May 272024
 


Edward Hopper Summertime 1943

 

Trump Vows to Stop ‘Biden’s March to WWIII’ (RT)
US Strike On Russian Targets Would Be ‘Start Of World War’ – Medvedev (RT)
Serbian President Vucic: World Heading For Greater Tragedy Than World War II (RT)
British PM Promises To Bring Back Conscription (RT)
Orban Foresees Dire Consequences If EU Militarism Continues Unchecked (Sp.)
No Country Can Survive Conflict With Russia Alone – Zelensky (RT)
US World’s Only Superpower – Biden (RT)
Republicans Winning Voter Registration Battle in Battleground States (ET)
“The Laptop is Real” (Turley)
Meltdown in Florida (Julie Kelly)
Biden Marketing Team To Make Trump a Mega Martyr (ZH)
How Will Trump, Voters Respond To The Outcome Of His Trial? (JTN)
Von der Leyen Proposes Vaccines For Minds, A Shield For Democracy (Marsden)
Russia and China Have Had Enough (Pepe Escobar)
Congressional Candidate Smiley Pushes For Better Help For Veterans (JTN)

 

 

Elon’s favorite dog has passed away.

 

 

Trump libertarian
https://twitter.com/i/status/1794756316126384294

 

 

Back in the New York Groove

 

 

Trump bitcoin

 

 

 

 

Alina – must watch

 

 

• People worry about dumb stuff
• In the grand scheme, you’re nothing
• Think less of yourself
• Remember: you’ll die one day

Now go do epic stuff.

 

 

 

 

Trump, for all his faults, may be the only way to avoid WWIII.

“I am committed to restoring peace and stability and to stopping Joe Biden’s march to World War Three..”

Trump Vows to Stop ‘Biden’s March to WWIII’ (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump has reiterated his promise to swiftly end the Russia-Ukraine conflict if re-elected in November. The Republican frontrunner argued that by financing “other people’s wars” the US is increasing the likelihood of a global war, and promised to end such funding. Speaking at the Libertarian Party’s national convention in Washington DC on Saturday, Trump claimed that under the current leadership, the US is turning into a “failed nation” and promised to restore “peace and stability” if he returns to the White House. He named the main priorities as ending the border crisis, stopping the waste of US taxpayer dollars on funding foreign militaries, and protecting “American sovereignty from the creeping hands of global government.”

“We will say freedom, prosperity, and capitalism in America,” Trump told the cheering crowd. “And before I even arrive at the Oval Office shortly after we win the presidency I will have the horrible war between Russia and Ukraine settled so we quit spending hundreds of billions of dollars to fight other people’s wars and so that we start immediately saving thousands and thousands of lives,” he added. “I am committed to restoring peace and stability and to stopping Joe Biden’s march to World War Three,” he continued, warning that a potential global war would be “like no other” because of the “massive weaponry” and claiming that he is “the only one” who can stop it. Although Trump did not elaborate on how he plans to end the Russia-Ukraine conflict, he previously told Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban that he had a “detailed plan” and pledged to end the hostilities “in 24 hours.”

“If the US will not provide the money, Europeans on their own will not be able to finance this war, and then the war will end,” Orban said in an interview earlier this year, adding that Trump proved himself to be “a man of peace.” Earlier this week, the Pentagon revealed an additional $275 million aid package for Kiev amid Russia’s offensive in Kharkov Region, and hinted that it could greenlight strikes “deep into Russian territory” using US-supplied weapons. The move sparked criticism from Moscow, with Russia’s ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, saying Washington is not interested in restoring peace in Europe and “is doing everything to prolong the conflict and increase casualties on the Russian and Ukrainian sides.”

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“..only “if something threatens the existence of our country..”

US Strike On Russian Targets Would Be ‘Start Of World War’ – Medvedev (RT)

Any US attack on Russian targets in Ukraine would automatically trigger a world war, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has warned. The official, who currently serves as Deputy Chair of Russia’s Security Council, made the remarks after Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski claimed Washington had threatened to conduct such a strike should Russia use nuclear weapons in Ukraine. In a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Sunday, Medvedev suggested that Sikorski “apparently, has decided to scare his masters.” He noted that Washington, unlike Warsaw, has so far refrained from making any such threats publicly “because they are more cautious” than the Poles. “Americans hitting our targets means starting a world war, and a Foreign Minister, even of a country like Poland, should understand that,” Medvedev added.

The former Russian president also cited remarks made by Polish President Andrzej Duda last month, when he said his country would be willing to host US nuclear weapons if offered such an opportunity under NATO’s sharing mechanism. Medvedev warned that in case of a nuclear confrontation “Warsaw won’t be left out, and will surely get its share of radioactive ash,” asking if this is the outcome the Polish leadership really wants. On Saturday in an interview with the Guardian newspaper, Sikorski expressed skepticism regarding a hypothetical Russian nuclear strike in Ukraine. “The Americans have told the Russians that if you explode a nuke, even if it doesn’t kill anybody, we will hit all your targets [positions] in Ukraine with conventional weapons, we’ll destroy all of them,” he claimed, describing the presumed warning as a “credible threat.”

The Polish diplomat alleged that China and India have also warned Russia against a nuclear escalation. The minister also suggested that Ukraine’s Western backers should allow Kiev to use their weapons to strike military targets on Russian territory as “apart from not using nuclear weapons, [Moscow] does not limit itself much.” According to Sikorski, the EU should not be afraid to escalate the situation, and should not impose limits on itself regarding the Ukraine conflict, so that Moscow is left guessing what the next step will be. While the US and its allies have on several occasions accused Moscow of nuclear saber-rattling, President Vladimir Putin insisted in March that at no point during the Ukraine conflict has Russia considered using such weapons.

Around the same time, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov stressed that Russia’s nuclear doctrine envisages the use of weapons of mass destruction only “if something threatens the existence of our country,” echoing a previous statement by the head of state. The official also described the deterrent as a “farewell weapon.” During his annual address to the Federal Assembly in late February, Putin warned would-be aggressors that the nuclear arsenal was in a state of “complete readiness for guaranteed deployment.” Earlier this month, the Russian leader ordered an exercise in the use of tactical nuclear weapons in the Southern Military District, which borders Ukraine. According to statements by the Foreign and Defense Ministries, the exercises were meant as a warning to the US and its allies, following escalatory rhetoric from the West.

Read more …

“When the war machine starts to heat up, then there is a military lobby and a military industry lobby who want it to intensify, and then there will be no more [peace] effort, it is difficult to stop..”

Serbian President Vucic: World Heading For Greater Tragedy Than World War II (RT)

There is little time left to conclude the Ukraine conflict, which risks escalating out of control and inciting a global war, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has warned. Speaking on Friday to the broadcaster Prva Srpska Televizija, Vucic claimed the world is standing on the brink of an all-out global conflict, and it is likely already too late to avoid it. “I am afraid that there is little time left for the war in Ukraine to be stopped. I hope it’s still possible, but I’m afraid it’s actually not. I’m afraid that the train has already left the station, started moving, and no one will stop it,” he said. In my opinion, things will get worse and worse, and it may happen that we will have a greater tragedy than World War II. I’m afraid we are heading towards a great world conflict, and few want to stop it.

Explaining his doomsday prediction, the Serbian leader said the conflict is being pushed by the global military industry, war profiteers who are interested in expanding and prolonging it rather than seeking a resolution. “When the war machine starts to heat up, then there is a military lobby and a military industry lobby who want it to intensify, and then there will be no more [peace] effort, it is difficult to stop,” Vucic said. The president also urged “someone” to do something “real” to stop the hostilities instead of “just shifting the blame to the other side.” He warned that “if this doesn’t happen, I’m afraid we’re headed for disaster.”

While Russia and Ukraine sought to reach a peace deal early on during the ongoing conflict, then-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was successful in pressuring Kiev not to do so, suggesting it should just keep fighting instead of striking any agreements with Moscow. While Johnson has denied such allegations, his involvement was confirmed by senior Ukrainian officials later on. While Moscow has repeatedly expressed a readiness to negotiate, Kiev has refused; Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky has explicitly banned himself from entering any talks. The prospects of somehow restarting negotiations have now apparently become even slimmer since Zelensky’s presidential tenure expired. Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated that Moscow’s readiness to engage in meaningful negotiations must be based on “common sense” and an acknowledgement of “realties on the ground.”

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There is a plan here. They want this across all of NATO. The UK is the trial balloon.

British PM Promises To Bring Back Conscription (RT)

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has pledged to re-introduce mandatory national service if the Conservative Party remains in power after the general election, set for July, British media reported on Sunday. Under the scheme, which is expected to cost around £2.5 billion ($3.19 billion) per year, all 18-year-olds would be required to either join the military full-time or volunteer one weekend per month, with community organizations such as the police or National Health Service (NHS). Sunak argued that compulsory service would help revive the “national spirit” and “provide life-changing opportunities for our young people,” according to manifesto pledges published by British media on Sunday. “This is a great country but generations of young people have not had the opportunities or experience they deserve and there are forces trying to divide our society in this increasingly uncertain world,” Sunak explained, as quoted by the BBC.

“I have a clear plan to address this and secure our future. I will bring in a new model of National Service to create a shared sense of purpose among our young people and a renewed sense of pride in our country,” the prime minister continued, arguing that the move would provide young people with “life-changing opportunities” to learn “real world skills, do new things and contribute to their community and our country.” “As a father, I look forward to my own two daughters doing their National Service: I think they will find it a rewarding experience,” the politician claimed. According to the plan, if re-elected, the Conservative Party will establish a Royal Commission to finalize a “National Service Program” and launch the pilot in September next year. According to the Mail on Sunday, the plan to reintroduce national service was drawn up in secret, with only Sunak’s closest advisers privy to the details. In the 40-page document, advisers argued that expanding the Armed Forces is necessary in the face of “the growing international threats posed by countries such as Russia and China.”

The announcement has been slammed by the opposition, who accused the Conservatives of crashing the British economy and cutting troop numbers. “This is not a plan – it’s a review which could cost billions and is only needed because the Tories hollowed out the armed forces to their smallest size since Napoleon,” a Labour Party spokesperson told the BBC. “Our armed forces were once the envy of the world. This Conservative government has cut troop numbers and is planning more cuts to the size of the Army,” Liberal Democrat defense spokesperson Richard Foord said. Throughout its 364-year history, the British Army has mostly been an all-volunteer force, but conscription was introduced during WWI and WWII with the National Service ending in 1960. In recent decades, the British Armed Forces have seen significant cuts, with the number of troops falling by more than a quarter between 2010 and 2024.

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“Earlier in May, Manfred Weber, the leader of the European People’s Party, the largest one in the European Parliament, suggested reinstating compulsory military service across the entire European Union..”

Orban Foresees Dire Consequences If EU Militarism Continues Unchecked (Sp.)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Sunday that he had never seen greater irresponsibility than Europe getting involved in the conflict in Ukraine without calculating what it would cost. “Europe is becoming so involved in the war that it does not even have an estimate of the scale of the costs and means necessary to achieve its military objective. I have never seen anything more irresponsible in my life,” Orban said in an interview with the Patriota YouTube channel. He added that, in his opinion, NATO wanted to become a party to the conflict in Ukraine and “the chances that the alliance can be kept from doing so are limited.” Budapest is against having decisions on the service of Hungarian citizens made “in Brussels or Germany,” Orban emphasized. “We don’t want anyone else to be able to make decisions about conscription and sending our young men of draft age anywhere. We have to forget about a European army with compulsory conscription, this is a crazy idea,” the prime minister stressed.

Earlier in May, Manfred Weber, the leader of the European People’s Party, the largest one in the European Parliament, suggested reinstating compulsory military service across the entire European Union. If Weber’s idea was implemented, “Hungarian families would be told from Brussels or Germany that their children would be compulsorily conscripted into the European army and told where they would go,” Orban added. In the years to come, current events may be seen as a prelude to World War III or even its first episode if Brussels’ militarism is not countered, the Hungarian prime minister warned. “Perhaps in 10 years the current processes will be called a prelude to World War III. It cannot be ruled out that if things go badly and we fail to control the military psychosis developed in Brussels, the history of these years will also be an episode of the first years of the big world war,” Orban said in an interview with the YouTube channel Patrióta.

Although European politicians see nuclear weapons as a deterrent, unforeseen worst-case scenarios could come to life, the Hungarian prime minister emphasized. “In my opinion, European politicians think of the nuclear bomb as a tactical deterrence tool and not as something that should really be used, but what they don’t consider at the beginning of a war can still happen at the end, thus worst-case scenarios can come to life,” Orban explained. Previously, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said in an interview with The Guardian newspaper that the United States threatened Moscow with the “destruction” of Russian forces in the special military operation zone if Russia uses nuclear weapons in Ukraine. Deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitriy Medvedev said Poland should understand that an American strike on Russian troops would mean the beginning of a world war.

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All you need to do is be neutral. Problem fixed.

No Country Can Survive Conflict With Russia Alone – Zelensky (RT)

Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky has urged the global community to work together against Russia, stressing that no nation can single-handedly survive a war with Moscow. In an interview with Central Asian media outlets on Saturday, Zelensky said the goal should be to ensure that President Vladimir Putin “thinks about his survival and his security,” and that “the Russians think about how they can avoid losing the independence of their country – without threatening them – simply by showing how united the world is, how strong it is.” Such unity is needed because “no one can survive a full-scale war with the Russians on its own,” the Ukrainian leader stated, as quoted by the Kazakh online magazine Vlast. “We were alone, we were on our own” when Russia launched its military operation against Ukraine in February 2022, Zelensky claimed.

“But then we agreed with our partners on some sort of sanctions, some sort of weapons and other things,” he said, referring to the support provided by the West since the start of the conflict. Even Beijing “must protect Ukraine because we were attacked,” as “China says that territorial integrity must be respected,” the politician argued. Beijing has maintained a policy of neutrality on the Ukraine conflict, while consistently calling for a political settlement that would respect the interests of all sides. The Chinese authorities have blamed the hostilities on NATO’s eastward expansion, rebuffed Western calls to impose sanctions on Russia, and opted to boost trade with its neighbor. Zelensky was also asked if he was concerned about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s statement earlier this week that in Moscow’s view the Ukrainian leader’s legitimacy has “expired.”

Zelensky’s five-year term as Ukrainian President ended on Monday after he refused to stage a new election, citing martial law imposed due to the conflict. ”They don’t concern me much at all,” he replied. “These statements by the illegitimate president of Russia regarding the legitimacy of the president of Ukraine are, frankly speaking, boring and uninteresting.” Putin won a fifth term in office in March, claiming 87.28% of the vote amid a record turnout of over 77%.

Zelensky argued that anybody who knows how to read laws can swiftly confirm that his continued stay in power is legal. “The Ukrainians know their Constitution, they know the law,” he added. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said last month that attempts by the US and its allies to isolate Russia have failed, and pledged to “expand pragmatic, equal, mutually beneficial, partnership relations with friendly countries in Eurasia, Africa and Latin America.” According to the president, unlike the European elites, “who aren’t pursuing policies that are beneficial for their peoples,” there are many citizens on the continent who support Russia’s stance.

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“America is also the “leading democracy” and “indispensable nation,” the US president claims..”

US World’s Only Superpower – Biden (RT)

The US is the “world’s only superpower” and the “leading democracy,” which is playing a critical role in supporting its allies around the globe, President Joe Biden said on Saturday. The president spoke at the commencement of the US Military Academy at West Point, New York, addressing more than 1,000 graduating cadets. In his speech, Biden praised the role of the US military in the purported effort of “standing up to tyrants” around the globe, as well as of “protecting freedom and openness.” “Thanks to the US Armed Forces, we’re doing what only America can do as the indispensable nation, the world’s only superpower, and the leading democracy in the world,” he stated. “Never forget: America is the strongest when we lead not only by our example of our power but by the power of our example. You can clap for that,” he added.

Biden reaffirmed Washington’s commitment to propping up its allies around the world, specifically mentioning Israel and Ukraine. “There are no American soldiers at war in Ukraine. I’m determined to keep it that way. But we are standing strong with Ukraine, and we will stand with them,” the president said, launching a new bitter attack on his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. “We’re standing against a man who I’ve known well for many years, a brutal tyrant. We may not – we – and we will not – we will not walk away,” Biden stated. Biden has repeatedly made insulting remarks about the Russian leader, describing Putin as a “dictator” and “tyrant.” Coincidentally, the US president received similar treatment on the same day from his arch-rival Donald Trump, who fired a broadside at Biden at the Libertarian Party National Convention in Washington, DC.

Among other things, Trump described Biden as a “crooked” and “corrupt tyrant,” as well as “the worst president in the history of the United States,” with even former head of state Jimmy Carter “being a brilliant president by comparison.”

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Shift.

Republicans Winning Voter Registration Battle in Battleground States (ET)

Republicans are closing the gap on voter registrations in key swing states. Political observers say it could be a sign the party will perform well in November. The gap between registered voters in the Democratic Party and Republican Party shrank significantly in Pennsylvania, Nevada, and North Carolina, according to voter registration statistics collected in April. Taking the combined voter totals in the three states, Republicans have eroded the Democratic registration advantage by more than 54 percent between 2019 and 2024. In Arizona, a fourth critical state, Republicans extended their lead in registered voters by more than 71 percent during the same period. The four states are among the most prized possessions in presidential politics. Collectively, they represent 52 electoral votes. In 2020, Joe Biden carried all except North Carolina. In 2016, Donald Trump took everything but Nevada. The registration trends don’t necessarily mean Republicans will sweep the states, but they’re a sign that the GOP will be able to more easily target and turn out its voters in those states than it did in 2020.

Pennsylvania – The largest numerical shift occurred in the Keystone State where the Democrat lead has shrunk by some 400,000 votes since May 2019. In May 2019, more than 4 million were registered as Democrats, and about 3.2 million were registered Republicans, according to voter registration data collected by the Pennsylvania Department of State. By the end of April, almost 3.9 million Pennsylvanians were registered as Democrats, while nearly 3.5 million were registered as Republicans. During the same period, the total number of registered voters increased to more than 8.7 million from nearly 8.5 million. The electorate registered with the Libertarian Party or “other parties,” as the state identifies them, remained relatively stable at 1.2 million during the same period.

Along with the rematch between President Biden and former President Trump, Pennsylvania voters will consider a Senate race crucial to the balance of power in Washington. Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) will square off against Republican businessman Dave McCormick. Mr. Hopkins said the seismic change in voter registration could be linked to a growing number of what he called “ancestral Democrats” in rural Pennsylvania either falling off the rolls or registering with another party. These moderate voters are just as likely to vote Democratic as Republican, he predicts. Nevertheless, Mr. Hopkins said the statistics indicate the state’s voters are moving toward the right and there is more parity in the electorate than in previous cycles. This aligns with the Republican Party’s growing appeal with white, high-school-educated voters, he said. Pennsylvania GOP chairman Lawrence Tabas said erasing the voter registration deficit is a “top priority” in the state.

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What was it, 51 former intel officials?! How many arrests so far?

“The Laptop is Real” (Turley)

“The defendant’s laptop is real.” With those words and pictures like this one of Biden using crack, the Justice Department introduced the Hunter Biden laptop as evidence in his upcoming trial over federal gun violations. The federal prosecutors went on to denounce suggestions of Russian disinformation, long peddled by the Bidens, the media and former intelligence officials, as nothing more than a “conspiracy theory.” The media eagerly spread the claim of Russian disinformation before the presidential election. Twitter and others suppressed the story. This was done through one of the most skillful disinformation campaigns in history. It later came out that associates of the Biden campaign (including now Secretary of State Antony Blinken) pushed a long effort to get former intelligence officials to sign a letter making the claim, knowing that an ever accommodating media would accept the claim without question or further inquiry.

At the time, some of us wrote that the laptop was “self-authenticating” since many of the emails were confirmed by third parties and other evidence. The Justice Department last week made the same claim of “self-authentication” as well as independent confirmation by federal investigators. In the now debunked letter of former intelligence officials just before the election, figures such as Leon Panetta, former CIA Director in the Obama Administration, claimed that the letter had all of the markings of a Russian disinformation effort by intelligence services. (Panetta continued to make the assertion late last year in pushing what the federal government is now calling a “conspiracy theory.”). The Washington Post’s Phillip Bump and others also continued to push the conspiracy theory. Indeed, in 2021, when media organizations were finally admitting that the laptop was authentic, Bump was still declaring that it was a “conspiracy theory.” Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Bump continued to suggest that “the laptop was seeded by Russian intelligence.”

What is equally astonishing is that in 2023 the Post expressly stood by Bump’s reporting on the laptop and other debunked claims. Even after the government has declared this reporting as part of a “conspiracy theory,” the Post continues to support the reporting by Bump and others. The laptop includes not just pictures of Hunter using drugs but brandishing a handgun. The court clearly agrees with the government on the authenticity of the laptop. It has ruled against the defense and will allow it to be introduced into evidence. Despite the conclusions of American intelligence and others, the Biden team continued to push the disinformation. That led the Justice Department to tell the court that “The defendant’s theory about the laptop is a conspiracy theory with no supporting evidence.” It added that Hunter’s “laptop is real (it will be introduced as a trial exhibit) and it contains significant evidence of the defendant’s guilt.” The response from the media has been a collective shrug. Worse yet, many of these same political and media figures continue to support censorship and government regulations of “disinformation” while the government is now acknowledging that they carried off one of the most successful disinformation campaigns in history.

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“Cannon is in effect putting the Department of Justice on trial to account for its corrupt, dirty, and sloppy prosecution into Trump and two co-defendants.”

Meltdown in Florida (Julie Kelly)

“I’m going to ask that you just calm down. I understand this is sensitive and it’s difficult, but these questions are briefed and they’re before the Court.” So said Judge Aileen Cannon to David Harbach, one of Special Counsel Jack Smith’s lead prosecutors in the government’s espionage and obstruction case against former president Donald Trump, during a hearing on Wednesday. While temperatures spiked outside the federal courthouse in Fort Pierce, Florida throughout the day, so too did the climate inside Cannon’s courtroom. The May 22 proceeding, as I explained here, represented the first of a series of hearings that will turn the tables on Smith; Cannon is in effect putting the Department of Justice on trial to account for its corrupt, dirty, and sloppy prosecution into Trump and two co-defendants.

Cannon’s admonishment came after what can only be described as a prolonged meltdown by Harbach after he ranted for several minutes in response to a defense motion seeking to dismiss the case against Waltine Nauta, Trump’s longtime personal valet also charged in the indictment, based on selective and vindictive prosecution. At times pounding the podium and clapping his hands in anger to emphasize a point, Harbach, usually the cooler head of the prosecution side, escalated the war of words between Cannon and the special counsel’s team. A longtime DOJ apparatchik having served as former FBI Director James Comey’s special counsel and alongside Smith in the DOJ public integrity unit during the Obama administration, Harbach is used to getting his way before federal judges. Not this time. Cannon is a slow-moving freight train, systematically and almost to the point of torment exposing every government fault line in the imploding case.

Just this month alone, Cannon has forced Smith to admit key evidence seized during the 2022 FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago has been bungled and possibly misplaced, contrary to his team’s representations to her. She continues to authorize the unsealing of motions and exhibits including records the DOJ never thought would see the light of day. In fact, Harbach’s outburst came less than 24 hours after Trump’s lawyers filed a motion related to the Mar-a-Lago raid, a document Cannon ordered unsealed; the motion, as I reported on Twitter/X Tuesday afternoon as well as here, revealed the stunning news that FBI agents had authority to use deadly force during the nine-hour raid. The disclosure instantly prompted fury on the Right, leading to a damage-control statement by the FBI several hours later. Attorney General Merrick Garland also addressed the controversy the following day, calling Trump’s claims about a potential assassination, “false and extremely dangerous.”

Garland also claimed, without evidence, that the consensual search of Joe Biden’s home for classified documents involved the same authorization for use of force. Late Friday night, Smith filed a motion asking Cannon to prohibit Trump from making public statements “that pose a significant, imminent, and foreseeable danger to law enforcement agents participating in the investigation and prosecution of this case.” But Harbach’s bad behavior in court specifically related to accusations of prosecutorial abuse. Nauta’s attorney, Stanley Woodward, has accused the DOJ of retaliating against Nauta for refusing to flip on Trump and become a cooperating witness. (Nauta faces several charges including conspiring to obstruct the investigation and making false statements.) Woodward further alleged that Jay Bratt, the other lead DOJ prosecutor, made threats against Woodward during an August 2022 meeting to discuss Nauta’s potential cooperation.

Woodward said Bratt noted his pending judicial nomination before the D.C. Superior Court and said something to the effect of “I wouldn’t want you to do anything to mess that up.” Bratt’s conduct during the meeting is the subject of both a congressional investigation and an Office of Professional Responsibility probe at the DOJ. (The OPR inquiry is on hold pending resolution of the classified documents case.) Woodward wants all records and communications about the meeting given to the defense—something Cannon appears inclined to do.

Read more …

“Do voters want a president being transparently pursued for partisan reasons by a behemoth government that fewer than two-in-ten Americans trust?”

Biden Marketing Team To Make Trump a Mega-Martyr (ZH)

Joe Biden’s galaxy brain handlers plan to use any ‘guilty’ verdicts in Donald Trump’s criminal trials to campaign on, unaware that most of the country views them as political lawfare by the permanent ruling class hatched in coordination with Biden’s own DOJ. According to Politico, citing four people familiar with internal deliberations; Biden intends to initially address the verdict in a White House setting — not a campaign one — to show his statement isn’t political, according to the people, who were granted anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.If the jury convicts Trump, Biden’s team will then argue that the result shows Trump is ill-suited for office and that it demonstrates the extremes to which the former president would go to win again.

The campaign’s social media team is considering leveraging the line of attack further, with discussions underway about referring to the ex-president online as “Convicted Felon Donald Trump.” The report comes as closing arguments are set for Tuesday in Trump’s ‘hush money’ trial, which saw the prosecution’s star witness, Michael Cohen, implode on the stand. Of course, a Manhattan jury won’t care – so a Trump ‘guilty’ verdict wouldn’t come as a surprise. “This is an important moment and the president first and foremost needs to stress that the American system works, even and especially in an election year,” said one of Politico’s anonymous sources.

“And in a measured way, it becomes part of his argument against Trump too: Do Americans really want this?” Do voters want a president being transparently pursued for partisan reasons by a behemoth government that fewer than two-in-ten Americans trust? This goes hand-in-hand with why the left can’t meme and are desperate to find someone who can. At least one Democrat sees how stupid this is. “I don’t think it’s important to rub it in,” Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) told Politico. “I don’t think anybody on our side should be reacting with glee. It just should be a tragedy that an American president has been convicted of real crimes.”

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“Bragg’s was the first case to go to trial and an acquittal in that case would almost certainly see Trump cast doubt on the legitimacy of the remaining cases..”

How Will Trump, Voters Respond To The Outcome Of His Trial? (JTN)

The defense has rested in former President Donald Trump’s criminal trial and closing arguments are scheduled for Tuesday, meaning a verdict could come as early as next week. The jury’s decision remains the subject of considerable speculation as does the impact of either a conviction or an acquittal. But a verdict will come eventually and the Trump campaign will have to respond accordingly. Trump is almost certain to appeal a conviction while an acquittal could conceivably lend legitimacy to his claims of a broader, baseless political witch hunt designed to derail his 2024 bid to return to the White House. Alternatively, if the verdict comes in against him, Trump could file for a “Judgement of Acquittal.” Judges have the ability to overturn a jury verdict if there is insufficient evidence to support that verdict. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has brought the first criminal prosecution of a former president in U.S. history. He charged Trump with 34 counts of falsifying business records in connection with a 2016 payment that his then-attorney, Michael Cohen, made to Stormy Daniels.

Trump has pleaded not guilty and the trial has proceeded for the past several weeks. The Trump campaign, for its part, has remained resolute in its assertion that the case, like the other prosecutions involving him, are political in nature and insists the proceedings will not stop his victory in November. “President Trump has established a commanding polling lead and Crooked Joe Biden is on the ropes. His Democrat Party allies are desperate, so they continue to try and push their ongoing Witch Hunts by abusing and misusing the power of their offices to interfere in the 2024 presidential election,” Trump Campaign National Press Secretary Karoline Leavitt told Just the News. “President Trump and his legal team will continue to fight and crush the Biden Hoaxes all across the country and the American People will hold Crooked Joe and his comrades to account this Fall,” she continued. Whether Trump is convicted or acquitted, the trial’s outcome could conceivably provide Trump with rhetorical fodder to advance his campaign.

Trump has repeatedly categorized the myriad prosecutions against him as part of a larger political witch hunt and has linked the prosecutors pursuing each case together as part of a so-called “Fraud Squad.” He currently faces two criminal cases, one in federal court brought by special counsel Jack Smith and one in Georgia state court from Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. He has appealed a civil fraud verdict in a case brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James. Bragg’s was the first case to go to trial and an acquittal in that case would almost certainly see Trump cast doubt on the legitimacy of the remaining cases. In the event of a conviction, Trump has already laid the groundwork for his messaging in how he has used some of his prior legal woes to campaign. Among the most notable instances was his incorporation of his mugshot from the Fulton County jail into campaign merchandise. He has also used Merchan’s imposition of fines for violating a gag order to solicit donations.

The case itself has had legal experts and media pundits struggling to find an underlying crime in the matter, a point Trump has repeatedly highlighted throughout the trial. Without the jury being convinced beyond a reasonable doubt there was an underlying crime, acquittal is a certainty. “Every single legal scholar that I see, maybe there’s somebody out there some whack job, but virtually everyone that I’ve seen have said that there’s absolutely no case. It’s a case that shouldn’t have been brought,” Trump said earlier this month. The former president has long sought to paint the case as a legal farce and, should he be convicted, would almost certainly use the conviction to claim the proceedings had been politicized and biased against him. Judge Juan Merchan, who has overseen the case, twice refused Trump’s requests that he recuse himself in light of his daughter’s employment with Authentic, a firm that boasts both President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris as clients. Merchan’s handling of the case and Trump’s messaging on the matter already appears to have struck a chord with some legal analysts.

“The judge in Donald Trump’s trial was an absolute tyrant, though he appeared to the jury to be a benevolent despot,” Harvard law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz wrote this week in an op-ed for the New York Post. One week prior, Dershowitz told the “Just the News, No Noise” television show that he was “fairly confident this case will be reversed on appeal.” “But the goal was to get a down and dirty conviction to influence the election, along with a gag order, and keeping him in the courtroom,” he added. “And they’re achieving those political goals, even if they are using improper legal means to do it.”

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“..compliance – that everyone piles into the clown car on command so these bozos can take everyone on a joyride down Dystopian Highway..”

Von der Leyen Proposes Vaccines For Minds, A Shield For Democracy (Marsden)

One of the hallmarks of the European Union is that if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. In fact, it often means the exact opposite. Take, for instance, the idea that Ursula Von der Leyen, the European Commission president, is running for re-election when in reality she’s just publicly squabbling with a few other establishment hacks to be handpicked and confirmed by the establishment itself, not by popular vote. But that hasn’t stopped her from cosplaying as an actual democratic candidate. It’s not like she didn’t have the opportunity to actually be one rather than just play one, but when her German colleagues asked her to run for an elected EU seat in Germany to establish some democratic credibility, she reportedly declined the inconvenience. But that hasn’t stopped her from posting “campaign” ads on social media, as though she’s actually trying to appeal to voters. In one such video, she promises that if she’s re-coronated, er, “re-elected,” she’ll defend Europe with a “Democracy Shield.”

The whole idea, she says, is to “detect disinformation and malign interference… remove content, including [artificial intelligence] deepfakes, [and] to make our societies more resilient.” Nothing about defending Europe’s democracy from unelected bureaucrats wielding excessive power though, I guess? Ever since billionaire tech entrepreneur, Elon Musk, took over Twitter, renamed the social media platform ‘X’, and publicly shamed all the Western government authorities that tried to exploit the platform directly for their own propaganda purposes, his “community notes” feature has allowed users to react directly and in real time to content, including deep fake videos, and has proven that the antidote to inaccuracy is more free and democratic speech, not less. “Democracy,” in the case of this “Democracy Shield” is really just a euphemism for censorship. Because what does this “shield” really protect Europe from, that more free speech can’t achieve, other than inconvenient facts?

Or from Queen Ursula and the rest of the European establishment having to defend their own ideological lunacy and explain to citizens why the narratives they peddle often don’t jibe with reality. Apparently, they figure that democracy would be better off if everything and everyone that didn’t fit their top agenda narratives could just be whacked over the head and dragged off into the shadows by the online Gestapo serving von der Leyen’s online “Democracy Shield.” But maybe characterizing the Democracy Shield as little more than a “propaganda shield” is unfair. After all, it’s not like the EU or Ursula actually say that they’re interested in doing propaganda. No, instead she says that she just wants to do a little “pre-bunking,” which totally doesn’t sound like propaganda at all. Speaking at the Copenhagen Democracy Summit earlier this month, von der Leyen explained that “research has shown that pre-bunking is more successful than de-bunking. Pre-bunking is the opposite of de-bunking. In short, prevention is preferable to cure.

Think of information manipulation as a virus. Instead of treating an infection once it has taken hold, that’s the de-bunking, it is better to vaccinate, so that our body is inoculated. Pre-bunking is the same approach.” Yeah, folks, just think of free debate and discussion as a nasty virus that could get really messy. May provoke verbal diarrhea. Ugly stuff. Wouldn’t it just be better if the EU could inject its narratives like a vaccine straight into the minds of citizens to eliminate any risk of messy opposing views or information? What if the pre-bunk narrative IS the disinformation, though? Of course that never happens, right? Everything that the EU and Western governments say is always the total and complete objective truth and anyone questioning it is some kind of foreign agent. By the way, von der Leyen’s “societal resilience” here really just means compliance – that everyone piles into the clown car on command so these bozos can take everyone on a joyride down Dystopian Highway towards wherever fresh Hell their hidden special interests dictate at any given time.

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“Both have had enough of being “polite”. You want confrontation? Confrontation is what you’re gonna get.”

Russia and China Have Had Enough (Pepe Escobar)

Now couple all of the above with the head of the FSB, Alexander Bortnikov, being more than explicit at a CIS summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on what the Empire of Chaos and its vassals are up to next. The four main takeaways:

1. The U.S., UK and NATO are now on Full Hybrid War mode against Russia.

2. NATO is facilitating a massive transfer of terrorists/jihadis from several latitudes to Ukraine, with some of these, especially branded ISIS-K, instrumentalized all across the Heartland. Call it a Terror Foreign Legion – which should be regarded as the SCO’s number one enemy. Bortnikov referred to “the constant rotation of militants in the Syria-Iraqi and Afghan-Pakistani zones, and the emergence of new militant training camps near the southern borders of the commonwealth.”

3. Ukraine has turned to Total Terror – complete with non-stop sabotage raids across Russia’s borders.

4. On a positive note, the Global Majority is on the move: Russia is closely cooperating, increasingly, with scores of nations in West Asia, wider Asia, Africa and Latin America.

After a series of extraordinary “coincidences” these past few weeks, from “lone gunman” assassination attempts to engineered coups, outright threats and mysterious disappearances, the whole BRICS-SCO ecosystem has to be on very high alert. After the epic Putin-Xi summit in Beijing and the stranger than fiction Raisi helicopter drama, the renewed solidity of the interlocked Russia-China-Iran strategic partnerships is pointing to Russia-China about to take their velvet gloves off. Putin and Xi, each in their own way, have already warned the collectively imbecilized West: if you want confrontation, you’re gonna get confrontation. In spades. And at your own peril.

The impeding Mother of All Tests, coming this summer, is how far NATO will go when it comes to directly attacking the Russian Federation. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban warns that “Europe is preparing to start a war with Russia”. Uncultured, uneducated political-military Eurotrash “elites” of course are completely incapable of understanding reality outside of their bubble. Moreover, they interpret Russian patience and legalistic approach as weakness. Well: intel sources in Moscow are now making it very clear – off the record; the response, if they try anything stupid, will be devastating.

On a BRICS level, there is a sort of last-minute attempt to defuse the incandescence. Wang Yi and President Lula’s top foreign policy advisor, Celso Amorim, have released a statement outlining a “common understanding” over an endgame in Ukraine. Essentially, the statement reads that “China and Brazil support holding an international peace conference at an appropriate time, recognized by both Russia and Ukraine, with equal participation by all parties, and fair discussion of all peace plans.” The Empire of Chaos will obviously reject it. Beijing has all its attention focusing on Empire of Chaos provocations in Taiwan while Moscow focuses on NATO provocations in Ukraine. Both have had enough of being “polite”. You want confrontation? Confrontation is what you’re gonna get.

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“President Trump put veterans as the number one priority,” she said. “There was a hotline where you could call the White House and have your concerns answered. He understood also, which I think is so important, that it wasn’t just the veteran, but the whole family. This affects the whole family.”

Congressional Candidate Smiley Pushes For Better Help For Veterans (JTN)

Washington state GOP congressional candidate Tiffany Smiley said that one of her main focuses is getting veterans the help they need when they come home from serving the country and to cut through red tape. “It’s time to stand up for our country,” Smiley said on a Memorial Day special on the “Just the News, No Noise” TV show. “It’s time to stand up for those who so graciously served our country and have sacrificed. You know, my first wedding anniversary with Scotty…… we spent apart [because] he was in Iraq.” Smiley married her high school sweetheart Scotty, an Army veteran. In 2005, he was blinded by a suicide car bomber in Iraq. Smiley, who was a nurse, said that the experience was life changing and forced her to see the lack of care veterans and their families get. “I would walk the halls in the evening,” Smiley said when describing her time at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

“I would see soldiers alone. Some had families. Some families left. Some spouses left, and it just broke my heart. You know, I knew I could be an advocate for Scotty. But what about everyone else?” Smiley is running for Washington state’s fourth district and praised former President Donald Trump for his policies and their impact on veterans and their families. “President Trump put veterans as the number one priority,” she said. “There was a hotline where you could call the White House and have your concerns answered. He understood also, which I think is so important, that it wasn’t just the veteran, but the whole family. This affects the whole family.” Earlier this year, the Department of Veterans Affairs put patients’ safety at significant risk with a bungled rollout of its new electronic health records (EHR) system that created inaccuracies in medicine and prescription data, an internal investigation found in the latest black eye for the federal agency that cares for America’s millions of retired armed services members.

In a stinging report, the VA’s inspector general, its internal watchdog, said a complaint about prescription backlogs at a veterans’ facility in Columbus, Ohio led to the discovery of massive problems in the EHR system nationwide and it pointedly warned that some of the issues still persist. The current congressman representing Washington state is Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wa., who voted to impeach Trump in 2021 for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. “The people of the fourth district are not happy,” Smiley said. “Dan Newhouse let us down. We are a God fearing fourth district [that] loves America and loves Trump, and they know that his policies work.” Smiley added that Newhouse put the district in a vulnerable position. “He is not going to be able to legislate with President Trump and that’s exactly why I got in this race,” she said. “We have issues in the fourth district that will require executive branch intervention and Dan Newhouse let us down.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Organ failure

 

 

Bush Putin dance

 

 

 

 

Life hack

 

 

Brave Monkey

 

 

Escalator

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 062024
 


Juan de la Corte (1597–1660) Lot And His Daughters Escaping From The Destruction Of Sodom And Gomorrah

 

The “Order” Based On Made-up Rules Is Descending Into Savagery (Pepe Escobar)
Putin’s Road to Armageddon (Paul Craig Roberts)
US and Germany Against Inviting Ukraine Into NATO – NYT (RT)
NATO Faces ‘Catastrophic Defeat’ In Ukraine – ex-Pentagon Adviser (RT)
Ukraine Plan Of Crocus Attack: Ethnic Pogroms, Civil War In Russia (Helmer)
MSM Reluctantly Admits Elon Musk’s Ukraine Takes Are Proving Correct (ZH)
Vectoring Dangerously (Kunstler)
Ukrainian Officials’ Wealth Surged During Conflict (RT)
Biden Was ‘Higher Than A Kite’ During SOTU Speech – Trump
US Intel Services Use Journalists As Their Agents – Zakharova (TASS)
Jan. 6 Defendant Video Raises Questions About Undercover Agents (ET)
Bidenomics and Its Discontents (Galbraith)
RFK Jr. Is Right About Joe Biden (ZH)
Judges Reject Trump’s Attempts To Quash Cases (RT)
Supreme Court Faces ‘High Stakes’ Decisions on Trump-Related Cases (ET)
How The West Lost Control Of The Gold Market (Henry Johnston)

 

 

The awful shadow of some unseen Power
Floats tho’ unseen amongst us, -visiting
This various world with as inconstant wing
As summer winds that creep from flower to flower.-
Like moonbeams that behind some piny mountain shower,
It visits with inconstant glance
Each human heart and countenance;
Like hues and harmonies of evening,-
Like clouds in starlight widely spread,-
Like memory of music fled,-
Like aught that for its grace may be
Dear, and yet dearer for its mystery.

Shelley, Hymn to Intellectual Beauty

 

 

Drones

 

 

Biden

 

 

Save the world

 

 

 

 

Letitia
https://twitter.com/i/status/1775962785886974153

 

 

Democrat
https://twitter.com/i/status/1775901228419174414

 

 

 

 

WWIII is creeping up on us. It’s everywhere today.

“..that thick slab of Norwegian wood posing as Secretary-General came up with a merry “initiative” to create a 100 billion euro fund..”

