May 202024
 


Wassily Kandinsky Moscow II 1916

 

Iranian President Confirmed Dead In Helicopter Crash (RT)
The Trump Trial Could Be Over Sooner Than You Think – Unless He Testifies (Taft)
House GOP Want to Replace Speaker Despite Trump’s Support (Sp.)
Putin and Xi Are World Statesmen, Western Elites Threat To Global Peace (SCF)
Putin and Xi in Beijing: Steps into the 21st Century (Patrick Lawrence)
Russian Economic Growth Hits 5.4% (RT)
Closer to Nuclear War (Jacob G. Hornberger)
Old Genocide Joe Has Got To Go! (Philip Giraldi)
Profit-Generating and Woke Brainwashing: What Happened to US Military? (Sp.)
UN: Gaza Facing ‘Apocalyptic’ Famine (Sp.)
Professor Denounces Romance as a Creation of White Supremacy (Turley)

 

 

Much is said about the Putin-Xi hug. Both sitting here without a tie seems just as important.

 

 

I accept
https://twitter.com/i/status/1791971045114511463

 

 

6’9’”
https://twitter.com/i/status/1791728529782034886

 

 

Loomer

 

 

Mike Rowe

 

 

Khodorkovsky

 

 

 

 

The president is not the Supreme Leader, but still.. Between Damascus and this, they lost many leaders…

Iranian President Confirmed Dead In Helicopter Crash (RT)

Iranian state media have confirmed that President Ebrahim Raisi was killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday in the northwestern province of East Azerbaijan. His entire entourage, including Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and Governor of East Azerbaijan Malek Rahmati, also perished. The head of state had traveled to the border region after joining Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev on Saturday to inaugurate a dam. Raisi had pledged to visit each of Iran’s 30 provinces at least once a year, and regularly traveled around the country. Reports of a “crash landing” began circulating on Sunday afternoon, with Iranian state media citing Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi. IRNA news agency reported dense fog in the mountainous area where the aircraft went down.

Raisi was traveling in a US-made Bell 212. Low visibility and the impassibility of the area made search operations difficult, IRNA wrote. Rescue teams finally managed to locate the crash site on Monday morning with the help of Turkish surveillance drones. The wreckage was discovered in a wooded area on a mountain slope. The aircraft was severely damaged and charred, and there were no signs of survivors, the Iranian Red Crescent Society said. With Raisi’s passing, First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber is expected to take office as interim leader. A representative of the republic’s conservative wing, Raisi, was elected in 2021. Before assuming the presidency, he had worked his way up from Prosecutor and Deputy Prosecutor in Tehran in the 1980s and 1990s all the way to attorney general, and later chief justice.

Raisi

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“The Democrats’ latest Get Trump campaign [..] is circling a crusty drain into a gutter of ignominy..”

The Trump Trial Could Be Over Sooner Than You Think – Unless He Testifies (Taft)

The Democrats’ latest Get Trump campaign to smear the former president and keep him off the campaign trail is circling a crusty drain into a gutter of ignominy. When the prosecution rests in this Manhattan bookkeeping trial, which may be late Monday or Tuesday, this Russia! Russia! Russia! redux could be mere hours—or days— away from jurors. The timing depends on at least three considerations: • Will the defense mount a defense? • If so, will the defense be able to get two key witnesses to testify? • Would Donald Trump testify? Whether it’s hours or days will depend upon how much rehabilitation the prosecution will need to do in its re-direct questioning of Michael Cohen. Cohen, who was annihilated by Trump attorney Todd Blanche on Thursday, will return to the stand on Monday for more questioning. Court was dark on Friday so that Trump could attend his son Barron’s high school graduation. The former president also shoe-horned in a fundraiser in Minnesota on Friday night. What, no family rager at Mar-a-Lago for Barron?

Regardless, don’t expect miracles in the final few days of the Trump trial. There’s only so much that judges are willing to do to stay in the good graces of a daughter fundraising off daddy’s job or to keep those squash game invitations coming. Granting a directed verdict isn’t likely on the “to-do” list. When star witness Cohen, a “serial perjurer,” is done punching the time clock for the prosecution, the defense will ask for a directed verdict of not guilty or make another motion for a mistrial for putting on a witness prosecutors knew would lie on the stand. Trump’s team members have spent hours cogitating over whether they should mount a defense. On one side there are those lawyers who say Trump needs to do his best to direct a JDAM into the heart of the prosecution for the benefit of the court of public opinion. The other side says Team Trump should do a mic drop, declare that the prosecution didn’t prove its still-unstated case, and ask for an acquittal.

As usual in criminal legal cases, fates favor the prosecution. Their case resembles a teetering Jenga game. The case’s uncharged crime resurrects zombie misdemeanor charges, the statute of limitations of which has run out, and transmogrifies them into 34 felonies based upon an action—paying an adult movie contortionist extortionist $130,000 to take her and her stories of having sex with Trump in 2006 and go away. The payments were paid by Trump attorney Michael Cohen. Regardless of the suspicious nature and derivation of the case, a New York jury could will likely find him guilty. The uncharged portion of the case is campaign finance violations. So far the people who have testified to the existence of campaign violations are Cohen and the adult mattress actress Stormy Daniels.

The judge has already shrink-wrapped the kind of testimony the actual campaign finance expert, former Federal Elections Commission chairman Brad Smith, can attest to when or if he testifies. Cohen has been the only person called to assess Trump’s state of mind on whether he believed payments to Cohen were written to skirt election law or simply as a retainer for legal services. The person who arranged the payments is sitting at Rikers Island prison. Former CFO Allen Weisselberg was jailed for perjury in Trump’s other New York case about the value of his real estate holdings. He was at a meeting with Cohen and Trump on the 34 payments to Cohen. Weisselberg hasn’t been called to testify because it won’t help DA Alvin Bragg’s case. In what former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy called “one of the sleaziest moves I’ve seen in a long time,” instead of calling Weisselberg to testify, Bragg introduced the former CFO’s separation agreement with the Trump organization into evidence to signal to the jury that the agreement wouldn’t let him testify, which is untrue.

“Bragg, who won’t prosecute anyone, prosecutes [Weisselberg] twice in two years…” McCarthy said incredulously. So it’s Cohen or nothing. Unless… Another possible witness is Cohen’s former attorney, Robert Costello, whose devastating evidence to the feds and the FEC about his former client’s lying is what convinced them to decline to bring campaign violations against Trump. Costello’s testimony before the Congressional Subcommittee on the Weaponization of Government was the first look many had at Costello’s story and why he could provide evidence that Cohen lied throughout the trial. At the behest of the feds, Cohen waived his attorney-client privilege, freeing Costello to tell his story. Go back and read that last sentence.

Alina
https://x.com/i/status/1791933868263518594

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MTG: “Everyone that’s gonna be voting for President Trump hates Mike Johnson..”

House GOP Want to Replace Speaker Despite Trump’s Support (Sp.)

The US Congress’ Republican Party members intend to replace incumbent House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson after the November elections to the lower chamber, despite the fact he has support from former President Donald Trump, the Axios news outlet reported on Saturday, citing sources. “Everyone that’s gonna be voting for President Trump hates Mike Johnson,” Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene was quoted as saying. Furthermore, Congressman Jim Jordan has been preparing the groundwork to promote his candidacy to replace the incumbent House speaker, the news outlet wrote, citing multiple sources.

At the same time, Trump and Johnson have talked over budget priorities, energy and tax policy among other things, the news outlet wrote, citing sources. The two have deepened their relationship since 2019 when Johnson defended Trump while on his impeachment defense team, the news outlet wrote. Overall, the former president sees the House speaker as a “good enough ally,” a top Trump ally told the news outlet, and Johnson “respects him [Trump] as the party leader,” the outlet added, citing a senior GOP source. “Loyalty is always going to be chief among the things that [Trump] cares about, and Johnson has never wavered on that,” a former White House official was quoted as saying.

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“There is no partnership or mutualism in such an “order” because the entire system is predicated on privilege and exploitation, underpinned by fascist notions of superiority and exceptionalism.”

Putin and Xi Are World Statesmen, Western Elites Threat To Global Peace (SCF)

This week, for those willing to perceive reality objectively, displayed two kinds of world order. The heartening news is that one will prevail over the other and thereby produce a better world for humanity, one of dignity and development for the common good. It was a momentous occasion this week when Russian President Vladimir Putin visited China where he was warmly greeted by Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. Both leaders affirmed their friendship and their vision of a multipolar world based on partnership and mutual benefit. Putin and Xi signed numerous agreements on a wide range of trade and development projects covering energy, technology, engineering, construction, agriculture, infrastructure and military defense. The visit was Putin’s second to China since October last year. It was his first foreign trip since he was inaugurated earlier this month as president for a fifth term.

Both leaders have established a tradition of visiting each other’s countries as a first international stop upon their respective inaugurations. On beginning his third time as China’s president in 2023, Xi made Russia his first international destination. Over the past two decades, both men have met as leaders on at least 40 occasions. The personal warmth attests to genuine friendship and also a closely shared political vision of the world. Putin and Xi have ardently advocated for a multipolar world based on respect, equality and cooperation. During his reception in Beijing this week on a two-day visit, Putin and Xi hailed their nations’ growing alliance as a fundamental factor in maintaining world stability and peace. Putin stated: “We work in solidarity on forming a more just and democratic multipolar world order which should rely on the central role of the United Nations and its Security Council, international law and the cultural and civilizational diversity, a verified balance of interests of all participants of the world community.”

For his part, Xi remarked that Russia-China ties have “set a model of mutual respect, frankness, harmony and mutual benefit,” and he emphasized their commitment to “fairness and justice”. Both men underscored that their alliance and vision did not seek to threaten anyone. They appealed for diplomacy and reasonable dialogue in settling international conflicts, including in Ukraine and the Middle East. President Xi did not mention specific nations but it was patent that he was referring to the United States when he denounced “Cold War mentality…unilateralism, hegemonism, bloc confrontation and power politics” as threats to peace and international security. By contrast, from two world statesmen representing progressive humanism, we may turn to the other kind of world on display this week, the one that Xi alluded to with his denunciation of Cold War mentality.

The second vision is anachronistic, abject, and failing. It is the world order that dominated since the Second World War based on Western hegemony, or more euphemistically, called the “rules-based order”. The lead hegemon is the United States whose Western allies are vassals to service its order of privilege and exploitation of others in a neocolonial paradigm. Today, this Western-dictated order is a hyper-militarized disorder where illegal wars and clandestine conflicts are fomented to shore up hegemonic suzerainty and parasitism. As in antiquated times, the majority are treated like slaves who must pay tribute to their overlords or be put to the sword. Today, the tribute system is manifested by trade exploitation, unfair terms of exchange, and financial predation from the abuse of fiat currency, the U.S. dollar. There is no partnership or mutualism in such an “order” because the entire system is predicated on privilege and exploitation, underpinned by fascist notions of superiority and exceptionalism.

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“..consider the May 16 joint statement from a few steps back. Apart from what is in it, what is conspicuously absent? There is no mention of the West, is there? The tone is strikingly self-confident and entirely self-referential..”

Putin and Xi in Beijing: Steps into the 21st Century (Patrick Lawrence)

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping added another to their count of 40–odd summit meetings when the Russian and Chinese presidents convened in Beijing, later proceeding to Harbin in Northeast China, for two days of talks that ended Friday. At 9:55 Thursday evening Beijing time, a day’s work done, the two sat behind a long table draped in green to address “members of the media,” as Xi put it. Western officials and the media that clerk for them have done their best, per usual, to dismiss this latest encounter of the Russian and Chinese leaders as of no account, just two authoritarians bound together by nothing more than their shared enmity toward the West. Pay no attention. We ought not miss the significance of what Putin and Xi had to say this week to one another and to the rest of humanity. The world just turned once again.

The Kremlin was first to publish a transcript of their “Media Statement Following Russia–China Talks.” The two presidents spoke in turn—Xi, the host, going first and Putin to follow. Here is a snippet drawn from Xi’s remarks: “We signed joint statements on enhancing the comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation between the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation for a new era…. China and Russia have served as a role model by showing others ways of building state-to-state ties of a new kind and working together as two major neighboring powers … based on the principles of respect and equality.” Xi spoke in this vein for several minutes. Here is a little of what Putin then contributed: “Our talks have reaffirmed that Russia and China have similar or identical views on many international and regional issues. Both countries have an independent and sovereign foreign policy. We are working together to create a fairer and more democratic multipolar world order based on the central role of the U.N. and its Security Council, international law, cultural and civilizational diversity, as well as a calibrated balance of interests of all members of the international community.”

There are two things to note about these remarks straight off the top. One, Western media have reported for months that there is a rift between Beijing and Moscow just below the surface. The Chinese do not approve of Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine, we have read. The bilateral relationship is radically unbalanced in Russia’s favor and of little use to China. Etc. This is nonsense, we can now see. In their brief presentation to the media and in other statements since, Xi and Putin have made it plain that there is virtually no air between the non–West’s two leading powers. As to the Ukraine question, to be noted right away, China has been studiously neutral while cognisant of the West’s provocations. Russia has never asked for more than this.

If Xi and Putin have made it a point to display their two nations’ closeness over the years—and their own as friends as well as statesmen, indeed—the two days they spent together this week mark an important public reaffirmation of their shared commitment to that “fairer and more democratic multipolar world” Putin mentioned Thursday. We have told you we have begun to build a new world order, they may as well have said. We’re on for this project. Together with others we will get this done. Two, and related to the above, consider the May 16 joint statement from a few steps back. Apart from what is in it, what is conspicuously absent? There is no mention of the West, is there? The tone is strikingly self-confident and entirely self-referential. In my read, the two leaders could not have more clearly if subtly demonstrated that the new world order of which they speak is to be an initiative the non–West will advance whether or not the Atlantic world approves or wishes to participate in its construction.

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“..exceeding the expected growth rates for the US (2.7%), the UK (0.5%), Germany (0.2%) and France (0.7%..”

Russian Economic Growth Hits 5.4% (RT)

Russia’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 5.4% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2024, the state statistics agency Rosstat said in a preliminary report published on Friday. According to the estimates, Russia saw robust growth in retail turnover (up 10.5%), manufacturing (up 8.8%) and construction (3.5%) in January-March. The Rosstat data aligns with an earlier estimate from the Economics Ministry, but exceeds that of the Bank of Russia (4.6% growth) and analysts’ expectations (5.3%). The agency is due to publish more detailed data on GDP in mid-June. According to an earlier forecast from the Bank of Russia, GDP growth is expected to slow in the second quarter due to tightening fiscal conditions. The regulator, however, expects consumer and investment demand to remain high and continue to drive economic growth.

The positive data comes despite multiple rounds of Western sanctions introduced since the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine in February 2022. The measures have ranged from blacklisting most Russian banks and cutting them from the SWIFT interbank messaging system, to freezing some $300 billion in Russian foreign exchange reserves. As a result, GDP suffered a downturn in 2022, contracting 1.2%. However, data for 2023 showed that the economy has recovered, posting growth of 3.6%. Many analysts have attributed this performance to Russia’s trade pivot to the East, and economic policies implemented to offset the effect of restrictions.

In April, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said it expects the Russian economy to grow faster than all advanced economies in 2024. GDP is forecast to expand by 3.2%, exceeding the expected growth rates for the US (2.7%), the UK (0.5%), Germany (0.2%) and France (0.7%). Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov earlier said he expects GDP growth in 2024 to equal that of last year, while the Bank of Russia has been more cautious in its predictions, expecting growth of 2.5-3.5%.

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“If the day ever comes when mushroom clouds are suddenly and unexpectedly enveloping cities in Russia and the United States, those who are still alive can mull over whether Ukraine’s membership in NATO was worth it..”

Closer to Nuclear War (Jacob G. Hornberger)

I can’t help but wonder what proponents of America’s participation in the old Cold War dinosaur known as NATO are thinking about NATO officials who are contemplating sending NATO military personnel into Ukraine to train Ukrainian troops in their war against Russia. Those who relish the idea of nuclear war between the United States and Russia undoubtedly must be ecstatic over the possibility of such a move. It has been clear for some time that Ukraine is losing its war with Russia. Ukraine has lost countless young soldiers and their front-line troops are now largely composed of middle-aged men. Its production has plummeted. Its supply of weapons is low, which is why it continues to desperately seek replacement weapons from the United States. Ukrainian forces continue to retreat. And there is the increasing possibility that Russian forces will achieve a breakthrough in Ukrainian defense lines.

Obviously feeling desperate over the battlefield situation, European officials within NATO are contemplating sending military personnel into Ukraine to help train Ukrainian soldiers. But wouldn’t that put NATO and Russia into direct military conflict? After all, what happens if a Russian missile kills a bunch of NATO soldiers inside Ukraine? According to the New York Times, “So far the United States has said no, but Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Thursday that a NATO deployment of trainers appeared inevitable. ‘We’ll get there eventually, over time,’ he said.” Brown’s objection, for now, seems to be based more on military practicality rather than the possibility than the increased likelihood of nuclear war. “For now, he said, an effort inside Ukraine would put ‘a bunch of NATO trainers at risk’ and would most likely mean deciding whether to use precious air defenses to protect the trainers instead of critical Ukrainian infrastructure near the battlefield.”

The Times adds the important kicker in all this: “As a part of NATO, the United States would be obligated under the alliance’s treaty to aid in the defense of any attack on the trainers, potentially dragging America into the war.” It’s important that we keep in mind why the United States continues to move ever closer to the possibility of all-out nuclear war with Russia. The reason is so that Ukraine can be a member of NATO, something that Russia has long opposed. If the day ever comes when mushroom clouds are suddenly and unexpectedly enveloping cities in Russia and the United States, those who are still alive can mull over whether Ukraine’s membership in NATO was worth it. Indeed, they can also contemplate whether U.S. membership in that old Cold War dinosaur was worth it too.

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“..a group of top federal judges have signed a letter stating that they will strike back against the demonstrating students by refusing to hire any graduates of Columbia University Law School as law clerks.”

Old Genocide Joe Has Got To Go! (Philip Giraldi)

It is extremely difficult to discern what might be the thinking behind the clueless President Joe Biden and his Blinken-Austin-Mayorkas foreign-policy-plus national security team. Or rather, the problem is that there does not appear to be any thinking about it at all if one measures it by what benefits it brings to the American people. It all actually seems to derive from a desire to construct a narrative that will win the presidential election coming up in November, which will fortunately be run against a deeply flawed GOP candidate named Donald J. Trump. But look at what is on the Biden record: the country’s southern border with Mexico is a porous as a Swiss cheese, allowing literally millions of illegal immigrants into the USA since Biden took office; Washington is both de facto and de jure simultaneously fighting and losing two unnecessary wars involving nuclear powers which has cost a nearly bankrupt Treasury well into the hundreds of billions of dollars; and the White House is needlessly sanctioning non-hostile competitors like China while also making illegal popular social media sites like TikTok which have committed the sin of reporting and disseminating accurate narratives about good old “best friend and closest ally” Israel. Predictably, neither of the assertions about the value of the Jewish state is true, nor is it a democracy, but who cares when you’re having fun shooting people and spending someone else’s money?

Oh, and just try to exercise your first amendment free speech rights by demonstrating against Israel’s slaughter of upwards of 40,000 Palestinian civilians using US provided weapons and you will be hit on the head by a cop, possibly arrested, and even expelled from college! If you want to see where this is all going, check out reports of the recent FBI detention and interrogation of distinguished Israeli historian Ilan Pappe seeking to enter the US through the Detroit International Airport. Pappe is a critic of the Netanyahu government and of US policy so he was held, questioned in detailed about his contacts, and had his phone copied before being allowed to proceed. Meanwhile, a group of top federal judges have signed a letter stating that they will strike back against the demonstrating students by refusing to hire any graduates of Columbia University Law School as law clerks.

And there even is a bill currently before Congress that would empower the government to label the foreign protesters “antisemites and terrorism supporters” and deport them, with some going to Gaza with the expectation that they would be killed, possibly by the mighty Israel Defense Forces (IDF)! It would be a startling new development to punish those whose crime consists mostly of trespass even given the rather loose ethical boundaries established by the war on terror and the Antisemitism Awareness Act! Or indeed one might follow the Senatorial route led by a chirping Lindsey Graham who recommends dropping a nuclear bomb on Gaza to kill everyone who has survived the Israeli onslaught. The area then might be developed after the radiation dies down for those splendid seaside villas for Jews only suggested by the esteemed Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Biden black vote
https://twitter.com/i/status/1792358959979901427

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No such thing as a woke army.

“Just goofy sh*t all across, up and down the chain of command.”

Profit-Generating and Woke Brainwashing: What Happened to US Military? (Sp.)

The third saturday of May is celebrated in the United States as Armed Forces Day, an observance honoring all members of the country’s military. But many experts are not joining the celebrations, raising concerns about the state of the US troops. This year’s Armed Forces Day in the United States takes place as Washington’s war machine appears to be but a shadow of its former self, its reputation tarnished by the de facto humiliating defeat in Afghanistan in 2021 and the inability to stop Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping lanes. The decline of the once-powerful US Armed Forces could be traced to the 1990s, the time right after the end of the Cold War, argued former US State Department counterterrorism analyst Scott Bennett. What started with reforms to those who could serve eventually “cascaded into an avalanche of social justice, acquainted theorems and attitudes towards the military,” he said. “Suddenly you saw a weakening of the military and that was the beginning of the end of the US military,” Bennett said.

Following that, the 9/11 terrorist attacks triggered a wave of US military interventionism across the world, ostensibly aimed at fighting terrorism but in reality serving as an “enrichment exercise for the military-industrial complex.” “So you’ve seen the military transform from a nationally-owned organization to an organization that was really being used to feed corporate entities like Raytheon, McDonnell Douglas, Booz Allen Hamilton, SAIC, a myriad of defense contractors, missile manufacturers, arms dealers, and that was another death blow to the military because suddenly it became a profit-generating organization,” Bennett remarked. According to him, the US military during the Obama administration suddenly lost interest in winning wars and resolving conflicts – instead, it became interested in perpetuating conflicts and “in using the military as a social re-engineering organization”.

“They [US authorities] completely corroded and decayed the military from within, causing a lot of the best soldiers, airmen, marines and sailors to depart, to not re-enlist,” he continued. “And as a result of all of the social pathologies and perversions that have been used and put into the military (…) You’re witnessing the United States military completely coming apart at the seams from a moral point of view, from a esprit de corps point of view.” He also noted that most Americans are reluctant to enlist because they do not want to join “a military that is at odds with their moral, traditional religious values.” “For the first time in the history of the United States, the American people, I believe, are looking at the military with a sense of disgust and a sense of fear and loathing because it has been used to ignite wars around the world and destroy the American reputation in Syria and Afghanistan, in Iraq and Libya and in Ukraine,” Bennett added.

“And now Europeans are also waking up and seeing the US military is one of the biggest threats to world peace.” Comparing the US military to the Russian military today, Bennett argued that the latter is clearly superior. “The Russian military is superior in technology and its manpower. Its technology is superior because the Russian people and the Russian government use their military development of weapons solely for the purpose of defending the country and the people, not to enrich companies that manufacture these weapons,” he elaborated. “Russia’s military manufacturing of weapons is solely and completely dedicated to the preservation of the nation, and to do it at a cost-effective rate.” Bennett also pointed out that the Russian military does not allow “homosexuality and transgenderism and all of these perversions that the West has allowed.”

Meanwhile, US Navy veteran Mike James – who served in Iraq in 2008 – observed that the United States’ military is surprisingly amateurish. “We’re surprisingly caught up in such an enormous sense of false superiority and security that there’s just really bad decisions made all up and down the chain of command, even at the highest levels. Yeah, just generally quite unprofessional and immature and goofy,” he told Sputnik. “Just goofy sh*t all across, up and down the chain of command.”

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Note: we have seen it coming. That carries guilt.

UN: Gaza Facing ‘Apocalyptic’ Famine (Sp.)

The UN under-secretary general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, Martin Griffiths, told the AFP that “apocalyptic” famine is coming to Gaza “If fuel runs out, aid doesn’t get to the people where they need it. That famine, which we have talked about for so long, and which is looming, will not be looming anymore. It will be present,” Griffiths said. “And I think our worry, as citizens of the international community, is that the consequence is going to be really, really hard. Hard, difficult and apocalyptic.” Griffiths claimed that 50 aid trucks can reach the people of North Gaza through the recently reopened Erez crossing, but that fighting in the south and central parts of Gaza, combined with other border closings, means very little aid can reach the Palestinians in the southern city of Rafah where Israel has been bombarding with tanks and warplanes and seized the border crossing with Egypt earlier this month.

“So aid getting through land routes to the south and for Rafah and the people dislodged by Rafah, is almost nil. And we all said that very clearly, that a Rafah operation is a disaster in humanitarian terms, a disaster for the people already displaced to Rafah. This is now their fourth or fifth displacement,” Griffiths said.= The floating pier off the Gazan coast constructed by the US opened days ago and some aid can travel through there, but Griffiths said that it cannot make up for land routes. Israel has repeatedly claimed to be doing all it can to facilitate humanitarian aid to Gaza but aid organizations have repeatedly said they have been hampered by Israeli authorities. For months, Israeli settlers have blocked aid going into Gaza, oftentimes as Israeli police and military forces stand by. Those incidents reached a fevered pitch last week with several violent incidents.

On Friday, Israelis reportedly attacked a commercial truck drive in Kochav Hashahar, an Israeli West Bank settlement that is considered illegal under international law. The Israelis attacked the driver, injuring him, according to the reports. Three IDF officers who arrived to treat the driver were also attacked and reportedly suffered minor injuries. Last week, a truck was set on fire after Israeli settlers stopped an aid convoy and destroyed the loads of several trucks. Videos on social media depicted Israelis ripping up bags of flour and dancing on the now-empty truck beds. Meanwhile, on Friday, the US State Department released a report on whether Israel was breaking humanitarian law by blocking aid or using US weapons in a way that is against humanitarian law. While the report noted “deep concerns” about Israel’s “actions and inactions” preventing humanitarian aid, it said that there was insufficient evidence to justify cutting off aid to Israel.

As of April, more than 250 aid workers have been killed in Gaza, including seven World Central Kitchen workers who were killed in what appeared to be a coordinated attack by Israel, hitting three identified aid vehicles while the organization was coordinating with Israel, providing their locations to the government, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). “This was not just a bad luck situation where ‘oops’ we dropped the bomb in the wrong place,” the organization’s founder, Chef José Andrés said after the attack. “Even if we were not in coordination with the [IDF], no democratic country and no military can be targeting civilians and humanitarians.”

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“..Strings “challeng[es]readers to accept the end of love as they know it and to embrace more queer and feminist ideas of love, equity and partnership.”

Professor Denounces Romance as a Creation of White Supremacy (Turley)

In higher education, there is a virtual cottage industry of academics declaring everything from math to meritocracy to be forms of white supremacy and racism. Now, it appears romance will be added to the list. University of California Santa Barbara Black Studies Professor Sabrina Strings has written how romance promotes white supremacy and “global pigmentocracy.” In The End of Love: Racism, Sexism, and the Death of Romance, Strings recounts having “endured” her own bad relationships and maintains that “Romance is an old white cultural institution that began in the Middle Ages.” In an interview with The Current, Strings explains that “I am only one of the millions of Gen X-to-Gen Z women who have endured a seemingly endless array of miserable relationships with men. ”In viewing romance through her own lens, Strings comes up with distinctly different views of literature and famous relationships.

For example, many people have read the story of Lancelot and Guinevere, a story of forbidden love that introduced disharmony and disaster to King Arthur’s Round Table. It is a story of love and eventual betrayal. It is both irresistible and irrational. Many accounts show Lancelot rescuing Guinevere and, torn by their mutual loyalty to King Arthur, the couple finally succumbs to the inexorable pull of love to each other. It is a tragedy of love and loyalty that leaves everyone in ruin. Arthur would die of wounds in the later battles, Guinevere would die in a convent, and Lancelot would, according to some accounts, die as a hermit. It is a powerful tale of how love can overwhelm all other considerations and shatter every other bond. That is not exactly how Professor Strings sees it. She says that the tale is really about how a man of lower status is trying to secure greater power and prestige by seducing a higher class European Christian woman: “Love is very much about generosity but romance is very much about what you can get from somebody, especially if you’re a man who is social climbing.”

Professor Strings zeros in on the beauty and whiteness of Guinevere. She notes that the queen was viewed as irresistibly attractive and pale in complexion: “We can easily recognize these features today as those representing the apex of whiteness, even though race did not exist at the time of Troyes’s writing. Nevertheless, to the extent that some of these representations occurred before the seventeenth century dawn of race science, they have what historians have called a ‘proto-racist’ bent. Indeed, scholars have shown that the preference for light skin, hair, and eyes existed prior to the advent of racism, and that these characteristics were co-opted by it and enlisted for the purpose of installing a global pigmentocracy.” The “whitenesss” could also simply reflect the racial makeup of the historical characters as opposed to any “global pigmentocracy.” Yet, according to Professor Strings, romance is about “women who are not peak white or are ‘insufficiently white’ are subject deservedly to deceit, manipulation, assault and rape.”

Professor Strings previously wrote a 2019 book about how “fatphobia” is rooted in racism. In today’s academic environment, there often seems a rush to racialize common practices, customs, or terminology. Publications clamor for such articles and discovering another hidden racist element in society can bring academic accolades. However, others have already staked out many areas such as mathematics, astrophysics, statistics, meritocracy, climate change, dieting, tipping, skiing, chess, and organized pantries. Most recently, the American Psychological Association declared that merit-based hiring may be racist. Even robots are now declared to be part of the supremacist menace because they are often made of white plastic.

Indeed, it now appears that both romance and marriage are vehicles for white supremacy. We previously discussed the writings of George Mason Professor Bethany Letiecq on how marriage advances “White, heteropatriarchal supremacy in America.”Nevertheless, the Strings book has met with acclaim and praise from many. Ms. Magazine praised the book as espousing the foundations of romance in “the white supremacist cishetallopatriarchy. Personal, historical, rigorous and readable, this is a fresh and essential feminist analysis on sexism, whiteness and toxic masculinity.” Other reviews note that Strings “challeng[es]readers to accept the end of love as they know it and to embrace more queer and feminist ideas of love, equity and partnership.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Cybertruck
https://twitter.com/i/status/1791676003015672305

 

 

Cheetah

 

 

Blood vessels

 

 

Dozen

 

 

Tiger fish

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

May 122024
 


Pablo Picasso Le repos 1932
This painting has a story. It’s very funny.

 

2024 Election Likely The Last To Be Decided By US Citizens – Musk (RT)
James Carville Rages at Trump’s Success (MN)
Bill Maher Upends Stormy Daniels’ Testimony With 2018 Footage (ZH)
Nuland Explains Why US Never Pushed Ukraine Into Talks With Russia (RT)
Ukrainian Government Warns Citizens Of Possible Full Mobilization (RT)
Trump Sees Biden Willing To Stop All Aid To Israel Soon (TASS)
Revisionism Erasing Russia’s Lead Role in WWII Akin to Holocaust Denial (Sp.)
Judge Trashes Election Lawsuit by the Elias Law Firm (Turley)
Macron ‘Hopes’ France Won’t Go To War With Russia (RT)
Xi’s Grand Chess Game: How China Outplays US in Europe (Sp.)
Will Xi Pry Europe From US? (Sp.)

 

 

Maher

 

 

Benz DARPA

 

 

Falcon booster

 

 

Ritter Egypt

 

 

Eurovision

 

 

 

 

“..disenfranchise US citizens by importing as many illegal immigrants as possible.”

2024 Election Likely The Last To Be Decided By US Citizens – Musk (RT)

The continuing influx of illegal immigrants into the US could mean that American citizens could cease to decide the outcome of elections in the country in the not-too-distant future, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has predicted. The South African-born billionaire claimed that the Democrats are wittingly refusing to address the issue in the hope of skewing the balance in their favor going forward. Musk’s recent comment came in response to Republican lawmakers passing the Equal Representation Act in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, which would require the Census Bureau to ask respondents about their citizenship in its 10-year surveys. GOP representatives want only US citizens to be counted when determining the number of congressional seats in each state. Speaker Mike Johnson argued that “we should not reward states and cities that violate federal immigration laws and maintain sanctuary policies with increased Congressional representation.”

“Common sense dictates that only American citizens should be counted for electoral apportionment,” he insisted. Democratic Representative Grace Meng described the initiative as “reckless, cynical, and frankly, illegal.” President Joe Biden’s office was quick to state that it “strongly opposes” the measure, “which would preclude the Department of Commerce’s Census Bureau from performing its constitutionally mandated responsibility.” In a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Thursday, Musk wrote that “Unanimous Democrat opposition to requiring citizenship for apportionment of House seats and Presidential electoral college votes says it all.” According to the entrepreneur, “the Democratic Party goal is to disenfranchise US citizens by importing as many illegal immigrants as possible.” “Given the massive influx of illegals from every country on Earth, 2024 will probably be the last election actually decided by US citizens,” Musk concluded.

