Mar 012024
 
 March 1, 2024  Posted by at 12:09 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  6 Responses »


Gilles Mostaert Sodom and Gomorrah 1597

 

Inevitably, we have “rumblings” in the ranks. Not every Ukrainian is suicidal, or a proponent of (more) meat grinders. Here’s Andrew:

 

 

Andrew Korybko:

 

The Ukrainian Intelligence Committee warned in a Telegram post about the worst-case scenario that could happen by June whereby a Russian breakthrough across the Line of Contact (LOC) merges with protests over conscription and Zelensky’s illegitimacy to deal a deathblow to the state. They predictably claimed that those protests, along with claims of growing fatigue inside Western and Ukrainian societies plus civil-military tensions in Kiev, are just “Russian disinformation” even though they all veritably exist.

Zelensky Is Desperate To Preemptively Discredit Potentially Forthcoming Protests Against Him” and that’s why he claimed in late November that Russia is conspiring to orchestrate a so-called “Maidan 3” against him, which is what the Intelligence Committee explicitly referred to in their post. Their warning also came as Ukrainian media reported that Zelensky plans to ask the Constitutional Court to rule on holding elections during martial law in order to retain legitimacy after his term expires on 20 May.

The preceding hyperlinked report from Turkish media also mentions how “opposition party leaders Petro Poroshenko and Yulia Tymoshenko proposed forming a coalition government to avoid a crisis of legitimacy” but were rebuked by National Security Council chief Danilov. What’s so interesting about this proposal is that it was first tabled by an expert from the powerful Atlantic Council think tank in an article that they published in Politico in mid-December in order to serve that exact same purpose.

This reminder and the subsequent proposal by those two opposition party leaders debunks the notion that questions about Zelensky’s legitimacy are solely the result of “Russian disinformation” just like a top European think tank’s latest poll from January debunks the same about fatigue over this conflict. The European Council on Foreign Relations, which can’t credibly be described as “pro-Russian”, found that only 10% of Europeans think that Ukraine will defeat Russia.

On the other side of the Atlantic, the Congressional deadlock over more Ukraine aid proves that such sentiments are shared in the halls of power, and those who hold these views understandably don’t want to continue throwing hard-earn taxpayer funds into a doomed-to-fail proxy war. Western leaders as a whole, however, are clearly panicking over the latest military-strategic dynamics that followed the failure of Kiev’s counteroffensive last summer and Russia’s recent victory in Avdeevka.

That’s why many of them debated whether to conventionally intervene in Ukraine during Monday’s meeting in Paris that was attended by over 20 European leaders. French President Macron said that this can’t be ruled out despite there being no consensus on the issue, which his Polish counterpart confirmed was the most heated part of their discussions that day. This prompted strong denials from all other Western leaders who claimed that they’ll never authorize this, but their words can’t be taken seriously.

After all, the worst-case scenario that the Ukrainian Intelligence Committee warned about and is actively trying to discredit as supposedly being driven solely by “Russian disinformation” could push them to conventionally intervene in order to avert the state’s collapse and an Afghan-like disaster in Europe. NATO is unlikely to sit idly on the sidelines if Russia steamrolls through the ruins after breaking through the LOC by sometime this summer, hence why a conventional intervention truly can’t be ruled out.

It would be very unpopular in the West as proven by the previously mentioned think tank’s latest poll and the ongoing Congressional deadlock over Ukraine aid, but that doesn’t mean that the elite won’t do it since they don’t take public opinion into consideration when formulating foreign and military policy. Even so, the large-scale protests that could follow in Europe are something that the elite want to avoid, but they might still risk them in order for their geopolitical project in Ukraine not to be totally for naught.

Average folks outside of Ukraine can’t shape the course of events, but those in that country could play an historical role if they revolted with the support of friendly elements in the military-intelligence services like those that surround former Commander-in-Chief Zaluzhny. They’d be putting their lives on the line since the SBU abuses, jails, and kills dissidents, but enough of them are evidently ready to do so as suggested by the Ukrainian Intelligence Committee’s frantic efforts to discredit them.

It’s too early to predict whether they’ll revolt, let alone at the scale and for the duration that’s required to depose Zelensky with a view towards immediately resuming peace talks since the CIA-backed SBU could scuttle their plans by arresting their leaders (especially those in the military-intelligence services). If they do and this coincides with Russia breakthrough through the LOC, however, then it could swiftly bring an end to this proxy war provided that there are friendly elites willing to risk their lives as well.

Considering the global significance of this conflict, what’s regarded as the worst-case scenario from the perspective of the ruling Ukrainian elite and their Western masters is therefore the best-case scenario for the rest of the world. In the event that Zelensky is deposed and peace talks immediately resume right as Russia breaks through the LOC, then NATO might not feel as pressured by its security dilemma with Russia to conventionally intervene in Ukraine, thus reducing the risk of World War III by miscalculation.

 

 

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


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

 

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

 

 

 

 

Orf

 

 

KSP

 

 

 

 

Mike Benz 3 minutes

 

 

AI Tucker Carlson narrating The Lord of the Rings

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

Why War Bonds Are Returning in Europe (Luongo)

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

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

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

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

Read more …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

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

Putin Defeated US Plan For Russia – Nuland (RT)

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

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

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

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

Read more …

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

Everything new about Zaluzhny is now censored and silenced.

The Untold Half of the Zaluzhny Story (Snider)

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Trump the dictator has become a prominent narrative..

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fani Willis Demands Judge Reject Cellphone Evidence (ZH)

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

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

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

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

Judge Kaplan

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Placing Assange in the tradition of Ellsberg and Seymour Hersh.

The Show Trial against Julian Assange (Scheidler)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Crow

 

 

Bus

 

 

Prince

 

 

Cat bottle

 

 

Monitor

 

 

KIndness

 

 

This intrigues me

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 062024
 


Claude Monet Houses of Parliament, Sunset 1904

 

“Don’t Be STUPID!!!”: Trump Slams Senate Border Bill (ZH)
Texas Stripped of Powers in Border Security Bill (NW)
Speaker Johnson: New Supplemental Funding Bill Even Worse Than Expected (Sp.)
Senate’s Border Deal Teeters On Brink Of Collapse (Pol.)
The Supreme Court Laid the Seeds for the Immigration Crisis (Turley)
Jake Sullivan Refuses To Rule Out Attacks On Iranian Soil (MEE)
Nicaragua Taking Germany, Canada, UK, Netherlands To ICJ For Genocide (AlM)
UN To Probe UNRWA For ‘Neutrality’ (RT)
Zaluzhny Agrees To Be Ukraine’s Ambassador To UK – Lawmaker (TASS)
Kremlin Warns West Against ‘Deeply Illegal’ Asset Seizure (RT)
Brace for Impact (Kunstler)
Trump Facing ‘Long’ Prison Sentence – DNC Lawyer Marc Elias (RT)
Judge Dismisses Alvin Bragg’s Felony Case Against Vax Card Forgers (PM)
The Overthrow of Men (Paul Craig Roberts)
US Panicking Tucker Carlson Will Continue Objective Reporting in Russia (Sp.)

 

 

 

 

Trump border bill

 

 

Schumer

 

 

DeSantis

 

 

Texas AG Ken Paxton: “The Biden-Senate immigration bill is complete disaster. “The open borders policies it enshrines would destroy our country. In addition to encouraging nearly 2 million illegal aliens annually to enter the country, paying out over $1 billion to the toxic NGOs that settle illegal immigrants all over the nation, empowering Mayorkas to abuse the asylum process on his arbitrary whim, and ending catch-and-release, this bill that gives Biden and Mayorkas everything they want does something far more sinister.

It requires that legal challenges to these provisions be heard by the highly partisan Washington, D.C. courts. They know exactly what they are doing: Texas has been able to create major slowdowns to Biden’s open borders doctrine because our Constitutional system allows us to sue the federal government in fair venues. What Biden, Mayorkas, and the Senate uniparty in the swamp want to do is PREVENT the Texas AG and all other state AGs from acting as a check on the federal government’s tyrannical abuses of power. That is unthinkable. It is un-American. This bill is an unacceptable mess that no serious leader could even think about passing.”

 

 

Tucker Russia

 

 

“After that one puff on Joe Rogan Podcast, Elon Musk agreed, at NASA’s request, to do 3 years of random drug testing. Not even trace quantities were found of any drugs or alcohol. Last month, even NASA said there isn’t any evidence of drug use.”

 

 

Elon Musk: “Many states automatically register anyone with a driver’s license to vote (no citizenship verification), ballots are then mailed out and “ballot harvesters” pick them up mail them in, making fraud traceability impossible..”

 

 

 

 

“..It takes the HORRIBLE JOB the Democrats have done on Immigration and the Border, absolves them, and puts it all squarely on the shoulders of Republicans..” “Don’t be STUPID!!! We need a separate Border and Immigration bill. It should not be tied to foreign aid in any way, shape or form!”

“Don’t Be STUPID!!!”: Trump Slams Senate Border Bill (ZH)

The Senate’s $118 billion spending package, of which more than $60 billion would go to Ukraine, allows 1.5 million illegal migrants into the country per year, hobbles states like Texas by requiring legal challenges be arbitrated in DC courts, and funds NGOs who facilitate human trafficking to the tune of billions, is ‘dead on arrival’ according to House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA). The bill’s most ardent supporters are a coalition of establishment all-stars, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and lead GOP negotiator, Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) – who was censured last week by the Oklahoma GOP for striking such a crappy border deal with Sens. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ). As Punchbowl News puts it, the bill’s Sunday night release was like “pouring gasoline on the fire that is the Senate GOP internal war,” as “Senators and aides publicly and privately questioned whether a majority of the Republican Conference would back it.”

Some GOP Senators and outside conservative groups even called for an immediate leadership change over the package. During a Sunday evening press call, Lankford said critics of the proposal had already come out against it before the text was released. “If we have a crisis on our southern border, and we do… we should address that and do what we can to be able to solve that problem — not just hope that the problem gets better or hope that an election solves the issue,” Lankford said – completely ignoring the fact that President Joe Biden could close the border with the stroke of a pen, today, without $60 billion going to Ukraine and 5,000 migrants allowed in per day.

Lankford said in response to these statements that he’s “a little confused… at how it could be ‘worse than expected.’” The Oklahoma Republican added he wants to huddle with the speaker’s team. Of course, Johnson’s statement will undoubtedly cause some on-the-fence GOP senators to vote against the bill. “We’re at the beginning points of information,” Lankford asserted, dismissing the House GOP criticisms. “There are some people who just read Facebook posts… They made their decision based on the Facebook posts, not the text.” According to Donald Trump, “We need a Separate Border and Immigration Bill. It should not be tied to foreign aid in any way, shape or form.”

“Only a fool, or a Radical Left Democrat, would vote for this horrendous Border Bill, which only gives Shutdown Authority after 5000 Encounters a day, when we already have the right to CLOSE THE BORDER NOW, which must be done,” he said on Truth Social. “This Bill is a great gift to the Democrats, and a Death Wish for The Republican Party. It takes the HORRIBLE JOB the Democrats have done on Immigration and the Border, absolves them, and puts it all squarely on the shoulders of Republicans,” the former president continued. “Don’t be STUPID!!! We need a separate Border and Immigration bill. It should not be tied to foreign aid in any way, shape or form!”

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“This would prevent plaintiffs – like the State of Texas – from filing suit in Texas federal courts. This is corrupt..”

Texas Stripped of Powers in Border Security Bill (NW)

Conservatives have attacked a provision of the new border security bill that would only allow legal challenges to be made in Washington D.C. The bill would strip the power of Texas and other states to challenge some of the its provisions in their local federal court. Conservative commentators were quick to denounce the provision, contained on page 221 of the bill. Bill Shipley, who was a federal prosecutor for over 20 years, decried the its court provisions on X, formerly Twitter, on Sunday. “This would prevent plaintiffs – like the State of Texas – from filing suit in Texas federal courts. This is corrupt,” he wrote. After outlining the provisions under which immigrants can seek judicial review of a deportation order, the bill states:

“The United States District Court for the District of Columbia shall have sole and original jurisdiction to hear challenges, whether constitutional or otherwise, to the validity of this section or any written policy directive, written policy guideline, written procedure, or the implementation thereof.” The right of judicial review for illegal immigrants about to be deported has proved controversial. In 2022, a Louisiana federal judge blocked the Biden administration from ending Title 42, a pandemic-related border restriction that allows for the immediate expulsion of asylum-seekers and other migrants. Reacting to the latest provisions in the border security bill, conservative writer and self-style “deportation scientist” Mike Howell wrote on X that the bill “puts far left DC district court in charge.” Lawyer and author, Kurt Schlichter, wrote: “This is amazing” on X in response to the provision.

President Joe Biden’s administration secured a significant win over Texas Governor Greg Abbott in late January after the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to allow the temporary removal of razor wire installed by Texas along the southern border. The removal will remain place while litigation over the issue proceeds. The decision sparked anger among Republicans who support the measures taken by Abbott and his administration to fight illegal immigration in the state. Tensions over the measures escalated as the federal government raised environmental and humanitarian concerns about the deterrent. The Texas governor, an outspoken critic of Biden over immigration issues, has vowed that the fight “is not over” and called the razor wire “an effective deterrent” in a post on X, formerly Twitter, despite the legal blow. He also issued a statement declaring Texas’ “right to self-defense.”

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“As the lead Democrat negotiator proclaimed: Under this legislation, ‘the border never closes..'”

Speaker Johnson: New Supplemental Funding Bill Even Worse Than Expected (Sp.)

US House Speaker Mike Johnson said Sunday that the proposed $118 billion supplemental funding bill with aid for Ukraine and Israel, as well as border security and national security measures, “is even worse than expected” and “will be dead on arrival.”Earlier on Sunday, the Senate, after weeks of negotiations with the White House, released the $118 billion national security supplemental bill that includes some $60 billion in additional aid for Ukraine, $14 billion for Israel, and about $20 billion for border security, among other priorities.

The proposed legislation would also immediately deport migrants who enter the US illegally, further restrict asylum eligibility, provide $650 million to build more border wall, and require a shutdown of the border to illegal migrants when illegal crossings exceed an average of 5,000 a week. “I’ve seen enough. This bill is even worse than we expected, and won’t come close to ending the border catastrophe the President has created. As the lead Democrat negotiator proclaimed: Under this legislation, ‘the border never closes,'” Johnson said on X (formerly Twitter), adding that the bill “will be dead on arrival” if it reaches the House.

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“Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), who struck the deal, even suggested he might vote against moving forward if his colleagues weren’t ready to move..”

Senate’s Border Deal Teeters On Brink Of Collapse (Pol.)

The Senate’s bipartisan border and foreign aid deal is already close to failure, with Republicans preparing to block debate on the bill this week — and potentially for longer than that. The President Joe Biden-backed agreement is getting pummeled from the left and right, but it’s internal GOP angst that’s fueling the likelihood of a filibuster during an expected test vote on Wednesday. After Senate Republicans met for 90 minutes on Monday night to discuss the border deal that a trio of senators forged over the past four months, few of them emerged willing to say they would vote to advance the $118 billion package. Several members of GOP leadership came out against the legislation in the past 24 hours, further boxing in Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The Kentucky Republican, who supports the agreement linking border policy changes with aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, called Monday’s meeting an “interesting discussion.”

Inside the room, McConnell told Republicans that if they didn’t like the direction that the bill is going, they should vote against moving forward this week, according to two people briefed on the meeting who were granted anonymity to speak candidly. According to two attendees, McConnell did not forcefully whip for or against the bill. He instead discussed the specific policies and politics of the legislation, which is opposed by Speaker Mike Johnson and former President Donald Trump. Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), who struck the deal, even suggested he might vote against moving forward if his colleagues weren’t ready to move. “That’s not voting against the bill,” Lankford said of voting to filibuster the bill from coming to the floor. “So that’s not the final passage. That’s the beginning point.”

It’s a stunning turnabout from just a few months ago, when Republicans demanded border security policy changes to pair with $60 billion in Ukraine aid requested by Biden. Now Republican support for the legislation is vanishingly hard to find, with just a handful of GOP senators in support. Even moderate Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said she was unsure if she would vote to advance the bill. Lankford added that he’s not sure how much time members will actually want to evaluate the proposal — if that timeline goes beyond Wednesday. Many Senate Republicans want an open amendment process that could drag out debate indefinitely, if leadership allows it.

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“The southern border in 2024 is, constitutionally, suffering no more an “invasion” than the Capitol riot in 2021 was an “insurrection.” There is a difference between the colloquial and constitutional meaning of such terms.”

The Supreme Court Laid the Seeds for the Immigration Crisis (Turley)

The upcoming impeachment vote on Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has caused a deep rift even among his critics, including some Republican members of Congress. Many view Mayorkas as an unmitigated disaster as Homeland secretary. The massive numbers of migrants crossing the border has become a growing economic and security threat to the entire nation. I have previously expressed my disagreement with the two articles of impeachment, which present their own inherent dangers to the underlying constitutional standards. But whatever happens in the House, the real crisis is not the employment status of Mayorkas. It is what brought the House to seriously consider this extreme remedy in the first place. The seeds of this disaster were planted by the Supreme Court over a decade ago, in Arizona v. U.S., if not earlier.

In that case, a 5-3 majority ruled against a state seeking to enforce immigration laws in light of what it described as a vacuum of federal action. The court declared that the states were preempted or barred from taking such action. While giving the state a small victory in allowing state officers to investigate the immigration status of a suspect with reasonable suspicion, it left little room for independent state action in the area.Despite President Obama’s orders giving some migrants effective immunity from enforcement (such as the youths that came to be known as “DREAMers”), he actually deported a significant number of illegal migrants. At the time, many of us asked where the line would be drawn in the future, often raising the hypothetical of a president who abandons enforcement entirely or to a large extent.

It took a decade, but that hypothetical seems dangerously close to reality. Mayorkas is carrying out the policies of President Biden, who continues to praise his work and the worst record of enforcement in history. One of the first things that Biden did when coming into office was to seek to shut down policies and construction used to deter unlawful migration. At the same time, both Biden and Mayorkas were widely viewed as supportive of those crossing the border as many Democratic cities declared themselves sanctuaries for undocumented migrants pursued by ICE. Now, even some Democrats are now criticizing President Biden for his lax policies and the failure to do more in securing the border, as hundreds of thousands pour into the country. Most are promptly released, and many are not even asked to appear for eight years at an immigration proceeding.

For the states, desperate times call for desperate measures. For example, Texas recently declared that it was acting unilaterally under Article I, Section 10, Clause 3 of the Constitution. That provision reserves the right of self-defense for a state that is “actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay.” The current crisis is a practical invasion, overwhelming towns and cities across the country. No state faces a greater danger than Texas. However, “invasion” was clearly meant in the traditional sense of a foreign power or army. Similarly, “such imminent danger” was referencing “such” an invasion. The southern border in 2024 is, constitutionally, suffering no more an “invasion” than the Capitol riot in 2021 was an “insurrection.” There is a difference between the colloquial and constitutional meaning of such terms.

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“He said the two countries were “fuelling chaos, disorder, insecurity and instability” by supporting Israel in its war in Gaza..”

Jake Sullivan Refuses To Rule Out Attacks On Iranian Soil (MEE)

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has refused to rule out air strikes on Iranian soil in the wake of a barrage of attacks on Iran-linked groups across the Middle East. Speaking to NBC News on Sunday, Sullivan was repeatedly asked if the US was considering attacks on Iran. “Well, sitting here today on a national news programme, I’m not going to get into what we’ve ruled in and ruled out from the point of view of military action,” he said. “What I will say is that the president is determined to respond forcefully to attacks on our people. The president also is not looking for a wider war in the Middle East.” Pressed again on the question, he continued to avoid a direct answer. “I’m not going to get into what’s on the table and off the table,” he said, before adding the strikes were “the beginning, not the end” of Washington’s response.

The US, along with the UK, launched strikes on Yemen’s Houthis overnight, hitting dozens of targets, just a day after they hit a number of Iran-linked groups in Syria and Iran. Speaking to reporters on Sunday, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak claimed the strikes on Houthi targets were in self-defence, adding he would not “hesitate to protect British lives.””Since the last set of strikes, we have seen the Houthis continue to attack shipping in the Red Sea,” Sunak said during a visit to Northern Ireland. “That is obviously unacceptable. It is illegal. It puts innocent people’s lives at risk and it has economic consequences. It includes attacks, by the way, on British-linked vessels. And that is why we have acted again in self-defence, in a proportionate way, and together with our allies.

“I have been clear that I won’t hesitate to protect British lives, British interests, and our diplomatic efforts are focused on bringing de-escalation and stability back to the region.” Iran-aligned groups have launched more than 160 rocket and drone strikes against US troops in Iraq and Syria since mid-October following the 7 October attacks on southern Israel and Israel’s decision to go to war on Gaza. Meanwhile, the Houthis, have mounted dozens of attacks against merchant ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, severely disrupting traffic through one of the world’s most important maritime trade routes. The Houthis have promised to continue disrupting Red Sea traffic until Israel stops its attacks on the residents of Gaza and allows humanitarian aid and basic supplies to enter the besieged enclave.

A Houthi military spokesperson said on Sunday that the rebel group, also known as Ansarullah, would not be deterred, adding that the strikes on Yemen would “not pass without a response and consequences.” Iran on Sunday warned that the strikes across the region appeared to “contradict” the stated desire by the leaders of the US and UK that the fighting in Gaza not expand into a regional war. Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman, Nasser Kanani, said in a statement that the attacks were “in clear contradiction with the repeated claims of Washington and London that they do not want the expansion of war and conflict in the region”. He said the two countries were “fuelling chaos, disorder, insecurity and instability” by supporting Israel in its war in Gaza, which has so far left at least 27,365 people dead, according to the health ministry in Gaza.

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“..the countries supporting “Israel” are obligated to cut off supplies to it “from the moment the state becomes aware of the existence of a serious risk of committing genocide.”

Nicaragua Taking Germany, Canada, UK, Netherlands To ICJ For Genocide (AlM)

The Nicaraguan government started Monday proceedings to take Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Canada to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for their complicity in the genocide against the Palestinian people in Gaza by providing the Israeli occupation with the weapons and means to carry out the horrendous act. The executive authority in Nicaragua published an official statement in which it revealed that it warned the governments of said Western powers that they might be jointly complicit in the “flagrant and systemic violations” of the Convention on Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and international humanitarian law in the Gaza Strip. In its note verbal, Nicaragua urged the four states to immediately cease the provision of arms, munitions, and technologies to “Israel” because it might use them to facilitate or commit violations of the Genocide Convention in Gaza.

The memorandum underlined that the countries supporting “Israel” are obligated to cut off supplies to it “from the moment the state becomes aware of the existence of a serious risk of committing genocide.”This has been achieved, the memorandum adds, since “the International Court of Justice issued, on January 26, a preliminary ruling in which it considered it reasonable that the Genocide Convention had been violated by Israel in Gaza.” The court recognized the right of Palestinians in Gaza to be protected from acts of genocide, adding that the Palestinians are a protected group under the Genocide Convention.The Court ordered “Israel” to take all measures to prevent genocide acts in Gaza, ensure its forces do not commit genocide, and take measures to improve the humanitarian situation.

“Israel” is required to submit a report to the court within a month, detailing its actions to comply with the order. Furthermore, it must implement measures to prevent and punish direct incitement of genocide in the context of its war on Gaza. South Africa hailed temporary measures issued by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the genocide lawsuit against “Israel” at the Hague, describing them as a “decisive victory” for the international legal system. A French left-wing legislator praised the temporary measures, describing the verdict as “historic”, noting that it “clearly established the risk of genocide in the Gaza Strip.”

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All they need to do is cast a doubt. There is nothing to replace the UNRWA.

UN To Probe UNRWA For ‘Neutrality’ (RT)

The United Nations has said it will investigate its own agency for Palestinian refugees to ensure “neutrality” following allegations by Israel that at least 12 UN staffers assisted in the Hamas-led terrorist attack of October 7. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres announced the move in a statement on Monday, saying he had established an “independent review group” to probe “allegations of serious breaches” at the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The UN chief said the probe would seek to “identify the mechanisms and procedures that the Agency currently has in place to ensure neutrality and to respond to allegations or information indicating that the principle may have been breached.”

Though Guterres stopped short of outlining the alleged breaches, Israeli officials have repeatedly accused 12 UNRWA workers of involvement in last year’s Hamas cross-border raid, which killed around 1,200 people in Israel and saw more than 200 taken hostage by Palestinian militants. Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz later hailed the decision, saying “We will submit all evidence highlighting UNRWA’s ties to terrorism and its harmful effects on regional stability.” Guterres previously acknowledged that nine of the 12 UN staffers allegedly linked to Hamas had been fired, while two remained unidentified and another had since been killed. Though the Israeli allegations have yet to be independently confirmed, more than a dozen countries have already opted to sever funding to the refugee agency, including the United States, Sweden, Britain and Germany.

Last week, a spokesman for the US State Department said that $300,000 set aside for UNRWA would be withheld pending the results of the investigation. Around $121 million had already been distributed to the agency since October 1, as Washington typically devotes up to $400 million to the office each year. While the review panel will focus on UNRWA’s “neutrality,” Guterres noted that a separate investigation into Israel’s charges would continue under the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services. He also went on to stress the agency’s critical role in Gaza, saying that more than 2 million people “depend on it for their survival amidst one of the largest and most complex humanitarian crises in the world.”

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I haven’t seen this confirmed anywhere else.

Zaluzhny Agrees To Be Ukraine’s Ambassador To UK – Lawmaker (TASS)

Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhny has reportedly agreed to be Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom and will leave Ukraine within days, lawmaker Yevgeny Shevchenko said. “I would like to say that according to my sources, Zaluzhny has agreed to be the ambassador to Great Britain. He is highly likely to go there and we know that those who leave the country as ambassadors are political retirees. None of them has ever returned to their former positions, this is Ukraine’s tradition. I hate to disappoint any Zaluzhny fans,” he said in an interview with Vadim Karasev, director of Ukraine’s Institute of Global Strategies. According to the lawmaker, if Zaluzhny opts to stay in Ukraine he has every opportunity to achieve great things in politics after resigning. “If he opts to be ambassador, he is not a politician any longer, 100% If he stays in Ukraine and begins to build a political career, he has good prospects, very good prospects,” Shevchenko said, adding that Zaluzhny’s resignation could be expected on February 8 or somewhere around there.

On Sunday, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said in an interview with Italy’s RAI television channel that he was looking at reshuffling the defense ministry. Reports about Zaluzhny’s potential dismissal appeared in the Ukrainian mass media and on social networks on January 29, when Zelensky allegedly suggested that Zaluzhny step down voluntarily. According to former lawmaker Borislav Bereza, Zaluzhny was offered a post as Ukraine’s ambassador to a European country, but turned this offer down. Ukraine’s media and social networks continue speculating about Zaluzhny’s future. Some say that his resignation stems from the failure of Ukraine’s “counteroffensive” in the summer of 2023 and Zaluzhny’s political ambitions. A number of foreign media outlets confirmed reports about Zaluzhny’s dismissal, citing their own sources.

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“Encroachment on someone else’s property undermines the foundations of the entire economic system..”

Kremlin Warns West Against ‘Deeply Illegal’ Asset Seizure (RT)

Anyone who seizes Russian assets will face long-lasting consequences, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned on Monday. His comments came after the Financial Times reported that G7 nations are considering using frozen Russian funds as collateral to finance Ukraine. In an article published on Saturday, the newspaper claimed the Belgian government has proposed a plan under which Western governments would raise debt to finance the Ukrainian government, and then demand that Russia repay that debt. If Moscow failed to do so, the G7 would then seize frozen Russian assets being held in Europe and the US. The plan is seen as a way to circumvent the legal issue of confiscating Russian assets, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told the outlet. The idea is reportedly now the “leading option” to unlock frozen Russian funds and send them to Ukraine. However, none of the countries in question has officially confirmed any such plans.

Commenting on the reported proposal, Peskov said it would be “deeply illegal” and stressed that Russia will defend its interests. “There will be very, very long – for many decades – judicial prospects both for those who make these decisions and for those who implement them,” the spokesman warned. “Encroachment on someone else’s property undermines the foundations of the entire economic system,” Peskov added. At the same time, the presidential spokesperson insisted on waiting for official statements on the FT’s claims, noting that “even the most serious publications, unfortunately, make many mistakes.” Shortly after Moscow launched its military operation against Ukraine, the US and its allies froze an estimated $300 billion of Russian central bank assets, most of which are being held in Europe.

Since then, Kiev and its Western allies have floated the idea of seizing the assets and using them to fund the Ukrainian government. However, financial experts have warned that any such move could seriously damage the reputation of Western economic institutions and the euro’s standing as a global reserve currency, and would drive away foreign investors. Nevertheless, Brussels announced last week that EU member states had reached an agreement to transfer the income generated by Russia’s funds to Kiev without touching the assets themselves. Moscow, meanwhile, has repeatedly warned that any actions related to its assets by the US and its allies would amount to “theft” and would violate international law. The Kremlin has also cautioned that any seizures would trigger a tit-for-tat response from Russia.

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“..liable to inform Americans that their own political leadership is a party of mental illness..”

Brace for Impact (Kunstler)

“Joe Biden’s” victory dance in South Carolina — down on the ol’ Democratic Party Plantation, where they grows votes — didn’t last long. By Sunday, a rogue satellite named Tucker Carlson was spotted orbiting over Russia, Russia, Russia, a country you have to say three times so that people get how serious it is. Carlson threatens to actually sit down in the same room with Putin, Putin, Putin — the antithesis of “Joe Biden,” since Putin actually operates as head-of-state — and convey Mr. P’s thoughts and opinions to the citizens of America via the rascally social media platform called “X.” Do you realize the danger of exposing Americans to what this Putin might say? Hearing him express his thoughts about the world situation in a leisurely format — which Putin does regularly among his own people (I’ve seen him do it!) — is liable to inform Americans that their own political leadership is a party of mental illness.

Even without this new provocation of a Carlson / Putin colloquy, folks in the land of the free and the home of the brave have begun to grok just how insane things have gone under “Joe Biden” blobism. And that darn conversation comes just egg-zackly at the moment when our Senate is attempting to package a bill tying a $60-billion taxpayer gift to Ukraine with a “border security” law that will forbid more than 8,500 foreigners on any given day to enter the USA illegally. Sweet deal, huh? Er. . . maybe not. On the House side of Congress, Speaker Mike Johnson says, “No way, José.”