The “Order” Based On Made-up Rules Is Descending Into Savagery (Pepe Escobar)

As the de facto North Atlantic Terror Organization celebrates its 75th birthday, taking Lord Ismay’s motto to ever soaring heights (“keep the Americans in, the Russians out, and the Germans down”), that thick slab of Norwegian wood posing as Secretary-General came up with a merry “initiative” to create a 100 billion euro fund to weaponize Ukraine for the next five years. Translation, regarding the crucial money front in the NATO-Russia clash: partial exit of the Hegemon – already obsessing with The Next Forever War, against China; enter the motley crew of ragged, de-industrialized European chihuahuas, all in deep debt and most mired in recession. A few IQs over average room temperature at NATO’s HQ in Haren, in Brussels, had the temerity to wonder how to come up with such a fortune, as NATO has zero leverage to raise money among member states.

After all, the Europeans will never be able to replicate the time-tested Hegemon money laundering machine. For instance, assuming the White House-proposed $60 billion package to Ukraine would be approved by the U.S. Congress – and it won’t – no less than 64% of the total will never reach Kiev: it will be laundered within the industrial-military complex. Yet it gets even more dystopic: Norwegian Wood, robotic stare, arms flailing, actually believes his proposed move will not imply a direct NATO military presence in Ukraine – or country 404; something that is already a fact on the ground for quite a while, irrespective of the warmongering hissy fits by Le Petit Roi in Paris (Peskov: “Russia-NATO relations have descended into direct confrontation”). Now couple the Lethal Looney Tunes spectacle along the NATOstan front with the Hegemon’s aircraft carrier performance in West Asia, consistently taking its industrial-scale slaughter/starvation Genocide Project in Gaza to indescribable heights – the meticulously documented holocaust watched in contorted silence by the “leaders” of the Global North.

UN Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese correctly summed it all up: the biblical psychopathology entity “intentionally killed the WCK workers so that donors would pull out and civilians in Gaza could continue to be starved quietly. Israel knows Western countries and most Arab countries won’t move a finger for the Palestinians.” The “logic” behind the deliberate three tap strike on the clearly signed humanitarian convoy of famine-alleviating workers in Gaza was to eviscerate from the news an even more horrendous episode: the genocide-within-a-genocide of al-Shifa hospital, responsible for at least 30% of all health services in Gaza. Al-Shifa was bombed, incinerated and had over 400 civilians killed in cold blood, in several cases literally smashed by bulldozers, including medical doctors, patients and dozens of children.

Nearly simultaneously, the biblical psychopathology gang completely eviscerated the Vienna convention – something that even the historical Nazis never did – striking Iran’s consular mission/ambassador’s residence in Damascus. This was a missile attack on a diplomatic mission, enjoying immunity, on the territory of a third country, against which the gang is not at war. And on top of it, killing General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force in Syria and Lebanon, his deputy Mohammad Hadi Hajizadeh, another five officers, and a total of 10 people. Translation: an act of terror, against two sovereign states, Syria and Iran. Equivalent to the recent terror attack on Crocus City Hall in Moscow. The inevitable question rings around all corners of the lands of the Global Majority: how can these de facto terrorists possibly get away with all this, over and over again?

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PCR keeps thinking he knows better then Putin.

Putin’s Road to Armageddon (Paul Craig Roberts)

The United States government, speaking through the mouth of Secretary of State Blinken, defied all of Russia’s warnings this week with this declaration: “Ukraine will become a member of NATO. Our purpose at the summit is to help build a bridge to that membership.” By Putin’s refusal to use the necessary force to deal with the dangerous situation and by continuing to insist that the conflict is nothing but a limited operation to clear Ukrainian forces out of the Russian provinces, not an invasion of Ukraine, Russia will soon find herself at war with NATO. I have warned consistently without effect, only to be denounced by idiots as “bloodthirsty,” that Putin’s unrealism about the conflict, like his previous unrealism about the Minsk Agreement and his unrealism about the overthrow of the Ukrainian government in the so-called Maidan Revolution, is a direct path to World War III.

The minute Ukraine becomes a member of NATO, Putin will find himself at war with NATO. Russia has only a short time to knock out Ukraine, destroy the government, occupy the country and build a wall around it. The ascension of Ukraine to Nato “is literally how the nuclear apocalypse movie starts,” says Elon Musk, one of the few remaining intelligent Americans. Putin’s “limited military operation” has achieved nothing but two new NATO members–Finland and Sweden–attacks on Russian civilians inside Russia, mounting deaths from Western weapon system after weapon system supplied to Ukraine along with NATO military personnel to operate them and Western intelligence to target them. All the while Putin has been unable to comprehend that Russia is at war. Putin’s lack of response to mounting provocations has convinced Washington that Putin’s warnings are meaningless. Putin’s failure to enforce his red lines has caused Washington to loose belief that Putin has any red lines.

Just as Putin was forced into his “limited military operation” by the insulting cold shoulder Washington gave his plea for a mutual security pact, Russia will be forced into wider war with NATO by Washington’s defiance of Putin’s warning that Russia will not allow NATO membership for Ukraine. Putin has a few months to end Ukraine’s existence, a country that never existed until Washington created it, before Putin’s inability to act brings on World War III. Despite the dire situation, Putin remains unable to come to terms with reality. The Russian government continues to demonstrate to Washington weakness and irresolution by repeating its willingness to negotiate. Here we see Putin’s failure as a war leader. It should be Washington and NATO pleading with Putin to negotiate.

We are traveling along the road to Armageddon exactly as I predicted. One ignored provocation leads to another and worst provocation, and then to another and another, and now we have reached the red line that Putin cannot ignore. At this point the only way Putin can avoid World War III is to surrender or to terminate the existence of Ukraine before Washington elevates Ukraine to NATO membership. There is no other choice.

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“..would draw it into the biggest land war in Europe since 1945..”

US and Germany Against Inviting Ukraine Into NATO – NYT (RT)

The US and Germany are reluctant to accept Ukraine into NATO despite fears of Kiev’s military collapse under Russian pressure, the New York Times reported on Thursday. Officials in the US-led bloc are worried that such a drastic move “would draw it into the biggest land war in Europe since 1945,” the paper said, adding that NATO is looking for a “middle ground” instead. These concerns are said to be shared by Berlin and Washington, which are opposed to opening membership talks with Ukraine at NATO’s summit in Washington in July. At the same time, they champion long-term security assistance commitments to Ukraine. On Wednesday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg urged the bloc’s members to focus on providing Ukraine with “reliable and predictable security assistance” rather than voluntary donations.

The NATO chief has reportedly proposed a five-year €100 billion ($107 billion) package of military aid to Kiev, which would also see the bloc take on more responsibility – rather than the US – in terms of coordinating assistance. Several Western diplomats told the NYT, however, that this plan appears “elusive” at the moment. A former US ambassador to NATO, Ivo Daalder, said that Washington appears to be tacitly opposed to the initiative, which would diminish its role in coordinating the assistance. Hungary, another NATO member, has publicly spoken out against any moves that could make the bloc more involved in the conflict. It is also unclear how NATO could compel members to contribute to the €100 billion package over such a long period of time, the report says.

However, “none of these things may matter” by summer if Russia continues to push back Kiev’s troops, as Ukraine is “in danger of losing the war,” the NYT said. In recent weeks, Russia has liberated the key Donbass city of Avdeevka, while capturing several nearby settlements. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky warned last month that this would not be the last retreat unless the US renews its military assistance. An aid package has for months been stalled in the US Congress due to Republican opposition, as GOP members demand more efforts to enhance border security. Russia has condemned the Western arms shipments to Kiev, warning they will only prolong the conflict. Officials in Moscow have also accused the West of using Ukraine as a tool in order to inflict “a strategic defeat” on Russia.

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“..the Machiavelli of Maryland..”

NATO Faces ‘Catastrophic Defeat’ In Ukraine – ex-Pentagon Adviser (RT)

NATO nations can only forestall an inevitable loss to Russian forces in Ukraine by deploying their troops to the former Soviet republic, a former adviser to the US military has claimed. “The arithmetic of this is inescapable: NATO countries will soon have to send soldiers to Ukraine, or else accept catastrophic defeat,” military strategist Edward Luttwak wrote in an oped published on Thursday by the British online media outlet UnHerd. “The British and French, along with the Nordic countries, are already quietly preparing to send troops – both small elite units and logistics and support personnel – who can remain far from the front.” The conflict can’t be won without direct troop deployments because regardless of the quantity and quality of weapons sent to Kiev, Ukrainian forces are too outnumbered by the Russians, Luttwak argued. “This means that unless [Russian President Vladimir] Putin decides to end the war, Ukraine’s troops will be pushed back again and again, losing soldiers in the process who cannot be replaced.”

Luttwak’s comments follow weeks of battlefield advances by Russian forces in the Donbass region. Western leaders have insisted that they can ensure a Ukrainian victory by providing aid to Kiev, but French President Emmanuel Macron suggested in February that direct troop deployments by NATO members could not be ruled out. European NATO members face a “momentous decision” because with US forces facing a growing threat of a potential Chinese attack on Taiwan, it will be up to them to provide the manpower that Ukraine needs, Luttwak said. “If Europe cannot provide enough troops, Russia will prevail on the battlefield, and even if diplomacy successfully intervenes to avoid a complete debacle, Russian military power will have victoriously returned to central Europe,” he added. NATO-Russia relations have deteriorated so much amid the Ukraine crisis that the Western alliance is already in “direct confrontation” with Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday. Putin has warned that NATO would risk triggering a nuclear conflict if its members send troops to Ukraine.

Luttwak suggested that by providing support troops for such tasks as troop training and repairing damaged equipment, NATO nations could free up more Ukrainians to serve on the front lines. “These NATO soldiers might never see combat, but they don’t have to in order to help Ukraine make the most of its own scarce manpower,” he said. The Romanian-born Luttwak, who was raised and educated largely in the UK, has advised the Pentagon, the US State Department, and the White House National Security Council, among other entities in Washington. A December 2015 profile of Luttwak by The Guardian billed him as “the Machiavelli of Maryland.” Now 81, he has reportedly advised clients ranging from the Dalai Lama to the prime minister of Kazakhstan. Despite being a proponent of Western involvement in the conflict, Luttwak was put on a Ukrainian blacklist in 2022 for opining that Kiev cannot realistically hope to defeat Russia outright and depose Putin.

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“..The newspaper – in the 19th century nicknamed “The Thunderer”, now owned by Rupert Murdoch, nicknamed “The Dirty Digger”..

Ukraine Plan Of Crocus Attack: Ethnic Pogroms, Civil War In Russia (Helmer)

“The unity of Russia’s multiethnic society,” President Vladimir Putin told the Russian Trade Union Congress on Thursday, “is the main fundamental condition of our success. In this connection, and based on the initial results of the investigation, we have grounds to believe that the main goal of those who masterminded the bloody and heinous terrorist attack in Moscow was to damage our unity.” Putin is repeating the message – four times in two weeks: earlier on March 23, March 25, and April 2 — because it happens to be true. What also happens to be true is that during the Yeltsin period, when asked by Moscow university students what I thought of anti-semitism in Russia, I said: Russians are the most primitive white tribe in the world – they are hostile to the other tribes, the Jews, Chechens, Armenians, Chukchi, Uzbeks, Tajiks — each one of them equally. After this sociology was elaborated, invitations to lecture at Moscow universities stopped.

The sociological problem which Russia’s enemies have is that the foreign white tribes, like the Galicians of the Ukraine, the Anglo Saxons, and the Blin-Noodle gang ruling Washington, make the primitive sociological mistake of thinking they can trigger intercommunal warfare inside Russia, to weaken and break it up. The British Secret Service (MI6) made their first abortive attempts at this during the Bolshevik revolution and the civil war following. The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and MI6 have been plotting the same thing since 1945, increasing the resources and accelerating their efforts in the Caucasus during the Yeltsin administration of the 1990s.

It is therefore no surprise they have convinced their Ukrainian counterparts to implement the same scheme. On Tuesday of this week, The Times of London headlined this plan “Ukraine Stokes Anti-Immigrant Tensions in Russia”. The newspaper – in the 19th century nicknamed “The Thunderer”, now owned by Rupert Murdoch, nicknamed “The Dirty Digger” — reported an interview with Andrei Kovalenko, head of the Ukraine’s Centre for Countering Disinformation (CCD). By weaponizing local ethnic communities like the Tajiks in Russia, the operational objective, according to Kovalenko, is “to exploit divisions and distrust among the Russian public.”

Kovalenko is conceding the Ukraine strategy behind the Tajik gunmen’s attack on the Crocus City Hall on March 22. But the foreign tribesmen have misread the Russian sociology again. The attack has failed in its war objective. The theory of interethnic conflict in Russia was last tested in Moscow in January 2022 by the Levada Centre, a pollster registered as a foreign agent in 2016. Levada has been surveying ethnic Russian attitudes towards other ethnic groups since 2011, emphasizing for its own reasons what the Levada staff call anti-Semitism. The polling results over the years show that positive and negative Russian sentiment has been moving on several measures of social distance — acceptance as family members, friends, neighbours, citizens, temporary workers on visa – in different directions for different ethnic groups.

The improvement in the Russian perception of Ukrainians and Jews has been sharply reversed by the Kiev war on the Donbass and then the Israeli war against Gaza. By contrast, the political, economic, and media efforts of the Putin administration to cultivate strategic relations with China, the African states, and the Caucasus, including Chechnya, have accentuated the positive, diminished the negative.

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There are plenty people with such “takes”. But Musk gets MSM coverage.

MSM Reluctantly Admits Elon Musk’s Ukraine Takes Are Proving Correct (ZH)

“So, Musk may not be too wide of the mark after all”: Politico. Something which could hardly be imagined a year ago or even six months ago has happened this week: a Politico op-ed voices agreement with Elon Musk on Ukraine. Of course, the Wednesday piece still takes customary shots at the “wayward” billionaire and owner of X: “Wayward entrepreneur Elon Musk’s latest pronouncements regarding the war in Ukraine set teeth on edge, as he warned that even though Moscow has “no chance” of conquering all of Ukraine, “the longer the war goes on, the more territory Russia will gain until they hit the Dnipro, which is tough to overcome.” “However, if the war lasts long enough, Odesa will fall too,” he cautioned.

Statements like these, and Musk’s supposedly ‘alternative’ view of the crisis in general, have long invoked the wrath of mainstream media pundits. Yet publications like Politico now sing a different tune, but only after President Zelensky himself has signaled just how dire the battlefield situation actually is for his forces. Politico has previously featured headlines like ‘Elon Musk Is Transmitting a Message for Putin’. Musk in his recent Odesa commentary did no such thing, but merely urged the Ukrainians to find a way forward towards peace at the negotiating table before it’s too late. Again, lines such as the below coming out of the heart of the media establishment would have been impossible to come across a year ago… from Politico:

“With a history of urging Ukraine to agree to territorial concessions — and his opposition to the $60 billion U.S. military aid package snarled on Capitol Hill amid partisan wrangling — Musk isn’t Ukraine’s favorite commentator, to say the least. And his remarks received predictable pushback. But the billionaire entrepreneur’s forecast isn’t actually all that different from the dire warnings Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made in the last few days. According to Zelenskyy, unless the stalled multibillion-dollar package is approved soon, his forces will have to “go back, retreat, step by step, in small steps.” He also warned that some major cities could be at risk of falling.”

But we should point out that Musk has been a realist from the start, more in line with analysts such as John Mearsheimer, voicing positions which have proven right time and again, despite contradicting the bandwagon mainstream consensus at every turn. And here’s the kicker in the conclusion, from the Politico op-ed… “We don’t only have a military crisis — we have a political one,” one of the officers said. While Ukraine shies away from a big draft, “Russia is now gathering resources and will be ready to launch a big attack around August, and maybe sooner.” So, Musk may not be too wide of the mark after all.

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“..and the whole shootin’ match ends up twenty minutes later a smoldering, civilization-ending mess..”

Vectoring Dangerously (Kunstler)

If your situational awareness is well-tuned, you can put together a political weather report from the swirl of events that otherwise seem to confound the degenerate simps who pretend to report the news. Events are tending in the direction of self-reinforcing, ramifying chaos, and the people running the show are obviously insane as they do everything possible to hurry chaos along. Case in point: Antony Blinken, our Secretary of State, who announced yesterday that Ukraine will get rushed into NATO ASAP. Do you understand that would mean a direct, automatic, peremptory declaration of war against Russia, requiring all of NATO — that is, their combined militaries — to go kinetic inside Ukraine and theoretically inside Russia, too, (a move that has not worked out well for anyone in all of history), because Article Five of the NATO charter states that an armed attack against one is an attack against all, and must be answered with counter-attack? Thus, you see, Mr. Blinken just announced World War Three.

You might also consider that NATO does not have the capacity to fight that war. The European members don’t have sufficient troops and equipment, or financial reserves for that matter. And there is, of course, America’s under-recruited DEI army of transsexuals and video-gamers, with equipment that has already proven inadequate on-the-ground in Ukraine, and a logistical route for delivery of all that which runs 5,000 miles across an ocean and then another continent. . . whereas our opponent (Russia) is right next door to the battlefield and churning out munitions like there is no tomorrow (which there might well not be for all concerned). Even Adolf Hitler, the last fool to attempt a conquest of Russia, wouldn’t like those odds. And why would Russia desist from firing hypersonic missiles at Berlin, Paris, London, New York and. . . ? You get the idea. In which case the USA, backstopping NATO, would lob swarms of our nuclear missiles into Russia. . . and the whole shootin’ match ends up twenty minutes later a smoldering, civilization-ending mess.

Smooth move, Tony Blinken. In political weather terms, this is like an arctic shear cutting across the northern hemisphere. At the same time, you might notice a financial la Nina forming out over the salty sea. Gold chugged up above $2,300-an-ounce the past ten days, a record. That’s a coded message from Reality Central. My de-coder ring says it means the bond market is about to fall on its ass, taking the dollar down with it, which would swiftly domino into the way-overpriced equity markets, and Gawd knows what kind of maelstrom all the derivatives flotsam would get sucked into. Notice, too that Bitcoin goes up $3,000 one day and down $2,000 the next. Kind of sketchy. But that’s just my take. If you have one, I’d like to hear it. In any case, it looks like stormy financial weather which, if nothing else, is not exactly an advantageous accompaniment to a world war. In fact, it could beat a path quickly to something like empty supermarket shelves — and you know what they say about a population being a few missed meals away from anarchy.

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I had to sit down for half a hour. Didn’t expect this at all. /sarc off. It’s called money laudering.

Ukrainian Officials’ Wealth Surged During Conflict (RT)

Senior Ukrainian officials have significantly increased their personal wealth over the past two years despite the conflict with Russia, an analysis of self-reported income and assets has revealed. The study was conducted by the Ukrainian business news site Ekonomicheskaya Pravda based on mandatory disclosures required from officials concerning themselves and their family members. The deadline for reporting on the previous year expired on March 31, meaning that a complete dataset is now available to the public. A third of the senior officials picked by the newspaper for their sample reported new major assets, such as vehicles or real estate, the outlet reported on Wednesday. For their study, the journalists picked 2,200 top-tier members of various branches of the Ukrainian government, prioritizing those whose family names are most common in the country.

They tracked the changes in the holdings of these individuals by examining disclosures from this past year and previous years. The open hostilities with Russia started in February 2022. The officials chosen by the outlet reported 721 cars, 268 apartments, and 90 homes newly owned by their households over that period of time. The second half of 2022 saw the highest numbe of acquisitions in all three categories, but there has been only a relatively small drop in the rate of purchases since. The public servants also managed to boost their ownership of liquid assets in the form of cash and bank deposits by roughly a quarter. The US dollar was the most popular currency among Ukrainian officials, with a $6 million increase reported by the 2,200 people studied.

The outlet stressed that it likely underestimated the increase in wealth among officials since “not all of them follow their duty” and disclose their assets accurately. For instance, a former regional head is currently being investigated after failing to mention property worth some $1.8 million, which a news outlet had linked to members of his family. Some of the changes were due to changes in marital status, the report said. One MP, who married a wealthy businessman in 2023, consequently reported dozens of land plots owned by her new family, according to the article. The Ukrainian government relies heavily on foreign credit and aid to remain operational. Its central bank reported last month that in January and February a shortfall of financial support from other nations forced it to shift to borrowing domestically and depleting reserves to cover the budget deficit.

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“I watched the State of the Union, he was all jacked up at the beginning, by the end he was fading fast, there’s something going on there..”

Biden Was ‘Higher Than A Kite’ During SOTU Speech – Trump

Former US President Donald Trump has accused his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, of using drugs to get through his State of the Union address last month, and has insisted that he should be tested for drugs before any potential debates. Speaking with radio broadcaster Hugh Hewitt on Thursday, Trump claimed that Biden “was higher than a kite” during his speech, and described it as “the worst address I’ve ever seen.” He went on to recall last year’s scandal in which the Secret Service discovered a bag of cocaine at the White House, suggesting that Biden may have been “helped some way” to get through the annual address. “I watched the State of the Union, he was all jacked up at the beginning, by the end he was fading fast, there’s something going on there,” Trump said.

A plastic bag containing cocaine was discovered in a phone locker in the West Wing of the White House on July 2, 2023. After launching an investigation, the Secret Service dropped the case after only a few weeks, concluding that it was impossible to determine the owner of the drugs. The move sparked outrage among Biden’s critics, with many suggesting the cocaine may have belonged to the president’s son, Hunter, who has admitted to struggling with substance abuse. The White House officially denied any involvement of the Biden family in the case and praised the Secret Service’s “thorough investigation.”

Nevertheless, Trump has insisted that Biden should be tested for drugs before the two engage in debates ahead of November’s presidential election. The billionaire has previously called on the president to debate him “anywhere anytime.” Biden has not yet agreed to any debates with his rival, but said last month that it would depend on Trump’s “behavior.” Recent surveys have found that a majority of voters are concerned with the mental capabilities of both Trump and Biden, who are set to face off in the presidential election on November 5. A poll conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research last month found that 63% of American voters do not believe Biden has the mental capacity to serve effectively as president; 57% said the same thing about Trump.

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“..no newspaper in the United States has ever published a similar black square” in support of American journalist Gonzalo Lira..”

US Intel Services Use Journalists As Their Agents – Zakharova (TASS)

US special services use journalists as their agents in violation of US laws, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said. Commenting on how the United States “celebrated” a year since the arrest of Evan Gershkovich, the Wall Street Journal journalist, accused of espionage in Russia, the diplomat drew attention to the way one of the latest March issues of The Wall Street Journal looks – almost the entire front page is blank. “And only the black and white face of Evan Gershkovich, a US citizen detained on suspicion of espionage, caught in the act, with the phrase ‘His story should be here,'” she wrote on her Telegram channel. “Evan Gershkovich could have written about the terrorist bombing of Russian cities by the neo-Nazi regime in Kiev in recent months. The militants are also shelling journalists, including American journalists – it could be a report from a hot spot that the Americans themselves created by pumping weapons and intelligence into the militants,” she pointed out.

“He could have written a great article about all the fellow journalists killed by the Kiev regime: Oles Buzina, Pavel Sheremet, Andrey Stenin, Anatoly Klein, Igor Kornelyuk, Anton Voloshin, and many others. He could have, but for some reason he didn’t write [about it] all those years he had worked in Russia. He could have, if he had been practicing journalism and not spying,” the spokeswoman emphasized. “By the way, I do not exclude that the American media was expressing its indignation at the American secret services, which continue to use journalists as their agents in violation of US law,” she said. Zakharova pointed to the fact that “no newspaper in the United States has ever published a similar black square” in support of American journalist Gonzalo Lira, “who spent eight months in the torture chambers of a Ukrainian prison and was finally killed by the Ukrainian Security Service in January.”

“By the way, has a criminal case been opened in the US for his murder? I haven’t heard of it,” she added. Gershkovich, a correspondent for the US newspaper The Wall Street Journal, was arrested in Russia in an espionage case. According to the Center for Public Relations of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), Gershkovich, “acting as an agent for the American side, collected top-secret data about the activity of an enterprise of the Russian military-industrial complex.” In this connection, the journalist was detained in Yekaterinburg at the end of March 2023; criminal proceedings were initiated against him under Article 276 of the Russian Criminal Code (“Espionage”). Gershkovich faces up to 20 years in prison. He has not pleaded guilty.

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“The DOJ has filed opposition to Mr. Pope’s motion, saying it has “no obligation to investigate”..”

Jan. 6 Defendant Video Raises Questions About Undercover Agents (ET)

Recently released Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol Police security video shows a suspected FBI special agent clapping and cheering as crowds surged up steps to the Columbus Doors and another meeting with an FBI tactical team just before it entered the Capitol after the fatal shooting of Ashli Babbitt. The videos were first identified by defendant William Pope of Topeka, Kansas, in court filings in his own Jan. 6 criminal case. Exhibits Mr. Pope originally filed under seal have become public since the release of thousands of hours of Jan. 6 security video by the Committee on House Administration Subcommittee on Oversight. Two possible FBI special agents and a third unknown colleague were with John D. Guandolo, the FBI’s former liaison with U.S. Capitol Police, at the Women for a Great America event on the East Front of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, according to Mr. Pope.

In sworn testimony in a December 2022 Alaska civil court trial and in numerous media appearances, Mr. Guandolo said he was with two FBI special agents and a colleague with whom he traveled to Washington on Jan. 6. Mr. Guandolo has indicated that he was also introduced to other FBI personnel at the Capitol that day. Mr. Pope is seeking to compel federal prosecutors to identify them all. He said even if the men were at the Capitol on personal time, their free movement around the grounds shows they did not believe the Capitol was off limits to the public. Mr. Guandolo, who handled counterterrorism and criminal investigations for nearly 13 years—from 1996 to 2008—as an FBI special agent, has said he was at the Capitol in a personal capacity and went primarily to pray. He was interviewed by the FBI about his Jan. 6 visit on July 6, 2022. A heavily redacted copy of the FBI 302 interview summary has been made public.

Security video shows that as the crowd broke through the police line on the East Plaza and surged up the steps to the Columbus Doors, one of Mr. Guandolo’s colleagues clapped enthusiastically. “Oh, oh, oh man, this is huge,” the man said, heard on Mr. Guandolo’s cell phone video that showed the crowd ascending the east steps. On Capitol Police security Camera 7231, which looks out at the House Egg on the East Front, Mr. Guandolo was seen filming while standing on a chair just before 2:05 p.m. The clapping man, wearing a grey knit cap and dark coat, is identified in Mr. Pope’s court filing as “the Clapper” and “Colleague 2.” While Colleague 2 cheered the protesters’ advance on the Capitol, a man on Mr. Guandolo’s left, “Colleague 1,” had his phone raised, presumably capturing his own video of the advancing crowd. He wore a brown knit cap and blue jacket, and carried a backpack, video showed.

Mr. Pope asked U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras to compel the Department of Justice to identify all FBI agents “who were material witnesses at the Capitol.” Mr. Pope wants the FBI “to produce all photographs, videos, and records related to their presence.” The DOJ has filed opposition to Mr. Pope’s motion, saying it has “no obligation to investigate” who the men in the videos are. Some of the exhibits in Mr. Pope’s Feb. 12 motion were redacted, but the recent release of thousands of hours of Jan. 6 security video by the Subcommittee on Oversight allows them to be released publicly, Mr. Pope said.

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“The Federal Reserve then did the only thing it knows how to do: It hiked interest rates.”

Bidenomics and Its Discontents (Galbraith)

Unemployment is low. Inflation has fallen. Real earnings are rising. GDP growth has held up—so far. The economists are happy, but for some reason the voters are not! It must be their own ignorance and obtuseness—so says Paul Krugman, house economist of The New York Times. The other possibility—however horrible to contemplate—is that perhaps the voters are sensible and the economists are obtuse. And perhaps the indicators on which economists rely no longer mean what economists suppose them to mean. Take the unemployment rate. It is a ratio of those seeking work to the whole active labor force. In past times, most households depended on a single earner, for whom holding a job was a make-or-break proposition. If unemployment was rising or high—say 7 percent, typical in recessions—then, even though 93 percent of the labor force was still working, fear of unemployment amplified the woes of those actually out of work.

Conversely, if unemployment was low or falling, most workers felt reasonably secure. The unemployment rate, back then, was a reasonable indicator of distress or well-being. Those days are long gone. Today’s typical American working household has several earners, sometimes in multiple jobs. If one earner loses a job while the others keep theirs, she may leave the workforce for a time; there is the option of making do with less, and for some there is early retirement. She will not, in that case, count as unemployed—however difficult her life. A low jobless rate can mask a great deal of stress in such households. The employment-to-population ratio is still a bit below where it was in 2020, and far below where it was in 2000; average weekly hours are still falling. Next, consider inflation, which is the rate of price change measured month-to-month or year-to-year. But what matters to consumers is prices in relation to household incomes over several years.

In 1980 Ronald Reagan famously asked, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” Today, millions of American households are worse off than they were in 2020. Basic living costs, such as gasoline, utilities, food, and housing, have risen more than their incomes have. Real median household income peaked in 2019 and fell at least through 2022. Yes, but didn’t real wages go up sharply in 2023? According to the Biden-friendly Center for American Progress, real wages (for those continuously employed) have indeed now recovered roughly to where they would have been had no pandemic occurred. But there is a great distinction between steady progress and a sawtooth down-and-up. The former breeds confidence; the latter does not. Then there is the ending of Covid-19 relief. Pandemic programs gave millions of Americans a financial cushion for a time; early on, the payments were often larger than previous paychecks and, while they lasted, poverty and food insecurity went down. (By 2021 Covid tax credits and relief payments brought child poverty down to a record low of 5.2 percent.)

Most Americans were prudent with the support, but they often used it, not unwisely, to achieve a touch of independence from dreary jobs. With that support gone, the cushions erode, savings decline, debt rises–and families feel the pressure to go back to work on whatever terms that employers offer. They don’t like that very much. As people return to work, how secure are their jobs? In the golden years during which today’s older generation of economists learned their textbook tools, a worker’s job was often a lifetime affair. Autoworkers (and their associates in rubber and glass) might suffer periodic layoffs, but they could expect to be called back; their skills and experience remained useful. That was all over by the 1980s.

Since then, factories close and do not return, and practically all new jobs have been in routine services, with mediocre wages and high turnover. The pandemic drove home the fragility of these jobs to everyone—even those who had never lost a job before. Interest rates are another problem. Long ago, Joe Biden kicked the can of “fighting inflation” over to the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve then did the only thing it knows how to do: It hiked interest rates. Mortgage rates were around 3 percent in 2021; today they are at least twice that. High interest rates hit young families looking for their first house, and they hit established households, often older, looking to sell their homes. And high interest on consumer debt eats away at disposable incomes. The capital wealth of the middle class falls, to the benefit of those with cash to spare. The second group is much smaller and far richer than the first.

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“..RFK is right that the Biden administration engaged in censorship through agencies, but it wasn’t exactly a secret..”

RFK Jr. Is Right About Joe Biden (ZH)

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. can be an unhinged leftist and crackpot, but he also happens to be correct about President Joe Biden’s attacks on constitutional order, particularly free expression. Speaking to an incredulous Erin Burnett on CNN this week, Kennedy argued that Biden was a bigger threat to “democracy” than Donald Trump, a position that clashes with the media’s entire 2024 campaign messaging. In a more decent world, we’d be debating which presidential candidate was better at upholding the constitutional order, rather than which one was worse. That is not our fate. And yet, the unique thing about the 2024 presidential contest is that voters are given a chance to compare existing presidential records. Kennedy contends that Biden “is the first candidate in history, the first president in history that has used the federal agencies to censor political speech or censor his opponent.”

One suspects Eugene Debs might quibble with this characterization, though not since the Committee on Public Information has there been a White House that has shown such disdain for free expression and debate. Biden is the first president to openly and secretly pressure major communication companies to take direction and work in conjunction with state agencies to censor debate. The same left-wingers who do not believe in any limiting principles while regulating economic life will lecture us about how so-called platforms are free to work with anyone they please, including the White House. OK, but tech companies also spend tens of millions each year in Washington rent-seeking and lobbying for favorable regulations. They are highly susceptible to state intimidation. When Biden deputizes massive communication companies to act as censors, he’s merely taking a shortcut in the suppression of speech that undercuts, at the very minimum, the spirit and purpose of the First Amendment.

One might even call this brand of state-corporate relationship “semi-fascist.” RFK is right that the Biden administration engaged in censorship through agencies, but it wasn’t exactly a secret. Recall Jen Psaki informing us that the White House was “flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation.” Biden claimed that allowing unfettered speech on Facebook during COVID was “killing people.” Just contemplate the media’s reaction if Trump’s White House had been keeping lists of “problematic” posts. Remember, as well, White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield warning that social media companies “should be held accountable” for the ideas of those who use their websites. Was she talking about the ideas that spurred the 2020 Black Lives Matter riots, the most expensive in history? Was she talking about those who spread conspiracy theories about Russian collusion? Probably not. Though Trump never did anything to inhibit the spread of criticism or conspiracy theories.

Luntz

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Judge McAfee: “Jack Smith had made “no reference to the Presidential Records Act” in his indictment of Trump, giving the former president’s lawyers no legal grounds to invoke it..”

The prosecutor can bring it up, but the defense can’t.

Judges Reject Trump’s Attempts To Quash Cases (RT)

Judges in Florida and Georgia have shot down attempts by former US President Donald Trump to have two criminal cases against him thrown out of court. The cases pertain to his alleged mishandling of classified documents and efforts to interfere with the 2020 election. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee ruled on Thursday that the former president cannot use his constitutional right to free speech to dodge election interference charges in Georgia. Trump has been charged with state-level racketeering offenses for instructing his campaign staff to find evidence of election fraud by the Democratic Party, and for a taped phone call made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which he asked Raffensperger to “find 1,780 votes,” which would have guaranteed him a razor-thin victory in the state.

McAfee ruled that this statement was made “in furtherance of criminal activity,” and is therefore not protected by the First Amendment to the US Constitution. Trump’s lawyer, Steve Sadow, said in a statement that “President Trump and other defendants respectfully disagree with Judge McAfee’s order and will continue to evaluate their options regarding the First Amendment challenges.” While the ruling is a setback for Trump, McAfee handed Trump a minor victory last month when he dismissed three out of 13 charges against the former president and multiple counts against his senior aides and lawyers. Trump has also appealed a decision by McAfee to allow Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to continue prosecuting the case, after it emerged that she benefited financially from her intimate relationship with a lawyer she hired to lead the prosecution.

Trump is facing three other criminal cases: two federal litigations concerning his alleged mishandling of classified documents and his alleged incitement of the January 6, 2021 riot on Capitol Hill, and a state-level case in New York concerning his ‘hush money’ payments to porn star Stormy Daniels. Later on Thursday, the Florida judge overseeing the classified documents case declined a request by Trump to dismiss the charges based on his claim that the Presidential Records Act authorized him to take the documents from the White House to his Mar-a-Lago estate.

The judge did not rule Trump’s claim true or false, but noted that government prosecutor Jack Smith had made “no reference to the Presidential Records Act” in his indictment of Trump, giving the former president’s lawyers no legal grounds to invoke it. Trump views all four cases as part of an overarching conspiracy by Democrats and their allies to prevent him from contesting this year’s election. In a post to his Truth Social platform on Easter Sunday, Trump condemned the “crooked and corrupt prosecutors and judges that are doing everything possible to interfere with the presidential election of 2024 and put me in prison,” including “deranged Jack Smith” and “sick Fani Willis.”

Mike Davis
https://twitter.com/i/status/1776275373027741797

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The Supreme Court must be much more assertive.

Supreme Court Faces ‘High Stakes’ Decisions on Trump-Related Cases (ET)

The combination of several Trump-related cases, the potential for landmark changes to legal precedent, the vigorous calls for reform, and the coming elections have made 2024 a year of high impact decisions for the court. One decision has already impacted the course of the 2024 presidential campaign. In March, the justices rejected an effort that could have resulted in millions of President Trump’s supporters not having their preferred candidate on the ballot. During oral argument, Justice Amy Coney Barrett referenced the “very high stakes” surrounding the case, which has been described as the court’s most influential election-related matter since Bush v. Gore. Its landmark opinion in Trump v. Anderson foreclosed the possibility that states like Colorado could, under their existing authority, remove federal candidates from ballots. The majority opinion, however, has been criticized for lacking clarity around how Congress should act.

The decision emphasized the role of Congress in enforcing the 14th Amendment, while the three liberal justices and Justice Barrett favored a more limited approach that overruled state authority over federal candidates for office. President Trump’s immunity appeal, scheduled for oral argument on April 25, could impact his Florida documents case and hush money trial, wherein he has requested a delay pending the Supreme Court’s decision on his D.C. immunity claims. The stinging criticism that followed the court’s unanimous opinion in Trump v. Anderson indicates no matter how united the justices are, they will continue to face heavy scrutiny—especially when it comes to President Trump. President Trump’s appeal, like Mr. Navarro’s, questions the separation of powers as well as the authority of the legislative and judiciary branches in challenging the executive.

In Trump v. Anderson, the court avoided wading into the specifics of President Trump’s alleged wrongdoing on Jan. 6 and will likely try to do the same with his immunity appeal. But their decisions in two other cases might impact the indictment in President Trump’s federal election case. A challenge brought by Jan. 6 defendants against the DOJ’s use of an Enron-era obstruction charge in prosecutions will be heard before the high court on April 16. In the federal election case, two of those charges were brought against President Trump. If the court rules in the defendants’ favor, as some legal experts predict, that could lessen the burden for President Trump in D.C. while also provoking scrutiny of the justices’ approach to Jan. 6. The court’s decision in the presidential immunity appeal could similarly either upend or affirm the prosecution—likely sparking backlash from either side depending on the outcome.

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Disconnect.

How The West Lost Control Of The Gold Market (Henry Johnston)

What is important to understand here is that the creation of a derivative market satisfies demand for gold that would otherwise go to the physical market. Only a limited amount of gold exists and can be mined but an unlimited amount of gold derivatives can be underwritten. As Gromen explains, when monetary expansion drives demand for gold (due to the inflation this brings), there are two ways this demand can be dealt with: let the price of gold rise as more dollars chase the same amount of gold; or permit more paper claims to be created on the same amount of gold, which allows the pace of gold’s rise to be managed. There are several important implications of this. The rise of the paper market has clearly played an important role in defanging gold in its role as exerting a hard limit on expansionary policy, thus implicitly reinforcing the credibility of the dollar. But it has also meant that the gold price has largely been determined by investment flows rather than physical demand.

And when we’re talking about investment flows, we mean first and foremost Western institutional investors. Given that gold trades essentially as a cyclical asset, institutional investors have primarily traded gold based on movements in real US interest rates – meaning interest rates adjusted for inflation. Gold is bought when real rates fall and vice versa. The logic is that when interest rates rise, money managers can earn more by switching to bonds or cash, thus increasing the opportunity cost of holding non-interest-bearing assets such as gold. By the same token, lower rates make gold – seen as a hedge against inflation – more attractive. This correlation has been particularly strong over the last 15 years or so and many analysts date it back further than that. So let’s go a step further and pose the following question: If Western institutional money has been driving the price, who has been on the other side of the trade when actual gold does change hands?

To oversimplify a bit, the model worked roughly as follows, as has been explained by gold analyst Jan Nieuwenhuijs: Western institutions essentially controlled the price of gold and bought from the East in bull markets and sold to the East in bear markets. This makes sense, because the Western side of this trade essentially consisted of investors who in any asset class tend to chase the price higher. The East, meanwhile, was characterized more by consumer demand. Because consumers are price-sensitive, they tend to buy when the price is low and are happy to sell into a rising market. So gold flowed from East to West in bull markets and from West to East in bear markets. But, as we mentioned above, it was the Western institutional investors who were in the driver’s seat in this trade. This was the well-established state of affairs up until 2022, which happens to be when the Ukraine proxy war began and the US took the bold step of freezing some $300 billion in Russian central bank assets.

A coincidence or not, what happened that year was that the correlation between US real rates and gold broke down and has not been restored. The first sign of an impending shift was that, in first few months after the Fed embarked on a sharp rate-hike cycle in March 2022, gold did drop but proved much more resilient to the rising rates than correlation models would have suggested. But the real breakdown in the correlation started around September of that year, when gold prices actually started climbing even as real rates remained flat. In fact, from late October 2022 through June 2023, the gold price rose 17%. Meanwhile, over 2023, US real yields rose (despite quite a bit of volatility), which, according to the old correlation, should have meant a decline in gold prices as higher yields elsewhere would make non-yielding gold less attractive. However, gold rose 15% for the year.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Vodka
https://twitter.com/i/status/1775995652951978353

 

 

Live forever

 

 

Matrix
https://twitter.com/i/status/1776221960416157920

 

 

Jaguar

Kingfisher
https://twitter.com/i/status/1776014518650618272

 

 

Elephants

 

 

Ostrich

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 112024
 
 March 11, 2024  Posted by at 9:10 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  36 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Femmes d’Alger -Women of Algiers (after Delacroix) 1955

 

A Trump Criminal Trial Could Run Right Through 2024 Election (Turley)
Orban Says Trump Pledged Not to Provide Financial Aid to Ukraine (Sp.)
Old Man Shouting, “The American Empire is Doing Great!” (Patrick Lawrence)
Can Americans Have Hope? (Paul Craig Roberts)
No Borders? No America (Justin Smith)
NATO Can No Longer Hide Its Military Presence in Ukraine – Zakharova (Sp.)
France Just Can’t Calm Down, Itching to Start World War III (Sp.)
West Is Conducting ‘All-Out Militarization’ To Defeat Russia – Vucic (ZH)
‘We Shouldn’t Have Gone Into Ukraine’ – Biden (RT)
Islamic World Has Let Palestinians Down – Erdogan (RT)
Erdogan Among ‘Greatest Anti-Semites In History’ – Israeli FM (RT)
Harvard University, Formerly Great, now Corrupted by Money (Paul Craig Roberts)
Special Counsel Files Blistering Reply to Hunter Motion to Dismiss (Turley)
Open Letter to the People of Switzerland, Federal Council, Parliament (GR)
UK Ranked Second-Most Miserable Country In The World (RT)

 

 

 

 

Pelosi Schumer

 

 

Obama

 

 

 

 

Zhirinovsky

 

 

Tucker Steve Kirsch

 

 

Tucker Jordan Peterson, Conrad Black

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..Smith insisted that the oft-cited Justice Department policy to avoid such proceedings within 60 days of an election would not be applied in Trump’s case..”