Last month, he warned that a terrorist attack on the scale of September 11, 2001 on US soil was “only a matter of time,” considering the number of people who have entered the country illegally. In February, the billionaire alleged that the Biden administration is seeking to import as many illegal immigrants as possible, legalize them, and “create a permanent majority – a one-party state.” According to some estimates, there could be as many as 16 million illegal migrants in the US at this point, including over 7.2 million who entered during Biden’s tenure. The issue of lax security at the US-Mexican border has dominated domestic politics in America for months, with Republicans advocating tougher controls and Democrats arguing in favor of a more liberal approach to the issue.

Read more …

“You know this guy’s gonna win by the way, this guy’s gonna win,” said Cuomo.”

James Carville Rages at Trump’s Success (MN)

Veteran political strategist James Carville says “Trump’s more ahead than he’s ever been” as he urged Democrats to try something different because everything they do is “not working.” Trump’s more ahead than he’s ever been,” said Carville, lamenting how fewer Americans than ever are concerned about what happened on January 6. “It’s going the wrong way. It’s not working. Everything we’re that throwing is spaghetti at a wall, and none of it is sticking, me included,” said Carville. “We gotta try to think of something different. Because what we’re doing is really, really not working,” he emphasized.

The former lead strategist in Bill Clinton’s winning 1992 Presidential campaign expressed frustration at his own inability to effect the outcome, lamenting, “The opinion I’ve come to is that I don’t matter.” “It doesn’t matter. You can prepare and you can be on TV, you can write pieces, you can have a YouTube channel, you can have a podcast and nothing, nothing!” Carville complained. “We’ve got to try to think of something different because what we’re doing in really really not working,” he asserted. MSNBC talking heads expressed similar frustration that Americans are no longer buying their hysterical narratives when they were dumbfounded by a new PBS Newshour/NPR/Marist poll that found more Americans believe Joe Biden is a threat to Democracy than Donald Trump.

The sentiment that Trump is on course to win and there’s little Democrats can do about it now they’ve chosen to run a borderline dementia patient in Joe Biden is widely shared. Back in January, top pollster Frank Lunzt said he thought Trump was “done” after January 6 and impeachment but can now barely bring himself to admit that Trump is likely to win the presidency. Former CNN host Chris Cuomo also recently said Trump will win the election and that he’s never seen as much energy behind a candidate, even more so than Obama in 2008. “You know this guy’s gonna win by the way, this guy’s gonna win,” said Cuomo.

Read more …

“..So I just think she’s not a good witness.”

Bill Maher Upends Stormy Daniels’ Testimony With 2018 Footage (ZH)

Comedian Bill Maher just used footage from a 2018 interview with Stormy Daniels to reveal that she completely contradicted her own testimony in the Trump ‘hush-money’ trial last week. After laying out how the Democrats have fumbled the ball on virtually every case against Trump, Maher turned his attention to Daniels, who he called a “bad witness.” “Because, let me show you a little video. This is when I had Stormy on in 2018, and first I asked her why she had sex with Trump… listen to that, and then listen to what she says after that.”

Maher, in 2018, asked her: “Why did you fuck Donald Trump?” saying moments later “but you say it’s not a ‘me-too’ case,” referring to the flood of rape accusations against various men in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal. To which Daniels replies: “It is not a ‘me-too’ case. I mean I wasn’t assaulted, I wasn’t attacked or raped or coerced or blackmailed. They tried to shove me in the ‘me-too’ box as part of their own agenda, and first of all I didn’t want to be part of that because it’s not the truth and I’m not a victim in that regard.” Maher then contrasts that statement with Daniels’ testimony last week, saying “she’s talking about he was ‘bigger and blocking the way,’ – it’s all the me-too buzzwords.

During her testimony last week, Daniels claimed “There was an imbalance of power, for sure. He was bigger and blocking the way, but I was not threatened either verbally or physically,” she said, also claiming that she ‘blacked out.’ “She said there was an imbalance of power, for sure. My hands were shaking so hard. She said she blacked out. Blacked out? She’s a porn star. You really think she blacked out? A porn star is used to having sex with people she does not know. That’s the job. It’s kinda like ‘stormy, Bob, Bob, stormy, fuck!’ So I just think she’s not a good witness.”

Maher

Read more …

They weren’t strong enough to talk. So we made them fight instead.

Nuland Explains Why US Never Pushed Ukraine Into Talks With Russia (RT)

Ukraine has never been in a position to get a favorable settlement to end the enduring conflict with Russia and so Washington has never actually encouraged Kiev to negotiate with Moscow, former US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and former acting Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland has claimed. The ex-official and one of the key proponents of supporting Ukraine through military means made the remark in an interview with Politico published on Saturday. A vast part of the interview revolved around the Ukrainian conflict, with Nuland producing a typical mainstream American assessment of it. “Let’s start with the fact that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin has already failed in his objective. He wanted to flatten Ukraine. He wanted to ensure that they had no sovereignty, independence, agency, no democratic future – because a democratic Ukraine, a European Ukraine, is a threat to his model for Russia, among other things, and because it’s the first building block for his larger territorial ambitions,” Nuland asserted, without providing any supporting evidence.

The official insisted that Kiev can still “succeed” in the conflict, though she dodged the question of whether she believes Ukraine could seize its former territories from Russia, including the Crimean Peninsula, which broke away from Kiev in the aftermath of the 2014 Maidan coup and joined Moscow after a referendum. “It can definitely get to a place where it’s strong enough, I believe, and where Putin is stymied enough to go to the negotiating table from a position of strength. It’ll be up to the Ukrainian people what their territorial ambitions should be,” she said, adding that “whatever is decided on Crimea, it can’t be remilitarized such that it’s a dagger at the heart of the center of Ukraine.”The former official revealed Washington has never actually pressed Kiev into negotiations with Moscow, claiming its “negotiating position” was never actually strong enough, including in late 2022.

“They were not in a strong enough position then. They’re not in a strong enough position now. The only deal Putin would have cut then, the only deal that he would cut today, at least before he sees what happens in our election, is a deal in which he says, ‘What’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is negotiable.’ And that’s not sustainable,” she claimed. Victoria Nuland has been widely perceived as one of the key figures behind the whole Ukrainian crisis that started with the Maidan events, which ultimately brought down Ukraine’s democratically-elected president, Viktor Yanukovich, in 2014. The diplomat, who at the time was Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, infamously showed up among Maidan activists, handing out pastries. The affair became widely known as “Nuland’s cookies,” serving as a textbook example of direct US involvement in the coup.

Read more …

The end of Zelensky.

Ukrainian Government Warns Citizens Of Possible Full Mobilization (RT)

The entire Ukrainian society would need to make sacrifices and forget about their peaceful lives to defeat such an enemy as Russia, Defense Ministry spokesman Dmitry Lazutkin has argued. Kiev is overhauling its military service system to boost conscription numbers following a series of setbacks in its conflict with Moscow, with harsh reforms set to come into force next week. “Globally speaking, starting on May 18, when the mobilization law comes into force, first of all, the approach to this war will change,” Lazutkin told Espresso TV on Saturday. “Because this situation, when some people are fighting at the front lines, while others are living their quiet lives, is obviously coming to an end.” Life in Kiev is “strikingly different” from the situation in the east of the country, which is “abnormal,” according to the official.

“It would be normal if our enemy was weak. But with such an enemy, the whole country and the whole society need to mobilize,” Lazutkin added. Ukraine has been desperate to replace nearly half a million casualties – by Moscow’s estimates – since the outbreak of hostilities with Russia in February 2022. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said last week that Ukraine has lost more than 111,000 soldiers in 2024 alone. Last month, President Vladimir Zelensky enacted amendments to the conscription rules, lowering the draft age to 25, automating summons and greatly expanding the powers of enlistment officers while introducing assorted restrictions for draft dodgers.

The country’s foreign ministry has suspended consular services for military-eligible Ukrainians abroad. Under the legislation, the fines for violations of the military registration rules will also increase up to $520, with Ukrainian authorities threatening to block bank accounts and impose penalties on the property of those trying to avoid military service. In response to the changes, there has been a surge in Ukrainians men seeking to flee the country. Border Service spokesman Andrey Demchenko recently said that around 120-150 people are caught trying to flee Ukraine every day, while some end up dying while trying to cross the border.

Read more …

Costs too many votes.

Trump Sees Biden Willing To Stop All Aid To Israel Soon (TASS)

Former US President Donald Trump believes that the incumbent US leader, Joe Biden, will soon stop providing Israel with any aid. “Biden wants to immediately stop all aid to Israel,” Trump wrote on his page on Truth Social on Friday. Earlier, he said that the Democratic Party, of which Biden is a member, actually hates Israel. US President Joe Biden said in an interview with CNN on May 8 that Washington will stop providing some weapons to Israel if its forces enter Rafah. Later on Wednesday, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin explained that the US was reviewing some short-term military aid to Israel over the situation around the Gaza city. On May 5, Axios reported, citing two Israeli officials, that the US administration had put a hold on an ammunition shipment to Israel for the first time since October 7, 2023. On May 7, Politico quoted people familiar with the deliberations as saying that the United States was holding shipments of precision bombs to send a political message to Israel.

Read more …

Yes.

Revisionism Erasing Russia’s Lead Role in WWII Akin to Holocaust Denial (Sp.)

The push by the West to minimize and erase the contributions of Soviet Russia in defeating Nazism and fascism in WWII is a deplorable act of historical revisionism that should be condemned, just as Holocaust denial is condemned by most of society In recent years, there has been an attempt to minimize Russia’s contributions to the war effort against the Nazis, despite the long historical consensus that they did more to defeat the German army than any other country and sacrificed more to accomplish that, some 25 to 27 million Russians, than any other country. Worse yet, some have even gone as far as to equate the Soviets with the Nazis or even paint Nazism as an unfortunate response to the true danger: communism.

“There has also been a decades-long push to equate communism in the USSR with Nazism in Germany,” writes Conor Gallagher in Naked Capitalism. “While originally more of a fringe view, it started to go mainstream back in 2008 when the European Parliament adopted a resolution establishing August 23 as the ‘European Day of Remembrance for the victims of Stalinism and Nazism.’ Also called Black Ribbon Day, the US in 2019 also adopted a resolution to observe the date.”

Also in 2019, Gallagher points out, the European Parliament adopted a resolution blaming the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact for the Second World War, implying that the Soviets were as responsible as the Nazis for the war. “What the Soviet Union did was astronomical, and they paid a very tremendous cost. 27 million lives lost. And, the fact that there is an attempt to tamper with that narrative by Western leaders is really outrageous,” analyst and journalist Caleb Maupin told Sputnik’s The Critical Hour.“ All around the world, people understand that what they call Holocaust revisionism is unacceptable… There are European countries that have laws against that, will put people in jail for doing that. Well, if you try to denigrate the heroic efforts of the Soviet people or the great sacrifices they made with 27 million of their people dying in that war, how is that any different?”

In February, former US President Donald Trump reminded Americans that it was the Russians who were primarily responsible for Adolf Hitler’s defeat. “You’re really up against a war machine in Russia. Russia, what [did] they do? They defeated Hitler, they defeated Napoleon. They are a war machine,” Trump said, leading CNN commentator Jim Sciutto to call those historically factual remarks “a favorite Putin talking point.” Considering that Russian President Vladimir Putin is famously known for his ability to quickly recall historical facts, Sciutto might be right, but not in the way he is portraying. Those with the truth on their side often use historical facts as talking points. “World War II was one of the most devastating wars in history, and the fact that America stood with Britain and France and the Soviet people and the Chinese people to defeat the menace of fascism, that is a very, very important moment in world history, and, seeing that narrative denigrated is outrageous,” Maupin argued.

Read more …

Confusing article.

Judge Trashes Election Lawsuit by the Elias Law Firm (Turley)

The firm of former Clinton campaign general counsel Marc Elias has lost another election case in a spectacular fashion. The Chief Judge of the Western District of Wisconsin, James Peterson (an Obama appointee), did not just reject but ridiculed the Elias Law Group challenge to a witness requirement for absentee voting. Elias has been previously sanctioned in court and accused of lying in the Steele dossier scandal by journalists and others. U.S. District Judge James Peterson ruled against the lawsuit brought by the Elias Law Group, arguing that the witness requirement violated the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and Civil Rights Act of 1964. The state statute under § 6.87(2) describes what the witness must certify. The statute first sets forth in two sentences what the voter must certify on the ballot envelope. The first requirement concerns the voter certifying that he or she meets the requirements for voting generally and for voting absentee in Wisconsin.

The second requirement is certification that the voter followed the process for preparing the absentee ballot. These are the called the “first voter certification” and the “witness certification.” The witness certification refers to a witness certifying “all of the above,” which is obviously referring to the language on preparing the absentee ballot. Elias argued that it requires certification of everything that preceded it on the details of the voter’s record etc. In the court’s opinion, Judge Peterson expresses disbelief at the lunacy of the Elias argument, writing: “Normally, the court would begin by searching for other textual clues in the statute. But in this case, the most obvious problem with plaintiffs’ interpretation is that it simply does not make any sense.”

The court then notes that: “Under plaintiffs’ interpretation, every witness would have to determine the voter’s age, residence, citizenship, criminal history, whether the voter is unable or unwilling to vote in person, whether the voter has voted at another location or is planning to do so, whether the voter is capable of understanding the objective of the voting process, whether the voter is under a guardianship, and, if so, whether a court has determined that the voter is competent. See Wis. Stat. §§ 6.02 and 6.03. Many witnesses would be unable to independently verify much of the required information. The statute allows any adult U.S. citizen to serve as a witness, suggesting that a wide variety of people should be able to do the job…It makes no sense to interpret § 6.87 in a way that would make compliance virtually impossible.

If plaintiffs’ interpretation were correct, it would mean that countless absentee ballots over decades were invalid because the witness certified that the voter was qualified to vote and met the other requirements in the first voter certification, even though the witness had no basis for such a certification.” However, it gets even wackier. They argued that a simple witness requirement constituted a type of illegal vouching under the Voting Rights Act. This is a reference to the Jim Crow era when a registered voter had to vouch for a new voter, a system meant to prevent African Americans from voting.

The case adds to a long litany of losses and controversies for Elias. That record includes allegations of lying to reporters and subverting voters. Elias featured prominently in the filings of Special Counsel John Durham. It was Elias who made the key funding available to Fusion GPS, which in turn enlisted Steele to produce his now discredited dossier on Trump and his campaign. During the campaign, reporters did ask about the possible connection to the campaign, but Clinton campaign officials denied any involvement. Weeks after the election, journalists discovered that the Clinton campaign hid payments for the Steele dossier as “legal fees” among the $5.6 million paid to Perkins Coie.

Read more …

“..the French president may be using Russophobia and scaremongering tactics to satisfy his ambition of leading the European Union.”

Macron ‘Hopes’ France Won’t Go To War With Russia (RT)

French President Emmanuel Macron has said Paris seeks to avoid direct involvement in the Ukraine conflict, but that an intervention may be necessary to deter Russia from advancing too far. The European Union “would lose all credibility and security” if Russia were to prevail, Macron said in a video posted on X (formerly Twitter) on Saturday, responding to a question on whether France is “going to go to war.” “Our own future and our security is at stake in Ukraine,” the French leader argued, stressing that in addition to delivering more military equipment to Kiev, EU nations must be “ready to act” if “the Russians are going too far.”

“So no, I hope with all my might that we won’t have to go to war,” he said, insisting that France is a “peace power.” However, Paris needs to continue to arm itself in order to “protect peace,” Macron continued, stressing that intervention must remain an option if the country’s interests are threatened. “We have to be dissuasive and credible towards our adversaries sometimes by telling them: ‘If you go too far and if you threaten our interests, my own security, then I do not rule out intervening’,” he said. Macron’s comments echoed his previous non-committal statements on a potential deployment of troops in Ukraine. In February, the French President refused to rule out the prospect of NATO boots on the ground, claiming that the EU’s credibility “will be reduced to zero” if Ukraine is defeated.

A few months later he urged EU nations to boost their military spending and arms production to reduce dependence on Washington. The French president doubled down in an interview with the Economist earlier this month, calling the Kremlin the main threat to EU security and saying that keeping the option of deploying troops in Ukraine is necessary as a “wake-up call,” while defending his “strategic ambiguity” approach. Moscow has criticized Macron’s “dangerous talk,” with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov claiming that the French president may be using Russophobia and scaremongering tactics to satisfy his ambition of leading the European Union.

Read more …

“.. Ursula von der Leyen was also present at the meeting “to wag her finger in Xi’s face..”

Xi’s Grand Chess Game: How China Outplays US in Europe (Sp.)

Xi Jinping’s recent European tour was largely perceived as a PR success by China, highlighting the EU’s interest in Chinese investments and market access despite its tough rhetoric, according to Jeff J. Brown. Brown is the author of The China Trilogy, presents blogs and podcasts at China Rising Radio Sinoland, is the producer of China Tech News Flash!, is co-founder and curator of the Bioweapon Truth Commission Global Online Library, and is the founder of Seek Truth From Facts Foundation. “[French President Emmanuel] Macron and Xi signed 18 agreements on technology, agriculture, aviation, green development, SME [small and medium enterprise] cooperation, and people-to-people exchanges, which is good PR for both countries,” Brown told Sputnik, commenting on the first leg of Xi’s trip.

“Xi and Macron will play to their citizens’ hope for deeper Sino-European cooperation and the Old Continent’s industrial sector will continue to quietly invest billions in China, behind the back of Uncle Sam.” France has a much better reputation among the Chinese than the Five Eyes, continued Brown, referring to the Anglophone intelligence alliance encompassing the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. However, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was also present at the meeting “to wag her finger in Xi’s face to remind him of how awful China is towards Europe and if it wasn’t for Beijing’s endless support for Russia, NATO would not be losing the war in Ukraine,” remarked the expert.

The EU’s relationship with China is going downhill, mostly due to US pressure, even though the trend contradicts the bloc’s economic interests, according to Brown. His views were shared by veteran Asia-Pacific affairs expert Thomas Pauken II. “We’re going to see probably improved relations between China and France,” Pauken told Sputnik, explaining that the talks likely included some “key factors in how France and China, their trade and investment ties, [evolve]. But, this will not lead to an improvement between China and the EU Commission.”

Read more …

There is no grand scheme. There are small steps.

Will Xi Pry Europe From US? (Sp.)

Chinese President Xi Jinping concluded his five-day tour of Europe on Friday, having visited three countries: France, Hungary and Serbia. During the visit, Xi promoted China’s vision of a multipolar world and discussed economics and its relationship with Russia. The visit to Europe by Xi, his first in five years, was designed to increase its global reach and give Europe an alternative to a US-led foreign policy that has dominated the continent for decades. One could even say he is trying to pry Europe away from the United States, as the rising power of China and the waning power of the United States seem destined to remain on a collision course. “[Xi] doesn’t really want to face a united front of the Us and the EU in the way Russia has faced on Ukraine. So he’s trying his best to [pry] the Europeans away,” Dr. George Szamuely, a senior research fellow at the Global Policy Institute told Sputnik’s Fault Lines.

The selection of the three countries Xi picked was intentional, partially because each of them has significant historic anniversaries with China, but more importantly, Xi likely sees a chance to make more inroads in each of them. Serbia was the easiest case for Xi to make inroads, Serbia and China have been growing their economic ties recently and when Xi arrived at the Presidential palace, he was greeted by crowds waving Chinese flags and chanting “China, China, China.” Xi’s trip coincided with the 25th anniversary of the NATO bombing of the Chinese embassy in Serbia, and the Chinese president visited the site of the bombing, which killed three Chinese journalists. “Serbia is still very resentful about NATO’s bombing in 1999, and that’s formed the bond with China because, of course, the Chinese embassy was destroyed during the NATO bombing,” Szamuely explained. “So that kind of creates this bond between China and Serbia as victims of NATO.”

Hungary, likewise, has a strong relationship with China and is quickly becoming China’s entry point for the EU market. It was the 75th anniversary of Hungary and China opening relations, and both countries seemed eager to continue developing their economic ties. “[Xi] went to Serbia and Hungary, two fairly small countries that don’t really carry that much weight, but will nonetheless represent a certain independent way of thinking in Europe. The kind of thinking that Xi Jinping would like to encourage,” Szamuely said. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has distanced his country from other EU members on several issues in recent years, including Ukraine. Last year, Orban held up an EU aid package to Ukraine for months, angering others in the bloc. Hungary’s relationship with China may also allow Xi to circumvent EU tariffs on Chinese EVs, another issue sure to anger Brussels.

During his visits, Xi and his counterparts pledged to continue growing their economic ties and said that a $2.1 billion high-speed rail project that will connect the capitals of Hungary and Serbia will move forward, largely financed with Chinese loans. Both Hungary and Serbia are participants in China’s Belt and Road initiative. But it was Xi’s trip to France that could really change the geopolitical landscape if the two countries start to move closer. The two countries also shared an anniversary during Xi’s visit, it being 60 years since the two countries opened diplomatic relations. More importantly, France is still one of the most powerful countries in the EU and, along with Germany, tends to direct the union’s policies. While in practice, France has been virtually tied to the United States’ foreign policy, French President Emmanuel Macron has expressed a desire to step out from Washington’s shadow.

“Last year, when Macron visited China, on his way back, he talked a lot about Europe needing to carve out strategic autonomy, Europe needing to pursue an independent foreign policy, and, above all, he said we should not blindly follow the United States. Now, Macron didn’t really pursue that,” Szamuely stated. “But probably, Xi Jinping thought, well, that’s a good sign, you know, maybe there’s still some hope in Europe.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

Saudi parasols

 

 

Slam dunk

 

 

Shepherd
https://twitter.com/i/status/1789291891558916343

 

 

Baby cheetah

 

 

Belgian
https://twitter.com/i/status/1789382149663027519

 

 

Bat

 

 

Sheer power
https://twitter.com/i/status/1789319688100454745

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

May 082024
 
 May 8, 2024  Posted by at 8:53 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  51 Responses »


Pieter Bruegel the Younger St. George’s Kermis with the Dance Around the Maypole 1634

 

Trump Classified Documents Trial Postponed Indefinitely (ZH)
RFK Jr. Challenges Trump To Debate (RT)
Putin’s Inauguration – Scott Ritter (Sp.)
Putin Sent Message to West That Russia is ‘There to Stay’ as Major Power (Sp.)
Dialing Down Expectations On A US–Saudi Security Pact (Bhadrakumar)
The Real Reason Macron Is Pushing The French Troops Narrative For Ukraine (Jay)
There’s A Careful Plan Behind Xi’s European Tour (RT)
White Genocide is in the Cards that Are Being Played (Paul Craig Roberts)
Boeing Investigated Over Falsified Plane Records (RT)
Breathe Deep….. (Denninger)

 

 

 

 

RFK by Woody

 

 

Title 18

 

 

Every day looks crazier than the one before. Does Jack Smith still have a job?

Trump Classified Documents Trial Postponed Indefinitely (ZH)

One day after postponing a filing deadline in Donald Trump’s classified documents case, Judge Aileen M. Cannon has postponed the whole thing indefinitely. In a Tuesday decision, Cannon vacated (canceled) Trump’s May 20 trial date, and wrote that setting a new date given the enormous stack of pre-trial matters would be “imprudent.” On Monday, Cannon postponed a filing deadline for Trump’s team to provide a list of classified documents they want to present at trial – which was supposed to be filed by this Thursday. Cannon did not announce a new deadline, perhaps the first clue into today’s decision. The move also comes after special counsel Jack Smith’s team admitted that the classified files at the heart of the case had been tampered with, and they needed more time to assess that revelation.

Smith also misled the court, after originally telling U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon that the boxes remained “in their original, intact form as seized,” when in a footnote they conceded that they removed classified documents and left placeholder sheets, which prosecutors acknowledged has created an “inconsistent” record – in which some of the documents are no longer in the same order as they appear in digital scans made in the fall of 2022. “The Government acknowledges that this is inconsistent with what Government counsel previously understood and represented to the Court,” the footnote reads, according to Just the News. The finding comes after Cannon ordered a review into whether the FBI may have seized legally privileged records in response to a request from Trump co-defendant Walt Nauta.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1787981231478505641

Read more …

What would Trump have to win from this?

RFK Jr. Challenges Trump To Debate (RT)

US independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has challenged former President Donald Trump to a debate at this month’s Libertarian National Convention. Trump insists that Kennedy is “not a serious candidate.” “I’d like to make you an offer. We’re both going to be speaking at the upcoming Libertarian convention on May 24 and 25,” Kennedy wrote in an X (formerly Twitter) post on Tuesday addressed to Trump. “It’s perfect neutral territory for you and me to have a debate where you can defend your record for your wavering supporters.” Asked last week whether he would debate Kennedy, Trump said that the former Democrat is “not a serious candidate” and would have to “get his numbers a lot higher before he’s credible.”

In his post on Tuesday, Kennedy claimed that a poll commissioned by his campaign showed that he would “crush” President Joe Biden in a two-way contest, and would defeat Trump “in a nail-biter” in a similar matchup. Polls published last month by CNN and Quinnipiac both showed Kennedy at 16% in a contest involving him, Trump, Biden, and other independents, a result that he argued puts him “above the 15% debate threshold.” “I’m also drawing a lot of voters from your former supporters. They are upset that you blew up the deficit, shut down their businesses during Covid, and filled your administration with swamp creatures,” Kennedy wrote. Known for his anti-vaccine activism, free-speech advocacy, and foreign policy pacifism, Kennedy entered the race for the White House as a Democrat last April, before announcing in October that he would run as an independent instead. His effect on this November’s election has proven difficult for pundits to predict, with polls showing him pulling support from both Biden and Trump.

“The Democrats are frightened that I’m gonna spoil the election for President Biden, and the Republicans are frightened that I’m gonna spoil it for President Trump,” Kennedy said last year. “The truth is, they’re both right. My intention is to spoil it for both of them.” Trump and Kennedy will both deliver headline speeches at the Libertarian Party’s convention in Washington DC later this month, despite the fact that the party also intends to field its own candidate for the presidency. In a statement last week, Trump encouraged Libertarian Party members to back his campaign. “If Libertarians join me and the Republican Party, where we have many Libertarian views, the election won’t even be close,” he said. “We cannot have another four years of death, destruction, and incompetence. WE WILL WORK TOGETHER AND WIN!”

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Began Final Stage of Russia’s Purge of Malign Western Influence..

Putin’s Inauguration – Scott Ritter (Sp.)

In his speech at his inauguration ceremony, President Putin paid special emphasis to his responsibility as head of state “to protect Russia and serve our people,” and expressed Russia’s readiness for dialogue with the West, so long as the latter drops its efforts to restrain Russia’s development and apply pressure on the country. “Dialogue is possible, including on issues of security and strategic stability. But not from a position of strength, without arrogance, conceit or personal exclusivity, but only on equal terms, respecting each other’s interests,” Putin said. In the meantime, the president said, Russia will continue to work with its partners toward Eurasian integration “other sovereign development centers” to speed the formation of “a multipolar world order and an equal and indivisible security system.”

At home, Putin stressed, the foundations of Russian statehood include “interethnic harmony, the preservations of the traditions of all peoples living in Russia – a civilization unified by the Russian language and our multicultural culture.” The task of the state going forward will be to “ensure reliable continuity in the development of the country for decades to come, to raise and educate young generations who will strengthen and develop the country,” he said. Putin’s inauguration speech was very different from the televised address he gave when he first became acting president in 1999, but is nevertheless linked by one very important common theme, Scott Ritter told Sputnik. “In his inauguration speech, Vladimir Putin made it clear that the security of Russia and the Russian people are his top priority. Why would he have to say this? Because as we speak, Russia finds itself under attack from many nations around the world – nations that seek the existential extermination of Russia, if not through violence, then through economic strangulation,” Ritter said.

By contrast, in 1999, Russia faced a threat of a different sort, according to the commentator. “In 1999, Russia wasn’t facing attacks from without from foreign influence, but rather attacks from within,” Ritter said, pointing to the deep infiltration of Western economic and political interests, and Western values, both into Russia’s government, and among ordinary citizens. “This was a Russia that had lost touch with itself,” the observer said. Over Putin’s tenure, Russia has gradually “purged” itself of these attitudes, Ritter said, with the conflict in Ukraine serving as a catalyst accelerating Russia’s transformation, forcing elites and ordinary citizens alike to reconsider who they are and what defines them.

Going forward, Ritter expects Putin’s new term in office to “redefine Russia in the final stages of this transformation that it has been making continuously since 1999, a Russia that will for once and all purge the poison of Western malign influence out of its system, and create a pure Russian notion of what Russia is.” As for communication and potential cooperation with foreign power centers, it will be defined by Western readiness to respect Russian independence, the commentator said. “Vladimir Putin made it clear in his speech that he is seeking good relations with the West. Russia’s not seeking to dominate anybody. But Russia wants to live in peaceful coexistence with its Western neighbors as an equal, as a nation defined not by Western values, but by Russian values,” Ritter summed up.

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“.. to bring about a fundamentally new quality of life for our people and a real, tangible increase in their prosperity.’”

Putin Sent Message to West That Russia is ‘There to Stay’ as Major Power (Sp.)

Newly inaugurated President Vladimir Putin has sent a clear message to the West that “Russia is there to stay as one of the world’s major powers,” strategic analyst Paolo Raffone told Sputnik. The director of the CIPI Foundation in Brussels cited Putin’s remarks signaling Russia’s intent to “use political and diplomatic means to defend its lawful interests,” while remaining “open to negotiations and dialogue.” In his inauguration speech, Putin “rightly claims that after 2000, he, with the support of the Russian people, ‘stood firm against the attacks of international terrorism and saved the country from the very real threat of collapse,’” Raffone noted. The analyst singled out two cornerstone statements by the Russian president. First, that, “The main objective of the coming six years is now ‘to transform the potential we have built up into a new development energy and to use it to bring about a fundamentally new quality of life for our people and a real, tangible increase in their prosperity.’”

Second, that “Russia’s success and prosperity ‘cannot and should not depend on one single person or one political party, or political force alone. We need a broad base for developing democracy in our country and for continuing the transformations we have begun.’” “Putin underlines that he ‘serves’ the interests of Russia that has chosen him again as president. Putin acknowledges that the post-2000 recovery of Russia is still underway, and he summons the peoples of Russia to strengthen social cohesion to continue the path of ‘transformations’ and ‘develop democracy.’ Two statements and two goals that are a cornerstone of his new term in office,” Raffone said. As for the US-driven calls in the Western capitals and mainstream press to delegitimize the Russian presidential election process, “It is the continuation of the historic confrontation of Anglo-Saxon powers against Russia,” Raffone explained.

He weighed in on the fact that representatives of Western countries stayed away from the ceremony. While the UK, Canada, and most European Union nations opted to boycott the swearing-in, France, Hungary, and Slovakia sent their ambassadors, Raffone pointed out, noting that the “tune is set by the US that is faced with tremendous domestic and external challenges in the months ahead of the November elections.” “Despite the US/UK-imposed boycott, there is no united Western front against Russia… The reaction of Anglo-Saxon powers against Russia is a weak representation of the relativization of their global standing, a process with which their political elites have difficulty to come to terms. Despite their bellicose rhetoric, there is mounting sentiment that the relations with Russia cannot be eased without fresh diplomatic initiatives,” Raffone concluded.

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Power has already shifted.

Dialing Down Expectations On A US–Saudi Security Pact (Bhadrakumar)

A historic security pact may be in the making between the United States and Saudi Arabia that could open a pathway to the kingdom’s normalization with Israel. Both sides are eager to close a deal that will replace their famous ‘oil-for-security’ bargain struck in 1945. A caveat must be added, though. That 80-year-old agreement between president Franklin Roosevelt and King Abdulaziz Al-Saud has been tested in recent years as the global balance of power shifted and eroded some of their mutual trust. With last decade’s Arab Uprisings, the once-reliable lines of communication between Riyadh and Washington became strained, and back channels diminished. Issues of reliability, due to trust deficit and waning US influence, began weighing down the once solid alliance. Three particular developments underscored that the pillars of the US–Saudi relationship had become shaky:

First, the creation of OPEC+, the brainwave of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS), which launched an era of more independent production policy; second, Riyadh’s decision to join the multipolar BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO); and third, the Saudi decision to normalize relations with Iran, a commitment formalized in a Chinese-brokered peace deal in March 2023. The raison d’être of a renewed US–Saudi partnership is not in doubt. The dramatic events of 7 October 2023 in the Gaza envelope shattered the Biden administration’s notion that the Palestinian problem was “resolving itself” and that all that was needed was a neat Saudi–Israeli normalization. Instead, the issue of Palestine roared back to the center stage of West Asian security, and there is no leeway left to hoodwink the region, dissimulate empathy for the Palestinian cause, or strut around as a Good Samaritan on the Arab street.