So, do you really want to chance this Putin guy actually explaining calmly and clearly to folks here how our own State Department cooked up this war in Ukraine, and keeps it going month after month? Figures such as the ex-conservative Bill Kristol (now blob cheerleader), want to prevent the Tucker Carlson satellite from re-entering the USA after its Moscow visit. Mr. Kristol is apparently under the illusion that we are at war with Russia. Somebody please inform him that this is just not so. Strictly speaking, Russia is just another European nation that Americans can visit on a visa. That’s a fact, Jack. And if you happen to be there, and you’re a journalist, and Putin, Putin, Putin agrees to an interview, well. . . you sit down and talk to the guy. . . and record it. . . and let people around the world decide what to think about it.

I don’t know about you, but that sounds a little. . . I dunno. . . fascist-y to me. Which is the dirty secret of the Party of Mental Illness that folks in the USA are beginning to grok. All their blather about “our democracy” is a smokescreen for the lust to shutdown free speech at all costs and push everybody around. It will be interesting to see who shows up at the jetway when Mr. Carlson actually does land back in America. The FBI, you think? With a set of leg-irons (like they did with Peter Navarro)? Mr. Putin might also explain how immigration works in Russia, Russia, Russia, where you have to fill out an application, explain who you are, and be evaluated as worthy to enter. Not everybody makes the grade. But, surprise, surprise, surprise, not everybody seeks to enter a country with good intentions. Can you imagine that? The Party of Mental illness in America does not believe that anyone can have less than good intentions. At least that’s what they pretend (because they are mentally ill). So, anyone at all can drift across the Mexican border into the USA. They call that “diversity and inclusion.” It’s a thought problem.

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Hillary’s counsel.

Trump Facing ‘Long’ Prison Sentence – DNC Lawyer Marc Elias (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump could be sent to prison “for a long time” when a verdict is delivered in his upcoming trial over alleged mishandling of sensitive government documents, an attorney linked to the US Democrats has warned.Last June, Trump was charged with 37 felony counts amid claims that he illegally retained highly sensitive national security information at his South Florida residence. These included top-secret details of Washington’s nuclear capabilities and its strategies in the event of an attack on the US or its allies. Prosecutors, led by Special Counsel Jack Smith, claim that Trump rejected requests by federal officials to return the documents – some of which were stored in publicly accessible locations in Mar-a-Lago, including in an unsecured bathroom.

Trump has denied all allegations of wrongdoing and has pleaded not guilty to the charges. “People forget how damaging the evidence is in that Florida case,” Marc Elias, who represented the Democratic National Committee (DNC) between 2009 and 2023, said on MSNBC’s The Weekend on Sunday.“It is literally about a former president of the United States stealing highly classified sensitive documents from the United States government, treating them cavalierly, showing them to people, storing them willy-nilly.” Elias said that the evidence, when it is delivered in the trial in over three months’ time, could be “devastating to him politically, adding that “it puts him in real prospect of going to prison for a long time.”

The indictment marked the first time that a former US president faced criminal charges from a federal government he once led. Trump received another federal indictment in August 2023 over his alleged attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 US presidential election.He also faces separate charges over allegations of falsifying business records in New York, and for a conspiracy to undermine election results in the US state of Georgia.Trump, who is the clear frontrunner to claim the Republican nomination to challenge likely Democratic candidate Joe Biden in November’s election. In a head-to-head poll published by NBC News on Sunday, Trump beat Biden by five points, 47%-42%. However, the same poll found that in the event that Trump is convicted of a felony Biden would lead by 45%-43%.

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“..Bragg and his office almost daily “move to dismiss significantly more serious counts or entire indictments” and avoid harsher penalties for far more violent and convicted felons..”

Judge Dismisses Alvin Bragg’s Felony Case Against Vax Card Forgers (PM)

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg attempted to charge two New York residents with felonies for having false vaccine passports while he has let off others charged with far worse crimes scot-free. New York State Supreme Court Justice Brendan T. Lantry dismissed the felony charges against the residents, identified as J.O. and R.V. in the decision, who had bought the forged vax passports, usurping Bragg’s decision. The judge said the two were among 16 others that Bragg had “cherry-picked” to prosecute, according to the case. Lantry slammed Bragg in the decision decided at the New York Supreme Court on Jan. 30. The judge wrote in the opinion, “Clearly, Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree (Penal Law § 170.25) is not among the most serious crimes in the New York Penal Law, nor are the factual allegations against Defendants R.V. and J.O. particularly serious in nature.”

“Moreover, the factual allegations — that the Defendants purchased fake COVID-19 vaccination cards so that they could provide same to their employer (R.V.) and school (J.O.) — do not rise to the level of the majority of the crimes adjudicated in Supreme Court, New York County, namely homicide, sexual assault, drug sale, robbery, burglary, and other violent and non-violent serious felony offenses,” Lantry continued. The judge expanded on the decision that Bragg and his office almost daily “move to dismiss significantly more serious counts or entire indictments” and avoid harsher penalties for far more violent and convicted felons. Bragg also recently allowed a group of all but a single illegal immigrant to be released without bail after they allegedly beat up two NYPD officers. He later defended this saying that the video evidence was not enough to hold the foreign nationals. NYC government officials, including Bragg, have faced increasing scrutiny over the government’s lackluster effort to control crime in the city as well as the high influx of illegal immigrants.

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“If Putin or Xi just gave one little push the West would collapse like a house of cards.”

The Overthrow of Men (Paul Craig Roberts)

In my lifetime I have watched the complete overthrow of American men. The only role that they have left is to be a hate object for feminists. I think the overthrow was initiated with the 1964 Civil Rights Act as implemented, contrary to the statutory language in the law, by the EEOC bureaucracy. Congress explicitly prohibited racial quotas, but the EEOC under the leadership of Alfred Blumrosen put in place a regulatory system that, at first, under the name of “affirmative action” gave racial preference to blacks in university admissions, hiring, and promotion. Soon after the preferences were extended to women, and later to the handicapped and now to sexual perverts. The consequence of Alfred Blumrosen is that white heterosexual males are second class citizens in law. They have been denied for a half century the 14th Amendment’s protection of equality under the law. Initially, the impact was limited, but as time passed more and more American men were held back in order to advance those with racial and gender preferences.

Feminists went on and on about a “glass ceiling,” and American men, weakened by their demonization, invited them on boards and into executive offices. This has gone on for so many decades that today a male CEO or University president is an endangered species, as exemplified by the recent controversy over Ivy League students’ protests against Israel’s genocide of the Palestinians. The three Ivy League university presidents called before Congress to explain why they had allowed students to commit anti-semitism by protesting Israel’s massacre of Palestinians were all women, with the President of Harvard being a black woman with plagiarism problems. Today many corporate boards are more concerned about whether they have enough women and blacks than they are with profits and the corporation’s future. Having pushed men aside, they started on boys. Boys could no longer be Boy Scouts. They had to take in girls or it was ruled discrimination against females.

But Girl Scouts didn’t have to take in boys. Boy’s Little League baseball had to take in girls or it was discrimination. Next school playground fights between a bully and one not content to be bullied, were no longer left to completion by the playground monitor–standing up for yourself was regarded as part of growing up. Today the police are called, and what was normal in my day has been criminalized. Boys cannot even play cops and robbers or cowboys and Indians without severe punishment. If a 6 year old points his finger and says bang-bang, the cops are called, and parents are told that their son is a sociopath who is dangerous to his classmates. When was the last men’s club extinguished for discrimination? When was the last men’s college extinguished? I went to three–Georgia Tech, the University of Virginia, Merton College, Oxford University. They are now sexually integrated, and their character is lost. Merton College now has female wardens (presidents).

Once the alumni from the past are dead, no one will have a memory of a men’s space. It will become a mythology like a unicorn. When boys don’t want to be boys: What is proof of men’s demise is that today in America boys find themselves so demonized as misogynist and racists and treated as society’s problems that some would rather be girls than boys and, often with their mother’s urging, subject themselves to chemical castration and breast implants. No male in the past could possibly have preferred to be a girl than a boy. The question for feminists who have aided and abetted the overthrow of the American male is: who is going to protect you as the society you helped to destroy comes crashing down on your heads?

The delegitimizing of the white heterosexual male is the same throughout the remnants of Western civilization. In Sweden there are reports that white Swedish men stand aside while immigrant-invaders rape Swedish women in public, because if they interfere they might be arrested for a hate crime. The British government, which is no longer British, has a tradition of protecting immigrant-invaders against the British people instead of protecting the British people against immigrant-invaders. What is happening conflicts with the protective mentality of white men. But they are prohibited from providing the protection. The Western World is devoid of maleness. Even the West’s war ministers are women. A couple of years ago I posted photographs of NATO’s European war ministers and Shoigu. If memory serves, every European war minister was female. If Putin or Xi just gave one little push the West would collapse like a house of cards.

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“..they will now see Putin as not only a human being, but also a very intelligent leader that is actually doing what’s best for his people. And that is everything that the American public wants.”

US Panicking Tucker Carlson Will Continue Objective Reporting in Russia (Sp.)

Maverick US journalist Tucker Carlson has raised eyebrows after being spotted in Moscow this week, with observers speculating Carlson has arrived to interview Russian President Vladimir Putin. The popular American commentator has so far remained coy about the reasons for his visit, but he has expressed his willingness to speak with Putin in the past, allegedly making him the target of surveillance from US intelligence agencies. As Russiagaters melt down over the prospect Carlson will undermine US regime propaganda by practicing real journalism, geopolitical analyst and journalist Fiorella Isabel joined Sputnik’s The Critical Hour program Monday to discuss the situation. “The fact that this targeting [of Carlson] is happening in the way it is happening now signifies a fear from the United States,” said Isabel.

“They are fearful of a conversation that somebody like Tucker Carlson and Vladimir Putin could have because Tucker Carlson did leave Fox [News]. And since he did leave Fox, so much has happened in the world where, as you all were talking about before, there are major escalations, not only in the Asia-Pacific region, but also obviously with Iran via Israel-Palestine and via, of course, Ukraine.” “The United States is involved in every single one of these conflicts,” noted the journalist. “And I think that the aim is to really show what Moscow is like, what the Russian people are like, and give a different perspective.” Isabel speculated Carlson was indeed likely to speak with Putin while in Moscow, adding “I don’t think he would come for anything less.”

She also noted that Carlson has previously spoken with other leaders sometimes considered controversial in the United States, such as Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. “What we’re looking at here is that the United States and their proxies are clearly afraid of the response that such a popular figure like Tucker Carlson might have with an audience, in response to Vladimir Putin, who we have been told is this boogeyman and he is evil, and there is no redeeming quality to him,” said Isabel. “But based on Putin’s speeches and the things he says that many Western audiences don’t get to hear, that will drastically change, I think, a lot of people, or at least impact them in a way, in a time where we’re on the brink of a catastrophic nuclear event I think,” she added.

Tucker CNN

“I don’t think that’s an exaggeration. So I think that’s why at this pivotal moment, the powers that be are extremely afraid of this interview, to the point where they’re saying that they’re going to go after Tucker Carlson in a legal way for simply being here and trying to attempt to do journalism.” “They have gone so far off from what journalism was supposed to be that they don’t recognize that this is actually what you’re supposed to do, talk to adversarial figures or people that you may disagree with,” noted the analyst. Host Garland Nixon noted that demonization of foreign leaders is a traditional tactic of US propaganda as Americans are conditioned to revile figures like President Bashar al-Assad in Syria or President Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela. The “danger” of Carlson’s interview, he noted, is that Putin would be humanized before an American audience.

Co-host Wilmer Leon agreed, arguing that Americans would see that Putin is not “crazy,” “unhinged,” or “evil.” Isabel noted that Putin has made highly subversive arguments for American audiences, questioning the fairness of US elections and noting that US foreign policy generally remains unchanged as new presidents enter the White House. “So I think, when Americans would view or hear somebody like Vladimir Putin, especially Americans that haven’t actually gotten a chance to listen to any of his speeches, they will be perhaps blown away in the sense that they will [say], ‘wow, this guy makes a lot of sense. And he just simply is saying what’s on our minds,’” said Isabel. “And I think that fear is what the West would fear, because they will now see Putin as not only a human being, but also a very intelligent leader that is actually doing what’s best for his people. And that is everything that the American public wants.”

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Gecko
https://twitter.com/i/status/1754751777927258324

 

 

Ardennes

 

 

Russia prop

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 042024
 
 February 4, 2024  Posted by at 9:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  36 Responses »


Jules Bastien-LePage The annunciation to the shepherds 1875

 

RFK Jr Slams American Attacks On Syria and Iraq (RT)
Israel vs. Hezbollah: A New War Will Consume The Entire Middle East (Sadygzade)
Biden’s Justification For Hitting Iran Puts NATO Troops in Danger (Sp.)
US House To Vote On Israel-only Aid Bill – Speaker (RT)
Staffers Speaking Out Shows How ‘Morally Bankrupt’ Biden Admin Has Grown (Sp.)
The Silence of the Damned (Chris Hedges)
Tucker Carlson Spotted In Moscow (RT)
Good Money After Bad: Where Will EU Funds for Ukraine Come From? (Sp.)
Ukraine Coerces Mass-Conscripts Unfit for Military Service – PoW (Sp.)
Is Zaluzhny Getting Ready to Take Down Zelensky? (Scott Ritter)
Taiwan Helping To Arm Moscow – WaPo (RT)
Florida Sends Troops To Stop Migrant ‘Invasion’ (RT)
Germany’s Economy Is Dying. Here’s Why And What Happens Next (RM)
F-35 Jet Fails to Meet Basic Operating Standards in 65 Areas (Sp.)
India Vows To Tackle Population Growth Challenges (RT)
It’s Not ‘Inflation’ – We’re Just Getting Ripped Off. Here’s Proof. (OW)
Imran Khan Sentenced To Third Prison Term In A Week (RT)

 

 


Paris, February 3 2024

 

 

Macron/Farmers

 

 

 

 

Putin

 

 

Elon Musk: Biden’s strategy is very simple: 1. Get as many illegals in the country as possible. 2. Legalize them to create a permanent majority – a one-party state. That is why they are encouraging so much illegal immigration. Simple, yet effective.

Most people in America don’t know that the census is based on a simple headcount of people (including illegals) *not* just citizens. This shifts political power and money to states and Congressional districts with the highest number of illegals.

 

 

JK Rowling

 

 

 

 

“If we ‘do not seek conflict,’ then let’s get the troops out of there..” [..] “They are not welcome. They are not needed..”

RFK Jr Slams American Attacks On Syria and Iraq (RT)

The US should withdraw its ground troops from Middle Eastern countries that do not welcome them, independent candidate for US president Robert F. Kennedy Jr has said.He said the escalation could have been avoided, reacting in an X (formerly Twitter) post to Washington’s attack on more than 80 targets allegedly linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) in Iraq and Syria in a wide-ranging air assault. US Central Command says it hit 85 Iranian-linked targets in Syria and Iraq in retaliation against the recent “Iran-affiliated” fighters’ attack that killed three US servicemen in Jordan. President Joe Biden’s X post read that the US does not “seek conflict in the Middle East or anywhere else in the world. But to all those who seek to do us harm: We will respond,” despite Iran denying involvement in the incident.

“If we ‘do not seek conflict,’ then let’s get the troops out of there,” Kennedy said, apparently reacting to Biden’s statement. “They are not welcome. They are not needed,” he added. Kennedy claimed that the current escalation would not have been necessary if Washington hadn’t put its military “in the crosshairs” of Shiite militias. He described the existence of these groups “as a legacy of our illegal war in Iraq.” He recalled that both Iraq and Syria had asked the US troops to leave their territory while Iran would not tolerate America’s military presence on its borders.

Besides pulling US troops “out of the Mideast,” Kennedy urged Washington to forge ties with regional powers instead. The presidential candidate also described the troop presence in the area as “indefensible targets for anyone in the region who wants to provoke a conflict.”Iraq has rebuked the US over the airstrikes, saying they constitute “a violation of Iraqi sovereignty” and “pose a threat that could lead Iraq and the region into dire consequences. The Syrian military, as quoted by SANA news agency, denounced the raid as “the aggression of the American occupation forces.”

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“If a temporary reduction in the intensity of the fighting in Gaza is achieved, the controversy within Israel surrounding the current Netanyahu government will escalate. Obviously, the end of the conflict would also lead to the end of the prime minister’s political career and those of other prominent figures.”

Israel vs. Hezbollah: A New War Will Consume The Entire Middle East (Sadygzade)

Since the first days of the current escalation, Israeli tensions with Hezbollah have increased. And thoughts of launching military action to the north were in the minds of the Jewish state’s political and military establishment as early as late October. For example, The Wall Street Journal, citing sources, reported that on October 11 US President Joe Biden persuaded Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to launch a preemptive strike against Hezbollah because of the risk of a major war in the region. On that day, Israeli intelligence received information about Hezbollah’s intention to invade Israel from several directions, and Israeli fighter jets were already in the air, waiting for orders to attack the group’s facilities in Lebanon. It took about six hours of negotiations and meetings for Israeli officials to back down, WSJ sources said. The situation on the border between Israel and Hezbollah remains tense, and the possibility of a full-scale conflict is real.

This was confirmed by Israeli media, citing remarks by National Security Council head Tzachi Hanegbi at a closed session of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on January 17. Hanegbi also provided interesting details regarding Hamas. According to the official, Hamas’ leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, has taken a harder line during negotiations for the exchange of hostages, which will likely draw out the process of returning the 117 people still held captive since the October attacks on Israel. In his remarks, Hanegbi emphasized that the physical elimination of Sinwar is still a pressing goal for Israeli security forces. However, neither Hanegbi nor other Israeli figures have offered concrete solutions for a long-term arrangement in Gaza. This is worrisome, as the WSJ notes, citing its White House sources. The newspaper claims that efforts to convince Netanyahu to agree to an end-of-conflict option that includes handing over control of Gaza to the Palestinian National Authority have failed.

Instead, Israel intends to carry out a prolonged operation against Hamas. However, recently negotiators from Israel, the US, Egypt and Qatar met in Paris and agreed on the basics of a new deal aimed at releasing the hostages. This was reported by NBC News on January 29. The plan envisions the gradual release of captives, starting with women and children. For its part, Israel will offer limited pauses in hostilities and the admission of humanitarian aid, as well as the release of Palestinian prisoners. The plan has been sent to representatives of Hamas. If a temporary reduction in the intensity of the fighting in Gaza is achieved, the controversy within Israel surrounding the current Netanyahu government will escalate. Obviously, the end of the conflict would also lead to the end of the prime minister’s political career and those of other prominent figures.

Even Washington, Israel’s most important ally, has delivered repeated messaging that Netanyahu must go. No one wants a major war in the region. Hezbollah, which is closely allied with Iran, also does not want tensions to escalate into open warfare. This is demonstrated by its restraint, both in statements by top officials and in attacks on Israeli forces. But if Netanyahu does decide to launch an operation in southern Lebanon, the war will be long and bloody. Representatives of the “Axis of Resistance” led by Iran will lend support with even greater effort. Then the specter of war will become a reality and the Middle East will burst into flames, the consequences of which no one can assess or foresee.

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“..there’s no leadership [the US] left it up to Netanyahu. He’s the tail wagging the dog..”

Biden’s Justification For Hitting Iran Puts NATO Troops in Danger (Sp.)

On Friday, US President Joe Biden fulfilled his promise to strike Iranian targets in Syria and Iraq, further escalating the region even as the White House insists that it does not seek war with Iran. Michael Maloof, a former senior security policy analyst for the Office of the Secretary of Defense with nearly 30 years of experience, told Sputnik’s Fault Lines that the justification used by the White House could easily be applied by Russia to NATO countries supporting Ukraine. “You’re hearing from congressmen and senators saying ‘but we need to hit Iran for supplying the Houthis and Hamas and Hezbollah,” Maloof explained. “Well, does Russia then have a right to hit US and NATO allies, as a result of supplying weapons to Ukraine to battle Russians?” The United States has placed the blame on Iran for the Sunday drone attack that killed three US service members and injured dozens more on the border of Syria and Jordan.

While the US admits that it has no evidence Iran helped plan the attack, the Biden administration has been clear it blames Iran because the country allegedly funds those groups and other militants. “This afternoon, at my direction, U.S. military forces struck targets at facilities in Iraq and Syria that the IRGC and affiliated militia use to attack U.S. forces,” US President Joe Biden said in a statement released Friday by the White House. “I think that if Biden were to follow through, then that raises a whole new specter of opening up NATO countries to potential attack,” he continued, adding that the US is simply hoping Russian President Vladimir Putin “doesn’t follow through” with that justification. Maloof argued that the US should reevaluate the situation in the Middle East but it’s difficult because the US looks “at the Middle East through the prism of Israel all the time.”

“We’ve got to somehow figure a way out of it. Instead, we’re digging that hole deeper and even though there might be some attempts to try and persuade [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu to calm down and have a ceasefire and try to resolve things, it’s doing just the opposite. “The problem is that Biden has left the conduct of the war up to Netanyahu, and Netanyahu knows this and he’s basically dragging us along – we’re captives of Netanyahu,” Maloof explained. “You don’t have any, there’s no leadership [the US] left it up to Netanyahu. He’s the tail wagging the dog,” he added later. Maloof further argued that Israel has been getting the United States to do its dirty work for decades.

“We always hear Netanyahu wanting the United States involved, or us to bomb the sites… This is the way we’ve been conducting ourselves since… 2003 when we invaded Iraq.” Asked by Co-host Melik Abdul how the US should have responded to the attack, Maloof argued that the US should leave the region. “I think we shouldn’t even be in those locations. And I think we should have gotten out some time ago.”

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Biden will veto it. They want Ukraine on that bill.

US House To Vote On Israel-only Aid Bill – Speaker (RT)

The speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Mike Johnson, announced on Saturday that he would hold a vote on a “clean, standalone” aid package for Israel that will not entail any spending cuts. The newly proposed legislation is set to include $17.6 billion in additional military funding as well as “important funding for US forces in the region.” The initial $14.3 billion package, rejected by the Senate last year, included an equal amount in spending cuts to the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) and was therefore branded by Democrats as a “poison pill.” “Next week, we will take up and pass a clean, standalone Israel supplemental package,” he wrote in a letter to colleagues sent on Saturday afternoon. “The Senate will no longer have excuses, however misguided, against swift passage of this critical support for our ally.”

The announcement comes as the Senate prepares to vote on a long-anticipated national security supplemental requested by US President Joe Biden, which will include tougher US border controls paired with nearly $60 billion in aid to Ukraine, as well as more assistance to Israel and Taiwan. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Friday that he was preparing to release the legislation text “no later than Sunday” with the first procedural vote coming by midweek. However, Johnson previously criticized the impending deal, calling it “dead on arrival” in the lower chamber if the provisions are what they are rumored to be. The Senate leadership “is aware that by failing to include the House in their negotiations, they have eliminated the ability for swift consideration of any legislation,” Johnson wrote.

The White House previously indicated that it would oppose a stand-alone Israel aid bill, with John Kirby, the National Security Council’s coordinator for strategic communications, saying President Biden would veto it. While Washington is struggling to secure additional military funding for Ukraine, Brussels approved a €50 billion ($54 billion) aid package on Thursday, having reportedly pressured Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban into lifting his veto. Orban, who previously called Ukraine “one of the most corrupt countries in the world,” accused the “imperialist EU” of “blackmailing” him into accepting the deal.

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“The fact that people within the administration who are risking their jobs often to take these actions are speaking out, I think, is important and just shows a real shift in this country..”

Staffers Speaking Out Shows How ‘Morally Bankrupt’ Biden Admin Has Grown (Sp.)

On Thursday, the head of the US Agency for International Development, Samantha Power, who is a world-renowned scholar on genocide, was confronted during a public event over her complicity in the Biden administration’s support of Israel and its actions in Gaza. “You wrote a book on genocide and you’re still working for the administration: You should resign and speak out,” Agnieszka Skyes told US media after recently leaving her job at the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Dr. Margaret Flowers, the co-editor of Popular Resistance, told Sputnik’s The Critical Hour that the disconnect between the Biden administration and its employees shows how “morally bankrupt” the administration’s stance on Gaza has become.

“You have congressional staffers, hundreds of them, that called upon their bosses to support a ceasefire. You have White House staffers, executive office staffers protesting outside of the White House, calling on President [Joe] Biden to demand, you know, to push for a ceasefire,” Flowers summarized. “The fact that people within the administration who are risking their jobs often to take these actions are speaking out, I think, is important and just shows a real shift in this country and just how morally bankrupt this administration is for supporting genocide.” Co-host Garland Nixon noted that, particularly among the USAID employees, they have previously supported policies that “killed unmentionable thousands of people,” but this seems “too far” even for them.

“I think also [that] some of the people that go to work in these institutions don’t fully have a good political analysis of what it is that they’re actually working for,” Flowers responded. “We know that the the USAID, which has ‘AID’ in its name, is an institution that has really worked hand-in-hand with the CIA to undermine governments all around the world to, you know, put in place support for organizations, media, nonprofit groups within countries that are strictly there to destabilize the countries so that the United States can try to overthrow their governments.” “This is an overreach point. I think we’re seeing that in so many different areas, though, right now, the kind of overreach of the United States and its Western allies and the whole world is seeing it but it’s great that folks are seeing it here, too,” Flowers explained.

The shift, according to Flowers, comes because Israel’s actions in Gaza are on display for the entire world to see. “We know that … all of these main, mainstream corporate media outlets are really in place to defend the status quo, and they’ve been doing that. But at a certain point, when you have the rest of the media world publishing the truth about what’s happening and you have public opinion shifting, they can’t continue on that same line as strongly as they were, because they can’t save face by doing that when the rest of the world actually sees what’s going on,” Flowers argued. “This is a huge issue for people, whereas foreign policy has not typically been a strong factor that folks care about. Things have gone so far that people do now,” she added.

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“..Palestinians have been reduced to eating grass and drinking contaminated water…”

The Silence of the Damned (Chris Hedges)

There is no effective health care system left in Gaza. Infants are dying. Children are having their limbs amputated without anesthesia. Thousands of cancer patients and those in need of dialysis lack treatment. The last cancer hospital in Gaza has ceased functioning. An estimated 50,000 pregnant women have no safe place to give birth. They undergo cesarean sections without anesthesia. Miscarriage rates are up 300 percent since the Israeli assault began. The wounded bleed to death. There is no sanitation or clean water. Hospitals have been bombed and shelled. Nasser Hospital, one of the last functioning hospitals in Gaza, is “near collapse.” Clinics, along with ambulances – 79 in Gaza and over 212 in the West Bank – have been destroyed.

Some 400 doctors, nurses, medics and healthcare workers have been killed — more than the total of all healthcare workers killed in conflicts around the world combined since 2016. Over 100 more have been detained, interrogated, beaten and tortured, or disappeared by Israeli soldiers. Israeli soldiers routinely enter hospitals to carry out forced evacuations – on Wednesday troops entered al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis and demanded doctors and displaced Palestinians leave – as well as round up detainees, including the wounded, sick and medical staff. On Tuesday, disguised as hospital workers and civilians, Israeli soldiers entered Jenin’s Ibn Sina Hospital in the West Bank and assassinated three Palestinians as they slept.

The cuts to funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) — collective punishment for the alleged involvement in the Oct. 7 attack of 12 of its 13,000 UNRWA workers — will accelerate the horror, turning the attacks, starvation, lack of health care and spread of infectious diseases in Gaza into a tidal wave of death. The evidence-free charges, which include the accusation that 10 percent of all of UNRWA’s Gaza staff have ties to Islamist militant groups, appeared in the Wall Street Journal. The reporter, Carrie-Keller Lynn, served in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Given the numerous lies Israel has employed to justify its genocide, including “beheaded babies” and “mass rape,” it is reasonable to assume this may be another fabrication. The allegations, of which details remain scant, are apparently based on confessions by Palestinian detainees — most certainly after being beaten or tortured. These allegations were enough to see 17 countries including the U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, France, Australia and Japan cut or delay funding to the vital U.N. agency.

UNRWA is all that stands between the Palestinians in Gaza and famine. A handful of countries, including Ireland, Norway and Turkey, maintain their funding. Eight of the UNRWA employees accused of participating in the Oct. 7 attack in southern Israel, where 1,139 people were killed and 240 abducted, were fired. Two have been suspended. UNRWA has promised an investigation. They account for 0.04 percent of UNRWA’s staff. Israel is seeking to destroy not only Gaza’s health care system and infrastructure, but UNRWA which provides food and aid to 2 million Palestinians. The object is to make Gaza uninhabitable and ethnically cleanse the 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza. Hundreds of thousands are already starving. Over 70 percent of the housing has been destroyed. More than 26,700 people have been killed and over 65,600 have been injured. Thousands are missing. Some 90 percent of Gaza’s pre-war population has been displaced, with many living in the open. Palestinians have been reduced to eating grass and drinking contaminated water.

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If he can get Putin, that would be great.

“..the Russian leader would wait to sit down with any American journalist until the US population was no longer so “seriously stupefied by Russia-hating propaganda.”

Tucker Carlson Spotted In Moscow (RT)

American journalist Tucker Carlson has spent several days in Russia and even attended a ballet performance at the Bolshoi Theatre, Telegram channel Mash reported on Saturday, sharing several photos of the conservative commentator. Carlson allegedly touched down at Vnukovo airport on a Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul on Thursday after several hours’ delay, according to the channel. He was later spotted taking in the ballet Spartacus at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. The conservative commentator has yet to confirm the trip and it remains unclear what business he had in Russia. However, rumors of his intention to interview President Vladimir Putin have been circulating since last year.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov did not rule out the possibility of Carlson interviewing Putin when asked about it in September, though he explained that the Russian leader would wait to sit down with any American journalist until the US population was no longer so “seriously stupefied by Russia-hating propaganda.” Carlson himself told Swiss outlet Die Weltwoche that he had been prevented from setting up an interview with Putin by the White House. While he expressed dismay that he did not receive more support from his fellow journalists regarding his intention to sit down with the Russian president and questioned why Americans are “not allowed to hear” Putin’s voice, he declined to provide any further details regarding when the interview was supposed take place or how the presidential administration of Joe Biden intervened to stop it.

The former Fox News host claimed previous attempts to secure an interview with Putin had led to aggressive surveillance by the National Security Agency, alleging he was “unmasked” by the spooks and the contents of his emails were leaked to the media in 2021 in order to “paint [him] as a disloyal American” and force him off the cable news network. The NSA denied Carlson was an intelligence target and claimed it never sought to take him off the air.