A Trump Criminal Trial Could Run Right Through 2024 Election (Turley)

“This trial will not yield to the election cycle.” Those words of U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan last year made clear that she will not consider that Donald Trump will likely be the 2024 Republican presidential nominee in setting the schedule for his federal trial in Washington, D.C. Most recently, in the federal prosecution in Florida, Special Counsel Jack Smith declared that he will not consider himself bound by the Justice Department’s longstanding policy of not bringing charges or holding trials of candidates close to an election. With the Supreme Court reviewing the immunity question (and a decision not expected until June), a nightmare scenario is unfolding in which Trump could be tried not just before the general election, but actually through November’s election. Chutkan has insisted that her refusal to consider Trump’s candidacy is simply denying special treatment to the former president.

But there is nothing typical about how she and others have handled the case. The fact that Chutkan was pushing for a March trial date shows just how extraordinary her handling has been. In the D.C. courts, with thousands of stacked up cases, that would be a rocket docket for a complex case of this kind. There are roughly 770,000 pending cases in roughly 100 district courts around the country. The backlog of pending criminal cases in the federal court system increased by more than a quarter in the last five years. Even when defendants plead guilty, criminal cases average 10 months. If a trial is needed, it runs on average to two years, absent serious complications over classified or privileged material. Smith indicted Trump less than a year ago. At every juncture, Smith has tried to expedite and spur the case along. This has included an attempt to cut off standard appellate options for Trump. It seems as if the entire point is to try Trump before the election. Smith has offered no reason, other than that he wants voters to consider the outcome of the trial.

It is a rare acknowledgement of a desire for a trial to become a factor in an election. Chutkan has shown the same determination. The judge was criticized for comments she made before any charges were brought that strongly suggested she thought Trump should be criminally charged. Chutkan told one defendant that he showed “blind loyalty to one person who, by the way, remains free to this day.” In another case, Chutkan told the defendant that it was unfair that he might go to prison but “the architects of that horrific event will likely never be charged.” When asked to recuse herself, Chutkan denied the clear implication of her own words. She stated that she has not expressly stated that “’President Trump should be prosecuted’ and imprisoned… And the defense does not cite any instance of the court ever uttering those words or anything similar.” Of course, neither the court nor the prosecutors seem willing to apply a similarly deferential view of the meaning of Trump’s words within the context of the case.

There, the implications are sufficient for that “one person” described earlier by the court. Chutkan is now reportedly telling parties in other cases that she will be out of the country in August, and that defendants will have to delay any proceedings in light of her plans…unless she can try Trump. She told lawyers that she will stick with her schedule unless “I’m in trial in another matter that has not yet returned to my calendar.” Given the apparent motivation of the trial court to try Trump before the election, the only other source of restraint would be the Justice Department itself. Smith, however, has insisted that he will show no such restraint, even if he tries Trump through the election. In his filings in Florida, Smith insisted that the oft-cited Justice Department policy to avoid such proceedings within 60 days of an election would not be applied in Trump’s case. He insisted that, since everyone knows about the allegations, there would be no harm or foul in holding him for trial for the weeks before the election as his opponent, President Biden, is free to traverse the country campaigning.

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“Trump said that if he returns, he will not do this, [he will] not [allocate] a penny. And then this war will end..”

Orban Says Trump Pledged Not to Provide Financial Aid to Ukraine (Sp.)

Former US President Donald Trump said that he would not provide financial assistance to Ukraine if elected this fall, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said. On Friday, Trump met with Orban at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida to discuss a wide range of issues of common interest for Hungary and the United States. “If the Americans do not give weapons and money, and the Europeans follow them, then the war will end. If the Americans do not give money, then the Europeans are not able to finance this war themselves, and then it will end.

Trump is not president now, but his party interferes when the Democrats want to send money to the war. Trump said that if he returns, he will not do this, [he will] not [allocate] a penny. And then this war will end,” Orban said in an interview with Hungarian broadcaster M1. Trump and Orban are longtime allies who share conservative political views and have publicly expressed mutual respect and support. Orban has thrown support behind Trump both in the US presidential race and the legal challenges he is facing.

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“These are ideas so old they leave the U.S. in a state of ever more extreme isolation in a world eager to get on with the 21st century..”

Old Man Shouting, “The American Empire is Doing Great!” (Patrick Lawrence)

Democratic elites and the reporters who clerk for them were effusively approving of Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech last Thursday evening—not so much for what he said, which came nothing new, as for the demeanor of our enfeebled president. Never mind that Biden reduced an occasion intended to address all Americans as to the condition of their nation to a cheap stump speech. He avoided falling down for his hour at the podium while stringing coherent sentences (mostly) together in the cause of his political survival. That is what counted. “This was not Old Man Joe,” Peter Baker fairly ejaculated in Friday morning’s New York Times. “This was Forceful Joe. This was Angry Joe. This was Loud Joe. This was Game–On Joe.” Wow. I seemed to have missed that, Joe.

I saw Joe who trades in hollow appearances. This was Joe urging both houses of Congress and 32 million television viewers to join in making believe we still live in the 20th century. This was Joe pretending America’s global primacy is intact. This was Joe refusing to recognize the emergence of new poles of power and the high cost this refusal exacts. “A nation that stands as a beacon to the world. A nation in a new age of possibilities”: You wouldn’t believe an American public figure, to say nothing of a president, would still trade in this kind of exhausted pabulum. Denial of this kind, we must not fail to remind ourselves, does not come cheap. You have to wonder who is driving the bus after listening to a speech as vapid as Biden’s, and I will attempt an answer to this question in due course. Here is the passage in Biden’s speech that most aroused all the Peter Baker liberals eager to see him reelected in November:

“My fellow Americans, the issue facing our nation isn’t how old we are, it’s how old are our ideas…. [Y]ou can’t lead America with ancient ideas that only take us back. To lead America, the land of possibilities, you need a vision for the future and what can and should be done.” These remarks—Biden rehearsed them severally in preceding days—bring us to some very difficult recognitions, even if Biden’s speechwriters intended them otherwise. No recent president I can think of has proven more abjectly bereft of new ideas than Joe Biden. The reckless support of “the Jewish state,” the proxy war in Ukraine, the obsessive Russophobia, the provocations across the Taiwan Strait, the covert operations in Syria and elsewhere, the sanction regimes imposed on too many nations to count, the vassalization of Europe: There is no new thinking in any of this. These are ideas so old they leave the U.S. in a state of ever more extreme isolation in a world eager to get on with the 21st century. Joseph R. Biden, Jr., is the face of the American imperium as it insists on prolonging itself. This is not a role with any originality or vision to it.

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“..the elites could permit Trump to assume the Presidency because they know that they can prevent him from achieving what those who elected him want..”

“.. If all else fails, the bullets that destroyed JFK and RFK are available.”

Can Americans Have Hope? (Paul Craig Roberts)

The issue that faces us is: There is no possibility whatever of Biden being reelected. The fool lined up with Israel in the genocide of the Palestinian people. The fool has lost the war in Ukraine that absorbed untold billions of American money. The fool has violated his oath of office and has not only allowed but has actively participated in bringing in during his 4 years 48 cities the size of Pittsburgh full of immigrant-invaders, actually flying in at the expense of US taxpayers 320,000 immigrant-invaders. The fool is signing over to an international bureaucracy, WHO, the determination of your health care, which as of May of this year will be out of your hands. I could go on, but how can a candidate described by his own Department of Justice to be too incompetent to stand trial for his illegal possession of secret national security documents be sufficiently competent to be President of the United States and to have in his incompetent hands, so ruled by his own Justice Department, the nuclear briefcase?

How can the Democrats run a candidate for president who has been ruled incompetent by his own government? How is it that Democrat state judges, attorneys general, and secretaries of state illegitimately rule that Trump cannot be on the Democrat states ballots because he is an “insurrectionist”? Trump has not been convicted as an insurrectionist. Why do these dumbshit Demorats think that their assertion amounts to a conviction? Moreover the 14th Amendment assigns that decision to the US Congress, not to state judges, attorney generals, and secretaries of state. Are the Democrats so utterly stupid and incompetent that they do not understand basic law and cannot understand that they are asserting a power that they do not have? Yes, I believe that is the case. For decades Democrats have been appointing legal and constitutional illiterates to the judiciary, knowing that the only way Democrats can achieve a one-party tyrannical state is by using stupid people to weaponize law.

With polls showing that 90% of the voting population regard Biden as too old or too incapable to serve as president, why are the Democrats running him? Is it because they have no other candidate? Or is it because the Democrats have a plan to move Trump aside and neutralize him? Biden has nonexistent chances of winning. This makes it impossible for the Democrats to steal the third national election in a row. To steal an election the vote count has to be close. Otherwise, it is not believable. Perhaps the Democrats have a plan for derailing Trump? Earlier I suggested that the Democrats would have Biden resign for medical reasons. Kamala would become president. She would be instructed to choose Hillary as her VP and then resign herself. This would leave Hillary and her machine in power prior to the election. Then the border conflict between Washington and Texas would be heated up. There would be talk of civil war, and the prospect would be used by Hillary to declare martial law to put down rebellion and cancel the election.

As much sense as this makes for the Democrats, there is little evidence that they are moving in this direction. So how will they keep Trump out of office? As Trump has declared war on the American ruling elites,they are determined to keep him away from power. Has Trump been re-educated so that he no longer wants normal relations with Russia? We know he is in Israel’s pocket, which is a great gift to the control that the establishment has over Trump. The question before us is: Does Trump want vindication by reelection more than he wants to overthrow the elite and return government to the people as democracy requires? If he hasn’t struck a deal with the elites, why would they allow him, their enemy, be in the Oval Office? Could it be that the elite know how much more powerful they are compared to a mere US president? When it comes down to the question, what can Trump do?

If he is able to understand the situation and to identify people able and willing to help him take power from the ruling elite and to restore power to the people, he still has the problem of getting a bought-and-paid-for US Senate to approve his appointments. Remember, Trump’s appointment of General Flynn lasted two weeks. My updated opinion is that the elites could permit Trump to assume the Presidency because they know that they can prevent him from achieving what those who elected him want, thereby demoralizing the American citizens who had hope that a leader would restore and revitalize their nation. They know that they can orchestrate an economic catastrophe that would destroy Trump’s presidency and keep Republicans out of office for many years. If all else fails, the bullets that destroyed JFK and RFK are available. There is no doubt that the corrupt US media would attribute Trump’s assassination to “a lone gunman.”

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“Don’t let the enemies-from-within end America in so despicable a manner. Don’t let this be how America ends..”

No Borders? No America (Justin Smith)

Former President Donald Trump has promised to start the largest mass deportation of illegal aliens in U.S. history, if he wins the upcoming election, and he plans to use the military to implement it, rightfully so. As reported in the Washington Post [February 21st 2024], Karoline Leavitt, spokeswoman for the Trump campaign, stated: “Americans can expect that immediately upon President Trump’s return to the Oval Office, he will restore all his prior policies, implement brand new crackdowns that will send shock waves to all the world’s criminal smugglers, and marshal every federal and state power necessary to institute the largest deportation operation in American history” as she also added that illegal aliens “should not get comfortable because very soon they will be going home.”

We have the absolute right and a duty as sovereign citizens, living in sovereign states, to defend ourselves and our families, in the wake of a lawless federal government, this lawless Biden regime. The authority rests within the Constitution which has always allowed for the use of the States’ militias or the military to be mobilized for just such circumstances, and although we can be certain that Biden and some state governors will keep refusing to utilize the mechanisms at their disposal to fast-track the removal of these invaders, we have the right to gather ourselves armed with pistols and rifles — those of us able with the time and backbone to do so — to go to the border and tell the Border Patrol to do join us and do their Constitutional duty to stop the millions more who will try to cross between now and January 2025.

I oft suggested in years past, half-jokingly, not so much anymore, that we should put them on a plane, parachutes optional, and shove them out over Mexico. This comment has become so much more full of meaning, now that we know the Biden regime has actively been seeking out these illegal caravans and flying their members into America. No matter how they arrive, by a fast jet, a slow boat or a reliable bus or train, we must send them back on a super-charged bus or jet just as quickly. Set about to deport every last one of them, and then effectively and totally seal the border and place a ten year moratorium on all immigration, legal and illegal, or until we have our nation and our population straightened out in a fashion that puts us back on a path to the same level of exceptionalism that used to be the rule in America and removes or eradicates, with extreme prejudice, those radicals who seek to fundamentally transform America and end our republic.

Don’t let the enemies-from-within end America in so despicable a manner. Don’t let this be how America ends. Fight back like hell, and when the time is right, make the bastards who have committed this treason against America pay with their own lives.

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“..France and Poland have no right to speak on behalf of NATO, and the alliance’s intervention in the conflict would “erase the path to diplomacy.”

NATO Can No Longer Hide Its Military Presence in Ukraine – Zakharova (Sp.)

Spokeswoman of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova commented on the statement by Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski about the presence of soldiers NATO countries in Ukraine, telling Sputnik: “They couldn’t hide it any longer.” Earlier in the day, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said during a panel discussion at an event dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the country’s accession to the alliance that some NATO countries have already sent their military to Ukraine. The event was broadcasted on the Sejm RP YouTube channel. “NATO soldiers are already present in Ukraine,” Sikorski said. Sikorski added that he is not going to disclose which states sent their military there, “unlike some politicians.” Earlier, the diplomat Sikorski said that the presence of NATO forces in Ukraine “was not unthinkable,” adding that he appreciated Macron’s initiative on the possibility of sending Western troops to Ukraine.

Polish President Andrzej Duda, in turn, expressed his opinion that Warsaw needs to build a large airport to transport NATO troops. At the end of February, Macron said that France would do everything to prevent Russia “from winning this war.” According to him, the leaders of Western countries have discussed the possibility of sending troops to Ukraine and, although no consensus had been reached in this regard, nothing could be ruled out. Later, the French president, who was sharply criticized for his statements, noted that all his words were carefully considered. He also emphasized that Paris “has no limits or red lines” on the issue of assistance to Kiev. At the same time, the authorities of many European countries stated that there is no talk of transferring military personnel to Ukraine. In particular, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Defense Minister Boris Pistorius emphasized that Germany would not send its military personnel to the republic.

In addition, the head of the German government clarified that NATO countries as a whole are not going to do this. Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto likewise said that France and Poland have no right to speak on behalf of NATO, and the alliance’s intervention in the conflict would “erase the path to diplomacy.” Commenting on Sikorski’s revelation, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Sputnik that the alliance’s members could no longer hide it. In his annual address to the Russian Federal Assembly in late February, President Vladimir Putin warned that the consequences of a possible NATO intervention in Ukraine would be tragic for the alliance’s deployed troops.

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“It is not for Russia to tell us how we should help Ukraine in the coming months or years..”

France Just Can’t Calm Down, Itching to Start World War III (Sp.)

France is forming a coalition of nations that are willing to consider the possibility of deploying Western forces to Ukraine, Politico reports. On Friday, French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné travelled to Lithuania to hold a meeting with his Baltic and Ukrainian counterparts to promote the idea that foreign forces might assist Ukraine in tasks such as de-mining. Séjourné repeatedly mentioned mine clearance operations as a potential area of assistance, stating it “might mean having some personnel, [but] not to fight.” “It is not for Russia to tell us how we should help Ukraine in the coming months or years,” Séjourné said at a meeting chaired by Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis and attended by his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba.

The newspaper recalled French President Emmanuel Macron’s remarks about the possibility of sending servicemen from Western countries to Ukraine. Subsequently most EU members, including Germany, the Czech Republic, and Poland, clarified they had no such plans. However, as Politico writes, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania appeared “much more open to the idea.” Commenting on Macron’s statements, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stressed that NATO troops’ potential boots on the ground in Ukraine will lead to an inevitable conflict between Russia and the alliance. Russia has repeatedly warned NATO countries that arms supplies to Ukraine would be considered legitimate targets. Moscow has accused NATO countries of “playing with fire” by arming Ukraine, emphasizing that such actions hinder the possibility of Russia-Ukraine negotiations.

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“The current trend is toward total militarization and a five-fold build-up in all respects..”

West Is Conducting ‘All-Out Militarization’ To Defeat Russia – Vucic (ZH)

Last week we detailed that during Ukrainian President Zelensky’s visit to Albania where he appealed for more weapons from Balkan countries, he pushed the idea that all Western-friendly Balkan states should have a pathway to the EU and NATO. And at the same time French President Emmanuel Macron has been busy floating the possibility of Western troops deploying to Ukraine. Albania is of course a chief regional rival to Moscow’s close ally and friend Serbia. Jahja Muhasilovic, a political analyst on the Balkans, had commented of Zelensky’s rare Balkan trip that “Albania is known to be one of the staunchest supporters of limiting Russia’s influence here in the region.” “In a way, Zelensky’s visit in Albania is having that geopolitical connotation. He is probably counting on the Western Balkan countries not to help them militarily because they are limited, but through their lobbying part that they can play in continuing the armament of the Ukrainian troops,” he explained.

In fresh comments this weekend, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has weighed in and responded to ongoing calls from Western officials to urgently send more weapons to Kiev. Vucic has accused the West of pursuing a policy of “total militarization” toward defeating Russian, which puts the region and the world on the brink of disaster and stumbling to WW3. “What is happening now is madness,” he was cited in regional media as saying. “They all thought that Putin would be easily defeated. Now they see that this is not so.” “The current trend is toward total militarization and a five-fold build-up in all respects,” the Serbian president said further during a visit to the Belgrade Military Technical Institute. Vucic has also warned against European countries sending their troops to Ukraine to confront Russian forces, saying this would immediately and unpredictably escalate the war.

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“He didn’t mix it up. He can no longer retain to himself what everyone understands – the US have disgraced themselves in the bloodiest manner with the whole Ukrainian project..”

‘We Shouldn’t Have Gone Into Ukraine’ – Biden (RT)

In another of his gaffes, Joe Biden has said that Washington made a mistake by going into Ukraine. The US president was actually talking about a different country in another part of the world. In the course of an interview with MSNBC on Saturday, Biden was criticizing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying that by ignoring civilian casualties during the IDF’s military operation in Gaza, he was “hurting Israel more than he’s helping Israel.” According to the latest data from the Gaza health ministry, 31,045 people have been killed and 72,654 others wounded since October 7, after which the IDF began its attacks on the Palestinian enclave in response to the Hamas incursion into Israel, in which an estimated 1,200 people lost their lives and over 200 were taken hostage. Biden recalled how, during his visit to Israel early in the conflict, he had warned Netanyahu against making a “mistake” that the US made after 9/11.

“America made a mistake. We went after Osama bin Laden until we got him, but we shouldn’t have gone into Ukraine…” the 81-year-old said. The president quickly corrected himself, saying: “We shouldn’t have gone into the whole thing in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Those military campaigns by the US “caused more problems than they cured,” he added. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova infused the subject with a little sarcasm and said Moscow actually disagreed with the reporting in the media, that Biden had simply confused Ukraine with Iraq and Afghanistan. “He didn’t mix it up. He can no longer retain to himself what everyone understands – the US have disgraced themselves in the bloodiest manner with the whole Ukrainian project,” she wrote on Telegram on Sunday.

After repelling Ukraine’s counteroffensive last year, Russian forces have been steadily improving frontline positions, capturing the strategic stronghold of Adveevka in Russia’s People’s Republic of Donetsk last month, and several other settlements. Washington has been Ukraine’s primary backer since the escalation to armed confrontation in February 2022 of long-simmering conflicts between Moscow and Kiev, and has provided over $111 billion in military and financial assistance. However, in recent months, US aid has subsided drastically as the Biden administration struggles to overcome Republicans’ resistance to its efforts at pushing through another $60-billion in aid for Ukraine. It’s not the first time that Biden has confused countries and places. In June, he said that “Putin is losing the war in Iraq.” In a more recent blunder, he said a week ago that the US and partners were discussing “airdrops of food and supplies into Ukraine,” while actually meaning proposed airdrops into Gaza.

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They left it all to the Houthis.

Islamic World Has Let Palestinians Down – Erdogan (RT)

Muslim-majority countries did not do enough to stop Israeli forces from killing Palestinian civilians in Gaza, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said. He made his comment as the war between Israel and Hamas entered its sixth month. “We have all witnessed together how the Universal Declaration of Human Rights became just a piece of paper when it comes to the right to live for Palestinian children, women and innocent civilians,” the Turkish leader said at an event in Istanbul on Saturday. Erdogan went on to argue that the war in the Middle East “has shown us that the Islamic world still has very significant shortcomings, especially in terms of acting in unity” when attempting to pressure Israel to end its operation in Gaza. Unfortunately, the Islamic world, with its population of nearly 2 billion people, has failed to properly fulfil its brotherly duty to the Palestinians.

The president said that, despite the “hard work and many efforts in the diplomatic field,” the Muslim-majority countries ultimately “could not prevent the deaths of innocent children of Gaza from hunger, bullets and bombs.” Ankara has delivered some 40,000 tons of humanitarian aid to Gaza by air and sea, Erdogan said. The remarks came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to continue the offensive on Rafah, a major city near Gaza’s border with Egypt. The city and its surroundings became crowded with refugees after the Israel Defense Forces instructed Palestinians to flee the northern part of the enclave. Netanyahu has rejected international calls for a ceasefire, arguing that the IDF must clear out “the last Hamas stronghold” in Rafah. Israel declared war on Hamas after the militant group unexpectedly attacked southern Israeli cities on October 7, killing some 1,200 people and taking more than 200 hostages. More than 30,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since the fighting began last year, according to local authorities.

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“Netanyahu and his hateful administration have added their names to the list of ‘today’s Nazis’ alongside Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Pol Pot, Franco and other assassins of the modern era..”

Erdogan Among ‘Greatest Anti-Semites In History’ – Israeli FM (RT)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ranks among the worst anti-Semites in history because of his stance on the Gaza conflict, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz has claimed.In a speech on Saturday, Erdogan compared Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Nazi German dictator Adolf Hitler, referring to the relentless IDF attacks on Gaza, which have killed at least 30,960 people and wounded 72,524 others, according to the health ministry in the Palestinian enclave. He also again refused to label Hamas a terrorist organization, saying Ankara “firmly backs” the leadership of the Palestinian armed group. Katz, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud Party, responded to the Turkish president’s remarks a few hours later on X (formerly Twitter), in both Hebrew and Turkish.

Hamas committed “murders and sexual assaults” during its incursion into Israel on October 7, in which more than 1,100 people were killed and some 240 taken hostage, he said, claiming that Erdogan’s support for the group makes him one “of the greatest oppressors and anti-Semites in history. ”Türkiye has become “the largest supporter of terrorism in the world, along with Iran,” which brings “shame” on the country, the diplomat insisted. In his address in Istanbul, Erdogan, who has been among the harshest critics of Israel in recent months, said the leadership of the Jewish state was responsible for “crimes against humanity” in Gaza. “Netanyahu and his hateful administration have added their names to the list of ‘today’s Nazis’ alongside Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Pol Pot, Franco and other assassins of the modern era,” he argued.

What is happening in Gaza has “already surpassed the limits of tolerance,” the Turkish leader insisted. “Backed by the unlimited military and diplomatic support of Western powers, Israel, which is a state of terror, is carrying out an all-out policy of genocide against our Palestinian brothers and sisters.” Erdogan noted that Türkiye has already provided some 40,000 tons of humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza by air and sea. He urged the Muslim world to do more to end the hostilities, saying it has so far “failed to properly fulfill its brotherly duty to the Palestinians.” Netanyahu insisted earlier this week that the mounting international pressure for a truce will not make Israel give up on its goal of achieving “total victory in war” against Hamas.

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“..Harvard is devoid of intelligence and of integrity. The reason is that Harvard is flush with Big Pharma research money..”

“..What do we make of a country where money is the only value, where even universities, allegedly centers of learning, prefer money to truth?”

Harvard University, Formerly Great, now Corrupted by Money (Paul Craig Roberts)

Harvard University has just announced that the university has dropped its Covid “vaccine” mandate that the university has coerced students to accept. It would be interesting to know how many Harvard students the mandate murdered and how many whose health has been ruined by the stupid and irresponsible Harvard administrators’ mandate. It also raises the question of how smart Harvard students really are that they would risk an untested “vaccine.” Harvard says, nevertheless, “We strongly recommend that all members of the Harvard community stay up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters. Additionally, we continue to emphasize the benefits of wearing a high-quality face mask in crowded indoor settings.” The university says it still requires that all students supply evidence that they had the initial jab. The university goes on to say in responding to COVID-19 that “we will continue to monitor public health data and will periodically review requirements.”

Harvard is allegedly an intelligent institution with a medical school and allegedly has a faculty and administrators capable of assessing facts and making intelligent decisions. Yet we see no sign of any intelligence in the university’s much belated dropping of the vax mandate. We have know for a long time that the mRNA “vaccines” do not prevent a Covid vaccinated person from getting infected with Covid and do not prevent transmission of the virus. Big Pharma Covid vaccine makers themselves now admit this, as do medical authorities. Indeed, the evidence is piling up that the vax makes it more likely for a person to catch Covid. We also know and it has now been admitted–that the mRNA “vaccines” have all of the deadly and health damaging effects that the independent medical scientists said they had. These scientists who told the truth were persecuted by the corrupt US medical establishment.

The evidence is in. There is no longer any question that the “vaccine,” which is not really a vaccine, is not only totally ineffective but very dangerous. Evidence mounts that the “vaccine” is a far greater killer than the lab created virus itself. So why is Harvard still “strongly recommending” more jabs that are ineffective and dangerous? Is this a conclusion from evidence that shows any signs of intelligence? With athletes in the prime of life dropping dead on playing fields all over the world, why is an allegedly intelligent university still requiring students to have had the initial “vaccination”?

Why does an allegedly intelligent university, which I am beginning to think Harvard most certainly is not, requiring students to have taken a vaccine known to be ineffective and dangerous? How can such a non-intelligent, non-rational decision be associated with intelligence? My conclusion is that Harvard is devoid of intelligence and of integrity. The reason is that Harvard is flush with Big Pharma research money, and just as Congress and the President have to vote in keeping with the special interests that fund their campaigns, Harvard votes with Big Pharma. What do we make of a country where money is the only value, where even universities, allegedly centers of learning, prefer money to truth?

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The same David Weiss who’s taken 5 years investigating Hunter. Looks like he’s had enough.

Special Counsel Files Blistering Reply to Hunter Motion to Dismiss (Turley)

Special Counsel David Weiss has filed a blistering opposition to the motion to dismiss by Hunter Biden in California that cites his own book and conflicting statements as creating “nothing more than a house of cards.” The filing (below) shows how Hunter’s claims (repeated by many in the media) collapse under even cursory review in court. Weiss’s filing bulldozes through arguments of selective prosecution and political influence in the case. He specifically notes that Biden repeatedly makes statements without any proof or support in his filings. The filing begins by outright accusing Hunter Biden and his counsel of lying to the court about what occurred after the earlier plea agreement fell apart in court after the judge in Delaware asked about a sweeping immunity clause in paragraph 14. Notably, Weiss said that it was Hunter Biden’s legal team that inexplicably shut down negotiations by playing hardball in seeking to preserve the original agreement:

“The government proposed changes to the agreements that addressed only the issues identified during the hearing. Exh. 3. The defendant rejected these counterproposals on August 7, 2023. Id. Instead, the defendant began insisting that the proposed Diversion Agreement had bound both parties, even though it had not been approved by the Chief U.S. Probation Officer, a condition precedent to formation that would have brought it into effect. Moreover, by taking this position, he chose to shut down any further negotiations that could address the issues raised at the hearing.” It then accuses Biden and his counsel as outright lying to the court:

“In his motion, in multiple places, the defendant falsely states that DOJ ‘inexplicably demanded Mr. Biden plead guilty to felonies with jail time.’ He cites nothing in support of his false claims, which is a consistent theme across his motions. The government attaches as Exhibit 3 a redacted letter from the defendant’s counsel which confirms the defendant understood that the government had proposed changes to only those paragraphs that were at issue during the hearing, not paragraphs regarding the charges the defendant must plead to or any “jail time” the defendant must serve. As shown in Exhibit 3, the government proposed changes to Paragraphs 14, 15 and 17 of the Diversion Agreement, and Paragraph 5(b) of the Plea Agreement. The government proposed no changes to Paragraph 1 of the Plea Agreement, which required the defendant to plead guilty to two misdemeanors. Nor did the government propose any changes to Paragraph 6 of the Plea Agreement, in which the United States had agreed to recommend a sentence of probation. The defendant rejected these counterproposals and refused further negotiations…His newly invented claim in his motion that the government “inexplicably demanded Mr. Biden plead guilty to felonies with jail time” is patently false, unsupported by evidence, and belied by his own letter and representations in his filings in the Delaware case.”

The rest of the filing is equally devastating. Weiss notes that Biden repeatedly misrepresents facts or claims authority that does not exist. He notes that Biden does not cite any cases of similarly situated individuals who were not prosecuted. For example, it notes: “The only attempt the defendant makes to link animus directly to prosecutors is his claim that “reports indicate Mr. Weiss himself admitted [the charges] would not have been brought against the average American.” Motion at 13. However, his citation does not include a reference to reports (plural), rather it includes a single New York Times citation, which includes a denial immediately after the quoted excerpt: “A senior law enforcement official forcefully denied the account.” An anonymous account that is “forcefully denied” is not evidence that can satisfy the defendant’s burden of producing “clear evidence” of discriminatory intent and animus by prosecutors.”

In rejecting the two cases that he references, Weiss takes a swipe at Hunter’s book. When he published the book, some of us noted that he was making statements against his own interest in possible prosecutions. Weiss just made that a reality: “The defendant compares himself to only two individuals: Robert Shaughnessy and Roger Stone, both of whom resolved their tax cases civilly for failing to pay taxes. Shaughnessy failed to file and pay his taxes, but he was not alleged to have committed tax evasion. By contrast, the defendant chose to file false returns years later, failed to pay when those returns were filed, and lied to his accountants repeatedly, claiming personal expenses as business expenses. Stone failed to pay his taxes but did timely file his returns, unlike the defendant. Neither Shaughnessy nor Stone illegally purchased a firearm and lied on background check paperwork. And neither of them wrote a memoir in which they made countless statements proving their crimes and drawing further attention to their criminal conduct. These two individuals are not suitable comparators, and since the defendant fails to identify anyone else, his claim fails.”

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“In Switzerland, such drastic changes to national health legislation would require changes in the nation’s Constitution. According to the very Swiss Constitution, such changes would require approval by the Swiss people by referendum..”

Open Letter to the People of Switzerland, Federal Council, Parliament (GR)

We, the Swiss, have the Constitutional Right of Initiatives or Referenda. It is high time that We, the People, make use of this opportunity requesting the Swiss Federal Council and Parliament to renounce its membership in the WHO, the organization at the verge of becoming the world’s dictator on issues of health, more brutal and radical than humanity has ever known before. The Covid-mandates imposed by the WHO were just a precursor to what may come. For the last several years, the WHO was preparing mostly behind closed doors what they call a “Pandemic Treaty”, or “Pandemic Agreement”, which would become part of the 2005 established and now being drastically revised “International Health Regulations” (IHR). If these two new “rules-based orders” are approved by the World Health Assembly (WHA – 27 May to 1 June 2024 in Geneva), the WHO’s health dictate would be above every nation’s sovereignty, and would make health self-determination a thing of the past.

If the WHO declares a disease, artificially made or not, as a pandemic, orders would have to be followed. If the WHO decides on general vaccination, orders must be followed. In Switzerland, such drastic changes to national health legislation would require changes in the nation’s Constitution. According to the very Swiss Constitution, such changes would require approval by the Swiss people by referendum – with good chances of a popular rejection. To forego a people’s vote, the Swiss Government – Federal Council and Parliament – are currently working on advance-amending the national Swiss health legislation, so that it would meet the requirements of a potentially impending WHO Pandemic Agreement and the new IHR. A Constitutional amendment may then not be necessary, as the new Swiss health standards would blend in with the potentially new WHO dictate.

This is happening semi-clandestinely. Not known to most citizens. Switzerland is supposed to be – constitutionally – a democracy and a country of political neutrality; a country with self-determination and sovereignty in decision making, and where people’s voice and active participation counts. Those were the days. * This call also goes to the Swiss Federal Council and Parliament. Are you not ashamed after the criminal covid and vaxx-fraud you imposed on the very people that pay your salaries and pensions – to betray Us, the People again – with the behind-our-backs anticipatory acceptance of the new WHO oppressive rules? How is health defined? Under the WHO definition, health includes the “climate change” scam, which is already blamed for causing excess dengue fever in Brazil and malaria in Africa – prompting the WHO and Bill Gates releasing billions of genetically modified (GMO) “vaccinating” mosquitoes. They have so far brought a 400% increase in dengue fever in Brazil, and in Africa, malaria is rampant despite, or because of the GMO-Mosquitos. Any “climate-related health issues”, defined by the WHO, would also fall under the WHO health tyranny.

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“The Dominican Republic topped the list as the world’s happiest country, followed by Sri Lanka in second place and Tanzania in third. All of the top ten countries were African, Asian, or Latin American nations.”

UK Ranked Second-Most Miserable Country In The World (RT)

Published last week, Sapien Labs’ fourth annual ‘Mental State of the World’ report assessed the mental wellbeing of 419,175 Internet-enabled participants across 71 countries. The results painted a grim picture of the English-speaking world. Out of 71 countries surveyed, the Anglophone nations of the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand sit in the bottom quartile, with residents of the UK happier only than those of Uzbekistan. The survey ranks the UK eight places behind Yemen and 12 places behind Ukraine in terms of its population’s overall mental health. Some 35% of Britons told Sapine Labs that they were either “distressed or struggling,” a figure down by only 0.7% since last year, when Britain came in last place in the rankings.

To determine each nation’s overall mental health, the foundation asked individuals 47 questions about their “mood and outlook,” “social self,” “drive and motivation,” and “adaptability and resilience,” among other categories. While Sapien Labs noted that answers to these questions are inherently subjective, other reports have come to similar conclusions. Amid a historic decline in living standards, the UK’s Office of National Statistics found in November that Britons experienced a drop in happiness and personal satisfaction in the year ending last March. According to a report published in The Lancet medical journal last month, some 1.8 million people in the UK are currently awaiting mental health treatment.

Sapien Labs noted that levels of mental well-being across the English-speaking world plummeted during the coronavirus pandemic, and that this decline “continues to persist with no sign of recovery.” Furthermore, the report found that mental well-being was lower in countries where processed food was commonly eaten, children were given smartphones at a younger age, and relations between family members were more distant. Wealthy, English-speaking countries scored least favorably across all of these three metrics. The Dominican Republic topped the list as the world’s happiest country, followed by Sri Lanka in second place and Tanzania in third. All of the top ten countries were African, Asian, or Latin American nations.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Spring
https://twitter.com/i/status/1766784410450333832

 

 

Quoll

 

 

I love you
https://twitter.com/i/status/1766876241078964424

 

 

 

 

Dog

 

 

Ginger cat

 

 

Gull

 

 

Neurogenesis
https://twitter.com/i/status/1766453575616487680

 

 

Eyesight

 

 

 

 

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Nov 012023
 
 November 1, 2023  Posted by at 8:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  58 Responses »


Claude Monet Impression Sunrise 1872

 

Gaza Now A ‘Graveyard’ For Children – UNICEF (RT)
More Children Killed in Gaza in 3 Weeks Than in Wars Worldwide Since 2019 (Sp.)
World War III Has Already Started – Lukyanov (RT)
UK Official Fired For Urging “Permanent” Ceasefire In Gaza (RT)
Jewish Anti-Semitism Towards Arabs (Helmer)
US ‘Shooting Ourselves in the Foot’ By Provoking, Escalating Crises (Sp.)
UN a Global Mechanism For Which No Alternative Exists – Kremlin (TASS)
Putin ‘Quick to Lay Down the Law’ on Dagestan Incident – Scott Ritter (Sp.)
Ukrainian Border Guards Using Drones To Catch ‘Fleeing’ Citizens (RT)
Tensions Between Zelensky and Top Brass Over Ukraine Counteroffensive (Sp.)
Russia Will Succeed In Ukraine Without US – Pentagon (RT)
Bills On Israel, Ukraine ‘Dead On Arrival’ In Both House And Senate (ZH)
The Biden Family’s Version of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ (Turley)
1 in 3 COVID-19 Vaccine Recipients Suffered Neurological Side Effects (ET)
Capitol Trick-Or-Treater Dressed As Zelensky Gets $40 Billion In Candy (BBee)

 

 

 

 

Jabalya

 

 

 

 

Ritter

 

 

Blitzer

 

 


Arab American Institute poll

 

 

Malcolm X

 

 

MaxAlex

 

 

 

 

 

 

“When the fighting stops, the cost to children and their communities will be borne out for generations to come..”

Gaza Now A ‘Graveyard’ For Children – UNICEF (RT)

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has reiterated its call for a humanitarian ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war, saying the conflict is killing thousands of kids in Gaza and putting many more at risk from the violence and a water crisis. “Gaza has become a graveyard for thousands of children,” UNICEF spokesman James Elder told reporters on Tuesday in Geneva, “It’s a living hell for everyone else.” He noted that more than 3,450 children in the Palestinian enclave have already been killed, and the death toll rises significantly every day. Elder made his comments as Israel escalated its ground offensive in Gaza in response to the Hamas terrorist attacks that killed an estimated 1,400 people on October 7. Gaza’s water system also has been crippled by the conflict, contributing to an overall death toll of more than 8,000 in the territory.

“The threats to children go beyond bombs and mortars,” Elder said. He added that Gaza’s water production capacity has been cut to 5% of its normal level, putting more than 1 million children at risk of dying from dehydration. Many children have been sickened by drinking salty water out of desperation. Elder noted that even before the latest war between Israel and Hamas, more than three-fourths of Gaza’s children were identified as needing mental health support because of the trauma they had faced. “When the fighting stops, the cost to children and their communities will be borne out for generations to come,” he said. With Gaza’s children “living through a nightmare,” the UNICEF spokesman said, Israel must end its siege of the territory.

He called for all access crossings into Gaza to be open, allowing for the safe passage of food, water, fuel, medical supplies, and other humanitarian aid. “And if there is no ceasefire – no water, no medicine, and no release of abducted children – then we hurtle toward even greater horrors afflicting innocent children.” Israel’s government has blasted the UN, arguing that the body has not sufficiently condemned the atrocities committed by Hamas on October 7. West Jerusalem’s ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, announced on Monday that members of his delegation would respond by donning yellow stars, alluding to the labels that Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust. “From this day on, each time you look at me, you will remember what staying silent in the face of evil means,” he said in a speech to the UN Security Council.

Read more …

“.. fighting in urban areas, suicide bombings, air strikes, mines, IEDs and deliberate militant attacks on schools and hospitals.”

More Children Killed in Gaza in 3 Weeks Than in Wars Worldwide Since 2019 (Sp.)

The escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli crisis has had a devastating impact on civilians. Commenting on the conflict earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin urged that non-combatants be spared. “If men decide to fight amongst themselves, let them do it. But leave women and children alone,” Putin stressed. More children have now been killed in Gaza over the past three weeks than perished in conflicts across the globe during any year since 2019. That’s according to a report by Save the Children, a London-headquartered international children’s rights non-profit. Per the charity’s figures, based on data from the Gazan and Israeli health ministries, some 3,195 children were reported killed in Gaza since the October 7 escalation, with another 33 perishing in the West Bank, and 29 in Israel, for a total of 3,257. That’s far more than the number of children killed in any other armed conflict across some 20 nations throughout 2023, and the highest number since 2019, the charity says.

Indeed, according to annually published reports by the United Nations Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict, the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli crisis has been particularly devastating for the world’s youngest inhabitants. Comparatively, some 2,985 children died in conflicts in 2022, 2,515 in 2021, and 2,674 in 2020. In 2019, 4,019 children were confirmed killed, mostly in conflicts and insurgencies raging across Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, Myanmar, the Philippines, Palestine, Somalia, Mali, the Central African Republic, and South Sudan. 6,154 children were injured that year, with deaths and injuries attributed to fighting in urban areas, suicide bombings, air strikes, mines, IEDs and deliberate militant attacks on schools and hospitals.

Along with the fatalities, some 6,360 children in Gaza have now been maimed over the past three weeks, together with 180 in the West Bank, and 74 in Israel. Israeli media estimates that up to 30 children have been taken hostage by Hamas fighters and remain in captivity. Children are estimated to make up over 40 percent of deaths among the 7,700+ people killed in Gaza to date, and about 3 percent of the 1,033 fatalities reported in Israel since the start of hostilities this month. “One child’s death is one too many, but these are grave violations of epic proportions,” Save the Children Palestine director Jason Lee said in a statement of the Gaza fatalities. “A ceasefire is the only way to ensure their safety. The international community must put people before politics – every day spent debating is leaving children killed and injured. Children must be protected at all times, especially when they are seeking safety in schools and hospitals.”

Read more …

“..it is still better than the wars that happened in the 20th century, but there is little joy.”