Equally, Iran played its cards efficiently to bring the Axis of Resistance to the forecourt, something that rattled the Gulf Arab regimes, which, in turn, also provided a window of opportunity for the Biden Administration to re-engage their old allies. The linkage between regional ceasefire demands, the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, and calls for the release of Israeli captives held by Hamas has enabled Washington to regain its footing as the key interlocutor on the diplomatic track. Nonetheless, it remains a slippery slope for the US to reinsert itself as the main influencer in the region. Too much has changed in West Asia and the world in the interim. The broad strategy pursued by the Biden team is to nurture the new ecosystem around the Abraham Accords that Donald Trump patented by envisaging an Israeli–Saudi deal as the linchpin of a broader political agreement.

The White House imagines this would pave the way for Gaza’s reconstruction and the establishment of a Palestinian state that would go a long way to integrate Israel into its Arab neighborhood while allowing Washington to turn its attention to the Asia–Pacific and Eurasia to impede China’s rise and erode Moscow’s capacity to provide strategic space for China on the global stage. Rather than a robust strategy, the above is a breathtakingly ambitious pipe dream given Washington’s growing list of existential challenges: an economy under the weight of the unprecedented debt burden; counterstrategies by the Russia–Iran–China axis; the threat of “de-dollarization” gaining traction in the world economy as more and more countries in the Global South are experimenting with alternative currencies in their international settlement.

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“..over 20 years ago French soldiers tried to fight Sudan rebels and were reported to have fled the battlefield when they were actually fired upon with live rounds..”

The Real Reason Macron Is Pushing The French Troops Narrative For Ukraine (Jay)

Emmanuel Macron is in the news again with his repeated suggestion that French troops could be sent to Ukraine to fight in the war there against Russian forces. This time it is in the supposedly prestigious British highbrow Economist, which is happy to repeat this empty mantra over and over again, largely, one supposes, as it supports a broader narrative of the EU which it is a servant of in Brussels. There is no relationship more unhealthy and repugnant than that of The Economist and the European Union with the former happy to play the role of free propagandist and PR enactor for the latter. How Macron can keep repeating this entirely empty threat, which even he himself has admitted to a French magazine won’t happen, is astounding. Did someone ask him to do this once again and arrange it in The Economist? Perhaps at a high level in Brussels? How else to explain this latest ejaculation of utter nonsense?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto condemned the latest remarks and has warned such a move could ultimately spark an all-out nuclear war. Speaking to French broadcaster LCI, Szijjarto strongly condemned the idea, saying that the French leader’s comments themselves have contributed to escalating the situation. “If a NATO member commits ground troops, it will be a direct NATO-Russia confrontation and it will then be World War Three,” Szijjarto told the broadcaster. Macron himself has moved on though since his original comments to the Parisienne magazine which kicked it all off a few weeks ago. The more recent interview with The Economist clearly shows that he has even reflected on his own rambling and looked deeper at how he could refine the narrative, presumably to get more attention on the issue. However, it’s an act of a desperate politician, which analysts interpret one of two ways; it is either a cry of help directed towards the Biden administration to do the very act themselves and send American troops there; or it is simply a PR stunt to keep him in the international press, a zone which is like a crack addiction.

Like Trump, Macron seems to want to do and say anything – no matter how absurd – to keep him on the front pages, so to speak. Of course, the reaction of Macron, desperate as it seems, is entirely logical when we consider the events on the ground. Russia is gaining territory so western elites have to prepare their media campaigns which deflect blame away from themselves which is partly what the cry from Macron and other EU leaders for expanding their militaries is all about. When Russia takes Kiev, they will all cry “we told you so” and keep on arguing for bigger military spending. The narrative really is one of a loser. It is what you would expect from the losing side preparing to retreat and to save their political careers. Macron and most western leaders do not wish western media to point the finger at a series of catastrophic errors since day one, which have collectively contributed towards the retreat.

And so now, in The Economist, we see Macron define what he laughably believes could be the criteria for sending French troops to Ukraine: Russian breaking through the lines. But even western media like The Economist knows that this is folly and the whole Macron game is really a pack of lies. And yet they keep the lies alive. Perhaps, arguably, Hungary’s recalcitrant foreign minister also helps Macron and his ramblings muster credibility simply by rising to the bait and adding media oxygen. Szijjarto talks about the possibility of an all-out war if the French leader would go ahead with such a preposterous idea and mentions the use of nuclear weapons. But is there something here that we’re all missing? A bluff which both Macron and Szijjarto are playing? You don’t have to look too far to see what it might be.

NATO is planning to put together a proposal for a 100bn dollar war chest of cash for Ukraine and the fearmongering from Macron might be aimed at scaring Hungary into not going ahead with its veto to such a package – or rather aimed at other countries who would directly lobby Hungary to sign it off. No one in NATO’s headquarters in Brussels believes for one moment that France is capable of sending troops to Ukraine who would actually fight Russian soldiers and The Economist knows this only too well which is why it is call centre journalism on their part to print such garbage, which may well have been paid for from NATO’s pocket or Macron’s. Some NATO buffs, counting down the days to retirement will remember how over 20 years ago French soldiers tried to fight Sudan rebels and were reported to have fled the battlefield when they were actually fired upon with live rounds. We are all still having a great laugh about that on the dinner party circuit in Brussels even to this day.

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Aiming for the weak spots.

There’s A Careful Plan Behind Xi’s European Tour (RT)

Chinese President Xi Jinping is on a state visit to Europe. On what is his first trip to the EU since 2019, he has visited France and Hungary and concluded the tour in Serbia. The trip comes at a pivotal moment, when European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is attempting to flip the EU institution against China, having initiated dozens of probes on Chinese products in recent weeks. Likewise, the US has aggressively ramped up rhetoric accusing Beijing, accusing it of complicity in the Ukraine conflict, designed of course to undermine Xi’s credibility on his trip.

Despite von der Leyden’s blatant pro-US bias, it is quite obvious that the loyalty of EU nations has become the subject of a battle between Washington and Beijing for influence in the emerging geopolitical struggle. Although of course the EU is in theory aligned with the US, through its dominance of institutions such as NATO, China’s foreign policy for many years now has focused on attempting to exert all influence to prevent the EU from fully aligning itself with Washington’s goal of containing Beijing, instead seeking to preserve open economic ties with the continent. To this end China has devoted an extensive diplomatic effort to Europe, an effort it doesn’t feel worth making towards the US, or even the UK.

Continental Europe is a mixed bag, and depending on the political status quo there are some states who are favourable to China, and some who are not (such as the Baltic states), and thus China sees it important to uphold the bastion of support where it can. As a result, Xi has dedicated his visit to three countries who are currently favourable towards Beijing: France and Hungary within the EU and Serbia outside the bloc. First, France is a Western-aligned state which has always been famous for its “maverick” foreign policy derived from its position as a former empire in its own right. Emmanuel Macron in particular has always been keen to go against the grain and has continued to engage with Beijing, even visiting China himself last year.

Traditionally, the most enthusiastic large EU country towards China is in fact Germany, and that is still visible, for example in Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s visit to Beijing several weeks ago. However, German politics has become a domestic tug of war over China, as the foreign ministry is controlled by the neoconservative Green Annalena Baerbock, who has attempted to try and undermine ties with Beijing. This of course has been met with resistance from the German Industry lobby, while US-funded think tanks also try to undermine German ties with China to the best of their ability. As a result, it is not politically convenient for Xi to visit Germany, and thus he chose France, where opinions seem more comfortable with its “maverick” role.

His second destination, Hungary, under Viktor Orban has carved out a niche as being the most pro-Beijing state in the whole EU. Orban has an even more maverick foreign policy which also seeks healthy ties with Russia. However, its small size means it cannot steer the entire bloc’s agenda. Despite this, Budapest is a very important partner for Beijing because it serves as a gateway for Chinese investment and other projects to amplify themselves on the continent when doors are being shut elsewhere. Such as, building an overseas campus for Fudan University, or a Chinese electric car factory, which is critically important if the commission is wielding the threat of tariffs. But not only that, Hungary occupies a strategic position in central Europe above the Balkans which is the terminus of a Chinese economic corridor that starts with the port it owns in Piraeus, Greece. And between Greece and Hungary lies Serbia. Although Serbia is not part of the EU, it is a critically important nation in the Balkans which has stormy relations with the West owing to the massive bombing campaign NATO waged against it in the 1990s.

It is a nation which dislikes the West, but has no power to directly resist as it faces pressure to integrate into the EU, and a sovereignty issue over Kosovo. As a result, Serbia’s well being depends on its ability to court relationships with third-party powers such as Russia and China to secure geopolitical clout. For China, Serbia thus becomes another focus point, or safe-haven, to project influence into Europe. Since the Ukraine conflict began, China has taken the subtle position of opposing the expansion of US-led western institutions, recognising them as a tool of hegemony that will be used against it. As a result, strengthening ties with Belgrade has become part of Beijing’s effort to keep its foothold in the continent, both politically and economically – it has created as a commercial passage utilising its role as part of the Balkan corridor.

Hence, Xi is reportedly going to try and upgrade relations with Serbia. After all, it is a place where China can invest and thus, sell to Europe, without EU and NATO interference. It is also hoped Serbia will join BRICS eventually. Thus, while Xi’s visit to France, one of the EU’s leading states, is to ensure the bloc does not unite against Beijing, his visit to Serbia and Hungary is strategic by design in using them as projection points in ensuring China’s commercial ties with Europe can be upheld amidst resistance by powerful individuals such as Ursula von der Leyen.

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“They are doomed. Perhaps a few will be kept in zoos as examples of racist evil.”

White Genocide is in the Cards that Are Being Played (Paul Craig Roberts)

Three decades ago in my book, The New Color Line, I pointed out that Alfred W. Blumrosen, compliance chief of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, turned the statutory language of the 1964 Civil Rights Act on its head and used the EEOC to create race-based legal privileges for blacks, thereby reducing white Americans to second-class citizenship. In place of equal employment opportunity Blumrosen and the liberals of the time used “affirmative action” to create and enforce privileges for blacks in university admissions, hiring and promotion. These privileges created in defiance of Congress by a regulatory authority were the opening wedge against our then merit-based system and created the acceptability of racial discrimination against white Americans.

At the time the liberals admitted that it amounted to privileged treatment of a race, but said it was to be temporary in order to give blacks a leg up. It has now been 60 years, a time period that is not temporary. As I pointed out, once privilege is set in law, it becomes a property right of the privileged supported by the passage of time and precedent after precedent. Even though the racial privilege is unconstitutional, those privileged by it have squatters’ rights in the privilege. My book was favorably reviewed by Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, by Irving Kristol, editor of The Public Interest, by Judge Robert H. Bork, by the New York Times Book Review, by The Wall Street Journal, by the Washington Post, by California Governor Pete Wilson, and many others. Henry Regnery said that my book was the most important work his firm had ever published. Yet my book had zero effect.

Three decades after its publication American corporations, universities, and the US military have institutionalized racial discrimination against white Americans. 60 years too late Tucker Carlson has raised this issue with Jeremy Carl who has just published The Unprotected Class: How Anti-White Racism is Tearing America Apart. As a large percentage of the white population has been indoctrinated into seeing themselves as guilty and undeserving, the white majority is incapable of rectifying its second-class legal status. As the white American majority is rapidly disappearing under the Democrats’ policy of open borders and recruitment of immigrant-invaders into the United States, within a few years time not even the theoretical possibility of restoring American whites to equality under the law will be possible.

If you want to see your future, read Jean Raspail’s The Camp of the Saints. The Camp of the Saints is an accurate description of the fate of the Western World. We are experiencing that fate now. If you dare to know your future and that of your children and grandchildren, you can read this novel that correctly predicted our future in 1973. The book was a best seller, but the rot had already set in. Today the book is suppressed. You can read it here: https://www.jrbooksonline.com/PDFs/Camp_of_the_Saints.pdf As racial denigration of white ethnicities is institutionalized in every Western government, all white ethnicities can expect the same fate. The fate of white ethnicities is sealed. They have lost their countries and are reviled by their own white governments, universities, and media. They are doomed. Perhaps a few will be kept in zoos as examples of racist evil.

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It used to have an excellent reputation. Gone in just a few years.

Boeing Investigated Over Falsified Plane Records (RT)

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced it has launched a probe against Boeing to ascertain whether one of its factories may have omitted mandatory inspections and whether employees may have falsified records. The inquiry was begun after the company itself informed the FAA about what it called “misconduct” at its factory in South Carolina. The issue revolved around the beleaguered 787 program, according to media reports. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a two-aisle plane used mostly for long-haul flights. “The company voluntarily informed us in April that it may not have completed required inspections to confirm adequate bonding and grounding where the wings join the fuselage on certain 787 Dreamliner airplanes,” the FAA said in a statement. According to the agency, “Boeing is reinspecting all 787 airplanes still within the production system and must also create a plan to address the in-service fleet.”

No planes were taken out of service following the discovery, according to AP. The company only ordered additional checks at its final assembly plant in North Charleston, delaying the aircraft delivery, the news agency said. The company’s shares dropped by 1.5% late on Monday following the news. Following inquiries by the media, the aircraft manufacturer released an internal email written by the head of the 787 program, Scott Stocker, who said that a worker at the South Carolina factory noticed an “irregularity” in the required wing-to-body joint tests and reported the issue to his manager. “After receiving the report, we quickly reviewed the matter and learned that several people had been violating Company policies by not performing a required test, but recording the work as having been completed,” Stocker admitted, adding that the company was taking “swift and serious corrective action” as a result.

The development is the latest in a series of issues confronting the company. Last week, it reported that the lack of a key component was delaying production of the Dreamliner. It blamed the issue on sanctions against Russia, adding that the required parts were produced by a joint US-Russian venture. The company also recently told investors that it would not be able to deliver as many Dreamliner jets as had been planned this year due to shortages of heat exchangers and cabin seating. Monthly production of the Boeing 737 MAX has also fallen to single digits as the company is still dealing with manufacturing issues in the wake of an incident that saw a door plug blow out mid-flight on an Alaska Airlines plane in January. The 737 MAX has been plagued by mishaps, including two crashes in 2018 and 2019 that resulted in more than 340 deaths.

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“Mature fast casual dining and chip companies selling for 70x earnings are fantasy-land nonsense and yet both are the case right here, right now.”

Breathe Deep….. (Denninger)

=I travel quite a bit. Like most people I have my habits — places I like, things I go to do and if I enjoy them I’ll go back and do them again. This means I see patterns and, unlike many, I tend to notice them immediately. Perhaps its a blessing — or perhaps a curse. I just got back after one such trip; one I’ve made before and Sarah and her boyfriend both came as well (her boyfriend has not been on this trip before, but she certainly has.) They traveled separately but we met up and had a good time. If you’re in the market you ought to be making up a big fat list of things to be short — or at least be out of the things you’ve had and are long of, particularly when you can get a 5%+ risk free return in the short end (the 13 week bill, for example) of the Treasury market. I was stunned at the deterioration I saw in consumer behavior from just a month or so ago on my prior trip, and gob-smacked at the change over three months or so back when Sarah and I were out at Wolf Creek, also a place I like to go on a repetitive basis (for skiing, of course.)

There was evidence of it then on our travels which were over a large part of the same path we took back in September for our trip out to the Grand Canyon. That which was jammed full was not, and yet there wasn’t a serious price delta between those two trips; that is, while there had been lots of inflation over the previous couple of years (and it was obvious) there wasn’t anything that was a sort-of “trigger moment” associated with the change, and being winter .vs. late summer, ok, maybe it was seasonal and frankly, the delta was small. This time it wasn’t small and in addition there were serious price hikes that were attempted — and appear to have had an instant impact. I’m talking about sit-down fast-casual places I like when traveling and lots of others do too in that they’re always slammed to the point that if you want to eat there during the dinner hours I hope you like their “get a sort of reservation on their app” thing or sit at the bar if its just one of you — because if not you might be waiting an hour.

Well, that was gone. And not a little gone either. The place had plenty of tables with no wait and the parking lot had lots of spaces too. But it wasn’t one place — on the way home I stopped at another I’ve been in a dozen times over the last five or so years, again, at dinner time, and a third of the tables were empty. But what else was shocking? A roughly 40% total price increase over a couple of years ago and of that 10+% that just got tacked on with all the menus having just been reprinted in the last couple of weeks. It appears that last grab for cash finally hit people’s pain points and they stopped showing up. I also saw “fast food” style places co-located with fueling stations on the highway shuttered and boarded up — and that’s entirely new, and of other chains I pay some attention to during the same times in the afternoon and evening their parking lots are half-full or less.

Yes, this is “shoulder season” — or is it? Not really. Its graduation season and a lot of people are in fact traveling for precisely that reason; in another few weeks it will be the start of “traditional summer” with Memorial Day. Folks, there are no rate cuts coming because there can’t be into this government spending level without an explosion in inflation. Without taking on the place in the federal spending game where all the money is going (that’s health care) there is no fix. Attempting to work around it with more offshoring, more robots, more data centers (and “ai” in them) and similar won’t work either because you can’t print money — you can only print credit and to obtain money someone has to do something of value for someone else in excess of its costs.

When costs ramp that excess closes and eventually goes negative — and at the point it does that activity becomes uneconomic. If you continue to do it through various machinations such as the government playing handout games you run the risk of an exponential runaway and collapse. But what you should keep in mind is that never in reasonably-modern history do markets let you get to that endpoint. They didn’t in 2000 or in 2008 either. All the hollering about “subprime being contained” proved to be nonsense; the underlying bubble that “supported” the charade was seen through before the endpoint and the market imposed its own view of things whether policy makers liked it or not. Mature fast casual dining and chip companies selling for 70x earnings are fantasy-land nonsense and yet both are the case right here, right now.

I get it that nobody likes the implications of prices having to collapse by a third to come roughly into line with incomes, but its fact. Further its at least double that in the capital markets because common stock always has an element of leverage in it (otherwise why would it sell at a “multiple” of earnings at all — and yet it always does, does it not?) The believe that The Fed “must” or “will” step in and prevent such a reversion to the mean is absurdly common — after all, they have stepped in through the last two decades (or even more) but in doing so each time they’ve made the imbalance worse and now the exponential nature of such deficit spending and debt load are here rather than a future problem. For those who believe that it will “never fail” or worse, that you’ll get plenty of warning before something serious breaks I have three words for you: SOLD TO YOU.

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Bird dog
https://twitter.com/i/status/1787924335732113456

 

 

Elk

 

 

Explain

 

 

 

 

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Feb 262024
 
 February 26, 2024  Posted by at 9:51 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  68 Responses »


Vincent van Gogh Pink peach trees (Souvenir de mauve) 1888

 

Why War Bonds Are Returning in Europe (Luongo)
Surge of “Little Green Men,” and Metal is Poised to Strike (Trader Stef)
Ukraine War: Zelensky Says 31,000 Troops Killed (BBC)
Kiev Demanded Victory Plan From Military With No Resources – Zaluzhny Aid (RT)
Putin Defeated US Plan For Russia – Nuland (RT)
Most Ukraine Aid ‘Goes Right Back’ To US – Nuland (RT)
The Untold Half of the Zaluzhny Story (Snider)
CIA Built “12 Secret Spy Bases” In Ukraine – NYT (ZH)
Xi Isn’t Destroying China’s Economy – He’s Changing It (Fomenko)
EU Must Find ‘Enormous Amount’ Of Money To Face Global Challenges – Draghi
10 Ways A Second Trump Term Could Be More Extreme Than The First (Pol.)
Fani Willis Demands Judge Reject Cellphone Evidence (ZH)
The Show Trial against Julian Assange (Scheidler)
If We Don’t Keep Sending Billions To Ukraine, The War Might End (BBee)

 

 

 

 

Orf

 

 

KSP

 

 

 

 

Mike Benz 3 minutes
https://twitter.com/i/status/1758743460025389427

 

 

AI Tucker Carlson narrating The Lord of the Rings

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excellent from Tom Luongo. Who, interestingly, seems to put power relations on their head. With the demise of EU industry, we think the US is in charge. But:

“..Europe wants the US to be a vassal after spending itself to death fighting the phantom menace of Putin. Eurobonds are the real story. The rest is just noise..”

Why War Bonds Are Returning in Europe (Luongo)

The fate of these SURE bonds and all future EC bond issuances hangs in the balance here. In fact, the future of the EU itself hangs in the balance. And that’s why I was contacted by Sputnik News yesterday to give my thoughts on this subject. “Eurobonds are the Holy Grail for European integration,” Tom Luongo, financial and geopolitical analyst, told Sputnik. “PM Kallas is telling you what the plan is. The EU’s Achilles’ heel is the euro itself and its lack of central taxing authority.” “Eurobonds, issued through the European Commission, of this type are another way of handing that authority to Brussels, bypassing member state central banks and legislatures,” he added. “If one was cynical, which I am, one would suspect that the EU’s support for the war in Ukraine was mostly driven by this desire to centralize power in Brussels,” Luongo argued. “You start a war in Ukraine by purposefully crossing Russia’s red lines, drive inflation up locally, and empty the military coffers of all the post-WWII weapons and ammunition that is now outdated. (…)

If you are losing, as you are now, you play up the threat of Russia not stopping at Ukraine to justify shifting your domestic spending to a military build-up, issuing Eurobonds to pay for it.” This plan for war bonds was shepherded by the usual suspects for EU militarization, French President Emmanuel Macron and EU President Charles Michel. And I want to stress here that nothing about this project is economic. It is purely political. They will expend whatever political capital they must to force this outcome on the people of Europe. To folks like Macron, Michel, Ursula Von der Leyen and their bosses, European bourgeoisie and proletariats alike are just tax cattle. No wonder they are so against them eating beef. So, let’s connect another couple of dots. Because now it should be obvious that this is why they threatened Hungary’s Viktor Orban with economic devastation for holding up their $50 billion aid package for Ukraine.

They need to keep Ukraine going to justify now spending another $100+ billion to launder into failing French and German banks sitting on massive losses from all the debt they bought during the NIRP (Negative Interest Rate Policy) period. This is just the beginning of their plans for transferring sovereignty out of the hands of the member states and handing it to Brussels. But to sell this to global investors they have to prove to the world they have all the wayward voices under control. Sovereign debt is secured through taxation and the productive capacity of the population. At this point the EU has neither. Now when I think about what all the principle players have been harping about for the past couple of weeks the common theme was NATO uber alles. This was echoed by everyone from President Biden at his latest press conference and Vice President Harris at Munich, to Hillary Clinton, clearly on more than a proof of life tour.

We had Alexei Navalny’s death used to raise money for war. Reports of Russia shooting US satellites out of orbit. Locusts! It never stops with these people. There’s always a convenient Russian or Chinese bogeyman lurking behind every headline. But the underlying theme is to keep the money flowing into NATO. Trump’s comments on standing aside if Putin attacked a NATO country that didn’t pay its way were used by all of them to breathlessly support MOAR NATO. But, in the end, this is just about the exercise of raw power against domestic populations. Putin and his army are no more a threat to Berlin than they are a threat to Kiev at this point. NATO, and the plans to morph it into a global police force under UN control, is the reason for all of this. Europe wants the US to be a vassal after spending itself to death fighting the phantom menace of Putin. Eurobonds are the real story. The rest is just noise.

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“..Those who are using nuclear blackmail against us should know that the wind rose can turn around.”

Surge of “Little Green Men,” and Metal is Poised to Strike (Trader Stef)

Yesterday, NATO’s Secretary General Stoltenberg interviewed with Radio Free Europe and noted in the context of discussing F-16s that Ukraine has the right to self-defense, including “striking legitimate Russian military targets outside Ukraine.” It’s not a coincidence that Stoltenberg expressed that point of view after Ukraine experienced the sudden collapse of Avdiivka that I covered in the “Surge of ‘Little Green Men,’ and Metal is Poised to Strike” Part XVIII and its Twitter thread. Russia has repeatedly expressed that existing international law grants the right to militarily strike a third party or nation state’s infrastructure that provides weapons and/or logistical support to an enemy during war. In the context of the NATO’s proxy war with Russia in Ukraine, that includes striking U.S., NATO members, and allied territory.

It was also made clear that any weapon systems delivered by third parties through Ukraine would be targeted upon identification, which already occurred on numerous occasions using conventional weaponry and hypersonic missiles armed with non-nuclear warheads. Don’t you think the U.S. striking Iran-backed proxies and supply lines in the Middle East that supported Hamas in its war against Israel validates Russia’s legal authority to strike NATO territory? Putin has been exceptionally restrained based on circumstances surrounding the war in Ukraine and the proliferation of legacy media narratives. “Medvedev predicts Apocalypse in event of Russia-NATO war… “Leaders should tell the bitter truth to their voters instead of treating them as brainless idiots. They should explain to them what will really happen instead of repeating the deceitful mantra about readiness for a war with Russia.” – Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev, Feb. 2024”

The issue with Ukraine utilizing F-16s to strike Russian troop positions or target inside Russia proper is it no longer has a sovereign airbase capable of supporting F-16s (Col. Douglas Macgregor’s Aug. 2023 analyses). It also lacks the integrated space-based and land-based communications technology required to execute sorties that must be supported by NATO or U.S. AWACS, miscellaneous functions and intelligence from NATO members, and spare parts and supplies support from the U.S. If an attempt is made to buildout a new or existing airfield, Russia will incinerate that location in the same way it already disabled Ukraine’s airbases and air force. That leaves a distinct possibility of F-16s entering the battlespace via a third-party nation. The moment any fighter jets are detected within Ukraine, in its airspace, or approaching the battlefield frontline they will be targeted and destroyed.

That scenario immediately raises the possibility of NATO activating its Article 5 provision for war against Russia, then war will be declared on the collective West by Russia and its strategic allies. Putin openly admits that Russia cannot match NATO’s combined conventional military strength despite its own superior manufacturing base and logistical advantages, so any attack by NATO would be considered an “existential threat.” That opens the door to tactical nuclear weapons being used to blunt the enemy on a battlefield. Where it goes from there depends on the collective West’s response, which will be answered in kind by Russia.

“I would like to remind those who make such statements regarding Russia that our country has different types of weapons as well, and some of them are more modern than the weapons NATO countries have. In the event of a threat to the territorial integrity of our country and to defend Russia and our people, we will certainly make use of all weapon systems available to us. This is not a bluff. The citizens of Russia can rest assured that the territorial integrity of our Motherland, our independence and freedom will be defended – I repeat – by all the systems available to us. Those who are using nuclear blackmail against us should know that the wind rose can turn around.” – Putin, Sep. 2023

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Guys like Col. Macgregor and Scott Ritter insist it’s at least 10 times that.

Big Serge on X: “Obviously Zelensky’s new claim that total Ukrainian losses are only 31,000 would seem to be starkly at odds with their December statement that the AFU needs 20,000 replacements per month to keep up with burn.”

Ukraine War: Zelensky Says 31,000 Troops Killed (BBC)

Ukraine’s president says 31,000 soldiers have been killed since Russia’s full-scale invasion began. Volodymyr Zelensky said he would not give the number of wounded as that would help Russian military planning. Typically, Ukrainian officials do not make public the numbers of servicepeople killed in the war. It comes after the defence minister said half of all Western aid for Ukraine has been delayed, costing lives and territory. “At the moment, commitment does not constitute delivery,” Rustam Umerov said in a televised address on Sunday. Ukraine is currently experiencing a variety of setbacks in its mission to drive Russia from its territory. Mr Umerov said that the lack of supplies put Ukraine at a further disadvantage “in the mathematics of war”. “We do everything possible and impossible but without timely supply it harms us,” he said.

German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius warned in November that plans to deliver a million artillery shells by March would not be met. In January, the European Union (EU) said just over half of these would reach Ukraine by the deadline and that the full promised amount would not be there until the end of 2024. The EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, blamed a lack of production capacity but Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said allies had been stepping this up. Ukrainian forces have often complained of shortages in their war with Russia. President Volodymyr Zelensky said one of the reasons Ukraine’s highly anticipated counter-offensive did not start earlier last year was the lack of weapons. That counter-offensive largely failed – one of a number of setbacks Kyiv has faced after some early successes in repelling Russia after it invaded in February 2022.

Last week, it was announced that troops had withdrawn from the key eastern town of Avdiivka – Moscow’s biggest win in months. Mr Zelensky also blamed this partly on faltering Western weapon supplies. The Biden administration, meanwhile, has said the hold-up in Congress of a $60bn aid package for Ukraine led to the fall of the town. Despite the delay, Ukraine’s prime minister sounded an optimistic note. “We are deeply convinced that the United States will not abandon Ukraine in terms of both financial support and military, armed support,” Denys Shmyal said on Sunday. His comments come after Mr Zelensky pressed members of the G7 – the world’s richest democracies – to increase their “vital support” in order for his country to win the war. “You know perfectly well that we need all this in time, and we count on you,” he said at a virtual meeting.

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When you let a piano playing penis overrule and replace your popular top general…

Kiev Demanded Victory Plan From Military With No Resources – Zaluzhny Aid (RT)

The Ukrainian government wanted the military to figure out how Kiev could defeat Russia but failed to provide data on what resources it had to achieve that goal, an adviser to former Ukrainian commander-in-chief Valery Zaluzhny has said. In an interview with The New York Times published on Saturday, General Viktor Nazarov offered a glimpse into one of the reasons for the rift between the country’s military and civilian authorities last year. He noted that army officials were troubled by demands from the government in Kiev, which wanted them to draw “a road map for victory without telling them the amount of men, ammunition and reserves they would have to execute any plan.” The general lamented that this was one of the factors the civilian authorities “did not understand or did not want to understand” when they asked the military without any strategic reserves to come up with strategic plans.

Nazarov’s comments echoed the remarks of his ex-boss prior to his sacking. In an opinion piece for CNN earlier this month, Zaluzhny blasted “imperfections of the regulatory framework,” as well as the partial monopolization of the national defense industry, which he said resulted in production bottlenecks and exacerbated dependence on foreign arms shipments. In his November article for the Economist, the ex-top commander also suggested that the conflict was now at “a stalemate,” with both sides having the technological capability to know what the other one is doing, making any advances on the battlefield problematic. Zelensky fired Zaluzhny, who oversaw Ukraine’s botched counteroffensive last year, as well as several other top commanders earlier this month. The Ukrainian president has described the decision as “a reboot,” noting that “some things were not changing over the recent period of time.”

Some media reports, however, suggested that Zelensky wanted to get rid of Zaluzhny as a potential political rival who was popular with the rank and file. Zaluzhny was replaced by General Aleksandr Syrsky, whom Politico described as a “butcher” unpopular with the troops who supposedly resented his willingness to throw them into “fruitless assaults.” Even before Ukraine’s chaotic retreat from the strategic Donbass city of Avdeevka, Syrsky admitted that Kiev was in a “difficult” frontline situation. He has also said that Ukraine has now “transitioned” from offensive actions to strategic defense. However, commenting on the top brass reshuffle, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov noted that Moscow did not expect it to have any significant impact on the battlefield.

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The CIA had control of the Kremlin under Yeltsin. They thought they had it made. Then they themselves selected Putin.

Putin Defeated US Plan For Russia – Nuland (RT)

Vladimir Putin’s Russia is “not the Russia that we wanted,” Acting US Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland has told CNN. Nuland explained that Washington wanted a compliant leader in the Kremlin who would “westernize” the country. “It’s not the Russia that, frankly, we wanted,” Nuland told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday. “We wanted a partner that was going to be westernizing, that was going to be European. But that’s not what Putin has done.” Putin’s predecessor, Boris Yeltsin, enjoyed Washington’s support as he oversaw the rushed privatization of the Russian economy in the 1990s. Yeltsin’s reforms saw the rise of the so-called ‘oligarchs’, who amassed huge fortunes selling Russia’s natural resources to Western buyers, while the majority of the population dealt with declining life expectancy, soaring crime and homicide rates, and the collapse of the ruble.

Putin, who first took office in 2000, is widely credited with taming the oligarchs, imposing public order, and reversing the economic and social decline of the 1990s. Putin initially sought friendly relations with the West, telling American journalist Tucker Carlson earlier this month that he asked then-US President Bill Clinton whether Russia could one day join NATO, only to be rejected. Putin nevertheless reached out to Clinton’s successor, George W. Bush, with a proposal that the US, Russia, and Europe jointly create a missile defense system. While Bush’s team initially expressed interest, Putin said that “in the end they just told us to get lost.”