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“..According to the European Council, the bloc has set up the so-called Ukraine Facility for the period 2024-2027 to “contribute to the recovery, reconstruction and modernization of the country..”

Good Money After Bad: Where Will EU Funds for Ukraine Come From? (Sp.)

European Union (EU) member states have agreed on a €50 billion ($54 billion) support package for Ukraine over four years, overcoming Hungary’s resistance. But where will the EU get that money? The EU could commandeer interest paid on frozen Russian assets to fund Ukraine during its war with Moscow. Europe’s economy is facing stagnation, with zero economic growth for October-to-December period reported by EU statistics agency Eurostat. The Eurozone inflation rate has yet to fall below the target two percent threshold, with consumer prices still remaining high. Against that backdrop EU member states are cutting subsidies, reducing energy consumption and diminishing industrial production. Protests by farmers have rocked the continent since early January. Nonetheless, Brussels has found €50 billion ($54 billion) to support the embattled Kiev regime for four more years. But where will this money come from?

According to the European Council, the bloc has set up the so-called Ukraine Facility for the period 2024-2027 to “contribute to the recovery, reconstruction and modernization of the country, foster social cohesion and progressive integration into the Union, with a view to possible future Union membership.” To that end the EC has allocated €50 billion, of which: • €33 billion ($35.9 billion) comes “in the form of loans guaranteed by extending until 2027 the existing EU budget guarantee, over and above the ceilings, for financial assistance to Ukraine available until the end of 2027,” the document sets out. • €17 billion ($18.5 billion) comes “in the form of non-repayable support, under a new thematic instrument the Ukraine Reserve, set up over and above the ceilings of the MFF 2021-27.” The EC document specifies that revenues “could be generated under the relevant Union legal acts, concerning the use of extraordinary revenues held by private entities stemming directly from the immobilized Central Bank of Russia assets.”

On February 1, CNN claimed that the EU had taken a step towards seizing billions of dollars in interest payments generated by Russian assets frozen in European accounts. Media reported that roughly €200 billion ($218 billion) remain in the EU, mainly in Euroclear, a Belgium-based financial services company. The media outlet highlighted that the EU approved the €50 billion Ukraine package as it “came closer to finalizing a plan” of using the profits from the Russian Central Bank’s sequestred assets — indicating that it has yet to gain access to the funds. Euroclear revealed on Thursday that the frozen Russian assets had yielded €5.2 billion ($5.6 billion) in interest on income assets since 2022.

On Monday, EU member states “agreed in principle” that profits from the Russian assets will be set aside and not be paid out as dividends to shareholders until the bloc’s members decide to set up a “financial contribution to the [EU] budget that shall be raised on these net profits to support Ukraine”, according to a draft document quoted by Euroactive. The document claimed that the levy will be “consistent with applicable contractual obligations, and in accordance with [EU] and international law.” After that the EC would transfer the money to the EU’s accounts and then to Ukraine, the media noted, specifying that the proposal targets future profits and would not be applied retrospectively. It is believed that Russia’s frozen assets in the EU could generate an estimated €15-17 billion over four years, which would be transferred to Ukraine, according to the press.

Speaking to Sputnik last October, Jacques Sapir, director of studies at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS) in Paris, argued that any attempt by the EU to grab Russia’s frozen assets or revenues from them could turn into a legal nightmare for the EU leadership and particular member states where the money is being stored. “As a matter of fact, if assets belong to the Russian state legally, you will have to prove that this state is a ‘failing state,’ something impossible,” Sapir told Sputnik on October 29, 2023. “If assets belong to private persons, you need a legal conviction against these persons. If you can’t do both and that you take away revenues to divert them to a third party (Ukraine) this is no less than a theft. Then you will be liable to legal action. But, what is even more important, you will probably discourage all foreign investors from investing in the EU.”

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“..I said that I have a metal plate in my arm – and now it is still there. They didn’t care..”

Ukraine Coerces Mass-Conscripts Unfit for Military Service – PoW (Sp.)

The Ukrainian Armed Forces are massively conscripting people who are unfit for military service for health and age reasons, prisoners of war told Sputnik. “Caught in such a time that they gave everyone a military ID. They gave everyone a military ID…. I passed the medical examination right away. I said that I have a metal plate in my arm – and now it is still there. They didn’t care,” one prisoner, Nazar Vashkevich, said. Another, Viktor Tkachenko, reported that he had received a draft notice for the fifth time, despite having several confirmed illnesses that preclude service in the army. “I was mobilized. I received a summons, the fifth, at work. It turned out that according to my state of health I was able to serve. Before that I was unsuitable. I had many medical reports: high blood pressure, hernia, pinched vertebrae,” he said.

According to the captives, the Ukrainian Army has begun to take people en masse who do not fit the draft. “Here, look: people over 50. They are already taking 50-year-olds. My grandfather was with me – he is 57 years old. He also has health problems… So where can he fight? How should he go on the assaults? How should he go to the trenches? Why? To get killed right away? And there’s a boy with me, even younger. I don’t know what’s wrong with him. He’s 24. He was drafted. It turns out that he is a senior gunner by rank,” Vashkevich complained. Volodymyr Zelensky said in December 2023 that he had been approached by the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces with a request to recruit an additional 450,000-500,000 men for the army. The government submitted a draft law on mobilization to parliament. The minimum age for mobilization was lowered from 27 to 25 years. The bill caused outrage in the country and was sent back for revision.

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“..a political arena which, if he remains as a military commander, will be corrupted by his presence.”

Is Zaluzhny Getting Ready to Take Down Zelensky? (Scott Ritter)

President Volodymyr Zelensky reportedly summoned the commander of the Ukrainian armed forces, General Valerie Zaluzhny, to a meeting on Monday, January 29, 2024, where he informed his military commander that he was being relived from his position. According to accounts that have appeared in western media, Zaluzhny refused to step down. As of Friday, February 2, 2024, the precise status of General Zaluzhny remains uncertain amid a swirl of rumors regarding his imminent dismissal. The rift between Zelensky and Zaluzhny represents a serious blow to one of the fundamental principles which underpins democratic society—a civil-military relationship predicated on the simple proposition that a democratically elected civilian leadership is the final authority on all matter, including military, and in the case of disputes between the civil and military leadership, civilian authority retains supreme authority.

If the reports of what is tantamount to a refusal to obey the lawful order of his civilian commander in chief are true, General Zaluzhny has opened a pandora’s box which, if left unresolved, could lead to the rapid unravelling of Ukraine’s civilian-controlled government and open the door for the emergence of a government that is either subordinated to the will of the Ukrainian military, or which has been replaced by a military junta. Neither bodes well either for the sustainment of the notion that Ukraine functions as a democracy along the lines of its European and American allies, or for the prospects of stable governance for Ukraine at a time when it faces unprecedented economic, military, and foreign policy challenges. History is replete with examples of civil-military disagreements during times of war.

American history is home for two premier examples—the split between George McClellan and Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, and the disagreements between Douglas MacArthur and Harry Truman during the Korean conflict. However, in both cases when the civilian authority demanded that the military authority resign, the military authority complied. Zaluzhny, it appears, refused to step aside, taking the issue of military defiance of civil authority into unchartered territory. Managing civil-military relations is a complex process that balances the advice the military provides to its civilian masters with the actual oversight provided by the civilian leadership over military affairs. Given the disparity that exists fact-based military reality and the simplified and often politicized fiction that civilian leadership embraces, rifts are not only to be expected, but are in fact a reality that must be anticipated, and mechanisms put in place to keep them from erupting into crises.

One of the biggest problems faced in the civil-military relationship is that of agenda control and information management. While disagreements can and will emerge between military leaders and their civilian masters over military issues, the military can never lose sight of the fact that if the civil-military relationship is to succeed, the military cannot possess an agenda that deviates from that of its civilian leadership. Nor should the military take advantage of the fact that it in large part dominates the flow of information to society about military matters to use the media as a tool to articulate its own agenda.

In the case of the Zelensky-Zaluzhny split, the record seems to reflect that Zaluzhny has, for some time now, been engaged in activities which point to his having an agenda that not only deviates from that of his commander in chief, but in many ways is designed to be in opposition to his commander in chief—an agenda which paints Zaluzhny as a political competitor to Zelensky. Again, the examples of George McClellan and Douglas MacArthur point to the fact that such actions are not unique in the history of civil-military relations in democracies. However, in both of those circumstances, the military commanders resigned their positions when ordered to do so, and continued their political opposition in the civil arena, without the active backing of a military which was obligated to remain loyal to its civilian leadership. Zaluzhny, however, has refused to step aside, taking his differences with Zelensky into a political arena which, if he remains as a military commander, will be corrupted by his presence.

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Huh, what? Our friends?

Taiwan Helping To Arm Moscow – WaPo (RT)

Companies based in Taiwan have sold Russia more than $20 million in advanced equipment that can be used for weapons production, Washington Post has claimed, noting that Moscow’s defense sector has ramped up purchases in recent months. Citing “trade records and Russian tax documents” obtained by the outlet, the Post pointed to entities in the Russian arms industry that have boosted transactions with Taiwan, with one firm, I Machine Technology, importing over $20 million in CNC machine tools produced on the island since January 2023. The machines were reportedly sent in 63 separate shipments. “The Taiwan-made machines accounted for virtually all of the Russian company’s imports in the first seven months of last year, according to the records, and the company’s sales during that period were overwhelmingly to the Russian defense industry,” the newspaper added, although it did not specify how the CNC machines were to be used.

Former US arms control official Kevin Wolf told the Post that such transfers likely violated sanctions imposed by both Washington and Taipei in response to the conflict in Ukraine. However, an executive from I Machine Technology, Aleksey Bredikhin, argued that this was not the case. Instead, Bredikhin said that any purchases after January were for spare parts only, and did not run afoul of Taiwan’s export controls, which were further tightened early this year. “I’m not buying anything from them except for parts,” he added. Nonetheless, the American official claimed that the CNC machines were “very important for making military items” and could be connected to “military-end uses,” including manufacturing drones. Another executive from one of the Taiwanese producers, Yu Ming Je, questioned the authenticity of the files obtained by the Post, and also insisted that the sales were in line with local laws.

Asked about ties to Russia’s arms industry, Yu said he was not aware of any such connections with his company, adding “Distributors basically have many users.” A close strategic ally of the US and a frequent buyer of American arms, Taiwan has largely fallen in line with the US sanctions policy toward Moscow, imposing several layers of penalties since Russia sent troops into Ukraine in early 2022. In announcing its latest round of sanctions, which mirrored those already imposed by the US and European Union, Taiwan’s economy ministry vowed to “in principle” block all export license applications to Russian firms going forward. The ministry declined to comment on whether such equipment sales violated export rules, but said the government planned to specifically bar sales to I Machine Technology in the future.

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It’ll be quite the day in Texas..

Florida Sends Troops To Stop Migrant ‘Invasion’ (RT)

Governor Ron DeSantis has announced that he will deploy members of the Florida National Guard to assist Texas in repelling an “invasion” of illegal immigrants. US President Joe Biden’s administration has fought to prevent Texas from sealing the border. Roughly 1,000 soldiers will be sent to Texas, DeSantis’ office said in a statement on Thursday. They will be joined by members of the Florida State Guard, and around 90 members of various Florida law enforcement agencies already at the border. “States have every right to defend their sovereignty and we are pleased to increase our support to Texas as the Lone Star State works to stop the invasion across the border,” DeSantis said. “Our reinforcements will help Texas to add additional barriers, including razor wire along the border. We don’t have a country if we don’t have a border.”

During his first week in office, Biden signed a flurry of executive orders repealing former President Donald Trump’s immigration restrictions. Illegal crossings have surged as a result, with a record 302,000 people caught crossing the 2,000-mile border in December, and more than 10 million entering the US since 2021. Under Biden’s policy of ‘catch and release’, apprehended migrants are immediately released into the US, with orders to show up at immigration hearings years in the future. Texas – which shares more than 1,200 miles of border with Mexico – deployed national guardsmen to the border in 2021 and began constructing razor wire obstacles at popular crossing points. The Biden administration responded by suing the state, and the Supreme Court ruled last month that federal agents could access the border to remove the razor wire. Texas Governor Greg Abbott vowed to defy the ruling and install more wire, arguing that the Biden administration has neglected the constitutional obligation to enforce federal immigration law, and that his duty to protect his constituents supersedes any federal laws.

Although the Department of Homeland Security gave Abbott three days to begin removing the obstacles late last month, a US Customs and Border Patrol official told Fox News that the agency had “no plans” to move in and destroy the barriers after Abbott ignored the deadline. Some 25 Republican governors issued a joint statement of solidarity with Abbott last week, accusing Biden of “illegally allowing mass parole across America of migrants who entered our country illegally.” Florida has been sending law enforcement officers and soldiers to assist Texas since 2021. National Guard troops have built obstacles and observation posts, while Florida Highway Patrol officers have apprehended almost 150,000 illegal aliens and charged 2,102 people with smuggling or human trafficking charges, DeSantis’ office said.

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“..relocate not only low-skilled component production but also, to a lesser extent, high-skilled production processes..”

Germany’s Economy Is Dying. Here’s Why And What Happens Next (RM)

German Finance Minister Christian Lindner, injecting some humor at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, stated that Germany is not the “sick man” of Europe but rather “a tired man,” following the recent years of crisis, in need of a “good cup of coffee.” However, the economic indicators point to something more than fatigue. Although Germany could be described as merely being in a mild recession – the GDP readings, after all, can hardly be called awful – in reality the economy finds itself in the uneasy place of having no clear prospects for an imminent recovery. Initial estimates suggest a 0.3% decline in GDP in 2023, positioning Germany as the only major industrialized nation in the red. Germany’s national debt saw an increase of about €48 billion, reaching almost €2.6 trillion. While this may appear alarming at first glance, it’s crucial to consider the broader economic context. Germany’s debt-to-GDP ratio, standing at approximately 65%, is relatively favorable compared to many Western countries.

Moreover, Germany has implemented strict limits on deficits, demonstrating a commitment to financial prudence. In light of these measures, there is a counterargument that Germany could potentially consider taking on more debt. Sentiment among businesses deteriorated further at the beginning of the year, as illustrated by the ifo Business Climate Index in January, which fell to 85.2 points. Both the current situation and expectations for the coming months were evaluated more pessimistically. The ifo Institute has reduced its growth forecast for 2024 to 0.7%, compared to the previously predicted 0.9%. This downgrade is partially attributable to additional cuts in the federal budget, which became necessary due to a ruling by the Federal Constitutional Court that prohibited leftover Covid-stimulus funds from being repurposed.

The German economy is on the brink of a crisis as deindustrialization firmly takes root. Companies, driven by economic considerations, are increasingly relocating their production overseas, posing a significant threat to a nation heavily reliant on industrial output. This trend has immediate and profound consequences that extend beyond the evident impact on industrial sectors. The offshoring of production could entail a surge in layoffs, further aggravating the economic challenges faced by the workforce. In November 2023, according to preliminary data from the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), German exports experienced a decline of 5.0% year-on-year, while imports recorded a notable decrease of 12.2%.

While the primary focus is on the industrial landscape, it is crucial to acknowledge the interconnectedness of these shifts. A case in point is the German chemical industry, which finds itself in a deep and prolonged downturn, having lost approximately 23% of its production capacity. Furthermore, leading managers have expressed considerable skepticism about a swift recovery. The challenges are exacerbated by Germany’s struggle with high energy costs, particularly affecting industries engaged in global competition. Despite government attempts to counteract these challenges, such as a billion-dollar electricity price package, success has been limited.

Meanwhile, according to a report by Deloitte, an alarming two out of three German companies have partially relocated their operations abroad due to the country’s ongoing energy crisis. This trend is particularly pronounced in critical sectors, such as mechanical engineering, industrial goods, and automotive industries, where 69% of companies have relocated their operations to a moderate or large extent. Key findings from the Deloitte report shed light on the reasons behind this significant shift. Most businesses attribute their decisions to move operations overseas to the combination of high energy prices and inflation. Notably, companies in these industries are planning to relocate not only low-skilled component production but also, to a lesser extent, high-skilled production processes.

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No, I’m not surprised.

F-35 Jet Fails to Meet Basic Operating Standards in 65 Areas (Sp.)

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter still suffers at least 65 basic deficiencies where it continues to fail to meet basic testing specifications, the Office of the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) said in a report. The JPO [F-35 Joint Project Office] completed the readiness review for JSE [joint simulation environment] trials in September 2023, and certified it as ready for testing, despite 65 deficiencies against the baseline JSE requirements, the report said on Friday. The F-35 program development cycle continues to experience delays due to immature and deficient Block 4 mission systems software and avionics stability problems with the new Technology Refresh 3 (TR-3) hardware going into Lot 15 production aircraft, the report said.

“As a result, deliveries of production Lot 15 aircraft in the TR-3 configuration are on hold until more testing can be completed and the avionics issues resolved. …[T]hese delays prevented the F-35 JPO from adequately planning and programming for hardware modifications … of the upgraded hardware configuration,” the report said. Also, the necessary flight test instrumentation, including both aircraft and open-air battle shaping instrumentation, for both, the remaining TR-2 configuration and upgraded TR-3 aircraft, are not all on contract and will not be available in time, the report added.

Read more …

Just yesterday, we saw plummeting birth rates everywhere.

India Vows To Tackle Population Growth Challenges (RT)

The most populous country in the world will constitute a high-powered committee to consider the challenges arising from “fast population growth and demographic changes.” The move was announced as part of India’s interim budget, unveiled on Thursday, ahead of national elections later this year. India’s finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, revealed that the proposed committee will address population-related challenges and form recommendations for the government. The initiative, she stressed, comes as part of the vision of Narendra Modi’s government, which hopes to transform the country into a developed nation by 2047. This development comes against the backdrop of a legislative move to adopt laws to control the population.

Members of Parliament belonging to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Rajendra Agrawal and Rakesh Sinha, had earlier introduced separate bills to regulate the country’s population. However, neither of them have passed. Meanwhile, the country’s new census has been delayed for several years. The most recent demographic data available comes from the 2011 census. Although top Indian officials have expressed concern over the population boom, the fifth round of India’s National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) released in 2022 showed that female fertility levels have dipped below the replacement fertility level in all but five Indian states. Despite that, last year, India overtook China to become the most populous nation in the world, as per United Nations (UN) data.

India has the highest number of young people in the world; however, the UN, in a 2023 report, noted that by 2046, the number of older adults in the country will be greater than the number of children younger than 15 years old. In 2022, the median age in India was believed to be 28 years; this is in sharp contrast to other larger nations with significantly higher median ages. An aging population could mean severe economic trouble for India unless the country grows its national wealth rapidly in the coming decades, an analysis in The Hindu newspaper observed last year. In December, India’s Reserve Bank updated the GDP growth projection for the current financial year to 7% compared to the previously estimated 6.5%. Meanwhile, India remains among the top countries with high income and wealth inequality even as the share of the population living in multidimensional poverty fell from 25 to 15% between 2015-16 and 2019-21, the UNDP said in a report last year.

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“..CEOs crowing about keeping their prices high while their costs go down..”

It’s Not ‘Inflation’ – We’re Just Getting Ripped Off. Here’s Proof. (OW)

Many Americans are still experiencing the sticker shock they first faced two years ago when inflation hit its peak. But if inflation is down now, why are families still feeling the pinch? The answer lies in corporate profits — and we have the data to prove it. Our new report for the Groundwork Collaborative finds that corporate profits accounted for more than half — 53 percent — of inflation from April to September 2023. That’s an astronomical percentage. Corporate profits drove just 11 percent of price growth in the four decades prior to the pandemic. Businesses have been quick to blame rising costs on supply chain shocks from the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. But two years later, our economy has mostly returned to normal. In some cases, companies’ costs to make things and stock shelves have actually decreased.

Let’s demonstrate with one glaring example: diapers. The hyper-consolidated diaper industry is dominated by just two companies, Procter & Gamble and Kimberly-Clark, which own well-known diaper brands like Pampers, Huggies, and Luvs. The cost of wood pulp, a key ingredient for making diapers absorbent, did spike during the pandemic, increasing by more than 50 percent between 2020 and 2021. But last year it declined by 25 percent. Did that drop in costs lead Procter & Gamble and Kimberly-Clark to lower their prices? Far from it. Diaper prices have increased to nearly $22 on average. These corporate giants have no plans to bring prices down anytime soon. In fact, their own executives are openly bragging about how they’re going to “expand margins” on earnings calls. Procter & Gamble predicted $800 million in windfall profits as input costs decline. Kimberly-Clark’s CEO said the company has “a lot of opportunity” to expand margins over time.

It’s not just diapers — while many corporations were quick to pass along rising costs, they’ve been in no hurry to pass along their savings. A recent survey from the Richmond Fed and Duke University revealed that 60 percent of companies plan to hike prices this year by more than they did before the pandemic, even though their costs have moderated. Corporations across industries, from housing to groceries and used cars, are juicing their profit margins even as the cost of doing business goes down. And they’re not hiding the ball. Since the summer of 2021, Groundwork began listening in on hundreds of corporate earnings calls where we heard CEO after CEO boasting about their ability to raise prices on consumers. Now we hear something slightly different: CEOs crowing about keeping their prices high while their costs go down.

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This is what the Dems have in mind for Trump.

Imran Khan Sentenced To Third Prison Term In A Week (RT)

Former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi have been sentenced to seven years in prison and fined after a court declared their marriage unlawful on Saturday. It was the third ruling against Khan this week. The civil court was set up in Rawalpindi prison, where the ex-PM has been held since August last year on more than 100 charges. The sentences came before a parliamentary election on February 8 that Khan, who remains popular among voters, is barred from contesting. On Wednesday, Khan along with his wife were sentenced to 14-year terms for illegally selling state gifts, and the day before Khan was given ten years in prison for leaking state secrets. He claimed the cable he released contained evidence of collusion between the Pakistani military and US officials to have him removed from power in April 2022.

Khan’s representatives say he will appeal all three cases. The sentences add up to 34 years and will be served concurrently. The marriage case was filed by Bushra Bibi’s former husband Khawar Maneka, who claimed that she did not observe “iddat” – a mandatory three-month waiting period that a woman must abide by under Islamic law after the death of her husband or a divorce, before marrying another man. The Khans have denied wrongdoing. Imran Khan, however, argued that the case was brought to “humiliate and disgrace” him and his wife. “This marks the first instance in history where a case related to iddat has been initiated,” he told reporters.

The court decision has been condemned by members of Khan’s party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). Syed Zulfiqar Bukhari, a PTI official, called the marriage case “fake”, saying the judgements against Khan represent a “mockery of the law.” “The way these trials are being conducted leaves a huge question mark on the February 8 elections. This is a test case for Pakistan’s higher judiciary,” he told Al Jazeera. PTI President Gohar Ali Khan described the trial as “shameful” and vowed to appeal the verdict in a higher court.

Read more …

 

 

 

Bohemian grove

 

 

Giraffe lion

 

 

Branch
https://twitter.com/i/status/1753863250427715898

 

 

Freeman

 

 

Peggy Sue

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 022024
 
 February 2, 2024  Posted by at 9:40 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  68 Responses »


Winslow Homer Mending the nets 1881

 

House Speaker Mike Johnson First Floor Speech On Border Catastrophe (Kanekoa)
It’s Biden vs. Texas, and Texas Is Right. (McMaken)
Israel Accepts Ceasefire Deal – Al Jazeera (RT)
US Created Ukraine Conflict to Keep Europe ‘Under Its Thumb’ (Sp.)
EU Leaders Agree to Give $54Bln in Macro-Financial Assistance to Ukraine (Sp.)
Zelensky Wants Zaluzhny Out Over Effort At Ceasefire With Russia – Hersh (Sp.)
Zelensky To Fire Top General This Week – CNN (RT)
Zelensky’s Generals Refuse To Accept Firing Top Commander – Bild (RT)
Biden Makes Clear Case for NATO Complicity Over IL-76 Shoot-Down (SCF)
Ukraine’s ‘Failed State’ Status (DeMartino)
Mass European Farmer Protests Blowback for Ukraine Support (Sp.)
CIA Staffer Sentenced To 40 Years For Leaking US Hacking Secrets (RT)
Roger Waters Faces Axe by Record Label Over Defiant Israel Stance (Sp.)
UK High Court Throws Out Trump’s Christopher Steele Case (BBC)
Interesting – Elon Musk (Kanekoa)

 

 

 

 

Meme team
https://twitter.com/i/status/1753078612243423563

 

 

 

 

Jan 6

 

 

Tucker Bret

 

 

KJP Boeing

 

 

Scott Ritter: Turkey & Russia JOIN WAR

 

 

Macgregor: Iran must pay

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Just as we lock our doors at night to protect our homes, we secure our borders to protect our homeland. And my friends, that is our sacred obligation.”

House Speaker Mike Johnson First Floor Speech On Border Catastrophe (Kanekoa)

House Speaker Mike Johnson delivers first floor speech on border catastrophe, accusing President Biden of intentionally creating a “clear and present danger to our national security.” “Since I was elected Speaker less than 100 days ago, more than 700,000 illegals have been welcomed into our country illegally by the Biden administration. American schoolchildren have been forced into virtual schools so migrants can sleep in their school buildings. Korean War veterans have been booted from nursing homes that were sold to house migrants. Our streets are being flooded with fentanyl. Hundreds of thousands of children and adults are being poisoned and losing their lives. Vulnerable children and women are being exploited and trafficked by cartels. Since President Biden and Alejandro Mayorkas assumed office, there have been more than 7 million encounters with illegal aliens just at our southern border alone.

35 of our 50 states, including my home state of Louisiana, don’t have a population that large. More than 300 individuals who are on our terror watchlist have been apprehended on the southern border. The frightening question is, how many have entered undetected? We know there are at least 1.8 million gotaways that have escaped. Understand that the situation at our border presents a clear and present danger to our national security, and it demands that it be addressed. FBI Director Christopher Wray told the Homeland Security Committee in November that these gotaways are a great concern for the agency, and all 56 of our Joint Terrorism Task Forces are trying to identify who these people are. We don’t know how many terrorists are inside our borders. We do know that fentanyl is pouring into our communities like an open sewer. Right now, the leading cause of death in America for Americans aged 18 to 46 is fentanyl poisoning.

To make matters worse, we’ve learned that the Biden administration is now simply just releasing 85% of the illegals who come across that border right into the country. For reference, by the way, in 2013, the Obama administration detained 82% of illegal aliens. How do we go from detaining 82% to releasing 85%? It only happens if this is by design. It only happens if it’s an orchestrated intentional effort by the administration to do exactly that, and that is what the evidence shows. Earlier this month, I released a memo documenting 64 specific actions that the Biden administration has taken to undermine our border security and to promote the mass release of illegals and dangerous persons into our country. The very first day President Biden walked into the Oval Office, he revoked Executive Order 9844. Do you know what that did? It ended the construction of the border wall that Congress had already paid for. Everybody has seen the images of the materials out there rotting in the sun. Why?

Because Joe Biden decided unilaterally that he didn’t want a wall. In February 2021, the administration stopped applying Title 42 expulsions to children and incentivize by doing that incentivize families to send unaccompanied children through Mexico under the watch of cartels and traffickers. Since then, the administration admits to losing track of more than 80,000 unaccompanied children somewhere in the US. We don’t know where they are. Have they been put into trafficking rings? We know that some of these kids are being trafficked for free labor and being forced to do things that are too appalling for us to articulate on this floor. Everybody here knows that’s happening, and we’re not demanding the President stop it? He can. He has the power to do it.

[..] We have to decide if we believe in the rule of law or not. We have to decide if we’re a sovereign nation or we’re not. I believe that border security is part of our solemn obligation to safeguard the well-being of our citizens and uphold the principles that define who we are as a nation. A weak border weakens America, and a strong border is good for America, and a stronger America is good for everybody around the world. And everybody in this chamber should acknowledge that. Just as we lock our doors at night to protect our homes, we secure our borders to protect our homeland. And my friends, that is our sacred obligation.”

https://twitter.com/i/status/1753202850023498016

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“..what is self-evident here is that it is up to the state government to determine for itself whether or not the state is being invaded..”

It’s Biden vs. Texas, and Texas Is Right. (McMaken)

So, what exactly does the Texas governor’s declaration say? Overall, it makes the case that the Biden administration has been ignoring federal immigration laws and illegally withdrawing border-control operations from the Texas-Mexico border. Abbott concludes: “Under President Biden’s lawless border policies, more than 6 million illegal immigrants have crossed our southern border in just 3 years. That is more than the population of 33 different States in this country. This illegal refusal to protect the States has inflicted unprecedented harm on the People all across the United States.” If that were all, we’d just chalk this up to a document that amounts to little more than a letter to the editor. But then Abbott says that the US Constitution provides a remedy for the situation:

“..the Framers included both Article IV, § 4, which promises that the federal government “shall protect each [State] against invasion,” and Article I, § 10, Clause 3, which acknowledges “the States’ sovereign interest in protecting their borders.” The final paragraph is where it gets interesting. Abbott writes: “The failure of the Biden Administration to fulfill the duties imposed by Article IV, § 4 has triggered Article I, § 10, Clause 3, which reserves to this State the right of self-defense. For these reasons, I have already declared an invasion under Article I, § 10, Clause 3 to invoke Texas’s constitutional authority to defend and protect itself. That authority is the supreme law of the land and supersedes any federal statutes to the contrary. The Texas National Guard, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and other Texas personnel are acting on that authority, as well as state law, to secure the Texas border.”

Abbott is essentially saying that federal supremacy in this case has been rendered null and void by a federal refusal to enforce federal law. Can he get away with it? For clarity, let’s look at Article 1, section 10. It reads: “No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.” The key phrase here is “unless actually invaded.” Whether or not the current flood of migrants across the border constitutes “invasion,” as stated here, is perhaps debatable.

However, what is self-evident here is that it is up to the state government to determine for itself whether or not the state is being invaded. After all, the whole point of the section is to grant certain powers to states outside the authority of the federal government. If the federal government also gets to determine for itself whether or not the state is being invaded, then the section is pointless. So, an honest reading of this text ought to preclude the Biden administration or US Supreme Court coming back and saying “you’re not being invaded, now do what we say.”

Abbott
https://twitter.com/i/status/1753160896312995917

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Wait and see.

