point Sy does not much stress, but it is worth saying more about, is that Norway and the USA are of course the two countries who have benefitted financially, to an enormous degree, from blowing up the pipeline.
Both not only have gained huge export surpluses from the jump in gas prices, but Norway has directly replaced Russian gas to the tune of some $40 billion per year. From 2023 the United States will appear in that list in second place behind Norway, following the opening in the last two months of two new Liquefied Natural Gas terminals in Germany, built to replace Russian gas with US and Qatari supplies. So Russia lost out massively financially from the destruction of Nordstream and who benefited? The USA and Norway, the two countries who blew up the pipeline. But of course, this war is nothing to do with money or hydrocarbons and is all about freedom and democracy… To return to Hersh’s account, particularly interesting are the series of decisions taken to avoid classification of the operation in various ways which would require it to be reported to Congress.
In terms of United States history, this ought to be a big deal. For the Executive to commit what is an act of war without the approval of the Legislature is fundamentally unconstitutional. But that is one of those quaint remnants of democracy that the neo-liberal elite consensus can quietly sidestep nowadays. Hersh sets out the well known background in compelling detail, including the fact that, from Biden down, the Americans effectively announced what they were going to do, openly. But what most worries me about the entire story is the unanimous complicity of the mainstream media in ignoring the completely obvious.
[..] The secret is not that people genuinely believe an outrageous claim. The secret is that people do genuinely believe that they are in a battle of good against evil, and it is necessary to accept the narrative being promoted, in the interests of fighting evil. Don’t question, just follow. If you do question, you are promoting evil. I am sure that is how it works. State and corporate stenographer journalists are actually intelligent individuals. If they thought about it, they would realise that the narrative that Russia blew up its own pipeline is obvious nonsense. But they are convinced it is morally wrong to think about it. Which is why none of them challenged the equally mad claims that Russia was repeatedly shelling its own forces occupying the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station, and indeed is why none of them challenged the utterly risible official version of the Skripal story.
Pretty crazy hearings.
• Rep. Higgins Tells Twitter Executives to Prepare to be Arrested (TP)
On Wednesday, former top executives at Twitter appeared before the House oversight committee to give testimony regarding the social media giant’s management of information related to Joe Biden’s son and interference with the 2020 election. The hearing marks the start of the agenda of the newly-Republican controlled House, highlighting their focus on long-standing claims that major tech companies exhibited a bias against conservatism. At one point during the hearing, Republican Rep. Clay Higgins unleashed on former Twitter execs James Baker, Vijaya Gadde & Yoel Roth, saying that they need to get ready to be arrested. “The bottom line is that the FBI had the Biden crime family laptop for a year,” Higgins said. “They knew it was leaking, they knew it would hurt the Biden campaign.”
Twitter exec explains the medical training that qualified her to censor Harvard + Stanford MDs who questioned the official COVID narrative. pic.twitter.com/AiBoJx4JBM
— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) February 8, 2023
“So the FBI used its relationship with Twitter to suppress criminal evidence being revealed about Joe Biden one month before the 2020 election,” he continued. “You ladies and gentlemen interfered with the United States of America 2020 presidential election, knowingly and willingly,” Higgins hammered. “That’s the bad news. It’s going to get worse.” “This is the investigation part, later comes the arrest part, your attorneys are familiar with that,” Higgins said. “I’d like to spend five hours with these ladies and gentlemen doing depositions surely yet to come”.
At another point during the hearing, Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene unleashed on former Twitter executive Yoel Roth for allowing child exploitation on Twitter and for advocating for teenagers to use gay hookup act Grinder. “I’m so glad you’ve lost your jobs. Thank God Elon Musk bought Twitter,” she said. “It’s amazing to me Mr. Roth as the head and Trust and Safety at Twitter your ability or should I say inability to remove child porn,” Taylor Greene said. “Now here is something that disgusts me about you. In your doctoral dissertation entitled ‘Gay Data,’ you argued that minors should have access to grinder, an adult male gay hook-up app,” she continued. “Minors. Really?” “You know, Elon Musk took over and he banned 44,000 accounts that were promoting child porn,” Greene added. “You permanently banned my Twitter account, but you allowed child porn all over Twitter.”
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