A combination of NATO expansion, American support for jihadist groups in the Caucuses, and Nuland’s orchestration of the coup d’etat in Ukraine in 2014 made it clear that the US and its allies were not interested in cooperation, Putin told Carlson. Nuland told Amanpour that Putin has “destroyed his own country” by intervening in Ukraine, and that the US will “continue to tighten the noose on him,” presumably by supplying Kiev with weapons and imposing additional economic sanctions on Moscow.

However, successive rounds of sanctions have failed to “crater” the Russian economy, as US President Joe Biden predicted they would in 2022. Instead, the International Monetary Fund predicts that Russia’s economy will grow by 2.6% in 2024, while the US’ will expand by 2.1%. Likewise, the unprecedented influx of Western arms failed to rescue Ukraine’s summer counteroffensive from failure. The operation fizzled out in the autumn after Kiev lost around 160,000 men and failed to retake any of its lost territory, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. Russian officials have repeatedly said that they are ready to negotiate an end to the conflict, but that Ukraine must accept the loss of its former territories and commit to neutrality.

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How to grow your economy on top of dead bodies..

Most Ukraine Aid ‘Goes Right Back’ To US – Nuland (RT)

Washington spends most of the money allocated as aid for Ukraine on weapons production at home, Acting US Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland said in an interview with CNN this week. Commenting on the pending aid package which Congress failed to approve before going on winter recess, Nuland said she has “strong confidence” that it will pass, as it addresses America’s own interests. “We have to remember that the bulk of this money is going right back into the US economy, to make weapons, including good-paying jobs in some forty states across the US,” she stated, adding that support for Ukraine in America “is still strong.” Lawmakers in the House of Representatives blocked a bill requested by US President Joe Biden for an aid package for Kiev worth $60 billion, most of which is earmarked for weapons, earlier this month.

They are expected to restart discussions on the package after they reconvene on February 28. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also recently said that roughly 90% of the financial assistance for Ukraine is spent on domestic production of weapons and equipment. At a press conference on December 20, he said additional tranches would “benefit American business, local communities, and strengthen the US defense industrial base.” According to Germany’s Kiel Institute, which tracks international support for Kiev, Washington allocated nearly €68 billion ($73.7 billion) in aid for Ukraine between January 24, 2022 and January 15, 2024, including roughly €43 billion ($46.6 billion) in military aid. However, Kiev has been increasingly demanding more aid from its Western backers.

Several days ago, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky warned visiting American legislators that Kiev would “lose the war” against Russia without Washington’s assistance, according to US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Russia has criticized the US and other Western states for their military support for Kiev, arguing that it is only dragging out the conflict. According to a recent survey from the Harris Poll and the Quincy Institute, a growing number of Americans do not support US military aid to Kiev unless it is tied to peace talks. Only 22% of respondents said Washington should continue ‘unconditionally’ providing Ukraine with financial assistance, while 48% said new funding must be conditioned on progress toward a diplomatic solution. Around 30% said the US should halt all aid.

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Everything new about Zaluzhny is now censored and silenced.

The Untold Half of the Zaluzhny Story (Snider)

There were probably many reasons why Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky fired Ukraine’s popular commander in chief of the armed forces, Valerii Zaluzhny, on February 8, but one of the biggest seems to have been a disagreement over how to go forward in a war that seemed to have overwhelmingly turned against them. Zelensky spoke of a need for “the same vision of the war,” and Zaluzhny said “a decision was made about the need to change approaches and strategy.” When the war began, Zelensky said that Ukraine “will definitely win” but stressed life over land. “Our land is important, yes, but ultimately it’s just territory.” He said that “Victory is being able to save as many lives as possible. Yes, to save as many lives as possible, because without this nothing would make sense.” But actions speak louder than words. Zelensky began to define victory as the reclamation, not only of land lost during the war, but of Crimea and all of Ukraine’s pre-2014 territory.

Zelensky insisted that Ukraine stay on the offensive. He insisted on moving forward, “Whether it’s by a kilometer or 500 meters, but forward every day.” Zaluzhny saw Zelensky’s strategy of fighting for Bakhmut and Avdiivka at any cost as a strategic disaster that was costing Ukraine too much in weapons and in lives. Zaluzhny argued for preserving lives over forfeitable territory, lest Ukraine lose its land and its army. In General Oleksandr Syrsky, Zelensky found the commander who would execute his vision and carry out his orders. Syrsky fought the Battle of Bakhmut. His performance there, and in other battles, gave him the reputation of a commander who is willing to give orders that lead to little real gain and lots of real loss of life. “Some soldiers say his orders are unreasonable, at times sending men to their obvious deaths,” The Washington Post reports. According to The Economist, he “has a reputation for being willing to engage the enemy, even if the cost in men and machines is high.”

His reported willingness to put “his men in danger to reach his military goals” has earned him the nicknames “Butcher” and General 200, 200 being the code for a soldier’s corpse. Syrsky is also seen as being a commander who is close to Zelensky and who will not question his orders. The replacement of Zaluzhny by Syrsky signals Zelensky’s intent to push ahead with the suicidal war of attrition and fight for every inch of land despite the cost in lives. Aware of the optics of the choice in the public and, perhaps especially in the armed forces, Kiev assuaged the perception of Syrsky as “being indifferent to military casualties.” In his first statement as commander in chief, Syrsky said, “The lives and well-being of our servicemen have always been and remain the main asset of the Ukrainian army.”

But, again, actions speak louder than words. General Syrsky’s first words were about protecting the lives of his men, but his first actions were about fighting for every inch of territory. On February 11, just three days after the change in command, Syrsky ordered the reinforcement and defence of Avdiivka, a strategic town that faced imminent loss to the Russian army and enormous loss of Ukrainian lives. Zaluzhny would have withdrawn his troops, preserved lives and moved the front to more defensible positions. Syrsky deployed the 3rd Separate Assault Brigade, one of the best armed and trained and most successful brigades in the Ukrainian Armed Forces. It did not go well. It went exactly as Zaluzhny said it would, and Syrsky was forced to respond exactly as Zaluzhny had said they should. But now the response was carried out in disarray instead of in an orderly, planned fashion. Perhaps Zelensky should have stuck with Zaluzhny.

In sending in reinforcements instead of retreating, Syrsky said the “goal of our operation is to exhaust the enemy, inflict maximum losses on him.” The opposite happened. Less than a week later, on February 17, Syrsky announced the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from Avdiivka. “Based on the operational situation around Avdiyivka, in order to avoid encirclement and preserve the lives and health of servicemen,” he said, “I decided to withdraw our units from the city and move to defense on more favorable lines…The life of military personnel is the highest value.” That’s exactly what Zaluzhny advised Zelensky to do. But the situation was worse than at first reported. Zaluzhny would have preplanned the retreat and executed it according to a plan. Zelensky and Skysky’s stubbornness turned the already costly loss into a disaster.

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I doubt the NYT piece told Russia anything they didn’t already know.

CIA Built “12 Secret Spy Bases” In Ukraine – NYT (ZH)

On Sunday The New York Times published an explosive and very belated full admission that US intelligence has not only been instrumental in Ukraine wartime decision-making, but has established and financed high tech command-and-control spy centers, and was doing so long prior to the Feb. 24 Russian invasion of two years ago. Among the biggest revelations is that the program was established a decade ago and spans three different American presidents. The Times says the CIA program to modernize Ukraine’s intelligence services has “transformed” the former Soviet state and its capabilities into “Washington’s most important intelligence partners against the Kremlin today.” This has included the agency having secretly trained and equipped Ukrainian intelligence officers spanning back to just after the 2014 Maidan coup events, as well constructing a network of 12 secret bases along the Russian border—work which began eight years ago.

These intelligence bases, from which Russian commanders’ communications can be swept up and Russian spy satellites monitored, are being used launch and track cross-border drone and missile attacks on Russian territory. This means that with the disclosure of the longtime “closely guarded secret” the world just got a big step closer to WW3, given it means the CIA is largely responsible for the effectiveness of the recent spate of attacks which have included direct drone hits on key oil refineries and energy infrastructure. “Without them [the CIA and elite commandoes it’s trained], there would have been no way for us to resist the Russians, or to beat them,” according to Ivan Bakanov, former head of the SBU, which is Ukraine’s domestic intelligence agency.

A main source of the NYT revelations—disclosures which might come as no surprise to those never willing to so easily swallow the mainstream ‘official’ narrative of events—is identified as a top intelligence commander named Gen. Serhii Dvoretskiy. Clearly, Kiev and Washington now want world to know of the deep intelligence relationship they tried to conceal for over the past decade. It is perhaps a kind of warning to Moscow at a moment Ukraine’s forces are in retreat: the US is fighting hand in glove with the Ukrainians. And yet the revelations contained in the NY Times report also confirm what President Putin has precisely accused Washington of all along.

[..] Among the most interesting and curious moments of the NYT report is a description of the CIA program’s expanse under the Trump administration. The report suggests that the true scope may have even been hidden from Trump. The Russian hawks in his administration quietly did the ‘dirty work’, we are told: “The election of Trump in November 2016 put the Ukrainians and their CIA partners on edge. Trump praised Putin and dismissed Russia’s role in election interference. He was suspicious of Ukraine and later tried to pressure its president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, to investigate his Democratic rival, Biden, resulting in Trump’s first impeachment.”

The report then emphasizes, “But whatever Trump said and did, his administration often went in the other direction. This is because Trump had put Russia hawks in key positions, including Mike Pompeo as CIA director and John Bolton as national security adviser.” And further, “They visited Kyiv to underline their full support for the secret partnership, which expanded to include more specialized training programs and the building of additional secret bases.” Given the attempt to place Trump in a negative light (he had to be ‘tiptoed around’…), it will be interesting to see how he and his campaign respond to the report. But more consequential will be the reaction of Putin and the Kremlin in the coming days.

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“..Xi Jinping deliberately set about changing the structure of China’s economy in order to end a growth boom based solely on real estate and debt..”

Xi Isn’t Destroying China’s Economy – He’s Changing It (Fomenko)

If there’s one thoroughly unoriginal strand of thought on China present in the mainstream media today, it is the idea that China’s economy has been wrecked, and that Xi Jinping’s policies are to blame. Such commentary, pushed by every major mainstream outlet on a weekly basis, frequently promotes a narrative of the “end” of China’s rise, often talks about “decline” and squarely places responsibility on Xi Jinping, who supposedly ended the dynamic of an open and prosperous China for increasingly centralized, authoritarian rule and a return to communist fundamentals. Such an article was pushed this week by the editorial board of the Washington Post, in a piece titled “Xi is tanking China’s economy. That’s bad for the US”. The article was hardly original in its premise, stating the above argument pretty much word for word.

When this argument is pushed, it always conveniently ignores the broader context that the world economy is in dire straits, and moreover the more pressing elephant in the room, that American foreign policy has been deliberately detrimental if not outright antagonistic to global economic prospects as a whole. The idea of this narrative is to push the psychological warfare aspect that China is failing in order to dampen the optimism of businesses, undermine the Chinese economy and therefore push US foreign policy goals. This deliberately paints over the geopolitical, economic, and domestic considerations which have all driven a change in China’s own strategy and position. It is easy to denounce the “tyrannical rule of Xi Jinping” in a cliché and blame him for everything that has apparently gone wrong, but more difficult to paint an assessment as to why China’s internal and external environment today is not the same as it was ten years ago.

First, what is always, always ignored is that Xi Jinping deliberately set about changing the structure of China’s economy in order to end a growth boom based solely on real estate and debt. The newspapers love to waffle on about the “real estate crisis” and Evergrande, but can you imagine how big the problem would have been had previous policies been continued and China pushed for obscene 10% growth targets based on an explosion of debt? Xi Jinping ended this and initiated a process of deleveraging which deliberately slowed down China’s economic growth to around 6% when he came to power. Why? Because debt is not a sustainable mechanism and his policy has been literally to push the real estate industry into a managed recession, even if that has short-term repercussions.

Secondly, Xi Jinping’s policy has been to reinvent China’s economy to meet upcoming challenges by transforming it from a low end, export, real estate boom economy, into a high-end technological powerhouse. Instead of investing aimlessly in local government real estate booms, China has redirected state money to building up high-value industries including renewable energy, computing, semiconductors, automobiles, aviation, among other things. It is primarily this bid to become the global technological leader (by default of size) that has triggered the backlash from the US on an economic level and thus the bid to try and cripple China’s technological advance through export controls, which in fact show little evidence of working.

In addition to that, the global economic environment China operates in, has changed. The US has terminated its longstanding policy of open economic integration in favor of protectionism, bloc alignment, and the geopoliticization of supply chains. It has, in turn, created geopolitical conflicts with Russia and China and demanded its allies cut or reduce economic ties to the targeted countries. In doing so, the US has also attacked Beijing on a number of fronts using issues such as Xinjiang, Tibet, Taiwan and Hong Kong as weapons to smear China’s image, implement sanctions, and of course an all-embracing campaign of negative publicity to create uncertainty and destroy the optimism of China’s rise.

These policies inevitably have consequences on Beijing, which makes the country feel less secure, more suspicious, and therefore less open to the outside world. That isn’t as much a possible indictment of Xi Jinping as it is a structural reality of politics. The CIA for example, is relentless in trying to strengthen its presence in China, but if China arrests someone or links them to spying, the media will respond by calling Beijing paranoid, insecure and coercive, showing how the narrative will skewer the country no matter what. However, the point still remains that it is more challenging for China to grow in this environment than it was before. New challenges create new policies, and when the mainstream media pretend that Xi is the instigator of all the change and “spoiling” China’s chances, they are simply lying on multiple levels. It is a multifaceted psychological warfare campaign which opts for simple explanations rather than telling you the bigger picture of why China changed.

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“Draghi stressed the necessity to channel European private savings, because “public money will never be enough..”

EU Must Find ‘Enormous Amount’ Of Money To Face Global Challenges – Draghi

The European Union needs to invest an “enormous amount of money in a relatively short time” to deal with the deep challenges the bloc is facing, former European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said on Saturday. Draghi, who has been tasked with producing a high-level report on the EU’s competitiveness, met with EU ministers on Saturday in Ghent, Belgium, to discuss the best way to come up with the needed funds. He presented EU governments with his diagnosis: The three pillars the EU has relied on — energy from Russia, exports from China, and the U.S. defense apparatus — are no longer as solid as before, and on the green and digital transitions alone the EU would have to spend €500 billion a year.

The funding gap between Europe and the United States in terms of investment is equivalent to half a trillion euros a year, and a third of that would be public money, Draghi told the ministers, according to his assistant. All the participants appeared to agree on what needs to change to boost EU competitiveness, from lowering energy prices to reducing regulatory burdens, but divisions emerged when talking about public money. “They made clear that a lot of discussions would be needed in the months to come,” the Draghi aide said, adding that Draghi called for “bold action” on the matter of investments. Draghi stressed the necessity to channel European private savings, because “public money will never be enough,” but he also put on the table options to find funds at the EU level, according to the aide.

The EU could create a new common cash facility, such as debt or loans, or use private partnerships where the European Investment Bank would have a role to play. French President Emmanuel Macron and others support the idea of new common debt. EU Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni has pitched many times the idea of a sort of second Next Generation EU fund, but the proposal has not generated enthusiasm among all countries. Asked about the need for new common funds earlier this month, Germany’s Economy Secretary Sven Giegold told POLITICO: “It’s well known” that the German government is in favor of “increasing the spending path into research and development, climate, innovation and so on, which is certainly needed in global competition. But as you know, at the moment, about 70 percent of the EU budget does not go into these future-oriented sectors.”

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Trump the dictator has become a prominent narrative..

10 Ways A Second Trump Term Could Be More Extreme Than The First (Pol.)

Trump’s campaign has repeatedly dismissed media reports about his potential second-term agenda, saying in a statement in November that policy recommendations from his conservative allies “are certainly appreciated and can be enormously helpful” but “are just that — recommendations.” “Unless a second term priority is articulated by President Trump himself, or is officially communicated by the campaign, it is not authorized in any way,” the statement from campaign advisers Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita said. But both supporters and critics of the ex-president predict that a reelected Trump would wage a more focused and aggressive attack on the status quo. This time, they say, he would be far more knowledgeable about the mechanics of wielding executive power. Having placed so many conservatives in federal judgeships, he would face less resistance from the courts. And he would be more determined to place loyalists, not rules-obsessed traditionalists, in senior roles.

Trump’s second term would be “dramatically more comprehensive and more aggressive and more determined to profoundly change the establishment,” said former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who wrote a 2017 book called “Understanding Trump.” The outside proposals drawing so much attention “are worth being aware of,” he said, “because they give you a sense of what it would mean to put Trumpism into effect.” President Joe Biden’s campaign said voters need to be informed about proposals that would “undermine democracy, rip away rights and freedoms, and make Americans’ lives as miserable as humanly possible if Trump is reelected.” “Americans should know the stakes of this election,” Biden campaign spokesperson Seth Schuster said in a statement to POLITICO, “and Trump has made them as clear as day.”

These are among the policy changes that both fans and foes of the former president say people can expect if Trump wins in November: As a candidate, Trump has both claimed credit for the demise of Roe v. Wade and cast himself as a moderate on abortion rights — and he has frustrated anti-abortion groups by refusing to openly embrace or rule out a national ban. Yet those same groups, in collaboration with veterans of Trump’s previous administration, are drafting plans for a sprawling anti-abortion agenda that would all but outlaw the procedure from coast to coast, including in states whose laws or constitutions guarantee reproductive rights. The proposals would go far beyond his first-term anti-abortion policies — which Biden has since lifted — and would lean heavily on executive branch actions, bypassing a stymied Congress.

The prospect terrifies abortion rights supporters, who see a second Trump administration as a threat to all the work they’ve done during the last two years to restore and defend abortion access at the state level. Their reasons for worry grew after The New York Times reported this month that Trump has privately told aides and supporters that he could support a national abortion ban after the 16th week of pregnancy. “We cannot ballot initiative our way out of this fundamental crisis of rights,” said Deirdre Schifeling, chief political and advocacy officer for the American Civil Liberties Union, one of many groups bracing for Trump and a Republican Congress to attempt to override state abortion protections. “I have no doubt that they would try to impose a federal abortion ban, restrict birth control, and do lots of things that are way out of step with what people in this country want.”

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From what I understand the system is far more precise than she lets on. It doesn’t place you somewhere in the neighborhood, but at an exact location.

Fani Willis Demands Judge Reject Cellphone Evidence (ZH)

Fulton County DA Fani Willis is reeling after evidence was submitted to the court suggesting that she and special prosecutor Nathan Wade lied about when their romantic relationship began. To recap, Wade and Willis claimed that their relationship began sometime in early 2022 – after Willis hired Wade to help her go after Trump in the Georgia election interference case. Wade’s cell phone records disprove their official story, however. As The Reactionary notes, “Trump’s attorneys were able to obtain, by subpoena to AT&T, Wade’s cell phone records from 1/1/2021 through 11/30/2021. Wade’s location data was analyzed by an investigator hired by the attorneys – an analytical tool which generated geolocation data that pinpointed Wade’s presence at DA Willis’s South Fulton Condo during that time period.

Here are the highlights: • Wade and Willis exchanged “over 2000 voice calls and just under 12,000 texts messages” from January 1, 2021 through November 30, 2021. • Geolocation data indicates Wade was at DA Willis’s condo “at least 35 occasions”. The data revealed he was “stationary” at the condo “and not in transit.” • Wade’s visits to DA Willis’s condo were corroborated by texts and phone calls. According to the report: On November 29, 2021, “following a call from Ms. Willis at 11:32 PM, while the call continued, [Wade’s] phone left the East Cobb area just after midnight and arrived within the geofence located on the Dogwood address [the condo] at 12:43 AM on November 30, 2021. The phone remained there until 4:55 AM.” • On September 11, 2021, Wade arrived at the condo address at approximately 10:45 PM. He left the address at 3:28 AM and arrived at his Marietta residence at 4:05 AM. He then texted DA Willis at 4:20 AM.”

Now, Fani wants the evidence tossed – claiming that some of the data is inadmissible for technical or procedural reasons. Willis argued in a response that the cell phone data fails to “prove anything relevant,” and should be tossed because it contains “both telephone records that have not been admitted into evidence and an affidavit and other documents containing unqualified opinion evidence.” Because of this, Willis argues that the court should exclude the new information, or at least consider her “rebuttal evidence that demonstrates the unreliability of the unqualified opinion evidence improperly introduced by Defendant Trump.” She also claims that the new evidence is inadmissible because the defense counsel provided no written notice of its introduction, no summary of the expert’s testimony, and no information as to the expert’s qualifications. And even if he’s legit, the phone records don’t prove anything.

“The records do nothing more than demonstrate that Special Prosecutor Wade’s telephone was located somewhere within a densely populated multiple-mile radius where various residences, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and other businesses are located,” she wrote, adding that the records may have even been obtained illegally. In a Saturday post to Truth Social, Trump argued that the new evidence shows that Willis is full of shit and should be disqualified. “Based on the fact that District Attorney Fani Willis and her Lover were together long prior to the filing date of their Fake Lawsuit against me and many other innocent people, despite their sworn testimony to the contrary, this case must be determined as OVER and, of no further force or effect,” he wrote. “Among other things, in close coordination and conjunction with the DOJ and White House (numerous 8-hour meetings between the Biden people and them in D.C.!), this case was all about stealing close to $1 Million Dollars for Lover Wade, and Election Interference, whereby a vicious and heinous attack is made on Crooked Joe Biden’s Political Opponent.”

Judge Kaplan
https://twitter.com/i/status/1761760801957044394

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Placing Assange in the tradition of Ellsberg and Seymour Hersh.

The Show Trial against Julian Assange (Scheidler)

The revelations of whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning and journalists such as Julian Assange have shown that in the shadow of the so-called war on terror, a vast parallel universe has emerged in recent decades that is obsessed with the illegal spying on its own citizens and the arbitrary imprisonment, torture and killing of political opponents. This world is largely beyond democratic control, indeed it is undermining the democratic order from within. However, this development is not entirely new. In 1971, leaks revealed a secret FBI program for spying on, infiltrating and disrupting civil rights and anti-war movements, which became known as COINTELPRO. In the same year, the New York Times published the Pentagon Papers leaked by whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, which showed that four successive US administrations had systematically lied to their citizens about the extent and motives of the Vietnam War and the massive war crimes committed by the US military.

In 1974, Seymour Hersh revealed the CIA’s secret programs to assassinate foreign heads of state and the covert operation to spy on hundreds of thousands of opponents of the war, which ran under the code name “Operation CHAOS”. Driven by these reports, the US Congress convened in 1975 the Church Committee, which carried out a comprehensive review of the secret operations and led to greater parliamentary control of the services. Julian Assange is part of this venerable journalistic tradition and has made a decisive contribution to its renewed flourishing. However, there is one important difference to the 1970s: Today, the most important investigative journalist of his generation is openly persecuted, criminalized and deprived of his freedom. When states declare the investigation of crimes to be a crime itself, society enters a dangerous downward spiral, at the end of which new forms of totalitarian rule can emerge. As early as 2012, Assange remarked, at the time with regard to the increasingly comprehensive surveillance technologies: “We have all the ingredients for a turnkey totalitarian state”.

If the US authorities succeed in convicting a journalist for exposing war crimes, this would have another serious consequence. In the future, it would become even more difficult and dangerous to expose the sordid reality of wars, especially those wars that Western governments like to sell as civilizing missions with the help of embedded journalists. If we do not learn the truth about these wars, it becomes much easier to wage them. Truth is the most important instrument of peace. Julian Assange has not yet been extradited and sentenced. Over the years, a remarkable international movement has formed for his release and the defense of press freedom. Many parliamentarians around the world are also raising their voices. The Australian parliament, for example, supported by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, passed a resolution by a large majority calling for Assange’s release. A group of over 80 members of the German parliament have joined in.

However, the German government is still refusing to exert any serious pressure on Joe Biden’s government, which continues to persecute Assange. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who as the Green Party’s candidate for chancellor had spoken out in favor of freeing Assange, has persistently avoided questions on the subject since joining the government. Her ministry has left questions from MPs about the case unanswered for months, only to then make elusive rhetorical excuses. The leading politicians of the governing German coalition, who like to loudly present themselves as the guardians of democracy and the rule of law, must finally take action in this case of political justice and unequivocally demand the release of Julian Assange before it is too late. However, this would require overcoming the cowering attitude towards the godfather in Washington and actually standing up for the much-vaunted values of democracy.

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“This is America. We can’t let this happen..”

If We Don’t Keep Sending Billions To Ukraine, The War Might End (BBee)

Congress issued a dire warning to the American people Friday, sternly reminding voters that if they do not keep sending billions of tax dollars to Ukraine, the war might end. “This is America. We can’t let this happen,” said Senator Chuck Schumer in a press conference. “Our donors at Lockheed Martin, General Dynamic, Teledyne, Raytheon, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and Burisma are running out of patience. If we don’t inject their weapon supply chains with fresh cash immediately, Ukraine and Russia might be forced to broker a peace deal.” “I shudder at the thought.”

Foreign policy experts concurred that essential defense contractors and Ukrainian shell companies will run out of money to launder within a few weeks, which might force the hands of Russian and Ukrainian leaders to sign a peace treaty and stop slaughtering each other. “I don’t want to imagine a world where people on the other side of the globe aren’t killing each other with American weapons,” said Secretary of State Blinken. “I urge Congress to put aside their differences and support this endless war. For America.” At publishing time, Republicans had shown willingness to send more funding to Ukraine in exchange for a promise of future conversations to plan potential negotiations to secure the southern border maybe someday.

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Crow

 

 

Bus

 

 

Prince

 

 

Cat bottle

 

 

Monitor

 

 

KIndness

 

 

This intrigues me

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 202023
 
 November 20, 2023  Posted by at 8:04 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  23 Responses »


Vincent van Gogh Still life with bible 1885

 

 

We, in the western world, need to start paying real attention. Not to what our governments proclaim, but to what is really happening. And those are two very different things. When we read that the average age of the ~20k Palestinians massacred in the last month is FIVE YEARS OLD, we cannot shrug that off. When we see the footage of children dying outside of their incubators because the power has been cut off, or we see that patients have their wounds infected with maggots, we can’t just look the other way.

Because if we do, we’re back 80 years in time, straight into the Holocaust. Just with the roles of victims and perpetrators reversed. How could we possibly accept such a thing? Sure, there was the US in Vietnam and neighboring countries 50-60 years ago. Remember what stopped that ? It was shown on TV! But 50 years later, the TV doesn’t have the same effect anymore. Networks block the dead babies and maggots, so do social media, and we continue our daily lives as if everything’s normal.

But picking up where the Holocaust left off is not normal. Remember “never again”? We’re still involved in a war that killed 400,000+ young Ukrainians for no purpose at all. Never again? It sounds more like “give it to me one more time”.

I live in the EU, and they have never had any position of their own on anything. Which is not surprising, because their leaders are all selected, not elected. Lagarde, Borrell and Von der leyen are all US lapdogs. So the EU economy is -fast- going down the drain. Hey, there’s no-one to protect it! I’ve asked before, -half- jokingly: should we move to Russia? Their economy is doing fine.

Talking about Russia: I don’t like Putin and Xi’s silence on the new Holocaust. I get that they don’t want to be part of some new world war, but just like you and me, they also are responsible for maggots and dead babies. We all are. All of mankind, all of humanity. It’s Putin and Xi’s humanity too that is getting lost.

It appears that that is what we need to re-find: humanity. Simply, the space within ourselves that binds us to other people. Normally, people will recognize that concept. But not today -or in 1944. If you live in a country whose government supports Israel in its efforts to kill babies and entire populations, what are you supposed to think? That you must support your government? Most people would be inclined to say yes.

But how about the babies? C’mon, I am convinced that 99% of people are much better than this. They just have to learn to stand up.

 

 

 

 

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Nov 182023
 
 November 18, 2023  Posted by at 9:25 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  45 Responses »


Mark Rothko Slow Swirl at the Edge of the Sea 1944

 

Israel Captures Al Shifa Hospital for Their Gaza Military Post (Sahiounie)
‘Al-Shifa Hospital Has Become A Giant Prison:’ Gaza Health Authority (Cradle)
How The Colonial West Continues To Betray The Rest Of The World (Ullekh)
‘Attacks On US Forces Essential To Stop Bloodbath In Gaza’: Hezbollah (Cradle)
Biden Offers Hand of Friendship to Xi While Holding Enmity in the Other (SCF)
Zelensky Fears A New ‘Maidan’ – Bloomberg (RT)
Will US Ever Resume Funding Ukraine? (Sp.)
Mike Johnson To Post More Than 40,000 Hours Of Jan. 6 Footage Online (JTN)
US Needs ‘New Breed’ Of Leaders – Schwarzenegger (RT)
Michael Cohen Appears to Confess to Prior False Statements Under Oath (Turley)
Don’t Count On A Trump Conviction — None Of These Cases Are Slam Dunks (Turley)
Stefanik Files Second Ethics Complaint Against Judge Engoron (JTN)
Judge Rejects Trump Bid To Remove ‘Prejudicial’ Language From Indictments (JTN)
As White House Stonewalls Probe, James Biden Signals Cooperation: Comer (JTN)
Pilot Warns Of Airline Industry Disaster Due To Covid Vaccines (Beck)

 

 

 

 

Tapper – Don’t miss
https://twitter.com/i/status/1725341684580438091

 

 

BBC

 

 

Israel May Lose Its Statehood | Col. Larry Wilkerson Col. (ret.) Lawrence Wilkerson was Secretary of State Colin Powell’s Chief of Staff (2002-05)

 

 

 

 

What really happened in Israel on Oct. 7? Chris Hedges w/Max Blumenthal

 

 

 

 

Tucker Spain

 

 

 

 

“In the face of millions of protesters across the world, we still have never once heard Biden call for a ceasefire.”

Israel Captures Al Shifa Hospital for Their Gaza Military Post (Sahiounie)

A military expert in the Middle East, on the condition of anonymity, said that Hamas likely keeps the location of their headquarters secret, and the information is available on a ‘need to know’ basis. Only the most senior members would likely know the location, and the local informants would not have that information, nor would the fighters who participated on the October 7 attack. The same military expert offered his theory: that the IDF want the Al Shifa Hospital as their headquarters because it is centrally located in the north, a substantial building, and has plenty of resources inside for electricity production and health care for the IDF. If his theory is correct, we may be presented with fabricated evidence of a secret Hamas headquarters by the IDF.

Regardless of how flimsy the evidence, the White House will rubber-stamp it with their seal of approval. We can’t forget General Colin Powell in Congress in 2003 with the small vial of baby powder claiming it to be Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. Fabrications and lies are a specialty served up hot on a bed of media distortions by the Biden administration. The IDF hurriedly deleted a social media post they made claiming that all hospitals and ambulances in Gaza were a legitimate military target as Hamas used them. They were working up to the Al Shifa Hospital attack and wanted to test the waters. Gaza’s largest hospital, al-Shifa Hospital, located in northern Rimal in Gaza City, was built in 1946 during British rule. “In Gaza, as Israeli forces enter Al-Shifa hospital, we call once again for the protection of medical staff, patients and displaced civilians sheltered inside the hospital,” Doctors Without Borders said on X.

“We are extremely worried for their lives,” it stressed. “There are reports that some people who fled the hospital have been shot at, wounded and even killed,” wrote WHO on X on Saturday. Decomposed bodies were buried in a mass grave at the hospital to ward off contagions. Dr. Ahmad Mokhallalati, a surgeon who is currently in the hospital, told Al Jazeera that gunshots can be heard surrounding the hospital. Mokhallalati said 650 patients remain at the hospital, including about 100 in critical condition, with 2,000 to 3,000 displaced Palestinians seeking shelter in the building, and 700 medical staff. 36 premature babies were recently taken off their incubators because the station supplying them oxygen was destroyed in Israeli shellings three days ago, and three babies died. The IDF have stripped naked people in the courtyard of the hospital amid rain and winter temperatures while interrogating them as Israel tanks approached while firing.

At least 11,320 Palestinians have been killed, including over 7,800 women and children, and more than 29,200 others have been injured, according to the latest figures from Palestinian authorities. According to experts, the Al Shifa attack and occupation is part of the Israeli vision for a forceful displacement of everyone in northern Gaza. Food and water supplies have run out, and the destruction of the last remaining source of medical care is a strategic Israeli military goal. “The war against [Hamas] is advancing with full force, and it has one goal: to win. There is no alternative to victory,” Netanyahu said on Saturday, and has rejected international calls for a ceasefire. Netanyahu has clearly stated it is his goal to remain in Gaza as an occupying force indefinitely, despite the U.S., Egypt, and Jordan opposing such a plan. Netanyahu also made clear he wanted Israel to retain overall security control after any conflict “with the ability to go in whenever we want in order to kill terrorists”.