Israel Accepts Ceasefire Deal – Al Jazeera (RT)

Israel has agreed to a ceasefire proposal that would halt its war with Hamas, Al Jazeera reported on Thursday, citing the Qatari Foreign Ministry. Hamas has reportedly given the plan a “positive” response. The ceasefire plan was hashed out in Paris over the weekend, with Qatari and Egyptian diplomats mediating between Israel and the Palestinian militant group. Delegations from West Jerusalem and Gaza left the French capital promising to study the proposal and negotiate further this week, and by Thursday evening, a deal was apparently within reach. “Israel agreed to the ceasefire proposal and we have initial positive confirmation from Hamas,” a spokesman for the Qatari Foreign Ministry said on Thursday evening, according to Al Jazeera. “We are awaiting their response,” the spokesman added.

The proposed ceasefire will be implemented in three stages, according to a Hamas statement shared with Reuters earlier this week. The first phase would see fighting stop for 40 days as Hamas hands over the female civilians, children, and elderly people it is still holding captive. During this time, large-scale deliveries of food and medicine into Gaza would resume. The following stages would see Hamas turn over captive Israeli soldiers and the bodies of Israeli troops, in exchange for further aid deliveries and the freeing of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails. “Military operations on both sides will stop during the three stages,” the militants said, adding that the number of Palestinian prisoners freed would be open to negotiation.

The proposal falls short of the full Israeli withdrawal from Gaza that Hamas initially demanded. As a step toward ending the war, however, it also threatens Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to keep fighting until Israel achieves “total victory” over the militants, as he has promised on multiple occasions. While hardliners within Netanyahu’s cabinet have pressed him to reject any deal they view as too lenient towards Hamas, Israel has faced international condemnation over its conduct in Gaza, and two of the Jewish state’s most stalwart backers – the US and UK – suggested this week that they could soon recognize an independent Palestinian state. Such an outcome would be a political disaster for Netanyahu, who angered Washington and London last month when he outright rejected a two-state solution to the decades-long conflict with the Palestinians.

Hamas fighters attacked Israel on October 7, killing around 1,200 people and taking roughly 240 as hostages. Israel responded by imposing a siege on Gaza and launching waves of airstrikes on the densely-populated enclave. A ground operation followed three weeks later, and after almost four months of fighting, more than 27,000 Palestinians have died, two thirds of them women and children, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

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“..European countries are “going down faster than we can even imagine..”

“..we were concerned about their economy moving up because they were getting cheap Russian energy..”

US Created Ukraine Conflict to Keep Europe ‘Under Its Thumb’ (Sp.)

On Thursday, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban relented to pressure from the EU and finally allowed €50 billion in military and financial aid to be transferred to Ukraine after blocking the funding for more than a month. The funds are ostensibly planned to fund Ukraine until 2027 and came as US aid remains stalled in Congress. Before the latest aid package was approved by the EU, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg remarked at a Monday news conference in Washington, DC, that “weapons are – in fact – the way to peace [in Ukraine],” but that’s not quite the case, an analyst told Sputnik. Dr. David Oualaalou told Sputnik’s Critical Hour on Wednesday that Stoltenberg’s assertion “defies logic” and asserted that Ukraine is already “gone.” Oualaalou argued that Europe was pushed into supporting Ukraine by the US, which is not “paying the price” of that support in the same way Europe is.

He added that the economic situation in Europe, largely brought on by the consequences of their support of Ukraine and sanctions on Russia, makes the continent reliant on the US. “[The US] created the conflict to ensure that Europe will stay under [its] thumb by dictating the terms and complicating matters for them,” Oualaalou explained. “One way you do that, [is] you complicate the economic outcome for an entity, doesn’t matter who, that’s how you do it.” He added that his family members in Europe acknowledge that European countries are “going down faster than we can even imagine,” and pointed to the farmer and worker protests breaking out across the continent. Complicating matters further, Oualaalou argued, is that even with monetary aid being sent to Ukraine, Europe is too short on ammunition to give Ukraine much that will help them on the battlefield.

“I hope your listeners know that the UK cannot fight the Houthis, for example,” Oualaalou said, referring to the growing conflict in the Red Sea. “The reason? They don’t have firepower, they don’t have enough. That is why they are just riding with the US.” Oualaalou also argued that even the US and UK combined will not be able to defeat the Houthis. “We couldn’t defeat the Taliban, we couldn’t defeat the militias in Iraq. What makes us think we’re going to defeat the Houthis? And the Houthis, to my knowledge, and I’ve been on the ground, I was there. They are fierce fighters.” Co-host Garland Nixon suggested that the real goal in funding Ukraine was to line politicians’ “filthy pockets” with money, an assertion Oualaalou agreed with. But he also reiterated that it is also part of the US geopolitical strategy.

“[The] Ukraine conflict was created by design for us to keep the Europeans down because we were concerned about their economy moving up because they were getting cheap Russian energy – that’s what’s at the heart of it,” he said. Asked about the narrative and media attention shifting from Ukraine to the Middle East, even as the conflict continues, Oualaalou admitted that it’s simply part of the larger plan, and that there could be more on the horizon. “That’s usually how the narrative goes because that is the aim – you move from one conflict to the next one because you’re already preparing [for] the next conflict. … what I see on the horizon, is what’s going on too, in Asia,” he explained. “It [has] become clear in the West that Ukraine is a failed state. The objective has been accomplished. Let’s move to the next conflict. And once that’s settled, we’re going to move to a third one and so forth.”

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To achieve what?

EU Leaders Agree to Give $54Bln in Macro-Financial Assistance to Ukraine (Sp.)

The EU leaders have reached an agreement on allocating 50 billion euros ($54 billion) as part of macro-financial assistance to Ukraine, European Council President Charles Michel said on Thursday. “All 27 leaders agreed on an additional €50 billion support package for Ukraine within the EU budget. This locks in steadfast, long-term, predictable funding for #Ukraine. EU is taking leadership & responsibility in support for Ukraine; we know what is at stake,” Michel wrote on X. The EU leaders have agreed to hold a debate about its assistance to Ukraine every year, and to review it after two years if necessary, The Guardian reported on Thursday, citing the EU summit’s conclusions. According to the conclusions, the European Council will hold a debate every year on the implementation of the Ukraine facility, and will invite the European Commission to make a proposal to review it in two years if needed.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported, citing a European diplomat, that the EU funds for Hungary will remain frozen after Budapest also agreed on the allocation of assistance for Ukraine. European officials have continuously said that they are ready to study alternatives in the event of a final blocking of aid to Kiev from the EU budget. The total amount of EU macro-financial assistance to Ukraine in 2023 amounted to 18 billion euros, transferred in monthly payments in the amount of 1.5 billion euros. This assistance was provided to Kiev regardless of the implementation of reforms and the fight against corruption.

In December, Hungary vetoed an enlargement of the EU’s 2024-2027 budget to incorporate 50 billion euros in macro-financial aid for Ukraine. Media reported that Hungary had proposed splitting the package into four tranches, subject to approval each year. However, several EU diplomats are reportedly opposed to giving Hungary the option of an “annual veto”. Western countries, led by the United States, have been providing military aid to Ukraine since the start of Russia’s special military operation in February 2022. The aid evolved from providing artillery munitions and training in 2022 to heavy weapons, including tanks, advanced air-defense systems, prohibited cluster munitions and long-range missiles, later that year and in 2023.

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Your top man must be a warmonger.

Zelensky Wants Zaluzhny Out Over Effort At Ceasefire With Russia – Hersh (Sp.)

Volodymyr Zelensky wants to remove Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhny from his post because of his alleged involvement in secret talks with Western officials about pursuing a ceasefire with Russia, US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh reported. On Monday, Ukrainian lawmaker Oleksiy Goncharenko said, citing sources, that Zaluzhny was allegedly ordered to resign. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry and Zelensky’s spokesman denied the claims. “Zelensky’s desire to fire his commanding general is the result, some Americans believe, of his knowledge that Zaluzhny had continued to participate – whether directly or through aides is not known – in secret talks since last fall with American and other Western officials on how best to achieve a ceasefire and negotiate an end to the war with Russia,” Hersh said on Thursday. The New York Times reported on Tuesday, citing sources, that the Ukrainian government had postponed the dismissal of Zaluzhny due to a leak of information about his possible resignation.

The government planned to fire Zaluzhny, but on Monday evening, when information leaked, it decided to back off, the report said, adding that now, the government is slowing down the process. According to reports, Zelensky was forced to reverse his decision as international partners, including the United States and the United Kingdom, expressed concern about Zelensky’s actions.Zelensky reportedly met with Zaluzhny to inform the general of the decision to fire him. Instead, Zelensky offered Zaluzhny the post of secretary of the country’s security council, but Zaluzhny turned it down. The head of Ukraine’s military intelligence service, Kyrylo Budanov, and the commander of the Ukrainian ground forces, Oleksandr Syrsky, were named candidates for the post of commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces, the report added.

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If only he could find a replacement.

Zelensky To Fire Top General This Week – CNN (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky intends to fire his top general, Valery Zaluzhny, before the end of the week, CNN claimed on Wednesday citing sources familiar with the situation. The report follows similar rumors appearing in outlets such as the Financial Times and the Washington Post, which have so far been dismissed by Kiev. The relationship between the two men reportedly began to deteriorate when the general wrote an article for The Economist in November, describing the battlefield situation as a “stalemate” following Kiev’s failed counteroffensive. The president has vehemently rejected that assessment. According to CNN, Zaluzhny was called into Zelensky’s office on Monday, where he was told he would be fired in the next few days. While no formal announcement has yet been made, a source allegedly told the outlet that a presidential decree is expected by the end of the week.

Rumors that the country’s popular military leader would be replaced originally started circulating in the media earlier this week based on anonymous sources in Kiev. The Washington Post claimed that the president explained his decision to Zaluzhny by saying that a new commander was needed to rejuvenate the situation, as the Ukrainian people had grown tired of war while Kiev’s foreign backers had reduced military assistance. The general was then reportedly offered an advisory position, which he declined, opting instead to leave the military entirely, a source told the outlet. After reports of Zaluzhny’s imminent sacking leaked on Monday, Zelensky spokesman Sergey Nikiforov issued an official statement insisting it was “untrue.” The Ukrainian Defense Ministry also posted a message on social media declaring the rumors false.

The New York Times reported on Tuesday that the Ukrainian president had chosen to reconsider the decision after the initial plan ended up in the press. However, another source told the paper that the firing had only been temporarily delayed while Kiev looks for a fitting replacement for Zaluzhny. Moscow, meanwhile, has described the rumors of the Ukrainian commander’s dismissal as a sign that Kiev’s leadership is in disarray and has “a lot of problems,” according to Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov. He predicted that divisions in Ukraine’s military and civilian leadership stemming from the failed counteroffensive would continue to grow as Russia proceeds with its objectives.

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“Syrsky himself – alongside the Ukrainian military intelligence chief, Kirill Budanov – reportedly “politely declined” an offer to take up Zaluzhny’s position..”

Zelensky’s Generals Refuse To Accept Firing Top Commander – Bild (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has been unable to fire the nation’s top general, Valery Zaluzhny, because both replacements under consideration refused the job, the tabloid Bild reported on Thursday. A host of Western and Ukrainian media previously claimed, citing anonymous sources in Kiev, that Zelensky had sacked Zaluzhny, prompting the Ukrainian government to refute those rumors. According to Bild, the president did attempt to fire the general on Monday and had to reverse his decision “within an hour” because he could not find a replacement for the nation’s top commander. The move drew strong opposition from the Ukrainian generals, the tabloid claimed. Zelensky allegedly wanted to see Ground Forces Commander Aleksandr Syrsky in Zaluzhny’s place because “he is more loyal to the president,” Bild said, citing Gustav Gressel, a Ukraine expert with the Berlin-based European Council on Foreign Relations think tank.

The generals disapproved of the choice because they see Zaluzhny as a “more humane” leader who is “closer to the troops,” the analyst explained. Syrsky himself – alongside the Ukrainian military intelligence chief, Kirill Budanov – reportedly “politely declined” an offer to take up Zaluzhny’s position, the paper claimed. Yesterday, Britain’s The Times named Syrsky and Budanov as possible candidates to be Ukraine’s top general, also reporting that they had refused. Despite Zaluzhny retaining his post, the conflict between him and Zelensky continues to “smolder,” Bild alleged. The relationship between the two men reportedly began to deteriorate when the general wrote an article for The Economist in November, describing the battlefield situation as a “stalemate” following Kiev’s failed counteroffensive. The president has vehemently rejected that assessment.

According to the German outlet, the president and his commander also clashed over strategy in the cities of Bakhmut and Avdeevka. In late spring 2023, when the Russian forces were pressing their advantage against the Ukrainians in Bakhmut, Zelensky insisted the city should be held to the last man, while Zaluzhny wanted to withdraw to preserve his forces, the paper said, adding that the situation was being repeated in Avdeevka. On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that Zelensky had abandoned his plans to fire the top general after his plan was leaked to the media. CNN reported on Thursday, however, that the Ukrainian leader still wanted to go ahead with the decision and would fire Zaluzhny by the end of the week.

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“..even the Pentagon has admitted there is no evidence showing Iran had a hand in the drone attack. Nevertheless, Biden has asserted Iran is to blame and that this gives the U.S. a right to respond militarily..”

Biden Makes Clear Case for NATO Complicity Over IL-76 Shoot-Down (SCF)

Joe Biden is contending that the United States has the right to attack Iran as a result of the deadly strike on a U.S. base in Jordan which killed three American troops. Biden is throwing rocks in a glass house if we then look at the case of the IL-76 shoot-down over Russia when 74 people were killed. It is by no means clear if Iran was involved in the Jordan base raid. Tehran strongly denies it and even the Pentagon has admitted there is no evidence showing Iran had a hand in the drone attack. Nevertheless, Biden has asserted Iran is to blame and that this gives the U.S. a right to respond militarily. If Biden can make that case, then the United States and its NATO allies should be held accountable for the shooting down of the IL-76 transport plane over Russia killing all onboard, according to the reasoning of none other than the US President.

By “accountable” that means Russia has the right to take retaliatory military action against the culprit of the crime in which 74 people were killed. Again, this is according to Biden’s own reasoning.Biden was not speaking about the fatal IL-76 incident that occurred on January 24 when nine Russian servicemen and 65 Ukrainian prisoners were killed after their cargo plane was hit in mid-air with a warhead. The president was responding to U.S. journalists questioning him about the deaths of three American military personnel at a base in Jordan that Iraqi militants attacked on January 28. Biden said he held Iran responsible for the American fatalities and vowed to retaliate. Somewhat contradictorily, the president and his spokesmen have said the United States does not seek to have a wider war with Iran even though Biden said he intends to attack Iranian assets in a “tiered way at a time of his choosing”. If that’s not a wider war, what is?

Iran has vehemently denied any involvement in the drone attack on the U.S. base in Jordan near the border with Syria and Iraq. The strike was claimed by Iraqi militia known as Islamic Resistance which is allied with Iran.Asked if he blamed Iran, Biden said he did “in the sense that they’re supplying the weapons to the people who did it.” Iran and the Iraqi militants are affiliated in a similar way to Tehran’s support for Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria, and the Ansar Allah movement in Yemen. All are motivated by staunch opposition to U.S. military occupation in the Middle East and Washington’s support for Israel’s genocidal aggression in Gaza. Collectively, Iran and its allies are known as the Axis of Resistance.There is no evidence that Iran supplied the weapons to the militants who killed the three American troops. Iran contends that each resistance member possesses its own agency and decision-making.

By contrast, however, the supply of American and other NATO weaponry to the Kiev regime is publicly recorded. It is estimated that the West has funded Ukraine with a total of $200 billion since the proxy war against Russia erupted in February 2022. About half of that has been spent on weapons that include long-range missiles such as Patriot, Shadow Storm, Scalp and Iris-T systems. British and French cruise missiles have been repeatedly used to hit pre-war Russian territory such as Belgorod resulting in dozens of civilian deaths. The strike on the IL-76 transport plane is believed to have been carried out with Western-supplied weapons. Russian crash investigators have this week confirmed earlier claims that the cargo plane was shot down with a NATO weapon, either a U.S.-made Patriot missile system or a German Iris-T surface-to-air missile.

When the IL-76 was blown out of the sky on January 24 over Russia’s Belgorod region, Russian radars detected the launch of two anti-aircraft warheads nearly 100 kilometers away from the target. The missiles were allegedly fired from the location of Liptsy in Ukraine’s eastern Kharkov province. It is believed that only NATO-supplied weapons to the Ukrainian forces could have achieved that extensive range.At the time of the IL-76 shoot-down, the Kremlin said that if it confirmed that Western weapons were responsible then Russia would deem the West to be complicit in the crime. On January 26, Russian First Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Dmitry Polyansky said: “According to preliminary investigation, Ukrainian armed forces carried out this terrorist attack using an anti-aircraft missile system. The missiles were launched from the village of Liptsy in Kharkov region.”

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“..despite all the aid that has been sent to Ukraine, which he estimated to be over $200 billion, the army itself is woefully ill-equipped for battle..”

Ukraine’s ‘Failed State’ Status (DeMartino)

Earlier this week, Ukraine’s security service announced that five Ukrainians, including the current head of a department in Ukraine’s Defense Ministry, had been served with notices of suspicion related to the embezzlement of nearly $40 million that was supposed to be spent on artillery shells.The news was the latest in a consistent pattern of fraud and corruption being reported in Ukraine since Russia’s special military operation began nearly two years ago. Former Ukrainian ambassador and whistleblower Andrii Telizhenko told Sputnik’s Fault Lines that corruption is rife in Kiev and is only getting worse. “So this whole scheme of $40 million is just a small little example,” Telizhenko explained. “Ukraine became a failed state,” Telizhenko said, “because of the corruption and because Ukraine was sold off to the people inside Ukraine, was sold off to its Western allies, and people in Ukraine are suffering from this.”

Telizhenko noted that despite all the aid that has been sent to Ukraine, which he estimated to be over $200 billion, the army itself is woefully ill-equipped for battle. “People are still collecting money to buy medical kits and drones for the soldiers,” Telizhenko said. “[This is] what is happening in Ukraine, total corruption.” Telizhenko noted that there was another case in which more than $1 billion worth of military equipment that the US Department of Defense authorized to be sent to Ukraine never arrived and the DoD was unable to locate them. “So this is a great example where equipment is being lost for billions of dollars, equipment is not being made for hundreds of millions of dollars, and it’s all being stolen by the Kiev regime, and I think, with the help of the deep state government in Washington.”The actions by Ukrainian authorities to arrest those involved in the motor scandal are token gestures, says Telizhenko,“It’s all a big show.”The corruption in Ukraine has always been there but grew exponentially after the West began meddling in Ukrainian affairs, he explained.

“Corruption, which was inside Ukraine, which [already] was pretty big, but then it came from the outside, from people like [US President Joe] Biden in Washington, the deep state, which said, ‘Oh, why [don’t] we also make money on this together with the Ukrainian politicians?’” Telizhenko blasted the Ukrainian officials calling them “hypocrites” and “so-called patriots.” The corruption is so entrenched, Telizhenko said, that it will take more than the removal of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to root it out.“It [is] coming to a situation where a change of government in Washington, DC, a change of national policy issues in Washington, people like [Former US President Donald] Trump [could] come in,” Telizhenko explained. “He spoke about making peace in 24 hours, that’s a possibility.” “The end game… for Ukraine is to have a new government inside Ukraine and to see what government comes from Washington, maybe that will give some stability in the world,” he concluded.

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“..we see how the [countries in the union are] going really down the slope and nobody’s stopping it..”

Mass European Farmer Protests Blowback for Ukraine Support (Sp.)

After farmers blocked highways leading into Paris last week, farmers from several other European countries have followed suit, protesting against their countries’ dropping of fuel subsidies, green regulations and dropping sale prices. Veteran war correspondent Elijah Magnier told Sputnik’s Fault Lines on Wednesday that the root causes of the protests stem from Europe’s decision “to follow the United States policy and join the war against Russia.”
“We shot ourselves in the foot, basically that’s very soft – we shot ourselves in the head and now we are paying the price,” Magnier said. He noted how everything from energy to consumer food prices has skyrocketed in Europe, but that has not caused European leaders to change course. “Now, they are attacking the heart of Europe that are the farmers … they can no longer stand on their feet with the difference of prices, with the increase of price [for consumers and] the lower price that the markets are buying off of them.”

Co-host Jamarl Thomas asked Magnier what demands the farmers have. Magnier replied that they want protection from cheap products coming out of Ukraine, subsidies on diesel fuel to be reinstated, the rollback of European Green New Deal regulations that limit when and what crops are allowed to be planted and a fair price from the supermarket that matches the cost of living increases in Europe. Part of the issue, says Magnier is that the EU hamstrings what the individual countries’ leaders can do to respond to their population. “It’s a serious issue today in Europe, where the European leaders are no longer able to rule Europe as it used to be, and we see how the [countries in the union are] going really down the slope and nobody’s stopping it,” Magnier explained.

In particular, Magnier explained, farmers are angry that they have to follow the new regulations but Ukraine is allowed to skirt them under the guise that they are at war. “When you say ‘you cannot plant this kind of vegetable at this particular time of the year because of the CO2 and because of the climate change and because we need to transform Europe into a green environment,’” Magnier explained. “You cannot [also] say, ‘Okay, this is applicable only on the Europeans [with] the exception of Ukraine,’ that doesn’t go, it doesn’t work. “The farmers today are waking up [to] the consequences of the Ukrainian conflict and they are saying ‘we have to be completely detached from what is happening in Ukraine because this is not our war,’” he added. Instead of fighting with the farmers, Magnier said he believes the EU should at least pause the Green New Deal regulations until after the conflict in Ukraine is over and talk to the farmers about what they need and can accommodate, but he noted that trust between the two parties has already been severed.

“So what [European Commission President] Ursula von der Leyen is saying is, ‘Well, I’m ready to talk to you to see what we need and how we can work together.’ But it is too late. [The EU should] stop all [their] procedures and say, ‘let us talk.’ But you don’t negotiate with the knife at the throat of the farmers saying, ‘Well, now I have to think what I can lift, what I cannot lift.'” “If the leaders in Brussels don’t start talking and listening to the farmers, they cannot achieve their [Green New Deal] plan, so the plan is unachievable,” he added.

Dutch farmer

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Vault 7. “..Schulte had helped create the hacking tools that he later exposed to WikiLeaks..”

CIA Staffer Sentenced To 40 Years For Leaking US Hacking Secrets (RT)

A former CIA software engineer who embarrassed his employer by allegedy giving a massive trove of classified information to WikiLeaks has been sentenced to 40 years in prison by a New York judge. US District Court Judge Jesse Furman handed down the sentence against Joshua Schulte on Thursday, falling short of the life prison term that federal prosecutors had requested. Schulte, who was accused of carrying out the largest theft of US secrets in the CIA’s history, was convicted on charges of espionage, computer hacking, contempt of court, making false statements to the FBI, and possessing child pornography. Schulte, 35, was allegedly the source behind the so-called Vault 7 release by WikiLeaks in 2017, which exposed the methods used by the CIA to hack smartphones and other devices.

The bombshell report exposed how the US spied on foreign governments, terrorism suspects and other targets, creating a major embarrassment for Washington’s intelligence agencies. It also reportedly triggered a secret CIA plot to kidnap or assassinate WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Prior to his arrest in 2018, Schulte had helped create the hacking tools that he later exposed to WikiLeaks. The CIA tactics included efforts to turn so-called smart TVs – televisions with online connectivity – into listening devices. Prosecutors claimed he was behind “the most damaging disclosures of classified information in American history.”Schulte argued during his July 2022 trial that the CIA and FBI were making him a scapegoat for a humiliating leak of data that could have been stolen by hundreds of other people. He claimed, too, that he had no motive to carry out such a leak.

During Thursday’s sentencing hearing, he complained of horrible conditions in his New York jail cell, which he called a “torture cage,” and he said prosecutors were seeking “vengeance” after previously offering him a plea bargain calling for a 10-year prison sentence. Furman found that Schulte was motivated by “anger, spite and perceived grievance” against his CIA bosses after they ignored his complaints about working conditions. After being jailed in 2018, the ex-programmer continued trying to leak classified materials in what prosecutors called an “information war” with the US government, the judge said.

While executing a search warrant in the espionage case, FBI investigators allegedly found an encrypted cache of more than 3,000 images and videos depicting child sexual abuse on Schulte’s home computer, according to prosecutors. More than six years of his 40-year prison sentence stemmed from the pornography charges. Although Furman didn’t grant the request by the US Department of Justice to imprison Schulte for life, he did agree to apply a “terrorism enhancement,” a legal provision that allows harsher sentences for terrorism-related offenses. Assange, who has been jailed in London since 2019 while fighting extradition to the US, faces up to 175 years in prison on 17 espionage charges.

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Waters is 80 years old and doing massive sold out shows all the time. He’ll be fine.

Roger Waters Faces Axe by Record Label Over Defiant Israel Stance (Sp.)

Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG) is reportedly planning to axe its 2016 publishing deal with 80-year-old rock legend Roger Waters over his “inflammatory comments” on the crises in Israel and Ukraine, and his outspoken criticism of the United States. Sources told entertainment magazine Variety that the Germany-based record giant is getting ready to take the radical step to “separate entirely” from Waters. Ordinarily, publishing deals are generally allowed to expire without renewal instead of being prematurely ended. Waters mentioned being “fired” by BMG in an interview with independent journalist Glenn Greenwald late last year, citing pressure from Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League pro-Israeli lobbying group, over his outspoken position on the conflict in Gaza.

“Bertelsmann’s, did they say ‘F*ck you Jonathan Greenblatt, we’re a proper company and this is a great artist and we have his publishing and we supported him and he makes great records’? No, they didn’t. They went ‘ok’ and they fired me, boom!” Waters recalled, accusing Greenblatt of falsely labeling him an “anti-Semite” and threatening to “remind the public” that BGM “collaborated with the Nazis in World War II” to push the label to axe him. After the October 7 escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli crisis, Waters, a longtime self-professed pro-Palestinian peace activist, accused Israel of “committing genocide” and suggested that “its leaders and any Western leaders who support it should be prosecuted under the Genocide Convention.”

On Ukraine, Waters was invited by Russia to speak at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council last February, where he condemned all sides in the conflict but emphasized that Russia’s special military operation was “not unprovoked” and the “provocateurs” must be condemned “in the strongest possible terms.” Waters’ nuanced stance on the Ukrainian crisis led his name to be placed on a notorious ‘kill list’ website linked to the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs. Consistently speaking out against the suspected crimes of the UK government as a “willing accomplice and satellite of the American Empire,” Rogers has decried the “US Empire” as “the most evil of all by a factor of at least ten times.”

Waters’ future with BGM was called into question last year. After being appointed CEO of BMG last July, record industry big whig Thomas Coesfeld unilaterally canceled the release of a new 50th anniversary recording of Dark Side of the Moon, the legendary album which propelled Pink Floyd and Waters to international stardom in 1973. The album wound up being released by independent UK-based publisher Cooking Vinyl Publishing instead. Waters was Pink Floyd’s lead lyricist, co-lead vocalist and band leader between 1968 and 1985. He was inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005, and has often been characterized as one of the top rock singer-songwriters of all time.

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Steele belongs in jail. But he has protection.

UK High Court Throws Out Trump’s Christopher Steele Case (BBC)

Donald Trump’s attempt to bring a case in the UK courts against a former MI6 officer who wrote a salacious dossier linking him to Russia has failed. The former president had been seeking to use data protection laws to sue Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd, the company run by Christopher Steele. Mr Steele compiled the dossier which had unproven allegations about bribing officials and sex parties. It was leaked to the media just before Mr Trump was sworn in as president. In bringing the lawsuit, he said the dossier contained allegations that were inaccurate and breached his data protection rights. A ruling on Thursday by the High Court in London threw out the case. Mrs Justice Steyn DBE said she did not make any judgement on the allegations themselves but found Mr Trump’s claim had not been brought within the six-year limitation period.

“There are no compelling reasons to allow the claim to proceed to trial,” she wrote. A statement is expected from Mr Steele later today. The case stems from 2016, when a US political consultancy asked Mr Steele’s company to produce a report into potential Russian interference in that year’s US general election. The project was paid for by Hillary Clinton’s Democrats and other political opponents of Mr Trump. Mr Steele, the former head of MI6’s Russia desk, sent his findings to the FBI, a British national security officer and an aide to a senior US senator. The dossier, later obtained and published by BuzzFeed News, detailed uncorroborated intelligence claims that Mr Trump had a “compromising relationship with the Kremlin”.

The former president said in his witness statement when he brought the case last year that “none of these things [in the Steele dossier] ever happened.” “I can confirm that I did not, at any time engage in perverted sexual behaviour including the hiring of prostitutes to engage in ‘golden showers’ in the presidential suite of a hotel in Moscow.” Mr Trump said official investigations had debunked the dossier but it continued “to cause me significant damage and distress” because people still believed it. He added that he had not had time to sue in the UK before 2023 because he had been busy being president. Antony White KC, for Orbis, told the court in October that Mr Trump had accepted that the company was not responsible for BuzzFeed’s publication of the document.

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X thread that Musk labeled “interesting”.

“Elon Musk paid more income tax than anyone ever in the history of Earth back in 2021. He paid over $11 billion in taxes.”

Interesting – Elon Musk (Kanekoa)

Judge Kathaleen McCormick rescinded Elon Musk’s $55 billion Tesla compensation package, overturning the company’s board and 80% of its shareholders. McCormick also ruled against @elonmusk during his Twitter acquisition. Before becoming the head of the Delaware Chancery Court, McCormick worked at a Delaware law firm called Young Conaway. This firm and its employees have been major donors to President Joe Biden for decades. In 2016, Hunter Biden hosted a gubernatorial campaign event for Congressman John Carney, with then-Vice President Joe Biden as the guest speaker. This event took place at the Law Offices of Young Conaway in Wilmington, Delaware. Carney, a close friend of Joe Biden for the last four decades, later became governor and nominated Kathaleen McCormick, a partner at Young Conaway, to her position on the Delaware Chancery Court.

In a March 2018 email, Hunter Biden claimed to personally know every judge on the Delaware Chancery Court while threatening legal action against his Chinese business partners. “I will bring the suit in the Chancery court in Delaware – which as you know is my home state and I am privileged to have worked with and know every judge on the chancery court.” After Elon Musk purchased Twitter with the stated goal of restoring free-speech, President Biden called for a federal investigation into Musk on the podium at the White House. Following this, the Biden Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, and Federal Trade Commission initiated legal actions and investigations against Tesla, SpaceX, and X. This recent decision by Judge McCormick, who worked with Biden’s top donors and was nominated by Biden’s close friend, to override Tesla’s board and the majority of its shareholders is another clear example of the Biden administration and its allies weaponizing the American legal system against their political opponents.