World War III Has Already Started – Lukyanov (RT)

The Third World War is already underway, Fyodor Lukyanov, Russia’s leading foreign policy expert, has said. A world order that has been “unpleasant” but “manageable” is being broken down and currently there seems to be no mechanism for the resolution of conflicts, including the ongoing escalation between Israel and Hamas, he believes. Lukyanov, who is chairman of the presidium at think tank Council for Foreign and Defense Policy (SVOP) and editor-in-chief of magazine Russia in Global Affairs, made the remarks in an interview published last week by newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda. Of late, the world has been seen old, frozen conflicts getting re-ignited, Lukyanov said, listing as examples the Nagorno-Karabakh hostilities, the Russia-Ukraine standoff and the new escalation in the Middle East.

The ongoing array of conflicts is effectively the new World War, which appears to significantly differ from the two global conflicts of the 20th century, Lukyanov, who is also a research director of the Valdai International Discussion Club, suggested. “There is a chain of conflicts affecting the whole world. In fact, World War III is already underway. In this sense, it is still better than the wars that happened in the 20th century, but there is little joy.” “We instinctively expect that the war will begin just like the Great War or the [Second World War]. But such wars probably won’t happen anymore – after all, there are nuclear weapons, which are still holding back many,” the expert said.

The escalation in the Middle East is not the last conflict to come, with more hostilities expected to break out worldwide soon – and no one seems to be capable now of stopping them, he also warned. “The international order is breaking down. It was an unpleasant one, based on the fear of mutual destruction, but manageable. Wars in the Middle East have erupted before, but the USSR and the USA intervened and extinguished them until the next conflict. And now I don’t see even a temporary settlement mechanism,” Lukyanov said. He noted that the Palestinian militant group Hamas has apparently picked the “right” moment to strike against Israel, given that the country has experienced “permanent internal chaos” for over a year already.

Read more …

Just like with Ukraine, calling for peace is verboten.

UK Official Fired For Urging “Permanent” Ceasefire In Gaza (RT)

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has fired a ministerial aide for calling for a “permanent” ceasefire in Gaza. London has stopped short of urging for an end to the war, proposing only limited “pauses” to allow aid to reach the Palestinian enclave. Conservative Member of Parliament Paul Bristow was removed from his position as parliamentary private secretary (PPS) at the Department for Science on Monday, days after he penned a letter to Sunak pressing for a long-term truce between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza. “Paul Bristow has been asked to leave his post in government following comments that were not consistent with the principles of collective responsibility,” a spokesperson for 10 Downing Street said, referring to a rule requiring government officials to publicly support all cabinet policy decisions.

In his two-page letter to the prime minister, Bristow argued that a “permanent ceasefire” would “save lives and allow for a continued column of humanitarian aid [to] reach the people who need it the most.” Sunak, however, has vocally defended Israel’s military action against Hamas following the group’s deadly October 7 terrorist attack, and urged against a full-on truce, instead calling for brief humanitarian “pauses” that are “distinct from a ceasefire.” Following his firing, Bristow went on to tell Sky News that he “completely understand[s] the PM’s decision,” but that he can “now talk openly about an issue so many of my constituents care deeply about.” “I believe I can do this better from the backbenches rather than as part of the government payroll,” he continued. While the UN General Assembly passed a non-binding resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza on Saturday, London abstained in the vote, along with 44 other member states.

Fourteen countries opposed the measure, including Israel and the US, though it appeared to have had little effect as Israeli forces continued the early phase of their ground assault on Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected the idea of a ceasefire, telling reporters on Monday that “calls for a ceasefire are calls for Israel to surrender to Hamas.” Following weeks of heavy airstrikes, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have gradually expanded ground operations in the Palestinian enclave, with officials saying the mission will aim to eliminate Hamas entirely. Some 1,400 Israelis and more than 8,000 Palestinians have been killed in the latest bout of violence, in addition to thousands injured on both sides, according to local officials. The UN has warned of a dire humanitarian crisis in Gaza should the conflict continue, though only a slow trickle of aid has been allowed into the territory in recent weeks.

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Define “Semite”.

Jewish Anti-Semitism Towards Arabs (Helmer)

The Semites, the Semitic peoples, and speakers of the Semitic languages started as a figment of the German imagination in the late 18th century and early 19th century. It quickly became a German racial epithet, used in contrast to Aryan. By the time Adolf Hitler came along, this was the pseudo-scientific doctrine in which the Germans lumped both the Jews and the Arabs into a single category – the inferiors of the Aryans. That is one of the reasons Hitler refused to listen to the advice of his general staff on aiding the Arab nationalist forces in Iraq, Syria and Palestine in the Wehrmacht’s war plans against the British and the Soviet Union. The pseudo-science of Semitism and Aryanism, and the idea of anti-Semitism which the Germans, together with the British and Americans, adopted in the run-up to World War II was spelled out at Harvard University by an anthropologist called Carleton Coon.

[..] he cribbed directly from German academics, turning out papers on the Berbers of Morocco and advancing his racial superiority-inferiority ideas between 1925 and 1939. When the war began, Coon joined the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) where he demonstrated his keenness for pistol shooting, hare-brained sabotage missions, and homicidal mania. Among his wartime schemes he proposed to remove the Arabs of the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia) as unfit to rule; replace them with the restoration of the French empire; and kill those French officials whom Coon judged to get his way. He was one of the planners of the assassination of Admiral Francois Darlan, the French military commander, in Algiers on December 24, 1942; Coon’s pistol was the murder weapon.

American murderers of the Arabs like Coon then — like Israeli murderers of Arabs now — have succeeded in establishing their doctrine of exceptionalism and racial superiority in state policy as the successor to the doctrines of Aryanism and Nazism which were interrupted by Hitler’s suicide in 1945, then the Nuremberg trials concluding in 1946. The crime of racial and cultural genocide became international law in 1948. It was then modified by the new Israeli state doctrine of anti-Semitism: this decriminalised the genocide of the Palestinian people; and outlawed instead media criticism, political opposition, even science for threatening the legitimacy of Israel’s Basic Law of Arab exclusion, and Israeli military operations to enforce it.

In the present war between the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Hamas on the Gaza battlefield – “the American project”, as the Russian Foreign Ministry called it in a statement on October 29 *** – the doctrine of anti-Semitism as a race hatred crime is being applied to protect the race hatred crime being perpetrated against the other Semites, the Palestinians. This doctrine, however, has had a negative impact on the ability of the Israelis and the Americans to wage their war. A fresh Russian analysis of the military intelligence failures exposed by Hamas in its offensive of October 7, illustrates how and why the Israelis failed to anticipate because they underestimated their Arab adversary; and because they regarded him as a racial inferior.

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“…Hassan Nasrallah, who is the secretary general of Hezbollah, will be making a significant statement on Friday. So that’s going to be something to listen to and see what direction Hezbollah will go in light of all this..”

US ‘Shooting Ourselves in the Foot’ By Provoking, Escalating Crises (Sp.)

The emergence of the latest crisis in the Middle East, which has started in Israel but threatens to draw in several other regional powers, is just the latest in which the US has forcefully asserted its interest in propping up a useful ally against its enemies there. However, it has come as the US is already deeply embroiled in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, and has also committed significant resources and effort into a confrontation with China that has not yet exploded into open conflict. Retired senior security policy analyst Michael Maloof told Radio Sputnik’s The Critical Hour on Tuesday that the US was “shooting ourselves in the foot” by getting itself so deeply embroiled in crises of its own making around the globe, including in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and the Asia-Pacific regions.

“In my opinion, these are all self-manufactured crises put upon by the neoconservatives within the Biden administration – not only internationally, but also domestically,” Maloof said. “And in three years, how we could deteriorate so far, so fast, is mind-boggling. And it has to be purposeful. And I’m seeing this accentuated in the policies that we have broadcast to the world internationally, in trying to contain and engineer regime change in Russia. That has failed miserably, Ukraine was just a pawn.” Now we have the Israeli situation. I think there’s evidence to show that Netanyahu knew what was happening, but I don’t think that he knew what the extent of the attack would be, the way it would be on the seventh of October. So I think that now he’s really into it and he has no other choice.

Meantime, he’s hearing increasing demands for him to step down, and the United States, of course, has moved in at least two carrier strike groups and Marines, and you wonder: what are they going to be used for?” Maloof added. “I think the whole idea is for deterrence so that Hezbollah doesn’t get into the fray. But what’s going to be happening this Friday, I’m now told, is that Hassan Nasrallah, who is the secretary general of Hezbollah, will be making a significant statement on Friday. So that’s going to be something to listen to and see what direction Hezbollah will go in light of all this. I know he has the support of the Lebanese people as well as the Lebanese army, and those are two significant factors to weigh in. And as Israel continues to do what it’s doing in Gaza, it’s intensifying the conflict, not diminishing,” Maloof said.

“And then the ultimate goal, of course, is to go after Iran. That has always been Israel’s goal, and now that they’ve got the United States sucked into it, I think that now Netanyahu feels emboldened, notwithstanding the domestic opposition he has.” “And on top of all that, we have crises that are still looming in the Asia-Pacific. And these, again, are all things that were precipitated by the Biden administration and the neoconservatives at the top, at the State Department. It’s been the State Department that has led all of these efforts. And of course, they have Victoria Nuland, [US Secretary of State Antony] Blinken – these are all neoconservatives that want to use that. They want to push the American version of democracy, of hegemony, around the world,” he said.

“And I think what they’re realizing is that it is being highly challenged as a result of Russia, China coming together, the role of the BRICS countries, the de-dollarization – again, all brought about by the Biden administration’s actions. If we sought to avoid having Russia and China become an alliance, and a military alliance at that, and draw closer together in a Eurasian approach, we perpetuated that with all of our actions. So it’s actually we’ve actually done this to ourselves. And not only did we shoot ourselves in the foot, but we’re shooting ourselves in the head. And now we’re on a slippery slope. How do you stop what’s now occurred? It’s going to be a real challenge, and we have no adult leadership in the world right now.”

Read more …

“..Turkey’s recent initiative to set up an alternative mechanism to the United Nations.”

UN a Global Mechanism For Which No Alternative Exists – Kremlin (TASS)

Russia continues to view the United Nations system as an irreplaceable international mechanism for which there is no viable alternative, despite certain inefficiencies in its work toward resolving a host of issues on the global agenda, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday. “We believe that the United Nations system, despite some degree of inefficiency and ineffectiveness as regards the most pressing issues on the global agenda, remains the singular international mechanism for which there is no alternative,” Peskov said, commenting on Turkey’s recent initiative to set up an alternative mechanism to the United Nations.

The presidential press secretary noted that the Turkish initiative would “require an international consensus at the very least.” “Only the future will tell whether it [reaching such a consensus] is possible during these difficult times, during this complex period of acute contradictions and conceptual changes [in worldviews],” Peskov added. Turkish Presidential Spokesman Fahrettin Altun stated earlier in the month that there was a need to establish new international organizations that would serve as an alternative to the United Nations Security Council because the latter was no longer capable of resolving global issues.

Read more …

Short: there are no Jewish people living in Dagestan. None were on the plane either.

Putin ‘Quick to Lay Down the Law’ on Dagestan Incident – Scott Ritter (Sp.)

At least 83 people have been detained over their involvement in mass riots at an airport in the city of Makhachkala, the capital of the Russian republic of Dagestan, located in the North Caucasus. Late last week, the airport was shut down for inbound and outbound flights after an angry mob stormed the facility and the tarmac after a passenger plane from Tel Aviv landed on October 29. The developments were spurred on by provocateurs on social media claiming that the plane was packed with “Jewish refugees” seeking to escape the Palestine-Israel conflict and to settle in Dagestan. Police quickly took the situation under control, with a criminal probe into the incident already underway. “This was very much an anti-Semitic mob, who wished to do harm to the Jewish passengers on the aircraft.

And they acted violently when Russian authorities came in to take control,” Ritter said, commenting on the October 29 incident. He recalled that Western media and “Western government sources” tried to use the incident “to cast Russia in a very negative light” as they alleged that Russia “is a hotbed of anti-Semitism and that this is the same as what took place during tsarist times.” “Russian President Vladimir Putin was quick to react to the situation, convening [the country’s] emergency council Security Council where he laid down the law about how Russia will respond to this or holding all of the perpetrators of this violence accountable and making it clear that there’s no room in Russia today for anti-Semitism,” Ritter said. The analyst stressed that Russia “has always maintained a neutral stance when it comes to Israel and Palestine,” and that Moscow “hopes to maintain that neutrality.”

However, he warned, this “would be marred if violence of this nature continued.” Ritter then described Russia as a country which has “a significant Muslim population,” adding, “globally the Muslim world is outraged at the behavior of the Israeli Defense Forces in Gaza, where they’ve laid siege to a city of over 2 million people and they’ve subjected these people to a bombardment that has killed many thousands of innocent civilians, many of whom are children under the age of 14.” According to the analyst, even though the Russian government has made it clear that “it’s right to be angry with the Israeli government, this anger cannot manifest itself into anti-Semitism and into blanket condemnation of Jewish people, [as well] the Jewish religion, [and] Jewish faith.”

Read more …

Welcome to the freedom and democracy we are saving.

Ukrainian Border Guards Using Drones To Catch ‘Fleeing’ Citizens (RT)

Ukraine’s border-guard service (DPSU) has released several videos showing surveillance drones helping officers catch people trying to leave the country illegally. National media have described those who’ve been caught as nationals “fleeing” Ukraine, amid an armed-forces mobilization as Kiev’s conflict with Russia continues. In the first clip published by DPSU on Saturday, a drone operator uses the aircraft’s thermal camera to guide a patrol towards a group of people hiding in bushes. The service claims the technique helped it catch 14 trespassers in four separate interceptions near the village of Okny near the border with Moldova. The next day the border guards released footage of a short chase, as seen from a drone via a night camera. The DPSU said the four would-be violators in this instance wanted to go to Moldova but were intercepted as they made their attempt.

Another video published by the service on Monday includes drone footage of a car moving down a battered road. Guards then stop the vehicle and apprehend the driver, who the DPSU claimed to be a people-smuggler. The suspect allegedly used his transport to sneak his clients to a part of the border with Moldova from where they would then cross illegally. Would-be violators in the first two cases reported by the DPSU had also used services of smugglers, who ask as much as $2,000 for help crossing the border, according to the service. The footage doesn’t go into what motivates people to embark their law-breaking trips. UNIAN, a major Ukrainian news outlet, described the official action as guards “keeping catching nationals fleeing across the border.” Kiev has banned men who are eligible to serve in the military from leaving the country unless they get a waiver.

It’s now reportedly ramping up efforts to draft additional troops, after suffering heavy casualties in attempts to breach Russian defensive lines over the months of the so-called summer counteroffensive. Ukrainian MP Sergey Rakhmanin, who sits on the parliamentary Committee for Security, Defense, and Intelligence, said in an interview last week that the country had long exhausted the reserve of persons who’d volunteered to go the front. Moscow has accused Kiev’s Western sponsors of using Ukrainians as “cannon fodder” in a proxy war against Russia. In a speech at a security forum in Beijing on Monday, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu estimated Ukrainian casualties during the counteroffensive at over 90,000.

Read more …

“Zelensky cannot stop, because peace for him is political death,” Oleynyk explained. “He understands that he will have to answer for everything to the Ukrainian military and to the families of the victims.”

“.. for the Ukrainian people, liberation from this Nazi occupation by the occupying power of the United States is not a defeat, but a hope for a new life in Ukraine.”

“The military may simply refuse to carry out [Zelensky’s] order because it is meaningless and absurd..”

Tensions Between Zelensky and Top Brass Over Ukraine Counteroffensive (Sp.)

Valery Zaluzhny believes that the Ukrainian counteroffensive should be wrapped up and argues that the army needs to prepare for a new operation next year. For his part, Volodymyr Zelensky insists on the necessity to proceed with the military campaign, according to the British media. In September, the Ukrainian president vowed to carry out a counteroffensive in autumn and through winter while speaking to the US press, after a day of meetings on Capitol Hill and the White House. Zelensky claimed that Kiev made a mistake by taking a pause last year after making some territorial gains and pledged to take two or three cities in the near future. “Zelensky has no military experience, he sets political goals,” Volodymyr Oleynyk, a Ukrainian politician and former MP of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament), told Sputnik.

“The priority for him, for example, is an offensive at all costs, not sparing the soldiers, but getting results in the form of the liberation of cities. The West accepts him, praises him; in addition, [military] results bring money. And for Zaluzhny it is very important to preserve the army.” Per Oleynyk, tensions have been brewing between Zelensky and Zaluzhny for quite a while. Zaluzhny sees that the Ukrainian Army lacks air superiority, manpower, and equipment, but he is forced to advance nonetheless, the politician explained. “[Ukraine] has no means for an offensive – neither technical nor human – there is no advantage in the air, and so on,” Oleynyk said. “And [Zaluzhny] now professes the concept of defense. That is, we need to, following the example of Russia, dig in and remain on the defensive, not to carry out any offensives, because it would lead to a defeat.

But Zelensky insists on continuing the offensive. Why? It is clear that this is about the money that Western countries will or will not allocate. If there is an offensive, there will be money; if there is no offensive, there will be no money.” Americans view the Ukraine conflict as a proxy war and, of course, they want to defeat Russia at Ukraine’s expense, the politician continued. However, given that the well-advertised Ukraine counteroffensive has borne zero results, US politicians have started to express skepticism with regard to further funding. “US House [lawmakers] ask: ‘What are our goals in Ukraine, what’s behind our participation?’ And the second question: ‘How has our money been spent? About $80-90 billion have already been spent there. Where is this money? Please, answer these questions before you make your next step,'” Oleynyk said.

[..] “Zelensky cannot stop, because peace for him is political death,” Oleynyk explained. “He understands that he will have to answer for everything to the Ukrainian military and to the families of the victims. And for the Ukrainian people, liberation from this Nazi occupation by the occupying power of the United States is not a defeat, but a hope for a new life in Ukraine.” For his part, Zaluzhny understands that the whole blame for the potential defeat would be pinned on him, according to Oleynyk. What’s more, it’s not only Zaluzhny who is opposing Zelensky’s offensive push: most Ukrainian military servicemen share Zaluzhny’s concerns. The politician does not rule out that at some point the Ukrainian president may see his orders being sabotaged. “The military may simply refuse to carry out [Zelensky’s] order because it is meaningless and absurd,” he said.

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Lloyd Austin still wants to add some sales for his employer, Raytheon.

Russia Will Succeed In Ukraine Without US – Pentagon (RT)

If the US stops funding Ukraine, Russia will win, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told the Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday, making the case for $44 billion more in military and other aid to the government in Kiev. “I can guarantee that, without our support, [Russian President Vladimir] Putin will be successful,” Austin told the senators. “If we pull the rug out from under them now, Putin will only get stronger and he will be successful in doing what he wants to do.” Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken were asking the lawmakers to approve President Joe Biden’s $106 billion supplemental funding request, which has bundled the Ukraine funding with aid to Israel and Taiwan, among other things.

Of the $44.4 billion in funding for Ukraine, $12 billion would go towards buying weapons and $18 billion would be spent on replacing weapons the US has already sent Kiev. Cybersecurity, “intelligence support” and “enhanced presence” of US troops in Europe would cost another $10.7 billion, while $3.7 billion would be spent to “expand production capacity in our industrial base,” according to Austin’s opening testimony. Both cabinet secretaries embraced the White House’s new talking points for Ukraine aid, portraying it as a way to support the US economy by expanding industrial production and creating new jobs for Americans, though it has done neither so far. The US has already spent $43.9 billion on “security assistance” to Kiev since February 2022, by the Pentagon’s own reckoning.

Austin’s argument echoed the one made by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to congressional Democrats last month, according to a feature published in Time Magazine on Monday. If the US does not send Ukraine more aid, “we will lose,” Zelensky reportedly said. The article also quoted Zelensky’s aides, who described him as delusional, unwilling to accept that Kiev is “out of options” and “not winning,” while issuing orders that some line commanders have begun to refuse. Meanwhile, according to Time, even if the US and its allies could somehow supply Kiev with all the weapons and ammunition it needs, Ukraine has run out of men to use them.

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Biden can now claim it was the GOP that forced him to leave Ukraine alone. Well played?!

Bills On Israel, Ukraine ‘Dead On Arrival’ In Both House And Senate (ZH)

As the nation celebrates Halloween, the House and Senate are engaged in some spooky late-stage Republic chaos over aid to Israel and Ukraine amid a backdrop of yet another government shutdown looming in two weeks. In short, • The government will run out of money (again) in roughly two weeks, requiring Congress to act (again). • According to Democrats and GOP Neocons such as Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham, America needs to send billions of taxpayer funds to both Israel and Ukraine, and won’t consider any legislation that doesn’t combine the two. ª House Republicans under newly minted Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), as well as a group of Senate Republicans, want Israel aid separated from Ukraine aid, while the Biden White House wants to jam a $105 billion foreign aid package ($14B to Israel, $60B to Ukraine) through Congress. • The House’s plan (if they can even pass it) to separate Israel aid from Ukraine aid is DOA in the Senate, while both the Senate’s combined package and the Biden admin’s package is DOA in the House. ª The House and the Senate also need to pass 12 appropriations measures for 2024, or face a 1% across-the-board cut on defense and nondefense spending, per the debt ceiling bill passed earlier this year.

While Johnson is hoping to push this through in a Thursday vote in the House (with no guarantee it’ll pass), Senate Republicans and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) – who love war and defending foreign borders, are a no-go, with Schumer calling it “insulting.” As previously noted, while McConnell and other Senate neocons are in lockstep with Schumer and the Democrats over a massive funding package, a group of GOP Senators led by Roger Marshall (R-KS) have introduced legislation to provide a similar $14.3 billion in aid to Israel without Ukraine funding. “If Democrats want [Ukraine aid] so badly, then shouldn’t Republicans get one of our priorities in a trade?” said Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) in a statement to Punchbowl News. “We shouldn’t just roll over and give Democrats everything they want, especially when it divides our conference so starkly.”

More via Punchbowl: Vance said McConnell should force Democrats to accept policy changes at the southern border, before giving them enough GOP votes to pass a massive aid package for Israel, Ukraine and the Indo-Pacific. Many other Republicans agree with Vance. The White House’s request asks for more border security funding, but Republicans see this as a ruse. And Democrats say policy changes are a non-starter. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who has long called to offset new federal spending, praised the House’s approach to Israel aid and said anything else is “dead on arrival” in the Senate. Paul also called out McConnell by name, saying his fellow Kentucky Republican should simply accede to the House’s proposal. “If Sen. McConnell thinks he’s going to pass a $100 billion conglomeration — what Biden wants — there’s no way it passes the House. Sen. McConnell’s not unaware of the way the House works,” Paul told us. “It’s a very precarious position the speaker is in. I think that’s all he can get through.” bThere are some practical challenges tied to what Vance and Paul are pushing for. For one, a standalone Israel bill with offsets is a no-go for the Democratic-led Senate.

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“It is important to note that, while influence-peddling can be done legally, it is uniformly viewed as unethical or corrupt. For the Bidens, it also seems to be something of a family business.”

The Biden Family’s Version of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ (Turley)

In the classic holiday film, It’s a Wonderful Life, the Bailey Brothers Building & Loan Association faced a run on the bank by customers spooked by rumors of theft and insolvency. George Bailey held back the crowd, explaining as he pointed to individual customers: “You’re thinking of this place all wrong. … The money’s not here. Well, your money’s in Joe’s house. That’s right next to yours.”

[..] In July, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) released an unclassified FBI record which included allegations to the agency of Biden and his son, Hunter, being paid $5 million each by a Ukrainian energy executive when the senior Biden was vice president. Most of the media has shown an utter lack of curiosity in following the money. However, the House Oversight and House Ways and Means committees have made strides in tracking millions of dollars which they allege were sent to Biden family members through a labyrinth of shell companies and accounts. The Bidens have been criticized for decades for influence-peddling. It is important to note that, while influence-peddling can be done legally, it is uniformly viewed as unethical or corrupt. For the Bidens, it also seems to be something of a family business.

While Biden’s brothers and son had few discernible business skills to market, they did have access — to him — to sell. The problem seems to be that they burned through the proceeds as fast as they acquired them. What is new now, according to House Republicans, is an emerging pattern of how the Bidens turned influence-peddling into the equivalent of the family’s personal savings & loan operation. Money moving between key family members was labeled as a “loan” in at least one instance, and Hunter has claimed other money as “loans” — a framing that not only offered plausible deniability but non-taxable income. Two IRS whistleblowers, who testified before House investigators in July, highlighted the use of a loan allegedly to evade public disclosure and taxation.

Hunter allegedly took large payments from dubious foreign sources and listed them as “loans,” despite no evidence of repayment or any standard loan agreement. This month, House investigators discovered that, in 2018, the president’s brother James received two loans totaling $600,000 from Americore Health, which they described as “a financially distressed and failing rural hospital operator.” According to the company’s bankruptcy proceedings, it made the loans “based upon representations that his last name, ‘Biden,’ could ‘open doors’” to new overseas investors. On the day he received the second loan transfer, James Biden sent a check for the same amount — $200,000 — to Joe Biden as a “loan reimbursement.”

Recently, the House Oversight Committee revealed that just after Joe Biden announced his 2020 presidential candidacy, Hunter Biden received a $250,000 loan from a Chinese businessman using the address of his father’s Delaware home. The generous transfer of funds was from Xiangsheng “Jonathan” Li, a Chinese businessman connected to the investment fund Bohai Harvest RST. (President Biden reportedly later wrote a college-admission recommendation for Li’s daughter). What happened next was vintage Biden family: A Hollywood lawyer, who had just met Hunter at a political gathering, reportedly suddenly took over the repayment of that loan, with no explanation, and later reportedly paid for some of Hunter’s tax bills and living expenses as well. So, it appears that $250,000 went to Hunter, but the loan obligation was shifted to a Democratic political donor.

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It’s starting to add up.

1 in 3 COVID-19 Vaccine Recipients Suffered Neurological Side Effects (ET)

Almost a third of individuals who received a COVID-19 vaccine suffered from neurological complications including tremors, insomnia, and muscle spasms, according to a recent study published in the journal Vaccines.
The study analyzed 19,096 people who received COVID-19 vaccines in Italy in July 2021, out of which 15,368 had taken the Pfizer vaccine, 2,077 had taken the Moderna version, and 1,651 took the AstraZeneca version. While both Pfizer and Moderna are mRNA vaccines, AstraZeneca, being an adenovirus vaccine, uses a different mechanism to trigger the immune response. The study found that about 31.2 percent of vaccinated individuals developed post-vaccination neurological complications, particularly among those injected with the AstraZeneca jab. Different vaccines had a different “neurological risk profile.”

The neurological risk profile of the AstraZeneca vaccine included headaches, tremors, muscle spasms, insomnia, and tinnitus, while the risk profile of the Moderna vaccine included sleepiness, vertigo, diplopia (double vision), paresthesia (a feeling of numbness or itching on the skin), taste and smell alterations, and dysphonia (hoarseness or loss of normal voice). As to Pfizer vaccines, researchers found “an increased risk” of cognitive fog or difficulty in concentration. More than 53 percent of individuals who took an AstraZeneca shot suffered from headaches, which usually lasted for one day. Over 13 percent developed tremors, which typically reverted after a day as well. Insomnia was reported among 5.8 percent of AstraZeneca recipients. However, the study notes that researchers were unsure whether the individuals actually developed insomnia or had a “misperception of their sleep quality due to vaccination stress.”

Tinnitus was reported by 2.7 percent of the people who took AstraZeneca shots. Tinnitus is a condition in which an individual hears ringing or other noises which are not caused by an external sound. All these health complications had a higher risk of occurring after taking the first dose of the vaccine. The study speculated that complications related to the AstraZeneca vaccine are attributable to two factors. “Firstly, the nature of the vaccine, which is a modified adenovirus vector that results in significant and persistent systemic immune activation; secondly, individual vulnerability related to a predisposing biology.” Sleepiness was found in 39.7 percent of those who took Moderna jabs, with the condition usually lasting for a week. It suggested that there “could be a strict relationship between the development of sleepiness and immune responses to vaccine/infection.”

The study cited a “fascinating hypothesis” which suggests that influenza vaccines may lead to “the selective immune-mediated destruction of orexin-producing neurons, which is T-cell-mediated neuronal damage, thus triggering narcolepsy.”

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“I’m never wearing a different costume,” he said. “Dressed as this Zelensky guy, I can get whatever I want!”

Capitol Trick-Or-Treater Dressed As Zelensky Gets $40 Billion In Candy (BBee)

A lucky young boy who went trick-or-treating at the United States Capitol building came away with $40 billion in candy after dressing up as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. “Jackpot! I knew this costume would pay off big time!” shouted young Tommy Billington after being notified of his candy haul. “All my friends thought I was stupid for dressing up like that Zelensky guy who is always on the news, but now they look like the stupid ones. I’ve got enough candy to last me 20 lifetimes!” Billington had arrived early for trick-or-treating in a cardboard mask depicting the Ukrainian President’s face. Believing him to be the actual Zelensky due to his short stature, Capitol Police ushered him directly into the corridors of the Capitol to meet with congressional leadership. Within an hour, Billington had been informed he would receive $40 billion worth of candy.

“He knows his stuff,” said one unnamed member of Congress. “He specifically asked that half of it be in Reese’s peanut butter cups, with the remainder being split evenly in Snickers, Twix, KitKat, and Jolly Ranchers. This was identical to a request we had received from President Zelensky last year.” Soon afterward, Billington watched excitedly as Capitol Police officers helped load pallets laden with candy-filled duffle bags onto several large trucks outside the Capitol building. “I’m never wearing a different costume,” he said. “Dressed as this Zelensky guy, I can get whatever I want!” At publishing time, Billington was believed to be on his way to the White House, where he was expected to ask President Biden to pledge an additional $25 billion in candy over the next six months.

https://twitter.com/witte_sergei/status/1719416354397389175

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Canada DigID

 

 

 

 

Rogan Musk

 

 

 

 

Baby monkeys
https://twitter.com/i/status/1719363379058417986

 

 

Cheater

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 282023
 
 September 28, 2023  Posted by at 9:20 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  44 Responses »


Claude Monet The Pond at Montgeron 1876

 

Trump Rages At “Deranged” NY Judge’s ‘Corporate Death Penalty’ Decision (ZH)
Trump Says Net Worth ‘Much Greater’ Than Financial Statements (JTN)
Real Estate Insiders: Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Worth At Least $300M, Not $18M (NYP)
Russian “Alabuga” Complex to Be “More Powerful Than a Nuclear Bomb” (Zlatko)
US’ Ukraine Reforms is Signal to Zelensky That His Time is Up (Sp.)
US Aid to Ukraine May Dry Out, But Not Because of House GOP (Sp.)
Is World War III About to Start? Part II: The MIC and Deep State (Cook)
Western Left Abandoned The People To Fuel NATO’s Carnage (Rogatyuk)
Ukraine Offered To Strike Iran And Syria – Guardian (RT)
Fauci Was ‘Smuggled’ Into CIA HQ To “Influence” Covid-19 Origins Probe (ZH)
EcoHealth is a “CIA Front Organization” (ZH)
100s Of Pages Of Newly Released Memos Spark Fresh Biden Corruption Charges (ZH)
FBI Refuses To Release Nationwide Voter Registration Fraud Probe Docs (JTN)
Disappearing Americans (Paul Craig Roberts)

 

 

 

 

Paperclip

 

 

Canada nazis

 

 

 

 

Tucker Bill O’Reilly Short&Long

 

 

Jimmy Dore

 

 

 

 

“From 2011-2021, the Palm Beach County Assessor appraised the market value of Mar-a-Lago at between $18 million and $27.6 million because of various land use restrictions. The judge simply restated the appraisal which is an undisputed fact.”

The assessor, and now the judge, are the only people who claim the assessment is correct. Everyone else puts the value at 20-30 times that, if not more.

They’re simply trying to bankrupt Trump, and think a 10-day window is enough: “..must dissolve all business interests in the state and exit within 10 days..”

They think they can sell off his property for cheap.

Trump Rages At “Deranged” NY Judge’s ‘Corporate Death Penalty’ Decision (ZH)

Right on cue, in a stunning decision on Tuesday, a New York State judge found – with no trial or jury – that Donald Trump, his family, and his business, theTrump Organization, was liable for fraud, and ordered what experts in New York financial crimes say amounts to the dissolution of his company. In a 35-page ruling, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron (D) revoked the New York “business certificates” belonging to the Trump Organization and any other New York-based business run by Trump or his family – while ordering that an independent third party will be tasked with “managing the dissolution of the cancelled LLCs.” “It’s a staggering judgement,” said John Moscow, a former financial crimes prosecutor for the Manhattan district attorney’s office. “It means you are no longer a company, and the judge is appointing someone to take over the assets and distribute them as the court sees fit.”

“It’s comparable to once a person dies. A dead person can’t sell property. Only the executor of the estate can do that – or in this case, the receiver.” Experts are calling it the “corporate death penalty.” As Sundance at TheConservativeTreehouse.com put it: “All the banks and lenders did their own due diligence on the financing. All operational loans and business loans were paid back. There were no defaults or banking interests adversely impacted. There are no victims of what the State calls “fraud,” yet the judge is ruling the Trump organization must dissolve all business interests in the state and exit within 10 days.” As you might expect, President Trump was enraged, blasting “The widespread, radical attack against me, my family and my supporters have now devolved to new, un-American depths,” calling Engoron “deranged” and James a “completely biased and corrupt ‘prosecutor.’”

“We are rapidly becoming a communist country, and my civil rights have been taken away from me,” he continued. “This is Democrat political lawfare and a witch hunt at a level never seen before.” Trump plans to appeal the decision, his attorneys said. “Today’s outrageous decision is completely disconnected from the facts and governing law,” Christopher Kise, a lawyer for Trump, said in a statement. “President Trump and his family will seek all available appellate remedies to rectify this miscarriage of justice.” Eric and Don Jr. Trump took to X to slam the Judge’s valuation of his father’s Mar-a-Lago resort, which Trump claims is over a billion dollars, but Engoron ruled is worth between $18 million and $27.6 million – which is absurd when you look at the surrounding property values.

 

 

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“..the Florida property “IS WORTH POSSIBLY 100 TIMES THAT AMOUNT..”

Trump Says Net Worth ‘Much Greater’ Than Financial Statements (JTN)

Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday said his net worth is “much greater” than that shown on his financial statements, which he says contained a “disclaimer clause” stating that the information should not be relied upon, after a New York judge found that the former president, his two eldest sons and his businesses could be held liable for fraud in the state attorney general’s civil case against them.Trump wrote on Truth Social: “In addition to the fact that my Net Worth is much greater than the number shown in the Financial Statements, there is a POWERFUL Disclaimer Clause … explaining that there should be no reliance placed on these Financial Statements, but instead everyone should do their own independent research, analysis, and due diligence.” He also said banks understood the clause and there were no problems with it.

Judge Arthur Engoron ruled Tuesday that New York Democrat Attorney General Letitia James demonstrated that Trump, his sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, several of the family’s entities and former employees, could be liable for “repeated and persistent fraud by preparing, certifying and submitting to lenders and insurers false and misleading financial statements” in violation of New York law. Trump specifically took issue with Engoron’s evaluation of his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, which the judge said could be worth as little as $18 million, citing an appraisal from the Palm Beach County Assessor.

Trump said in a separate Truth Social post that the Florida property “IS WORTH POSSIBLY 100 TIMES THAT AMOUNT” and that the judge’s “anger & hatred is politically motivated & unprecedented by those who watched!” James is also attempting to get $250 million in damages from Trump and the other defendants in the case, as well as an order barring the former president and his two eldest sons from being leaders at New York-based companies. That trial is set to begin Oct. 2.

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“..a 2-acre wooded lot at 1980 S. Ocean Blvd., just 5 minutes from Mar-a-Lago, is currently listed for $150 million. Mar-a-Lago, situated at 1100 S. Ocean Blvd., dwarfs this lot tenfold and operates as a commercial business..”

Real Estate Insiders: Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Worth At Least $300M, Not $18M (NYP)

A New York judge’s Tuesday ruling valuing Donald Trump’s sprawling, headline-making Florida estate at $18 million has left industry experts perplexed. In his verdict, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron delivered a bombshell ruling that the former president committed fraud by inflating the value of his wealth, with details including the monetary value associated with Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach. This decision, which came down without a jury, has sent shockwaves through political — and real estate — circles, especially that $18 million base value for the property. One prominent Palm Beach real estate broker, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told The Post, “It’s utterly delusional to think that property is only worth $18 million.”

The insider added, “If that property were on the market today, I would list it at around $300 million, minimum … at least. He also has the separate golf course minutes away.” Engoron’s verdict holds Trump, 77, along with his family and his business empire, the Trump Organization, liable for fraud — a central allegation in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit against the defendants. In a 35-page judgment, Engoron sided with James, asserting that Trump had made unequivocally false statements in official documents to secure favorable terms with financial institutions. Notably, Trump’s claims, such as his triplex penthouse in Trump Tower being 30,000 square feet when it was closer to 11,000, were also described by Engoron as “fraudulent” given their significant discrepancies.

However, the ruling raised eyebrows when Engoron, a Democrat who ran unopposed in the general election on Nov. 3, 2015, evaluated the worth of Trump’s prized Mar-a-Lago Club resort at $18 million, ruling that the property was inflated by 2,300%. He cited a basic Palm Beach Assessor valuation that ranged from $18 million to $28 million between 2011 and 2021, with industry sources saying it fails to take into consideration the fair market value. This valuation is far from Trump’s 1985 purchase price of $10 million, $8 million less than what the judge declared it was worth today. There are also nearby comps. To put it in perspective, a 2-acre wooded lot at 1980 S. Ocean Blvd., just 5 minutes from Mar-a-Lago, is currently listed for $150 million. Mar-a-Lago, situated at 1100 S. Ocean Blvd., dwarfs this lot tenfold and operates as a commercial business with around 500 members as part of the golf club.


Eric Trump: “These homes are about 1/30 the size of Mar-a-Lago, not on the beach (let alone the beach and intercostal), don’t span from once side of the Palm Beach Island to the other… it is a travesty of justice and an embarrassment to the court.”

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X thread.

Russian “Alabuga” Complex to Be “More Powerful Than a Nuclear Bomb” (Zlatko)

In Russia, the development of a missile equipped with a high-frequency generator of significant power is underway, which would allow neutralizing the enemy without firing a single shot. In the West, “Alabuga” is referred to as “secret weaponry” that is “more powerful than a nuclear bomb” and capable of “disabling entire armies.” The electromagnetic missile can disrupt all enemy electronics within a radius of 3.5 kilometers. “The military plans to install this weapon on state-of-the-art Russian drones to deter enemy aircraft.

Among other uses, such a system could be employed to destroy missile warheads and communication devices on aircraft. Additionally, it disables tank loading mechanisms, detonates artillery shells inside gun turrets, and eliminates enemy soldiers hiding underground at depths of up to 100 meters using radiation,” Daily Star reported this already in 2017. Russian President Vladimir Putin recently mentioned the development of weapons based on new physical principles at the Eastern Economic Forum.

“Even when it comes to security matters, weapons based on new physical principles will ensure the security of any country in the near historical perspective. We understand this perfectly well and are working on it,” the president stated. Moreover, this summer, Russian troops already received the “Listva” remote-controlled mine-clearing vehicles. They can detect and disable radio-controlled mines using super high-frequency emissions.

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“..the elimination of corruption in Ukraine is the number one priority: reforms in this sphere should be accomplished within a three-month timeframe…”

US’ Ukraine Reforms is Signal to Zelensky That His Time is Up (Sp.)

Earlier this week, Deputy White House National Security Adviser for International Economics Mike Pyle sent a draft list of reforms to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, as per Ukrainian media. The document was also forwarded to the multi-agency Donor Coordination Platform, a group of organizations including the EU, G7 governments, and the main international financial organizations, including the IMF, the World Bank, and others. Later, the US Embassy in Ukraine confirmed that Kiev had been “provided a proposed list of priority reforms for discussion and feedback at the multi-donor coordination platform in Brussels”. The document titled “Reforms Linked to Conditions on US Assistance” details the necessary changes in order of urgency – 0-3 months, 3-6 months, one year, and 18 months.]

Some of the provisions have additions in italics, like “EU MFA [macro-financial assistance] conditionality”; “IMF Structural Benchmark”; “requirements for Ukraine to begin EU accession process”; and “IMF MEFP [Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies]” suggest that the list covers not only US assistance, but also aid from Western-led international organizations. The document clearly indicates Ukraine will further lose its sovereignty in favor of EU and NATO institutions. Per the White House list, the elimination of corruption in Ukraine is the number one priority: reforms in this sphere should be accomplished within a three-month timeframe.
· Ukraine has to reform the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO), in line with the parameters of the IMF structural benchmark.
· Increase the number of detectives of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) by at least 300; provide them with wiretapping capability; and preserve the agency’s “independence and exclusive investigative authority over high-profile corruption matters.”
· Reinstate mandatory asset and financial disclosure requirements for public officials, judges, and political parties.
· Select new head of the National Agency for Corruption Prevention (NACP).
· Complete the High Council of Justice (HCJ) reboot by establishing a Service of Disciplinary Inspectors with direct and meaningful participation of independent experts to restore the HCJ “disciplinary function.”

Furthermore, in the three-to-six month timeframe, the Kiev regime has to expand the number of judges on the nation’s High Anti-Corruption Court; establish a new specialized court (the High Administrative Court of Ukraine [HACU]) for administrative cases against national state agencies; reform Ukraine’s Supreme Court (SC). Remarkably, at the same time, Kiev is required to “limit” the powers of the infamous Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) “to those associated with counter-intelligence, counter-espionage, cybersecurity, and counterterrorism,” and reshuffle the agency. “Create a credible disciplinary committee and replace staff who do not meet ethical and professional standards,” the document reads. “Enhance parliamentary and civilian oversight of SBU. Restructure process for requesting lawful intercept (wiretapping), and allow other institutions to conduct judicial intercept separate from SBU.”