In the face of millions of protesters across the world, we still have never once heard Biden call for a ceasefire.

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“We are left with nothing, no power, no food, no water. With every passing minute, we are losing a life..”

‘Al-Shifa Hospital Has Become A Giant Prison:’ Gaza Health Authority (Cradle)

The head of the burns department in Al-Shifa Hospital, Ahmed Muqhalati, revealed to Al-Jazeera on 17 November that the Israeli army has continued to conduct several war crimes as their occupation of Gaza’s largest medical complex extends into a third day. Muqhalati mentioned that the hospital’s main building lacks water and electricity and that surviving children are suffering from severe intestinal infections due to the lack of clean water. Muhammed Abu Salmiya, Shifa Hospital’s director general, told Al-Jazeera that the building has become a “giant prison.” Still, staff continue to do their best to help patients but add that they “lost all those who were in the intensive care unit.” “We are left with nothing, no power, no food, no water. With every passing minute, we are losing a life. Overnight, we lost 22 persons, [and] for the past three days, the hospital has been kept under siege,” Salmiya said.

However, despite efforts from the hospital’s staff, the situation remains out of their hands. “On some occasions, we are forced to leave patients to die because we are helpless; we cannot perform any surgical operations on them; the least we can do is give them some painkillers to let those victims die in peace,” Salmiya added. He called out Israel’s propaganda, in which the Israeli army claimed to have provided humanitarian aid to the hospital, including incubators for the premature children. “The Israeli occupation forces claim to have provided incubators to the hospital, but this is not true; this is false,” Salmiya underlined. “In addition, we are not in need of incubators; we already have incubators in the hospital, yet we are out of fuel to generate electricity [for the incubators].” Al-Shifa Hospital is in crisis as the Israeli army claims to have information about a Hamas cell operating from within the medical facility. As current reports have it, nothing has been found.

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“..doling out death sentences to more than 11,000 people, including over 4,000 children, infants and newborn babies, under the guise of “self-defense.”

How The Colonial West Continues To Betray The Rest Of The World (Ullekh)

Nothing is more telling of the Western world’s attitude towards developing nations than the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Middle East. We in the Global South aren’t the only ones aghast at non-precision attacks by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on the Gazans. American academic John Mearsheimer, one of the world’s foremost international relations experts, is of the view that Tel Aviv is committing war crimes and “tearing the place” apart. He said in a recent interview that Israel is “waging a punishment campaign in Gaza [where] they are punishing the civilian population. If the Israelis were going to great lengths to target just Hamas and avoid civilian casualties then you could make a coherent argument that this is not a case of them committing war crimes. But they are not doing that.”

This is not the first instance of the South feeling betrayed by the West, which has come under sharp attack for treating the people of the rest of the world as subhuman, mere expendables. One key takeaway from Israel is the statement by its defense minister that the IDF is up against “human animals” in Gaza. This is the language of the colonizer since the dawn of empires: Sir Winston Churchill thought of Indians as an inferior race. When he was told that millions were dying in India because of the British diverting food supplies to the frontlines during World War II, he reportedly asked, “Why hasn’t Gandhi died yet?” There may exist no proof that he uttered those exact words, but his attitude was clear. From dehumanizing the Gazans who died in IDF strikes by terming them “Hamas’ human shields” – an accusation made sweepingly without evidence, as is the habit of the powerful over the ages – an Israeli representative has now called the UN relief workers in Gaza “Hamas members.”

Among the Western leaders, only Emmanuel Macron of France has so far spoken out against the killings of civilians in Gaza. The less said, the better about US officials such as former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, whose claims about Hamas’ “terror infrastructure” have not been backed up by proof of any kind – a privilege that would not have been so easily granted to a country from the Global South. I recently interviewed Dr. Mads Gilbert, a veteran Norwegian physician in the NORWAC (Norwegian Aid Committee) emergency team for Gaza, who has worked with the Palestinians for nearly 45 years as a specialist in emergency medicine and anaesthesiology. He was in Lebanon in 1982 when the IDF invaded the south of the country. He was in Gaza, too, offering emergency medical services during the Israeli bombardments of 2006, 2009, 2012, and 2014.

He had worked in hospitals that the IDF had bombed, including Al-Shifa Hospital. “I challenge [Benjamin] Netanyahu to show proof that Al Shifa Hospital is a Hamas hideout,” he told me just before crossing the Rafah border into Gaza during the current bombardment to assist Palestinian doctors working under the direst conditions. The West seems driven by a divine right to whimsically trample upon the human rights of those it deems unimportant and beneath it, doling out death sentences to more than 11,000 people, including over 4,000 children, infants and newborn babies, under the guise of “self-defense.” Over the past two decades, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have proven this typical Western mentality beyond doubt, and these countries need to be called out for their collective hypocrisy.

Now in Gaza, the women and children who die of starvation, bomb explosions, and lack of medicine perish because of American complicity – it is American weapons, funded by American taxpayers, that the Israelis use with complete impunity and utter lack of respect for international laws. According to the Western idea of justice, even occupiers have the right to “defend” themselves militarily against the occupied. Presidents who order invasions under unethical pretexts never make it to the list of global terrorists, nor are they tried at The Hague. Leaders who criminalize whistle-blowing are forgiven because they belong to the league of untouchables. Such tyranny is condoned as business as usual in the West.

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”If Israel still stands, it is because of the support of the United States. Otherwise, it would have collapsed within a few days. Israel is under intensive care by the west and we do not know how much longer it will last.”

‘Attacks On US Forces Essential To Stop Bloodbath In Gaza’: Hezbollah (Cradle)

In an extensive interview with Spanish daily El Mundo, the Deputy Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Naim Qassem, said that attacking US positions in West Asia is “essential” to stop the mass murder of Palestinians in Gaza due to the unfettered support given by Washington to Tel Aviv. “It is the [western] axis that supports the occupation, legitimizes the murder of children and women, the destruction of hospitals, and grants immunity to Israel to continue its massacres. The US is supporting these massacres, and that is why attacking the US is essential to stop the aggression against Gaza,” Qassem said in the interview published on 14 November. “US military intervention is part of the violent Israeli reaction and serves to protect this monstrosity,” the Hezbollah deputy chief stressed.

US bases in Iraq and Syria have come under daily bombardment since 17 October by local resistance factions, prompting the Pentagon to deploy nearly a dozen warships, thousands of troops, and heavy weapons to the region. The Hezbollah official also stressed that Israel “still stands [today] because of the support of the US.” “You heard Nasrallah say in 2006 that Israel was more fragile than a spider’s web. Israel is weak. Their society is not motivated to defend their country. This is what happened on [7 October]. The amount of time it took for politicians and the army to react was unreal. If Israel still stands, it is because of the support of the United States. Otherwise, it would have collapsed within a few days. Israel is under intensive care by the west and we do not know how much longer it will last.”

When asked about the fighting between Hezbollah and the Israeli army at the Lebanese border – which has been ongoing since 8 October – Qassem said Hezbollah has a plan to “force Israel to restrain itself.”Nonetheless, he added that any decision “will be made on the battlefield,” as the possibility of the fighting spreading beyond the Lebanese border region depends on “the evolution of the Gaza war and on Israel’s (hypothetical) decision to start a broader war.” “If they attack us, we will have to defend ourselves, and we will use all of our power,” he told El Mundo.

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“It was highly notable that Biden and Xi did not hold a joint press conference following their lengthy discussions. Nor did the two leaders issue a joint statement.”

Biden Offers Hand of Friendship to Xi While Holding Enmity in the Other (SCF)

Despite the hype in the U.S. media about their much-anticipated summit in California this week marking a putative return to normal bilateral relations, the Biden administration continues pushing unprecedented aggression towards China. Just like San Francisco’s notorious Third World-like homelessness and squalor being hurriedly cleaned up (swept under the rug, more like it) for the media spectacle, all the signs point to no return to decent U.S.-China relations in the longer term. It’s all a duplicitous facade for a passing moment on a path of enmity. Biden held a four-hour summit with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Wednesday in San Francisco ahead of the annual conference for the 21-nation Association of Pacific and Economic Cooperation (APEC).

It was highly notable that Biden and Xi did not hold a joint press conference following their lengthy discussions. Nor did the two leaders issue a joint statement. So much for a new beginning! Almost comically, the supposed positive meeting was later thrown into disarray when Biden at the end of his solo press conference made a hallmark embarrassing gaffe by repeating an earlier epithet for Xi. Asked by a reporter if he still considered the Chinese president “a dictator”, Biden responded, “Yes”. Antony Blinken, the U.S. Secretary of State, was visibly perplexed by his tone-deaf boss’s remarks, sensing that all the effort to create an apparent amiable reset in relations was in danger of collapsing in farce.

Chinese media tended to overlook Biden’s undiplomatic gaucheness. Surprisingly, China’s foreign ministry and media appeared to talk up the presidential summit as bearing prospects of more friendly bilateral relations. Global Times reported in an upbeat mood on a “strategic summit” for “greater stability in the world”. The American and Chinese media spinning or wishful thinking about a seeming turnaround in positive relations is misplaced. As Biden’s foolish and gratuitous remark about Xi being a “dictator” shows, the U.S. rulers have nothing but contempt for China. Biden may have held out a friendly hand to Xi, but the American president and the U.S. establishment are harbouring endemic and growing hostility towards Beijing.

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“..a “disinformation plan known internally as ‘Maidan 3’”

Zelensky Fears A New ‘Maidan’ – Bloomberg (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky told journalists on Thursday that he has received tips about a Russian influence campaign aimed at destabilizing his government, according to a Bloomberg report. He claimed that various intelligence agencies had informed him about the purported operation. Ukraine’s top leadership has experienced divisions in recent months, with a series of publications in the Western press, based on leaks from Kiev staffers, describing Zelensky as calcified in pursuing an unrealistic goal of pushing Russia out of all territories claimed by Kiev. His office has also publicly clashed with one of the country’s top generals, Valery Zaluzhny, who said earlier this month that the hostilities had reached a stalemate and that he expected no breakthrough for Kiev.

Bloomberg reported on Friday that Zelensky claims to have received information from Ukrainian and allied intelligence services warning him about a “disinformation plan known internally as ‘Maidan 3’”meant to play on fractures in civil society and foment insurrection. Maidan means “square” in Ukrainian. Maidan 1 and 2 are the terms for the mass protests that took place in 2004 and 2014, respectively, primarily in Kiev’s Independence Square. Both were directed against Viktor Yanukovich, the former president whose political support base was in what was then the majority Russian-speaking eastern portion of the country, but which joined Russia in a series of referendums in 2022. The 2004 protest was mostly peaceful and successfully overturned Yanukovich’s victory in that year’s presidential race.

On the other hand, the 2014 demonstration occurred while Yanukovich was in office, forcing him to flee the country and resign from his post as armed rioters targeted his home. The violent uprising in 2014, Maidan 2, was backed by the West and empowered nationalist forces in the country. Moscow has described the policies of the successive government in post-coup Kiev as discriminatory against ethnic Russians and detrimental to Russia’s national security. Zelensky was elected on a promise of reconciliation with Donbass rebels but caved into the pressure of pro-Maidan nationalists, who threatened him with mass protests. Now, he believes Russia is seeking to provoke chaos and division in his country and topple his government.

Bloomberg quoted him as saying: “Maidan is coup for them (Moscow), so the operation is understandable.” Earlier this month, a profile of the Ukrainian president in TIME magazine cited his close aides as complaining about his unwavering pursuit of a military victory over Moscow, which the report called “verging on the messianic.” One source in the article reportedly called Zelensky delusional. General Zaluzhny outlined his vision of the frontline situation in The Economist, stating that despite all the Western assistance, Ukrainian troops were unlikely to carry out a “deep and beautiful breakthrough.” The remark put into doubt Zelensky’s assurances that the counteroffensive against Russia was progressing and reportedly fueled tension between his government and Kiev’s military leadership.

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“They’re going to have to learn how to shoot more accurately if they want to keep shooting at the Russians. They obviously are incapable of that..”

Will US Ever Resume Funding Ukraine? (Sp.)

On Thursday, US President Joe Biden inked a stopgap funding bill that, remarkably, does not include a supplemental package of aid to the Zelensky regime. The US decision to provide Ukraine with a new military aid package may be made next month at the earliest, the US news agency Bloomberg reported. “New US aid for Ukraine risks slipping to mid-December and maybe longer, casting doubt on Washington’s ability to keep up the flow of weapons that both the Biden administration and the Ukrainian government say is vital,” the media outlet pointed out. Bloomberg quoted a Pentagon spokeswoman as saying that America had already begun restricting the flow of military aid to Kiev “because of the wait.”

According to Bloomberg, Republican infighting may push congressional consideration of new Ukraine aid into the new year, though White House national security spokesman John Kirby earlier warned that the US is “near the end of the road” in terms of resources available for Ukraine. “It’s an active battlefront and our ability to continue to support Ukraine is increasingly at jeopardy,” Kirby stated. The US news outlet’s report comes after the threat of a US government shutdown was narrowly averted on Thursday when President Joe Biden signed another stopgap spending bill into law just before the funding deadline on November 17. The document does not include Biden’s funding requests for Ukraine and Israel, which essentially means that these countries won’t be getting more US money anytime soon, Michael Maloof, a former senior security policy analyst in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, told Sputnik.

Asked how Ukraine would get money to replace US support, Maloof said it would have to “suck it up. “They’re going to have to learn how to shoot more accurately if they want to keep shooting at the Russians. They obviously are incapable of that,” he stated, in an apparent reference to the Ukrainian armed forces. “They burn through ordnance faster than I’ve seen anything like it. And under peacetime conditions, neither the United States nor the Europeans collectively can produce it fast enough to supply them without reverting their own industries to full wartime production. And the American people won’t settle for that,” the analyst added. Earlier this month, Kirby, for his part, said that the US had already gone through nearly 96% of the funds allocated to the Kiev regime since the start of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine. “We’ve gone through about 96% of what’s left and greater than 90% of security assistance replenishment funds,” Kirby told reporters.

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That’s almost 3 years later.

Mike Johnson To Post More Than 40,000 Hours Of Jan. 6 Footage Online (JTN)

House Speaker Mike Johnson on Friday announced that he planned to post nearly all of the Capitol Hill security footage from the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot online for the public to view. “When I ran for Speaker, I promised to make accessible to the American people the 44,000 hours of video from Capitol Hill security taken on January 6, 2021,” he said in a statement obtained by Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman. “Truth and transparency are critical.” “Today, we will begin immediately posting video on a public website and move as quickly as possible to add to the website nearly all of the footage, more than 40,000 hours. In the meantime, a public viewing room will ensure that every citizen can view every minute of the videos uncensored,” he continued. “This decision will provide millions of Americans, criminal defendants, public interest organizations, and the media an ability to see for themselves what happened that day, rather than having to rely upon the interpretation of a small group of government officials.”

“I commend Chairman Loudermilk and his team for their diligent work to ensure the thousands of hours of videos are promptly processed to be uploaded to the committee’s public website,” he continued. “Processing will involve blurring the faces of private citizens on the yet unreleased tapes to avoid any persons from being targeted for retaliation of any kind and segregating an estimated 5% of the videos that may involve sensitive security information related to the building architecture.” Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy had previously made some of the footage available to media outlets and personalities such as former Fox News host Tucker Carlson. McCarthy did not make the footage directly available to the general public.

Jan 6

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“..I just think we’re at a time now where we need someone strong, where we need visionaries, and not people that tinker around with little Mickey Mouse stuff..”

US Needs ‘New Breed’ Of Leaders – Schwarzenegger (RT)

Americans are looking for “something new” in the White House and are understandably worried about a 2024 presidential rematch between Donald Trump and Joe Biden due to the candidates’ advanced ages, former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has said. In an interview with Politico, the Terminator movie-star said that, given the complexity of the problems the US is facing, the country needs “someone that has energy.” “We need new blood. I say, always, we need a new breed of leaders,”Schwarzenegger told the outlet. “It’s really because none of them are perfect and also because of the age factor.” Schwarzenegger also complained about the media’s focus on Trump and Biden, saying it hinders other potential candidates from being able to “build a name” for themselves.

“When Biden holds a press conference, everyone covers it. And when Trump does something …even when he sneezes, they cover it,” he said. Schwarzenegger also raised the Biden and Trump age issue when he spoke with Axios to promote a new audiobook on the 2003 California recall election, which he won. “The bottom line is, I think we need to find new leaders. To me they’re both flawed and I just think we’re at a time now where we need someone strong, where we need visionaries, and not people that tinker around with little Mickey Mouse stuff,” he told Axios. In June, the actor-turned-politician told CNN’s Chris Wallace that he would run for president himself if he was legally allowed to enter the race.

Schwarzenegger was born in Austria so is ineligible to run for the top job. He told Wallace that he could “see so clearly how I could win that election” and that it was a “no-brainer.” In a recent New York Times/Siena College poll, nearly three quarters of respondents (71%) said Biden was too old to serve effectively. Biden turns 81 later this month and was the oldest president sworn into office at 78 years old. Trump is currently 77. Earlier this month, David Axelrod, the chief strategist for former US President Barack Obama’s political campaigns, implied that Biden should reconsider running in 2024 due to “concern about the age issue,” suggesting it was something the incumbent president “needs to ponder.”

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“A serial liar just admitted under oath that he lied previously under oath.”

Michael Cohen Appears to Confess to Prior False Statements Under Oath (Turley)

If lying were an art form, former Trump fixer Michael Cohen would be its Rembrandt. Throughout his career, the disbarred lawyer has found powerful clients who valued his reputation for supporting any side that offered the biggest payback. Now he is accused of yet another lie under oath and the question is whether his current benefactors will again protect him from a criminal charge. For years, Cohen was the heavy for Donald Trump who threatened everyone from journalists to students with ruin for threatening the former president. Faced with disbarment and criminal charges, he then became an equally vicious critic of Trump; a human cudgel for Democrats. The most remarkable thing about his checkered career is the one constant: a long, uninterrupted line of lies upon lies. Indeed, he is now accused of lying about prior lies.

I have been a critic of Cohen for years, going back to work as a legal thug for Trump. That criticism continued after Cohen sought to raise money from Democrats as a Trump killer as opposed to a Trump enabler. Those of us familiar with his history warned about the notion that he was now a “liberated former liar.” As expected, the sides changed but the lies continued. He would appear as the new star Democratic witness before House Oversight Committee chairman, Elijah Cummings, and was promptly accused of lying under oath again. Cummings refused to take any action against Cohen. He had again found a powerful ally who valued his moral flexibility. Even after being stripped of his bar license and sentenced to three years in prison, Cohen continued the pattern.

In 2019, Cohen failed to appear to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee, citing the inability to travel due to a medical surgery. However, he was seen partying before the hearing date with five friends with no apparent problems. Even in jail, Cohen was accused of lying to a court in violation of an order for early release due to medical problems. He was ordered back into custody after being spotted at a high-end restaurant. Nevertheless, Cohen has few illusions about his sudden alliance with media outlets and Democratic figures. He does not have to be truthful; he has to be useful. That celebrated role continued this year when Cohen was called to testify in the New York fraud case brought by Attorney General Letitia James. It mattered little to James that Cohen is a serial liar. Yet, even her office may have been surprised with the ease with which Cohen now admits to false statements.

During his recent testimony, Cohen was confronted by statements about Trump inflating the value of his properties that directly contradicted his sworn testimony before Congress. Most witnesses would be petrified by the prospect of admitting lying under oath. Most would refuse to testify under the Fifth Amendment. Not Cohen. He simply seemed to shrug it off and admitted that he previously lied under oath in 2019 before Congress. In testifying before the House Intelligence Committee on February 28, 2019, Cohen was asked about the same alleged violation and responded: “I’m sorry. Did he ask me to inflate the numbers? Not that I recall, no.” When read that answer in New York by defense counsel, Cohen admitted that he was not being “honest” with Congress. Trump attorney Alina Habba then asked him: “So you lied under oath in February of 2019? Is that your testimony?” Cohen replied “yes.”

For Cohen, the admission of a lie is hardly a significant moment. He pleaded guilty to felonies including false statements to banks in 2018. After professing his profound guilt and remorse, he was sentenced to three years. He then later said that he really did not mean it in denying aspects of the plea. After that plea and then denying the sworn plea, Cohen was called to give testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. He now says that he proceeded to lie again. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner and House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik have sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland for an investigation into the admitted false testimony.

This would seem an embarrassingly easy case for a prosecutor. A serial liar just admitted under oath that he lied previously under oath. There is a five-year statute of limitations on lying to Congress. Moreover, this is the attorney general who aggressively pursued Trump officials and associates for contempt and other violations linked to congressional investigations. It is also the same department that prosecuted figures like Gen. Michael Flynn for false statements made to FBI agents. For Cohen, the key to his career has been to lie to the right people at the right time. It is now up to Garland whether he will join a long line of powerful allies covering for Cohen.

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“the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this son of [New] York.”

“..It is perfectly consistent that a man long described as having an inflated self-image would not accept that he is a loser. That long-held journalistic view is now a viable criminal defense.”

Don’t Count On A Trump Conviction — None Of These Cases Are Slam Dunks (Turley)

This week, Chris Christie declared that “it’s over” for Donald Trump and predicted that the former president would be a convicted felon “by the spring.” He was specifically referring to the prosecutions linked to the 2020 election denial in Atlanta and DC. However, Yogi Berra would likely caution that, in baseball and litigation, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.” Trump’s greatest threat of conviction remains in Florida, where he is facing federal charges related to his retention of classified documents. But the judge in that case seems inclined to delay it, perhaps even until after the election. And with reports that President Biden will not face charges in his own handling of classified documents, Trump has a political rallying cry that — correctly or not — he’s being treated differently. So that leaves the two cases surrounding the 2020 election.

In Georgia, a slew of former lawyers are taking pleas with promises to testify if called. Some of their depositions have been leaked, much to the dismay of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. She has reason to be alarmed because some of the leaked interviews hit hard at the weakest link in her conspiracy case. For instance, Sidney Powell stated that Trump clearly believed that he had won the election when he was challenging the results in the courts and Congress. Powell pleaded to misdemeanors for a deal that avoids jail time and preserves her ability to resume the practice of law. She notably did not plead guilty to the sweeping racketeering charges brought by Willis to link Trump in an effort to subvert the election. I previously wrote that the Achilles heel of the racketeering case was Trump’s state of mind: “As a threshold matter, one problem is immediately evident. If Trump actually did (or does) believe that he did not lose the election, the indictment collapses.”

That’s exactly what Powell argues. Trump had “general instincts that something wasn’t right here.” She added, “I didn’t think he had lost. I saw an avenue pursuant to which, if I was right, he would remain president.” That supplies a key defense for Trump: that he believed assurances from counsel that he had a case to make in challenging the election. Powell’s statement will also present challenges to special counsel Jack Smith, who has a parallel case in Washington, DC. While both prosecutors benefit from heavily favorable jury pools in staunchly Democratic strongholds, it requires only one holdout juror to result in a hung jury. Smith has admitted that Trump’s election claims were protected under the First Amendment but claims that, at some point, they became criminal lies. But Smith fails to explain when that line was clearly crossed — a dangerous ambiguity for free speech, particularly in the context of an election.

Smith ignores past election challenges by Democrats that were made without factual or legal support, including the challenge in Congress to certify Trump’s victory in 2016 by figures like Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.). The statement of Powell only magnifies those concerns over the lack of a clear line between political advocacy and criminal conduct in future cases. As part of his own agreement, former counsel Kenneth Chesebro pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit filing false documents. Again, the deal avoided jail time and allowed him to keep his law license. His attorney, Scott Grubman, said Chesebro “never believed in ‘the Big Lie’ ” and that he knows Joe Biden won the election. However, the question is what he told Trump about avenues for challenging the election. Grubman has emphasized that he “do[esn’t] think” Trump should be concerned about Chesebro’s plea and Chesebro “didn’t snitch against anyone.”

Previously, Chesebro’s lawyers stated that nothing about his “conduct falls outside the bounds of what lawyers do on a daily basis; researching the law in order to find solutions that address their clients’ particularized needs.” Both the prosecutors and media have maintained a conflicted narrative of a man who could not accept defeat and a man who knew he was defeated. Trump has long been portrayed as a megalomaniac in the media who never apologizes or accepts failure. It is perfectly consistent that a man long described as having an inflated self-image would not accept that he is a loser. That long-held journalistic view is now a viable criminal defense.

The Georgia case has strong individual claims for crimes like unauthorized access to voting machines or areas. But that clarity is lost in the effort to establish a massive racketeering conspiracy to ensnare Trump. While polls increasingly show Trump winning a general election against Biden, pundits point to these criminal trials as proof it’s all over. But none of these cases are truly slam dunks, particularly with the danger of hung juries. For candidates like Christie, it is understandable to hope that the courts will finally dislodge the hold of Trump on this primary. He, like others, looks at this election, to paraphrase Richard III, as “the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this son of [New] York.” Spring could just as easily bring more discontent rather than convictions.

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“Today, I’m supplementing my ethics complaint against Judge Engoron with examples of even more of his egregious misconduct after he just wrongly dismissed President Trump’s motion for a mistrial.”

Stefanik Files Second Ethics Complaint Against Judge Engoron (JTN)

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik on Friday filed a second ethics complaint against New York Judge Arthur Engoron after he rejected former President Donald Trump’s bid for a mistrial in New York Attorney General Letitia James’s fraud case against him. Engoron on Friday rejected Trump’s bid for a mistrial in a decision that followed an appeals judge’s staying a gag order he issued against Trump and his attorneys to stop them from publicly criticizing him and his court staff. Trump has repeatedly accused Engoron and his senior clerk, Allison Greenfield, of having a political bias against him.

While Stefanik previously submitted an ethics complaint against Engoron over his conduct in the case, on Friday she supplemented her initial criticisms in light of the court developments.”A week ago, I filed an ethics complaint against Manhattan Judge Arthur Engoron for his partisan antics, bias, and railroading of President Trump. After my complaint, a New York appellate court smacked down Judge Engoron for his blatantly unconstitutional gag order,” she said. “Today, I’m supplementing my ethics complaint against Judge Engoron with examples of even more of his egregious misconduct after he just wrongly dismissed President Trump’s motion for a mistrial.”

Stefanik, a stalwart Trump ally, declared “victory” in the wake of the appeals decision striking down Engoron’s gag order earlier in the week. “I am pleased to see that after my ethics complaint to the New York Commission on Judicial Conduct against Manhattan Judge Arthur Engoron, an appellate court has lifted the unconstitutional gag order against President Trump,” she said. “If Democrats can do this to a billionaire, former President, and leading presidential candidate, just imagine what they can do to the rest of us. That’s why I filed my ethics complaint against Judge Engoron, and I will continue to fight for all New Yorkers.”

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“Because the Government has not charged President Trump with responsibility for the actions at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, allegations related to these actions are not relevant and are prejudicial and inflammatory..”

Judge Rejects Trump Bid To Remove ‘Prejudicial’ Language From Indictments (JTN)

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan on Friday rejected a bid former President Donald Trump to remove language in the indictments against him that his attorneys deemed “prejudicial and inflammatory.” Trump currently faces conspiracy charges in special counsel Jack Smith’s case involving his efforts to challenge the 2020 election results and has pleaded not guilty. The former president’s legal team had objected to passages in the indictment referring to the “actions of independent actors at the Capitol on January 6, 2021” for which the prosecutors did charge Trump himself, The Hill reported. “Because the Government has not charged President Trump with responsibility for the actions at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, allegations related to these actions are not relevant and are prejudicial and inflammatory. Therefore, the Court should strike these allegations from the Indictment,” his attorneys wrote last month.

“Regardless of whether the allegations at issue are relevant, Defendant has not satisfied his burden to clearly show that they are prejudicial,” Chutkan said. Smith’s team, meanwhile, had argued that “evidence of the attack at the Capitol on January 6 is powerful and probative evidence of the defendant’s conduct, motive, and intent.” Trump specifically faces charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights. He has contended that the case, as well as the myriad other legal proceedings against him, are part of broader political witch hunt designed to derail his 2024 bid to return to the White House.

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“..we have questions about which countries were involved in those classified documents, because we’re still trying to figure out what the Biden family did to receive all that money.”

As White House Stonewalls Probe, James Biden Signals Cooperation: Comer (JTN)

Attorneys representing President Joe Biden’s brother, James, have signaled the House Oversight Committee that he will sit for an interview as part of that panel’s ongoing investigation of the first family, Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., confirmed on Friday. “[W]e have heard from James Biden’s attorney, and they have signaled that he will come and answer questions in front of the House Oversight Committee, and we’re very appreciative of that look forward to that,” the Kentucky Republican said on the “Just the News, No Noise” television show. “We have as you know, the IRS notes that the IRS whistleblowers turned over from his interview with the FBI. We also have the bank records that I’ve subpoenaed,” he continued. “So we have several specific questions for James Biden.

“And yes, he will be an absolutely crucial witness to our investigation and help us continue to connect the dots as to what exactly the Biden family was doing to receive millions of millions of dollars from our enemies around the world.” Prior to Comer’s appearance on the show, the committee announced that it had received a letter from the White House signaling it did not intend to cooperate with the litany of records requests from the committee and would seek to prevent the Bidens and their associates from testifying. “This obstruction does not deter us, and we will continue to follow the facts and hold President Biden accountable to the American people,” the committee asserted in a statement. Comer, for his part, was optimistic that the committee would ultimately be able to interview every relevant figure in its investigation.

“I think everybody that we’ve requested will come in,” he said. “The White House is has apparently sent a letter in the last few minutes – they always do something on a Friday – saying that they don’t … agree with having to bring the staff over over the classified documents over their mishandling classified documents.” “The reason we want the president’s staff to answer questions about his mishandling of classified documents is his timeline doesn’t match up with what our transcribed interviews, with some of his staff in the past have said, with respect to when they discovered the classified documents,” Comer went on. “And as you know, we have questions about which countries were involved in those classified documents, because we’re still trying to figure out what the Biden family did to receive all that money.” “So I believe that all these people will come in. We’re we’ve got speaker [Mike] Johnson has made it clear to both Jim Jordan and myself that anyone who doesn’t honor a subpoena will get a loud and clear message from Congress,” he concluded.

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“He thinks some pilots are ticking timebombs and claims many are not declaring ill-health. He said: ‘They are not reporting brain fog, heart flutters and dizzy spells because they don’t want to lose their jobs.’”

Pilot Warns Of Airline Industry Disaster Due To Covid Vaccines (Beck)

It was November 15, 2020, when Australian airlines mandated Covid-19 vaccines for 900 pilots, and all air and ground crew. Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Moderna were available in Australia. Today is the third anniversary of that mandate and Cpt Murdock is one of 12 pilots who refused. He was sacked of course, accused of serious professional misconduct, a charge generally reserved for inappropriate sexual behaviour or reckless and dangerous behaviour. Mr Murdock, 60, who lives near Sydney, Australia, flew as Captain for Virgin Australia for 20 years, and has held a licence since 1984. He also has an MSc in Aviation Human Factors, the science behind how humans interface with machines. He said: ‘Somewhere on the international network daily, you will find a plane has been turned back because of a health emergency. Either a passenger health emergency or crew health emergency.’

When pilots put out a mayday radio call to air traffic control, it is nicknamed a ‘squawk’. They use the code 7700 for all mayday calls which are reserved for serious incidents like pilot incapacitation or an uncontained fire on board. Few scenarios warrant a mayday; passengers and crew must face genuine peril. There has been an unprecedented rise in the numbers of mayday calls as tracked by a bot set up by the X account @GCFlightAlerts. It posts when a pilot squawks 7700 anywhere in the world. Between 2018, and 2019, the mayday average was 29.1 per cent of all distress calls. During 2022, mayday calls increased by 272 per cent. In the first three months of 2023, the increase was 386 per cent. The graph shows there was an instant, steep increase when the vaccines were mandated to pilots.

The average age of death in Australia during the pandemic was 85.3 years. The figures did not justify mandating vaccination to healthy, fit, pilots and implementing a no jab, no job policy. It even violated their own guidance: according to FAA rules, no pilot is allowed to take any type of medicine unless it has been approved and in use in the general population for 12 months. Pilots are forbidden to take part in drug trials and all Covid-19 vaccines were allowed under emergency use authorisation. The final phase of the trial finishes this year.