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Assange

 

 

 

 

Brahman

 

 

Treat

 

 

Disabled
https://twitter.com/i/status/1753069487925190827

 

 

Tiny
https://twitter.com/i/status/1752811211866116527

 

 

Mandarin

 

 

Ears
https://twitter.com/i/status/1752788518420840805

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 012024
 
 February 1, 2024  Posted by at 9:30 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  75 Responses »


Wassily Kandinsky Clear connection 1925

 

Let Me Get This Story Straight (Teslaconomics)
A Cult Whose Demise Should Probably Be Regretted (Karganovic)
White House Staffer Reveals What Biden Aides ‘Can’t Say Publicly’ (RT)
Greg Abbott and the Invasion of the Border Snatchers (Jeffries)
Chinese Defense Chief Promises Support To Russia On ‘Ukrainian Issue’ (RT)
NATO’s Big Hitters Oppose Ukrainian Membership – FP (RT)
Breakthrough On All Fronts Ahead Of Schedule (Helmer)
ICJ Rejects Ukraine’s Terrorism-Related Complaints Against Russia (TASS)
Zaluzhny May Become More Dangerous for Zelensky if Fired (Sp.)
US Troops Told To Prepare For War In Gaza – Media (RT)
No US Threat Will Go Unanswered – Iran (RT)
Will the Hegemon Ever Accept a New Westphalian World Order? (Pepe Escobar)
Monitor’s Report: Factual Inaccuracies, Disingenuous – Trump Attorney (ET)
Trump Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize (RT)
Trillions Spent on ‘Climate Change’ Based on Faulty Temperature Data (ET)

 

 

January 23 2018

 

 

 

 

X thread. “..if Elon were to not hit these milestones, he would have been paid essentially nothing..”

Let Me Get This Story Straight (Teslaconomics)

So Elon’s 2018 compensation package was approved by ~80% of Tesla shareholders during a time the company’s valuation was ~$60B ($20 per share). The plan would require him to grow the market cap by $50B increments with the first milestone starting at a $100B valuation with the final milestone being $650B, in addition to aggressive revenue, pretax profit growth targets that many thought would be impossible, especially knowing the company was facing bankruptcy dead in the eyes during this time. If Elon were to hit all the milestones, he would then be granted this full $55B compensation package that gave him stock options to purchase Tesla stock at a heavily discounted price and the stock could not be sold for another 5 yrs after exercising the options to prevent an “exercise & run”.

He hit all the milestones and created real value for the company & its shareholders (today, the valuation of Tesla sits at ~600B, a 10X from the year the comp package was approved, and a world class financial war chest). Also, btw, if Elon were to not hit these milestones, he would have been paid essentially nothing. Then in 2019, a shareholder named Richard Tornetta (who held 9 shares of Tesla) filed a lawsuit claiming that the compensation package was excessive & unfair, claiming the board had not acted in the best interest of its shareholders. Then today, the Delaware judge named Kathaleen St. Jude McCormick voided this compensation package claiming it was excessive and the process for coming up with Elon’s comp plan wasn’t independent bc he controlled the BOD and the directors who approved the plan weren’t truly independent.

Further claiming that the shareholders who approved the comp plan weren’t made aware of this controlled relationship. Wow… you really can’t make this stuff up, this is literally what just happened. Personally, I’m not so concerned about Tesla bc I believe the board & shareholders will approve an even better & more aggressive compensation package for Elon (e.g. include the $55B 2018 comp that he deserves, give him 25% voting share, include milestones for Tesla to become the largest valued company in the world & more, etc.) which will ultimately keep Elon motivated to stay at Tesla and build the future of AI & robotics within the company. However, my main concern here is the fundamental foundation of capitalism that America is built upon.

The CEO of a company was incentivized with a compensation package & it was approved by its shareholders to create value and he did. He hit all the milestones that were laid out, it wasn’t a pump or dump, and he didn’t steal or deceive shareholders. He simply went all in, put his blood, sweat, and tears into building the best products to change the world for the better, which created tremendous value for the ones that believed, invested, and stuck through. And now a judge has retroactively removed the reward for the leader that got the company to where it is today. Why would any CEO/founder in America want to work hard, when the result of his or her hard work can easily be taken away unfairly like this? What happened today, is very wrong and if nothing is done to fix it, it will crush the entrepreneurial spirit & heartbeat that America was originally built upon.

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There appears to be a strong link between this and what’s happening to Elon. A way of thinking, a culture, that’s falling apart.

A Cult Whose Demise Should Probably Be Regretted (Karganovic)

It would be unforgivably simplistic to attribute the implosion of the Soviet Union mainly to unfavourable demographics. That was a complex operation in which a multitude of factors played a role. But the virtue of the diagnostic investigation conducted forty years ago by Emmanuel Todd was that he demonstrated how seemingly minor yet tell-tale signs could point to undercurrents and important processes that unjustifiably may have been overlooked. And indeed, it is in the West now that tell-tale indications of disarray are increasingly emerging, to the consternation of those who have eyes to see and historical perspective to make comparisons. These signs point to a variety of breakdowns, only some of which are purely mechanical. They appear mostly to be cultural in essence, and therein lies the danger. A few recent random examples will serve to make the point.

Exhibit A: Political corruption. Arizona Republican Senate candidate Kari Lake, who many suspect was cheated out of victory in the race for governor in 2022, is again the subject of political controversy in her state. A few weeks ago, she published the tape recording of a disgraceful bribe offer made to her by the state chairman of her own party. After requesting a confidential tête à tête conversation, that individual visited Lake in her home to inform her that wealthy and powerful “people back East” (in America that is a universally understood metaphor for deep state power centres) were prepared to satisfy Ms. Lake’s financial requirements if she would withdraw from the Senate race, presumably to make way for a controllable Establishment candidate. She only had to name her figure. To her credit, she flatly refused. Readers from “third world” countries will be nonplussed by these revelations. But the matter should be viewed in context. In America political corruption is not unknown, but the brazenness of this particular proposition made in Arizona is a quantum leap in relation to previously recorded outrages of that nature.

Exhibit B: Academic corruption. Harvard University President Claudine Gay was compelled to resign because of multiple plagiarisms discovered in her thin scholarly opus. Harvard was the flagship of the dozen leading Ivy League academic institutions in America. Its reputation for integrity is unimpeachable and sacrosanct. The appointment of the scarcely qualified Ms. Gay, apparently selected for her politically correct external characteristics rather than serious scholarship, was sufficiently problematic. But now her fall from grace, triggered by the embarrassing charge of plagiarism, gravely compromises not just Harvard but inescapably the American academe as a whole. And if that were not enough, also at Harvard another academic scandal is brewing. Credible allegations have been put forward, and are being investigated, that researchers at the Dana-Farber cancer institute affiliated with Harvard Medical School had manipulated images and research data.

One of the papers under review was authored by Dana-Farber CEO Laurie Glimcher. Molecular biologist Sholto David suggested Adobe Photoshop was used to copy and paste images in some of the papers. If correct, it is quite an adolescent way of cobbling together an academic research study. “We are committed to a culture of accountability and integrity. Therefore, every inquiry is examined fully to ensure the soundness of the scientific literature,” and so on and so forth without missing a single platitude, responded Dana-Farber’s research integrity officer Barrett Rollins in a statement issued after the embarrassing allegations were made public. But big words cannot hide the damage that had been inflicted nor suppress questions about the implications. Merely alleging such academically unbecoming trickery would have been unimaginable a very short time ago.

Exhibit C: Mechanical breakdown. Aviation does not seem to be fairing much better either. Boeing is an iconic American corporation. It is to industrial manufacturing roughly what Harvard is to higher education. That is a very important fact to remember when assessing the implications of several unprecedented Delta and Alaska Airlines incidents which occurred recently, involving Boeing commercial airplanes on which inadequately secured exit doors had been blown off in-flight. To make matters worse and disturbingly indicative of the quality of workmanship in the new normal, when these incidents occurred the airplanes (minus the critical plug bolts) were in mint condition, having come off the Boeing assembly lines just weeks before. Providentially, no one was sucked out into the surrounding stratosphere, but there is no guarantee that next time the passengers and crew will be as lucky.

The implications of these failures, that are only on the surface mechanical, may be colossal. They go to the core of Amiel’s observation about the cult of excellence that once upon a time reigned in the West. The question is: what has happened to it, what explains its disappearance?

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“She’s not popular, but you can’t remove the first black lady to be vice president from the g*****n presidential ticket..”

White House Staffer Reveals What Biden Aides ‘Can’t Say Publicly’ (RT)

A White House aide has admitted that his colleagues are worried about US President Joe Biden’s deteriorating cognitive skills and the unpopularity of his vice president, Kamala Harris, but they can’t publicly voice those concerns as the president seeks reelection later this year. Speaking in a hidden-camera interview posted online by undercover journalist James O’Keefe on Wednesday, White House cybersecurity analyst Charlie Kraiger acknowledged that the 81-year-old Biden is “slowing down.” He also said that there had been discussions about removing Harris from the 2024 ticket, given her struggles as vice president, but the Democratic Party’s nominees are set in stone.

“I think they need to get rid of him or get rid of her, but I don’t think they’re gonna do that,” Kraiger told O’Keefe, who disguised himself for the conversation by dyeing his hair and wearing fake glasses. Asked if White House staffers could speak publicly and truthfully regarding the fitness of Biden and Harris to seek another term, he added, “No, no, they’ve got to toe the line.” Kraiger admitted that staffers are “really concerned” about Biden’s mental state, which O’Keefe called “dementia,” but they have to keep those worries private. “They know it; of course, they do. But it’s the optics and, like, the scandal, I think they feel wouldn’t be worth it. I’m just telling you what I’ve heard. Does it make sense? No, but that’s what I’ve heard.”

Kraiger works in the White House Executive Office as a cybersecurity analyst and foreign affairs desk officer, according to a now-locked LinkedIn account. He told O’Keefe that he manages security of the computer networks at the US State Department and the US Agency for International Development (USAID). The staffer said White House officials probably understand the severity of Biden’s mental decline, “but no one in modern history has ever said, like, we’re not gonna renominate the president for a second term. That just hasn’t happened.” White House aides are similarly fatalistic about the first female US vice president, who was born of a black father and an Indian mother. “She’s not popular, but you can’t remove the first black lady to be vice president from the g*****n presidential ticket,” he said.

“Like, what kind of message are you going to send to, like, African-American voters?” He added that Harris was unable to retain black staffers, who “quit on her en masse,” but administration officials “sadly” decided to keep her as Biden’s running mate after an internal debate. Kraiger described himself as “fairly high up” in the Biden administration and, ironically, he claimed to be “good at keeping secrets.” O’Keefe outed himself at the end of the interview, asking Kraiger how a White House security official wound up meeting with a famous hidden-camera journalist. “We’re running a good cybersecurity operation,” the staffer insisted. O’Keefe replied, “Obviously not, because you’re meeting with me. Did you not do your research? What is this clown show you guys are running over at the White House?”

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“The Founding Fathers (sorry, there were no Founding Mothers, and certainly no Founding Transgenders)..”

Greg Abbott and the Invasion of the Border Snatchers (Jeffries)

We’ve come a long way from the Boston Tea Party. What would happen to “extremists” throwing tea into a harbor today? Independence Hall. Lexington and Concord. The Articles of Confederation. Patrick Henry declaring, “I may not agree with what you say, but I’ll defend to my dying day your right to say it.” The Founding Fathers (sorry, there were no Founding Mothers, and certainly no Founding Transgenders) would all be marginalized if they were living and breathing in the Orwellian mess that is America 2.0. They’d be relegated to writing on Substack. Maybe some of them would be subscribers of mine. No mainstream media outlet would give them even a momentary platform. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Keep your “insurrectionist” thoughts to yourself. That little line should be confined to Ben Franklin’s womanizing. Yes, Ben actually used “would you like to join me in the pursuit of happiness?” as an eighteenth century pickup line. When he wasn’t consorting with prostitutes dressed as nuns in his demonic Hellfire Club.

Aside from Franklin, and certainly the bankers’ stooge Alexander Hamilton, the Founders were a legendary lot. The “greatest generation” if such a thing ever existed. As recently as 1963, Thomas Jefferson was thought so highly of that President Kennedy would tell a state dinner comprised of some of the leading cultural figures of the time, “The is the greatest assemblage of talent ever gathered together in the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.” That kind of comment would get any Democrat, and probably any American, “cancelled” today. Sally Hemings was the real talent behind Jefferson. She wrote the Declaration of Independence. Designed Monticello. Ask any court historian. He was a racist rapist.

One of the few responsibilities ceded to the central government under the Constitution is defending the border. Article 4, section 4, states clearly that “The United States shall guarantee to every State in the Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against invasion…” Our southern border has been under an invasion of illegal aliens, illegal immigrants, undocumented migrants, whatever you want to call them, for over forty years now. More significantly, the federal government has gone beyond enabling this invasion. They have assisted it. Made it possible. Probably financed much of it. Greg Abbott has been governor of Texas since 2015. He epitomizes the Stupid Party’s tradition of issuing lukewarm rhetoric about “border security,” but ultimately doing nothing to stop the invasion. For unclear reasons, he has now stepped up the rhetoric decisively. After the Supreme Court- Trump’s supposed court, with his lovely nominee Amy Coney Barrett voting with the Left as usual- made one of its trademark disastrous decisions, Abbott threw down the gauntlet.

The Court ruled that Texas can not try to stop the Feds from cutting down the barbed wire fencing they’ve put up in places, in a laughable attempt to stop the flow of immigrants. Think about that; the highest court in the land- the Supreme Court- has ruled that a state cannot defend its borders. True, the Feds are constitutionally delegated with that power, but they quite blatantly have neglected to do this for several decades now. Under the Biden administration, the numbers coming across the border with literally no resistance from U.S. authorities, have reached such a critical mass that it has finally caught the attention of even the sleeping Republicucks. When you have one of the three branches in government- the Executive- aiding and abetting a foreign invasion, another- the Legislative- encouraging it as well, and now the Judicial branch giving the invasion a legal imprimatur, then you understand the situation.

Abbott’s fiery statements brought to mind visions of Sons of Liberty dancing in our heads. He has sounded remarkably like the Confederates did back in 1860, when he charged that the federal government has broken their “compact” with the states. This was the central premise behind the decision of the southern states to secede. Our fast food culture insists it was all about slavery. The dastardly, tobacco spitting whiter than White secessionists wanted their slaves, and that was that. Abraham Lincoln, the secular saint of our crumbling civilization, responded by declaring, “The Union of these States is perpetual.” That contradicted, of course, the guiding principle of our War for Independence, which was that all people have a right to consent to those who govern them. In 1860, the Confederate states no longer consented.

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“Russia and China are not “creating military blocs,” and their military cooperation is not “directed against third countries.”

Chinese Defense Chief Promises Support To Russia On ‘Ukrainian Issue’ (RT)

Chinese Defense Minister Dong Jun has told his Russian counterpart, Sergey Shoigu, that strategic cooperation between Moscow and Beijing is a pillar of maintaining peace around the globe, in his first public appearance since his appointment at the end of last year. As two great powers, Russia and China should deepen their cooperation and decisively respond to global challenges, the defense chiefs said during a video call on Wednesday. “We have supported you on the Ukrainian issue despite the fact that the US and the EU continue to put pressure on the Chinese side,” Dong stated, promising that Beijing “will not change or abandon our established policy course over this,” even under the threat of more sanctions.

At the same time, China feels “strong support from the Russian side on the Taiwan issue as well as on other topics of our key interests,” Dong added. “As the two most important and key forces in the world, we should decisively respond to global challenges.” Beijing’s newly-appointed defense chief claimed that “the US is always targeting Russia and China, seeking to retain its hegemony around the globe,” but added that “history and the reality prove that hegemony is doomed to failure.” Shoigu agreed that unlike Western states, Russia and China are not “creating military blocs,” and their military cooperation is not “directed against third countries.” The defense chief noted that “Russian-Chinese relations in the military sphere are developing steadily in all areas,” and said he was looking forward to “close, productive cooperation” with his Chinese counterpart.

China’s position on the Ukraine crisis has put it at odds with the US, with some American officials accusing Beijing of actively supporting Moscow rather than maintaining neutrality. Beijing has blamed NATO’s expansion in Europe for the crisis in Ukraine and has denounced the use of unilateral sanctions by the US and its allies as a tool of geopolitical pressure. Moscow perceives the Ukraine conflict as part of a Western proxy war against Russia, which is being waged in an attempt to preserve US hegemony on the world stage. Chinese officials have said that Washington is stuck in a “Cold War mentality.”

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US and Germany.

NATO’s Big Hitters Oppose Ukrainian Membership – FP (RT)

The US and Germany are resisting calls by NATO allies to invite Ukraine into the bloc at a major summit later this year, fearing that the move could trigger a full-scale clash with Russia, Foreign Policy magazine reported on Tuesday. Citing a dozen current and former officials, the American magazine wrote that both Kiev and some of its most ardent backers, including Poland and the Baltic states, are pushing for Ukraine to be accepted into the US-led bloc at a key summit in Washington, DC in July. Proponents of fast-tracking Ukraine’s NATO bid argue that only full-fledged membership for Kiev could force Russia to end the conflict, while claiming that the move would be cheaper in the long run than arms shipments in perpetuity.

However, according to the article, the US and Germany, the two top supporters of Ukraine in terms of military aid, disagree. Officials in these countries reportedly believe that while Kiev should eventually join NATO, now is not the right time, adding that the West should instead focus on supplying Ukraine with weapons. FP added that admitting Ukraine into the bloc while it is locked in a conflict with Russia could trigger a full-scale clash between NATO and Moscow, stemming from Article 5 of the alliance’s treaty which stipulates that an attack on one member of the bloc is an attack on all members.

According to FP, the stand-off is exacerbated by the stance of several EU members, including Hungary and Slovakia, who have opposed sending arms to Ukraine. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has warned that Kiev’s membership in the bloc could draw NATO into the conflict. His Slovak counterpart, Robert Fico, has said the move could spark World War III. The US has reportedly urged EU members not to raise the issue at the summit, arguing that it could expose behind-the-scenes divisions. Moscow has repeatedly warned the West against providing military aid to Ukraine, saying it will only prolong the conflict. Russian President Vladimir Putin has also said that Kiev’s push to join NATO, which was enshrined in its constitution as a strategic objective in 2019, was one of the key reasons for the current conflict.

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“I imagine we’ll start seeing Russian tanks with fuel tanks fitted for extended range appearing and Russian airborne troops making air assaults in the Ukrainian rear within weeks.”

Breakthrough On All Fronts Ahead Of Schedule (Helmer)

When the General Staff have been discussing with President Vladimir Putin the timing of the Russian offensive to force the Kiev regime into capitulation, it has been agreed, understood, and repeated that the strategic reserves of the Ukrainian forces should be destroyed first, together with the supply lines for the weapons and ammunition crossing the border from the US and the NATO allies. This process, they also agreed, should take as long as required with least casualties on the Russian side, as determined by military intelligence. Also agreed and pre-conditional, there should be no repeat of the political intelligence failures of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) which precipitated the failed special forces operation known as the Battle of Antonov (Hostomel) Airport from February 24 to April 2, 2022.

Taking account of the mistakes made then by the SVR director, Sergei Naryshkin, and the subsequent mistakes of military officers around Yevgeny Prigozhin, the General Staff has also accepted that their tactical operations must run least risk of Russian casualties through March 17, the final day of the presidential election. Reinforcing these preconditions for the timing of the Russian offensive, General Winter and General Patience, have joined the Stavka meetings. This week military sources believe there has been a turning point – on the Ukrainian battlefield, and on the Russian clock. The daily Defense Ministry briefing and bulletin from Moscow reported last Thursday, before the Friday weekly summary, that the Ukrainian KIA (killed in action) for the previous twenty-four hours totaled 795, with the ratio of offensive tactics to defence, 3 to 3. On Monday, the KIA total was 680, the ratio 4 to 3. On Tuesday, KIA came to 885, the ratio 5 to 1. The casualty rate is unusually high; the shift to offence is recognizably new, if not announced.

The “Stavka Project”, a military briefing which is broadcast by Vladimir Soloviev, confirms the positional breakthroughs this week on several of the fronts or “directions”, as the Defense Ministry calls them, along the Donbass line; click to watch (in Russian). In Boris Rozhin’s summary of the Defense Ministry briefing materials, published before dawn on Wednesday morning, the leading Russian military blogger (Colonel Cassad) identifies “small advances”, “slight movements”, some positional “successes”, other positional “counter-fighting”, and “no significant progress yet”. The adverb is military talk for timing. According to a military source outside Russia, “the Russian breakthrough is beginning to happen now. It’s being coordinated with strikes and raids along the northern border. The commitment of the ‘crack’ Ukrainian brigades at the expense of other sectors shows how desperate [General Valery] Zaluzhny is to plug the holes.

He knows that the target is the isolation of Kharkov, the establishment of a demilitarized ‘buffer zone’, as well as the development of a situation whereby all Ukrainian forces east of the Dnieper are threatened with being cut off… and he’s quickly running out of ammunition, not to mention cannon fodder.” “By the end of the winter,” the source has added overnight, “the Ukrainians will barely be able to move along the roads they use to feed the front due to the Russian drone, missile, conventional air, and artillery strikes. Once they can no longer plug the gaps with mechanized units acting as fire-fighting brigades, it’s just a matter of time before the big breakthroughs and encirclements begin. At the current burn rate of Ukrainian forces, I imagine we’ll start seeing Russian tanks with fuel tanks fitted for extended range appearing and Russian airborne troops making air assaults in the Ukrainian rear within weeks.”

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“Ukraine sought to prove that the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic are terrorist organizations..”

ICJ Rejects Ukraine’s Terrorism-Related Complaints Against Russia (TASS)

The UN International Court of Justice has found most of Ukraine’s complaints against Russia in a lawsuit over potential violations of the convention that fights the financing of terrorism to be groundless, court President Joan Donoghue said as she read out the verdict. She said Russia failed to conduct investigations into people who could allegedly finance terrorism in Ukraine. The court rejected Ukraine’s accusations that Russia violated the other clauses of the convention, which were listed in the Ukrainian lawsuit. On 16 January 2017, Ukraine filed a lawsuit with the court accusing Russia of violating the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. As part of the case, where it concerns the convention on stopping the financing of terrorism, Ukraine sought to prove that the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic are terrorist organizations, and Russia gave them funding and weapons.

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“London is more interested in the continuation of the conflict and in waging a “terrorist war.” But Washington is much more keen to freeze the conflict, given the forthcoming presidential elections..”

Zaluzhny May Become More Dangerous for Zelensky if Fired (Sp.)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is still seeking to replace Zaluzhny despite dismissing the rumors of the general’s sacking earlier, the Financial Times reported. The newspaper’s sources claimed that Zaluzhny was offered a position as a defense adviser, but that he turned it down. Possible candidates for Zaluzhny’s replacement are said to be Oleksandr Syrsky, the commander of Ukraine’s ground forces, and Kyrylo Budanov, the head of the country’s military intelligence directorate. But the Economist and the Times report that both have refused to fill Zaluzhny’s shoes. The British press drew attention to former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s opposition to Zelensky’s apparent move: “Firing Zaluzhny, if true, would hit at the heart of national unity,” wrote Poroshenko.

“The fact is that there was an attempt to replace Zaluzhny; it was an impromptu attempt that failed, because Zelensky hoped to remove a political competitor, not so much a military one,” Alexander Dudchak, leading researcher at the Institute of CIS Countries, and expert on the ‘Another Ukraine’ movement, told Sputnik. “And the fact that he offered [Zaluzhny] the position of adviser [speaks volumes]. By assuming that role he would have moved away from military affairs while not becoming a political competitor,” Dudchak said. “But in Ukraine, two different Western groups are trying to solve their problems: one from Washington, the other from London, with slightly different visions of the future of Ukraine, how to use it and what to do with it now, and in general — there are forces through which they accomplish their tasks.”

It is these forces who are playing the Zaluzhny card right now, the researcher argued. According to Dudchak, the so-called pro-US faction includes Zaluzhny, the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) and some figures in the President’s Office. The other grouping is pro-British and includes the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense (GUR), its chief Budanov and Syrsky.”So far the replacement has been cancelled. This does not mean that Budanov changed his mind or that Syrsky did not want to [assume the position]. Who’s asking them? Syrsky has no opinion of his own. He even changed the language he speaks. Because listening to him speaking Ukrainian is weird. And will he show some kind of opinion? No way,” Dudchak explained.

“So for now, the operation to replace Zaluzhny has simply been postponed. This does not mean that he will not be removed. Therefore, these figures which look suitable for replacing Zaluzhny have remained in a standby mode for now.” The decision to replace Zaluzhny could stem from the West’s changing goals in Ukraine. The researcher outlined two scenarios, apparently sought by Washington and London: London is more interested in the continuation of the conflict and in waging a “terrorist war.” But Washington is much more keen to freeze the conflict, given the forthcoming presidential elections in November 2024.

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“..on standby to forward deploy to support troops in the case of on ground US involvement in the Israel Hamas war..”

US Troops Told To Prepare For War In Gaza – Media (RT)

US Air Force personnel in Iraq have been ordered to remain on standby in case of “on ground US involvement in the Israel Hamas war,” The Intercept reported on Tuesday, citing a Pentagon memo. Circulated earlier this month, the memo instructs an unknown number of troops to be placed “on standby to forward deploy to support troops in the case of on ground US involvement in the Israel Hamas war,” the news site reported. The standby order applies to troops stationed in Iraq since last year, according to a separate Pentagon document seen by The Intercept. The White House has stated on several occasions since October that its support for the Jewish state would not involve American soldiers fighting alongside their Israeli counterparts.

The US responded to Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel by immediately dispatching two aircraft carriers to the region and preparing 2,000 additional troops for deployment to the Middle East, but White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters on October 10 that “there is no intention to put US boots on the ground” in Israel or Gaza. However, US special forces have been active in Israel since October, with senior official Christopher Maier telling reporters at the time that American commandos were “actively helping the Israelis to do a number of things.” The Pentagon has also admitted to flying spy drones over Gaza “in support of hostage recovery efforts.” Since the conflict began, US troops in Iraq, Syria, and Jordan have come under fire more than 150 times, with Iran-aligned Shi’ite militias subjecting their bases to regular drone and rocket barrages.

One such attack on an outpost in Jordan on Sunday killed three US soldiers and injured several dozen others. American ships and warplanes have also launched several strikes against Houthi militants in Yemen, in a bid to break the Houthi blockade on “Israel-linked” merchant shipping passing through the Red Sea. The Houthis have responded by targeting US commercial and military vessels in the area. On Wednesday, the militants announced that they had fired multiple missiles at the destroyer USS Gravely. US Central Command, which oversees American military operations in the Middle East, said that the Graveley shot down one incoming missile, and suffered no damage or casualties.

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“These groups decide and act based on their own principles and priorities as well as the interests of their country and people..”

No US Threat Will Go Unanswered – Iran (RT)

Iran will not let any threat from the US go “unanswered,” the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said on Wednesday. The statement came after US President Joe Biden said he had drawn up a response to an attack on American troops in Jordan. Biden told reporters on Tuesday that he had decided how to respond to the drone attack, which left three US soldiers dead and dozens more injured on Sunday. The White House blamed the assault on Iranian-aligned militants operating in Iraq and Syria, while Biden said he holds Iran responsible for the deaths, “in the sense that they’re supplying the weapons to the people who did it.” The US president did not reveal what kind of response he had planned.

“We hear threats coming from American officials, [and] we tell them that they have already tested us and we now know one another, no threat will be left unanswered,” Major General Hossein Salami said at an event in Tehran, according to Iran’s Tasnim News Agency. “We are not looking for a war, but are not afraid of war either,” the IRGC commander added. Iran’s envoy to the UN, Amir Saeid Iravani, issued a similar warning on Tuesday night. “The Islamic Republic will decisively respond to any attack on the county, its interests and nationals under any pretexts,” Iravani said, according to Iran’s state news agency, IRNA.

Tehran has denied orchestrating the fatal attack on US troops. While Iran arms and trains numerous Shiite militias in Iraq and Syria, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Monday that these fighters “do not take orders from the Islamic Republic of Iran.” “These groups decide and act based on their own principles and priorities as well as the interests of their country and people,” a ministry spokesman said. Militant groups have launched more than 150 attacks on US bases in the Middle East in recent months, but Sunday’s incident marked the first time American troops in the region were confirmed killed by enemy fire since the Israel-Hamas war began in October.

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“..the permanent NATO obsession in preventing a solid rapprochement between Germany and Russia, by any means necessary..”

Will the Hegemon Ever Accept a New Westphalian World Order? (Pepe Escobar)

A new book by scholar Glenn Diesen, The Ukraine War & The Eurasian World Order, out in mid-February, asks the make-or-break question of the young 21st century: will the Hegemon accept a new geopolitical reality, or will it go Captain Ahab on Moby Dick and drag us all to the depths of a – nuclear – abyss?

[..] Diesen offers a concise, easily accessible mini-history of how we got here. He starts to make the case harking back to the Silk Roads: “The Silk Road was an early model of globalization, although it did not result in a common world order as the civilizations of the world were primarily connected to nomadic intermediaries.” The demise of the Heartland-based Silk Road, actually roads, was caused by the rise of the thalassocratic European powers reconnecting the world in a different way. Yet the hegemony of the collective West could only be fully achieved by applying Divide and Rule across Eurasia. We did not in fact had “five centuries of western dominance”, according to Diesen: it was more like three, or even two (see, for instance, the work of Andre Gunder Frank). In a historical Long View that barely registers.

What is indeed The Big Picture now is that “the unique world order” produced by controlling “the vast Eurasian continent from the maritime periphery is coming to an end”. Diesen hits the nail on the head when it comes to the Russia-China strategic partnership – on which the overwhelmingly majority of European intellectuals is clueless (a crucial exception is French historian, demographer and anthropologist Emmanuel Todd, whose latest book I analyzed here.) With a lovely on the road formulation, Diesen shows how “Russia can be considered the successor of the Mongolian nomads as the last custodian of the Eurasian land corridor”, while China revives the Ancient Silk Roads “with economic connectivity”. In consequence, “a powerful Eurasian gravitational pull is thus reorganizing the supercontinent and the wider world.”