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The Pentagon plays tricks.

US Aid to Ukraine May Dry Out, But Not Because of House GOP (Sp.)

The Biden administration wants the US Congress to pass a $24 billion package for Ukraine along with other spending initiatives as soon as possible. Washington has already committed over $110 billion in Ukraine assistance to date. While House Republicans appear skeptical about further financial and military assistance to the Kiev regime, which has failed to succeed with its summer counteroffensive, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy proposed to pass a stopgap measure to avoid a looming government shutdown. September 30 is the deadline. GOP lawmakers have signaled that they won’t include any funds for Ukraine in their stopgap bill. On September 22, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Capitol Hill to lobby for a hefty multi-billion package.

Even though McCarthy (unlike his predecessor Nancy Pelosi) did not provide the Ukrainian president with an opportunity to address the House, he held a conversation with Zelensky. The day after the meeting with Zelensky, McCarthy told reporters in the Capitol that he had decided to keep the $300 million in Ukraine aid in the Pentagon funding bill, adding that another spending measure set for the State Department and foreign operations would also include money for Kiev. The development is by no means surprising, according to retired US Air Force Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski, a former analyst for the US Department of Defense. “The Pentagon has stated that Ukraine funding and aid would continue unabated by any government shutdown, and this includes the payment of salaries for tens of thousands of Ukrainian government employees and bureaucrats – even as paychecks for US government employees, and bureaucrats can and likely would be held back in the event of a shutdown,” Kwiatkowski told Sputnik.

“I think this is a Pentagon and administration attempt to remove the ability of the Congressional GOP Freedom Caucus to argue that they desire to pay American salaries, before they pay Ukrainian ones – by saying we (the Biden admin) are paying Ukrainian salaries no matter what you (the House America First-types) do.” When it comes to the larger $24 billion package, the former Pentagon analyst has a sense that “if serious negotiations are forced on Speaker Kevin McCarthy, they will find a way to reduce this amount, or to separate this aid out for separate and subsequent Congressional consideration.” The Biden administration has publicly promised this aid to Ukraine, but they do not control the appropriations – the House does, she emphasized.

“However – the Pentagon could simply provide it to Ukraine using a recalculation ‘trick’ and devaluing of past aid in the amount of $24 billion. I give this a 50% chance of happening in some way,” Kwiatkowski said. For example, in late June, the Pentagon said that it had overestimated the value of the arms it supplied to Kiev by $6.2 billion over the past two years. Four weeks earlier, the US Department of Defense cited an accounting error of at least $3 billion. Eventually, the “surplus” simply went back into the Pentagon’s pot allocated for Ukraine within the president’s drawdown authority (which allows providing Kiev with weapons directly, without Congressional approval).

“I think there is a good chance Ukraine will be able to wring out much of the promised $24 billion – but that the political battle, here in the US, to make that happen will reveal much to Congress and the American people about both the shady accounting ‘principles’ of the Pentagon and the honest situation in Ukraine,” Kwiatkowski said. Still, trouble is brewing for Kiev: it seems like many in Congress on both sides of the political aisle are beginning to understand the practical and political need for Kiev and Washington to end the conflict immediately, according to the former Pentagon analyst. She suspects that “the truth about the terrific loss on the battlefield and in Ukrainian military capability in the past 18 months is getting to the various committees in both the House and the Senate.”

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“.. the MIC is probably the principal economic engine of the U.S. as a whole..”

“So are we going to tell what adds up to tens of millions of people, sorry, your services are no longer needed? Good luck with that.”

Is World War III About to Start? Part II: The MIC and Deep State (Cook)

Today about 2.1 million people are employed by the defense industry. According to Acara Solutions, a major MIC recruiting firm, their average annual salary is $106,700, 40 percent higher than the national average. The companies they work for produced revenues in 2022 of $741 billion. How much of their production is high-priced junk, no one knows. The performance of U.S.-produced armaments in the Ukraine conflict does not seem impressive. No modern U.S. weapons have ever been tested in an industrial-type war against an equal adversary. The MIC also includes active-duty uniformed personnel of 1.37 million and reserves of 849,000. There are 750 U.S. military bases in more than 80 countries outside of the U.S. More than 100,000 U.S. military personnel are stationed in Europe.

Annual salary and benefits of the military are currently $146 billion per year, escalating with COLAs compounded at two to three percent annually, sometimes more. Some former U.S. military personnel are assumed to be fighting in Ukraine as mercenaries or helping direct the fighting from safe locations like Kiev or Lvov. Then there are the civilian employees. According to the DoD, it employs more than 700,000 civilians “in an array of critical positions worldwide,” with compensation totaling about $70 billion. According to the Government Accountability Office, we may also add 560,000 contractor employees, whose compensation is typically higher than the career workforce. We can also add hundreds of thousands of executives, managers, employees and contractors of the three-letter Deep State agencies, such as the CIA, NSA, DEA, FBI, and now DHS, etc., who interface with the MIC day in and day out and are part of the same fabric of state-sanctioned force and enemy identification and interdiction.

Added to the above are members of Congress who vote on military budgets and make the laws that protect the MIC from accountability, lobbyists who pressure those members to cast votes favorable to their MIC clients, private sector financial service employees who handle the retirement accounts of the MIC multitude, foreigners who are employed at overseas bases, and various scoundrels and hangers-on. I would include in the latter category the multitude of MIC cheerleaders from Hollywood who produce trashy spectacles like Top Gun. On top of everything else, there are millions of retirees drawing annuities in excess of what most working-class Americans earn, many of these retirees double- or triple-dipping with lucrative jobs in business or government.

Each of the above individuals supports multiple family members, workers, and vendors within the civilian economy who, with the ripple effect and velocity of money, keep entire towns, cities, states, regions, and industries afloat. An example is building the F-35 that has workers assembling it in 350 congressional districts. It is probably no exaggeration to say that given the vast exiting of civilian U.S. factories and jobs over the last half-century to cheap-labor countries abroad, the MIC is probably the principal economic engine of the U.S. as a whole. So are we going to tell what adds up to tens of millions of people, sorry, your services are no longer needed? Good luck with that. And isn’t it obvious that all these people, especially the higher echelons, are going to do everything within their power to persuade us that their jobs are so essential that without them we will shortly be overwhelmed and eaten alive by every “enemy” on the planet?

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The real warmongers.

Western Left Abandoned The People To Fuel NATO’s Carnage (Rogatyuk)

After the breakout of the First World War, the Second International and the numerous socialist organizations affiliated with it across Western Europe threw their weight behind their governments’ new military adventurism and became completely oblivious to the suffering of their fellow man at the hands of their countries’ economic and political elites. More than a century later, many of their modern-day counterparts have joined the chorus of Western governments, and their respective military-industrial complexes, in their proxy war hymn against Russia. And some of them have gone as far as giving a standing ovation to a literal member of the Waffen-SS, Yaroslav Hunka, when he was presented as a “veteran who fought for Ukrainian independence against Russia during WWII” in the Canadian parliament. It seems that even praising Nazis has become an acceptable part of the Western progressives’ discourse against all things Russian.

While many of the social democrats of the 1970s and 80s throughout Western Europe strongly opposed NATO’s expansionism and the presence of US military bases, the modern-day progressive and green parties go out of their way to roll out the red carpet for foreign soldiers on their soil. The examples are numerous. There’s Annalena Baerbock, Germany’s foreign minister from the Greens, who made headlines around the world for admitting that Germany is “fighting a war against Russia,” the former prime minister of Finland, Sanna Marin, who attended the funeral of a well-known neo-Nazi leader in Ukraine, Mette Frederiksen of Denmark, the first to pledge F-16 jets to Kiev, and Spain’s Pedro Sanchez, one of the first to promise Zelensky Leopard tanks.

In the United States, the Squad – a group of relatively young members of Congress elected in 2018 and 2022 on a progressive left-wing platform – was once considered something of an alternative to the Democratic Party establishment, but has equally fallen under the spell of the siren war song of President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Except for criticism of the delivery of cluster munitions and depleted uranium shells and supporting Bernie Sanders’ proposal to cut military spending, the Squad has consistently voted in favor of progressively bigger and bigger military aid packages to Kiev, while largely ignoring the threat posed by the various neo-Nazi armed groups in Kiev’s employ.

Even the trade unions, long considered the backbone of the anti-war movement, are not immune to the whims of the mass Russophobia and the warmongering spirit of the progressive and liberal leaders. The British Trade Union Council’s resolution urging Rishi Sunak’s government to commit further arms deliveries and financial assistance to the regime in Kiev is a stab in the back for the Stop the War coalition and millions of British workers who view the cost-of-living crisis as far more important than the delivery of military aid to a government that has thrown the rights of its own workers back to the 19th century with the new law 5371.

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Imagine dreaming of WWIII because you think it will save you.

Ukraine Offered To Strike Iran And Syria – Guardian (RT)

The Ukrainian government urged its Western backers last month to conduct missile strikes on drone factories in Iran and Syria, offering to launch the attacks itself if given the weapons to do so, according to a document seen by The Guardian. The document in question was handed to G7 governments by Ukrainian officials in August, the British newspaper reported on Wednesday. In it, the Ukrainians claimed that kamikaze drones used by Russian forces are built by Iranian manufacturers in Iran and Syria, and contain Western components. Kiev has alleged that Russia uses Iranian-made Shahed-131 and Shahed-136 drones, and that these contain 51 and 57 Western-made parts respectively.

“Among the manufacturers are companies headquartered in the countries of the sanctions coalition: the United States, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, Canada, Japan, and Poland,” the document reportedly stated. Russia denies using Iranian drones, insisting that the Shahed-like craft it launches at Ukrainian military and infrastructure targets are designed and made in Russia. According to The Guardian, the report recommended “missile strikes on the production plants of these UAVs in Iran [and] Syria, as well as on a potential production site in the Russian federation.” “The above may be carried out by the Ukrainian defense forces if partners provide the necessary means of destruction,” the document continued.

While Israel occasionally strikes military factories in Syria and is widely believed to be behind similar attacks in Iran, it is highly unlikely that the US or its allies would consider a direct attack on Iran. Likewise, it is unlikely that Ukraine would be given the long-range missiles necessary for such an operation, considering the US has even expressed reservations about providing Kiev with missiles capable of hitting targets inside Russia. Additionally, Moscow claims that Ukraine has lost 83,000 men since June in its failing effort to breach Russian defensive lines near Zaporozhye and Donetsk. With losses mounting, the chances of Ukraine being able to fight foreign forces 1,500km away are extremely slim.

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He financed it all.

Fauci Was ‘Smuggled’ Into CIA HQ To “Influence” Covid-19 Origins Probe (ZH)

Dr. Anthony Fauci was smuggled into CIA headquarters, “without a record of entry,” where he “participated in the analysis to “influence” the Agency’s” Covid-19 investigation, according to the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic. Fauci’s alleged CIA meeting was revealed in a Tuesday night letter from Subcommittee Chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) to the Inspector General of the US Department of Health and Human Services, which demands documents, communications and other evidence between Fauci and the CIA. This allegation is even more interesting in light of a report from two weeks ago that the CIA bribed analysts to say Covid-19 did not originate in a Chinese lab. According to a ‘senior-level’ CIA whistleblower, the agency ‘tried to pay off six analysts who found SARS-CoV-2 likely originated in a Wuhan lab if they changed their position and said the virus jumped from animals to humans.’

“According to the whistleblower, at the end of its review, six of the seven members of the Team believed the intelligence and science were sufficient to make a low confidence assessment that COVID-19 originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China,” reads the letter from Wenstrup. “The seventh member of the Team, who also happened to be the most senior, was the lone officer to believe COVID-19 originated through zoonosis. “The whistleblower further contends that to come to the eventual public determination of uncertainty, the other six members were given a significant monetary incentive to change their position,” the letters continue, adding that the analysts were “experienced officers with significant scientific expertise.”

Wenstrup and Turner also asked for documents and communications between the CIA and other federal agencies, including the State Department, FBI, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Energy Department. In a separate letter, the House committee leaders identified former CIA Chief Operating Officer Andrew Makridis as having “played a central role” in the COVID investigation and asked him to sit for a transcribed interview. -NY Post In June, the US Intelligence Community declassified a 10-page report on COVID origins, in which it found “biosafety concerns” and “genetic engineering” taking place in Wuhan, but that most of its “agencies assess that SARS-CoV-2 was not genetically engineered.” As the Committee noted on Tuesday;

Dr. Fauci’s questionable presence at the CIA, coupled with recently uncovered evidence that he, Dr. Fauci, “prompted” the drafting of “Proximal Origin” — the infamous paper that was used to attempt to “disprove” the lab leak theory — lends credence to heightened concerns about the promotion of a false COVID-19 origins narrative by multiple federal government agencies. Chairman Wenstrup is seeking all documents and communications related to Dr. Fauci’s access to CIA facilities and CIA employees as it relates to these allegations. Also, after becoming aware of additional information, the Select Subcommittee is requesting Special Agent Brett Rowland appear for a transcribed interview regarding Dr. Fauci’s purported movements to and from the CIA. As mounting evidence continues to imply that federal government officials covered-up the origins of COVID-19, investigating any improper influence will ensure future accountability of not only the intelligence community, but also public health officials.

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“..NAIAD, under the direction of Dr. Fauci, went ahead with the research in Wuhan, China and at several sites across the U.S…”

EcoHealth is a “CIA Front Organization” (ZH)

According to a January, 2022 Twitter (now “X”) thread by [former EcoHealth Alliance scientist Andrew] Huff, who worked at EcoHealth from 2014 to 2016, “I knew in December of 2019 that COVID was likely a lab leak.” Huff then claimed that “Not only is EcoHealth Alliance a CIA front organization, but the United States of America is primarily responsible for COVID, not China.” Huff also told Fox Business in January: “This was actually a failed intelligence operation. We were actually trading China advanced biotechnology for access to and collect intelligence on their bioweapons laboratory. I believe. I can’t prove that but a number of agencies that I discuss in the book, including Dr. Peter Daszak telling me he worked with the CIA.” From Huff’s book, “The Truth About Wuhan”:

“These discussions resulted in publications indicating that Dr. Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance, was working with the CIA, and that the biological agent commonly known as COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) had been in development at EcoHealth Alliance since 2012, and other evidence suggested that SARS-CoV-2 began earlier than 2012. The development of SARS-CoV-2 included several prominent US-based scientists and US academic institutions that received funding from numerous federal government agencies and private non-governmental organizations to complete the gain of function work on SARS-CoV-2.”

Huff also posted a document obtained by Project Veritas and published in January of 2022 purportedly authored (and not denied) by Maj. Joseph Murphy (USMC), which states “SARS-CoV-2 is an American-created recombinant bat vaccine” which was “created by an EcoHealth Alliance program at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).” Project Veritas has obtained a separate report to the Inspector General of the Department of Defense written by U.S. Marine Corp Major, Joseph Murphy, a former DARPA Fellow. The report states that EcoHealth Alliance approached DARPA in March 2018, seeking funding to conduct gain of function research of bat borne coronaviruses. The proposal, named Project Defuse, was rejected by DARPA over safety concerns and the notion that it violates the basis gain of function research moratorium. According to the documents, NAIAD, under the direction of Dr. Fauci, went ahead with the research in Wuhan, China and at several sites across the U.S. -Project Veritas

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Impeachment inquiry starts today.

“..the Biden family foreign influence peddling operation suggests an effort to sway U.S. policy decisions.”

100s Of Pages Of Newly Released Memos Spark Fresh Biden Corruption Charges (ZH)

[..] Republicans have portrayed the initial hearing as merely a summary or review of the evidence obtained to date, but Mr. Comer announced Sept. 26 that his panel received in response to subpoenas two previously unknown wire transfers to Hunter Biden from Chinese businessmen with numerous links to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). “On July 26, 2019, Hunter Biden received a $10,000 wire from Wang Xin. On August 2, 2019, Hunter Biden received a $250,000 wire from Jonathan Li and Tan Ling. Both wires originated in Beijing and Joe Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware, home is listed as the beneficiary address for both wires,” Mr. Comer said in a statement. The transfers directly contradict claims by the President and Hunter Biden’s lawyer that no funds were received from China.

In addition, Mr. Comer pointed out that “evidence shows Joe Biden developed a familiar relationship with Jonathan Li during his vice presidency and prior to these payments to Hunter Biden. Devon Archer, a Biden business associate, described [to the oversight committee in closed-door testimony] how Joe Biden met with Jonathan Li in Beijing, China, had a phone call with him, and later wrote college recommendation letters for his children.” Then on Sept. 27, Mr. Smith’s panel made public 700 pages of additional evidence provided by two IRS whistleblowers who were deeply involved in the government’s long-running investigation of Hunter Biden’s failure to pay taxes on income he received in 2014 and 2015.

The Ways and Means panel made the new evidence public following a closed-door executive session in which all 18 Democrats opposed the release. The new materials made public by Mr. Smith indicated the Biden family received at least $19 million in income from entities in at least 23 countries around the world which was channeled through 20 shell companies. The income was ultimately received directly or indirectly by multiple members of the Biden family, including the president while he was vice president.

The materials also included numerous references in emails and telephone messages to the senior Biden playing an active role in what Mr. Smith described to reporters during a Capitol Hill news conference following the executive session as “a complex and lucrative enterprise operated by the Biden family to enrich themselves to the tune of at least $20 million, with much of Hunter Biden’s share going unreported for taxes.” Mr. Smith further claimed the new evidence makes clear that “then Vice President Joe Biden’s political power and influence was ‘the brand’ that Hunter Biden was selling all over the world. Even more alarming, the Biden family foreign influence peddling operation suggests an effort to sway U.S. policy decisions.”

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“The material you requested is located in an investigative file which is exempt from disclosure.” Like for the next 5 years?!

FBI Refuses To Release Nationwide Voter Registration Fraud Probe Docs (JTN)

The FBI took over a 2020 probe into voter registration fraud that began in Michigan but has denied a Freedom of Information Act request regarding the investigation, citing an exemption in that law regarding ongoing investigations. According to the dozens of pages of police reports from the Muskegon Police Department and Michigan State Police, a firm called GBI Strategies was under scrutiny as an organization central to alleged voter registration fraud in the 2020 presidential election. The matter was initially investigated by city and state authorities before the FBI took over. Contacts between local law enforcement and the FBI continued into 2022 but there is no evidence of what happened after that in the memos obtained by Just the News through requests made under Michigan’s own Freedom of Information Act.

Last week, the FBI denied a Freedom of Information/Privacy Acts request from Just the News regarding records from the investigation into GBI Strategies. The request sought “copies of all reports, documents, and records about GBI Strategies, including all communication and correspondence regarding investigations of GBI Strategies with Michigan government officials, city and state law enforcement agencies in Michigan, and all other state government officials and law enforcement agencies involved in investigations of GBI Strategies.” The FBI’s response partially reads: “The material you requested is located in an investigative file which is exempt from disclosure.”

The FBI cited 5 U.S. Code § 552(b)(7)(A) for exempting disclosure of the records, specifically, “records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes, but only to the extent that the production of such law enforcement records or information … could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings.” The agency’s response continued: “The records responsive to your request are law enforcement records; there is a pending or prospective law enforcement proceeding relevant to these responsive records, and release of the information could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings.”

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“As a nation, the United States no longer exists. What was once a country is today just a geographical location.”

Disappearing Americans (Paul Craig Roberts)

Washington lies to American citizens for the benefit of non-citizens and well-connected citizens such as Big Pharma, agri-business, and the military-security complex. To prove the point, the anti-American Biden Regime’s “Justice” Department is suing Elon Musk for hiring American Citizens instead of immigrant-invaders. The anti-American Biden Regime calls immigrant-invaders “asylees” and “refugees” and although they do not have green cards, that is, permission to reside and work in the US, the anti-American Biden Regime gives the immigrant-invaders equal footing with American citizens and green card holders to employment rights. Elon Musk, a patriot who wishes to employ American citizens is being sued for employing Americans instead of immigrant-invaders. This is the fate of Americans under the America-Hating-Democrats. Here is what the Biden Department of “Justice” said:

“Our investigation found that SpaceX failed to fairly consider or hire asylees and refugees because of their citizenship status and imposed what amounted to a ban on their hire regardless of their qualification, in violation of federal law,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Our investigation also found that SpaceX recruiters and high-level officials took actions that actively discouraged asylees and refugees from seeking work opportunities at the company. Asylees and refugees have overcome many obstacles in their lives, and unlawful employment discrimination based on their citizenship status should not be one of them. Through this lawsuit we will hold SpaceX accountable for its illegal employment practices and seek relief that allows asylees and refugees to fairly compete for job opportunities and contribute their talents to SpaceX’s workforce.”

Dear insouciant Americans: This is what the Biden Regime’s “Justice” Department is telling you: Your citizenship as an American citizen means nothing whatsoever. Your status as an American citizen places you on the same level, or even lower, than the status of an immigrant-invader. If you hire an American Citizen instead of an immigrant-invader you have violated US law! Insouciant Americans send their sons and daughters to fight for rights of immigrant-invaders who have turned our country into a Tower of Babel. Take a moment and consider, what was the consequence of the fake “war on terror” other than massive acceptance of “refugees” from our own attacks on the Middle East and North Africa? What is the consequence of our war against Russia in Ukraine other than millions of immigrant-invders into the US and Europe?

Every time the anti-Americans who rule us launch a war, whether against “terror,” or “to build democracy,” or against “Putin reconstructing the Soviet Empire,” we get more boatloads of immigrant-invaders who demand rights at the expense of American citizens. Washington’s wars and open borders have destroyed the cohesiveness of American society and the homogeneousness of the American population. The anti-Americans in Washington have turned the United States of America into a Tower of Babel. As a nation, the United States no longer exists. What was once a country is today just a geographical location.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Trevi

 

 

 

 

Butterfly

 

 

DogDucks
https://twitter.com/i/status/1707258166101066190

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 262023
 
 September 26, 2023  Posted by at 8:10 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  43 Responses »


SalvadorDali Girl At The Window 1925

 

Zelensky’s Failed Visit to US Shows ‘End is Coming’ for Ukraine (Sp.)
Zelensky’s Wife Unsure If He Will Seek Reelection (RT)
Ukraine To Surrender On Moscow’s Terms Or Cease To Exist – Duma Speaker (TASS)
How to Prevent a Third World War (Sp.)
Slouching Towards Beelzebub (Kunstler)
Canada Saluting A Ukrainian Nazi Was No Coincidence (Eva Bartlett)
How Canada Became a Safe Haven for Ukrainian WWII-era Nazis (Sp)
Hillary Clinton Claims Russia Seeks to Meddle in 2024 Election (Tweedie)
EU to Rely on US LNG ‘For Decades’ (Sp.)
Diamonds Aren’t Forever For The Belgians – War Against Russia Instead (Helmer)
War of Economic Corridors: the India-Mideast-Europe Ploy (Pepe Escobar)
The ‘Last Man’ Teleology and the Fall of the West (Alistair Crooke)
Senator Menendez Broke the ‘Goldilocks Rule’ of Corruption (Turley)
Scientists ‘Shocked’ And ‘Alarmed’ At What’s In The mRNA Shots (Barnett)

 

 

 

 

Tucker

 

 

 

 

GOPUkr

 

 

American troops in Ukraine?

 

 

Effective
https://twitter.com/i/status/1706178028018008199

 

 

 

 

CIA Covid

 

 

USGovLie

 

 

 

 

Hmmm. Let’s see it first.

Zelensky’s Failed Visit to US Shows ‘End is Coming’ for Ukraine (Sp.)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s lackluster receptions in Washington and at the UN in his trip to the US last week, and inability to achieve major objectives, shows that his moment has passed and the end is near for Kiev, experts told Sputnik. Zelensky visited Washington on Thursday for the second time since Russia launched its special military operation. Unlike his Democratic predecessor Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy declined Zelensky’s request to address a joint session of Congress. It also came as the lower congressional chamber is struggling to pass a short-term spending plan to avoid a government shutdown at the end of the month, with continued financial support for Kiev being one of the sticking points among Republicans.

Biden did announce a new security package for Kiev, although it did not include the ATACMS long-range missiles Zelensky sought. However, according to media reports, Biden during the visit informed Zelensky that the US will send a small number of ATACMS to Ukraine for the first time. A White House National Security Council spokesperson declined a Sputnik request to confirm and comment. Retired US Army Lt. Col. and international consultant Earl Rasmussen, former Vice President of the Eurasia Institute, said Ukraine’s leader failed to achieve many objectives during his trip to the US, including isolating Russia at the Security Council and securing greater international support. Nor did he receive a strong reception from US Congress, Rasmussen observed. One would assess the US adventure as one absent of excitement and a definite disappointment, Rasmussen continued.

“There were no mass pro-Ukrainian or anti-Russian demonstrations in New York or Washington. The UN Assembly Hall was at best half full for his presentation, which seemed more based on an alternative universe,” Rasmussen told Sputnik. “Essentially this visit was a non-event with even The New York Times publishing a critical article the day before his appearance in the UN. Coincidence? Likely not.” This all comes to mean one thing – a reality that Ukraine should grasp by now, Rasmussen said. “The end is rapidly coming both for Zelensky and Ukraine,” Rasmussen said. “A military defeat is near… The question is do we seek a settlement and end the killing, or do we escalate more to try to prolong the conflict and as a result see even more lives lost and an increased chance of direct conflict.”

Former Pentagon analyst Chuck Spinney speculated that Zelensky might even be realizing his chance to rally the West behind his cause once again has come and gone. “I think Zelensky’s phony ‘Churchillian Moment’ has passed,” Spinney told Sputnik. “His body language suggests that he knows he is losing touch with his audience.” Nicolai Petro, who serves as a professor of political studies at the University of Rhode Island, said Zelensky’s trip to the United States revived public interest in the issue of Ukraine, but that he had to endure complaints from some of his sponsors about Ukraine’s lack of military success and corruption. “Alas, there is little that can be done about either of these,” Petro said. “The fact that lax oversight controls over funding and military shipments to Ukraine predictably resulted in a significant percentage of it disappearing was not revealed yesterday – sources in the White House were aware of it in April 2022 and CBS News reported on it in August 2022.” The widespread corruption that guaranteed the waste and misuse of US and NATO-supplied weapons systems would likely continue unabated, Petro predicted.

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His safe way out?

Zelensky’s Wife Unsure If He Will Seek Reelection (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky might not run for reelection next year, his wife, First Lady Elena Zelenskaya, told CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday. The difficulties of organizing elections amid a military conflict, with millions of eligible voters scattered all over the surrounding continents, might influence her husband’s decision on whether to run again, Zelenskaya said. She added that she would nevertheless “support him whatever decision he takes.” “It will also depend whether our society would need him as a president, if he will feel that Ukrainian society would no longer wish him to be the president, he will probably not run,” she added, admitting that she was uncertain of her husband’s intent.

While Zelenskaya claimed she “didn’t fully endorse” his first attempt at the presidency, she acknowledged that a second try would be “not as scary” due to the couple’s experience. She called the moderator’s question – about how she would feel if Zelensky launched a reelection bid – a “difficult” one. The Ukrainian head of state visited the US last week to meet with President Joe Biden and other leaders, coming back with a pledge of “up to $325 million” for “critical security and defense needs” from the White House, after reportedly warning American lawmakers that Kiev may lose to Russia otherwise. Washington has reportedly handed over $75 billion to Kiev in the last two years, with most of that – $46.6 billion – being military aid.

A survey published earlier this month revealed nearly eight in 10 Ukrainians blame Zelensky for the rampant corruption that plagues their country – another reason the president might be apprehensive about running for reelection. He has also complained about weakening Western support as well, using an interview with the Economist to denounce his unfaithful erstwhile benefactors as closet Russia supporters and threaten them with losses in their own elections if Kiev succumbs militarily, and social problems, should the millions of Ukrainian refugees scattered throughout Europe get unruly.

Ukrainian martial law prohibits elections, and Ukrainian security officials recently acknowledged to the Washington Post that a vote would be essentially impossible with most of the population deployed on the front lines or living outside the country. However, Kiev is facing increasing pressure from the West to at least maintain the appearance of a functioning democracy, a demand the government cannot afford to dismiss outright given the degree to which it is financially dependent on American and European largesse. In June, Zelensky acknowledged a vote could only take place after the conflict was settled, only to reverse course in August and say it was possible – as long as he got an additional $135 million.

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“Ukraine has lost 53.7% of its population since 2014..”

Ukraine To Surrender On Moscow’s Terms Or Cease To Exist – Duma Speaker (TASS)

Ukraine is fated either to capitulate on Moscow’s terms or cease to exist as a state, Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament), said. “When speaking about the conflict in Ukraine, [US President Joe] Biden, [NATO Secretary General Jens] Stoltenberg and other Western officials have started calling it ‘a war of attrition.’ They have put huge amounts of money into militarizing the Kiev regime. Where has it gotten them? The simple facts are these: the West is experiencing weapons and ammunition shortages, people in Europe and the US have lost trust in politicians, and the Kiev regime’s counteroffensive has failed,” Volodin stated.

According to him, the outcome of the “war of attrition” also includes economic problems in Europe and the US, a lack of manpower for the Ukrainian armed forces, and ultimately bankruptcy and demographic disaster for Ukraine. “These seven facts speak for themselves: Ukraine will cease to exist as a state unless the Kiev regime capitulates on Russia’s terms,” Volodin stressed. “More than 10.5 million people have fled Ukraine. Another 11.2 million residents of Crimea, Sevastopol, the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics and the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions decided to join Russia. Ukraine has lost 53.7% of its population since 2014,” the State Duma speaker highlighted.

Volodin noted that, in June, then-British Defense Minister Ben Wallace stated that Western countries had run out of stockpiles of those weapons that they could send to Kiev from their own national arsenals. Biden, in turn, admitted in July that the decision to provide Ukraine with cluster munitions had been driven by the fact that stocks of conventional ammunition were exhausted. “The approval ratings of EU and US leaders have hit historical lows. The share of people who disapprove of their leaders’ performance stands at 57% for Biden, at 69% for [French President Emmanuel] Macron, and at 72% for [German Chancellor Olaf] Scholz. The majority of people in the United States and European countries oppose weapons supplies to Ukraine,” the Duma speaker added.

In addition, the senior lawmaker emphasized that the NATO-backed Ukrainian military had suffered huge troop and equipment losses, while “the lack of achievements has disappointed [Kiev’s] Western sponsors.” “The economies of the Eurozone countries are going through a recession. The costs of Ukraine’s militarization have forced Germany to cut benefit payments to poor families. France has reduced the number of beneficiaries; people in need no longer receive food packages and reimbursements for drug costs. International agencies have downgraded the United States’ long-term investment rating as they expect the financial situation in the country to worsen in the next three years,” Volodin said.

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“..the moral, political, intellectual, social, and economic multi-level crisis plaguing the bulk of the collective West.”

How to Prevent a Third World War (Sp.)

The unfolding Ukraine crisis could be a prologue for a larger and more dangerous conflict, according to Russian political scientist Sergei Karaganov. “In Ukraine, we have finally stood up to the United States/West, but we have so far let them grab the initiative in matters of escalation,” Karaganov wrote in his new article. “They continuously expand and deepen their aggression by supplying increasingly deadly and dangerous weapons.” This situation is further aggravated by the evident degradation of Western elites, according to the political scientist. He particularly referred to “the moral, political, intellectual, social, and economic multi-level crisis plaguing the bulk of the collective West.” “It will only get worse in the foreseeable future,” warned Karaganov.

“Each new call from Western leaders is more foolish, reckless, and ideologically charged than the previous one, making it more dangerous for the world. They are consciously fuelling the disintegration of their societies by promoting anti-human values.” Meanwhile, modern information technology and the internet has become a convenient tool for demonization and manipulation of public perceptions. “Even now, to fight the hated Russians, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians are being sent to their deaths,” wrote the scholar. “Clearly, many more are dying from the collapse of infrastructure and healthcare. These victims are either completely forgotten or deliberately downplayed. Clearly, there is an even worse attitude toward demonized Russians. Russophobia has reached almost unprecedented proportions, perhaps comparable to how the Nazis viewed Slavs and Jews.”

This is happening against the backdrop of a broken dialogue system and the collapse of the arms control system, which, while not always useful and sometimes even harmful in the past, at least provided channels of communication between leading military powers, according to Karaganov. Meanwhile, a global realignment is underway with the West waging a “desperate final battle to preserve its dominance,” as per the Russian scholar. “A seismic shift is taking place in global geopolitics, geostrategy, and geoeconomics, and it is gaining momentum. New continents are rising, and global problems are worsening. The emergence of new sources of friction and conflicts is inevitable,” he wrote. Amid this unprecedented rapid redistribution of global power from the West to the global majority, Russia has become historically designated as “its military and political core,” according to Karaganov.

[..] “Humanity is facing an existential challenge to prevent the inexorably approaching catastrophe of the Third World War within the next decade or so by forcing the West, primarily the United States, to step back and adapt to the new reality. To achieve this, we need to compel their ‘deep state’ to refresh, as much as possible, the ruling elites, whose low quality does not meet the challenges facing humanity today. The falling West may drag everyone along, including its deep state,” he highlighted. To that end, Western elites should once again realize that nuclear armageddon poses a real threat to the world, according to the scientist.

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“Never in history has such a move into tyranny been fronted by such an embarrassingly un-charismatic empty vessel..”

Slouching Towards Beelzebub (Kunstler)

From early on, our government lied about the safety of the vaccines, at the same time that they lied and confabulated about the origins of the Covid-19 virus. They continue lying about all of this to this day even as they appear to prepare for a replay of a pandemic. Now that the weekend is over, you will not read about any of this in The New York Times. Why is that? I will offer my theory: that newspaper’s business model, based on pages and pages of print advertising, is completely broken and it is on financial life-support from the CIA and / or DARPA, probably facilitated by private sector cut-outs laundering the money. That’s how dishonorable the flagship of the US news media is.

And, of course, there is the added layer of government-directed censorship, also through private sector cut-outs, that is aimed at suppressing the truth about Covid from every angle, especially the vaccines. Doesn’t all of this look rather sinister? Choose one of two possible explanations: 1) the Covid-19 episode from the beginning was a fantastic fiasco of blundering incompetence by hundreds of officials from many agencies plus elected leaders, and at every stage was made worse by additional incompetent actions aimed at concealing massive chains of prior misdeeds producing more misdeeds resulting in the wholesale collapse of authority in our country. In other words, an epic clusterfuck.

Or 2) The entire Covid episode is a chain of crimes committed deliberately with malicious intent to kill and injure large numbers of people while contriving to deprive the survivors of their basic liberties and their property. Because identical events are seen in all the other nations of Western Civ, it would be reasonable to infer some kind of coordination managed by a supervisory force or entity. What we see is a globalist coalition formed of the World Economic Forum (WEF), the World Health Organization (WHO), The European Union (EU), the United Nations (UN), the pharmaceutical industry, the “Five Eyes” intel alliance, the global banking establishment, The Democratic Party, and scores of well-endowed non-governmental agencies such as the George Soros constellation of councils and foundations. What else is unseen?

One conspicuously strange element of the whole picture is the phantom leadership of the supposed world hegemon USA in the figurehead, “Joe Biden.” Never in history has such a move into tyranny been fronted by such an embarrassingly un-charismatic empty vessel. Never in our country’s history have our affairs whirled in such a mystifying flux of bewildering forces. Even our Civil War was a more straightforward clash of interests. Events are moving quickly now. They’re setting up the steam-table for that banquet of consequences.

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“There are even monuments honoring Nazi collaborators and Ukrainian Insurgent Army criminals still standing in Canadian cities..”

NOTE: Trudy saying he didn’t know who the guy was is nonsense. He met him the day before.

Canada Saluting A Ukrainian Nazi Was No Coincidence (Eva Bartlett)

The stomach-churning scene of the Canadian parliament giving a standing ovation three days ago to a former Waffen SS Nazi has by now made the rounds on the internet. During Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s visit to Canada, and following his predictably bombastic pan-handling speech, House Speaker Anthony Rota went on to gush praise over a Ukrainian-Canadian in parliament that day: Yaroslav Hunka, a World War II-era Nazi, calling him “a Ukrainian hero, a Canadian hero” and thanking him for his service. Two days later, Rota issued an apology for lauding the man, saying he had “recognized an individual in the gallery” and had subsequently become aware of “more information which causes me to regret my decision to do so.”

Just to be clear – since Rota was not – the individual he meekly referred to was Yaroslav Hunka, and the information which made Rota remorseful was that Hunka had been a voluntary member of 1st Galician Division of the Waffen SS – you know, the one accused of mass murdering Poles, Jews and Ukrainians in Ukraine and Poland, as well as committing other atrocities. Whereas Rota claims he was unaware of Hunka’s service as a Nazi, given that he had also praised Hunk for fighting “for Ukrainian independence against the Russians,” one can assume this is the service he referred to. In his apology, Rota stated, “no one, including fellow parliamentarians and the Ukraine delegation, was aware of my intention or of my remarks before I delivered them.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office denied any knowledge of Hunka and his Nazi service, stating, “The Speaker had his own allotment of guest seating at Friday’s address, which were determined by the Speaker and his office alone.” Whether Trudeau (and his Stepan Bandera-sympathizing deputy PM Chrystia Freeland) knew about Yaroslav Hunka or not, the question remains: why was he never brought to justice? He, or any of the other 2,000 SS Nazis Canada reportedly took in in the years following WW2. Having been accepted as anti-communist refugees with little to no scrutiny, these suspected war criminals and collaborators have been allowed to live out the rest of their days in peace, and most of them have done so openly under their own names, as the Simon Wiesenthal Center has repeatedly reported.

There is much to be said about Canada’s history with Ukrainian Nazis. Not only did it take them in after WW2, but the government-backed Ukrainian Canadian Congress, which, until recently, listed Nazi-collaborator veterans organizations as members, as well as government-funded Ukrainian ‘youth centers’ that celebrate Nazi collaborators like Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevich. There are even monuments honoring Nazi collaborators and Ukrainian Insurgent Army criminals still standing in Canadian cities. Canada has also supported modern-day Nazis in Ukraine itself, by training members of the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion on Canadian soil, although Canadian corporate media has in recent years attempted to downplay this.

Radio Canada reported in April 2022 that the Canadian Armed Forces, “did contribute to the training of soldiers of the Azov regiment in 2020, to the point where this unit is now boasting of being able to train its own soldiers according to Western standards.” The Ottawa Citizen, writing about this report, cited a 2017 briefing by Canada’s Joint Task Force Ukraine as saying, “Multiple members of Azov have described themselves as Nazis.” In November 2021, the same Ottawa Citizen journalist wrote about Canadian officials meeting with leaders from the Azov Battalion in June 2018. Canadian officers and diplomats, “did not object to the meeting and instead allowed themselves to be photographed with battalion officials despite previous warnings that the unit saw itself as pro-Nazi.”

Hunka
https://twitter.com/DD_Geopolitics/status/1706215091878744123

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“When the news of her relative’s true past leaked out, Ottawa immediately characterized it as a “Russian disinformation” campaign aimed at “destabiliz[ing] Western democracies..”

How Canada Became a Safe Haven for Ukrainian WWII-era Nazis (Sp.)

Before World War II, Ukrainian Canadians were among the most tightly knit, pro-labor, pro-Moscow, and anti-fascist migrant communities living in the True North Strong and Free. That began to change after the war and the arrival of thousands of Ukrainian Nazi collaborators wanted for war crimes across Eastern Europe. This is their story. The scandal over the Canadian parliament’s move to honor Ukrainian Waffen SS veteran Yaroslav Hunka continues to swirl, with Canada’s opposition leader, Poland, Jewish groups, Russia and the United Nations demanding accountability. Hunka, 98, was in attendance during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s address to the House of Commons last Friday, and was introduced to lawmakers as a veteran of the “struggle for Ukrainian independence against the Russians during the Second World War.” He received a standing ovation from the legislature.

It soon emerged that the former soldier carried out his “struggle for Ukrainian independence” as a member of the infamous 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the Nazi SS, also known as 14th SS-Volunteer Division Galicia. Formed in 1943 and made up mostly of ethnic Ukrainians, the Wehrmacht-subordinated fighting formation was recruited from among fascist radicals, and was responsible for the mass murder of anti-fascist and communist Ukrainians, Red Army troops, anti-fascist partisans, and Polish, Jewish, Russian and Slovak civilians. Between 1943 and its surrender to the Western allies in May 1945, 14th SS-Volunteer Division Galicia rampaged through Eastern Europe. It was used for “police actions” against Polish and Soviet partisans in western Ukraine and eastern Poland, deployed to wipe out up to hundreds of civilians at a time in the Polish settlements like Huta Pieniacka, Podkamien, Chodaczkowo Wielkie, Prehoryle, Smogligow, and Borow, and thrown into meat grinders against the Red Army (where it took heavy losses approaching 75 percent during brutal fighting at Brody, Lvov region in July 1944).

The remnants of the division were evacuated and deployed in Slovakia in the late summer of 1944 to put down the Slovak National Uprising, and then sent to suppress partisan operations in Yugoslavia in January 1945. In March 1945, the formation retreated to Austria, taking heavy losses while trying to hold back Soviet forces in and around Graz during the desperate closing months of the war. Ukrainian fascist forces later incorporated into the division also took part in the suppression of the Warsaw Uprising between August and September of 1944, although the division itself did not take part. [..] The scandal surrounding Hunka is not the first of its kind. In 2017, independent media outlet Consortium News was attacked by Canadian authorities after revealing that Chrystia Freeland, the senior Trudeau cabinet member then serving as Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, had attempted to cover up her grandfather Mykhailo Khomiak’s past as an editor of a Nazi newspaper in occupied Poland during WWII.