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McBride

 

 

 

 

Green murder

 

 

How To Steal An Election
https://twitter.com/i/status/1725674895634567214

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 172023
 
 November 17, 2023  Posted by at 9:22 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  34 Responses »


Jackson Pollock The Deep 1943

 

Former Israeli PM Calls To Oust Netanyahu, ‘Extremist’ Allies (Cradle)
Iran Will ‘Do Whatever It Takes’ To Help Hamas – Top Commander (RT)
Western Elite Ignoring Pro-Palestine Protests May Be Fatal Mistake (Blankenship)
Just How Many Faked Videos by the IDF Can Western Media Handle? (Jay)
CIA Chief’s Ukraine Visit Linked to Looming Palace Coup Against Zelensky (Sp.)
CIA’s Desperate Gambit in Kiev (The Islander News)
End ‘Magical Thinking’ About Russia’s Defeat – WSJ essay (RT)
US Abrams Tanks Made No Difference – Zelensky (RT)
Xi Outmanuevers Biden in San Francisco (Pepe Escobar)
China Seeks Neither Hegemony Nor To Wage War With Anyone — Xi Jinping (TASS)
Rand Paul Wants Federal Prosecution of Fauci for COVID Coverup (ET)
No Charges Likely In Biden Classified Document Scandal (ZH)
Should Joe Biden Be Banned? (Turley)
Appeals Court Lifts Trump Gag Order In NY Fraud Case (ZH)

 

 

 

 

UN Palestine

 

 

Jimmy Dore

 

 

 

 

Tucker Iran

 

 

McGovern

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Netanyahu has lost the trust of his citizens, the trust of the international community, and most seriously – the trust of the Israeli security system..”

Former Israeli PM Calls To Oust Netanyahu, ‘Extremist’ Allies (Cradle)

Yair Lapid, former Israeli prime minister of the Yesh Atid opposition party, called on 15 November for Benjamin Netanyahu to be replaced as premier. In an interview with Hebrew news outlet Channel 12, Lapid said: “The public has lost faith in Netanyahu … we can’t run an extended [military] operation with a prime minister we do not have faith in.” Lapid called for the prime minister to be replaced by another member of his Likud party without carrying out an election. “What we need is a national rehabilitation government. We need to begin the repairing and healing process,” the former prime minister said. Lapid said his party would be fully willing to join a new government still led by the Likud, but it is not the right time for elections in Israel. The opposition leader did not name any Likud figure he sees fit for the premiership.

“I think at the end of the day, I’m worried about the real issue, and the real issue now is for us to have a functioning government.” “Yesterday on Channel 12, I explained that the time has come – we need to establish a national reconstruction government. Likud will lead it, Netanyahu and the extremists will be replaced, and over 90 MKs will be partners in a coalition of healing and reconnection.” In a long thread on the X platform, Lapid praised the army and its operation in Gaza and reiterated that the war would be a “long and complex” one. “The Israeli public is showing resilience, and civil society has mobilized in the thousands … The weak link is the government, and especially the prime minister … Netanyahu has lost the trust of his citizens, the trust of the international community, and most seriously – the trust of the Israeli security system,” he said.

Lapid’s words come as recent polling has indicated a significant increase in mistrust and bitterness toward Netanyahu. According to a Maariv poll from last week, only 26 percent of Israelis believe Netanyahu is suitable to be prime minister. Another recent poll shows that 76 percent of Israelis want him out of office and that 44 percent hold Netanyahu responsible for what happened on 7 October. Israel’s former prime minister Ehud Olmert said last week that Netanyahu is “a danger to Israel.”

Netanyahu is Finished | Jeffrey Sachs

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Soleimani’s successor.

Iran Will ‘Do Whatever It Takes’ To Help Hamas – Top Commander (RT)

The head of Iran’s elite Quds Force has vowed to do “whatever it takes” to back Hamas in its war with Israel, claiming that the Palestinian militant group is headed for an “impressive victory” in Gaza. In a letter addressed to the commander of Hamas’ armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Quds Force leader Esmail Qaani declared that Tehran and its allies “will not allow this brutal enemy and those standing behind him to conquer Gaza and its heroic people.” “We will do whatever it takes in this historic battle,” Qaani said, adding that Hamas had “proved to everyone that the resistance in Gaza is capable of initiative and innovation, while maintaining its organization and field capabilities.”

Published on Thursday by the state-backed Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), the letter comes just one day after Reuters reported that Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had informed Hamas that his country would not get directly involved in the Gaza war. Instead, Khamenei reportedly restated Iran’s long standing “political and moral support” for Hamas, but ruled out military intervention. Earlier on Thursday, however, top Hamas official Osama Hamdan dismissed the Reuters story, telling IRNA: “Instead of providing information, this news agency has published worthless lies.” He added that such reports are intended to harm the image of Hamas and its allies in the “axis of resistance” – a network of Iran-backed militia groups in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Gaza.

Iranian officials have yet to comment on the Reuters report. Qaani went on to congratulate the Palestinian armed faction for an “impressive victory and qualitative achievement that is unprecedented in the history of the conflict,” assuring that “Your brothers in the resistance axis stand united with you.” The Quds Force is the foreign operations arm of Tehran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), responsible for military and intelligence missions beyond Iran’s borders. Qaani took over the force in 2020 after his predecessor, Qasem Soleimani, was killed in a US drone strike near Baghdad.

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“The fact that he is staying firm on his position with Israel, despite protests from his own party and reportedly his own staff, is a grave mistake.”

Western Elite Ignoring Pro-Palestine Protests May Be Fatal Mistake (Blankenship)

In recent days, there has been a wave of pro-Palestine protests across the world as violence in Gaza escalates in the wake of an Israeli invasion and bombing campaign that has killed thousands, including many women and children, in response to the deadly terrorist attack by Hamas on October 7. One of the key questions is, will this actually amount to any change in so-called Western democracies that are standing behind Israel’s onslaught? It depends on the country; however, largely, the answer is no – at least for the countries that have the most pull over Israel’s position. In the United States, lawmakers from the ruling Democratic Party are reportedly ducking calls from concerned constituents who are calling for a ceasefire. President Joe Biden, when asked by reporters if there was any possibility for a halt to the violence, said, “None. No possibility.”

This is worrying because, in principle, in a democracy, politicians are supposed to respond to the will of constituents. They are also supposed to bend to popular will, given that their electoral odds hinge on the opinions of voters. Arab Americans, including in key swing states, are fed up with the Biden administration’s policies in general – but also particularly with its dealings with Israel. Support for Biden among them now stands at a mere 17%, and 40% are inclined to vote for Republican former President Donald Trump in the 2024 election, according to a poll conducted by the Arab American Institute. Massive protests, calls for voters, and the very real possibility that Biden’s position on Israel could forfeit the upcoming 2024 presidential election to Trump, the likely Republican Party nominee, show that Western democracy – especially in the US – is in shambles.

When politicians ignore popular will, it shows that there is a serious crisis with the ordinary function of supposedly democratic institutions. At the same time, it must be noted that Biden has not shied away from his pro-Israel leanings. To quote then-Senator Joe Biden, a self-described Zionist, from 1986, “There’s no apology to be made [for supporting Israel]. None. It is the best three-billion-dollar investment we make. Were there not an Israel, the United States of America would have to invent an Israel to protect her interests in the region.” Still, as a unity president (at least in theory), Biden has a responsibility to shirk ideology in order to preserve democracy – especially when it is under full-scale assault by an opposition party that casts doubt on the legitimacy of elections and does not believe Biden was rightfully elected. The fact that he is staying firm on his position with Israel, despite protests from his own party and reportedly his own staff, is a grave mistake.

The situation in Europe is also more nuanced. Here we are seeing countries, like the Czech Republic and Hungary, remain steadfast in their unwavering support for Israel despite some opposition, and the former has even outlawed pro-Palestine demonstrations. French President Emmanuel Macron recently urged Israel to stop bombing Gaza – but he is also facing open criticism from his own ambassadors for his support for Israel. France has also outlawed pro-Palestine protests. But some countries, like Ireland and Spain, are openly critical of Israel and are considering cutting diplomatic ties. If nothing else, this disunity demonstrates the fragility of a common EU foreign policy framework. This is especially the case given the fact that Ursula von der Leyen, the unelected president of the European Commission, has proven to be a US-infiltrated, hypocritical pro-war demagogue.

What’s clear as day in the current situation in the Middle East is that each and every day that the attack on Gaza continues, it becomes more difficult to morally and logically justify the common Western position of supporting Israel no matter what. The rest of the world sees this and is taking note, understanding the days of Western hegemony are numbered. Moreover, the leaders who are holding firm on the pro-Israel line despite immense and unprecedented public pressure are inadvertently eroding the very fabric of the fundamental institutions of Western society. As a growing number of people in the West become jaded with democracy, or, in the case of the EU, become skeptical of Brussels, the leaders who ignore their constituents only have themselves to blame.

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“..you won’t have to wait too long before another seamless transition takes place between what US media is ‘reporting’ and what Hollywood will soon produce.”

Just How Many Faked Videos by the IDF Can Western Media Handle? (Jay)

The war in Gaza is going into the history books for setting precedents for many things. But perhaps it might not be such a watermark which too many journalists will remind you about, but fake news on a whole new scale which we haven’t seen before, will be one of them. How do westerners who watch their evening news take our mainstream media journalist in Israel seriously? Firstly, most of them aren’t even inside Gaza but comfortably ‘embedded’ with Israel’s IDF usually in lux accommodation which has been arranged for them, while IDF propagandists feed them nuggets of prepared fake news during the day while they dine as guests of the army. Our western journalists are so embedded that what they are presenting is not even news each night but a narrative which they have been hearing all day. And in some cases, seeing.

Part of the IDF’s mantra when handling the press is to show them video clips they have in their possession. But so far there is no scepticism as to the validity of this material shown by the journalists. Remarkably, British journalists like Douglas Murray – who seems to be one of the very few inside Gaza – tell Piers Morgan during a live interview, while coming under fire, that the Palestinians deserve the absolute ‘collective’ obliteration as the raw video clips he saw of Hamas fighters on October 7th murdering Israeli civilians were doing so while showing ‘glee’. This is a good example of what happens to western journalist who gets too close to those doing the ‘media handling’. It’s subtle and you have to look closely, but there is a seamless transition from where the journalist crosses a line and becomes the propagandist for this hosts. Remarkably a couple of Palestinian Hamas fighters phoned their parents in a state of glee after they murdered Israelis and this is enough to dehumanize them and deem them worthy of mass annihilation.

And how can we even trust anything the IDF press team are feeding western journalists? Their track record is appalling when it comes to faking video and audio clips. The most recent IDF soldier showing us some hospitals where he shows what looks like a lift shaft but is presented as a Gaza tunnel might be regarded as par for the course. But wait. Soon our man is standing in the hospital where in one room some arms and ammunition is laid out on the floor. And we are expected to believe that this shows that Hamas was using the hospital as a base. Even the events of October the 7th are still to be regarded with heavy scepticism when it is revealed that the so-called massacre at a music festival was actually done when the IDF arrived with tanks and shot at anyone driving in a panicky way in their cars to flee. Western journalists seldom report the policy that Israel has towards its own people who are taken captive: when possible kill them ourselves.

But any two-bit journalists could have seen by looking at the twisted metal of the cars at the pop concert that this damage was not done by light arms fire, say, from AKs but from much heavy calibre equipment. It’s a similar pantheon of lies when we watch a video of a doctor talking softly about how much the IDF have tried to help the hospitals by trying to donate diesel. You know the sort of thing. Didn’t take too much time for online sleuths to expose the doctor as a second-rate Israeli actress. Israel calls Hamas animals and as we have seen intends to wipe as many off the face of the earth so that Gaza can be retaken and new settlements can be built. But is the barrage of fake videos intended to fool the West? So far, mostly they are ridiculed within minutes of being posted and so can only be assumed that they are created for the Zionists supporters around the world who need something to grasp, to justify the holocaust which we are witnessing each day.

But the role played by western media in not using them as subjects in reports is disgraceful. Some might even argue that the journalists themselves are complicit in the genocide as the mass slaughter of civilians can only be carried out when Israel has the guarantee from the west of no war crimes being charged and that media don’t (or can’t) report on just how far faking the news has got in Israel. It has reached a whole new level and only made possible by the big media outlets not calling them out. Why should we be shocked or even surprised to learn that all of CNN’s footage and reports are checked before they are aired by the IDF themselves. We are literally watching an illusion each night by CNN journalists ducking and diving while they do their pieces to camera. And you won’t have to wait too long before another seamless transition takes place between what US media is ‘reporting’ and what Hollywood will soon produce.

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“Anyone who doesn’t bow down to the dictator that Zelensky has become, is found guilty of being treasonous to the emperor.”

CIA Chief’s Ukraine Visit Linked to Looming Palace Coup Against Zelensky (Sp.)

Washington’s spymaster has flown to Ukraine in secret to stamp US authority on the power struggle within the Kiev regime, says a security expert. CIA Director William Burns reportedly flew to Kiev on Wednesday for “urgent and secret” meetings with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Security analyst Mark Sleboda told Sputnik that Burns’ visit “dovetails” with this week’s visit to Washington by Andriy Yermak, “Zelensky’s powerful, grey, cardinal, chief of staff” to meet US Secretary of State Antony Blinken — who duly uttered pledges of continued military support for Kiev in the US proxy conflict with Russia. “The general assumption is that this has to do with the growing rift between Zelensky, the president of the Kiev regime, and [Valery] Zaluzhny, the regime’s top general,” Sleboda explained, noting that Western mainstream media were “openly now reporting about the rift and speculating that they are on the verge of some type of open conflict.”

He pointed out that the US was already pressuring its client state in Ukraine to hold a presidential election on schedule by March 31 2024 — “with the intention of replacing Zelensky, who may appear to have lost confidence, with Zaluzhny.” Zelensky called off that election last week, claiming the ongoing fighting and the secession of four regions to Russia in 2022 made it impossible. “First he said: ‘OK, if you pay for it’. And then last week it became: ‘no, no elections’,” Sleboda said. “And now Zaluzhny’s top deputies, those close to him, we’ve had one fired. We’ve had another one blown up at his birthday party by either a moronic accident or a targeted political assassination by those close to Zelensky.” The analyst speculated that Burns’ intervention could have one of two aims: either “tamping it down or settling it or whatever, but saying that this is not acceptable, this is the road to disaster and your patron does not allow this, stop fighting — or they’re telling Zelensky to go away.”

Along with the attacks on Zaluzhny’s faction, officials are also going after anyone deemed sympathetic to former US president Donald Trump — who asked Zelensky to investigate his rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter for possible corruption over their deep involvement in Ukraine. Two politicians and a former prosecutor have recently been charged with treason for assisting Trump’s personal lawyer, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, in his own probes in the Biden family’s dealings. “This is what the Kiev regime charges everyone with. They charged the leaders of the three largest opposition parties in the country — before two of them were banned,” Sleboda stressed. “Anyone who doesn’t bow down to the dictator that Zelensky has become, is found guilty of being treasonous to the emperor.”

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“Is the pursuit of a NATO foothold in Ukraine worth the cost? The very existence of NATO itself may well be the cost. ”

CIA’s Desperate Gambit in Kiev (The Islander News)

The arrival of CIA Director William Burns in Kiev signals a critical juncture in the Ukraine conflict. As the situation intensifies, Burns’ urgent mission is a stark indicator of Ukraine’s dire state. The Zelensky regime, once propagated as an emblem of resilience, now teeters on the brink of collapse, overwhelmed by insurmountable casualties and internal strife. This visit raises a crucial question: Is Ukraine on the cusp of a necessary capitulation, or is a coup on the horizon? Amidst these high-level meetings, the on-ground reality in Ukraine is catastrophic. The country has cycled through 3 armies, now relying on an untrained and under-equipped force consisting largely of older men, women, and youths.

This strategic dilution is no accident but a calculated Russian tactic: a meat-grinding strategy designed to deplete Ukraine’s military strength and incite political chaos in Kiev. As tensions escalate, an internal power struggle unfolds. Zelensky, in a bid to consolidate power, appears poised to purge key military figures, including Zaluzhny. This move would destabilize the already fragile military structure, further diminishing its capacity to withstand Russian advances. Meanwhile, Zelensky’s admin grapples with allegations of corruption, with reports of rampant graft and theft, potentially affecting the flow of vital aid. In this high-stakes environment, Burns’ role is beyond mere diplomatic support.

His presence underscores a broader strategic dilemma: whether to continue propping up a faltering regime or recalibrate US policy in the region. With Washington’s ambitions to embed NATO in Ukraine, the implications of Burns’ visit are profound. How will the US navigate this precarious situation, and at what cost? As the war reaches an inevitable tipping point, one must ask: Is the pursuit of a NATO foothold in Ukraine worth the cost? The very existence of NATO itself may well be the cost.

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“The technocrats responsible for running the Russian economy have proven themselves to be resilient, adaptable, and resourceful..”

End ‘Magical Thinking’ About Russia’s Defeat – WSJ essay (RT)

Western leaders must give up their “magical thinking” about defeating Russia in Ukraine and shift to a strategy of long-term containment against Moscow, an analysis published by the Wall Street Journal has concluded. “What Western leaders conspicuously haven’t done is level with their publics about the enduring nature of the threat from an emboldened, revisionist Russia,” Eugene Rumer and Andrew Weiss of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace wrote in an essay published on Thursday. “They have indulged all too often in magical thinking – betting on sanctions, a successful Ukrainian counteroffensive or the transfer of new types of weapons to force the Kremlin to come to the negotiating table.”

The Washington think tank’s authors noted that contrary to the hopes of Western officials who speculated that Russian President Vladimir Putin would be ousted in a “palace coup,” Moscow has maintained popular support for its Ukraine strategy while overcoming efforts to cripple its economy. “More than six months before the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Putin signed off on a new national security strategy for Russia,” the op-ed said. “The main thrust of that document was to prepare the country for a long-term confrontation with the West. Today, Putin can tell the nation that his strategy is working.” Although Rumer and Weiss claimed that “none of this should come as a surprise,” the WSJ is among the Western media outlets that have built up hopes for a Ukrainian victory since the conflict began. However, the tone of media coverage has shifted amid Kiev’s battlefield struggles in recent weeks, acknowledging that Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky faces wavering allies, enormous casualties, and growing fissures within his leadership team.

One of the most somber articles was posted late last month by Time magazine, which had named Zelensky its “person of the year” just last December. “Exhaustion with the war rolls along like a wave,” Zelensky told the publication, referring to the sharp decrease in Western enthusiasm for the Ukrainian cause. Speaking to The Economist earlier this month, Valery Zaluzhny, Kiev’s top general, admitted that the situation on the battlefront had reached “a stalemate.” The WSJ essay said there are no indications that Russia is losing the conflict, which has become a “war of attrition.” Putin’s hold on power has only strengthened, and Russian defense contractors are outperforming their Western counterparts in producing weaponry. The Russian economy has withstood US-led sanctions, the authors noted. “The technocrats responsible for running the Russian economy have proven themselves to be resilient, adaptable, and resourceful,” the two analysts said. “Elevated oil prices, driven in part by close cooperation with Saudi Arabia, are refilling state coffers. Ukraine, by contrast, depends heavily on infusions of Western cash.”

Weiss and Rumer called for a shift to a long-term containment strategy because “there should be no illusions that any possible combination of short-term steps will be sufficient to force Putin to abandon his war.” The new strategy would involve continuing Western sanctions, isolating Russia diplomatically, and strengthening NATO defense capabilities, as well as “mitigating all of the damage – diplomatic, informational, military and economic” caused by the war. The op-ed stressed that Western leaders used a similarly long-term approach during the Cold War, rather than unrealistically betting on an “overnight collapse of the Soviet system.” However, the analysts advised against fighting another Cold War. “Embarking on a global competition with the Kremlin would not be a wise investment of US prestige or resources. It would consign us to a pointless game of whack-a-mole against any and all manifestations of Russian influence,” wrote Rumer and Weiss.

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Hoocoodanode?

US Abrams Tanks Made No Difference – Zelensky (RT)

The M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks provided to Ukraine by the US have hardly made a difference on the battlefield, President Vladimir Zelensky said in a discussion with journalists from several African nations published by his office on Wednesday. Zelensky explained that the batch of 31 vehicles, which were fully delivered by mid-October, is too small. While praising the American weapon’s quality, he said, “So far, I can hardly say that they play a particularly important role on the battlefield. There are too few of them.” “For better or for worse, we have many different kinds of tanks,” the Ukrainian president said, describing the US-provided variant as but one part of the fleet.

These remarks align with what Col. Martin O’Donnell, a US Army Europe and Africa spokesman, told the media as he confirmed the completion of Washington’s handover of the units to Kiev. He said, “The Abrams tank is one hell of an armored vehicle, but it’s not a silver bullet.” In January, the US agreed to supply Ukraine with enough Abrams tanks to arm a single battalion as part of its military assistance against Russia. The delivery started in September and was completed a month later. Previously, the Pentagon argued against sending the tanks, saying that Abrams was too difficult and expensive to operate to be of much use to Kiev.

The range of weapons sent to Kiev by its Western donors has been described as a “zoo” by Ukrainian troops. According to Western media reports, this variability causes issues with the compatibility of munitions, adds to the challenge of repairing damaged hardware, and makes training soldiers on how to operate weapon platforms more cumbersome. The Ukrainian military has incorporated a diverse range of armored vehicles into its arsenal, including French AMX-10RC fighting vehicles, German Leopard tanks, British Challenger 2 tanks, and American Abrams tanks. These supplies were anticipated to enhance Kiev’s capabilities for breaking through Russian defensive lines during the summer. However, the anticipated counteroffensive did not yield the desired success. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reacted to the news of the Abrams tank’s arrival in Ukraine at the time by stating, “These will burn too.”

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“All of the above of course assumed The Mummy knew where he was and what he was talking about, “off the cuff”, and not dictated by his ubiquitous earpiece.”

Xi Outmanuevers Biden in San Francisco (Pepe Escobar)

All those previous elaborate plans unraveled, in a flash. A tentatively rosy scenario turned into a film noir. The Chinese Foreign Ministry’s response was as sharp as a Dashiell Hammett one-liner – and contextualized: this was not only “extremely wrong” but “an irresponsible political manipulation”. All of the above of course assumed The Mummy knew where he was and what he was talking about, “off the cuff”, and not dictated by his ubiquitous earpiece. The Xi-Biden drama, lasting a little over two hours, was not exactly a remake of “Vertigo”. Washington and Beijing seemed quite cozy jointly promising the proverbial promotion and strengthening of “dialogue and cooperation in various fields”; an intergovernmental dialogue on AI; drug control cooperation; back to high-level military-to-military talking; a “maritime security consultation mechanism”; significantly increasing flights by early 2024; and “expanding exchanges” in education, international students, culture, sports, and business circles.

The Hegemon was far from having a priceless Maltese Falcon (“the stuff dreams are made of”) to offer Beijing. China is already solidified as the world’s top trading economy by PPP. China is advancing at breakneck speed on the tech race even under nasty US sanctions. China’s soft power across the Global South/Global Majority increases by the day. China is co-organizing with Russia the concerted drive towards multipolarity. The White House readout , as bland as it might seem, actually gives away the key part of the plot. Biden – actually his earpiece – underscored “support for a free and open Indo-Pacific”; the defense of “our Indo-Pacific allies”; the “commitment to freedom of navigation and overflight”; “adherence to international law”; “maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea and East China Sea”; “support to “Ukraine’s defense against Russian aggression”; and “support for Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorism”.

Beijing understands in detail the context and the geopolitical overtones of each of these pledges. What the readout does not say is that Biden’s handlers also tried to convince the Chinese to stop buying oil from their strategic partner Iran. That’s not gonna happen. China imported an average of 1.05 million barrels of oil a day from Iran over the first 10 months of 2023 – and rising. US Think Tankland, always excelling in misinformation and disinformation, believed in their own childish projection of Xi playing tough guy against the US in Asia, knowing that Washington can’t afford a third love affair, sorry, war front on top of Ukraine and Israel/Palestine. The fact is Xi knows all there is to know about imperial, rotating Hybrid War fronts, plus others that can be powered on at the flick of a switch. The Hegemon continues to provoke disturbance not only in Taiwan but in the Philippines, Japan, South Korea, India, and continues to flirt with possible color revolutions in Central Asia.

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“China does not seek spheres of influence, and will not fight a cold war or a hot war with anyone..”

China Seeks Neither Hegemony Nor To Wage War With Anyone — Xi Jinping (TASS)

China has no desire for hegemony and will not wage either a cold or hot war against anyone, Chinese President Xi Jinping said after talks with US President Joe Biden in San Francisco, Xinhua news agency reported. “Whatever stage of development it may reach, China will never pursue hegemony or expansion, and will never impose its will on others,” Xi Jinping said at a meeting arranged by a number of US organizations. “China does not seek spheres of influence, and will not fight a cold war or a hot war with anyone,” Xinhua quoted the Chinese leader as saying.

The talks between the Chinese and US presidents are their seventh official interaction since January 2021, when Biden became president. The two countries’ heads met in person for the second time (the first meeting was last November on the Indonesian island of Bali). Xi Jinping is visiting the US for the first time in six years. During the visit, he is scheduled to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

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“Why is [Dr. Fauci] so wedded to trying to make you believe it came from the animal kingdom and not the lab? Because he funded the lab.”

Rand Paul Wants Federal Prosecution of Fauci for COVID Coverup (ET)

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has said he’s pursuing federal criminal action against Dr. Anthony Fauci for perjury before Congress. In an interview on EpochTV’s “American Thought Leaders” with Jan Jekielek, Dr. Paul said he has asked Attorney General Merrick Garland to prosecute Dr. Fauci for giving false testimony during multiple congressional hearings. “We haven’t had a lot of luck,” Dr. Paul said. “Garland is not paying attention to the referral, but [Dr. Fauci] did lie to Congress.” The Epoch Times reached out to Georgetown University, where Dr. Fauci is employed, for comment but didn’t receive a reply by the time of publishing. In July, Dr. Fauci joined the university as a distinguished university professor in its school of medicine’s department of medicine.

Dr. Paul alleges that Dr. Fauci—and multiple other parts of the federal government—engaged in an “extensive” coverup of the origin, threat, and potential treatments for COVID-19. The senator said he detailed the two-year misdirection in his book “Deception: The Great Covid Cover-Up,” which was published in October. “Virtually everything they said in private, they said the opposite in the public at the same time,” Dr. Paul said. As early as February 2020, Dr. Fauci and other scientists convened and discussed their conclusion that the genetic sequence of the virus that causes COVID-19 appeared to have been manipulated in a lab to make it more infectious to humans. They were doubly concerned because they knew that the Wuhan, China, lab performed gain-of-function research.

Dr. Paul also alleges that many of the scientists involved in the U.S. public health response to COVID-19 were “funding the lab in Wuhan.” “They actually have a direct conflict of interest because they are the ones that will be culpable,” Dr. Paul said. “Why is [Dr. Fauci] so wedded to trying to make you believe it came from the animal kingdom and not the lab? Because he funded the lab.”

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“..while Hur’s investigation may not lead to criminal charges, the political and public scrutiny over the matter is far from over..”

No Charges Likely In Biden Classified Document Scandal (ZH)

Following a ‘thorough investigation,’ special counsel Robert Hur is unlikely to charge anyone in connection to President Joe Biden’s classified document scandal, according to multiple reports citing sources familiar with the matter. Hur’s report is expected to sharply criticize Biden and his aides for their handling of classified documents – the standard treatment for the protected establishment class whose name doesn’t end in Trump. This outcome raises obvious questions DOJ sham investigations – for if a Special Counsel’s probe into potential mishandling of sensitive national documents results only in criticism and no legal repercussions, what message does it send about accountability at the highest levels of government?

Hur’s investigation, which began in January following his appointment by Attorney General Merrick Garland, has spanned nearly a year. It has involved interviews with around 100 Biden aides, including the President’s embattled son, Hunter Biden, who himself faces unrelated legal troubles following an indictment on federal gun charges. Biden himself was interviewed last month. “The president has been interviewed as part of the investigation being led by Special Counsel Robert Hur,” reads the statement from the White House Counsel’s Office spokesperson Ian Sams (the guy who lied and had a meltdown over Hunter Biden’s $260K in Chinese wires). Of note, Hunter Biden listed Joe’s Wilmington, Delaware home – where a bunch of classified documents were found, as his address when he received above mentioned Chinese wires, due to the Biden family’s dealings with CCP-linked businessmen.

[..] Notably, the investigation has also involved discussions with Secretary of State Tony Blinken, former White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, as reported by WSJ. These high-level interviews underscore the gravity of the investigation and the potential ramifications it could have had. The House Oversight Committee wrote a letter to Hur in October requesting information on whether President Biden possessed classified documents related to his son’s foreign business dealings. The classified documents discovered at the Penn Biden Center and Joe Biden’s Delaware residence date back to his vice presidency and decades-long senate tenure.

Kathy Chung, a Defense Department aide and former Vice President Biden aide recommended by Hunter Biden, was one of the individuals who handled classified documents, according to the Oversight Committee. -Daily Caller As the DOJ investigation winds down, the House Oversight Committee has vowed to continue its quest for clarity and accountability. Former White House Counsel Dana Remus was subpoenaed to appear for a deposition to answer questions about the handling of the classified documents. This move indicates that, while Hur’s investigation may not lead to criminal charges, the political and public scrutiny over the matter is far from over. So yes, corrupt administration investigates itself – finds no wrongdoing worth pursuing. End of story.

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“No level of censorship seemed to be sufficient for President Biden, who once claimed that social media companies were “killing people” by not silencing more dissenting voices..”

Should Joe Biden Be Banned? (Turley)

An internal State Department dissent memo was leaked this past week, opposing the Biden administration’s position on the war between Israel and Hamas. What was most notable about the memo is that some administration staffers accused President Joe Biden of “spreading misinformation.” It was a moment of crushing irony for some of us who have written and testified against the Biden administration’s censorship efforts. The question is whether, under the administration’s own standards, President Biden should now be banned or blacklisted to protect what his administration has called our “cognitive infrastructure.” For years, the administration and many Democrats in Congress have resisted every effort to expose the sprawling government censorship program that one federal judge described as an “Orwellian ‘Ministry of Truth.’”

As I have written previously, it included grants to academic and third-party organizations to create a global system of blacklists and to pressure advertisers to withdraw support from conservative sites. Most recently, a House Judiciary Committee report revealed another layer of this system, described as a “switchboarding” role for the censorship system by channeling demands for removal or bans from state and local officials. This switchboarding process was confirmed by Brian Scully of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), during prior court testimony. CISA’s director, Jen Easterly, previously declared the administration’s intent to extend its role over maintaining critical infrastructure to include “our cognitive infrastructure” and combating not just mis- and disinformation but also “malinformation,” which CISA describes as “based on fact, but used out of context to mislead, harm, or manipulate.”

As a result, over the last four years, researchers, politicians, and even satirical sites have been banned or blacklisted for offering dissenting views of COVID measures, climate change, gender identity or social justice, according to the House Judiciary report. No level of censorship seemed to be sufficient for President Biden, who once claimed that social media companies were “killing people” by not silencing more dissenting voices. Now, though, President Biden himself is accused — by some in his own administration — of spreading misinformation and supporting war criminals. The five-page State Department memo was signed by 100 State and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) employees and was accompanied by a social media post by a junior foreign affairs staffer, accusing Biden of being “complicit in genocide” in Gaza. The memo accuses Biden of “spreading misinformation,” citing his Oct. 10 speech supporting Israel, and accuses Israel of committing “war crimes and/or crimes against humanity under international law.” It also accuses Biden of ignoring facts — a classic justification for past administration demands to censor figures — on the number of Palestinian casualties.

Democrats face a nightmare of allegations of disinformation on both sides of the war and other issues. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and numerous media outlets have been accused of spreading disinformation about Israel killing hundreds with an airstrike on a Gaza hospital. Former CIA director Leon Panetta, in an interview on Fox News, stood by disproven claims about Russia faking Hunter Biden’s laptop. There is, of course, not even a whisper (let alone a loud demand) for censorship or suspension of any of these figures or outlets, because that is not how the administration’s policies over “misinformation, disinformation, and malinformation” — what it terms “MDM” — work. The administration at one point insisted that it would police this “MDM space” to target views on a sweeping range of subjects, including racial justice and the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan. So what will the Biden MDM space-rangers do with President Biden? The obvious answer is, “Nothing.”

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“In short, the entertainment factor with Trump’s NY trial just went up immeasurably.”

Appeals Court Lifts Trump Gag Order In NY Fraud Case (ZH)

A New York appeals court judge on Thursday temporarily lifted a gag order preventing former President Donald Trump from commenting on court staffers in his civil fraud trial. Trump was gagged last month by judge Arthur Engoron, and later fined $15,000 for violations after he talked trash on social media about the Judge’s top law clerk. On Wednesday, Trump’s attorneys filed a lawsuit against the trial judge – arguing that the Engoron had abused his power. In response to the request, Judge David Friedman of the state’s intermediate appeals court scheduled an emergency hearing Thursday afternoon around a conference table in a state appellate courthouse just a few miles from Engoron’s courtroom, where he granted their request.