Poviding context, Diesen needs to engage in an obligatory detour to the basics of the Great Game between the Russian and British empires. What stands out is how Moscow already was pivoting to Asia all the way to the late 19th century, when Russian Finance Minister Sergei Witte started to develop a groundbreaking road map for a Eurasia political economy, “borrowing from Alexander Hamilton and Friedrich List.” Witte “wanted to end Russia’s role as an exporter of natural resources to Europe as it resembled ‘the relations of colonial countries with their metropolises’”. And that implies going back to Dostoyevsky, who argued that “Russians are as much Asiatics as European. The mistake of our policy for the past two centuries has been to make the people of Europe believe that we are true Europeans (…) It will be better for us to seek alliances with the Asiatics.” Dostoyevsky meets Putin-Xi. Diesen also needs to go through the obligatory references to Mackinder’s “heartland” obsession – which is the basis of all Anglo-American geopolitics for the past hundred and twenty years.

Mackinder was spooked by railway development – especially the Trans-Siberian by the Russians – as it enabled Moscow to “emulate the nomadic skills of the Scythians, Huns and Mongols” that were essential to control most of Eurasia. Mackinder was particularly focused on railways acting “chiefly as feeders to ocean-going commerce”. Ergo, being a thalassocratic power was not enough: “The heartland is the region to which under modern conditions, sea power can be refused access.” And that’s what leads to the Rosetta Stone of Anglo-American geopolitics: to “prevent the emergence of a hegemon or a group of states capable of dominating Europe and Eurasia that could threaten the dominant maritime power.” That explains everything from WWI and WWII to the permanent NATO obsession in preventing a solid rapprochement between Germany and Russia, by any means necessary.

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“..fees paid by the Trump Organization. Ms. Jones has been paid $2.6 million in her 14-month period as an independent monitor..”

Monitor’s Report: Factual Inaccuracies, Disingenuous – Trump Attorney (ET)

Attorneys for former President Donald Trump on Monday responded to a recent report issued by a court-appointed independent monitor regarding Trump Organization finances, disputing former judge Barbara Jones’s characterization of the financial statements as incomplete and inconsistent. Ms. Jones recommended that third party monitoring of Trump Organization continue, and concluded that “misstatements and errors may continue to occur,” which defense attorneys said was an effort to continue the monitor’s “exorbitant” fees paid by the Trump Organization. Ms. Jones has been paid $2.6 million in her 14-month period as an independent monitor on the case. Ms. Jones’s team has received Trump Organization financial disclosures to third parties, including lenders and insurers; agreements and documents related to transactions; documents related to Trump Organization entities and dissolutions; bank statements; and documents provided to tax authorities.

Attorney Clifford Robert claimed that the Jan. 26 report, submitted at the request of the court, was also meant to “fill the gaping hole in the Attorney General’s case” and was issued “in bad faith.” “The January 26 Report also contains numerous factual inaccuracies (casting serious doubt on the Monitor’s competency), fails to reference governing standards of any kind, and is otherwise misleading and disingenuous,” the letter reads. The report pointed out errors on seven disclosure items, three inconsistencies, and five clerical errors, which the defense argues are immaterial amid the thousands of pages of financial data related to the 400 entities Ms. Jones is monitoring.

“The Monitor was appointed to report any financial reporting misconduct, suspicious activity or any suspected or actual fraudulent activity,“ the letter reads. ”The Monitor was not appointed to identify math errors or otherwise sensationalize minor and inconsequential accounting discrepancies scattered throughout the financial reports of the over 400 companies comprising the Defendants’ global enterprise.” Mr. Robert pointed out that the biggest discrepancy Ms. Jones identified was a difference of $1 million in an “internal trial balance presentation,” and had no actual impact. Mentions of delays in implementing transactions had provided “no evidence of any inappropriate or untoward conduct,” he added, claiming this representation as an effort to “malign such disclosures.”

Mr. Robert noted that the words “misconduct,” “suspicious activity,” “suspected fraud,” or “actual fraud” do not appear in Ms. Jones’s report at all, and argued the errors she cites have been blown out of proportion. “Moreover, as the Reports and the January 26 Report make clear, every item identified has been resolved to the full satisfaction of the Monitor,” he added. “She has not and cannot point to even a single instance of controversy or complaint between any of the Defendants and outside third parties.”

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Abraham Accords.

Trump Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize (RT)

Former US President Donald Trump has been put forward for the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in the signing of a treaty that helped normalize relations between Israel and several Arab states. The proposal was made by Republican congresswoman Claudia Tenney, who told Fox News on Tuesday that Trump was “instrumental” in facilitating the “historic” Abraham Accords, which she said were “the first peace agreements in the Middle East in almost 30 years.” The lawmaker praised the former president and GOP frontrunner, saying Trump had proven many foreign policy pundits wrong who argued for decades that additional Middle East peace agreements were impossible without a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

”The valiant efforts by President Trump in creating the Abraham Accords were unprecedented and continue to go unrecognized by the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, underscoring the need for his nomination today,” Tenney stated, adding that the move comes at a time when President Joe Biden’s “weak leadership” on the global stage has put national security at risk. Over the weekend, three US service members were killed and dozens were injured in a drone attack on a military outpost in Jordan. Biden has pledged to respond, blaming the incident on Iranian-backed militias. Tehran has denied any involvement in the attack. The Abraham Accords were a series of US-mediated bilateral agreements signed in late 2020 between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco. They helped bring the Jewish state and the Arab nations closer, with the UAE and Bahrain also recognizing Israel’s sovereignty.

However, the treaty has been criticized for emboldening Israel to ignore the rights of Palestinians, as it resulted in Arab states dropping the demand to recognize the state of Palestine. Some experts have argued that the move paved the way for the recent surge in violence. Trump had already been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize several times. In 2020, he was put up for the award by Norwegian MP Christian Tybring-Gjedde, who praised the former president for what he described as his peace-making efforts in the Middle East. That same year, Trump was nominated by Swedish MP Magnus Jacobsson, who cited his role in brokering a deal between Serbia and its breakaway region of Kosovo. Trump’s nomination is considered valid as it was submitted by a member of a national assembly or national government. The 2024 Nobel Peace Prize will be announced in Oslo, Norway in October and awarded in December.

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“..the methods that NOAA employs to try to reduce this don’t work because the bias is so overwhelming..”

Trillions Spent on ‘Climate Change’ Based on Faulty Temperature Data (ET)

To preserve a “livable planet,” the Earth can’t warm more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the United Nations warns.Failure to maintain that level could lead to several catastrophes, including increased droughts and weather-related disasters, more heat-related illnesses and deaths, and less food and more poverty, according to NASA. To avert the looming tribulations and limit global temperature increases, 194 member states and the European Union in 2016 signed the U.N. Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty with a goal to “substantially reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.” After the agreement, global spending on climate-related projects increased exponentially. In 2021 and 2022, the world’s taxpayers spent, on average, $1.3 trillion on such projects each year, according to the nonprofit advisory group Climate Policy Initiative.

That’s more than double the spending rate in 2019 and 2020, which came in at $653 billion per year, and it’s significantly up from the $364 billion per year in 2011 and 2012, the report found. Despite the money pouring in, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that 2023 was the hottest year on record. NOAA’s climate monitoring stations found that the Earth’s average land and ocean surface temperature in 2023 was 1.35 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial average. “Not only was 2023 the warmest year in NOAA’s 174-year climate record—it was the warmest by far,” said Sarah Kapnick, NOAA’s chief scientist. “A warming planet means we need to be prepared for the impacts of climate change that are happening here and now, like extreme weather events that become both more frequent and severe.”

But a growing chorus of climate scientists are saying the temperature readings are faulty and that the trillions of dollars pouring in are based on a problem that doesn’t exist. More than 90 percent of NOAA’s temperature monitoring stations have a heat bias, according to Anthony Watts, a meteorologist, senior fellow for environment and climate at The Heartland Institute, author of climate website Watts Up With That, and director of a study that examined NOAA’s climate stations. “And with that large of a number, over 90 percent, the methods that NOAA employs to try to reduce this don’t work because the bias is so overwhelming,” Mr. Watts told The Epoch Times.“The few stations that are left that are not biased because they are, for example, outside of town in a field and are an agricultural research station that’s been around for 100 years … their data gets completely swamped by the much larger set of biased data. There’s no way you can adjust that out.”

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Marmot
https://twitter.com/i/status/1752682125252297138

 

 

Chase
https://twitter.com/i/status/1752376130449895755

 

 

Boops

 

 

Cat Fox

 

 

Bamboo
https://twitter.com/i/status/1752374246402044238

 

 

Sponge cake

 

 

Texas long horn

 

 

Wind

 

 

 

 

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Nov 302023
 


Paul Cézanne Curtains 1885

 

Israel’s Gaza Offensive Ends in Political, Military Defeat – Scott Ritter (Sp.)
Erdogan Dubs Netanyahu ‘Butcher of Gaza’ (RT)
Hamas Informs Mediators of Willingness To Extend Gaza Truce (Cradle)
Pentagon Struggling To Pay For Middle East Buildup – Politico (RT)
CIA Director Increasingly Supplanting ‘Neocon’ Blinken in Gaza Diplomacy (Sp.)
No Ukraine Ceasefire In 2024 – Moscow (RT)
Deep State Wants to Dump Zelensky After He Outlives Usefulness (Sp.)
Has The Ukraine Conflict Entered Its Endgame? (RT)
West Watching Zelensky-Zaluzhny Fight, Thumbs Up to Most Malleable (Sp.)
Hunter to Face a Moment of Truth Before the House Oversight Committee (Turley)
Russian Oligarchs Contemplate The Devil And The Deep Sea (Helmer)
The French Are Desperate For A New Napoleon. Will They Get One? (Marsden)
DOJ Ordered Twitter Data for Everyone Who Liked, Followed, Retweeted Trump (PB)
Elon Musk to Companies Pulling Ads From X: ‘Go F*** Yourself’ (Sp.)
‘Make Them Pay’: Trump Attacks MSNBC in Social Media Salvo (Sp.)
Judge Rules Contents of Seth Rich Laptop Must Be Released…(CTH)

 

 

 

 

Trump Tucker

 

 

 

 

Jeffrey Sachs

 

 

Ritter

 

 

 

 

Bill Gates

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The world has flipped against Israel. Israel has been exposed as a war criminal state,” Ritter said. “Even America, who has shown the ability to chug blood by the gallon, is saying ‘enough is enough’.”

Israel’s Gaza Offensive Ends in Political, Military Defeat – Scott Ritter (Sp.)

Israel has lost both the political and military battle in the Gaza Strip, says a leading geopolitical commentator. Israel and the Hamas Islamic resistance movement that governs the besieged Palestinian enclave reportedly agreed on Tuesday to extend the four-day ceasefire, brokered by Persian Gulf Arab state Qatar, for another two to three days. Exchanges of captives will continue during that extension, with Hamas releasing 20 Israelis taken prisoner during its October 7 raids into southern Israel. The number of Palestinians to be freed was not reported, but Israel had previously released 180 women and children from its jails in return for 61 Israeli civilians and roughly 20 foreigners held by Hamas. Former US Marine Scott Ritter told Sputnik that the bombing and ground invasion had been unsuccessful when measured “by Israel’s own standards.” He pointed out that Israel had dismissed any talk of a ceasefire from the start of the latest escalation on October 7, while Hamas had offered a truce and prisoner exchange.

“That was Hamas’ goal all along,” Ritter said. “One of the stated objectives of Hamas was to get Israel to release the thousands of Palestinians that it’s holding.” The commentator noted that Hamas had made three political demands after launching its al-Aqsa Flood operation: statehood for Palestine, the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails and an end to Israeli settler and police incursions into the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem — Islam’s third holiest site and under Jordanian jurisdiction. “Those are the three big things. Hamas is on the path of accomplishing every single one of those,” Ritter stressed. “War is an extension of politics by other means. Hamas is winning politically.” By contrast, the conflict had been a political disaster for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.

More than 16,000 Palestinians have been killed in nearly two months of Israeli bombing and ground incursions, with 35,000 wounded and 6,000 still missing under the rubble of destroyed homes. “The world has flipped against Israel. Israel has been exposed as a war criminal state,” Ritter said. “Even America, who has shown the ability to chug blood by the gallon, is saying ‘enough is enough’.” But ultimately, the former UN weapons inspector argued, Netanyahu was forced to accept the ceasefire “because Israel had been fought to a standstill in Gaza.” “You can look at the map and look at all the blue there. That’s empty space. That’s uncontested, destroyed urban areas,” Ritter said. “But the bulk of Gaza, northern Gaza ain’t under Israeli control.”

He asserted that in the days leading up to the truce, Israeli troops had refused to go into battle “because they were getting slaughtered, because they were going in to Hamas’ trap.” “Hamas was springing up here, there and everywhere and taking them out,” Ritter said. “They only killed a thousand lightly-armed Hamas people. All that bombing, and they only got 1,000. Are you kidding me? What does that tell you? That Hamas knows what they’re doing, that Hamas is deep underground, that Hamas was prepared for this fight and this fight had only just begun.”

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“Netanyahu, who committed one of the greatest atrocities of the last century in Gaza, has already inscribed his name in history as the ‘Butcher of Gaza’..”

Erdogan Dubs Netanyahu ‘Butcher of Gaza’ (RT)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has committed in Gaza one of the worst atrocities of the century, making his mark in history a bloody one, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during a parliamentary group meeting on Wednesday. In his televised speech, he spoke out against the Israeli military operation in the Palestinian enclave. Erdogan blasted “human rights violations and acts of war in Gaza” and the “apathy of most Western nations,” stating that Türkiye “will exhaust all efforts to hold the Israeli government accountable under international law and moral responsibility.” The speech echoed a conversation Erdogan had with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday, when the Turkish president called for Israel to be held to account for continuing to “blatantly trample on international law, the law of war and humanitarian law.”

Israel has waged war on the militant group Hamas since October 7, after the latter’s surprise attack on Israeli soil claimed more than 1,200 lives, mostly civilians, while another 200 were taken hostage. West Jerusalem retaliated with, as Erdogan put it “a kind of genocide by cutting off the food, fuel, medicine, bread, electricity, water, and communication of 2.3 million people, squeezing them into a 360-square-kilometer open-air prison.” “Netanyahu, who committed one of the greatest atrocities of the last century in Gaza, has already inscribed his name in history as the ‘Butcher of Gaza,’” the Turkish president proclaimed. The subsequent Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) bombing campaign and ground operation have resulted in more than 16,000 Palestinian deaths, including women and children, according to local officials.

Netanyahu fired back at earlier comments by Erdogan that Israel was a “terrorist state” by stating that the Turkish president “supports the terrorist state of Hamas.” Erdogan expressed his view that Netanyahu’s actions in Gaza and the press they have elicited are “fueling anti-Semitism and endangering the safety of all Jews along with the Israeli people.” Following significant international pressure, a four-day humanitarian pause in the Gaza hostilities was arranged last week and subsequently extended. An exchange of prisoners followed, with Hamas trading their hostages for Palestinians kept as prisoners in Israel.

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“We are working to strengthen the Qatari mediation role in reaching a truce and then a permanent cease-fire.”

Hamas Informs Mediators of Willingness To Extend Gaza Truce (Cradle)

Citing alleged Hamas sources, AFP reported on 29 November that the Palestinian resistance group is looking to extend the ceasefire in the Gaza Strip for at least four more days. “Hamas has informed the mediators that it is willing to extend the truce for four days and that the movement would be able to release Israeli prisoners that it, other resistance movements, and other parties hold during this period, according to the terms of the existing truce,” the sources revealed to AFP. The temporary truce between the Palestinian resistance and Israel, mediated by Qatar and Egypt, is set to expire early on Thursday after a two-day extension. If what the AFP sources say is confirmed, it would more than double the length of the initial ceasefire between the warring parties, a deal that has Israeli government members red with rage.

Egyptian media has reported that efforts to extend the truce for a few additional days are “a possibility” and that “the conditions for the release of Israeli military will be completely different.” On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that Qatari and Egyptian mediators are working to extend the current ceasefire in Gaza. “A long-term cease-fire would likely require Israel and Hamas to make hard-to-swallow concessions, such as trading Israeli soldiers for potentially thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails,” Egyptian and Qatari officials told WSJ. On Tuesday, Qatari Foreign Ministry spokesman Majed al-Ansari said, “We are working to strengthen the Qatari mediation role in reaching a truce and then a permanent cease-fire.”

So far, as part of the extended six-day temporary ceasefire, 60 Israeli captives and 180 Palestinian prisoners have already been released, and more are set to walk free on 29 November. Teenagers were among the Palestinian prisoners released by Israel as part of the temporary ceasefire. Mohammad Nazzal was among those released who mentioned that the Israelis beat the teenager and other prisoners “without any reason.”

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“..the military “had to pull money from existing operations and maintenance accounts.”

Pentagon Struggling To Pay For Middle East Buildup – Politico (RT)

The Pentagon is scrambling to find money to pay for a military buildup in the Middle East amid the Hamas-Israel conflict due to gridlock in the US Congress, which has so far been unable to approve full defense funding, Politico reported on Tuesday. The US Department of Defense, along with many other federal agencies, is now operating under a stopgap funding bill which was signed by US President Joe Biden earlier this month to avert a potential government shutdown. The measure, which did not satisfy Biden’s request for additional money for Israel and Ukraine, also freezes other types of defense spending at the previous year’s levels.

Pentagon spokesman Chris Sherwood told Politico that since no one planned for a massive redeployment of US forces to the Middle East after the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel, the military “had to pull money from existing operations and maintenance accounts.” This means less funding for exercises and deployments that had already been planned. “We’re taking it out of hide,” the spokesman said. Since the start of the Middle East crisis, the US has deployed two aircraft carriers with escorts, additional missile and air defense systems, more than 1,000 troops, and an Ohio-class nuclear-powered missile submarine to the region. The military buildup came as the US declared unequivocal support for Israel in its conflict with the Palestinian armed group Hamas, as well as fears that hostilities could lead to a major regional escalation involving Iran and Islamist organizations with ties to Tehran.

US defense officials had previously sounded the alarm about the congressional stalemate, warning that a lack of funding could harm not only shipbuilding and procurement programs, but the industrial base itself. Speaking to Defense News, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Radha Plumb did not rule out the possibility of an “additive domino effect of delays,” noting that suppliers could be especially hard-hit by this. Meanwhile, Under Secretary of Defense Bill LaPlante warned of potential layoffs in contractor companies due to the lack of Pentagon funding. According to Politico, if US lawmakers are unable to pass a full spending bill by spring, the Pentagon and other federal departments will have to cut their overall expenses by 1%.

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“..Biden is going out of his way to make sure that none of the above will be an impediment to them getting weapons,” said Kovalik. “He’s already going to be remembered for dead children in Gaza.”

CIA Director Increasingly Supplanting ‘Neocon’ Blinken in Gaza Diplomacy (Sp.)

Labor attorney and human rights activist Dan Kovalik joined Sputnik’s Political Misfits crew Tuesday to discuss the ongoing crisis in the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip. As a fragile ceasefire of hostilities continues, Washington has reportedly been working behind the scenes to secure the release of captives and facilitate negotiations in Qatar. Increasingly, one Biden administration figure has been playing a key role in US statecraft. “The irony of ironies is that [William] Burns, who’s the head of the CIA, actually has much more of a diplomatic temperament than [Antony] Blinken does,” said Kovalik, claiming that Biden’s Secretary of State has taken a backseat in secret negotiations regarding the Palestine-Israel conflict. “Blinken’s a neocon. And in terms of what’s happening in Ukraine and in what’s happening in Gaza, he’s extreme, and has really tended to do things to increase the chance for conflict rather than the opposite.” Secretary of State Blinken has a relationship with Biden going back decades, making him one of the closest members of the White House cabinet to the current president.

But host John Kiriakou suspects the career diplomat is “in over his head” on matters relating to Israel. “Burns is a man of action,” Kiriakou claimed, to which Kovalik agreed before adding: “Burns has been a much more calm and considered diplomat.” “He’s been a voice of reason,” continued Kovalik, noting Burns’ past recognition that Ukraine joining NATO “would be a red line for Russia that we don’t want to cross.” President Biden elevated the Central Intelligence Agency director to a cabinet-level position earlier this year, representing the increasing importance of the controversial agency. The CIA’s often underhanded practices were once highly controversial in the United States, famously culminating in the Senate Church Committee hearings in 1975. The inquiry uncovered a plethora of abuses committed by the agency, including the MKULTRA human experimentation program, support for the Chilean coup against Salvador Allende, and domestic spying and infiltration of civil rights groups.

Since then the CIA’s tactics have increasingly been adopted by other government agencies such as USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy. When former President Donald Trump made ex-CIA director Mike Pompeo his secretary of state, it seemed to imply a complete merger between the secretive government body and America’s public-facing foreign policy establishment. Biden’s reliance on Burns may provide him with an expanded toolset in the United States’ increasingly unpopular support for Israel’s military incursion, but it could also risk damaging Biden’s long-term reputation, which Kovalik noted is already at risk after the announcement of support for sending unlimited supplies of US weapons to Israel. “At a time that israel is being credibly accused of genocide and ethnic cleansing and war crimes, Biden is going out of his way to make sure that none of the above will be an impediment to them getting weapons,” said Kovalik. “He’s already going to be remembered for dead children in Gaza.”

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“..Moscow’s relationship with the US-led military bloc is unlikely to recover anytime soon “for reasons of principle and practical nature..”

No Ukraine Ceasefire In 2024 – Moscow (RT)

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov sees no chance for a ceasefire in the Ukraine conflict next year, considering that Kiev and its Western backers have taken a position that is totally unacceptable to Moscow. The senior diplomat offered his analysis of Russia’s relations with NATO and Ukraine in an interview with the newspaper Izvestia published on Wednesday. He expects no breakthroughs, despite suggestions in the Western press that the US may be nudging Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky towards a negotiated settlement. “Unfortunately, the US leads the Western group, which recites the ‘Zelensky peace formula’ as mantra, claiming it to be the only possible basis for an agreement,” he said, adding that a dialogue is “impossible on this basis.”

Asked whether he expected a ceasefire next year, Ryabkov responded negatively. He said: “I expect the goals of the special military operation to be unconditionally achieved.” The ‘peace formula’ proposed by Zelensky last year entails Kiev reassuming control over its pre-2014 borders and receiving war reparations from Moscow and subjecting Russian officials to a war tribunal amid extensive international support for Ukraine. Moscow has dismissed the proposal as being detached from reality. The German tabloid Bild claimed last week that Washington and Berlin were rationing arms deliveries to Ukraine to pressure Zelensky into concessions. The White House has said that its policy remained the same and it was up to Kiev to decide how to conduct the war.

However, David Arakhamia, a key Zelensky ally who leads the ruling party’s faction in parliament and headed up the Ukrainian delegation at last year’s peace talks in Istanbul, recently provided further grounds for doubt about how independent Kiev’s policy has been. He confirmed in an interview last Friday that then-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had derailed a possible truce with Russia, telling the Ukrainian leadership to “just make war.” Moscow’s primary goal was Ukraine’s neutrality, Arakhamia said.

Ryabkov reiterated that NATO’s expansion in Europe was the key cause of the Ukraine conflict. Moscow’s relationship with the US-led military bloc is unlikely to recover anytime soon “for reasons of principle and practical nature,” he told Izvestia. “If someone in the West thinks we need that relationship and will at some point come and ask for it to be restored, that is a great error in judgment,” he said. NATO members are “gambling” by encroaching on fundamental Russian interests and apparently believe that there can be no limit to upping the ante, but “they may end up among the losers,” Ryabkov warned.

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Does he have time left to save his hide?

Deep State Wants to Dump Zelensky After He Outlives Usefulness (Sp.)

Talk in Western media about the possibility of a peace deal with Russia and increasing political and media criticism of Volodymyr Zelensky at home signals that he’s lost his value as a puppet for Western elites and that they’re preparing to dump him, French politician Florian Philippot believes. “Now that Zelensky is no longer useful and annoys NATO with his stubbornness as the theater of conflict has moved on to the Middle East, the Deep State wants to get rid of him,” Philippot wrote in a social media post. As evidence, the Gaullist politician pointed to a recent report in Germany’s Bild newspaper on the existence of a “secret peace plan” scenario and plans by Washington and Berlin to pressure Zelensky into negotiations with Russia, as well as “growing political and media criticism against Zelensky” in Ukraine itself, causing the leader, in fear of his safety, to begin firing people left and right.

“France must not allow itself to be duped by being the last country ‘at war’ against Russia,” Philippot urged, referring to Paris’ not insubstantial support for Kiev in NATO’s ongoing proxy war with Moscow. Philippot is the former vice president of Marine Le Pen’s National Front (now called the National Rally), a conservative populist, Eurosceptic party, and served as strategic director Le Pen’s presidential campaign in 2011. He split off and created his own party, The Patriots, in 2017. The politician’s remarks come amid growing wariness among Kiev’s Western backers over the thought of endlessly continuing the proxy war with Russia in Ukraine after Washington’s goals of “weakening Russia” militarily and economically or instituting regime change in the Kremlin failed to pan out. The situation made worse after Kiev’s disastrous counteroffensive this past summer, which cost Ukraine tens of thousands of its best troops and hundreds of pieces of Western-provided military equipment, including artillery and main battle tanks.

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“In order to liberate [Gorlovka], it is necessary to conduct a strategic offensive operation and involve at least 150,000-200,000 troops along with thousands of units of equipment..”

Has The Ukraine Conflict Entered Its Endgame? (RT)

Why did the Ukrainians decide to disperse their forces and advance in three operational directions during the summer campaign? Several Russian experts stated that Kiev’s strategy was to win the battle of reserves –and to this end, its army attempted to create several hotbeds of tension that were supposed to swallow up Russian manpower. In case of success, the AFU would have been able to overcome the deadlock of positional warfare and deliver a crushing blow in one of the directions. In reality, however, the Ukrainians were not able to beat the Russian army, which was strong enough to carry out both a localized offensive on the border between the Lugansk People’s Republic and Kharkov region this summer, and the offensive on Avdeevka in October.

On top of that, Russian troops continued to hold their defensive lines in Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, as well as near Artemovsk. So why did the Ukrainians refuse to concentrate their forces in one area, as Western experts advised them to do? One possible explanation for this was the reputational and media significance of the “Bakhmut Fortress,” which the Ukrainian political and military leadership fell victim to. The ‘heroic’ defense of one position, which gradually lost its strategic and operational importance, endowed Artemovsk with ideological and reputational significance. In an attempt to recapture this city, Ukrainians pulled their reserves and most motivated units into battle. Or perhaps, the situation was even worse. After the summer defeat, they needed to distract the public from negative news. The best way to do so would have been to break through the front line separating Ukraine and the Donbass republics which had existed from 2015 to February 24, 2022. In case of success, Zelensky would have had the chance to proclaim the return of “Ukrainian” land lost by his predecessors.

One of the areas where this plan was theoretically possible to carry out was Gorlovka – a large industrial city located south of Artemovsk, where about 300,000 people lived before the war. Gorlovka has been under the control of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) since the latter declared independence in 2014. Some of the fiercest battles in Donbass were fought there. After Time magazine published an article about the conflict between Kiev’s political and military leadership around plans to storm the city (the military command refused the idea), Ukrainian expert Bogdan Miroshnikov commented on November 16: “In order to liberate it, it is necessary to conduct a strategic offensive operation and involve at least 150,000-200,000 troops along with thousands of units of equipment. Some may say that we are [positioned] near Gorlovka. Yes, we are. But that direction is surrounded by numerous spoil tips. This means a frontal assault is necessary. But no one would do that.”

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“..The Economist suggested the commander-in-chief’s recent “media engagement could be seen as an insurance policy.”

West Watching Zelensky-Zaluzhny Fight, Thumbs Up to Most Malleable (Sp.)

Relations between President Volodymyr Zelensky and Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine’s Armed Forces Valery Zaluzhny are “understood to be terrible,” The Economist summed up on Tuesday. How serious is the Ukrainian internal political strife, and what could it result in? The differences in opinion between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhny were first reported in summer last year, per the UK magazine. It appears that tensions have substantially grown since then. What could have led to the current conflict between military and political leadership? “We can hypothesize at least three reasons,” Tiberio Graziani, chairman at Vision & Global Trends – International Institute for Global Analyses, told Sputnik, “the duration of the conflict has worn out the military cadres; the loss of credibility of the current political conduct of the conflict managed by Zelensky and, indirectly by NATO, the EU and the US; the growing awareness among military leaders that negotiations need to be reached.”

The British magazine writes that there is a blame game underway in Ukraine about who is responsible for the counteroffensive’s failure. In late October, Ukrainian politician Volodymyr Oleynyk told Sputnik that Zaluzhny didn’t want to be scapegoated for the failed Ukrainian advance, which claimed the lives of over 90,000 Ukrainian troops. After Zelensky pledged to proceed with the offensive through the winter, Zaluzhny insisted it’s time to go on the defensive and prepare for a spring advance. In early November, Zaluzhny gave an extensive interview to The Economist, admitting that what had been expected to become a triumphalist march of the Ukrainian military had ended in a stalemate. “There will most likely be no deep and beautiful breakthrough,” the top Ukrainian general said.

Immediately after giving the interview, Zaluzhny came under heavy criticism from the Ukrainian presidential office, with Zelensky later issuing a vague warning to “generals” against doing “politics.” The British outlet said that relations between Zelensky and Zaluzhny are now “terrible.” A series of events appeared to add fuel to the fire. Gennady Chastyakov, assistant to the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, died in a “tragic accident” while celebrating his 39th birthday on November 6. Earlier, on November 3, Zelensky unilaterally dismissed Viktor Khorenko, who was known to be close to Zaluzhny, from his post as commander of special operations forces. Likewise, the commander of the medical forces, Tatyana Ostashchenko, was replaced with Anatoly Kazmirchuk by the Kiev regime without consulting Ukraine’s top general.

Then, The Washington Post alleged on November 11 that Ukrainian Colonel Roman Chervinsky was the coordinator of the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines, citing Ukrainian and European officials, as well as other individuals purportedly familiar with the operation. The newspaper claimed the Ukrainian officer took orders from his seniors, who ultimately reported to Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Zaluzhny. Moreover, the Kiev regime is carrying out an investigation into the Ukrainian Army’s failure to withstand Russia’s advance in February-March 2022. For now, Zaluzhny has reportedly been named as a witness to the inquiry. Still, the nickname for the inquiry in the Ukrainian press is “Zaluzhny case,” suggesting he could become one of the main suspects. Citing a general staff source, The Economist suggested the commander-in-chief’s recent “media engagement could be seen as an insurance policy.”