Canadian media later followed up on the allegations, confirming the information, and revealing that Freeland not only knew of her grandfather’s dark past, but helped edit an academic article in the Journal of Ukrainian Studies by her uncle, John-Paul Kimka, professor emeritus at the University of Alberta, in the 1990s a bid to whitewash the Nazi propagandist’s activities. When the news of her relative’s true past leaked out, Ottawa immediately characterized it as a “Russian disinformation” campaign aimed at “destabiliz[ing] Western democracies,” with Freeland claiming her grandparents fled the war in 1939 as “political exiles with a responsibility to keep alive the idea of an independent Ukraine.” After the escalation of the Ukrainian crisis in early 2022, Freeland, now deputy prime minister, got into more trouble after tweeting (and after public outrage deleting) a photo of herself holding a banner sporting the colors of the notorious fascist militant formation known as the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (Ukrainian acronym UPA), along with the UPA’s slogan “Slava Ukraini” (lit. “Glory to Ukraine”).

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I’m not terribly unpopular. That can’t be it. People love me.

Hillary Clinton Claims Russia Seeks to Meddle in 2024 Election (Tweedie)

Failed presidential runner Hillary Clinton has repeated her discredited claims of Russian interference in US elections. Clinton dusted off the 2016 ‘Russiagate’ conspiracy theory she used to explain her defeat by Donald Trump in an interview with MSNBC’s Jen Psaki — the former White House press secretary renowned for her inability to answer journalist’s questions. Psaki claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin had “interfered in our elections in the past” — directly contradicting the findings of special counsel John Durham’s inquiry that the claim was “uncorroborated” — and asked Clinton if she feared it would happen in 2024. “I don’t think, despite all of the deniers, there is any doubt that he interfered in our election, or that he has interfered in many ways in the internal affairs of other countries, funding political parties, funding political candidates, buying off government officials in different places,” Clinton claimed.

Her tone became increasingly paranoid as she went on. “He hates democracy. He particularly hates the West and he especially hates us,” Clinton ranted. “And he has determined that he can do two things simultaneously. He can try to continue to damage and divide us internally, and he’s quite good at it.” The former secretary of state and senator, the wife of disgraced ex-president Bill Clinton, even believed that Putin had a personal grudge against her. “Part of the reason he worked so hard against me is because he didn’t think that he wanted me in the White House,” Clinton complained. “Part of the challenge is to continue to explain to the American public that the kind of leader Putin is.” She then reeled off a series of unproven allegations against the Russian president, including that he was responsible for the deaths of opposition figures and journalists — and interfered in the 2016 US elections to ensure she lost to Trump.

“I fear that the Russians will prove themselves to be quite adept at interfering, and if he has a chance, he’ll do it again,” Clinton concluded. Durham’s report, finally released in June 2023, found that former Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Director James Comey’s operation Crossfire Hurricane probe — oddly named after a Rolling Stones lyric — was founded on “raw, un-analyzed and uncorroborated” intelligence and should never have been launched. It said the FBI was guilty of misconduct and was in need of reform, but did not lay individual blame on any of the numerous officials involved — from Comey to Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, two agents entwined in an extra-marital affair at the federal agency.

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Brussels sold out the EU.

EU to Rely on US LNG ‘For Decades’ (Sp.)

The European Union’s much-touted self-harming intention to diversify from Russian natural gas means it will be forced to rely on America’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) for decades to come, the bloc’s top energy official has admitted. The EU’s ambitious climate goals and pledge to phase out fossil fuels are also likely to be shoved on the back burner, as Ditte Juul Jorgensen, director general for energy at the European Commission, told a media report that the bloc’s reliance on exports of US LNG was not going away any time soon. While the official touted “conservation” and more renewable energy, such as wind and solar, as the “instruments” at the disposal of the EU that would allow it to survive another energy crisis in the coming winter, she added: “We will need some fossil molecules in the system over the coming couple of decades. And in that context, there will be a need for American energy,” said Jorgensen in an interview in New York.

Last year, when Brussels cobbled together package after package of sanctions targeting Russia over Ukraine, anyone with a clear understanding of the energy needs of the 27-member bloc could have foreseen that it was backing itself into a corner. The EU’s proclaimed decision to wean itself off Russian gas, along with “net zero carbon emissions by 2050” goals were a tough act to follow through on. Sure enough, now, for all intents and purposes, Brussels will continue to consume expensive US LNG beyond the end of the decade, to the frustration of politicians and environmental campaigners. Brussels waded into an agreement with the administration of US President Joe Biden in March 2022 to “work toward the goal of ensuring, until at least 2030, demand for approximately 50 billion cubic metres (bcm) of additional US LNG.” At the time, the pact was struck on the basis that it was consistent with EU and US shared climate goals.

“We aim to reduce this dependency on Russian fossil fuels and get rid of it. This can only be achieved through… additional gas supplies, including LNG deliveries,” EU Commission head Ursula von der Leyen said at a joint news conference with Joe Biden at the time. Jorgensen’s new statements will help European buyers “clear the path forward” now, the report added, citing initial evidence of reluctance to sign deals with US suppliers past the 2030 deadline. America’s LNG exports to EU member states surged more than twofold last year, reaching 56 bcm in 2022. Just a year before that, the shipped amount had been 22 bcm annually. There has been an echo of frustrated voices from some European politicians complaining that US LNG contracts are fraught with risks to the EU’s climate goals. But the reality is that US LNG companies are signing increasingly more long-term supply deals with Europe. Thus, America’s largest LNG exporter – Cheniere Energy – has struck a deal for two contracts with Europe-based Equinor and BASF to ship 2.55mn tons annually far into the 2040s.

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“Russian production is less than demand in developing countries.”

Diamonds Aren’t Forever For The Belgians – War Against Russia Instead (Helmer)

[..] the US-NATO blockade of the Russian tanker trade is Napoleonic in the obviousness of the miscalculation; it is also Napoleonic in the magnitude of losses on the NATO side — and the acceleration of profits on the Russian side. In today’s new episode, the battleground is the diamond trade based in Antwerp, Belgium. Almost $14 billion worth of diamonds are imported annually for cutting, polishing, and trading there, and about the same value is exported. In their rough form, most of the diamonds in the Belgian market have been mined in Russia, and either sent direct to the Antwerp diamond market, or indirectly through India. Most of the diamonds exported from Antwerp have been going to India, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Israel. The Israeli diamond processing business exports mostly to the US jewellery market.

The diamond trade in Europe has traditionally been a Jewish operation; until the Germans arrived in 1940 that was based in Amsterdam, Netherlands, for four hundred years. German race hatred wiped out the Jews of Amsterdam; Belgian race hatred for Russians is about to wipe out the Antwerp diamond market. The Jewish business is about to become an Arab one. As one Antwerp diamantaire described the situation, “if the Belgian government thinks it’s giving the finger to the Russians, all that will happen is that the diamond on that finger will move, and the finger will be what Dubai will be pointing.” Martin Rapaport’s price sheet for the trade in Tel Aviv and New York reports that in Belgium “sentiment [is] very low. Serious concerns for coming months.

0.50 and 1 ct. [carat] diamonds especially weak due to sluggish US orders. Many hope holiday activity will kickstart trading. Uncertainty surrounds Russian diamonds as fresh sanctions loom.” Rapaport, a dual Israeli-American citizen and self-reported “world’s largest and most trusted marketplace for diamonds & jewelry”, has been promoting fresh sanctions against Russian diamonds to cut the volume of Russian rough in the global market; these have been causing diamond inventories to overflow, diamond prices to fall, and Israeli margins to shrink. “Russia was the wild card in 2022. Whereas it was assumed the sanctions imposed in February by the US on Russian-sourced diamonds would lead to shortages, the goods continued to enter the market — propping up polished inventories.”

[..] “The G7 countries account for about 80-90 million carats of diamond consumption per year. As for India and China, this figure is at the level of 60 million carats. That is, the Group of Seven is ahead in this area, but taking into account the fact that Russia produces about 40 million carats annually, India and China can take all this volume. As for the possible restrictions in this industry, I think the situation will be similar to similar sanctions against oil, which is now being quietly sold to India and China, albeit at a certain discount to the world price. As far as I understand, after cutting, it is quite difficult to separate diamonds of Russian origin from other stones. But if, after all, technology will somehow control the process of selling diamonds, then the Russian Federation, taking into account the capacity of the markets, can really send supplies to developing countries. Russian production is less than demand in developing countries.”

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“..dangling an enticing Divide and Rule carrot that promises Things That Cannot Be Delivered..”

War of Economic Corridors: the India-Mideast-Europe Ploy (Pepe Escobar)

The India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) is a massive public diplomacy op launched at the recent G20 summit in New Delhi, complete with a memorandum of understanding signed on 9 September. Players include the US, India, UAE, Saudi Arabia, and the EU, with a special role for the latter’s top three powers Germany, France, and Italy. It’s a multimodal railway project, coupled with trans-shipments and with ancillary digital and electricity roads extending to Jordan and Israel. If this walks and talks like the collective west’s very late response to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), launched 10 years ago and celebrating a Belt and Road Forum in Beijing next month, that’s because it is. And yes, it is, above all, yet another American project to bypass China, to be claimed for crude electoral purposes as a meager foreign policy “success.”

No one among the Global Majority remembers that the Americans came up with their own Silk Road plan way back in 2010. The concept came from the State Department’s Kurt Campbell and was sold by then-Secretary Hillary Clinton as her idea. History is implacable, it came down to nought. And no one among the Global Majority remembers the New Silk Road plan peddled by Poland, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Georgia in the early 2010s, complete with four troublesome trans-shipments in the Black Sea and the Caspian. History is implacable, this too came down to nought. In fact, very few among the Global Majority remember the $40 trillion US-sponsored Build Back Better World (BBBW, or B3W) global plan rolled out with great fanfare just two summers ago, focusing on “climate, health and health security, digital technology, and gender equity and equality.”

A year later, at a G7 meeting, B3W had already shrunk to a $600 billion infrastructure-and-investment project. Of course, nothing was built. History really is implacable, it came down to nought. The same fate awaits IMEC, for a number of very specific reasons. The whole IMEC rationale rests on what writer and former Ambassador M.K. Bhadrakumar deliciously described as “conjuring up the Abraham Accords by the incantation of a Saudi-Israeli tango.” This tango is Dead On Arrival; even the ghost of Piazzolla can’t revive it. For starters, one of the principals – Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman – has made it clear that Riyadh’s priorities are a new, energized Chinese-brokered relationship with Iran), with Turkey, and with Syria after its return to the Arab League.

Moreover, both Riyadh and its Emirati IMEC partner share immense trade, commerce, and energy interests with China, so they’re not going to do anything to upset Beijing. At face value, IMEC proposes a joint drive by G7 and BRICS 11 nations. That’s the western method of seducing eternally-hedging India under Modi and US-allied Saudi Arabia and the UAE to its agenda. Its real intention, however, is not only to undermine BRI, but also the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INTSC), in which India is a major player alongside Russia and Iran. The game is quite crude and really quite obvious: a transportation corridor conceived to bypass the top three vectors of real Eurasia integration – and BRICS members China, Russia, and Iran – by dangling an enticing Divide and Rule carrot that promises Things That Cannot Be Delivered.

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How did Brzezinski and Fukuyama ever become so influential?

The ‘Last Man’ Teleology and the Fall of the West (Alistair Crooke)

As is well known, the Mackinder ‘Pivot of History’ doctrine (1904) of ‘he who controls the Asian heartland controls the world’ was cemented into the U.S. zeitgeist as the unassailable doctrine that a united Heartland – which might challenge the U.S. – must never be allowed. To which Brzezinski, President Carter’s National Security Adviser, added that the Ukraine, by virtue of its divided national identities, entwined in old complexities, should be seen as the hinge around which heartland power revolved: ‘Absent Ukraine, Russia would never become the heartland power; but with Ukraine, Russia can and would’, Brzezinski averred. Well, that was the idea – to mobilise fierce Ukrainian ultranationalism versus a weak Russia, and put them to fight each other.

But the evolution of the ‘Brzezinski doctrine’ – quite surprisingly – segued into a series of western mythological errors: First, that Russia was easily defeated in Afghanistan, by a few lightly armed jihadists (not true). Secondly, that the Soviet Union and its satellites were overthrown by ‘Revolutions from Below’ (also not true). And thirdly, that a powerful U.S. Security-State ‘Leviathan’ could ensure U.S. hegemony (through mounting ‘Revolutions from Below’). Brzezinski’s prime intent may originally have been to keep Russia and China divided from each other. But the Soviet Union’s sudden implosion (unrelated to Afghanistan) was crafted narratively to lend credence to Francis Fukuyama’s End of History and the Last Man meme. After the Cold War and the Soviet communist empire’s collapse, the American political, cultural and economic model was widely held to be the ‘Last Man Standing’.

‘Afghanistan’ also fostered the myth of Islamic insurgents as the ideal solvents for ‘backward’ states needing new western, forward-thinking leaders. (It was Brzezinski who persuaded Carter to insert Islamic radicalism into Afghanistan to undermine the Russian-supported, socialist Najibullah). ‘Afghanistan’ effectively was the pilot for the ‘Arab Spring’ – a global ‘house-cleaning’ that, it was claimed, would end vestiges of earlier Soviet influence, and create new stability. The excitement in neo-con circles was palpable. And America’s Cold War success was attributed (apart from western culture’s ‘genetic’ advantages) to the empowerment of the military-security apparati. In theory, the end to the Cold War might have been an opportunity to return to the U.S. Founders’ original principles of distance from European conflicts and of caution toward military and security Leviathans.

The Soviet implosion seemed a harbinger of global tensions vented; pressures released. But then, ‘something’ extraneous, out-of-the-blue, happened; something that in a stroke, reversed the logic of the Cold War expected ‘peace dividend’ by “invigorating the military-security state to new heights”, Gordon Hahn notes. The power of the military-security state began, from this point onward, to be deployed abroad – in the service of the globalising cultural war. What had happened was ‘9/11’. But then a new ‘twist’ took America away, on an entirely different path. Barack Obama infused new energy into the military-security state. The Obama administration however, was not so much motivated by overseas hegemony (though not opposed to it). The focus though was on bringing forward the cultural revolution underway in the U.S. What had happened? And how is Ukraine connected to this?

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“..Menendez pursued gifts with a reckless abandon, endangering others whose corruption was more circumspect..”

Senator Menendez Broke the ‘Goldilocks Rule’ of Corruption (Turley)

In 2010, I defended a federal judge, Thomas Porteous, in his impeachment trial, against charges that he had taken gifts and misused his office for personal gain. The curious thing about Senate trials is that you have a jury composed of people you could strike for cause in a real court. Menendez was among those sitting in judgment of Porteous, but he wasn’t just another face in the Senate crowd — he stood out. It was like arguing a piracy case with Captain Jack Sparrow sitting on the jury. Menendez himself would later go on trial in 2017 in a major bribery and fraud case involving luxury gifts allegedly exchanged for official favors. Most of us expected the worst when, during jury deliberations, one juror asked the court, “What is a senator?” Menendez dodged the bullet. The jury hung and the Justice Department dropped all charges.

Now Menendez has been slapped with a massive new bribery indictment. The facts are all too familiar, with a long list of lavish gifts allegedly made in exchange for favors. The indictment details gold bars, hundreds of thousands of dollars, furnishings and other gifts. His wife was allegedly actively involved in this corruption conspiracy and is also facing criminal charges. During the Porteous trial, I noted that, at the time of the underlying acts, the senators themselves were accepting free lunches. It was not until later that the rules changed on such gifts. Menendez now stands accused of accepting a host of gifts at that time, including an $8,000 free flight in October 2010, in addition to luxury trips to Paris and a Caribbean villa.

Yet Menendez still demanded the conviction of Porteous, even though the judge was never charged with bribery, and free lunches and the other gifts would not be enough to even register with Menendez. The question is whether this level of corruption is now enough for Democrats. California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) recently suggested a type of Goldilocks rule for corruption. He warned that people in Washington had better be careful if they want to crack down on the Biden family’s influence-peddling. “If that’s the new criteria, there are a lot of folks in a lot of industries — not just in politics — where people have family members and relationships and they’re trying to parlay and get a little influence and benefit in that respect. That’s hardly unique.” It would appear that the question is not corruption, but when a little corruption is “just right.”

If these allegations against Menendez are proven, then he violated Washington’s Goldilocks rule. It would mean that Menendez pursued gifts with a reckless abandon, endangering others whose corruption was more circumspect. Consider the timeline: It would mean that during the Porteous trial, Menendez was allegedly accepting gifts while condemning and removing from office a judge accused of receiving gifts. Later, after the jury hung in his first corruption trial, Menendez (according to the Justice Department) almost immediately started taking gifts from new sources. In a town known for a certain finesse in influence peddling, Menendez broke with industry custom by allegedly accepting direct items like gold and a car. This is classic bribery stuff. There was no labyrinth of shell companies and accounts — just crude old-school corruption, with cash stuffed in clothing and gold bars squirreled away for a rainy day.

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“..under the Gene Technology Act (2000) definition, the DNA contamination is a genetically modified organism (GMO)..”

Scientists ‘Shocked’ And ‘Alarmed’ At What’s In The mRNA Shots (Barnett)

Early in 2023, genomics scientist Kevin McKernan made an accidental discovery. While running an experiment in his Boston lab, McKernan used some vials of mRNA Pfizer and Moderna Covid vaccines as controls. He was ‘shocked’ to find that they were allegedly contaminated with tiny fragments of plasmid DNA.McKernan, who has 25 years’ experience in his field, ran the experiment again, confirming that the vials contained up to, in his opinion, 18-70 times more DNA contamination than the legal limits allowed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In particular, McKernan was alarmed to find the presence of an SV40 promoter in the Pfizer vaccine vials. This is a sequence that is, ‘…used to drive DNA into the nucleus, especially in gene therapies,’ McKernan explains.

This is something that regulatory agencies around the world have specifically said is not possible with the mRNA vaccines. Knowing that the contamination had not been disclosed by the manufacturers during the regulatory process, McKernan raised the alarm, posting his findings to Twitter (now X) and Substack with a call-out to other scientists to see if they could replicate his findings. Other scientists soon confirmed McKernan’s findings, though the amount of DNA contamination was variable, suggesting inconsistency of vial contents depending on batch lots. One of these scientists was cancer genomics expert Dr Phillip Buckhaults, who is a proponent of the mRNA platform and has received the Pfizer Covid vaccine himself. In September of this year, Dr Buckhaults shared his findings in South Carolina Senate hearing.

‘I’m kind of alarmed about this DNA being in the vaccine – it’s different from RNA, because it can be permanent,’ he told those present. ‘There is a very real hazard,’ he said, that the contaminant DNA fragments will integrate with a person’s genome and become a ‘permanent fixture of the cell’ leading to autoimmune problems and cancers in some people who have had the vaccinations. He also noted that these genome changes can ‘last for generations’. Dr Buckhaults alleges that the presence of high levels of contaminant DNA in the mRNA vaccines ‘may be causing some of the rare but serious side effects, like death from cardiac arrest’. He added, ‘I think this is a real serious regulatory oversight that happened at the federal level.’ Dr Buckhaults’ concerns are shared by McKernan, who presented his findings to the FDA in June.

At the time of writing, McKernan had not received any response from the FDA on the matter. Dr Buckhaults said in the Senate hearing that he had emailed his findings to the FDA, but he had not received a response either. In Australia, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) maintains that Covid vaccines cannot alter a person’s DNA. A spokesperson for the TGA stated, ‘The mRNA in the vaccines does not enter the nucleus of cells and is not integrated into the human genome. Thus, the mRNA does not cause genetic damage or affect the offspring of vaccinated individuals.’ They also said, ‘All batches of Covid vaccines distributed to Australians have been tested for the presence of contaminants including residual DNA template levels.’

However, a legal case filed in the Australian Federal Court in July of this year alleges that the TGA is not the appropriate regulator of Covid mRNA vaccines because, under the Gene Technology Act (2000) definition, the DNA contamination is a genetically modified organism (GMO). The plaintiff, Victorian doctor and pharmacist Dr Julian Fidge, is seeking an injunction to stop Pfizer and Moderna from distributing their mRNA Covid vaccines because they never obtained a license from the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR), which is the agency that oversees all GMO related products. The TGA did not require tests for genotoxicity or carcinogenicity before providing provisional approval and, eventually, full registration of both the Moderna and Pfizer Covid vaccines.

OGTR guidance strongly suggests such tests should be undertaken where there exists a risk of harm to human health. McKernan, who provided expert advice on the case, agrees that the DNA contamination in the mRNA vaccines fits the Australian legal definition of a GMO. But there is also a second component of the mRNA vaccines that fits the definition. That’s the mRNA itself, which is actually modified RNA wrapped in lipid nanoparticles (LNPs). The case argues that this ‘LNP-mod-RNA complex’ falls under the legal definition of a GMO and that, like the DNA contamination, it has the capacity to enter the cell nucleus and integrate into the human genome.

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Hoof

 

 

 

 

Drink my house
https://twitter.com/i/status/1706211277100536040

 

 

PianoElephant

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 242023
 
 September 24, 2023  Posted by at 9:21 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  18 Responses »


Jackson Pollock Shooting Star 1947

 

‘New World Order’ Vs ’Empire Of Lies’ – Lavrov at UN (RT)
Is World War III About to Start? Part I: Drift Toward War (Cook)
Defeat (Michael Brenner)
McCarthy Reverses Course, Maintains Ukraine Aid in Pentagon Funding Bill (Sp.)
Kiev’s Counteroffensive Unlikely To Achieve Its Goals – US Officials (RT)
Jackson Hinkle: Western Elites Want War Against Russia, China (Sp.)
RFK, Jr. As A Third-Party Candidate (AT)
California Democrats Could Guarantee Trump 2024 Win (Seiler)
Middle East Security Requires Solution to Palestinian Issue – Saudi FM (Sp.)
Elon Musk: Media ‘Instructed Not To Cover’ Border Crisis (Fox)
What Biden’s Open-Border Agenda Means For The US (Robert Bridge)
Rhino Population Increasing In Africa For 1st Time In Decade (RT)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fauci 30 yrs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..[if they want it] to be on the battlefield, let it be on the battlefield..”

‘New World Order’ Vs ’Empire Of Lies’ – Lavrov at UN (RT)

The world has a chance to achieve “authentic democratization” in international relations by establishing a multipolar world order, marking the first such opportunity since the end of World War II, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on Saturday. The US and its Western allies seek to prevent such a development by stirring up new conflicts to divide humanity and keep their “hegemony of the global minority” in place, he added. The US and its allies still reject the principle of equality in international relations, Lavrov said. Americans and Europeans keep looking down on the rest of the world and that leads to their “total intractability” in any negotiations. Washington and its allies “keep making promises left and right” that end up being reneged-on, the Russian minister added. “As Russian President Vladimir Putin put it, the West is now the real ‘empire of lies’,” he said.

NATO activities have reached “unprecedented” levels since the end of the Cold War, the top Russian diplomat believes. The US-led forces of the bloc have conducted drills that involved simulating nuclear strikes against Russia, he claimed, adding that Washington is also actively seeking to project its military might in the Asia-Pacific through establishing military-political “alliances” with nations like Australia, South Korea or Japan and pushing them towards closer cooperation with NATO. Such actions “risk creating a new explosive geopolitical hotspot in addition to the … European one,” Lavrov warned, adding that Western politicians have been so blinded by a feeling of impunity that they’ve lost “the sense of self-preservation.” For the first time since 1945, when the United Nations was established, the world has a chance to establish a truly democratic world order, the Russian foreign minister said.

The “global majority” – ie the nations of Asia, Africa and Latin America – are increasingly seeking independence and equality, as well as respect for their sovereignty in international relations. “It is obvious for Russia that there is no other way,” Lavrov told the UNGA, adding that this fact “encourages optimism in those believing in the rule of international law and wishing to see the UN restored to its role of a central coordinating body of world politics.” The US and its allies seek to stall the onset of a multipolar world order, in particular by “stirring up conflicts that artificially divide humanity into hostile blocs and prevent it from achieving common goals,” the Russian minister pointed out. The West wants the world to “play by its infamous and self-serving rules,” he said, adding that the international community should instead strive for a world where everyone “agrees on how to solve issues together, on the basis of a fair balance of interests.”

Russia is calling for “an immediate and full” lifting of sanctions imposed against such nations as Cuba, Venezuela and Syria, Lavrov said, adding that such unilateral punitive measures “blatantly violate the principle of sovereign equality of nations” and interfere with these countries’ rights to development. “One should put an end to any coercive measures imposed in circumvention of the UN Security Council as well as to the West’s … practice of manipulating its sanctions policies to exert pressure on those deemed undesirable,” he added. Russia’s top diplomat also blasted the US over what he called threats against nations willing to work with Moscow. “It is shameful for a great power to run around like this and threaten everyone and only demonstrating its obsession with domination,” he told journalists after the UNGA session.

Moscow is ready for talks on its ongoing conflict with Kiev at any time, Lavrov told a press conference on the sidelines of the UN assembly. However, Russia will not consider any deals involving a ceasefire, he said, adding that Moscow and Kiev had supposedly almost reached an agreement in the first months of the conflict following a series of talks in Belarus and Türkiye only for this process to be disrupted, supposedly by Ukraine’s Western backers.“Putin said it very clearly: yes, we are ready for talks but we will not consider any ceasefire proposals because we did so once and were deceived.” Russia also respects Ukraine’s sovereignty in accordance with the Ukrainian declaration of independence and its constitution, Lavrov said, adding that both documents also declare the non-aligned status of Ukraine and respect for the Russian language and Russian-speaking minorities.

Ukraine’s sovereignty “was destroyed by those who staged and supported a coup, the leaders of which then declared a war on their own people,” Lavrov said, referring to the 2014 Maidan coup. The US and its allies are de-facto engaged in a conflict with Russia, Lavrov told the press conference. “We call it a hybrid war but it does not change things,” he said. Western nations are sending arms to Kiev and training its troops, he explained, so “They are de-facto fighting against us with the hands and bodies of Ukrainians.” Western nations also openly say that “Russia should be defeated on the battlefield,” Moscow’s top diplomat said, adding that Moscow is ready for such a development. “Under such circumstances, [if they want it] to be on the battlefield, let it be on the battlefield,” he said.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1705689214296129785

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“The only alternative would then be to activate a gigantic airlift of additional forces into Europe with U.S. cargo planes sitting ducks for destruction en route. Impossible.”

Is World War III About to Start? Part I: Drift Toward War (Cook)

Now the U.S., with the Neocons firmly entrenched in the State Department and elsewhere, surrounded Russia with military bases and attacked its perimeter with color revolutions in Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan, following on the dismemberment of Yugoslavia in the late 1990s and early 2000s. President Barack Obama then situated the Aegis Missile Defense System in Poland and Romania with the potential to activate missiles that could reach Moscow with nuclear warheads in six minutes. Talk was current of a possible “decapitation” strike against the Russian leadership. Finally, in 2014, with “cookies” Victoria Nuland and Vice President Joe “Burisma” Biden in charge, the U.S. fomented a coup in Ukraine with the aid of paid snipers to drive out a president friendly toward Russia and his replacement with a NeoNazi junta that put Ukraine on a war footing.

In response, Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula, where Sevastopol is the home of its Black Sea fleet, with 85 percent popular approval, while the eastern Ukrainian Donbass provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk, ethnically-Russian, declared independence. Finally, after eight years of Ukrainian provocations, the death from Ukrainian shelling of more than 10,000 Donbass civilians, and the treachery of Germany and France in failing to uphold the Minsk agreements they had guaranteed, Russia entered Ukraine with its military forces in February 2022. The conflict was on, a conflict that Russia is winning. U.S.-led sanctions against Russia failed to bring down its economy or force regime change against Putin. But each Ukrainian setback on the battlefield has been followed by more weapons and money supplied to the Volodymyr Zelensky regime by the U.S., UK, Germany, France, and other NATO members.

But who was calling the shots? In March 2022, Russian and Ukrainian negotiators reached agreement on a tentative settlement at meetings in Istanbul. UK prime minister Boris Johnson then rushed to Kiev to induce Zelensky to tear up the agreement and continue the war. Western escalation has included billions of dollars worth of heavy tanks and other weapons to Ukraine, along with cluster munitions and depleted uranium projectiles. There have been drone attacks on Russia itself and on Crimea. But the Ukrainian counteroffensive has collapsed, with speculation increasing of a major Russian counterattack, possibly even cutting Ukraine off from the Black Sea.

We have now come full circle. Warnings from Washington continue that Putin had better not go nuclear, which can be read as inviting him to do so. This is obviously a new phase of brinkmanship that could give the U.S. a pretext for themselves moving to nuclear war. Meanwhile, the U.S. understands that it could in no way challenge Russia in a conventional war even with the entire NATO alliance being activated. Even then, divisiveness within NATO and the absence of sufficient military force anywhere in Europe make this impossible at present. Veteran military analyst Scott Ritter writes in Sputnik News on September 21, 2023, that even were the U.S. to activate its entire military force stationed in Europe against Russia, it would be defeated within one to two weeks of intensive combat. The only alternative would then be to activate a gigantic airlift of additional forces into Europe with U.S. cargo planes sitting ducks for destruction en route. Impossible.

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“..deep emotions rather than reasoned thought are propelling us toward an avoidable, potentially catastrophic conflict..”

Defeat (Michael Brenner)

The march to war with China defies all conventional wisdom. After all, it poses no military threat to our security or core interests. China has no history of empire-building or conquest. China has been the source of great economic benefit via dense exchanges that serve us as well as them. Therefore, what is the justification for the widespread judgment that a crossing-of-swords is inescapable? Sensible nations do not commit themselves to a possibly cataclysmic war because China, the designated number one enemy, builds radar warning stations on sandy atolls in the South China Sea. Because it markets electric vehicles more cheaply than we can. Because its advances in developing semi-conductors may outclass ours.

Because of its treatment of an ethnic minority in western China. Because it follows our example in funding NGOs that promote a positive view of their country. Because it engages in industrial espionage just the way the United States and everybody else does. Because it wafts balloons over North America (declared benign by General Milley last week). None of these are compelling reasons to press hard for a confrontation. The truth is far simpler – and far more disquieting. We are obsessed with China because it exists. Like K-2, that itself is a challenge for we must prove our prowess (to others, but mainly to ourselves), that we can surmount it. That is the true meaning of a perceived existential threat. The focal shift from Russia in Europe to China in Asia is less a mechanism for coping with defeat than the pathological reaction of a country that, feeling a gnawing sense of diminishing prowess, can manage to do nothing more than try one final fling at proving to itself that it still has the right stuff – since living without that exalted sense of self is intolerable.

What is deemed heterodox, and daring, in Washington these days is to argue that we should wrap up the Ukraine affair one way or another so that we might gird our loins for the truly historic contest with Beijing. The disconcerting truth that nobody of consequence in the country’s foreign policy establishment has denounced this hazardous turn toward war supports the proposition that deep emotions rather than reasoned thought are propelling us toward an avoidable, potentially catastrophic conflict. A society represented by an entire political class that is not sobered by that prospect rightly can be judged as providing prime facie evidence of being collectively unhinged.

Second, amnesia may serve the purpose of sparing our political elites, and the American populace at large, the acute discomfort of acknowledging mistakes and defeat. However, that success is not matched by an analogous process of memory erasure in other places. We were fortunate, in the case of Vietnam, that the United States’ dominant position in the world outside of the Soviet Bloc and the PRC allowed us to maintain respect, status and influence. Things have now changed, though. Our relative strength in all domains is weaker, there are strong centrifugal forces around the global that are producing a dispersion of power, will and outlook among other states. The BRICs phenomenon is the concrete embodiment of that reality. Hence, the prerogatives of the United States are narrowing, our ability to shape the global system in conformity with our ideas and interests are under mounting challenge, and premiums are being placed on diplomacy of an order that seems beyond our present aptitudes. We are confounded.

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Yeah, America loves flip-floppers.

McCarthy Reverses Course, Maintains Ukraine Aid in Pentagon Funding Bill (Sp.)

In a surprising shift, Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced he will keep $300 million in Ukraine aid within the Pentagon funding bill, going back on his earlier decision to remove it due to opposition from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA). McCarthy’s decision was explained during a press briefing at the Capitol, where he revealed that he had reconsidered after realizing that another spending measure, which is set to be considered next week and funds the State Department and Foreign Operations, also includes financial support for Ukraine. Stripping Ukraine aid from the State Department and Foreign Operations bill became “more difficult to do,” leading McCarthy to choose to maintain the funding for Ukraine in both appropriations measures.

The House is scheduled to take a procedural vote next week to advance four appropriations bills, including those that fund the Pentagon and the State Department and Foreign Operations. McCarthy acknowledged that despite his decision to retain Ukraine aid in both bills, there will still be votes on amendments to remove the aid from both spending bills, according to Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA). However, these votes may not take place if lawmakers block the measures from being debated. A coalition of House conservatives had previously opposed the rule for the Pentagon appropriations bill twice this week, preventing the legislation from advancing to debate and a final vote.

These unexpected failures to pass the rule have presented challenges for McCarthy, who is trying to advance spending bills ahead of the September 30 government funding deadline. The Pentagon funding bill includes $300 million earmarked “to provide assistance, including training; equipment; lethal assistance; logistics support, supplies and services; salaries and stipends; sustainment; and intelligence support to the military and national security forces of Ukraine… for replacement of any weapons or articles provided to the Government of Ukraine from the inventory of the US.” McCarthy is facing threats of a “vote to vacate” from members of his own party, which would boot him from his speaker position.

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NYT appears to lead the change in MSM narrative.

Kiev’s Counteroffensive Unlikely To Achieve Its Goals – US Officials (RT)

Officials in Washington have suggested that Ukraine’s military forces won’t be able to cut Russia’s land bridge to Crimea as part of their counteroffensive or achieve other key goals, the New York Times has reported. “Some American officials have said that the Ukrainian counteroffensive appears likely to fall short of its strategic goals,” the paper reported in an article on Friday. Kiev’s forces are struggling to achieve the aim of reaching the Sea of Azov in Russia’s Zaporozhye Region, because the minefields set up by Moscow’s forces, they say, have proven to be “a potent defense,” the Times added. According to US officials, conducting offensive operations would also soon become even more difficult for Ukraine “as the ground becomes soft and muddy”in the region.

The NYT also said that some in Washington have warned that “within a few weeks, the Ukrainian army will need time to rebuild their stockpile of equipment and to rest forces exhausted by the summer fighting.” The Ukrainian counteroffensive was launched in early June, although Kiev has so far only reported the capture of a handful of small villages some distance away from the main Russian defense lines. President Vladimir Putin said earlier this month that Ukraine has lost more than 71,000 troops and over 540 tanks since the beginning of summer, while failing to achieve any significant results on the battlefield. On Friday, President Vladimir Zelensky told journalists in Washington that Kiev “will do everything not to stop during difficult days in autumn with poor weather and in winter.”

Zelensky claimed that Ukraine has a “very, very comprehensive plan”to “de-occupy” Artyomovsk (known as Bakhmut in Ukraine) and two other cities, which he refused to name, in the coming months. Ukraine suffered huge losses trying to defend Artyomovsk and the strategic city in Donetsk People’s Republic nonetheless fell under Russian control in May, after months of fighting. The NYT pointed out that US intelligence and military had warned the Zelensky government against spending its manpower and resources in Artyomovsk, suggesting that it would be better focused on operations in Zaporozhye Region. “Some American officials say the fight in [Artyomovsk] has become something of an obsession for Mr Zelensky and his military leaders,”the paper said.

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‘there’s nothing like that right now in the White House. There’s no communication whatsoever.’

Jackson Hinkle: Western Elites Want War Against Russia, China (Sp.)

The US establishment is not hesitant to start World War Three to maintain its globalist dominance, American political commentator Jackson Hinkle told Sputnik’s New Rules podcast.” I guess Tucker [Carlson] has got a point when he says, ‘I’m willing to bet my house that Joe Biden is going to start World War Three with Russia,’ because look what they’ve done,” Jackson Hinkle told Sputnik. “These people are insane. Even like, taking [ex-House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi on her jet to go to Taiwan and meet with Taiwanese officials. There was a lot of people, myself included, who were thinking, ‘Goodness, the [Chinese] People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is going to shoot her out of the sky or something right now? Is this going to be how it all begins?’ They’re reckless. They are completely Russophobic and beating the drums of war to go to war with China.”

Moreover, the American elite’s hostility toward Russia has surpassed that of the Cold War era, leading to a worrying breakdown in communications between Washington and Moscow, according to the political commentator. “The level of communication breakdown is so severe compared to the Cold War,” he said. “I got to meet the guy that actually developed the telephone, they had the red hotline telephone between the US and the USSR during the Cold War. And he told me he’s like, ‘there’s nothing like that right now in the White House. There’s no communication whatsoever.’ And we’re not too far off from that same sort of a lack of dialogue with the Chinese, because they want to go to war against the Chinese.”

It did not happen overnight, according to the analyst. Over the past 30 years, Washington and its allies have reneged on all the pledges they made to Moscow at the end of the Cold War. One of them was a verbal promise that NATO would not extend an inch east of Germany. “NATO since then, at the behest of the US, has violated that promise on 16 occasions now,” Hinkle remarked. The transatlantic alliance does not conceal its plans to draw in Ukraine and possibly Georgia, thus moving even closer to Russia’s borders.”

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“You won’t see RFK, Jr. tripping on stairs, falling off his bicycle at 5 mph, or saying I have to go to bed now during a news interview.”

RFK, Jr. As A Third-Party Candidate (AT)

Even as President Joe Biden leads in the 2024 primaries, Democrat presidential contender Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has higher favorability and lower unfavorability numbers than either President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, (Trump 43%, Biden 41%, RFK, Jr. 14% unfavorability) according to a new poll by The Economist/YouGov. Rasmussen reports that a survey also revealed that twenty-five percent (25%) of likely Democrat voters would vote for RFK Jr. in the 2023 primaries for President. Three percent (3%) of Democrats favor author Marianne Williamson in the primaries, while seven percent (7%) would vote for another candidate. The Rasmussen Report is based on a national survey of 998 U.S. likely voters conducted September 14 and 17-18, 2023.

Teddy Roosevelt ran for president in 1912 on the Progressive Party ticket, a third party, against incumbent Republican President William Howard Taft. Taft was elected president in 1908, the successor of Teddy Roosevelt, but was defeated for reelection in 1912 by Woodrow Wilson because Roosevelt’s third party split the Republican vote. The Republicans won in 1920 with a campaign positioned around opposition to Wilson’s policies with Warren G. Harding promising a “return to normalcy.” Sound familiar? The Progressive Party was nicknamed the Bull Moose Party when Roosevelt boasted that he felt “strong as a bull moose” after losing the Republican nomination at the June 1912 convention in Chicago. RFK, Jr. is as strong as a bull moose both physically and mentally. RFK, Jr. is jacked and that is well documented. At 69, he is ripped like few others his age. He’d beat Putin in a Mr. Universe Senior contest. You won’t see RFK, Jr. tripping on stairs, falling off his bicycle at 5 mph, or saying I have to go to bed now during a news interview.

Don’t let spasmodic dysphonia, a neurological disorder that causes involuntary spasms in the larynx, cloud your judgement about RFK, Jr.’s mental acuity or toughness. He lived through the tragedy of his uncle, President John F. Kennedy and his dad’s assassinations, and has had an extraordinarily successful career as an environmental lawyer fighting for sane policies against the U.S. Department of Environment Protection and big business. His ideas on foreign policy, the economy, and other critical issues are clear, logical, and convincing. His detractors want you to believe he is feeding Americans’ hunger for conspiracies. Americans have been fed conspiracies constantly by the extreme Left. The Left bombards us every day with “conspiracy theories” that is if you liken a conspiracy to a lie.

RFK, Jr. explained convincingly the circumstances and facts surrounding his uncle’s death in a recent speech at a private residence New Hampshire. Attend one of his campaign events to find out firsthand that JFK, Jr. is a straight shooter, extremely well versed, and perspicacious on a multitude of topics affecting Main Street America. Can RFK, Jr. win the presidency on a third-party ticket? Who knows? At the very least a third party would in all likelihood obtain enough votes to allow a pro-Main Street America candidate like former President Donald J. Trump. This country needs to return to what made America great: hard work, freedom to choose, and the right to speak without fear of disparagement, or worse.

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It’s sort of amusing. But mostly, it’s deeply sad.

California Democrats Could Guarantee Trump 2024 Win (Seiler)

Trump’s actions on Jan. 6, 2021 supposedly made him the leader of an “insurrection.” The best argument against that was advanced by former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey in the Wall Street Journal: “The use of the term ‘officer of the United States’ in other constitutional provisions shows that it refers only to appointed officials, not to elected ones. In US vs Mouat (1888), the Supreme Court ruled that ‘unless a person in the service of the government … holds his place by virtue of an appointment … he is not, strictly speaking, an officer of the United States. Chief Justice John Roberts reiterated the point in Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (2010): ‘The people do not vote for the Officers of the United States.” ”

Now, here’s where it gets interesting. Hypothetically, what if Mr. Mukasey’s argument doesn’t hold up in the courts? Then California and other states’ attorneys general and governors, or lawsuits by political groups, could throw Mr. Trump off the ballot. Especially critical would be the swing states with Democratic governors: Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper. Or Fulton County (Atlanta) District Attorney Fani Willis, already prosecuting Trump for allegedly interfering in the 2020 election, could do it. But then, Republicans could do it in their swing states, throwing President Joe Biden off the ballot. They could say his alleged bribes from Communist China disqualify him under the 14th amendment’s Section 3 wording for having “given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

Republicans governors invoking that clause could include Glenn Youngkin of Virginia, Brian Kemp of Georgia, Kim Reynolds of Iowa, Joe Lombardo of Nevada, and Chris Sununu of New Hampshire. It would be what in military parlance is called Mutual Assured Destruction. If that happened, neither Mr. Trump nor Mr. Biden would reach the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency in the Electoral College. Then what? Then we would have the fourth of what s called a Contingent Election, although the phrase itself isn t in the Constitution. It means the matter is decided by the House of Representatives (or the Senate for vice presidents). There have been three so far: Thomas Jefferson beat Aaron Burr in 1800; John Quincy Adams beat Andrew Jackson in 1825. And in 1837 the vice presidential election was given to Richard Mentor Johnson over Francis Granger.