“Ruling at an emergency hearing Thursday, Friedman questioned Engoron’s authority to police Trump’s speech outside the courtroom — such as his frequent gripes about the case on social media and in comments to TV cameras in the courthouse hallway. Friedman said that while it’s true that judges often issue gag orders, they’re mostly used in criminal cases where there’s a fear that comments about the case could influence the jury. Trump’s civil trial doesn’t have a jury. Trump lawyer Christopher Kise said after Friedman ruled that the appellate judge “made the right decision and allowed President Trump to take full advantage of his constitutional First Amendment rights to talk about bias in his own trial, what he’s seeing and witnessing in his own trial — which, frankly, everyone needs to see.” -AP

Vivek
https://twitter.com/i/status/1725009663924604970

“I don’t see a reason for restrictions because Ms. James is continuing to disparage my client,” said Trump attorney Alina Habba, referring to NY Attorney General Letitia James, who is prosecuting the case. In staying the order, Trump can now freely comment about the court and its staff while the appeals process plays out. Separately on Wednesday, Trump’s legal team urged Engoron to stop the case immediately, arguing that his appearance of bias “threatens both Defendants’ rights and the integrity of the judiciary as an institution.” “This constitutional protection is at its apogee where the speech in question is core political speech, made by the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, regarding perceived partisanship and bias at a trial where he is subject to hundreds of millions of dollars in penalties and the threatened prohibition of his lawful business activities in the state,” the filing continues. In short, the entertainment factor with Trump’s NY trial just went up immeasurably.

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Kirsch
https://twitter.com/i/status/1725058928415764975

 

 

 

 


Jacana father shields his offspring

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 162023
 


Jackson Pollock Reflection of the Big Dipper 1947

 

US Will Take Massive Hit In Global Standing Over Israel (RS)
Rights Group Sues Biden For ‘Complicity’ In Gaza Genocide (Cradle)
Why The US Needs This War In Gaza (Pepe Escobar)
All Telecoms Services In Gaza To Halt In Coming Hours — Russian Envoy (TASS)
US Secretly Increased Weapons Supplies To Israel – Bloomberg (RT)
US Sabotaged Balanced UN Security Council Resolution On Mideast – Envoy (TASS)
Biden Calls Xi a ‘Dictator’ Hours After Meeting (Sp.)
Washington Raises Stakes On ‘Losing Hand’ In Ukraine – Jeffrey Sachs (RT)
Ukrainian Officials Embezzled 20%-36% Of All Western Financial Aid (TASS)
Germany’s Energy Woes Spark ‘Deindustrialization on Considerable Scale’ (Sp.)
Hunter Biden Asks Judge for Trump, Barr Subpoenas (Sp.)
Lawyer Admits To Leaking Witness Videos In Georgia Election Case (JTN)
Michigan Court Rejects Effort to Disqualify Donald Trump (Turley)

 

 

 

 

Erdogan Israel

 

 

Blinken

 

 

 

 

Sachs

 

 

Self defence

 

 

 

 

“..the ongoing war in the Middle East has raised the threat of an attack against Americans in the United States to a whole ‘nother level.”

US Will Take Massive Hit In Global Standing Over Israel (RS)

This past weekend saw the publication of a disturbing report from Axios, following a phone call between Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and his Israeli counterpart. According to unnamed sources, the outlet reports, there are growing fears within the Biden administration that the Israeli government wants to provoke Hezbollah into starting a wider regional war that would envelop Lebanon and other nearby countries, as well as the United States. It’s a powerful reminder that the Biden administration’s current policy of unconditional support for the Israeli government’s war on Gaza carries with it no upsides and only downsides in regards to U.S. interests. Avoiding another Middle Eastern war is a core priority for President Joe Biden, who both campaigned on ending “forever wars,” and has expressed concern about the U.S. capacity for a future military confrontation with China.

In fact, according to Axios, Austin’s weekend phone call was precisely to register his concern over the Israeli attacks in Lebanon and “the need to contain the conflict to Gaza and avoid regional escalation.” U.S.officials have been reportedly trying to prevent this outcome from the start of the conflict. Short of a full-blown war, Washington’s support for the war is already leading to U.S.casualties. As of Monday, U.S. and coalition forces have suffered at least 52 attacks since October 17, injuring 56 troops in Iraq and Syria. In a classic case of tit-for-tat, four of those attacks took place this past Sunday alone in response to U.S. airstrikes on Iran-linked facilities, which were themselves a response to earlier militia attacks on American targets in the region over Washington’s backing for Israel. At one point, a drone launched by an Iran-backed drone crashed into the U.S. barracks at an Iraqi air base, failing to kill U.S.troops only because it was defective.

There are few greater interests of a nation than ensuring the safety and security of its citizens. The Biden administration certainly thinks so, since it has repeatedly invoked the U.S. citizens taken as hostages by Hamas and made clear the importance it places on their safe return. Yet U.S. citizens remain trapped in Gaza, their lives threatened by not just Israel’s relentless bombing campaign, but by the siege that has created a devastating humanitarian crisis in the territory. The longer the war goes on, the bigger the risk to these Americans’ lives. At the same time, administration officials are already warning the war is going to inflame terrorism, the very thing the United States spent the past two decades, thousands of lives, and trillions of dollars trying to combat. The U.S. State Department issued an alert early on in the war that there was an increased “potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests.”

A leaked intelligence bulletin around the same time warned that Hezbollah and Al Qaeda affiliates were calling for attacks on U.S. citizens and interests over the conflict, and that the October 17 blast at al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City — responsibility for which is still undetermined — would “likely continue to draw public backlash and organized responses.” (The Israeli military has since repeatedly attacked multiple hospitals in Gaza). Similar warnings abound. The Department of Homeland Security has cautioned that the United States is “in a heightened threat environment” as a result of the war. FBI Director Chris Wray told Congress that “multiple foreign terrorist organizations have called for attacks against Americans and the West,” and that “the ongoing war in the Middle East has raised the threat of an attack against Americans in the United States to a whole ‘nother level.”

We stand with

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“I paid for Israel to kill my cousins and my aunt, there’s no two ways around it..”

Rights Group Sues Biden For ‘Complicity’ In Gaza Genocide (Cradle)

US President Joe Biden and two of his cabinet members are being sued in a US federal court for aiding and abetting genocide in Gaza, Al-Jazeera reported on 14 November. A federal complaint filed on 13 November against President Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, accuses them of “failure to prevent and complicity in the Israeli government’s unfolding genocide.” Israel, which receives $3.8 billion in military support from the US each year, has killed over 11,200 Palestinians, the majority women and children, since the beginning of its bombing campaign in Gaza on 7 October.

The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed the suit on behalf of Palestinian human rights organizations, Palestinians in Gaza and US citizens with relatives trapped in the besieged enclave. The bombing campaign has been accompanied by statements from Israeli military and political leaders claiming that all 2.3 million residents of the Gaza Strip are legitimate targets, rather than just members or fighters of Hamas, the group that attacked Israel on 7 October. “Numerous Israeli government leaders have expressed clear genocidal intentions and deployed dehumanizing characterizations of Palestinians, including ‘human animals’,” the CCR wrote in its complaint. It said those “statements of intent”, when combined with the “mass killing” of Palestinians, reveal “evidence of an unfolding crime of genocide.”

Numerous legal scholars and human rights groups have also called Israel’s actions in Gaza genocide, including Israeli historian and Holocaust scholar Raz Segal, who has called the Israeli bombing campaign, “A textbook case of genocide.” As the Palestinian death toll continues to mount, the Biden White House has escalated its financial and military support to Israel and refused to set limits or redlines on how US weapons may be used in Gaza. “Immediately after the launch of Israel’s unprecedented bombing campaign on Gaza, President Biden offered ‘unwavering’ support for Israel, which he and administration officials have consistently repeated and backed up with military, financial, and political support, even as mass civilian casualties escalated alongside Israeli genocidal rhetoric,” the CCR said.

Because the US is Israel’s closest ally and largest supplier of military assistance, the US could have a “deterrent effect on Israeli officials now pursuing genocidal acts against the Palestinian people,” the complaint said. Instead, the group said, Biden, Blinken, and Austin “have helped advance the gravest of crimes.” Speaking to Al-Jazeera, Astha Sharma Pokharel, a lawyer at the CCR, said: “They have a significant responsibility under customary international law, under federal law, to prevent this genocide, to stop supporting this genocide. At every step of the way, at every opportunity, they have failed. They have continued to provide cover to Israel; they have continued to provide material support to Israel; and currently, they intend to send more money and more weapons to Israel.”

Laila al-Haddad, a US citizen represented by CCR in the complaint, has lost five relatives to Israeli bombing in Gaza since 7 October. “I paid for Israel to kill my cousins and my aunt, there’s no two ways around it,” she told Al-Jazeera. “It was my tax dollars that did that, that sent those bombs to Israel to kill my family. And so I feel I and all other American taxpayers have a very unique responsibility to hold our government and our elected officials responsible.”

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“Wars in Europe and West Asia may be its last chance (it will lose) to subvert the emergence of a prosperous, connected, peaceful Eurasia Century.”

Why The US Needs This War In Gaza (Pepe Escobar)

The catastrophic debacle of Project Ukraine and the revival of an intractable West Asian war are deeply intertwined. Beyond the fog of Washington’s “worry” about Tel Aviv’s genocidal rampage, the crucial fact is that we are right in the thick of a war against BRICS 11. The Empire does not do strategy; at best, it does tactical business plans on the fly. There are two immediate tactics in play: a US Armada deployed in the Eastern Mediterranean – in a failed effort to intimidate Resistance Axis behemoths Iran and Hezbollah – and a possible Milei election in Argentina tied to his avowed promise to break Brazil-Argentina relations. So this is a simultaneous attack on BRICS 11 on two fronts: West Asia and South America. There will be no American efforts spared to prevent BRICS 11 from getting close to OPEC+.

A key aim is to instill fear in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi – as confirmed by Persian Gulf business sources. Even vassal leaders at the OIC show would have been aware that we are now deep into The Empire Strikes Back. That also largely explains their cowardice. They know that for the Hegemon, multipolarity equals “chaos,” unipolarity equals “order,” and malign actors equal “autocrats” – such as the new Russian-Chinese-Iranian “Axis of Evil” and anyone, especially vassals, that opposes the “rules-based international order.” And that brings us to a tale of two ceasefires. Tens of millions across the Global Majority are asking why the Hegemon is desperate for a ceasefire in Ukraine while flatly refusing a ceasefire in Palestine. Freezing Project Ukraine preserves the Ghost of Hegemony just a little bit longer.

Let’s assume Moscow would take the bait (it won’t). But to freeze Ukraine in Europe, the Hegemon will need an Israeli win in Gaza – perhaps at any and all costs – to maintain even a vestige of its former glory. But can Israel achieve victory any more than Ukraine can? Tel Aviv may have already lost the war on 7 October as it can never regain its facade of invincibility. And if this transforms into a regional war that Israel loses, the US will lose its Arab vassals overnight, who today have a Chinese and Russian option waiting in the wings. The Roar of the Street is getting louder – demanding that the Biden administration, now seen as complicit with Tel Aviv, halt the Israeli genocide that may lead to a World War. But Washington will not comply. Wars in Europe and West Asia may be its last chance (it will lose) to subvert the emergence of a prosperous, connected, peaceful Eurasia Century.

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Good to remember: “..Hamas views its attack as a response to Israeli authorities’ steps against the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem..”

All Telecoms Services In Gaza To Halt In Coming Hours — Russian Envoy (TASS)

Residents of the Gaza Strip are about to find themselves without any communications to the outside world due to fuel and electricity shortages, Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya told the UN Security Council. “Any humanitarian action requires an immediate cessation of hostilities. One cannot clear the debris and evacuate people when under fire, and also it is impossible to bring in much-needed fuel, without which Gaza’s hospitals are about to run out of energy. Besides, without fuel supplies, in the coming hours (according to UNRWA forecasts on November 16), the residents of Gaza will find themselves without any communications, without Internet and in a complete isolation from the outside world,” the Russian diplomat said, addressing the UN Security Council which has just adopted a resolution on the Middle East.

A total of 12 countries in the 15-member council voted in favor of the document, aimed at helping children in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict zone. The United States, the United Kingdom and Russia abstained. “There will be no telling what happens there at all. The Gaza Strip will be completely plunged into darkness and chaos, and coordination among emergency services will be disrupted,” Nebenzya continued. s”At this very moment, while delegations to the Security Council are exercising in eloquence, the Israeli army is raiding Al-Shifa hospital, bombing UNRWA schools, and there are alarming reports of medical staff being shot, medical equipment and medical depots being destroyed,” he added. “I stress once again: humanitarian pauses are not and cannot be a substitute for a ceasefire or even a truce. It is only a short-time halt, after which hostilities resume with renewed vigor.”

The resolution, obtained by TASS, has seven provisions. It contains a call for establishing extended humanitarian pauses and corridors in the Gaza Strip “for a sufficient number of days to enable, consistent with international humanitarian law, the full, rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access” for United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross and other impartial humanitarian organizations enabling them to deliver humanitarian aid, repair essential infrastructure and organize “urgent rescue and recovery efforts, including for missing children in damaged and destroyed buildings.” The humanitarian pause should be long enough to conduct “evacuation of sick or injured children and their care givers.”

Tensions flared up in the Middle East after Hamas militants from the Gaza Strip attacked Israeli territory on October 7, when many Israelis living in the settlements near the border were killed and more than 200 people, including children, women and the elderly, were taken hostage. Hamas views its attack as a response to Israeli authorities’ steps against the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Israel declared a total blockade of the Gaza Strip and launched bombardments of the enclave and some areas in Lebanon and Syria. Clashes are also reported in the West Bank.

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“..since Gaza is “one of the world’s most densely populated places, 155mm artillery shells are inherently indiscriminate.”

US Secretly Increased Weapons Supplies To Israel – Bloomberg (RT)

The US Department of Defense has allegedly ramped up weapons deliveries to Israel without making any public announcements, Bloomberg has reported. The media outlet claimed that the deliveries of artillery shells, which supposedly feature prominently on Israel’s wish list, continue despite protests by dozens of relief organizations. The US has for decades been Israel’s closest ally and a major supplier of weapons. Following Hamas’ surprise attack on the country on October 7, Washington quickly came to Israel’s rescue, providing it with Iron Dome air defense missiles and smart bombs. In its report on Wednesday, Bloomberg, citing an internal Defense Department list dated late October, claimed that the Pentagon had been dipping into its stocks at home and in Europe to furnish Israel with 36,000 rounds of 30mm cannon ammunition and approximately 2,000 Hellfire Laser Guided missiles for the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter.

The list also included 57,000 155mm High Explosive artillery shells, as well as mortars, rifles, and night vision devices, among other items. Israel reportedly requested 200 armor-piercing Switchblade 600 strike drones, which the US military does not have in its inventory. When asked for comment, the Defense Department said in a statement that it was “leveraging several avenues — from internal stocks to US industry channels – to ensure Israel has the means to defend itself.” Officials added that “this security assistance continues to arrive on a near-daily basis.” Bloomberg pointed out that the deliveries have apparently continued despite the Biden administration publicly calling on Israel to exercise restraint and try to avoid civilian casualties during its ongoing operation against Hamas in Gaza.

On Monday, thirty relief groups sent a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, urging him to halt the deliveries of 155mm shells in particular. They argued that, since Gaza is “one of the world’s most densely populated places, 155mm artillery shells are inherently indiscriminate.” On Tuesday, the US House of Representatives approved a bill proposed by Speaker Mike Johnson over the weekend to avoid a looming government shutdown this Friday. Aid for Ukraine and Israel is conspicuously absent from the stopgap legislation, which aims to secure funding for US government agencies through mid-January and early February. The Biden administration originally asked Congress last month to approve a massive $106 billion assistance package for Ukraine and Israel. However, Republicans opposed the plan, leading to a political deadlock.

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“The Council does not even demand humanitarian pauses, but only calls for them, which is a mockery of the Council’s prerogative..”

US Sabotaged Balanced UN Security Council Resolution On Mideast – Envoy (TASS)

Since the Israeli-Palestinian conflict escalated in early October, the United States has been sabotaging a balanced UN Security Council document on the issue, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya said. “From the very beginning of the current escalation in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict zone, the US delegation has sabotaged any attempt to develop a balanced and depoliticized document aimed at taking real and urgent measures to de-escalate the situation. Our American colleagues on the Council justified the collective punishment and annihilation of the Palestinians, first of all the civilian population, under the slogans about the fight against terrorism and Israel’s right to self-defense, effectively paralyzing the work of the main UN body for the maintenance of international peace and security,” Nebenzya told the UN Security Council after it adopted a resolution on the Middle East.

In his words, Washington has consistently rejected draft resolutions demanding a humanitarian ceasefire. The diplomat expressed his regret over the fact that “under pressure from Washington, the language of the resolution has been emasculated.” “The Council does not even demand humanitarian pauses, but only calls for them, which is a mockery of the Council’s prerogative,” Nebenzya said.

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The Chinese simply do not understand such poor manners.

Biden Calls Xi a ‘Dictator’ Hours After Meeting (Sp.)

Hours after a meeting designed to restore US-Chinese relations between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Biden called the Chinese leader a dictator during a press conference about the meeting. Biden and Xi met in San Francisco during the APEC Leaders’ Summit on Wednesday. The highly anticipated meeting was hyped as a critical opportunity to restore Chinese-US relations following years of heightened tensions between the two countries. During a press conference following the meeting, Biden touted the progress made, saying that they reached a deal to combat fentanyl precursor chemicals from China entering the United States, resuming direct communications between the world’s two largest militaries and a plan to have experts from both countries meet on the dangers of AI. He said they also discussed Ukraine, Gaza, Taiwan and the South China Sea.

After Biden stated he would take no more questions he started walking towards the exit but then stopped and announced that he would take another question, “Who can holler the loudest?” the President asked the crowd of supporters. The reporter, whose name and outlet were not clearly audible in the video, first asked if Biden could share the evidence he had that Hamas hid a headquarters in Al-Shifa hospital, something Biden said was a “fact” earlier in the press conference. Biden said he was confident in the evidence he saw, but declined to provide it. “No, I can’t tell you. I won’t tell you.” The same reporter then asked if Biden still calls Xi a “dictator” as he did earlier in the year. Biden confirmed that he still does.

“Well look, he is. I mean he is a dictator in the sense that he is a guy who runs a country that is a communist country that is based on a form of government that is totally different from ours,” Biden stated before leaving the press room. The Chinese government has not yet responded to Biden’s latest description of the Chinese President as a “dictator.” In June, one day after Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Beijing in an effort to ease tensions between the countries, Biden harmed those discussions by calling Xi a dictator and implying that he did not know what was going on in his country. “The reason why Xi Jinping got very upset in terms of when I shot that balloon down with two box cars full of spy equipment is he didn’t know it was there,” Biden said at a fundraiser. “That’s a great embarrassment for dictators.”

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“The US has played a losing hand badly for 15 straight years..”

They’ve raised the stakes for 15 years on a losing hand, and they can’t get it,” [..] “And this is our team. They failed.”

Washington Raises Stakes On ‘Losing Hand’ In Ukraine – Jeffrey Sachs (RT)

Washington has continually escalated a failed foreign policy in Eastern Europe since at least 2008, driving Ukraine to the brink of total destruction by failing to address Russia’s legitimate security concerns in the former Soviet republic, US public policy analyst Jeffrey Sachs has argued. “The US has played a losing hand badly for 15 straight years,” Sachs said on Wednesday in an interview with independent journalist Glenn Greenwald. “This is really important to understand if one wants to learn a little bit about geopolitical poker, which is, we keep raising the stakes on a losing hand.” Sachs, an award-winning economist who advised the Russian and Ukrainian governments following the Soviet Union’s breakup, detailed how at various points in the past two decades, Washington could have forestalled a military conflict without Kiev losing any territory.

He pointed out that Moscow was demanding that NATO not expand onto its doorstep, which US officials refused to concede. When Ukraine’s then-president, Viktor Yanukovych, chose neutrality over aligning with the West and agreed to extend the Russian Black Sea Fleet’s lease of its naval base in Crimea, that wasn’t good enough for US leaders, Sachs said. US State Department official Victoria Nuland “and friends” then helped overthrow Kiev’s democratically elected government in 2014, leading to Ukraine’s loss of Crimea, he said. Even then, Russia wasn’t demanding more territory. Rather, Sachs said, Moscow wanted Ukraine to refrain from shelling ethnic Russians in the breakaway Donbass region and to grant them a degree of autonomy. Those terms were included in the Minsk II agreement, which was unanimously endorsed by the UN Security Council, but US officials told Ukrainian leaders that they didn’t need to comply with the deal, the analyst said.

In December 2021, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed a security pact pledging no further expansion of NATO and negotiations on placement of US missile systems in Eastern Europe. The US reply came in January 2022. “We don’t have to discuss any of that with you,” Sachs said, summing up Washington’s stance at the time. “That was the reply. We don’t have to discuss NATO with you. It’s none of your business.” Just three days after Russian forces launched a military offensive against Ukraine in February 2022, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky sought to resolve the conflict by pledging neutrality, Sachs said. However, he suggested that, when Zelensky reached a preliminary agreement with the Russians on a peace settlement a few weeks later, US President Joe Biden’s administration torpedoed the deal.

Washington has since approved $113 billion in aid to Ukraine, essentially prolonging the fighting, the analyst argued. Earlier this year, the Biden administration goaded Kiev into a major counteroffensive against Russian forces that was “clearly an impossibility,” Sachs said. “They’ve raised the stakes for 15 years on a losing hand, and they can’t get it,” the economist said. “And this is our team. They failed.” ” We need a new foreign policy team, and we need a new foreign policy approach, and we need to negotiate before Ukraine is completely destroyed.”

Sachs noted that he and other observers predicted the Ukraine debacle in the early days of the conflict. “This one was not very hard to see,” he said. “Like you said, how can you beat Russia? It was very obvious. These people just are not very clever. Biden, Nuland, [National Security Advisor Jake] Sullivan, [Secretary of State Antony] Blinken – they’ve been at this since 2014.” Kiev’s much-anticipated offensive campaign, launched in the summer, failed to achieve any significant victories or win back much territory. Valery Zaluzhny, Ukraine’s top general, said in a recent interview that the fighting has reached “a stalemate.” The Economist reported this week that Western officials “increasingly think” that the conflict could last for another five years.

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“I’m talking about former senior officials of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.”

So this is just the defense guys. But the rest want their cut, too.

Ukrainian Officials Embezzled 20%-36% Of All Western Financial Aid (TASS)

Between 20% and 36% of all financial aid, provided to Kiev by the West, has been misappropriated by Ukrainian officials, the Russian Foreign ministry’s official spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said. “Based on our information, between 20% and 36% of all financial aid from the West was misappropriated by Ukrainian officials,” the diplomat said. “I’m talking about former senior officials of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.” Corruption scandals at various sectors of economy and state governance are a regular occurrence in Ukraine. Former Ukrainian Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov was sacked in September amid numerous corruption scandals. He was succeeded by Rustem Umerov.

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“..two out of three German companies have partially relocated their operations abroad due to ongoing energy issues in Germany..”

Germany’s Energy Woes Spark ‘Deindustrialization on Considerable Scale’ (Sp.)

Germany’s automotive, mechanical engineering, and industrial goods companies are prioritizing moving less complex processes overseas to secure their business futures. Berlin’s chances of reversing such a trend are in doubt, as companies have expressed disappointment in the current government’s actions to forestall their departure. Consultancy firm Deloitte reports that two out of three German companies have partially relocated their operations abroad due to ongoing energy issues in Germany. Previous reports indicated that nearly half of the country’s small-to-midsized companies were considering moving abroad or ceasing operations. According to Deloitte, 67 percent of German companies have moved some operations abroad, and every third industrial company plans to relocate high-quality areas such as production and preassembly.

Investments in infrastructure, digitalization, and cost-effective energy pricing are essential for securing business locations. The situation is particularly acute in Germany’s mechanical engineering, industrial goods, and automotive sectors, where 69 percent of companies report moderate to large-scale relocation. Currently, companies are primarily moving less complex aspects like component manufacturing abroad. Florian Ploner, a partner at Deloitte and industry sector expert, remarked, “Deindustrialization is already taking place on a considerable scale here. If the general conditions remain the same, it is very likely that more companies will follow and more and more important parts of the value creation will migrate.”

When considering relocation, one-third of respondents focus on high-value areas like general production (33 percent) and preassembly (34 percent). Currently, companies are relocating evenly across the EU, Asia, and the US, with only 10 percent of companies planning to move to other Asian countries and eight percent considering returning to Europe from Asia.

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“Dammit, Mr. President, I am not going to talk to you about Hunter Biden. Period!”

Hunter Biden Asks Judge for Trump, Barr Subpoenas (Sp.)

Lawyers for Hunter Biden asked a federal judge on Wednesday to issue subpoenas for several federal law enforcement officials, including former Attorney General Bill Barr and former US President Donald Trump, in the case against the first son. According to the recent filing, Biden is seeking the testimony of Trump, Barr, and two other Justice Department officials in an effort to prove that the federal investigation of him was politically motivated. “Mr. Biden seeks specific information from three former DOJ officials and the former President that goes to the heart of his defense that this is, possibly, a vindictive or selective prosecution arising from an unrelenting pressure campaign beginning in the last administration, in violation of Mr. Biden’s Fifth Amendment rights under the Constitution,” Biden’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, wrote in the request to US District Judge Maryellen Noreika.

Hunter, who is the son of US President Joe Biden, is facing a trio of federal gun charges after a plea deal collapsed over the summer that also included misdemeanor tax fraud charges. While it was Hunter’s lawyer who scuttled the deal, he has since tried to argue that the filing of new gun charges since then is part of a political campaign against him and his father, who is standing for reelection next November. “In the lead up to the 2020 election, IRS case files show certain investigative decisions were made ‘as a result of guidance provided’ by, among others, ‘the Deputy Attorney General’s office,’” Lowell’s filing said. Lowell also specifically pointed to a comment by Barr published in his 2022 memoir “One Damn Thing After Another,” in which he said he told Trump in October 2020: “Dammit, Mr. President, I am not going to talk to you about Hunter Biden. Period!”

“These confirmations of communications give more than a mere appearance that President Trump improperly and unrelentingly pressured DOJ to pursue an investigation and prosecution of Mr. Biden to advance President Trump’s partisan ambitions,” Lowell’s note to the judge said. Lowell also claimed that Republican pressure on special counsel David Weiss compelled the attorney into “changing course” to file the indictment against Hunter Biden in September, “charging three felony counts for the same gun and same facts that just a few months prior Mr. Weiss had agreed to divert under a pre-trial diversion agreement.”

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“Miller’s provision of the footage to the media was not illegal..”

Lawyer Admits To Leaking Witness Videos In Georgia Election Case (JTN)

An attorney representing one of the defendants in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s election case admitted on Wednesday to releasing video footage of several proffer sessions involving defendants who entered plea agreements. A proffer session is a meeting between a defendant and prosecutors to provide information to prosecutors. Footage from those of attorneys Kenneth Chesebro, Jenna Ellis, and Sidney Powell became public this week, along with that of co-defendant Scott Hall. “In being transparent with the court and to make sure that nobody else gets blamed for what happened — and so that I can go to sleep well tonight — Judge, I did release those videos to one outlet,” Attorney Jonathan Miller told Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, according to The Hill. “And in all candor, I need the court to know that.”

Prosecutors ultimately filed a request for a protective order on how defendants may disseminate materials from the case. Miller’s provision of the footage to the media was not illegal. Miller represents defendant Misty Hampton, one of former President Donald Trump’s 18 co-defendants in the case stemming from efforts to challenge the 2020 election results. The original publication of the videos prompted several rounds of finger-pointing within the courtroom, with attorneys for the myriad defendants and Willis’s office denying any involvement until Miller came forward.

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“These challenges are spreading uncertainty on the choices that will be allowed for voters — a dangerous and dysfunctional effort.”

Michigan Court Rejects Effort to Disqualify Donald Trump (Turley)

We have been discussing the nationwide effort to disqualify former President Donald Trump from ballots in key states under a novel theory using Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. Yesterday, a Michigan judge was the latest to dismiss the effort to prevent voters from being able to vote for Trump. As many of you know, I have been a vocal critic of the theory as unfounded and dangerous. While figures like Harvard Professor Laurence Tribe have assured the public that Trump is clearly disqualified under the theory, it is based on unsustainable historical and legal interpretations in my view. For that reason, I have welcomed rulings to allow these claims to be reviewed on appeal. It has not fared well. While some have misrepresented past rulings, Tribe and others are still seeking a favorable judge.

Trump rally

State Judge James Robert Redford rejected the challenge and found that the courts lack the claimed authority under the theory. Judge Redford also rejected the effort of Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) under state law to remove candidates from the ballot based on that provision. An appeal is now expected to proceed and the matter could well end up in front of the Supreme Court. Last week, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled in a similar case that Trump could not be removed from the primary ballot in that state. Another ruling is expected soon out of Colorado. I have previously addressed the constitutional basis for this claim. It is, in my view, wildly out of sync with the purpose of the amendment, which followed an actual rebellion, the Civil War.

As previously discussed, the 14th Amendment bars those who took the oath and then “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same.” It then adds that that disqualification can extend to those who have “given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.” According to these experts, Jan. 6 was an “insurrection” and Trump gave “aid and comfort” to those who engaged in it by spreading election fraud claims and not immediately denouncing the violence. But even the view that it was an “insurrection” is by no means a consensus. Polls have shown that most of the public view Jan. 6 for what it was: a protest that became a riot. One year after the riot, CBS News mostly downplayed and ignored the result of its own poll showing that 76 percent viewed it for what it was, as a “protest gone too far.” The view that it was an actual “insurrection” was far less settled, with almost half rejecting the claim, a division breaking along partisan lines.

Advocates of this theory like Benson are arguing that they are protecting democracy by denying the ability of tens of millions of Americans to vote for their preferred candidate. Nothing says democracy like barring the choice of voters. It is a practice that is common in nations like Iran where the government scrubs the ballots of unacceptable candidates. Hopefully, these courts will expedite these rulings to allow the matter to reach the Supreme Court for a final and definitive ruling. These challenges are spreading uncertainty on the choices that will be allowed for voters — a dangerous and dysfunctional effort.

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Rogan Rock
https://twitter.com/i/status/1724908066829722022

 

 

 

 

Ron Paul

 

 

MTGVaccines

 

 

 

 

McBride

 

 

Split screen sunset

 

 

 

 

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Oct 242023
 
 October 24, 2023  Posted by at 6:12 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  17 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Self portrait 1965

 

 

Have we seen some sort of low-point, or is it a summit, or defining moment, today, something we might want to remember? 85-year-old Jewish hostage Yocheved Lifshitz was released by Hamas, and from a very limited pool of information, two sides still managed to make two entirely different stories. The pro-west-pro-Israel side had her saying she was beaten and mistreated and locked underground, while the other side quoted her stating her captors were very gentle, tended to all her needs, made sure she had the medical attention she needed etc. When they released her, she thanked them and shook their hands.

 

https://twitter.com/i/status/1716754298896302452

 

I bring this up because it feels like a recent upgrade/esclation of the topic of mis/disinformation. And I am sure we will see much more of it. I have an eery feeling that we are gettig close(r) to a fast spreading war. As Doug Macgregor reiterated in his interview with Tucker Carlson , it’s painfully simple, really. If and when Israel enters Gaza with ground troops, a number of things are sure to happen. First, they will be shot to bits. Second, they will be killing hundreds of thousands of Palestinian civilians. Yes, both these things can happen at the same time.

But Hezbollah have already said this would draw them into the conflict. Now you have fighting in Gaza in south/west Israel, and in Lebanon to its north. But if Hezbollah gets involved, so will Iran. And with Iran involved, it will be hard for Türkiye and Russia to remain on the sidelines. At any given point in this timeline -take your pick- the US might enter the party. They have the warships in the eastern Med as we speak, and if Israel gets obliterated, they would be very tempted to join in.

Now, the Israeli army doesn’t appear all too strong. They’ve just been bothering -and killing- women and children for decades, not well-trained opposition forces. But they have nukes. Over two-thirds of US -potential- conscripts are overweight, and overall that army – except for a few choice divisions- is a mess. That’s why people like Joe Biden and Lindsey Graham shout so loud in Washington, to hide that. But they have nukes.