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“..During periods where he claims to have been a hopeless junkie, he was a key player in a global influence-peddling scheme netting millions through a complex labyrinth of accounts..”

Hunter to Face a Moment of Truth Before the House Oversight Committee (Turley)

Hunter will now have to answer for exactly what the “man sitting next” to him was prepared to do if money did not continue to flow to the Biden family. There are other specific communications that will likely be raised with Hunter. For example, Devon Archer reportedly recounted how, in 2015, Mykola Zlochevsky and Vadym Pozharski, two executives of the corrupt Ukrainian energy firm Burisma, pressed Hunter to “get help from D.C.” to fire a Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating Burisma for corruption. Archer said that Hunter, Zlochevsky and Pozharski stepped away to make the call. Hunter can also address communications with government officials on behalf of foreign clients. His access to top officials was clearly due to his family name and influence.

The irony is that the long delay in bringing Hunter to this moment could prove his undoing. The committee has waited until it collected a massive amount of data and records on these financial records. It has interviewed witnesses on the influence-peddling operation. Hunter must now address highly specific questions and evidence under oath. If he is found to have lied, he can be charged with a criminal felony. The threat of prosecution is real. Hunter has benefited from the Justice Department limiting its investigation and inexplicably allowing the statute of limitations to run on key charges. False statements on any of these questions could result in new charges and pressure on Attorney General Merrick Garland to prosecute. After all, Trump officials were prosecuted for contempt of Congress under Garland.

Hunter is likely to cite his past drug use and the passage of time for failing to remember details. He continues to vacillate on whether the laptop itself is really his or, as he has suggested in the past, possible Russian disinformation. The use of his drug addiction as a defense was successful with the media, but is likely to be less so with Congress. During periods where he claims to have been a hopeless junkie, he was a key player in a global influence-peddling scheme netting millions through a complex labyrinth of accounts. Hunter will have to testify at his own peril for the first time under oath and leave the niceties behind.

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John Helmer on the long and complex relationship between Putin and the oligarchs.

Russian Oligarchs Contemplate The Devil And The Deep Sea (Helmer)

Until the US and the NATO states escalated their threats to seize Russian oligarch assets in what had been their safe havens abroad, every attempt at repatriation of the oligarchs’ capital to Russia had failed. Now, however, between the twin threats of foreign confiscation and domestic renationalisation, the oligarchs are pressing the president to protect their special position in the domestic economy. Putin has now repeated his September reassurances. “ ‘We had a thorough conversation,’ Putin spokesman Peskov told Tass. ‘A number of issues were formulated through the RSPP. There were various speeches – both business spoke, and representatives of the economic bloc of the government spoke,’ Peskov added. Peskov said that Putin at a meeting with representatives of large Russian businesses discussed the transfer of some companies to Russian jurisdiction.

‘The speech was about possible steps to improve the investment attractiveness of our economy, to create more than competitive conditions for completing the process of transferring companies here,’ the Kremlin spokesman said… According to the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation, the meeting was held precisely so that this process would be well-established, so that business would not face problems and transfer its companies to Russia, opening new enterprises in it and creating new jobs. ‘That’s what, in fact, it was about, Peskov explained.” Redomiciliation without nationalisation and no new taxation – these are the oligarchs’ codewords for continuing the 25-year old system of domestic economic control despite wartime mobilisation and the removal of Chubais and Kudrin from their former Kremlin influence. According to Peskov, “the process of redomicilation should be absolutely perfect, so that business does not face problems, and so that business transfers its companies here, creates new jobs, opens new enterprises, invests and earns money here, at home.”

Shokhin has also revealed that the oligarchs want to grandfather their old tax evasion and offshore holding company schemes in the form of Putin’s personal guarantee that their net domestic tax rate will not be raised. The Kremlin’s silence on this oligarch agenda is one thing. The silence of the domestic political opposition is quite another. Sergei Glazyev, a former Yeltsin-era minister, Kremlin economic policy advisor, and current state job-holder, refuses point-blank to comment. Glazyev’s record for opposition policymaking in theory but political failure in practice can be followed in this archive. For the Russian Communist Party, spokesman Alexander Yuschenko said by telephone that the party “wasn’t going to comment on [the oligarchs’] meeting at the moment and [readers] can always watch for official articles on the party website.”

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“Imagine if Napoleon had done that — sold out France’s ambitions to the whims of his allies and their own agendas.”

The French Are Desperate For A New Napoleon. Will They Get One? (Marsden)

While Napoleon put France in a prominent spot on the world stage, it was arguably former French President and World War II General Charles de Gaulle that gave it any hope of persisting there. Beyond leading the French Resistance during the Nazi occupation, De Gaulle subsequently ensured France’s post-war independence by kicking the Americans out of the country, refusing their demand for permanent bases, and then keeping France out of NATO to avoid the ultimate fate of ending up under de facto US military command. Always with French independence in mind, De Gaulle then went to Moscow in 1944 to sign mutual assistance agreements, and envisioned the Soviet Union as an important partner for French independence within a vision of Europe that stretched from the Atlantic to the Urals.

De Gaulle also spearheaded state-backed nuclear energy projects that were so successful that they’ve saved France amid the current EU energy crunch (and to think that current President Emmanuel Macron was on the verge of killing the whole industry in favor of trendy green energy fantasies — the same ones that flopped when Germany realized that it couldn’t power its economic engine with the wind and sunshine after its Nord Stream pipeline network of Russian gas was mysteriously blown up.) Jeanne d’Arc was a teenage peasant girl who led the French to victory against the English, then was unrepentant about who she was and what she did when she was burned at the stake in Rouen — for literally having wild visions of French victory, then making them happen.

French-naturalized Pole Marie Curie was yet another French woman who fell outside the conventional role for females in society, winning the Nobel Prize for physics in 1903 and for chemistry in 1911, for her groundbreaking research, alongside husband Pierre Curie, on radioactivity, including the discovery of radium and polonium. Her achievements put France on the intellectual global map. Over a century later though, in 2019, French officials yanked mandatory mathematics from the last two years of the high school curriculum. It was such an unmitigated disaster for numeric literacy and such a looming disaster for French competitiveness on the global playing field that they had to reinstate the courses in September 2023. Therein lies the difference between those still admired by the French — despite having long shuffled off the face of the Earth — and those who have since come and gone from power or prominence with little fanfare. A lack of unwavering leadership — foresight, clarity, and determination.

Macron doesn’t have it — although he’s an avowed admirer of De Gaulle. It seems that every French politician fancies himself the second coming of De Gaulle, but very few have the strength to stick to a course of action that serves the French people and nation first and foremost. Instead, they double-deal and play both sides of the court from the middle, trying to serve their EU masters — currying favor with unelected European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen — or aligning their interests with Washington’s, placing Western solidarity above sovereign national interests. Imagine if Napoleon had done that — sold out France’s ambitions to the whims of his allies and their own agendas. Unsurprisingly, the latest Ifop-Feducial poll found that the two current political figures considered to most closely resemble Napoleon are right-wing opposition leader Marine Le Pen and former center-right President Nicolas Sarkozy.

It’s hardly a coincidence that both have been criticized recently for speaking out against the French and Western establishment status quo of blindly following anti-Russian US foreign policy on Ukraine — with both favoring immediate peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine and an end to hostilities over prolonged spending on “aid” to keep a conflict going that’s to the net detriment of France and the EU as whole. Napoleon came to power with the backing of the people after they had literally beheaded the entire corrupt establishment. Today’s establishment has given itself more than enough rope to ultimately hang itself. One can’t help but notice the parallels. The question is, at what point will the French people have the courage to once again choose the kind of anti-establishment visionary leader on whom they could one day look back and realize they absolutely needed. Until then, they’ll be stuck longing for, and romanticizing, times and figures of greatness.

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Jack Smith knows no limits or boundaries.

“The DOJ’s warrant sought a slew of other data as well—including information on Trump’s geolocation, his private messages, search history and contact info. More absurdly, prosecutors apparently wanted to know his pronouns..”

DOJ Ordered Twitter Data for Everyone Who Liked, Followed, Retweeted Trump (PB)

Attorneys for the Justice Department have revealed documents connected to their search warrant for Donald Trump’s Twitter account, indicating that prosecutors collected a massive collection of data about the former President’s social media activity—including information on every account that liked, followed, or retweeted him. The extensively redacted search warrant was revealed as a result of a judge’s ruling on November 17, which came after a consortium of media organizations filed an application in August for the warrant and other data to be made public. Twitter appears to have provided the DOJ with vast volumes of material under compulsion. Indeed, Special Counsel Jack Smith sought, and appears to have gotten, information on all users Trump followed, unfollowed, muted, unmuted, blocked, or unblocked, as well as all users who followed, unfollowed, muted, unmuted, blocked, or unblocked Trump.

Smith also requested that Twitter provide information on “all lists of Twitter users who have favorited or retweeted tweets posted by [Trump], as well as all tweets that include the username associated with the account (i.e., ‘mentions’ or ‘replies’).” The DOJ’s request also wanted information on Trump’s geolocation, private messages, search history, and contact information. More outrageously, prosecutors allegedly wanted to know his pronouns, as reported by Headline USA in August, when court transcripts relating to the Twitter-DOJ battle became available. The warrant’s release comes after Twitter objected to the search warrant as well as an accompanying gag order, claiming that the gag order violated the company’s First Amendment right to communicate with Trump and that Trump may have legal standing to use executive privilege to block the warrant.

Twitter’s challenge to the DOJ was eventually unsuccessful, with Obama-appointed District Judge Beryl Howell fining the firm $350,000 in February for failing to fulfill a deadline for complying with the order. All of Howell’s rulings were upheld by an appeals court. Justice Department attorneys have since released records related to their search warrant for Donald Trump’s Twitter account, revealing that prosecutors obtained a vast trove of data about the former President’s social media activity—including info on every account to like, follow or retweet him. The heavily redacted search warrant was released Monday pursuant to a Nov. 17 judge’s order, which was made after a coalition of media groups filed an application in August for the warrant and other records to be made public.

From the looks of it, Twitter forked over massive amounts of information to the DOJ. Indeed, Special Counsel Jack Smith sought, and apparently ultimately received, all users Trump followed, unfollowed, muted, unmuted, blocked, or unblocked—as well as all users who have followed, unfollowed, muted, unmuted, blocked or unblocked Trump. Additionally, Smith demanded Twitter data on “all lists of Twitter users who have favorited or retweeted tweets posted by [Trump], as well as all tweets that include the username associated with the account (i.e., ‘mentions’ or ‘replies’).” The DOJ’s warrant sought a slew of other data as well—including information on Trump’s geolocation, his private messages, search history and contact info. More absurdly, prosecutors apparently wanted to know his pronouns—as Headline USA reported in August, when court transcripts related to the Twitter-DOJ dispute were made public.

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“If somebody’s gonna try to blackmail me with advertising, blackmail me with money – go f*** yourself..”

Things you can say when you’re the richest man in the world.

Elon Musk to Companies Pulling Ads From X: ‘Go F*** Yourself’ (Sp.)

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk said during an interview that he does not care if key US corporations stop advertising on his social media platform X in light of his endorsement of an antisemitic statement recently. “If somebody’s gonna try to blackmail me with advertising, blackmail me with money – go f*** yourself,” Musk said during a discussion at The New York Times DealBook Summit on Wednesday. Leaving audiences momentarily stunned, Musk reiterated his point, saying, “Go f*** yourself. Is that clear?” The matter was raised after host Andrew Ross Sorkin touched on Disney CEO Bob Iger’s earlier remarks at the event regarding the company’s decision to halt spending on X. Iger had stated that Disney’s association with X was “not necessarily a positive one for us” in light of Musk’s social media comments.

Musk

Earlier in November, the US entrepreneur came under fire for endorsing a social media post that claimed Jewish communities were pushing hatred against white people, saying it was “the actual truth.” Film companies Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, Paramount, and Lionsgate suspended advertising on Musk’s social network X due to his “antisemitic” comments. A similar decision was made by technology giants IBM and Apple. Musk said the general public will determine whether X will succeed in the long-run or if an advertisement boycott will lead to the downfall of the social media platform. On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Musk visited the southern Israeli kibbutz of Kfar Aza to see firsthand the aftermath of attacks carried out by Palestinian movement Hamas last month.

Musk during the Wednesday discussion said he does apologize if his endorsement of the antisemitic statement encouraged antisemites. He admitted that in hindsight he should not have replied to that particular post, but he mentioned that his recent trip to Israel was “not an apology tour.” Last week, Musk said that the network would donate all its proceeds from the content related to the conflict in the Gaza Strip to Israeli hospitals and an international humanitarian organization providing medical assistance to Palestinians. Responding to an Hamas invitation, Musk in a post on Tuesday said it is a bit too dangerous to visit Gaza, but believes a long-term prosperous Gaza is good for all sides.

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“About six large conglomerates reportedly control 90% of media in the United States [..] The number has fallen from about 50 companies that controlled 90% of US media in 1983..”

‘Make Them Pay’: Trump Attacks MSNBC in Social Media Salvo (Sp.)

Former US President Donald Trump railed against cable news channel MSNBC in a post on his Truth Social platform Tuesday, accusing the liberal media outlet of forming part of an “election interference” effort against the former commander-in-chief. “MSNBC (MSDNC) uses FREE government approved airwaves, and yet it is nothing but a 24 hour hit job on Donald J. Trump and the Republican Party for purposes of ELECTION INTERFERENCE,” wrote Trump in the late night post. “It is the world’s biggest political contribution to the Radical Left Democrats who, by the way, are destroying our Country. Our so-called ‘government’ should come down hard on them and make them pay for their illegal political activity.” MSNBC is actually a cable news outlet, unlike broadcast networks like ABC, CBS, or MSNBC’s sister network NBC.

The US Federal Communications Commission has limited power to regulate political speech on broadcast outlets available over-the-air but generally lacks authority over content on “cable or satellite TV systems,” meaning the US government may lack power to “come down hard” on the channel. The comments may suggest another area in which the former president would attempt to seek retribution against his enemies; Trump recently said he may seek to prosecute political opponents if reelected next year. As president, Trump reportedly pressured the media conglomerate Time Warner to sell cable network CNN in order to win approval from his Justice Department for their planned merger with AT&T. Trump has frequently condemned the channel, which in turn was often sharply critical of the former president during his time in the White House.

Although Trump’s attacks on various news outlets have sometimes proven controversial, they may fall on fertile ground amidst a broader crisis of institutional legitimacy in the United States. Recent polling has shown only about a third of Americans have trust in US mass media. That number has fallen from a high of 72% of Americans who said they had a “great deal” or “fair amount” of trust in US media outlets in 1976. US mass media has trended toward increasing corporate consolidation in recent decades, especially after the signing of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 which broadly deregulated the industry. About six large conglomerates reportedly control 90% of media in the United States: Comcast, Disney, AT&T/Time Warner, Paramount, Sony, and Fox. The number has fallen from about 50 companies that controlled 90% of US media in 1983 according to some studies.

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Excellent fom “sundance” connecting Seth Rich, Julian Assange, Robert Mueller, John Durham and much more. Don’t miss.

Judge Rules Contents of Seth Rich Laptop Must Be Released…(CTH)

If you know the background context, the latest developments in the Seth Rich laptop legal battle could be extremely interesting. However, despite a very favorable court ruling, I caution against too much optimism – the stakes in this ancillary story to the targeting of President Donald Trump are extremely high. The bottom line of the latest development is that a judge has given the DOJ 14 days to turn over the contents of the laptop belonging to former DNC staffer Seth Rich. There are multiple points of information that point toward Seth Rich having downloaded the DNC email files and shared them with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Seth Rich was killed shortly thereafter in what DC claims was a “botched robbery.” The reason this story is important will be highlighted below in granular detail. However, within the Time Magazine article about the judge’s ruling the closing statement summarizes the position of the DEEPEST elements of the DC Deep State.

NOTE:…”After his death, Rich was proven to not be the source of any email leaks, with the Mueller Report—also known as the Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election—finding Russian hackers responsible.” This point, emphasized at the end of the Newsweek article outlining the recent ruling, is the epicenter of the DC narrative. You see, just like the James Wolfe leak of the FISA application to journalist Ali Watkins (hidden by the DOJ/FBI/IC and aligned interests), if the truth of the Trump targeting by the DOJ/FBI and Obama Intelligence community were to surface in the ancillary stories around the Seth Rich issue, it would be the most explosive revelation as to the scale of DC corruption and cover-up. The Weissmann/Mueller report contains claims that Russia hacked the DNC servers as the central element to the Russia interference narrative in the U.S. election.

This DNC hack claim is the fulcrum issue structurally underpinning the Russian election interference narrative pushed by the Weissmann and Muller Special Counsel. However, this essential “hacking” claim was/is directly disputed by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, as outlined during a previous Dana Rohrabacher interview and by Julian Assange’s own on-the-record statements. When you overlay the timeline of activity that touches the story of Seth Rich, a DNC staff member who was outraged at the DNC effort to block Bernie Sanders, the potential motive for Seth Rich’s death takes on an entirely different dimension. That said, even people very high up in the Trump administration would be part of the cover up to protect DC from sunlight. No one in Washington DC wants this story to be investigated or told. Julian Assange was arrested at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London immediately after the Weissmann/Muller report was released to Bill Barr in 2019.

Additionally, despite investigating the background of the Trump-Russia nonsense, John Durham never touched the DNC hacking claim – the core of the Mueller report. Why? The Occam’s razor reason is that Durham knew the U.S. Government threw a bag over Assange to protect the fraudulent Trump-Russia and Russian interference claims. Again, this reality speaks to the corruption within the John Durham investigation. By claiming he was not authorized to review anything from the Mueller probe, John Durham was protecting Weissmann, Mueller and the core of their justification for a 2-year investigation. I believe John Durham knew why Assange was eventually arrested. Durham stayed away from it, intentionally. The Russians HAD TO have made efforts to interfere in the election, or else the factual basis for the surveillance operation against candidate Donald Trump is naked to the world.

That’s why so much DOJ, FBI and Mueller special counsel energy was exhausted framing the predicate. “Seventeen intelligence agencies,” the December 29th Joint Analysis Report, the expulsion of the Russian diplomats which was an outcropping of the JAR, the rushed January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment, shoving microphones in everyone’s faces and demanding they answer if they believed Russia interfered – all of it, and I do mean every bit of it, is predicated on an absolute DC need to establish that Russia Attempted to Interfere in the 2016 election.

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Max Keiser

 

 

 

 

Gotcha
https://twitter.com/i/status/1729921917862154304

 

 

Gravity
https://twitter.com/i/status/1729935054728532092

 

 


The famous Italian diver Enzo Maiorca dove into the sea of Syracuse and was talking to his daughter Rossana who was aboard the boat. Ready to go in, he felt something slightly hit his back. He turned and saw a dolphin. Then he realized that the dolphin did not want to play but to express something. The animal dove and Enzo followed. At a depth of about 12 meters, trapped in an abandoned net, there was another dolphin. Enzo quickly asked his daughter to grab the diving knives.

Soon, the two of them managed to free the dolphin, which, at the end of the ordeal, emerged, issued an “almost human cry” (describes Enzo). (A dolphin can stay under water for up to 10 minutes, then it drowns.) The released dolphin was helped to the surface by Enzo, Rosana and the other dolphin. That’s when the surprise came: she was pregnant! The male circled them, and then stopped in front of Enzo, touched his cheek (like a kiss), in a gesture of gratitude and then they both swam off. Enzo Maiorca ended his speech by saying: Until man learns to respect and speak to the animal world, he can never know his true role on Earth.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Jun 162023
 


Christopher Makos Andy Warhol piloting John Denver’s bi-plane 1977

 

US Demands Big Results From Ukraine’s Counteroffensive Soon – Politico (RT)
EU Rules Out NATO Troops Openly Fighting In Ukraine (RT)
Valery Zaluzhny, The Man Behind Ukraine’s Counter-Offensive (BBC)
The Government Keeps Lying to Us About Ukraine. Where Is the Outrage? (Tracey)
Biden Admin Weighs ‘Israel Model’ for Ukraine Instead of NATO Membership (Sp.)
Le Pen Says Crimea ‘Has Nothing To Do’ With Conflict In Ukraine (TASS)
A History of Ceasefires & Peace in Ukraine (Wright)
De-Dollarization ‘Could Happen Much Quicker Than Most Think’ (Sp.)
The Bidens ‘Coerced’ Burisma To Pay $10 Million In Bribes – CHS (Fed.)
Internet Ignites as Biden Laughs Off Bribery Question (Sp.)
The Biggest Coverup In Political History (GP)
Ex-Trump Attorney Claims He Witnessed 45 Instances of DOJ Misconduct (Med.)
Why Donald Trump Cannot Get a Top-Tier Lawyer (Dershowitz)
First Roger Waters, Now C.J. Hopkins (Matt Taibbi)
Joe Biden Announces By 2025 All Wildfires Must Be Electric (BBee)

 

 

 

 

Tucker ep 4

 

 

Rogan
https://twitter.com/i/status/1669483009383202818
https://twitter.com/i/status/1669464834453143552

 

 

 

 

Comer

 

 

Seymour Hersh: Panic at the State Department over Victoria Nuland. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman has resigned, and her last day in office will be June 30, noted journalist Seymour Hersh on his blog. “Her departure sent the State Department into near-panic over the person many fear will be her replacement: Victoria Nuland,” writes Hersh.

As he states, Nuland’s aggressive attitude towards Russia fits perfectly with the views of President Joseph Biden. The famous journalist cites a source with direct knowledge of the details of the situation, who says that various State Department bureaus are complaining that Nuland, currently the undersecretary for political affairs, is “going wild” while Secretary of State Anthony Blinken is on the road.

 

 

“I’m told that [the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Dam] was approved for demolition by Victoria Nuland. She’s been involved in everything happening in Ukraine for at least 14-15 years if not longer.” — Col. Douglas Macgregor

 

 

 

 

“..the Times wrote that “failure would look like a Ukrainian army that has not learned to fight, has lost the equipment given to them in recent months and gained no territory to show for that.”

US Demands Big Results From Ukraine’s Counteroffensive Soon – Politico (RT)

US officials are telling their Ukrainian counterparts that Washington’s support for their war effort hinges on the success of the ongoing counteroffensive against Russian forces, Politico reported on Thursday. The offensive has failed so far, with Ukrainian losses counted in the thousands. US President Joe Biden has repeatedly promised to back Ukraine “for as long as it takes.” However, when Ukrainian officials recently asked the US State Department and National Security Council whether they could count on this support to continue through next year’s election season and a potential change of power in the White House, they were told “let’s see how the counteroffensive goes,” Politico reported.

Ukraine’s former deputy prime minister, Ivanna Klimpush-Tsintsadze, told the US news site that these talks left her feeling anxious about the “continuation of the same level of US support to Ukraine after this financial year,” which ends in September. After months of mixed messages from Kiev – and reports of depleted stockpiles and general unreadiness in the Western media – Ukrainian forces launched their long-awaited counteroffensive against Russian forces almost two weeks ago. Attacking multiple sections of the frontline in Donetsk and Zaporozhye Regions, Ukraine has so far failed to penetrate Russia’s multi-layered labyrinth of defensive trenches, minefields, and anti-tank obstacles.

With Ukraine’s Western-provided air defense systems degraded by constant Russian missile and drone attacks, Russian air support has acted with impunity, inflicting devastating losses on the Ukrainian forces. As of Wednesday, Russia’s Defense Ministry counted 7,500 dead or wounded Ukrainian troops, not counting those hit by high-precision missiles and airstrikes deep behind the front lines Videos of wrecked Western tanks and armored vehicles have circulated online, and Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed on Wednesday that Kiev has lost “at least 160 tanks and 360 armored vehicles.” The hardware destroyed by Russian troops accounts for between 25% and 30% of all Western military equipment supplied to Ukraine, the president estimated.

Publicly, Western officials have hedged their bets, leaving it up to Kiev to define what a victorious offensive would look like and downplaying expectations of a thrust to Crimea, as Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has promised. According to the New York Times, American and European officials would consider the offensive successful if Ukrainian forces cut off Russia’s land bridge with Crimea and managed to hold any territory seized in this direction. Citing European diplomats, the Times wrote that “failure would look like a Ukrainian army that has not learned to fight, has lost the equipment given to them in recent months and gained no territory to show for that.”

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Dead end.

EU Rules Out NATO Troops Openly Fighting In Ukraine (RT)

Western countries will not send their soldiers to fight Russia on behalf of Ukraine, Director General of the European Union Military Staff Vice Admiral Herve Blejean said on Wednesday. “To send ground troops to Ukraine is to be a party in a war, to be at war with Russia, and nobody wants that, neither the EU, nor NATO,” Blejean told the French TV channel LCI . “We are not at war with Russia. We are supporting a country attacked by Russia.” Blejean added that the ongoing Ukrainian offensive would “not be the end of the war, regardless of its results.” The French admiral’s remarks came after former NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen suggested that individual members, such as Poland and the Baltic states, could ultimately decide to deploy soldiers to Ukraine.


Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba, however, said last week that there would not be foreign boots on the ground “before the end of the armed conflict” with Russia. Volunteers from multiple NATO countries are already fighting on Kiev’s side, including Polish nationals who were involved in an armed incursion into Russia’s Belgorod Region earlier this month. Moscow, meanwhile, has long insisted that by supplying Ukraine with heavy weapons and sharing intelligence, NATO countries had made themselves de facto direct participants in the conflict. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that NATO was “waging a war” against his country and that it was “ridiculous” to claim otherwise. Last month, the EU agreed to procure €1 billion ($1.08 billion) worth of artillery rounds and missiles for Ukraine. The US has committed more than $100 billion in aid to Kiev since Russia launched its operation in the neighboring state in February 2022.

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The BBC has this on Zaluzhny. Problem is, he hasn’t been seen in a long time. Maybe not that surprising given the state of the offensive, which he is “behind”.

Also: “The head of Ukrainian military intelligence, Kirill Budanov, is in critical condition at a Bundeswehr hospital in Berlin after being wounded.”

Valery Zaluzhny, The Man Behind Ukraine’s Counter-Offensive (BBC)

Ukraine’s long-awaited attempt to take back the territories in the east and south of the country, occupied by Russia for the past 18 months, is now in full swing. A key figure in planning and executing this operation is Gen Valery Zaluzhny, Ukraine’s 49-year-old commander-in-chief. Little known until recently, his popularity now rivals that of President Volodymyr Zelensky. Gen Zaluzhny, or “our Valera” as friends and old classmates like to call him, was appointed commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian military in July 2021. Those who know him well say the appointment, pushed through personally by President Zelensky, came as a surprise to the general and many others too as his promotion involved climbing several steps on the career ladder.

Zaluzhny was already known as an ambitious and modern commander, but also an unpretentious man who liked to joke with his subordinates and didn’t put on airs. Within seven months he was leading Ukraine’s defence against full-scale invasion. By 26 February 2022 it was clear that Russian troops were failing to “take Kyiv in three days”, which had initially seemed a likely outcome. But the reality remained grim and Ukrainian authorities were calling on the public not to panic. Russian troops were advancing in the north, east and south of Ukraine and posed a considerable threat to the capital. One idea floating among Ukraine’s top officials was to start blowing up bridges near Kyiv over the vast Dnipro river, to prevent the Russians crossing from the eastern left bank to the western right bank, where, among other strategic objects, the government quarter was situated.

They phoned Gen Zaluzhny for his view. “Under no circumstances are we to do that,” he is reported to have replied, at the time sitting in a smoke-filled bunker with other top brass. “This will be a betrayal of both civilians and the military remaining on the eastern bank.” The BBC has heard matching accounts from two sources involved in the episode that indicate this is what happened. Many other crucial decisions followed and by early April 2022 Ukrainian troops pushed the Russian army back to the north and east of Kyiv. Born into the family of a Soviet serviceman, Valery Zaluzhny once said he was always committed to distancing himself from the excessive hierarchy of the Soviet Army. By the time he went to military school in the mid-1990s Ukraine was already an independent state.

While his textbooks at military college may have dated back to the Soviet era, he learnt about the reality of war first-hand. In 2014 he was appointed a deputy commander in an area of eastern Ukraine where the conflict with separatists, backed by the Russian army, was getting under way. Colleagues we spoke to say that from the onset of his career he was keen on building relationships of trust with his subordinates as well as delegating command decisions.

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How they’re trying to sneak in NATO troops:

“..a cross-coalition bill was submitted to the Polish parliament which would make it legal for Polish nationals to fight in the Armed Forces of Ukraine..”

The Government Keeps Lying to Us About Ukraine. Where Is the Outrage? (Tracey)

On June 4, a group referring to itself as the “Polish Volunteer Corps” issued a boastful announcement confirming its participation in a series of cross-border ground offensives into Russia. News of these audacious raids was jarring enough, given the many prior assurances of U.S. and Ukrainian war planners, who insisted no attacks would be carried out inside Russian territory. It was all the more conspicuous that the incursion units were apparently comprised of Polish soldiers. Poland, of course, is not only a NATO member state, but the NATO member state with which the U.S. has most assiduously aligned itself since Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine (Polish government officials deny any formal connection to the “Polish Volunteer Corps”). So the raids raised an obvious, yet oft-neglected question: Just what the hell is U.S. policy in Ukraine?

If you turn on the TV, you’ll find pundits on every channel loyally reciting from memory the broad parameters of the U.S. mission—at least as it’s being conveyed in daily rhetorical flourishes by Biden Administration officials, assorted Congressional chest-thumpers, and brave think tank warriors. Freedom and autocracy are locked in a great cosmic battle of good versus evil, or so goes the usual storyline—most often narrated with a degree of moral complexity that can be generously compared to a lower-tier Marvel Movie. But apart from this steady stream of heavily recycled platitudes, was it ever plainly disclosed to Americans—the chief financial sponsors of the Ukraine war effort, after all—that the scope of the war effort they’ve found themselves subsidizing would eventually expand to include platoons of Polish soldiers marching straight into Russia?

