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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BOMBSHELL FROM THE BBC: Israel tampered with evidence, altered the video, lied to the public, produced zero evidence that Al Shifa was Hamas HQ and is moving weapons around to show them as “found” at a specific places.
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.
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.
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.
”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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Horrifying footage released from Mike Johnson, of the violent January 6th insurrection that was worse than 9/11 and Pearl Harbor combined: pic.twitter.com/efGtmggMLI
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
“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..”
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.
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.
“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.’”
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.
Finding himself barred from a public interest defence & unable to exhibit classified exculpatory evidence to a jury, David McBride, a former barrister and Major in the Australian army who blew the whistle on war crimes in Afghanistan, was advised by his… pic.twitter.com/UGj9aOoWUX
“Stealing The Most Powerful Republic in the World”
January 6th Footage proves it was all a setup. It would be a shame if this went viral HOW TO STEAL AN ELECTION 🇺🇸 -Start with a virus -Import it into America -Talk about it nonstop -Call some governors. Not them. Not them.… pic.twitter.com/mbPD2Ato8A
In less than 2 minutes, the representative for the State of Palestine at the UN, eviscerates the entire myth of Western "civilization" under the US Military Industrial Complex. This should be mandatory viewing in schools and universities throughout the Western world, if we do… pic.twitter.com/nSN5wBXtJs
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
How can the DOJ can charge Trump for having classified documents, when as former POTUS, he had the authority to have them & could declassify at any time in his term
But no charges for Biden & he did not have the authority to have the docs
[..] 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.
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.”
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
“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.
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
In a glorious display of bipartisan exultation, Chuck Schumer, Mike Johnson, Hakeem Jeffries, and Joni Ernst held hands and chanted "We Stand With Israel" together pic.twitter.com/o0DXjySdH7
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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💥💥Is Hillary Clinton still a free woman? 💥💥 or did she already face justice as we know McCain did and speculate Biden has as well? 💥💥💥
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.
"[The WEF] should be disappeared."
Former presidential candidate, Ron Paul, calls for the abolition of Klaus Schwab's World Economic Forum, believing it to exert an undue influence over both the education system and the medical profession.
A dramatic Day Three in the David McBride courtroom today, with Justice David Mossop ruling out a public interest defence for the military whistleblower, and apparently denying that any duty outside of following orders even exists.
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.
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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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.