To make this a bigger problem, so do the “other side”. If Israel faces the entire Arab world, and that’s a real risk if they enter Gaza, and the stepping stones outlined above start falling, what good are its nukes going to do? Use nukes means you lose. The other side’s nukes are aimed at you as we speak. But Bibi and the extremists that prop him up don’t seem to want to understand that.

We could have the spirit that Yithzak Rabin brought to the situation, and talk about a two-state solution (that was UN-negotiated and agreed in 1947!), and it’s still not too late, but that means Israel would have to get rid of Bibi and his ilk. Or we risk those guys throwing us all into the fire.

Putin just got back from Beijing, where he certainly had extensive talks with Xi Jinping about all this, and we just have to wait on what they decided. Neither are terribly eager to get involved, but they will if they must. I’m thinking maybe now might be a good moment. Before it takes actual military force, but when you can still do it by appyling diplomatic -and economic- pressure. I understand that letting the West blow up itself sounds good, but it could get very messy very quickly. They’d be better off selling us oil and gas and gadgets. And they know it.

Their biggest problem appears to be the refusal of Israel and the US to understand how much their respective powers have diminished, their military prowess. And that is hard; to make people acknowledge they lost it all along the way. Because then, if power is your thing, what do you have left? There are plenty guys in both Israel and America who think: Après moi, le déluge. If I can’t be king, Drop the sucker.

 

 

 

 

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Oct 182023
 
 October 18, 2023  Posted by at 8:52 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  43 Responses »


Henri Matisse Nu Blue IV 1952

 

Hospital Bombing A ‘Massacre’ And ‘Genocide’ – Palestinians (RT)
Arab Leaders Refuse To Meet Biden As Protests Rage Around The World (ZH)
Jordan FM Says Summit With Biden’s Participation Cancelled (TASS)
Failure of Biden’s Israel Trip Would be ‘Curse’ on 2024 Election Campaign (Sp.)
US Opposes Peace as Israel Ethnically Cleanses Palestinians (Norton)
Israeli Ground Operation In Gaza An ‘Ugly Blot On Humanity’ – Türkiye (TASS)
How Media Outlets Work With Israel To Control Gaza Narrative (Adley)
Putin Responds To Biden ‘Put Down’ Comments (RT)
Why Vladimir Putin’s Visit To Beijing This Week Is So Important (Babaev)
Trend Toward Mutually Beneficial Cooperation Unstoppable – Xi Jinping (TASS)
US Must Learn to Respect Other States, Find Compromises – Putin (Sp.)
Majority Of Americans Believe Both Biden And Trump Committed Crimes (Turley)
Pfizer May Go Bankrupt, Financial Markets Realize (Chudov)

 

 

Iran FM

 

 

Gaza hospital
https://twitter.com/i/status/1714352506204045320

 

 

NYC last night

 

 

 

 


Mr. Fish: The Obscenity

 

 

Poilievre

 

 

 

 

Trump
https://twitter.com/i/status/1714071667847094541

 

 

 

 

Twitter files

 

 

Schwab
https://twitter.com/i/status/1714363458030850421

 

 

 

 

“People left their homes thinking they were more dangerous and they moved to our schools and hospitals to be safe. And in one minute, all of them have been killed at a hospital.”

Hospital Bombing A ‘Massacre’ And ‘Genocide’ – Palestinians (RT)

A Palestinian Red Crescent representative on Tuesday described the destruction of the Baptist Hospital in Gaza City as a war crime and genocide, while a local doctor called it a massacre. Over 600 people have been reported dead, but it is feared the final death toll may exceed a thousand. “This is genocide. This is a war crime,” Nebal Farsakh of the Red Crescent told Al Jazeera. She explained that in addition to the patients inside, many Palestinian civilians had sought shelter in the hospital compound, after Israel ordered everyone in the north of Gaza to leave. “Those who were in front of the hospital were forced to leave their homes under the evacuation order. They can’t even afford to evacuate to the south. There’s complete destruction of the infrastructure and transportation,” she said, speaking from Ramallah in the West Bank.

“What’s happened is terrible because those people, all of them, are civilians. They fled their homes and reached a place that they believed was safe – a hospital, which according to international law, is a safe place,” Ziad Shehadah, a doctor in Gaza, told AJ. “People left their homes thinking they were more dangerous and they moved to our schools and hospitals to be safe. And in one minute, all of them have been killed at a hospital.” According to Shehadah, the final death toll could easily reach more than 1,000. “It is a massacre,” he added. Al-Ahli hospital is run by the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, an Anglican Christian denomination. Its destruction was denounced by the World Health Organization, Egypt, Qatar and Türkiye, among others.

Israel has denied striking the hospital, however. IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari said that “an enemy rocket barrage was carried out towards Israel, which passed through the vicinity of the hospital when it was hit.” “According to intelligence information, from several sources we have, the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization is responsible for the failed shooting that hit the hospital,” Hagari added. The same claim was echoed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shortly afterwards. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh insisted that such “brutality” by Israel confirmed its “defeat” on October 7, and said the US was ultimately to blame. “The US holds the responsibility of the hospital attack because of the cover it gives to the Israeli aggression,” Haniyeh said. He also called for Palestinians in the West Bank to rise up against Israel.

Within minutes of Haniyeh’s statement, a riot broke out in Ramallah, as hundreds of Palestinians protested against President Mahmoud Abbas’ decision to meet with US President Joe Biden on Wednesday. Abbas has reportedly canceled those plans since, citing the hospital attack. In nearby Jordan, dozens of protesters attempted to break into the Israeli embassy in Amman, but were dispersed by police. Russia and the United Arab Emirates have called for an emergency session of the UN Security Council on Wednesday, to discuss the Gaza hospital attack.

https://twitter.com/jacksonhinklle/status/1714405328387813818

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Street protests literally everywhere in the world.

“There is no point in doing anything at this time other than stopping this war..” “There is no benefit to anyone in holding a summit at this time.”

Arab Leaders Refuse To Meet Biden As Protests Rage Around The World (ZH)

Update(1820ET): As expected, the fallout from the al-Ahli Baptist Hospital bombing has been swift, with a domino effect of negative consequences both for diplomacy and on the ‘Arab street’. The situation outside the US Embassy in Beirut is deteriorating tonight, with reports of riot police and tear gas being deployed against large crowds waving Hezbollah flags. But more importantly, and just as Air Force One is departing Washington for Israel, the White House has canceled the entire leg of Biden’s trip to Jordan. The confirmation was issued within the same hour that Arab leaders announced they were unwilling to meet with Biden, given the US is Israel’s biggest funder and supporter.

Biden issued a statement “deepest condolences” to victims of Gaza “hospital explosion,” according to the White House official statement: “After consulting with Jordan King Abdullah II & in light of the days of mourning announced by Palestinian Authority President Abbas, President Biden will postpone his travel to Jordan and the planned meeting with these two leaders and Egypt President Sisi. The President sent his deepest condolences for the innocent lives lost in the hospital explosion in Gaza, and wished a speedy recovery to the wounded.”

So even before arriving in Israel, the Tuesday massacre – which Israel is actually blaming on Palestinian militants (specifically PIJ) – has effectively served to box-in Biden. France’s Macron has just issued a condemnation to boot, saying “nothing can justify targeting civilians” in a statement which appears to place blame squarely on the Israelis. Biden will now also face the pressure to join the chorus of international condemnation. “International humanitarian law is binding on all and must enable the protection of civilian populations. Humanitarian access to the Gaza Strip must be opened up without delay,” the French foreign ministry said in the statement. Here’s what Jordan had to say: “There is no point in doing anything at this time other than stopping this war,” Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said on Al Jazeera Arabic early Wednesday morning. “There is no benefit to anyone in holding a summit at this time.”

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No longer feasible. Those days went by rapidly.

Jordan FM Says Summit With Biden’s Participation Cancelled (TASS)

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said the October 18 summit in Amman, expected to be attended by US President Joe Biden, has been cancelled. “We made the decision not to hold the four-party summit in Amman,” the minister said in a comment to Al Jazeera. He said the top-level meeting was cancelled after consultations with other partners – Egypt, the United States and Palestine. “Our decision not to hold the four-party summit was made after consultations with the Palestinian authorities, Cairo and Washington,” Safadi said. Meanwhile, the White House said early on Wednesday that Biden had cancelled his visit to Jordan. “After consulting with King Abdullah II of Jordan and in light of the days of mourning announced by President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, President Biden will postpone his travel to Jordan and the planned meeting with these two leaders and President Sisi of Egypt,” a White House spokesperson said in a statement.

According to the release, the US president “looks forward to consulting in person with these leaders soon, and agreed to remain regularly and directly engaged with each of them over the coming days.” Biden also conveyed his condolences for the innocent lives lost in the hospital explosion in Gaza. The summit was scheduled to take place on October 18, in the Jordanian capital of Amman. It was expected to bring together US President Joe Biden, Jordanian King Abdullah II, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. A spokesperson for the Fatah movement, led by Abbas, said late on Tuesday that the Palestinian president refused to participate in the talks.

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Failure guaranteed even before his plane touches down.

“Palestine belongs to the great three religions and this is only going to put the Jewish state at stake, at risk, if these kinds of things are going to be done wrongly.”

Failure of Biden’s Israel Trip Would be ‘Curse’ on 2024 Election Campaign (Sp.)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Tuesday that US President Joe Biden would visit Israel in the coming days as the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) prepare to launch a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip. Speaking in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv, Blinken said Biden would “reaffirm the United States’ solidarity with Israel and our ironclad commitment to its security,” and would “receive a comprehensive brief on Israel’s war aims and strategy” as it amasses 350,000 troops to invade Gaza. Having traveled to Israel a day prior, Blinken has pressured the Israeli government to allow humanitarian corridors to open into Gaza, which has been under “complete siege” for more than a week.

The IDF bombing campaign has killed more than 2,800 in Gaza since October 7, when Hamas launched an unprecedented raid into Israeli territory that killed more than 1,300 Israelis in several border settlements near Gaza. Blinken said Biden would oversee implementation of “a plan that will enable humanitarian aid from donor nations and multilateral organizations to reach civilians in Gaza” without “benefiting” Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip. Riyadh-based political analyst Dr. Ahmed al-Ibrahim told Sputnik on Tuesday that regional trust had waned in Washington’s ability or willingness to mediate the 75-year-long conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, but noted that the conflict would continue until both sides are willing to make hard choices to satisfy the others’ concerns.

“Traditionally, the United States is the custodian of Israel and they have unlimited support for Israel. Biden wants to show that to the world – that the United States is standing behind Israel at anything that Israel needs and has unconditional support for the Israelis. Of course, let’s not forget that he’s taking this opportunity to position himself [in] the presidential election that’s coming up, so he can get the Jewish votes inside the United States and show that he can turn things in the Middle East and use it in the favor of Israel.” “Definitely, this is going to be held as a kind of campaign for Biden, that he can still solve issues in the Middle East, and he’s going to use it for his campaign,” Dr. Al-Ibrahim said, noting that ”it is very sensitive. It is not uncomplicated, because if he does not do it right, this thing is going to accelerate so much that it will be beyond control. So if Biden doesn’t come with the right formula in order to solve it, it could be a curse on his election in 2024.”

Dr. Al-Ibrahim said that after arriving in Israel, Biden would most likely not attempt to position himself as a mediator in the conflict between Israel and Hamas, but to support Israel as it prepares for a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, which the commentator said would be “a big mistake.” “It’s only going to fuel [strife in] the whole Middle East and it’s going to fuel probably 2 billion Muslims and 2.5 billion Christians. Palestine belongs to the great three religions and this is only going to put the Jewish state at stake, at risk, if these kinds of things are going to be done wrongly.”

“We know that Gaza is the most geographically dense location in the world. However, we all agree, Saudi Arabia agreed from before, that Hamas is not the government that should control Gaza. It should be another government, not radical, like Hamas. And this issue needs to be put on the table. If Biden doesn’t balance the situation between the Palestinians and the Israelis, this can be expanded geographically. And it’s a very sensitive issue for the Israelis right now and for the Palestinians to really have a permanent solution and to go back to the two-state solution. This is what basically [Saudi] Prince Mohammed bin Salman has conveyed very strongly to Secretary Blinken,” Dr. Al-Ibrahim said. However, Dr. Al-Ibrahim said that people in the Middle East have “given up” on US policy in the region and “lost trust” that any American politician is actually interested in solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“Is it incompetency? Is it the strategy? Nobody knows. The Middle East region lives off of conspiracies, these conspiracies are an issue with them. The Palestinian file is very close and dear to the Middle Eastern people and they are looking at the Palestinians and they see that their rights have been taken, and the Israelis are only gaining more land and not giving anything to the Palestinians – no dignities, no land, nothing.” “Everybody blames America in this region for what’s happening, everybody. It’s not necessarily that they have an evil strategy in order to execute things,” he explained. “It’s maybe incompetence. They are looking at the matters in their own country and not getting them right. Look at Iraq, look at Afghanistan, look at Ukraine – look at all these countries. The war starts, and there is no right execution, chaos and hell starts happening in the region.

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“We may be about to see massive ethnic cleansing” – a clear indication that Western capitals know exactly what Israel is doing.”

US Opposes Peace as Israel Ethnically Cleanses Palestinians (Norton)

The Israeli government is in the process of ethnically cleansing more than 1 million Palestinians, pushing them out of their homes in Gaza. According to senior Israeli officials, the plan of the far-right Benjamin Netanyahu government is to force Palestinians into the desert of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, where they will live in so-called “tent cities”. At the same time, Israel is brutally bombing the besieged Gaza strip – one of the most densely populated areas on Earth. There are even reports that Israel has attacked convoys of Palestinian civilians who were abiding by its evacuation order and fleeing from the north to the south of the 40-kilometer strip. Meanwhile, the United States has adamantly refused to support calls for peace. Instead, the State Department told US diplomats not to mention the phrases “de-escalation/ceasefire”, “end to violence/bloodshed”, and “restoring calm” when discussing Gaza, according to a memo obtained by HuffPost.

[..] According to Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, Israel’s plan is to ethnically cleanse Palestinians and force them into Egypt. Citing an anonymous high level source, Hersh wrote, “I have been told by an Israeli insider that Israel has been trying to convince Qatar, which at the urging of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was a long-time financial supporter of Hamas, to join with Egypt in funding a tent city for the million or more refugees awaiting across the border”. This plan was in fact confirmed by Israel’s former deputy foreign minister, Danny Ayalon, who previously served as the Israeli ambassador to the United States and a foreign policy adviser for far-right Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In an interview with Al Jazeera reporter Marc Lamont Hill on 12 October, Ayalon stated:

DANNY AYALON: “This was, this is thought out. It’s not something that we tell them, go to the beaches, go drown yourselves, God forbid, not at all. There is a huge expense, almost endless space in the Sinai desert, just on the other side of Gaza. The idea is – and this is not the first time it will be done – the idea is for them to leave over to the open areas where we and the international community will prepare the infrastructure, you know, tent cities, with food and with water – you know, just like for the refugees of Syria that fled the butchering of Assad a few years ago to Turkey; Turkey received 2 million of them. This is the idea. Now Egypt will have to play ball here, because once the the population is out of sight, then we can go… I’ll tell you in a practical manner what we should do, and what we can do: create, like in the past, in history, a humanitarian corridor. When there is a humanitarian corridor – and we have been discussing this with the United States – then we can guarantee in this corridor that nobody will get hurt. Now, again, I say, there is a way to receive them all on the other side for temporary time, on the Sinai, because what did Hamas turn –

MARC LAMONT HILL: On the other side? Are we talking about Rafah? Are you saying the other side, they go to Egypt? DANNY AYALON: Yes, absolutely, absolutely. And Egypt will have to play ball. While Israel is ethnically cleansing Palestinians and killing large numbers of civilians, Western governments have showed unflinching support. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen both traveled to Tel Aviv to symbolically back the far-right Netanyahu government. The Financial Times reported that some EU officials are concerned “that the European Commission president could look as if she is endorsing military actions that will cause mass civilian casualties — and that will swiftly be labelled as war crimes”.

An unnamed EU diplomat told the Times, “We may be about to see massive ethnic cleansing” – a clear indication that Western capitals know exactly what Israel is doing. “Our fear is that we’ll pay a heavy price in the global south because of this conflict”, an anonymous EU official confessed to the newspaper. The vast majority of countries in the Global South support the Palestinian people in their struggle against Israeli colonialism. A rare exception is the far-right government in India, whose Prime Minister Narendra Modi represents a vehemently anti-Muslim Hindu-nationalist party, the BJP, which sees Israel’s religious ethnostate as an inspiration and potential model for its own plans for a so-called “Hindu rashtra”.

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The operation looks less likely by the minute. First it was on, then postponed due to bad weather (which was fine), and now the IDF says it’s “still undecided about whether to launch a ground offensive in the Gaza Strip..”

Israeli Ground Operation In Gaza An ‘Ugly Blot On Humanity’ – Türkiye (TASS)

Israel’s potential launch of a ground military operation in the Gaza Strip would result in the deaths of thousands of innocent people and represent an “ugly blot on humanity,” Omer Celik, a spokesman for Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), said on Tuesday. “A potential ground military operation by Israel in the Gaza Strip would lead to the deaths of thousands of innocent people, including women and children,” Turkish television news channel TRT Haber quoted Celik as saying. “It would be a catastrophe and an ugly blot on humanity.” According to the spokesman of the AKP, which is led by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict can be settled through peaceful methods only. “First of all, the anti-humane bombardments of the Gaza Strip must be stopped and the blockade must be lifted and only then should the parties sit down at the negotiating table to reach a lasting and stable peace,” Celik added.

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Richard Hecht announced earlier in the day that Israel was still undecided about whether to launch a ground offensive in the Gaza Strip. Tensions flared up again in the Middle East on October 7 when militants from the radical Palestinian movement Hamas staged a surprise attack on Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip. Hamas described its attack as a response to the aggressive actions of Israeli authorities against the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem. Israel has announced a total blockade of the Gaza Strip and has been delivering rocket attacks on Gaza as well as some districts in Lebanon and Syria. According to the latest official data, more than 2,800 Palestinians have been killed since the renewed outbreak of violence, while over 11,200 others have sustained wounds. In Israel, over 1,500 people have lost their lives and over 4,200 have been wounded in clashes, including on the West Bank of the Jordan River.

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And the Guardian fired a cartoonist after 40 years of service.

How Media Outlets Work With Israel To Control Gaza Narrative (Adley)

This week’s coverage by Western corporate media underlined its inability to hold the world’s 4th largest military to account for war crimes and instead give airtime to Israeli military officials to incite genocide against Palestinians, who are caged like animals in the world’s largest concentration camp. Western corporate journalists cannot report neutrally on Israel/Palestine. And here’s just a few examples as to why: Let’s take The New York Times, for example. Not only has the newspaper constantly supported Israel’s expansionist policies, but it has also directly participated in the dispossession of Palestinians from their homes. The New York Times’ Jerusalem bureau is built on a Palestinian house that belongs to a noted Palestinian writer Ghada Karmi, a survivor of the Nakba.

The Times also often cooperates with Israeli officials. In 2014, for example, it received and obeyed an Israeli gag order to suppress the news that Israel had arrested a Palestinian journalist. From 2008 – 2012, The New York Times Israel bureau chief, Ethan Bronner, was exposed to having his 20-year-old son enlist in the Israeli army while he was actively covering the region for the newspaper. The so-called paper of record never made this public to its readers, raising serious questions of bias and a conflict of interest. The New York Times also fired Gaza photographer Hosam Salem following an intervention from Israel lobby group Honest Reporting. However, the paper had no problem employing Ethan Bronner and others like Isabel Kershner and David Brooks to write about Palestine while all three had offspring fighting in the Israeli military.

In general, the consolidation of corporate media since the 1980s has led to ownership by billionaire oligarchs or gigantic multinational corporations that have a strong stake in preserving the status quo of ensuring forever wars continue, and neither of whom want to see nationalist liberation struggles succeed. The orders come down from up high that news organizations have to support Israel. Axel Springer – a giant German broadcaster that owns Politico – has explicitly told its staff that it is their duty to support Israel and those that don’t should leave. A wave of firings of Arab journalists across Germany underlined this message. The BBC, meanwhile, is the state broadcaster for the United Kingdom, a nation that helped create the state of Israel in 1948. Many of its top foreign affairs journalists go on to work for NATO or big think tanks funded by weapons manufacturers who directly profit from war.

The BBC has been continuously criticized for not providing historical context to the crisis in Gaza and linking it to its own British colonial history of helping create the state of Israel through the Balfour Declaration and providing it with weapons to occupy Palestinian land ever since. American journalists who don’t toe the line on Israel/Palestine are frequently made examples of. CNN fired anchor Marc Lamont Hill for calling for a free Palestine. Katie Halper was fired from The Hill for (accurately) calling Israel an Apartheid state. And The Guardian sacked Nathan J. Robinson after he made a joke mocking US military aid to Israel.

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“.. none of this is going to happen,” because Biden has “already forgotten what he said.” “Dementia is a useful thing,” Medvedev added.

Putin Responds To Biden ‘Put Down’ Comments (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday addressed the comments made by US President Joe Biden about “putting down” Moscow, suggesting that the octogenarian American politician still has a lot to learn. “You live, you learn. One must learn, and then there won’t be a desire to ‘put down’ anyone, since that leads to problems. One needs to learn to respect others and seek compromise,” Putin said in Beijing, where he is attending the international Belt and Road Forum. The Russian leader was responding to a reporter who had asked for a comment on Biden’s statements, voiced in a ‘60 Minutes’ interview broadcast on Sunday by the US network CBS.

“Imagine what happens if we, in fact, unite all of Europe and Putin is finally put down where he cannot cause the kind of trouble he’s been causing,” Biden told interviewer Scott Pelley at one point, arguing that the US has “enormous opportunities to make it a better world.” Putin’s response was more diplomatic than the reaction of his predecessor Dmitry Medvedev, who currently chairs the Russian security council. Commenting on Biden’s words on Monday, Medvedev thanked the US president for clarifying his mission, but noted that “none of this is going to happen,” because Biden has “already forgotten what he said.” “Dementia is a useful thing,” Medvedev added.

Biden, 81, is the oldest US president to be sworn in. He has been dogged by persistent rumors about his deteriorating physical and mental health, driven by a history of mis-speaking in public. In a CBS poll last month, only 26% of respondents said he was physically and cognitively fit for the job, and only 34% believed he would make it to the end of his second term, if re-elected in 2024. At a campaign event in Pennsylvania in early September, Biden argued that his advanced years were actually an asset, because “the only thing that comes with age is a little bit of wisdom.”

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As the US is setting one part of the world on fire, Xi and Putin build a new world elsewhere.

Why Vladimir Putin’s Visit To Beijing This Week Is So Important (Babaev)

Vladimir Putin’s visit to Beijing this week marks the second Russia-China summit this year. This time, the president is paying a visit to his friend and strategic partner, following agreements reached during Xi Jinping’s trip to Moscow in March. At that time, the Chinese leader invited Putin to attend the third forum of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which marks its tenth anniversary. The presence of the Russian leader at the event is especially notable given the occasional view (mostly from the West) that the project has reached a dead end. The scheme, launched by Xi in 2013 to link Chinese goods to European markets via trans-Eurasian land and northern sea routes, is indeed facing a dilemma. By erecting a new “iron curtain” on the borders of Russia and Belarus, Western Europe has fallen into its own trap, depriving itself of low-cost energy sources – the main driver of its economy since the 1970s.

At the same time, Western European countries are also closing off the possibility of importing cheap Chinese goods by land since Russia was the critical link in the ‘One Belt, One Road’ project. Meanwhile, sanctions on the supply of high-tech products to China and the refusal to allow Chinese investment in their markets are also jeopardizing Sino-European trade along the Northern Sea Route. Under these conditions, the BRI is looking for new points of growth, one of which could be fast-growing Russian-Chinese trade and the coupling of the initiative with the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). The EAEU and the Belt and Road pairing would be important for Russia in the context of its ‘pivot to the East,’ which is largely complete in exports and imports. China understands that trade with the EAEU is much more reliable than interaction with Western countries, albeit in smaller volumes.

After reaching almost $200 billion last year, trade between the two countries could exceed $300-350 billion in the medium term. The current transport infrastructure is struggling to cope with the growing flow of goods, and new solutions are needed. The leaders of Russia and China will discuss this at the Beijing summit. This could include new railway lines across their common border and through Central Asian countries, as well as pipelines. Given the full capacity of Power of Siberia, many expect Putin’s visit to finalize agreements on the construction of Power of Siberia-2, which will benefit both Russia, which is turning its gas flows eastwards, and China, which is looking for a cheap replacement for dirty coal. Likely, the conversation will also focus on building financial infrastructure.

Both countries are actively developing national digital currencies that could replace modern fiat currencies for settlements within two to three years. This will eliminate sanctions risks in this regard by removing the need for correspondent settlements while significantly automating cross-border payments. At the same time, it is crucial to convince Beijing of the need to allow large Russian banks to enter the Chinese financial system: Sberbank, Alfa Bank, and Gazprombank have already announced their intention to open branches, and the approval of the regulator will help to balance cooperation between the two countries, as Chinese banks have long and fruitfully worked in Russia. Of course, it is also essential for the leaders of Russia and China to discuss political issues, both within the framework of bilateral coordination and in the context of the activities of international organizations.

The expansion of BRICS presents both new opportunities and challenges. The activities of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization require long overdue improvements and a transition to a new level of interaction. Putin and Xi may also discuss the implications of the recent summit between China and the Central Asian states, as Beijing’s intention to turn it into a permanent institutional format is unlikely to please Moscow. In any case, it is time for the partners to synchronize their policies and outline new prospects for cooperation. Every meeting between Putin and Xi gives an impetus to the development of economic, scientific, technological, and humanitarian ties. Given that 2024 will be the year of the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our countries, this should be particularly strong.

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“People’s striving for a better life and the aspiration of all countries for common development and prosperity are irresistible..”

Trend Toward Mutually Beneficial Cooperation Unstoppable – Xi Jinping (TASS)

The historical trend toward peace and mutually beneficial cooperation among countries cannot be stopped, Chinese President Xi Jinping said at a reception for the heads of delegations participating in the Belt and Road forum at the Great Hall of the People. “The historical trend toward peace, development and mutually beneficial cooperation cannot be stopped. People’s striving for a better life and the aspiration of all countries for common development and prosperity are irresistible,” the Xinhua news agency quotes him as saying. As he addressed the participants, Xi said that cooperation in the Belt and Road project pursued development goals, was aimed at yielding mutual benefits and carried “a message of hope.”

He also said that all the successes achieved in implementing this initiative were a collective merit of the governments, businesses and peoples of the participating countries. “In the past 10 years since the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative, China and its partners have worked together to uphold the spirit of the Silk Road, contribute to global connectivity, to build platforms for international economic cooperation and to give an impetus to global economic growth,” Xi stated, adding that the initiative would create a brighter future for the whole of humanity.

A photo session preceded the meeting. Russian President Vladimir Putin took a place on the right hand-side of the summit’s host Xi Jinping. Before that, immediately upon arrival, the Russian president and the Chinese leader shook hands and exchanged a few remarks. The third Belt and Road forum is taking place in Beijing on October 17 and 18, with over 4,000 participants from more than 140 countries in attendance. Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived as the chief guest of the event. The Belt and Road initiative is a concept Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed in 2013 with the aim to intensify multilateral trade and investment projects with the participation of countries concerned and Chinese and foreign capital. More than 150 states and more than 30 international organizations have already joined it.

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“If they [US] have no other tasks but to build relations with Russia, then in a sense this is not bad..”

US Must Learn to Respect Other States, Find Compromises – Putin (Sp.)

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday, commenting on a recent remark of US President Joe Biden about the need to “put down” the Russian leader that the United States need to learn to respect others and be able to find compromises, then no one will need to be suppressed. In a recent interview with an American broadcaster, Biden stated that he is sure about running for the second presidential term. “All of Europe and Putin is finally put down where he cannot cause the kind of trouble he’s been causing,” the president claimed when asked to imagine what would happen if the US unites. “They need to learn to respect others and then no one will have to be suppressed. But the desire to suppress someone all the time for some reason or for no reason at all leads to problems. They [US representatives], of course, with their usual brilliance, love and do it well – they smile during protocol events, pat everyone on the shoulder.

But respect for other people, for other countries, for other peoples lies elsewhere, lies in taking into account their interests,” Putin told Pavel Zarubin, a Russian news agency reporter. If the United States has no other tasks than building relations with Russia then it is not bad, Putin said.”I believe that Biden is certainly one of the most experienced politicians in the world as a whole – in terms of time spent in the so-called upper echelons of power. He has been in politics for a long time. Of course, a person is experienced and knows what tasks to set for himself, how to achieve them. If they [US] have no other tasks but to build relations with Russia, then in a sense this is not bad,” Putin said, emphasizeng that Russia’s interests cannot be suppressed, but will have to be respected.

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Views are shifting despite the media.

Majority Of Americans Believe Both Biden And Trump Committed Crimes (Turley)

We recently discussed a poll showing that 68% of voters believe that President Joe Biden acted either criminally or unethically in connection to the foreign dealings of his son, Hunter Biden. Now a Fox poll has found largely that same response — a majority believes that both Biden and former president Donald Trump have committed criminal acts. It is an extraordinary political and legal moment where the two frontrunners for the presidency are believed to be criminal actors by many voters. The Fox polls shows that 52% of voters believes Trump did something illegal in connection to efforts to overturn the 2020 election and his handling of classified documents. Only 23% believe that Trump did not commit criminal acts.

Obviously, the results are driven by the overwhelming view of Democrats (86%) but independents (53%) also think Trump did something illegal. On the Bidens, 52% think Hunter Biden did something illegal in relation to his business dealings in Ukraine and China. That worsening situation is again driven on one side with Republicans. However, there was an 18% shift in independents that should worry the President. Some 40 percent believe that Joe Biden committed crimes. That is close to the 36 percent who shared that view in the earlier poll. What is particularly notable is that 69 percent now believe that Joe Biden acted with criminally or unethically — virtually identical to the other poll.

As I wrote earlier, the most striking aspect of these polls is the disconnect with the mainstream media. Despite overwhelmingly protective coverage for the Bidens, the public is simply not buying it. While both the Democrats and the media have been unrelenting in opposing investigations into the Bidens, the public has long supported such efforts. These consistent polls show that the public is tuning out the media spin on the corruption scandal involving the Bidens. It also shows (with both Trump and Biden) that the same roughly 25% remain constant for both candidates. NB: The headline and two lines were changed to reflect that the view of Joe Biden as a criminal actor has increased but remains under 50 percent. However, 69% now view the President as acting either criminally or unethically.

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“..legal protection granted to Pfizer by the PREP act will cease to protect it if significant fraud on the part of Pfizer is discovered.”

Pfizer May Go Bankrupt, Financial Markets Realize (Chudov)

The stock market may be waking up to the possibility that Pfizer may go bankrupt due to the upcoming Covid vaccine claims. Many parallels can be drawn between the corporate behaviors of Pfizer and Purdue Pharma, another pharmaceutical concern that dishonestly and aggressively marketed harmful products. Purdue Pharma went bankrupt due to the greed and depravity of its leaders, as their “legal protections” evaporated. The same may happen to Pfizer. Old, experienced vaccine companies like GSK refused to participate in “Covid vaccines” – and we now see why they made the right choice. Take a look at this chart: Pfizer’s stock (PFE) is valued at 25% less than it was five years ago, despite the billions of dollars it received from the sales of COVID vaccines, and the stock market and the pharmaceuticals index having gone up:

At first sight, Pfizer, a worldwide pharmaceutical juggernaut, should not be worth less than before the pandemic. Pfizer’s COVID vaccine made it billions and should have added value to the company, even if future sales of COVID-19-specific products cannot be assured. And yet, PFE has inexorably fallen since last November and is worth 25% less than five years ago, defying the general upside tendencies seen for other pharmaceuticals and the stock market. Since November of 2022, Pfizer has deviated from the trend of the pharmaceuticals index, underperforming by 35%. This can only be explained by the capital markets seeing something uniquely troublesome for Pfizer. This post will explore what it may be.

I am far from the first person suggesting that Pfizer, which aggressively marketed its COVID vaccines and underwrote a worldwide influence operation to mandate its product, may face ruinous liabilities. Ed Dowd, a former asset manager, was one of the first people to realize that. He explained that legal protection granted to Pfizer by the PREP act will cease to protect it if significant fraud on the part of Pfizer is discovered.

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Elephant Seal

 

 

Barracuda
https://twitter.com/i/status/1714220443173798290

 

 


Condor

 

 

Best friends
https://twitter.com/i/status/1714289662834155878

 

 

 

 

Yellow lane

 

 

Strandbeest

 

 

 

 

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