Under a Contingent Election in the House, all 435 members don’t get to vote. Rather, each state delegation gets one vote, 50 votes total. On Sept. 18 Canadian political writer Stephen Marche wrote an article for the left-wing Guardian titled, Here’s the scary way Trump could win without the electoral or popular vote: In a contingent election, he could lose the popular vote, electoral college and all his legal cases and still end up the legal US president. He calculated: State delegations in the House would favor Republicans as a matter of course. In the struggle for congressional delegates, Republicans would have 19 safe House delegations and the Democrats would have 14, as it stands, with more states leaning Republican than Democrat. So California, by knocking Mr. Trump off the ballot, could guarantee he becomes president.

Again, none of this is likely to happen. If any state tries to keep him off the ballot, the courts almost certainly would put him back on, possibly reasoning along the lines Mr. Mukasey detailed. There’s one thing this whole escapade teaches us: A large number of California’s politicians hold in contempt the Constitution, democracy, and the people of the state they claim to represent. In this train-wreck of a state, with housing, homelessness, drug addiction, schooling, budget, and countless other problems festering—don’t they have anything better to do?

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“..guaranteeing the right of the Palestinian people to create an independent state within the 1967 borders..”

Middle East Security Requires Solution to Palestinian Issue – Saudi FM (Sp.)

Security in the Middle East requires a fair and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian problem, Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said on Saturday. “Security in the Middle East requires an acceleration in the search for a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian problem based on international law and the Arab peace initiative, guaranteeing the right of the Palestinian people to create an independent state within the 1967 borders,” the Saudi minister said at the UN General Assembly, adding that his country rejects any actions that impede the resolution of the Palestinian issue Bin Farhan Al Saud also noted the need for de-escalation in Sudan, called for a solution to the Syrian crisis and declared the country’s interest in security and stability in Yemen.

In addition, the minister said that Riyadh is striving to stabilize energy prices. On Wednesday, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud said that the country is “getting closer every day” to normalizing relations with Israel. On Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel is on the verge of a historic peace agreement with Saudi Arabia, which will change the face of the Middle East. Relations between Palestine and Israel have been adversarial since the latter’s founding in 1948. Palestinians seek diplomatic recognition of their independent state on the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which is partially occupied by Israel, and the Gaza Strip. The Israeli government refuses to recognize Palestine as an independent political and diplomatic entity and continues to build settlements in the occupied areas despite objections from the United Nations.

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“..if you’re going to leave your country, go somewhere else.”

Elon Musk: Media ‘Instructed Not To Cover’ Border Crisis (Fox)

Billionaire and X, formerly known as Twitter, owner Elon Musk on Thursday accused news outlets of ignoring the crisis along the southern border because they were “instructed” not to cover it. FOX News national correspondent Bill Melugin posted on social media how local news networks are covering the migrant crisis more than other national news networks. “Watching the TVs at gym in Eagle Pass. Every single local news station in the San Antonio market, both English & Spanish, are leading their shows and have much of their A blocks centered on the border crisis and the mass illegal crossing in Eagle Pass today,” he wrote. “National networks were MIA at the bridge today, other than @FoxNews.” Musk responded to Melugin’s post by writing, “This gets no coverage because the media NPCs are instructed not to cover it.”

NPC stands for “non-player characters,” meaning scripted characters in video games that are programmed with specific behavior rather than directly controlled by a human being. The term is used online for someone who doesn’t think for themselves. Thousands of predominantly Venezuelan adult illegal immigrants moved into Texas and gathered under a nearby bridge on Wednesday. Texas troopers told FOX News that their initial count of the number of migrants moving across the water into Eagle Pass on Wednesday was about 4,000. The migrants gathered under the bridge and were waiting to be processed by Border Patrol, in the hope of being released into the U.S. Concern about the border has reached a fever pitch in recent weeks as even some Democrats are warning that the crisis has gotten out of control, while other liberal figures still reject those claims.

Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams made an ominous warning about the immigration crisis at a town hall meeting earlier this month. “I don’t see an ending to this. I don’t see an ending to this. This issue will destroy New York City. Destroy New York City,” he said. MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan responded by ridiculing the mayor in a social media post, referring to him as a “Trump knock-off.” Gov. Kathy Hochul, D-N.Y., similarly faced mockery after telling migrants, “We don’t have capacity, so we have to also message properly that we’re at our limit, if you’re going to leave your country, go somewhere else.”

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“..entering the US illegally now ranks up there with “basic American values.”

What Biden’s Open-Border Agenda Means For The US (Robert Bridge)

The defenders of open US borders like to sell the happy, optimistic narrative that asylum seekers are primarily innocent people looking to build a better life in the United States. The raw data, however, points to a much more complicated story. It’s the rarest occurrence of all when politicians admit that they were wrong, but that’s what is (almost) happening in Democrat-ruled cities, including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, which are being forced to absorb a continuous influx of migrants, together with a large slab of humble pie. “Let me tell you something New Yorkers, never in my life have I had a problem that I did not see an ending to — I don’t see an ending to this,” New York City Mayor Eric Adams told a hushed audience in Manhattan as he called for federal assistance just days before the anniversary of 9/11. “This issue will destroy New York City.” “We are past our breaking point,” Adams continued with his apocalyptic plot. “New Yorkers’ compassion may be limitless, but our resources are not.”

Back on the campaign trail in 2021, Adams’ campaign posted on what was then Twitter: “We should protect our immigrants. Period. Yes, New York City will remain a sanctuary city under an Adams administration.” Much of the Democratic Party’s headache stems from the creation of so-called ‘sanctuary cities,’ defined as a municipality that limits or rejects cooperation with the federal government in enforcing immigration law. In other words, the sort of neighborhood Antifa would fully endorse. Sanctuary policies have been around since the late 1970s, but they were practically unheard-of until quite recently. The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) estimated that 564 US jurisdictions had adopted sanctuary policies in 2018. To put that into perspective, there were just 40 such protected zones when Barack Obama was sworn into the White House in 2009.

Not surprisingly, many illegal migrants, without any means of supporting themselves, flock to these ‘arrest-free’ zones where they can take advantage of social services such as housing, health care and public education without any fear of deportation. But it goes beyond just free handouts. Here is how FAIR describes sanctuary cities, and the obstacles they place in front of law enforcement and border patrol: “In their various forms, [sanctuary policies] forbid state and local officials (including law enforcement officers) from asking people about their immigration status; reporting suspected illegal aliens to the federal government; holding criminal aliens for arrest by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); or otherwise cooperating with or assisting federal immigration enforcement agents. These policies endanger public safety and enjoy very little public support. Rather, they are the product of intense pressure from well-funded groups that oppose nearly all forms of immigration enforcement, or due to the capitulation by local officials in the face of threatened lawsuits by self-anointed ‘civil liberties’ organizations.”

The ACLU, for example, is of the opinion that the actions of sanctuary cities “represent basic American values: a spirit of inclusiveness and respect for individual rights.” In other words, entering the US illegally now ranks up there with “basic American values.”

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1900: 500,000
1970: 70,000
2022: 23,290

Rhino Population Increasing In Africa For 1st Time In Decade (RT)

The African rhino population is growing across the continent for the first time in a decade, despite poaching remaining high, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announced. According to the figures released ahead of the World Rhino Day on Friday, there was an estimate of 23,290 total rhinos at the end of 2022, an increase of 5.2% from the year before. Most notably, the number of white rhinos, which were assessed for The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species in 2020, has grown by 5.6% and now stands at around 16,803 animals. This is the first increase since 2012.

“With this good news, we can take a sigh of relief for the first time in a decade. However, it is imperative to further consolidate and build upon this positive development and not drop our guard,” said Dr Michael Knight, Chair of the IUCN African Rhino Specialist Group (AfRSG). According to IUCN’s website, the positive development is attributed to a combination of protection and biological management initiatives by the privately owned Platinum Rhino project, which is aimed at protecting and breeding the species to prevent extinction. Earlier this year, the project was sold to the African Parks Foundation, which plans to rewild 2,000 rhinos over the coming decade. There are five species of rhino in the world, with Africa being a home to the white and black rhinos, while the remaining three – the Sumatran, Javan and Indian rhinos – live in Asia.

Poaching remains a huge problem. According to official figures, 448 rhinos were illegally killed in South Africa in 2022, with neighboring Namibia recording 93 poached rhinos. While the numbers are still concerning, they represent a significant decline from in 2015, when 1,349 African rhinos were poached. At the beginning of the 20th century, about 500,000 rhinos roamed Africa and Asia. Their numbers dropped to just 70,000 by 1970. Despite southern white rhinos currently thriving in protected sanctuaries, the western black rhino and northern white rhinos have recently become extinct in the wild. The only two remaining northern white rhinos are kept under 24-hour guard in Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.

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Dogs ball
https://twitter.com/i/status/1705482313700712594

 

 

Elephant

 

 

Sandstone

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 302023
 
 July 30, 2023  Posted by at 9:21 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,  56 Responses »


Ivan Aivazovsky Constantinople in Moonlight 1846

 

Opera Buffa in Ukraine (Seymour Hersh)
Trump Lashes Out at Biden for ‘Monumental Corruption’ (Sp)
Russia Is Ready For Confrontation With NATO – Putin (RT)
Geopolitical Chessboard Shifts Against US Empire (Pepe Escobar)
Requiem for NATO’s Nightmare (Scott Ritter)
No Better Time For Ukraine Peace Talks Than Now – Hungary (RT)
Biden May Start ‘World War III’ – Oliver Stone (RT)
How To Fight A War With Advertising Slogans (Helmer)
Musk Denied Ukraine Starlink Access Near Crimea – NYT (RT)
Does Ukraine Really Have A Neo-Nazi Problem? US Officials Won’t Say (Forward)
US Rejects Australian Plea To Drop Assange Case (RT)

 

 

Bidens got $50 million
https://twitter.com/i/status/1685095151444905984

 

 

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

Zakharova
https://twitter.com/i/status/1685056299023863808

 

 

Arestovich

 

 

 

 

“Ukraine is the most corrupt and dumbest government in the world, outside of Nigeria, and Biden’s support of Zelensky can only come from Zelensky’s knowledge of Biden, and not just because he was taking care of Biden’s son.”

Opera Buffa in Ukraine (Seymour Hersh)

Let’s take a look at recent events in the Ukraine war from the point of view of those in the American intelligence community who don’t feel they have the ear of President Joe Biden but should. On July 17 Ukraine attacked for a second time one of Russian President Vladimir’s proudest achievements: the 11.25-mile Kerch Bridge linking Crimea to Russia. The 3.7 billion dollar bridge, with separate spans for auto and train traffic, was opened for auto traffic in May of 2018 and for trucks five months later, with Putin himself driving the first one to make the crossing. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made it clear before the Russian invasion early last year that he considered the bridge a legitimate military target. Ukraine initially attacked the bridge last October, using a submersible drone, but it was fully repaired within seven months.

The most recent attack, by a pair of submersible drones, killed a couple who were driving across when the explosion occurred and injured their child. Damage to one of the auto spans was severe. The Biden administration’s role in both attacks was vital. “Of course it was our technology,” one American official told me. “The drone was remotely guided and half submerged—like a torpedo.” I asked if there was any thought before the bridge attack about the possibility of retaliation. “What will Putin do? We don’t think that far,” the official said. “Our national strategy is that Zelensky can do whatever he wants to do. There’s no adult supervision.”

Putin responded to the second attack on the bridge by ending an agreement that enabled Ukrainian wheat and other vital food crops, stymied by the ongoing war, to be shipped from blocked ports on the Black Sea. (Before the war Ukraine exported more grain than the entire European Union and nearly half of the world’s sunflower seeds.) And Russia began steadily intensifying missile and rocket attacks in Odessa, whose initial target list has expanded from port areas to inner city sites. The official said there was a lot more than grain and sunflower seeds flowing into Europe from Odessa and other Black Sea ports: “Odessa’s exports included illegal stuff like drugs and the oil that Ukraine was getting from Russia.”

At this point, with the Ukraine counteroffensive against Russia thwarted, the official said, “Zelensky has no plan, except to hang on. It’s as if he’s an orphan—a poor waif in his underwear—and we have no real idea of what Zelensky and his crowd are thinking. Ukraine is the most corrupt and dumbest government in the world, outside of Nigeria, and Biden’s support of Zelensky can only come from Zelensky’s knowledge of Biden, and not just because he was taking care of Biden’s son.” There are some in the American intelligence community, the official said, who worry about Putin’s response to the recent Ukrainian drone attacks in central Moscow. “Will Kiev be next?”

The official depicted the American position on the war in Ukraine as confounding and unrealistic. “The president and [Secretary of State] Tony Blinken keep on saying, ‘We are going to do what it takes for as long as it takes’ to win the war.” He added that the administration has been negotiating for months for the purchase of what may amount to as much as a ten-year supply of 155-mm artillery shells from the Pakistani army that could, ironically, extend the life of a losing war effort. “More people are going to die in this war, and what for?” the official asked. “The American and Ukrainian military are no longer making any predictions” about future success in the current counteroffensive. “The Ukrainian army has not gotten past the first of three Russian defense lines. Every mine the Ukrainians dig up is replenished at night by the Russians.

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It all connects.

Trump Lashes Out at Biden for ‘Monumental Corruption’ (Sp)

Former US President Donald Trump has once again critiqued the administration of US President Joe Biden, accusing Biden of corruption. “When we win the election a little more than a year from now, I will appoint a real special prosecutor to expose the monumental corruption of the Biden crime family once and for all,” Trump said at a rally in Erie, Pennsylvania on Saturday. Trump said that the Biden family had profited from Ukraine and now the Biden administration is spending billions of American taxpayer dollars on Ukraine. The former US president once again took personal credit for the lack of confrontation in Ukraine, as well as Taiwan, under his administration. Trump emphasized that now, under Biden, China is “building military installations in Cuba.”

“And less than three years ago, we had Iran, China, Russia and North Korea in check,” Trump said, adding that now, “Russia and China are holding summits together to carve up the world.” If elected, Trump said he would put America first, end inflation, “get total independence from China,” and stop the conflict in Ukraine by getting Russian President Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelensky to start negotiations. Trump said that Biden wants him arrested because he is successful in his election campaign and stressed that there is “one chance to save” America, and that is the 2024 presidential elections. “We need fair elections and we need borders,” Trump said. He emphasized that globalists must be driven out of the US political system in order to get America to be powerful, wealthy, strong, proud and safe again.

On Friday, Trump said that his possible sentencing would not stop his presidential campaign. Earlier this month, US media reported that Trump’s attorneys were told to expect an indictment against the former president for his alleged role in efforts to overturn the 2020 US presidential election. The indictment would come amid a number of other probes into potential misconduct by Trump, including on his handling of classified documents, as well as in the middle of the 2024 presidential race, in which he has established himself as the Republican Party’s leading candidate.

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NATO is not ready.

Russia Is Ready For Confrontation With NATO – Putin (RT)

Russia is “always ready for any scenario,” President Vladimir Putin told journalists on Saturday, commenting on a potential direct confrontation between the Russian and NATO militaries. The president was answering a question about recent near-collisions involving Russian and American aircraft in Syria. “No one wants that,” the president added, pointing to the existing conflict-prevention lines that allow Russian and US officers to talk directly about “any crisis situation.”That fact that these lines still work shows that no side is interested in a conflict, he added. “If someone wants it – and that’s not us – then we’re ready,” Putin added. The Russian military has reported a total of 23 dangerous incidents involving Russian aircraft and those of the US-led coalition since early 2023, said Admiral Oleg Gurinov, the head of the Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria.


Most incidents took place in July, he added. In 11 cases the Russian pilots recorded being targeted with Western aircraft-targeting systems. Such actions on the part of the US-led coalition led to the automatic engagement of onboard defense systems, which saw Russian aircraft releasing decoy flares, the admiral told journalists.Moscow has also repeatedly warned Washington and its allies about the risks of a potential direct conflict between Russia and NATO, particularly amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Continued Western arms supplies to Kiev only extend the hostilities and make its Western backers engage in the conflict even deeper, Russia said.

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“..the only possible outcome devised by the Straussian neocon psychos who run US foreign policy is unconditional Russian surrender..”

Geopolitical Chessboard Shifts Against US Empire (Pepe Escobar)

The geopolitical chessboard is in perpetual shift – and never more than in our current incandescent juncture. A fascinating consensus in discussions among Chinese scholars – including those part of the Asian and American diasporas – is that not only Germany/EU lost Russia, perhaps irretrievably, but China gained Russia, with an economy highly complementary to China’s own and with solid ties with the Global South/Global Majority that can benefit and aid Beijing. Meanwhile, a smatter of Atlanticist foreign policy analysts are now busy trying to change the narrative on NATO vs. Russia, applying the rudiments of realpolitik. The new spin is that it’s “strategic insanity” for Washington to expect to defeat Moscow, and that NATO is experiencing “donor fatigue” as the sweatshirt warmonger in Kiev “loses credibility”.

Translation: it’s NATO as a whole that is completely losing credibility, as its humiliation in the Ukraine battlefield is now painfully graphic for all the Global Majority to see. Additionally, “donor fatigue” means losing a major war, badly. As military analyst Andrei Martyanov has relentlessly stressed, “NATO ‘planning’ is a joke. And they are envious, painfully envious and jealous.” A credible path ahead is that Moscow will not negotiate with NATO – a mere Pentagon add-on – but offer individual European nations a security pact with Russia that would make their need to belong to NATO redundant. That would assure security for any participating nation and relieve pressure on it from Washington. Bets could be made that the most relevant European powers might accept it, but certainly not Poland – the hyena of Europe – and the Baltic chihuahuas.

In parallel, China could offer peace treaties to Japan, South Korea and the Philippines, and subsequently a significant part of the US Empire of Bases might vanish. The problem, once again, is that vassal states don’t have the authority or power to comply with any agreement ensuring peace. German businessmen, off the record, are sure that sooner or later Berlin may defy Washington and do business with the Russia-China strategic partnership because it benefits Germany. Yet the golden rule still has not been met: if a vassal state wants to be treated as a sovereign state, the first thing to do is to shut down key branches of the Empire of Bases and expel US troops. Iraq is trying to do it for years now, with no success. One third of Syria remains US-occupied – even as the US lost its proxy war against Damascus due to Russian intervention.

Russia has been forced to fight against a neighbor and kin that it simply can’t afford to lose; and as a nuclear and hypersonic power, it won’t. Even if Moscow will be somewhat strategically weakened, whatever the outcome, it’s the US – in the view of Chinese scholars – that may have committed its greatest strategic blunder since the establishment of the Empire: turning the Ukraine Project into an existential conflict, and committing the entire Empire and all its vassals to a Total War against Russia. That’s why we have no peace negotiations, and the refusal even of a cease fire; the only possible outcome devised by the Straussian neocon psychos who run US foreign policy is unconditional Russian surrender.

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Goodbye to All That

Requiem for NATO’s Nightmare (Scott Ritter)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky emerges as a tragic figure in the unfolding drama that is the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.He was asked to sacrifice the lives of his countrymen in order to be seen by the U.S. and NATO as worthy of joining their club. But when the sacrifice did not produce the desired result (i.e., the strategic defeat of Russia), the door to NATO, which had been left open a crack to tease Ukraine into performing its suicidal task, was slammed shut. Despite NATO’s disingenuous machinations to maintain the optics of potential Ukrainian membership (the Ukraine-NATO Council, created during the Vilnius Summit earlier this month, stands as a prime example), everyone knows that Ukrainian membership in the trans-Atlantic alliance is a fantasy.

Ukraine is now left to pick a poison of its own choosing — accept a peace which makes permanent Russian territorial claims while forever foregoing the possibility, however distant, of NATO membership; or to continue to fight, with the likely outcome of the additional loss of territory and destruction of the Ukrainian nation and people. Robert Graves’ autobiography, Goodbye to All That, does double duty by providing a template for Ukraine as it charts the passing of Europe’s old order — the U.S.-dominated NATO alliance, the European Union, the rules-based international order and all the post-World War II structures, which held the Western world together for nearly eight decades. They are all now crumbling around us.

Graves’ struggle to adapt to post-war England in the aftermath of the horrors of the First World War, and his observations of a nation collectively struggling to define itself, is a cautionary tale for what is in store for Ukraine. As Ukraine bids farewell to its former self, it must also part with its dreams of becoming one with a European community whose own longevity is very much in doubt. That is largely because of its disastrous involvement in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Ukraine will never be the same after this war ends. Neither will the NATO alliance. Having defined the proxy war it is waging in Ukraine against Russia in existential terms, NATO will struggle to find both relevance and purpose in a post-conflict world.

The Vilnius summit on July 11-12 in many ways represented the high-water mark of Europe’s old order. The summit was the requiem for a nightmare of Europe’s own creation — the death of a nation, the nullification of a continent and the end of an order which had long ago lost its legitimacy.

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Any time is the best time.

No Better Time For Ukraine Peace Talks Than Now – Hungary (RT)

Conditions for negotiations to end the Ukrainian conflict will only worsen, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto predicted in Budapest on Friday. The two sides, he believes, wouldn’t be in a better position for talks than now. At present, Moscow is prepared to seek a diplomatic solution to the crisis, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin, while Kiev and its backers, including the US and NATO, are still refusing to enter such talks. “There will be no better conditions for peace negotiations than the present,” Szijjarto told journalists on Friday following his meeting with the Turkish foreign minister, Hakan Fidan. “Yesterday’s conditions were better than today’s, and tomorrow’s conditions will be worse than today’s,” the Hungarian minister added.

Budapest still believes that “there is no [military] solution” for the conflict, Szijjarto said. Hungary has emerged as one of the most active advocates of a negotiated solution to the ongoing conflict. Hungarian officials, including Szijjarto and Prime Minister Viktor Orban, have repeatedly called for a ceasefire and peace deal in Ukraine, and have criticized the EU for sending arms to Kiev. Budapest has also been adamant that anti-Russia sanctions hurt Europe more than they hurt Moscow. In June, Orban told German tabloid Bild that a Ukrainian victory on the battlefield is “impossible.” This week the prime minister also said that Kiev had virtually “run out of strength” and the only thing keeping Ukraine “alive” was Western financial assistance.

Moscow has repeatedly signaled that it is ready for peace talks with Ukraine. It has also blamed Kiev for the lack of progress in diplomacy, citing a decree signed last year by President Vladimir Zelensky that prohibits talks for as long as Russia’s Putin remains in power. Last month the Ukrainian leader reiterated his stance, that talks with Moscow could only start after Russian forces withdraw from all Ukrainian territory within its 1991 borders, including Crimea. Russia has rejected such demands as unrealistic. Speaking at the Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg on Friday, Putin said that the ongoing conflict is rooted in threats posed to Russia’s security by NATO. Washington and its allies “reject negotiations on the issues of assuring equal security,” he added.

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“..he’s dragging us stupidly into a confrontation with a power that is not going to give..”

Biden May Start ‘World War III’ – Oliver Stone (RT)

US President Joe Biden is following a “suicidal” course in Ukraine and may drag the US “stupidly into a confrontation” with Russia, acclaimed director Oliver Stone said during a recent podcast appearance. Speaking on an episode of British commentator Russell Brand’s ‘Stay Free’ podcast released on Friday, Stone blamed the conflict in Ukraine on the “neoconservative movement who started the war in Iraq,” and who still occupy prominent positions in Biden’s government. “Biden is an old Cold Warrior, and he really hates the old Soviet Union which he confounds again with the Russian Federation, which is not communist,” Stone continued. “It seems that he’s dragging us stupidly into a confrontation with a power that is not going to give. This is [Russia’s] borders. This is their world. This is NATO going into Ukraine. This is a whole other story.”

Stone revealed that he voted for Biden in 2020, a decision that he now considers “a mistake.” “I was thinking he was an old man now that he would calm down, that he would be more mellow and so forth,” Stone said, adding that he now sees “a man who maybe is not in charge of his own administration. Who knows?” Back in 2016, Stone produced a documentary, ‘Ukraine on Fire’, explaining the role of the US in the 2014 overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically-elected president, Viktor Yanukovich. The film was highly critical of NATO’s eastward expansion, the US’ sponsorship of Ukrainian neo-Nazis, and the war on Donetsk and Lugansk waged by Yanukovich’s US-backed successor, Pyotr Poroshenko.

The Euromaidan coup, he told Brand, “was a very deep plan to penetrate the Russian Federation.” Stone has repeatedly expressed this sentiment in the years since ‘Ukraine on Fire’ was released. “Since 2014, Ukraine was no longer neutral but anti-Russian, and that’s what disrupted the balance,” he told the Serbian daily Politika in December, adding that “every war has causes and consequences.” Though Stone was a vocal critic of former President Donald Trump and voted for his Democratic opponent in 2020, his views on the Ukraine conflict align with Trump’s. The former president and 2024 Republican frontrunner has also named the same neoconservatives as key architects of the conflict, while accusing Biden of dragging the US into “a third world war.”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1685524595170758656

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You give western Ukraine to Poland and voila!, it’s part of NATO! Article 5!

How To Fight A War With Advertising Slogans (Helmer)

In the advertising Hall of Fame, three of the all-time winning slogans are “Just do it”; “Where’s the beef?”; and “Good to the last drop”. Three Ukrainian army soldiers and a military press officer from Kiev have pressed all three on the Financial Times of London, and they just hit the money, so to speak. “Rather than dart across Russian minefields aiming to punch through enemy lines with Nato armour,” the newspaper is reporting, “Ukrainian forces have moved their focus to pounding Russian defensive positions with heavy artillery fire. Artillery gunners operating multiple-launch rocket systems and howitzers, some loaded with US-supplied cluster munitions, aim to clear pathways for small teams of sappers and infantry units.

These troops then attempt to advance methodically on foot, moving forward one narrow tree line at a time in a select few spots along the 1,000-kilometre front line… The painstaking strategy has raised questions in western capitals about whether Ukraine will be able to maintain it for long, or produce the kind of military breakthrough that would bring Moscow to the negotiating table… But in the short term, the tactic has reduced Ukrainian losses. Casualties and the number of prized western battle tanks and infantry fighting vehicles lost in battle are down compared with the first two weeks of the counteroffensive, while Ukraine has made small but steady gains.” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday night praised ‘very good results’ on the frontline”, the newspaper added.

This is the advertising to keep the US, the NATO allies, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) just doing it — continuing the $41.3 billion in military beef and $115 billion in cash to the last drop. The battlefield outcome in measurable Russian military terms cannot be a winning tagline because it is irrelevant to advertising success in public and political terms on the US and NATO side. “The so-called counteroffensive,” President Vladimir Putin told a reporter on Thursday, “this broad counteroffensive, started on June 4, 2023. This is an obvious fact, demonstrated, among other things, by the fact that the Ukrainian Armed Forces have engaged their so-called strategic reserves. As for the past few days, we can confirm that combat action has entered its intensive phase, to a significant extent.

The clashes are primarily concentrated in what they call in the West the direction of the main attack – the Zaporozhye sector. Yesterday, there was serious military action within the area of responsibility of the 810th brigade of the Black Sea’s Naval Infantry and the 71st Regiment from the 42nd division of the Southern Military District’s 58th Army…The enemy has not succeeded in any of the sectors of combat activity. All attempts at the counteroffensive have been stopped. The enemy has been forced to retreat with substantial losses. Today, they tried to recover the damaged assets, as well as pick up the wounded and casualties after leaving them on the battlefield yesterday but were also dispersed. This is the current situation as of this moment.” The men and the materiel are being lost, but not the money. The latter is winning; the former is losing but doesn’t count.

There is also a process of the “Ukraine gaining admission to NATO piecemeal”, as the Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko described it to Putin on July 23. “Tearing off this western piece of Ukraine: under the guise of NATO accession, to mislead the population. They want to chop off western Ukraine and join it to Poland. This is the payment for the active participation of the Poles in this operation, against the forces of the Russian Federation, of course. This is supported by the Americans. I told you this a long time ago, we witnessed this six months ago and discussed it preliminarily. Why am I telling you all this? It is unacceptable to us, Mr Putin. It is unacceptable to tear off western Ukrainian, dismember Ukraine and hand over these lands to Poland. And if, naturally, the western population of Ukraine needs this, we will be supporting them, of course.”

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Not for warfare.

Musk Denied Ukraine Starlink Access Near Crimea – NYT (RT)

The SpaceX co-founder, US billionaire Elon Musk, prevented Ukraine from using his company’s Starlink satellite communications system to strike Russia, the New York Times reported on Friday, citing sources familiar with the matter. SpaceX has donated over 20,000 Starlink satellite terminals to Ukraine since the escalation of the conflict with Russia in late February 2022, providing internet access in chaotic battleground areas that would otherwise be cut off. Kiev, however, sought to weaponize the communications system, according to the NYT. At some point in 2022, Ukrainian forces wanted to use the satellite system to launch a maritime drone and strike Russian ships docked at Black Sea ports. Musk refused Kiev’s request to grant its forces access to Starlink near Crimea to facilitate the attack.

In mid-February the entrepreneur said on Twitter that his company would not “enable escalation of a conflict that may lead to WWIII.” He also said that SpaceX would not be “allowing Starlink to be used for long-range drone strikes.” He also warned about the risks of a global conflict, adding that most people seem to be “oblivious” to the danger of it. According to the NYT, SpaceX also restricted access to its Starlink systems depending on frontline changes. The company used location data gathered by its service to enforce certain limits on satellite communication access, the media outlet said, adding that such a policy supposedly “caused problems” during Kiev’s counteroffensive attempts.

Starlink was initially hailed by both Ukraine and the US as a gamechanger for the Ukrainian military, providing a reliable communications system that Russia allegedly could not disrupt through hacking. Musk then gradually fell out of favor with Ukrainian officials, provoking the ire of Kiev on several occasions. In autumn 2022, he said that SpaceX could no longer cover the Starlink operation costs in Ukraine out of its own pocket. In October 2022, he revealed that the effort would cost $20 million a month and could not be sustained indefinitely. According to the NYT, about 1,300 Starlink terminals in Ukraine stopped working after Kiev failed to pay the $2,500 monthly fee for each. In December 2022, it secured additional funding from some of its European backers to cover the system’s costs.

The SpaceX CEO also incurred Kiev’s wrath by suggesting a peace plan in October 2022 that would have required Ukraine to make concessions to Russia. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s aide, Mikhail Podoliak, then demanded that the billionaire either side with Ukraine and refrain from seeking “ways to do harm,” or that he be seen as pro-Russian. In June of this year the Pentagon announced it had awarded a contract to SpaceX for Starlink satellite communications services in Ukraine. The US Department of Defense declined to disclose any details about the deal, citing “operational security reasons” and the “critical nature of these systems.”

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Forward is a Jewish outlet. You’d think they’d know what to make of Bandera et al.

Does Ukraine Really Have A Neo-Nazi Problem? US Officials Won’t Say (Forward)

It’s hard to know if Paul Massaro was oblivious or indifferent to the Nazi origin of the banner he proudly brandished. The flag, sent to him by the Ukraine Army’s Azov Brigade, featured a near-facsimile of the so-called wolfsangel symbol used by the Nazi Waffen SS. It is the unit’s official insignia. But when critics called him out for the selfie he posted on Twitter in February, Massaro — a senior official on a congressional commission that promotes human rights and democracy — was unapologetic. Instead, he lauded the “heroic last stand” that Azov had made against Russia in last year’s siege of Mariupol, and celebrated the Ukrainian government’s decision to formally elevate it to brigade status as new recruits swelled its ranks.

Six days later, Massaro posted a beaming photo of himself with an arm patch honoring Stepan Bandera, a World War II-era Ukrainian nationalist whose forces killed tens of thousands of Jews and Poles in multiple pogroms. “Hey, look what I’ve got,” he wrote above the picture. Paul Massaro tweeted a photo of himself wearing an arm patch honoring Stepan Bandera, a World War II-era Ukrainian nationalist whose forces killed tens of thousands of Jews and Poles in multiple pogroms. “Hey, look what I’ve got,” he wrote above the picture. Critics erupted — but Massaro dug in. He noted that Ukrainians view Bandera, who collaborated with Nazis in his yearslong struggle against the Soviet Union, “through the lens of the struggle for Ukrainian independence.”

Massaro eventually deleted both posts. But his tweets and the responses exemplify a discomfiting trend: Nearly 18 months into Russia’s war on Ukraine, the West’s tolerance of far-right actors has reached levels not seen since the 1930s. In its existential struggle against Russian invaders, Ukraine, a pro-Western democracy, has elevated some problematic heroes with fascist origins. And its allies — including Jewish leaders and liberal politicians usually on guard against such forces — have largely downplayed or denied this phenomenon. At least 13 members of Congress, for example, have met with Azov Brigade members and their spouses over the last nine months, despite Congress having banned U.S. funding for the unit since 2018 because of its extremist roots. In June, an Azov delegation met with a leader of Human Rights Watch — a watchdog group that in 2015 reported “numerous allegations of unlawful detention and the use of torture” by the unit.

Azov members have also been welcomed twice at Stanford University, where they were lauded by former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul and the noted political scientist Francis Fukuyama, who later told the news website SFGate that he viewed them as “heroes.” And the Anti-Defamation League, the world’s premier antisemitism watchdog, has softened its assessment of the group since Russia’s invasion. Advocates and academics disagree on how much the Azov Brigade and its offshoots have evolved from the group’s extremist roots. But even some of the unit’s critics worry that a clash over the group may lend credence to Russian President Putin’s false narrative that Ukraine itself is a Nazi state and its army a fascist force. “I think we need to speak out,” said Abe Foxman, a former leader of the ADL, “but make sure it doesn’t undermine the nation that is struggling for our system.”

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Not the neo-nazis are the big problem, but Assange.

US Rejects Australian Plea To Drop Assange Case (RT)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has confirmed that Australia has raised the case of Julian Assange’s continued prosecution, but declared that Washington will not stop trying to extradite the former WikiLeaks boss and try him for espionage. Speaking alongside Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong in Brisbane on Saturday, Blinken said that while he understands “the concerns and views of Australians,” Assange’s alleged actions “risked very serious harm to our national security, to the benefit of our adversaries, and put named human sources at grave risk – grave risk – of physical harm, and grave risk of detention.”

Assange, he said, was “charged with very serious criminal conduct” and had allegedly taken part in “one of the largest compromises of classified information in the history of our country.” An Australian citizen, Julian Assange is currently being held in London’s Belmarsh Prison. He is fighting extradition to the US, where he faces 17 charges under the Espionage Act and potentially a 175-year prison sentence. Human-rights and press-freedom activists have demanded his release, citing his deteriorating mental and physical health, while Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said in May that he was “working through diplomatic channels” to press the US into dropping the case.

The charges against Assange stem from his publication of classified material obtained by whistleblowers, including Pentagon documents detailing alleged US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, and more than 250,000 diplomatic cables exposing the US’ efforts to – among other things – spy on its allies and influence foreign elections. While Assange did not personally steal these documents, he is nevertheless being prosecuted for espionage. He and his supporters argue that WikiLeaks’ publication of this material is protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

“We have made clear our view that Mr Assange’s case has dragged on for too long,” Foreign Minister Wong said on Saturday. “We’ve said that publicly and you would anticipate that that reflects also the position we articulate in private.”The extradition from Britain to the US of Assange, who is no 52, was approved in 2020 by then-UK Home Secretary Priti Patel. He lodged his final appeal against the decision in June, after all eight grounds of a previous appeal were rejected by a High Court judge. Responding to Blinken’s comments on Saturday, Assange’s brother, Gabriel Shipton, said that it is now up to Prime Minister Albanese to make a public appeal for Assange’s freedom during his upcoming visit to the US.

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Pfizer
https://twitter.com/i/status/1685278310618800128

 

 

Jumpback
https://twitter.com/i/status/1685178655226368000

 

 

Mom baby
https://twitter.com/i/status/1685360625856184321

 

 

 

 

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Jul 152023
 
 July 15, 2023  Posted by at 8:08 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  54 Responses »


Vincent van Gogh July 14th in Paris1886

 

‘NATO Is The Real Troublemaker’ – China (RT)
Why Doesn’t Moscow Try This Instead? (Zuesse)
US Could Stop Ukraine Conflict Instantly – Orban (RT)
Inviting Ukraine To Join NATO Would Have Triggered WWIII – Orban (TASS)
A Fun Day (James Howard Kunstler)
Biden Could Risk WW3 to Bail Out Ukraine – Larry Johnson (Sp.)
Poland Seeks The Nuclear Option (Scott Ritter)
Vilnius Summit Locks Ukraine in Servile Status, Brutal War With No Way Out (Sp.)
Enlisting to Fight for Ukraine Would Be ‘Suicide’, Brazilian Soldier Warns (Sp.)
What Lies Behind Zelensky’s ‘Nervous Response’ to NATO Summit? (Sp.)
Sweden’s NATO Membership Not A Done Deal – Erdogan Aide (RT)
Kiev Bans ‘Russian Culture’ (RT)
Mike Pence, Tucker Carlson Quarrel Over Ukraine Policy (Sp.)
Nobel Physics Laureate 2022 Slams ‘Climate Emergency’ Narrative (DS)

 

 

 

 

https://twitter.com/i/status/1679940482162360320

 

 

Vivek

 

 

 

 

RFK
https://twitter.com/i/status/1678799348451229696
https://twitter.com/i/status/1679906021051965440

 

 

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

 

 

“..France opposed the plan for a liaison office, fearing that the move would further antagonize Beijing.”

‘NATO Is The Real Troublemaker’ – China (RT)

NATO is “the real troublemaker” that has fully embraced “Cold War thinking and ideological prejudice” as it continues to generate global tensions, China’s permanent representative to the UN has said. In a statement on Thursday, Zhang Jun hit back at the communique issued by NATO members at the Vilnius summit earlier this week, which accused China of pursuing “coercive policies” that challenge the bloc’s interests. It also claimed that Beijing uses a wide array of tools to increase its global footprint and undermine the alliance’s security. The envoy rejected this as “slander” and the “smearing” of China, claiming that the US-led military bloc is still trapped in a Cold War mentality.

He recalled that, while NATO claims to be a regional organization, it violates this principle by entering the Asia-Pacific region and “bringing more negative impacts and destructive factors on regional and global security.” Zhang said that, although NATO claims to be a defensive alliance, it encourages its members to increase military spending, continue to cross borders, and provoke confrontation. The bloc, he added, portrays itself as the champion of the ‘rules-based international order,’ but “has repeatedly violated international law…, interfered in the internal affairs of other countries, provoked many wars, bombed diplomatic facilities, [and] killed innocent civilians.” Individual NATO members pursue double standards, promote nuclear sharing, ‘nuclear alliance’, and further exacerbate regional tensions. Numerous facts have proved that NATO is the real troublemaker.

“China does not cause trouble, but it is not afraid of trouble,” Zhang warned, adding that Beijing will resolutely oppose any encroachment on China’s territorial integrity and national interests. Zhang’s remarks come after China’s foreign ministry warned NATO against opening a liaison office in Japan, the first of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region. However, while Tokyo signaled that it was considering the idea, it was not mentioned in the NATO communique. According to Nikkei Asia, the relevant statement was removed from the final version of the document, with a decision on the matter deferred to a later date. The apparent reversal came after France opposed the plan for a liaison office, fearing that the move would further antagonize Beijing.

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“The offer should be made only privately to each US-allied country. If any government concerned privately says no, Russia should then offer the deal publicly. Public opinion might then force that government – whose prior rejection of the deal would not yet be publicly known – to agree to it. ”

Why Doesn’t Moscow Try This Instead? (Zuesse)

Putin has thus far responded to the West’s aggressive expansion of NATO right up to Russia’s borders by targeting missiles against new member states, and not by offering each of them individually a bilateral treaty-proposal and guarantees for peace, including mutual weapons-inspections. Instead, it seems that a NATO nation cannot quit the anti-Russia bloc and manage its own peaceful relations with Moscow, plus increased trade, and other mutual bilateral benefits. However, by abandoning alliances with the world’s most aggressive nation, the US, and agreeing with Russia directly, a future of peace and mutual economic benefit could prevail across Europe. Putin ought to make this offer now. It might prevent World War Three. The historical background explains why:

I agree with Dr. Karaganov that a fundamental change is needed in Russia’s relations with the other countries of Europe, but I propose that the first step in this regard MUST be the following Russian offer to each one of them: The offer should be made only privately to each US-allied country. If any government concerned privately says no, Russia should then offer the deal publicly. Public opinion might then force that government – whose prior rejection of the deal would not yet be publicly known – to agree to it. Thus, there would be two chances to obtain an agreement, and this would greatly increase the odds of success in each case.

The substance of the agreement would be as follows: Russia will announce that its nuclear missiles will be targeted ONLY against the US and its allies, including all NATO member-nations, but not neutral or unaligned nations. In other words, any new NATO member-nation will thereby become a target added to Russia’s list for destruction in any World War III scenario that might transpire between the United States and Russia. Any existing NATO nation that accepts the offered treaty would no longer threaten Russia and would consequently no longer be targeted by Russia. Furthermore, Moscow should simultaneously announce that if any nation wishes to have an assurance that Russia will never, under any circumstance, invade it, then it will welcome from that nation a request for such an assurance from Russia.

Moscow will include in that announcement explicit invitations to all nations which have, at some time, expressed an intention or a possible future intention to join NATO. In this regard, it will also state, in advance, that if ever Russia were to provide to a nation such an assurance and subsequently to violate it, then it would be violating its own tradition of rigidly adhering to international treaties that it has signed. Additionally, it would also thereby be forfeiting to the country it had thereby broken its commitment to and violated, any and all of its rights under international law. Consequently, under the arrangement that is being proposed here, there would be no nation in the entire world that has, or ever did have, so strict an international treaty legal obligation as Russia would be beholden to under this proposed arrangement. It would be much clearer than what the international law-breaking US government ever did or can offer in the NATO treaty or any other. Russia’s record of strictly abiding by its agreements speaks for itself. So does America’s record of violating agreements.

Finally, this proposed arrangement would offer, to all existing members of NATO, a promise that if and when any such existing member-nation will quit that anti-Russia military alliance, Moscow will be happy to – at the moment that this is done – automatically provide to that nation the same legal commitment never to invade that nation, as has just been described here. In other words, the proposed arrangement will offer, to the entire world, a stark and clear choice between peace with Russia or being allied with the most aggressive nation in the world’s history. One that places illegal sanctions, organizes coups, and even invades states that fail to cooperate with its goal to replace the United Nations as being the ultimate arbiter of international laws. A country seeking to be the ultimate arbiter of what it calls “the rules-based international order” in which all of those ‘rules’ come ultimately from whomever rules the US government.

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“If the Americans wanted it, peace would come the next morning. Why Americans don’t want that is a question that puzzles the entire world..”

US Could Stop Ukraine Conflict Instantly – Orban (RT)

The US wants the conflict in Ukraine to continue and has failed to explain its reasons to NATO allies, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said. He told a radio station that if Washington wished, it could stop the fighting at a moment’s notice, as Kiev is fully dependent on the West in the fight against Russia. The Hungarian leader was interviewed by Kossuth Radio on Friday morning, after returning from the NATO summit in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius. During the event, the US-led military bloc declined to extend to Kiev a roadmap for membership. Hungary has stood out among members of the alliance by consistently criticizing Western policies on the Ukraine crisis.

“If the Americans wanted it, peace would come the next morning. Why Americans don’t want that is a question that puzzles the entire world,” Orban said. “We didn’t get an answer at the NATO summit.” At this point, “Ukraine has lost any real sovereignty,” Orban claimed, citing Kiev’s devastated economy, and heavy dependence on Western allies for funding and weaponry. Justifying its support for Ukraine, Washington has accused Russia of launching an “unprovoked war of aggression” against Kiev. US officials have said that inflicting a “strategic defeat” on Moscow is a primary goal. bMoscow, in turn, has accused the US of triggering the crisis by ignoring Russia’s long-running concerns over NATO expansion in Europe, while fostering a regime in Kiev that is hostile to Moscow.

The Kremlin perceives the conflict as part of a US-led proxy war against Russia. Orban went on to warn that if NATO were to admit Ukraine now, it would trigger a world war. He also highlighted the risks incurred by Western states sending increasingly sophisticated military hardware to Kiev. The Hungarian leader also accused Kiev of using moral blackmail to receive Western support, but added that he does not blame Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky for acting the way he does, as he is “fighting for the survival of his people.” The prime minister predicted that the conflict will drag on, and EU nations – including Hungary – will bear the economic cost, including high inflation.

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“Had we accepted Ukraine into NATO, this would have meant immediate world war..”

Inviting Ukraine To Join NATO Would Have Triggered WWIII – Orban (TASS)

Extending an invitation to Ukraine to join NATO would have triggered the outbreak of a new world war, and thus the North Atlantic Alliance’s leaders did the right thing by refraining from taking this step at the Vilnius summit, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday. “Had we accepted Ukraine into NATO, this would have meant immediate world war,” he told the Kossuth radio station. That said, he lamented that belligerent attitudes in favor of prolonging the Ukrainian conflict still predominate in public opinion across Western countries.


“Residents of Western countries want the war” in Ukraine, Orban noted, adding that “the Ukrainians are being aggressive” by constantly demanding certain benefits for themselves. Given this, the prime minister stated that the conflict in Hungary’s eastern neighbor would last for a while longer and, thus, the Hungarian government should be ready for this.

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“After “Joe Biden” got “elected” in 2020, and news of his family’s sketchy business activities in Ukraine and elsewhere finally dribbled out, Ukraine was turned into a giant grenade and “JB” (or persons acting on his behalf) pulled the pin.”

A Fun Day (James Howard Kunstler)

Somebody in the “Joe Biden” White House apparently thinks that the operations already underway are not enough to destroy our country fast enough, so a little extra push, such as nuclear annihilation, might get’er done. By operations underway I mean things like mRNA vaccines stealthily deleting kin, friends, and public figures from the scene… decriminalizing crime… undermining the oil industry by a thousand cuts… liquidating small business… making little children insane over sex… flooding the land with illegal immigrants… devaluing the currency… queering elections — all of these things done on purpose, by the way. And if you complain about any of it, here comes the FBI or the IRS knocking on your door.

So, to make sure that a collapse of the USA comes on-schedule, there is the useful fracas created by our government geniuses over in Ukraine that creeps day-by-day toward a quick American assisted suicide. Just to remind you, here’s how that started: In 2014, the US fomented a coup against Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych. In short order, the Russian language was banned (despite the fact that Most Ukrainians speak Russian). A piqued Russia re-po’d the Crimean Peninsula. When ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine (the Donbas provinces) tried to go their own way, Ukraine shelled and rocketed them for eight years. That was the setup. All of the above was absolutely unnecessary, you understand.

Ukraine had been going about its business the best it could since 1991 as a shlub nation with an aged-out Soviet infrastructure, some US-sponsored bioweapons labs, and no energy resources. It had been collecting royalties for allowing Russia to run oil pipelines across its fruited plain — of which, a lot of gas was siphoned off in transit by bandits. Ukraine attempted to compensate for its disadvantages by being an international money laundromat, though that only benefited its oligarch class (and the extended “Joe Biden” family). After “Joe Biden” got “elected” in 2020, and news of his family’s sketchy business activities in Ukraine and elsewhere finally dribbled out, Ukraine was turned into a giant grenade and “JB” (or persons acting on his behalf) pulled the pin. NATO was dragooned into the quarrel as backup against its better judgment.

If the objective was to weaken Russia, as stated by one of our strategic geniuses, SecDef Loyd Austin, it didn’t work out. Rather, it exposed the USA as a reckless global psychopath bent on wrecking every country it pretends to help — including the major countries in NATO. Two-thirds of the world’s other nations then started backpedaling away from the US and its protective services to form an economic and security coalition around the BRICs group, as led by Russia and China. The Ukraine campaign itself was a loser from the get-go, relying utterly, as it did, on US and NATO support. This week’s NATO meet-up in Vilnius, Lithuania, showed how that’s going now: Not too well. The Ukraine army is shredded. It’s out of munitions. The US is also out of those very artillery shells most in demand. What to do?

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“The US is amassing troops in Europe at the time Ukraine’s military capability of taking on the Russian troops is waning.”

Biden Could Risk WW3 to Bail Out Ukraine – Larry Johnson (Sp.)

US President Joe Biden signed an Executive Order increasing Operation Atlantic Resolve in Europe with 3,000 reserve personnel on July 13. Since February 2022, the Pentagon has deployed over 20,000 additional forces to Europe, bringing its current total to over 100,000 across the Old Continent in the wake of the beginning of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine.”The United States is giving every indication that it is prepared to have a confrontation with Russia,” Larry Johnson, a veteran of the CIA and the State Department’s Office of Counter Terrorism, told Sputnik “And Russia is taking that seriously. I mean, just given their history, they have no alternative but to take it seriously.” The US is amassing troops in Europe at the time Ukraine’s military capability of taking on the Russian troops is waning.

The Ukrainian military is suffering from a manpower deficit, according to the expert. He cited the fact that the Ukrainian Army trained by NATO over the past several years for a proxy war against Russia was destroyed during the first phases of the special military operation. The “second version” of the Ukrainian Army was involved in taking Kherson and Kharkov in September 2022; but again, that army was obliterated. Now Ukraine is on the “third version,” which has been part of the ongoing counteroffensive, as per Johnson. The provision of sophisticated weaponry and training to the Ukrainian military cannot save the day for Kiev. The crux of the matter is that the training provided by NATO member states is insufficient, the CIA veteran explained.

“A lot of these soldiers that the Ukrainians throw into the front lines have had two to three months of training, period,” Johnson said. “And they’re not even following a standard training regimen: some are being trained in England; some are being trained in Germany, some in Poland, some in Italy, some in France. It’s like a patchwork quilt then. There’s a reason in the military they use that term – uniform – to describe something that everybody’s doing the same way. When you have six, seven, 30 different countries doing training for, you know, thousands of different Ukrainians, you’re not getting any kind of standard uniform training. So, all of that put together means that anybody with just a minimal education in the military sciences would know this was a failed effort to them from the start.” In addition, three-to-five months of training does not allow the Ukrainian military to master operating NATO-grade weapons efficiently enough.

“The requirement to train a soldier to be able to operate effectively in a combat theater is not to get basic training. Well, that’s about 13 weeks (…) That just gives you the basics,” Johnson said. “Then you go into what they call advanced individual training. And that again, could be another two-to-three month process just to get basic skills. And If you’re going to be driving a tank, if you’re going to be shooting an M777 artillery piece, but that’s just you individually learning so that you are competent and that doesn’t begin to address how you will interact in carrying out operations. So when we talk about a company level, we’re talking about 150 people roughly, then that jumps up to a battalion level. And then when you get to a brigade, you could be dealing with 5,000 people. And so how are you people learning how to move with a large group of people to interact, to respond to commands, to know where you’re located. You know, it becomes very complex. That takes time.”

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“..an outcome no rational actor could ever view as contributing to the collective peace and security of Europe.”

Poland Seeks The Nuclear Option (Scott Ritter)

The issue of Poland joining NATO’s nuclear sharing arrangement resurfaced in October 2022 when Polish President Andrzej Duda, alarmed by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, publicly appealed for the US to station B-61 nuclear bombs on Polish soil. This request, however, failed to gain any traction in either the US or NATO. Duda’s request, however, was not beyond the pale. In April 2022 the director of the NATO nuclear policy directorate, Jessica Cox, announced that NATO military planners were updating the mechanics of NATO’s nuclear sharing program to take into account the acquisition by many NATO members of the F-35A fighter. Four of the five nations involved in this nuclear sharing arrangement (Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, and Germany) had agreed to transition to the F-35A (Turkey was supposed to but ran afoul of US sanctions over its purchase of Russian S-400 surface-to-air missiles.)

Cox indicated that NATO planners were looking at the possibility of integrating F-35A aircraft scheduled to be purchased by Poland, Denmark, and Norway into the nuclear sharing mission (it is assumed that Finland, which recently joined NATO and is purchasing F-35A aircraft, would be part of this integration as well.) Cox’s plans did not call for the deployment of nuclear weapons onto the soil of these nations, but rather the use of their aircraft in a nuclear role. Morawiecki’s request was linked to Poland’s future acquisition of F-35A aircraft, leading to the possibility that a compromise could be agreed-to that would see US nuclear bombs remain on German soil but turned over to Polish aircrews in time of war. Poland recently inked a $6.5 billion deal with the US for the purchase of 32 of its F-35A fighters, the delivery of which is scheduled to begin in 2024.

While the Polish request to enter the NATO nuclear sharing arrangement was not publicly addressed during the Vilnius Summit, the NATO communique issued at its conclusion hinted at what the future may look like for both Poland and the NATO nuclear deterrent. NATO, the communique noted, “will take all necessary steps to ensure the credibility, effectiveness, safety and security of the nuclear deterrent mission. This includes continuing to modernize NATO’s nuclear capability and updating planning to increase flexibility and adaptability of the Alliance’s nuclear forces, while exercising strong political control at all times. The Alliance reaffirms the imperative to ensure the broadest possible participation by Allies concerned in NATO’s nuclear burden-sharing arrangements to demonstrate Alliance unity and resolve.”

While it is unlikely that either the US or NATO will, in the future, accede to the Polish Prime Minister’s request to station US B-61 bombs on Polish soil, the NATO communique appears to pave the way for Poland’s F-35A fleet to be integrated into the pool of aircraft available to NATO to deliver those bombs if a nuclear conflict were to ever break out between NATO and Russia. While the alliance may view such an outcome as contributing to the viability of the NATO nuclear deterrent, the reality is all it does is guarantee that Russia will be compelled to view every F-35A in the NATO arsenal as a potential nuclear threat going forward and to adjust its own response accordingly. This puts NATO and Russia closer to the possibility of nuclear conflict, an outcome no rational actor could ever view as contributing to the collective peace and security of Europe.

Ritter

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“The US and other NATO leaders “never gave a damn about Ukraine itself. They’ve used it since 1991 to permanently and gravely weaken Russia. Zelensky, for his part, never has given a damn about Ukrainians..”

Vilnius Summit Locks Ukraine in Servile Status, Brutal War With No Way Out (Sp.)

University of Pittsburgh Professor of International Affairs Michael Brenner believes that continuation of the conflict would result in the total destruction of Ukraine as an independent state, not Russia. “Ukraine as we know it will never enter NATO because it won’t exist. The Russians will never accept a partition – de facto or de jure – that leaves the rump Ukraine free to rearm as a NATO partner,” he said. It had always been logically absurd to imagine that the United States and NATO could grant Kiev a commitment of any sort while the Zelensky regime was engaged in a war since that risked a military confrontation with Russia, Brenner explained. At the Vilnius summit, “Zelensky was played in the sense that Biden [and the other NATO leaders] held out the prospect of some sort of NATO relationship if the so-called counter-offensive were so successful that the West could give Putin an ultimatum to cease and desist or face humiliating defeat – And if he did surrender,” he said.

However, US, NATO and Ukrainian leaders are still chasing dreams that are impossible to realize, Brenner warned. The US and other NATO leaders “never gave a damn about Ukraine itself. They’ve used it since 1991 to permanently and gravely weaken Russia. Zelensky, for his part, never has given a damn about Ukrainians,” he said. Zelensky could and should have insisted on proceeding with the tentative agreement reached with Moscow to end the conflict in April 2022, only two months after it began. But instead, he gave in to the Washington ultimatum to fight on, Brenner said. “Nor would he [Zelensky] have sacrificed 200,000 dead soldiers in a lost cause,” he said.

Meanwhile in Washington, the White House priority remains to keep the conflict going until the 2024 election is over and won, Brenner believes. However, “given the state of affairs on the battlefield that would require some sort of major escalation,” he warned. Biden on Thursday approved an executive order authorizing 3,000 US military reserve personnel to augment Operation Atlantic Resolve, which provides rotational deployment of combat-credible forces to Europe as part of the United States’ commitment to NATO. The move does not change current US force posture levels in Europe, the US European Command said in a statement.

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“The Global South is Kiev’s and NATO’s latest bet in a quest for manpower to feed the long-term war..”

Enlisting to Fight for Ukraine Would Be ‘Suicide’, Brazilian Soldier Warns (Sp.)

Having wasted the lives of thousands of Ukrainians by press ganging them and sending them to their deaths in suicide attacks against Russian troop positions, Kiev now seeks to replenish its stocks of cannon fodder with mercenaries from foreign countries such as Brazil. Earlier this week, Russia’s Ministry of Defense warned that Kiev has intensified its campaign to recruit Brazilians to fight for Zelensky in the Ukrainian conflict. This campaign is apparently meant to make up for large personnel losses sustained by Ukrainian forces during their so-called “counter-offensive” that was launched last week and has so far resulted in the deaths of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers and the destruction of large quantities of NATO military hardware provided to Kiev by its Western backers.

Several Western private military contractors with ties to the CIA, such as the infamous Academi (formerly known as Blackwater) are apparently involved in this recruitment drive, the defense ministry noted, adding that Kiev seeks to enlist mercenaries from Asia, Latin America and the Middle East amid the “failure of the latest mobilization effort in Ukraine.” According to Brazilian journalist Lucas Leiroz, Ukraine and its NATO sponsors no longer have enough manpower to conduct aggressive military operations against Russia, considering the fact that NATO is not officially at war with Russia and thus cannot officially commit its forces to the Ukrainian conflict. “Ukraine is weakened, its armed forces are weakened, the [Ukrainian] neo-Nazi units that played an important role in combat operations are practically neutralized,” Leiroz told Sputnik.

Thus, he argued, Kiev and its sponsors now seek a “source of manpower needed to wage an aggressive war against Russia in the long-term perspective,” as Ukraine’s efforts to press gang more citizens into military service have produced questionable results. “The Global South is Kiev’s and NATO’s latest bet in a quest for manpower to feed the long-term war,” the journalist said. “Extensive propaganda efforts are being aimed not just at the groups sympathetic to Kiev – such as extremists, neo-Nazi networks and neo-fascist movements – but also at ordinary people who are being seduced with propaganda and promises of Ukrainian citizenship.”

A Brazilian ex-officer named Fabio Júnior de Oliveira, 42, told Brazilian media earlier this year that the legion suffers from a constant lack of military equipment and rations, complaining that even the body armor issued there does not meet the requirements. Out of the 30 members of his unit, 27 asked for discharge due to poor conditions in the legion, Oliveira reportedly said. Leiroz also pointed out that Brazilian media often neglect to mention in their reports the data about casualties sustained by foreign mercenaries operating in the Ukrainian conflict zone, with Leiroz suggesting that these media outlets are partially responsible for the deaths of Brazilian fighters on the battlefield. “This is very dangerous, because the real situation on the front differs from the picture painted by media: Ukraine has no advantage, it is losing the war, a lot of Ukrainian soldiers are being killed and Brazilians risk sharing their fate,” he said, apparently referring to the Brazilians who would travel to Ukraine to fight.

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“..everyone involved essentially “plays their role.”

What Lies Behind Zelensky’s ‘Nervous Response’ to NATO Summit? (Sp.) s

The results of the NATO summit in Vilnius this week were apparently not to the Ukrainian leadership’s satisfaction, as Kiev essentially received only vague promises to maybe join the alliance sometime in the future. Volodymyr Zelensky has complained about the NATO summit on Twitter, lamenting that the lack of a timeframe for Ukraine’s admission to NATO was “unprecedented and absurd.” Commenting on this situation, Tiberio Graziani, chairman at Vision & Global Trends International Institute for Global Analyses, told Sputnik that one should look “beyond the skirmishes between the statements of the representatives of the various countries, the NATO secretariat and Zelensky,” as everyone involved essentially “plays their role.”

“The representatives of the member countries, as well as those in charge of NATO, aware that giving timescales for Kiev’s entry into the Alliance – in wartime – would constitute a mortgage on the future of the course of the ongoing conflict, try to postpone time for a certain decision,” Graziani explained At the same time, he added, “Zelensky’s nervous response is a due act: he must in fact give a signal of coherence to his own leadership group and to his Armed Forces.” Graziani also argued that any concerns about how much unity there may be within NATO – seeing how no joint agreement on security guarantees has emerged by the summit’s end – are irrelevant since that military bloc is “hegemonic” in nature, with all of its members – except for the UK, Australia and Canada – having an “ancillary role” with respect to the “hegemonic role of Washington.”

“Internal NATO problems disappear instantly if and when the US wants it,” Graziani surmised. He also addressed the remarks made recently by UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace who complained about Ukraine’s apparent lack of gratitude for the weaponry it receives from abroad, reminding Kiev that London is “not Amazon.” “It seems to me that Wallace posed the problem at NATO level to push other countries to increase the amount of military aid with the consequence of further depleting the military arsenals of the Old Continent,” Graziani mused. “In the long run, the only countries that will strengthen in terms of their armaments capacity will be the USA and Great Britain.”

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Holding out for more IMF loans?

Sweden’s NATO Membership Not A Done Deal – Erdogan Aide (RT)

Türkiye has opened the door to the process of Sweden joining NATO but has not yet given its approval, Omer Celik, spokesman for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling AK Party, said on Friday. In a live broadcast on Haberturk TV, Celik said there was a tripartite memorandum between Türkiye, Sweden and NATO about the preconditions for membership, in which Stockholm pledged to undertake certain steps. If the Turkish parliament is told that Sweden has produced “a strong satisfactory result” by complying with its obligations, AKP deputies will vote to ratify its membership of the US-led military bloc, Celik told Haberturk. Asked when this might happen, Celik said “at the next session” of the parliament, meaning not before October or November. Earlier this week, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Türkiye had agreed to support Sweden’s application after a months-long delay.


Erdogan had reportedly attempted to tie his approval of Sweden’s membership bid to Türkiye being admitted to the European Union. In return, the US has signaled willingness to unblock a sale of F-16 fighters to Ankara. Commenting on Türkiye’s relations with the US, Celik said the meeting between Erdogan and US President Joe Biden promised “a new page,” but that remained to be seen. Relations could improve much faster if the US would change its mind about supporting Kurdish-led militants in Syria, Celik noted. NATO had hoped to admit Sweden and Finland together before the bloc’s summit in Vilnius, Lithuania this week. Finland eventually joined on its own, after Türkiye held up Sweden’s application over concerns that Stockholm was protecting Kurdish organizations that Ankara has labeled as terrorists. The US-dominated bloc technically requires the consensus of all 31 members before admitting new ones.

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That’s half the country, including its president.

Kiev Bans ‘Russian Culture’ (RT)

The Kiev city council has voted to impose a broad moratorium on public displays of “cultural products” made using the Russian language, citing the armed conflict with Moscow. “We must once and for all restrict the Russian-language cultural products on the territory of Ukraine’s capital,” Vadim Vasilchuk, chair of the council’s education and culture commission, said on Thursday. He labeled Russian “the language of the aggressor state that has no place in the heart of our capital.” Vasilchuk explained that the decision means an effective ban on “books, artwork, audiovisual products, musical recordings, arts and crafts, stage and circus performances, concerts and services.”

The ruling is part of a wider state-sponsored campaign to eradicate historical and cultural ties with Russia that began in Ukraine after in 2014, when Crimea voted to join Russia following the Western-backed coup in Kiev. The movement escalated in 2022, when Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine. In 2015, Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, passed a law on “decommunization” aimed at removing the legacy of the Soviet Union from public spaces such as monuments as well as street and city names. In practice, the campaign has targeted everything remotely Russian, from films and TV shows to individual artists.

In April 2023, President Vladimir Zelensky signed a law that banned names and symbols associated with “Russian imperial policies.” Moscow has repeatedly condemned Kiev’s attempts to target the centuries of shared history. President Vladimir Putin cited “the de-Russification and forced assimilation” of ethnic Russians and Russian-speakers in Ukraine and Donbass as one of the causes of the current conflict. Putin has also blasted attacks on Russian culture in Ukraine and the West, stressing that it has been an inalienable part of European culture. “When someone is trying to destroy Russian culture, it is a suicide attempt, because they are destroying themselves,” he said earlier this month.

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Tucker did 6 hours, umasked all RINOs, ended a few careers.

Mike Pence, Tucker Carlson Quarrel Over Ukraine Policy (Sp.)

Former US Vice President and 2024 presidential hopeful Mike Pence and journalist Tucker Carlson quarreled on Friday over Pence’s stances with regard to Ukraine, including on the issues of religious persecution of Christians and prioritizing Ukraine aid over domestic spending. “I did raise the issue when we were there,” Pence said during an interview with Carlson, when asked whether he raised the religious persecution of Christians while on a recent trip to Ukraine. “I raised it with the leader of the Orthodox church [of Ukraine] when I was visiting Kiev.” The church leader assured Pence that the Ukrainian government respects religious liberty, while admitting that certain elements of the Russian Orthodox Church were being targeted, Pence said.

However, Carlson pressed Pence on the issue, asking how the self-avowed Christian leader could support the arrest of Christian for having different viewpoints. “You spoke to one person who’s clearly on one side of it,” Carlson said, pointing to reports of clergy facing persecution by the Kiev regime. Pence affirmed that he would not support religious persecution, but highlighted what he was told by the Ukrainian church official. Both figures also argued over the issue of US aid to Ukraine and whether to prioritize the foreign conflict over pressing domestic issues. Pence said it is in the interest of the United States to continue to give Ukraine equipment to fight Russia, which was met with mixed of booing and clapping from the audience.

Pence reiterated that the US needed to continue its military aid packages, all while doubling down on rhetoric that Ukraine should be granted NATO membership once the current conflict is settled. “I’m sorry Mr. Vice President… you are distressed that the Ukrainians don’t have enough American tanks? Every city in the United States has become much worse over the past three years,” Carlson said. “Your concern is that the Ukrainians, a country most people can’t find on a map, who have received tens of billions of US tax dollars, don’t have enough tanks? I think it’s a fair question to ask: where’s the concern for the United States in that?” In response, Pence called Tucker’s remarks a “routine” and said “it’s not my concern.” The two men ended the interview shortly after the exchange.

The interview took place as part of a forum for Republican 2024 presidential candidates, hosted by Blaze Media and the Family Leadership Summit. Carlson also interviewed other candidates including South Carolina Senator Tim Scott and Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson. Former US President Donald Trump leads the pack of Republican candidates at 49.7% support, followed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at 21% and Pence at 7.4%, according to FiveThirtyEight poll averages published Friday.

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“..dangerous corruption of science that threatens the world’s economy and the well-being of billions of people..”

Nobel Physics Laureate 2022 Slams ‘Climate Emergency’ Narrative (DS)

The co-winner of the 2022 Nobel Physics prize has launched an excoriating attack on the ‘climate emergency’ narrative, calling it a “dangerous corruption of science that threatens the world’s economy and the well-being of billions of people”. Dr. John Clauser notes that misguided climate science has “metastasised into massive shock-journalistic pseudoscience”. Dr. Clauser is one of the world’s leading authorities on quantum mechanics, the study of matter and light at a sub-atomic and atomic level. In 2010 he was awarded the Wolf Prize in Physics, considered the second most prestigious physics award after the Nobel. His comments will help cast further doubt on the obvious falsehood that 99% of scientists believe humans cause all or most climate change. Physicists along with chemists play a dominant role in investigating the science surrounding climate, which at its core focuses on heat exchange and the behaviour of atmospheric gases.

In turn, continued Clauser, the climate pseudoscience has become a scapegoat for a wide variety of other unrelated ills. It has been promoted and extended by similarly misguided business marketing agents, politicians, journalists, government agencies and environmentalists. “In my opinion, there is no real climate crisis. There is, however, a very real problem with providing a decent standard of living to the world’s largest population and an associated energy crisis. The latter is being unnecessarily exacerbated by what, in my opinion, is incorrect climate science,” he added. Dr. Clauser is not the first Nobel physics prize-winner to challenge the ‘settled’ scientific and political narrative of climate change. The World Climate Declaration has been signed by around 300 climate professors, and declares: “There is no climate emergency.”

The lead signatory is the Nobel laureate Professor Ivar Giaever. Climate models are said to be “not remotely plausible as global policy tools”. They exaggerate the effect of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, but ignore any beneficial effect, the Declaration states. Climate science has degenerated into a discussion based on beliefs, not on sound self-critical science, it says. Professor Antonino Zichichi is the holder of Italy’s highest merit order, the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, awarded for a lifetime of distinguished scientific work including several discoveries in the field of sub-nuclear physics. In 2019 he led a group of 48 Italian science professors in stating that human responsibility for climate change is “unjustifiably exaggerated and catastrophic predictions are not realistic”. In their scientific view, “natural variation explains a substantial part of global warming observed since 1850”.

Recently, four Italian scientists, including three physics professors, undertook a major review of historical climate trends and concluded that declaring a ‘climate emergency’ is not supported by the data. Over many meteorological categories there was “no clear positive trend of extreme events”. Of course, cherry-picking single bad, or ‘extreme’, weather events provides the main fire power for convincing populations that a global and collectivist de-industrialisation must take place within less than 30 years. Last September, the leading nuclear physicist Dr. Wallace Manheimer warned that Net Zero would end modern civilisation. He observed that the new wind and solar infrastructure would fail, cost trillions, trash large portions of the environment “and be entirely unnecessary”.

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Cerberus heat

 

 

EP WHO
https://twitter.com/i/status/1679879341784662017

 

 

 

 

Russia continent

 

 

Orca

 

 

 

 

Vivian Maier

 

 

 

 

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Jun 202023
 
 June 20, 2023  Posted by at 5:00 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  6 Responses »


Thomas Cole The Course of Empire – The Consummation of Empire 1836

 

 

Andrew Korybko:

 

Putin’s Three Latest Appearances

President Putin strongly suggested in a series of appearances last week that a political solution to the NATO-Russian proxy war in Ukraine is still possible. Those of his supporters in the Alt-Media Community who convinced themselves that the special operation won’t stop until Russian forces reach the Polish border are bound to be infuriated by this assessment, but it’s based on his own words as proven by the official Kremlin website. Here are the three appearances that will be cited in this analysis:

* 13 June: “Meeting with war correspondents

* 16 June: “Plenary session of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum

* 17 June: “Meeting with heads of delegations of African states

What follows are relevant excerpts from each appearance along with a one-sentence summary of the point that he conveyed in each passage. After going through all three of them, the next subchapter will summarize President Putin’s envisaged end game to this proxy war. Finally, the last part of this analysis will then conclude with a few thoughts about the viability of his plans, which are arguably quite reasonable if one takes the time to calmly dwell upon them.

Meeting With War Correspondents

* Russia still intends to achieve its original objectives in the special operation.

– “[The goals and tasks of the special military operation] are changing in accordance with the current situation but of course overall we are not changing anything. Our goals are fundamental for us.”

* The demilitarization of Ukraine remains on track.

– “We are dealing with this gradually, methodically…The Ukrainian defence industry will soon cease to exist altogether. What do they produce? Ammunition is delivered, equipment is delivered and weapons are delivered – everything is delivered. You won’t live long like that, you won’t last. So, the issue of demilitarisation is raised in very practical terms.”

* Kiev’s counteroffensive is failing.

– “If we look at irretrievable losses, clearly, the defending side suffers fewer losses, but this ratio of 1 to 10 is in our favour. Our losses are one-tenth of the losses of the Ukrainian forces. The situation is even more serious with armour…By my calculations, these losses are about 25 or maybe 30 percent of the equipment supplied from abroad.”

* Attacks against Russia’s pre-2014 territory are designed to divert its forces from the frontlines.

– “As for border areas, there is a problem, and it is connected – and I think you understand this too – mainly with a desire to divert our forces and resources to this side, to withdraw part of the units from those areas that are considered the most important and critical from the point of view of possible offensive by the armed forces of Ukraine.”

* The creation of buffer zones to protect Russia’s pre-2014 territory is being considered.

– “If this continues, then we will apparently have to consider the issue – and I say this very carefully – in order to create some kind of buffer zone on the territory of Ukraine at such a distance from which it would be impossible to reach our territory. But this is a separate issue, I am not saying that we will start this work tomorrow. We have to see how the situation develops.”

* The now-defunct draft treaty with Ukraine helped Russia solidify its eastern and southern gains.

– “Even though they tossed it, nevertheless, we used this time to get where we are now which is practically all of Novorossiya and a significant portion of the Donetsk People’s Republic with access to the Sea of ​​Azov and Mariupol. And almost all of the Lugansk People’s Republic, with a few exceptions.”

* Russia might mobilize if it decides to move on Kiev again, but there’s no need for that today.

– “Do we need to go back [to Kiev] or not? Why am I asking this rhetorical question? Clearly, you do not have an answer to it, only I can answer that. But depending on our goals, we must decide on mobilisation, but there is no need for that today.”

* One of the fundamental factors of this conflict is that the West is flooding Ukraine with arms.

– “You know, this is a fundamental question, absolutely fundamental. When we say – I said it, and you repeated it – that the West is flooding Ukraine with weapons, this is a fact, nobody is hiding this; on the contrary, they are proud of it.”

* Russia’s military-technical production surged over the past year.

– “During the year, we increased the production of our main weapons by 2.7 times. As for the manufacture of the most in-demand weapons, we increased this by ten times. Ten times!”

* Not every one of Russia’s responses to the crossing of its “red lines” is covered by the media.

– “Not everything may be covered by the media, although there is nothing to be ashamed of. Are strikes on Ukraine’s energy system not an answer to them crossing the red lines? And the destruction of the headquarters of the main intelligence directorate of the armed forces of Ukraine outside Kiev, almost within Kiev’s city limits, is it not the answer? It is.”

* The Ukrainian state exists and must be treated with respect, but it’s unacceptable to threaten Russia.

– “With regard to ‘what Ukraine are they talking about,’ Ukraine, such as it may be, does exist and we must treat it with respect…If they want to live in our historical territories, then they should influence their political leadership so that it establishes proper relations with Russia and no one poses a threat to us from these territories. This is the issue. This is what the issue is all about.”

* It’s debatable that the West will continue supplying weapons to Ukraine no matter its losses.

– “This is debatable (which was said in response to a war correspondent’s claim that ‘Clearly, no matter what losses Ukraine suffers, the Western countries will continue to supply weapons to it’).”

* There’s no guarantee that Russia will go on the offensive after the failure of Kiev’s counteroffensive.

– “I think that, being aware – I say this with good reason – of the catastrophic losses, the leadership, whatever it may be it has a head on its shoulders, should think about what to do next. We will wait and see what the situation is like and take further steps based on this understanding.”

* Depleted uranium shells are being shipped to Ukraine because the West already ran out of all others.

– “They simply have no shells, but they have depleted-uranium shells in warehouses. It appears that they have now decided to use these shells for the time being. They have swept the warehouses clean”.

* The EU’s snowballing economic problems will impede its plans to produce more arms for Ukraine.

– “The (EU’s) economic problems are snowballing…So, it is not so easy to produce everything there, and even more difficult to expand production and build new facilities. This will come in handy for us, because Russia has a special situation. We must build up our armaments; we will have to, and we will accumulate strategic reserves in warehouses.”

* American mission creep is creating very serious risks for Russia.

– “The United States is getting more and more involved in this conflict, almost directly involved, provoking serious international security crises. Correcting the movements of drones that are attacking our warships is a very serious risk. This is very serious, and they should know that we know about it. We will think about what to do with this in the future. In general, this is how it is.”

* Peace talks could resume and the Istanbul draft treaty be revived if the US cuts off Kiev’s arms supply.

– “We have never refused – as I said a thousand times – to participate in any talks that may lead to a peace settlement…Ultimately it is about the United States’ interests. We know that they hold the key to solving issues. If they genuinely want to end today’s conflict via negotiations, they only need to make one decision which is to stop supplying weapons and equipment. That’s it. Ukraine itself does not manufacture anything. Tomorrow, they will want to hold talks that are not formal, but substantive, and not to confront us with ultimatums, but to return to what was agreed upon, say, in Istanbul.”

* Many Americans are afraid of their country starting World War III since they know it won’t win.

– “[The US] pretend(s) not to be [afraid to endlessly escalate the situation and raise the stakes]. In fact, there are many people there who think clearly and are unwilling to lead the world into a third world war in which there will be no winners; even the United States will not come out of it as a winner.”

Plenary Session Of The St Petersburg International Economic Forum

* President Putin repeated Russia’s military-technical statistics from his last appearance.

– “Our defence industry is gaining momentum every day. We have increased military production by 2.7 times during the last year. Our production of the most critical weapons has gone up ten times and keeps increasing.

* Basing Ukraine’s NATO-supplied F-16s outside that country would pose a serious danger for Russia.

– “The F-16s will be burning too (if they’re sent to Ukraine), no doubt about it. But if they are located at air bases outside Ukraine and are used in hostilities, we will have to think about how and where we can hit the resources that are used against us in the hostilities. There is a serious danger of NATO’s further involvement in this armed conflict.”

* The door to diplomacy remains open if the West decides to resume talks with Russia.

– “We never closed [the door to diplomacy]. They were the ones who decided to close it, yet they keep peeking through the crack at us”.

* Attacks inside Russia are designed to provoke an overwhelming response.

“Knowing that there is little chance of success (on the frontline), they are provoking us (through the Belgorod and Kremlin attacks) into making a harsh response, hoping to point the finger at us and say, ‘Look at them; they are malicious and cruel; nobody should have any dealings with them.’ They want to say this to all the partners we are working with now. So, no, there is no need to take such actions.”

* Nevertheless, a buffer zone is still in the cards, though Russia won’t let this distract it from the front.

– “As for these adjacent territories, it is an attempt to distract our attention from the possible key areas of the main offensive they are considering, an attempt to force us to redeploy units we have amassed in other areas of combat, and so on…I have already said that if these attacks on our adjacent territories continue, we will consider the possibility of creating a buffer zone in the Ukrainian territory. They should know what this can lead to. We use long-range high-precision weapons against military targets, and we are succeeding in all these areas.”

* Russia isn’t contemplating a nuclear first strike and will only use these weapons in self-defense.

– “I have already said that the use of the ultimate deterrent is only possible in case of a threat to the Russian state. In this case, we will certainly use all the forces and means at the disposal of the Russian state. There is no doubt about that.”

Meeting With Heads Of Delegations Of African States

* Russia will still talk with Ukraine despite the possibility that it might withdraw from other agreements.

– “Russia has never rejected any talks…Turkiye hosted a whole series of talks between Russia and Ukraine to work out confidence-building measures, which you have just mentioned, and draft the text of the treaty…But after we withdrew our forces from Kiev, as we had promised, the Kiev authorities, just like their masters usually do, dumped it into the dustbin of history, let’s put it mildly, I will try to avoid any foul expressions. They rejected this. Where are the guarantees that they will not withdraw from other agreements? But even amidst such circumstances, we never refused to hold talks.”

Putin’s Envisaged End Game

The preceding subchapters highlighted the most relevant excerpts from President Putin’s latest media appearances with respect to his envisaged end game. At present, he’s clearly reluctant to escalate the conflict through a second round of mobilization, which he said could precede another march on Kiev. That’s not needed for the time being, however, since the first one already served its military purpose of solidifying Russia’s gains in the east and south even if its political one of reaching a peace deal failed.

The demilitarization of Ukraine remains one of President Putin’s most important objectives, which he said is proceeding as proven by the destruction of its military-industrial complex. Although the enemy continues attacking Russia’s pre-2014 borders, he believes that this is aimed at diverting his country’s forces from the front, which is why he’s hesitant to carve out a buffer zone there right now even though it remains in the cards and could possibly be achieved with only missiles instead of dispatching troops.

The NATO-Russian “race of logistics”/”war of attrition” that Secretary-General Stoltenberg finally acknowledged in mid-February is trending in Moscow’s favor as evidenced by its military-industrial output spiking between 2.7-10 times depending on the particular product. The West is already running very low on supplies to Ukraine and that’s why it’s now resorting to the dispatch of depleted uranium, President Putin noted, since it literally doesn’t have any other shells left.

He believes that these abovementioned military-strategic dynamics could combine with the EU’s “snowballing” economic problems to make it impossible for NATO to defeat Russia in the “race of logistics”/”war of attrition”. In that event, peace talks might resume upon the end of Kiev’s NATObacked counteroffensive, during which time the now-defunct draft treaty with Ukraine could be revived as the basis for facilitating a speedy resolution to this conflict.

The abovementioned scenario is only possible if the US cuts off its arms supply to Ukraine, which House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Michael McCaul said is possible if the counteroffensive fails since Congress might then be unable to pass a supplemental spending package for sustaining this aid. Nevertheless, the US’ mission creep could lead to an incident with Russia in the air, at sea, and/or concerning the basing of Ukraine’s promised F-16s in a NATO country before that happens.

This might even be deliberate if its liberalglobalist elite became desperate enough to escalate the conflict if they thought that doing so might coerce Russia into abandoning its newly unified regions and thus helping them “save face” before voters if they agree to a peace deal. Should a 1962-like nuclear standoff emerge as a result of a US-initiated provocation, President Putin would likely regard it as a bluff but would still only use nukes in self-defense instead of a first strike like an influential expert suggested.

He obviously doesn’t want it to get to that point, but it’s America’s prerogative whether it does or not. Russia is more than capable of staying in the “race of logistics”/”war of attrition” if the US refuses for whatever reason to cut off Kiev’s arms supply after the end of its failed counteroffensive, but the latter is unlikely to be able to rely on the EU much any longer since it’s already mostly run through all its stockpiles. This fact raises the chances of a meaningful de-escalation unless warmongers intervene.

Concluding Thoughts

President Putin believes that the odds favor at least freezing the Line of Contact (LOC) through a ceasefire, if not outright ending the conflict by reviving last year’s now-defunct draft treaty with Ukraine, albeit with amendments reflecting the new ground reality of Kiev having lost four more regions. There’s even the chance that a creative diplomatic-legal solution can be found for making the LOC the new international border without violating the Russian Constitution’s prohibition on ceding territory.

Speculation about the devilish details of a peace treaty aside, the point is that these discussions could begin taking place literally the day after the US cuts off Kiev’s arms supply should it tacitly cede victory to Russia in the “race of logistics”/”war of attrition” after the counteroffensive ends. Its ruling liberal-globalist elite might instead escalate out of desperation to coerce sensitive concessions from Russia in order to “save face” before voters if they agree to a peace deal, however, which could lead to a standoff.

In any case, President Putin doesn’t presently have any plans to escalate Russia’s involvement in the conflict as proven by him ruling out a second round of mobilization, remaining reluctant to carve out a buffer zone, and refusing to publicize every response to the crossing of his country’s “red lines”. Right now, he’s wagering that Kiev’s failed counteroffensive, the EU’s economic troubles, and NATO’s depleted stockpiles will combine to revive last year’s now-defunct draft treaty, which is actually quite reasonable.

 

 

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