Did anyone back in Washington, D.C. sign off on this, or was there ever an opportunity granted for public consideration of its potentially foreboding implications? At least in theory, the U.S. is treaty-bound to come to the defense of Poland in the event of armed attack. And while Poland may nominally disavow the Polish Volunteer Corps, a Polish journalist writing for Poland’s largest digital publication says he was in attendance at a founding organizational meeting in Kyiv this past February, during which the unit was established not as a ragtag group of untested amateurs, but as an elite “sabotage and reconnaissance” force—which from the get-go was “reporting directly to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.” Per this account, the unit was to consist of Poland’s “most experienced soldiers,” with notable imprecision as to where specifically those soldiers hailed from.

Then there’s the fact that shortly before the formation of the “Polish Volunteer Corps,” a cross-coalition bill was submitted to the Polish parliament which would make it legal for Polish nationals to fight in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The war against Russia was to be recognized as “a special situation from the point of view of the national security of the Republic of Poland,” the text reads, “requiring non-standard political and legislative actions on the part of the state.” The “Polish Volunteer Corps” has been conducting joint operations with the “Russian Volunteer Corps,” another fully integrated “special unit within the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine”—euphemistically referred to in “Western” media headlines with plausible-deniability monikers like “Pro-Ukraine group of partisans.”

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“..opponents of the initiative argue it would escalate the Ukraine conflict and confirm Russia’s justification for the special operation..”

Biden Admin Weighs ‘Israel Model’ for Ukraine Instead of NATO Membership (Sp.)

In 2008, Ukraine was denied membership to NATO, with opponents to Ukraine’s membership citing potential effects on Europe’s relationship with Russia as a major issue. The Biden administration is reportedly considering proposing an ‘Israel model’ for Ukraine in NATO, a deal that would be a limited commitment and not include a collective defense guarantee. US media reports have indicated the Biden White House would pledge to continue providing more military aid to Ukraine, regardless of the outcome of its ongoing counter-offensive. The deal would likely be for a shorter period than the commitment to Israel, which typically runs in 10-year intervals. Kiev and some European allies have been advocating for Ukraine’s full NATO membership, including a collective defense guarantee.

However, opponents of the initiative argue it would escalate the Ukraine conflict and confirm Russia’s justification for the special operation, one of which was NATO’s encroachment across Europe since the start of the century. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has reportedly threatened to boycott the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, next month if he is not given a roadmap for Ukraine joining the military alliance as a full member. Last week, outgoing NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg reportedly suggested a “compromise” proposal when he spoke to US President Joe Biden. Part of that compromise stipulated a pledge to continue providing the Kiev regime with weapons, regardless of the level of success of its counter-offensive.

The deal would also ascend Ukraine to the council level in NATO, which is the status Russia maintained until 2014, when the relationship between Russia and the West collapsed. US media reported only Germany has so far sided with Biden in his plan for Ukraine; however, other members also have their doubts about Ukraine being ready to join the military bloc. Part of the Biden plan would be to commit the US to Ukraine for longer periods, limiting the amount of public debate in the US over Ukraine aid. Citing Biden administration officials, media reported the plan would “bleed some of the politics out of episodic debates about how much aid to commit to Ukraine in the next six months or a year.”

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“Residents in Crimea decided to join Russia. This position was also shared by former French Presidents Nicolas Sarkozy and Valery Giscard d’Estaing, and I stand with them, too, that this issue has nothing to do with today’s conflict in Ukraine..”

Le Pen Says Crimea ‘Has Nothing To Do’ With Conflict In Ukraine (TASS)

Crimea is an inseparable part of Russia and has nothing to do with today’s conflict in Ukraine, Marine Le Pen, the leader of the parliamentary faction of the National Rally party, told France Info radio on Thursday. “Crimea has nothing to do with the conflict in Ukraine,” she maintained. “Residents in Crimea decided to join Russia. This position was also shared by former French Presidents Nicolas Sarkozy and Valery Giscard d’Estaing, and I stand with them, too, that this issue has nothing to do with today’s conflict in Ukraine,” emphasized Le Pen, who was incumbent French leader Emmanuel Macron’s main rival in the presidential election in 2017 as well as last year. According to the parliamentarian, “the conflict in Ukraine is related to the Minsk agreements, which do not concern Crimea.”

Le Pen underlined that she views Crimea to be a part of Russia. “I have been saying this for 10 years already, and I have not changed my mind,” the far-right politician said. She insists that “the Donbass issue should be central at talks to resolve the conflict in Ukraine.” Taking questions from members of the lower chamber of the French parliament, the National Assembly, in late May, Le Pen said she considers Crimea a legitimate Russian territory. The politician said she had her own impressions from her trips to the peninsula, where she talked to Crimean residents and could see for herself that they are more inclined towards Russia.

Crimea was transferred to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1954 at the initiative of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. After a coup in Ukraine in February 2014, the governments of Crimea and Sevastopol held a referendum on the peninsula’s reunification with Russia. The overwhelming majority of voters supported reunification (96.7% in the Republic of Crimea and 95.6% in the City of Sevastopol, respectively), with turnout reaching 80%. Despite the convincing results of the referendum, Kiev and the EU have refused to recognize Crimea as being part of Russia.

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It’s been done before. Many times.

A History of Ceasefires & Peace in Ukraine (Wright)

Negotiations, ceasefires, armistices and peace agreements are as old as wars themselves. Every war ends with some version of one of them. Wars have been studied endlessly, but lessons learned on how to end the wars have generally been ignored by those conducting the world’s latest wars. To stop the killing in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, people of conscience must do everything they can to make negotiations for a ceasefire become a reality. That was the purpose of the International Summit for Peace in Ukraine held in Vienna last weekend. Over 300 persons from 32 countries attended the conference and participated in the robust program to discuss how to create conditions for a ceasefire and ultimately an agreement to stop the killing. The websites for the International Peace Bureau and the Peace in Ukraine summit were hacked the day after the conference but should be up and running soon.

[..] Using data from 48 conflicts between 1946 and 1997, political scientist Virginia Page Fortna has shown that strong agreements that arrange for demilitarized zones, third-party guarantees, peacekeeping, or joint commissions for dispute resolution and contain specific (versus vague) language produced more lasting cease-fires that provide conditions for dialogue for an armistice or agreement. Figuring out how to make the cease-fire be effective will be the key task. Despite its less-than-stellar track record, the U.S. as a co-belligerent should work with the Ukrainian government to figure out effective cease-fire measures. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has already described any new negotiations as “Minsk 3,” a reference to the two cease-fire deals that were brokered with Russia in the Belarusian capital in 2014 and 2015, after its annexation of Crimea and fighting in the Donbass region.

The Minsk 1 and 2 agreements included no effective mechanisms for ensuring the parties’ compliance and failed to end the violence. Minsk 1 and 2 were later acknowledged by NATO and the European Union as a ploy for “buying time” for the West’s buildup of Ukrainian forces and equipment. Having been in the U.S. Army/Army Reserves for 29 years and working as a U.S. diplomat for 16 years, I can testify to the results of endless studies of the consequences of war. One example is the year-long U.S. Department of State Iraq Study Group, being ignored by U.S. politicians and policy makers, and lessons learned on how to end deadly conflicts being ignored by U.S. military and national security experts.

I suspect that few Ukrainian, Russian, U.S. and NATO policy makers know of the United Nations’ 18-page guide to the Do’s and Don’ts of Ceasefire Agreements, based on their experience in conflicts. Therefore, for the record, I want to mention the main points of the “Do’s and Don’ts of Ceasefire Agreements,” so no one can say, “We Didn’t Know” such work has been done already and the pitfalls of ceasefire agreements well identified.

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De-Dollarization is happening now. Just not in one big leap.

De-Dollarization ‘Could Happen Much Quicker Than Most Think’ (Sp.)

Sanctions and trade embargoes have accelerated the movement of many nations, including Russia, to boost efforts to shed reliance on the US dollar, which has been increasingly “weaponized” by the West. Recent moves by BRICS countries offer hope that the dominance of the greenback in the world economy will eventually be uprooted. De-dollarization could happen much quicker than most people think, Michael Goddard, president of the Netley Group, said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). SPIEF 2023 entered day two on Thursday, and the unique global economic and business event focused on de-dollarization – a buzzword of late among countries seeking to ditch the hegemony of the American greenback. The BRICS group of countries has been spearheading the movement.

A common currency is one of the bold steps being mulled over among other tools that the bloc, which unites the world’s largest developing economies — Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, has at its disposal to escape the hegemony of the US-dominated economic order. As a number of other countries have expressed desire to join the bloc, including Argentina, Iran, Indonesia, Turkiye, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, the trend towards dumping the dollar is likely to grow even stronger. “A new BRICS currency that’s backed by some kind of asset, gold or a basket of assets, as they’re discussing, from a trade basis, if all the BRICS countries and BRICS+ and others trade that way [it] will almost immediately depress the amount of dollars that are used in trade. And over a period of a few years, that will accelerate greatly,” Michael Goddard told Sputnik.

However, he clarified that that if one nurtures hopes of ditching the dollar, which is the global reserve currency, you “actually need reserve.” The tremendous advantage of the dollar at the moment is the US bond market, Goddard said, adding “One of the ways for the BRICS to replicate that, and then displace it, is to link their bond markets, and the governments and the populace actually start to buy the bonds which are denominated in the new currency. And I believe that if they do that, de-dollarization could happen much quicker than most people think.”To all those skeptics of the BRICS currency who warn of the vast differences of the economies of member-states, Michael Goddard enumerated ways that this “divide” could be overcome successfully.

One way is for BRICS to create a currency “backed either by gold or a basket of commodities that are trusted,” and then “trade with 80 percent of the world.” “And I believe that most people who are not in America, the UK, or Europe, would like an alternative to the dollar, don’t want to be at risk from being sanctioned, their assets being frozen. And I think the momentum of that will actually allow the currency to take root and then grow,” Goddard concluded.

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“Zlochevsky allegedly told the CHS he was dismayed by Trump’s victory, fearing an investigation would reveal his payments to the Biden family..”

The Bidens ‘Coerced’ Burisma To Pay $10 Million In Bribes – CHS (Fed.)

The Bidens allegedly “coerced” a foreign national to pay them $10 million in bribes, according to individuals familiar with the investigation into the FBI’s handling of the FD-1023 confidential human source report. What, if anything, agents did to investigate these explosive claims remains unknown, however, with sources telling The Federalist the FBI continues to stonewall. On Monday, Sen. Chuck Grassley revealed a foreign national — identified by individuals with knowledge of the matter as Burisma founder Mykola Zlochevsky — allegedly possessed 17 recordings implicating the Bidens in a pay-to-play scandal. While 15 of the audio recordings consisted of phone calls between Zlochevsky and Hunter Biden, two were of calls the Ukrainian had with then-Vice President Joe Biden, according to the FD-1023.

The Federalist has now learned the FD-1023 reported the CHS saying the Bidens “coerced” Zlochevsky to pay the bribes. Sources familiar with the investigation also explained the context of Zlochevsky’s statements, and that context further bolsters the CHS’s reporting. In the FD-1023 from June 30, 2020, the confidential human source summarized earlier meetings he had with Zlochevsky. According to the CHS, in the 2015-2016 timeframe, the CHS, who was providing advice to Zlochevsky, told the Burisma owner to stay away from the Bidens. Then, after Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential contest, the CHS asked Zlochevsky if he was upset Trump won.

Zlochevsky allegedly told the CHS he was dismayed by Trump’s victory, fearing an investigation would reveal his payments to the Biden family, which included a $5 million payment to Hunter Biden and a $5 million payment to Joe Biden. According to the CHS, the Burisma executive bemoaned the situation, claiming the Bidens had “coerced” him into paying the bribes. The CHS responded that he hoped Zlochevsky had taken precautions to protect himself. Zlochevsky then allegedly detailed the steps he had taken to avoid detection, stressing he had never paid the “Big Guy” directly and that it would take some 10 years to unravel the various money trails. It was only then that Zlochevsky mentioned the audio recordings he had made of the conversations he had with Hunter and Joe Biden, according to the CHS.

The broader context of this conversation adds to the plausibility of Zlochevsky’s claims that he possessed recordings implicating the Bidens. And we already know from Grassley and House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer that the FBI considered the CHS, who relayed Zlochevsky’s claims to the FBI, a “highly credible” source. Further, according to individuals familiar with the investigation, the FBI admitted the CHS’s intel was unrelated to the information Rudy Giuliani had provided the Western District of Pennsylvania’s U.S. attorney’s office — the office then-Attorney General William Barr had tasked with reviewing any new information related to Ukraine. Sources told The Federalist that investigators out of the Pittsburgh office, in addition to reviewing Giuliani’s information, searched internal FBI databases and came across an earlier FD-1023 related to the CHS. That earlier FD-1023 then led to agents questioning the CHS on June 30, 2020, uncovering the details concerning Burisma’s alleged bribery of the Bidens.

[..] Biden family business. Those records provide concrete evidence of a pattern of public corruption involving foreign nationals, with Joe Biden at the helm. There are still more banking records to review, along with the many details recently discovered when the whistleblower came forward with the FD-1023. Apparently, Zlochevsky wasn’t far from the mark when he said it would take 10 years to unravel the complex payment path that led to Joe Biden.

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“Are there tapes that you accepted bribes, President Biden? Is that true?”

Internet Ignites as Biden Laughs Off Bribery Question (Sp.)

The US House Oversight Committee is investigating claims of a political bribery scheme involving a foreign national based on information provided to the FBI by a confidential source who alleges Joe Biden and his son Hunter received a total of $10Mln from Ukrainian energy company Burisma to help end an investigation into the entity. A host of internet critics have lambasted Joe Biden’s response to a question about the alleged bribery scandal in which he has been implicated. “Are there tapes that you accepted bribes, President Biden? Is that true?” a reporter asked the Democratic POTUS. The reporter was referring to the Ukrainian energy company Burisma bribery allegations dating to Biden’s time as vice-president, and the reported existence of audio recordings of his conversations with an executive proving the claims.

But the 80-year-old, who was on his way out of the White House East Room after an event with US diplomats, stopped, turned around, and smirked, while remaining silent. He then shook his head, and ambled down the hallway.
Columnist Miranda Devine tweeted that the president was “laughing in America’s face”. Others chimed in, deploring Biden’s “condescending” and “mocking” response. Republican Senator from Iowa, Chuck Grassley, revealed on Monday that a Burisma whistleblower who allegedly paid Joe Biden and his son Hunter retained 17 audio recordings of his conversations with them as an “insurance policy”. The senator cited the FBI’s unclassified 1023 form drafted in 2020 on the Biden family. The “foreign national” reportedly referred to Joe Biden as the “Big Guy”.

The US House Oversight Committee is investigating a possible political bribery scheme involving a foreign national. The investigation is based on information provided to the FBI by a confidential human source who alleges that Joe Biden and his son Hunter received a total of $10Mln from Ukrainian energy company Burisma to help end a probe into the entity. The president dismissed the allegations without elaborating on details. Earlier in the day, former President Donald Trump promised that if he were elected he would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Biden, his family and others allegedly engaged in corruption that negatively affects the United States.

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While Trump was being impeached.

The Biggest Coverup In Political History (GP)

In 2019 One America News Network investigative journalist Chanel Rion released a three part made for TV series detailing Joe Biden and Hunter Biden’s criminal dealings in Ukraine. The evidence Chanel Rion and Rudy Giuliani brought forth was enough to start a corruption investigation into Joe Biden. Chanel traveled to Ukraine with Rudy Giuliani to investigate the money laundering schemes by the Biden Crime Family. What they came back with was a trough of evidence and documents that detailed bribes and payments to Hunter Biden for years and at least one bribe to Joe Biden for $900,000 from Ukrainian officials.


Chanel Rion and Rudy Giuliani interviewed several witnesses who destroyed Adam Schiff’s baseless impeachment case against President Trump. In the three part EXCLUSIVE report, Rudy Giuliani debunked the impeachment hoax and exposed Biden family corruption in Ukraine and Latvia. In the series Rudy and Chanel expose the numerous media lies told to the American public by the lemming media to protect Joe Biden The mainstream media is once again exposed as a very corrupt arm of the Democrat Party. Joe Biden should have been jailed years ago. Here is background material The Gateway Pundit published back in 2020 before the presidential election. The DOJ ignored this evidence against Joe Biden.

“Ukrainian Pariamentarian Andriy Derkach held a much publicized press conference last October in Ukraine. In his press conference Derkach revealed that Joe Biden was paid $900,000 for lobbying efforts from Burisma Holdings in Ukraine. Derkach even brought charts and images as proof during his presentation. This is the same organization that paid Hunter Biden over $50,000 a month to sit on their board in an obvious pay-for-play maneuver. Cristina Laila reported on this development back in October last year…” Former Vice President Joe Biden was personally paid $900,000 for lobbying activities from Burisma Holdings, according to Ukrainian MP Andriy Derkach.
Derkach publicized the documents at a press conference at the Interfax-Ukraine agency Wednesday as he said the records, “describe the mechanism of getting money by Biden Sr.”


“This was the transfer of Burisma Group’s funds for lobbying activities, as investigators believe, personally to Joe Biden through a lobbying company. Funds in the amount of $900,000 were transferred to the U.S.-based company Rosemont Seneca Partners, which according to open sources, in particular, the New York Times, is affiliated with Biden. The payment reference was payment for consultative services,” Derkach said. During his press conference Derkach even displayed images and a timeline of Joe Biden’s nefarious dealings in the Ukraine. The entire press conference by Andriy Derkach was recorded and posted online. For some strange reason the liberal mainstream media had NO INTEREST in reporting on this story at the time. They totally ignored the information. In October 2020 Andrii Derkach announced a second laptop belonging to Hunter Biden’s business contacts in Ukraine has been seized by law enforcement. The Gateway Pundit is currently following up on this claim.

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“And I know, Andy, that you know, had it happened during a jury trial, it would be a mistrial, right there.”

Ex-Trump Attorney Claims He Witnessed 45 Instances of DOJ Misconduct (Med.)

Former Trump attorney Tim Parlatore argued on MSNBC Tuesday that “prosecutorial misconduct” could derail Donald Trump‘s federal trial. Parlatore claimed to a highly skeptical panel that he was in the room and witnessed misconduct during the grand jury proceedings. “What are the issues that you think would lead to this case never going to trial?” Andrew Weissmann asked during an MSNBC panel. “The biggest issue, of course, Andy, is prosecutorial misconduct,” Parlatore said, before laying out his accusations against the federal prosecutors. “This is a case where you have prosecutors who have consistently demonstrated lack of ethics and willingness to lie to federal judges in sealed proceedings.

Willingness to, in the grand jury, openly suggest to the jurors that they may take the invocation of constitutional rights as evidence of guilt. Willingness to meet with an attorney for one of the witnesses and suggest that his application for a judgeship is something that should be considered and is a reason to convince his client to change his mind. ” A skeptical Weissmann interjected to ask how Parlatore knew of the alleged misconduct since grand juries usually operate in secret. “Because I was in the room,” Parlatore said. “It happened right in front of me.” Parlatore was a witness before the grand jury considering the classified documents case against Trump. Weissmann then asked what Parlatore saw.

“Forty-five separate times — I know sounds like I made that number up — but 45 separate times they tried to get into attorney-client privileged information and frequently when the question was asked about conversations between attorney and client, they would turn to the grand jury and say, ‘so you’re refusing to provide that information to the grand jury?’ At a certain point, further exchange ensued where the prosecutor says, ‘well isn’t it possible to waive the privilege? And if President Trump is being so cooperative, why won’t he waive the privilege and allow you to tell the jury about his conversations with you?’ That’s totally improper. And I know, Andy, that you know, had it happened during a jury trial, it would be a mistrial, right there.”

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“..the threats to the lawyers are greater than at any time since McCarthyism. Nor is the comparison to McCarthyism a stretch.”

Why Donald Trump Cannot Get a Top-Tier Lawyer (Dershowitz)

Former President Donald Trump has now been arraigned and pleaded not guilty. He was represented by two lawyers, neither of whom he apparently wants to lead his defense at trial. He has been interviewing Florida lawyers, and several top ones have declined. I know, because I have spoken to them. There are disturbing suggestions that among the reasons lawyers are declining the case is because they fear legal and career reprisals. There is a nefarious group that calls itself The 65 Project that has as its goal to intimidate lawyers into not representing Trump or anyone associated with him. They have threatened to file bar charges against any such lawyers. When these threats first emerged, I wrote an op-ed offering to defend pro bono any lawyers that The 65 Project goes after.

So The 65 Project immediately went after me, and contrived a charge based on a case in which I was a constitutional consultant, but designed to send a message to potential Trump lawyers: if you defend Trump or anyone associated with him, we will target you and find something to charge you with. The lawyers to whom I spoke are fully aware of this threat — and they are taking it seriously. There may be other reasons as well for why lawyers are reluctant to defend Trump. He is not the easiest client, and he has turned against some of his previous lawyers, as some of his previous lawyers have turned against him. This will be a difficult case to defend and an unpopular one with many in the legal profession and in general population.

Good lawyers, however, generally welcome challenges, especially in high-profile cases. This case is different: the threats to the lawyers are greater than at any time since McCarthyism. Nor is the comparison to McCarthyism a stretch. I recall during the 1950s how civil liberties lawyers, many of whom despised communism, were cancelled, and attacked if they dared to represent people accused of being communists. Even civil liberties organizations stayed away from such cases, for fear that it would affect their fundraising and general standing in the community. It may even be worse today, as I can attest from my own personal experiences, having defended Trump against an unconstitutional impeachment in 2020. I was cancelled by my local library, community center and synagogue. Old friends refused to speak to me and threatened others who did. My wife, who disagreed with my decision to defend Trump, was also ostracized. There were physical threats to my safety.

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“disseminating propaganda, the contents of which are intended to further the aims of a former National Socialist organization.”

First Roger Waters, Now C.J. Hopkins (Matt Taibbi)

It’s become axiomatic that the United States “lags far behind” Europe when it comes to hate speech law. Everyone from Joe Biden to would-be disinformation Czarina Nina Jankowicz to New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger have suggested the United States needs to move more in Europe’s direction, toward stricter rules and “illegal hate speech,” which “you will have soon also in the U.S.,” as European Commission Vice President for Values Vera Jourova put it at the Davos conference this year. It makes sense. After all, who’s for hate speech? What possible downside can there be to disallowing expressions of racism, antisemitism, xenophobia, transphobia? C.J. Hopkins can answer that. Following a similar case involving Roger Waters, the American playwright, Substack contributor, and editor of Consent Factory has been placed under investigation by a Berlin prosecutor for tweeting an image of his book, The Rise of the New Normal Reich. A scathing criticism of global pandemic policy, his cover features a white mask with a white swastika you have to squint to see:

According to German authorities, the author through this image is “disseminating propaganda, the contents of which are intended to further the aims of a former National Socialist organization.”] Here are some other books legally on sale in Germany:

As was the case with Waters, the Nazi imagery in C.J.’s book is used to make a satirical point. Unlike the Waters case, there’s absolutely nothing in C.J.’s outside-of-text history that even theoretically could be used to argue hidden/dangerous subtext. “It would take all of about 20 seconds of anyone looking at my actual work to see how absolutely opposed I am to anything resembling, totalitarianism, fascism, authoritarianism, anything,” he says. I first read C.J. at the outset of the Russiagate scandal, when from the amusing Statler-and-Waldorf remove of expat life he wrote witty columns about how far off the rocker America had fallen. A terrific comic prose stylist, he ripped our culture for obsessing over “Putin-Nazis,” noting the new Russophobia was just “a minor variation on the original War on Terror narrative we’ve been indoctrinated with since 2001.”


These columns are worth a re-read. C.J. was ahead of me, Glenn Greenwald, Aaron Maté, and others in seeing how Trump-era propaganda campaigns deranged the population. We had uncomfortable correspondence after Covid-19 hit, when I wasn’t so sure we were dealing with the same kinds of official lies this time, and worried about the wisdom, say, of writing “pandemic” in quotation marks. I rolled my eyes when I saw him cite an old quote from Hermann Goering, saying, “All you have to do is tell [people] they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.” But he placed it astride this real quote from California State Senator Richard Pan, about “anti-vaxxers”: “These extremists have not yet been held accountable, so they continue to escalate violence against the body public… We must now summon the political will to demand that domestic terrorists face consequences for their words and actions.”

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“Electric wildfires could burn millions of acres of trees with far less efficiency for only 10 times the price.!”

Joe Biden Announces By 2025 All Wildfires Must Be Electric (BBee)

Speaking from the White House, President Biden announced his administration’s bold plan to require all wildfires be electric by 2025. “My administration is committed to fighting pancakes, I mean climate change, and today we announce our boldest initiative yet!” mumbled the President to a group of dolls gathered in his closet he mistook for reporters gathered on the White House lawn. “By 2025, all wildfires will be powered exclusively by clean, electric energy. Gotta do it, folks! Not a joke! I wonder what that redhead smells like!” The Biden team unveiled details of the plan, including new statutes mandating all wildfires obtain permits for electric usage before being allowed to burn down acres of forest land.

“Electric wildfires are the future of climate technology,” declared Mark Patterson, a representative from the Bureau of Land Management. “I’m thrilled to see our president take a powerful position against destructive, gas-powered wildfires. Electric wildfires could burn millions of acres of trees with far less efficiency for only 10 times the price.!” The Biden administration told reporters they’ve spoken with wildfires across the country and have nearly reached an agreement with the fires, which includes provisions to convert current wood-burning fires into electric-only in just three years. The President hailed the move as another major step forward in his administration’s ongoing commitment to spend as many federal dollars on completely normal, practical, common-sense climate initiatives as possible. Critics say the plan could use up precious cobalt meant for iPhones and Teslas.

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Loudest bird
https://twitter.com/i/status/1669317438574415873

 

 

Komodo

 

 

Eagle ray
https://twitter.com/i/status/1669383386832486402

 

 

Young ‘uns

 

 

Owl’s ear
https://twitter.com/i/status/1669363135294078979

 

 

Sequoia
https://twitter.com/i/status/1669357721030914051

 

 

Fuxi
https://twitter.com/i/status/1669391436557451267

 

 

 

 

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May 252023
 
 May 25, 2023  Posted by at 8:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  29 Responses »


Damien Hirst Spiritual Day Blossom 2018

 

Zelensky A ‘Servant Of The People’ – But Not The Ukrainian People (Kornilov)
Putin Has Led Russia To Failure With His Invasion – Prigozhin (DM)
Wagner Chief Reveals Losses In Fight For Artyomovsk (RT)
Russia Opposes ‘Freezing’ Ukraine Conflict – Kremlin (RT)
Mearsheimers Latest Talk On The War In Ukraine (MoA)
British Warmongering Is Driving Europe Towards Catastrophe In Ukraine (Cook)
NATO’s Eastward Expansion Shares Intent With Hitlerian Policies – Lavrov (TASS)
Neocolonial Model Of World To Become Thing Of The Past – Putin (TASS)
Ukraine’s Top General Gravely Wounded In Russian Strike (RT)
The War in Ukraine Was Provoked (Jeffrey Sachs)
The G7 Is An Outdated Tool Of The US Neo-Empire (Fomenko)
Catastrophic Borrowing Kills Global Financial System – John Rubino
The Inside Story Of Russia-Iran-India Connectivity (Pepe Escobar)
The FBI Has Crossed The Rubicon (Faddis)
US, EU Politicians Demand Withdrawal Of COP28 Chief (Cradle)

 

 

 

 

DeSantis Twitter Space
https://twitter.com/i/status/1661542033884958723

 

 

P.e.n.i.s.
https://twitter.com/i/status/1660828620506509312

 

 


Pulp Fiction meets Nighthawks

 

 

Whistleblower
https://twitter.com/i/status/1661552527265918980

 

 

In 1996 RFK jr suffered a neurological injury which baffled doctors. Years later when he was in litigation over a particular flu vaccine he discovered that his condition, spasmodic dysphonia, was listed as one of the top side effects.

 

 

 

 

“But his promises to his new master are very different: not peace, but war.”

Zelensky A ‘Servant Of The People’ – But Not The Ukrainian People (Kornilov)

Every May, Vladimir Zelensky makes a show of proving that he remains what Ukrainians elected him to be: a servant of the people. This is part of the comedian-turned-politician’s myth, borrowed from the eponymous TV show he fronted prior to seeking high office. On the anniversary of his inauguration, every May 20, he gives a showpiece performance in the form of a report on the past year of his rule. He plays the role of the “servant,” informing his “masters” – the voters of Ukraine. Just two years ago, and it seems like ages now, Zelensky chose the Antonov aircraft hangar and a huge, unfinished Mriya cargo plane without wings (a Soviet project that independent Ukraine had spent 30 years talking about getting moving again) – as his backdrop. He went on to paint Ukrainians a beautiful picture of their country’s future, in which the Mriya (which means ‘dream’ in the local language) would finally take to the skies.

Less than a year later, soldiers under Zelensky’s command bombed both the hangar where he held the press conference and the plane, which never managed to take off. Everything seemed possible in Zelensky’s world, but he did forget one thing. Two years ago, when he was talking about turning Ukraine into a new Eden, he forgot the main promise that prompted Ukrainians to vote for him: his pledge to bring peace. Now, it’s even funny to remember the words the “servant of the people” uttered in his inaugural speech on May 20, 2019: “Our first priority is a ceasefire [in Kiev’s war with the Donbass]… I would not hesitate to lose my position for the sake of peace.” Over the intervening years, Zelensky has remained true to his tradition and, on the anniversary of his inauguration, he has continued to report as a true servant. But as time has passed he has acquired new masters – the US leadership.

This is a very significant change and confirms that, for Zelensky, Ukraine and its people have long been nothing more than a prop for his bloody adventures and their future well-being certainly is not part of the plan. His visit to Japan for the G7 summit was yet another venue in which to beg for weapons. Ukrainian diplomats take great offense when elements of the Western press liken Zelensky’s foreign trips to a traveling circus, but that is the reality. The whole point of his many trips is to raise yet more funds, and promises, to keep the war going – and thus to keep Ukrainians dying. As retired Italian general Marco Bertolini rightly pointed out the other day, if Western arms supplies to Ukraine had stopped, “the war would have ended a year ago and would not have cost hundreds of thousands of lives.”

The worst part is that everyone understands this very well. The EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, says practically the same thing. However, even with the full knowledge that supplying Kiev with new lethal weapons means using Ukrainians as cannon fodder, the West keeps pumping in supplies. Of course, those same Ukrainians were promised Zelensky as a “servant” two years ago before he found himself some new masters. In Hiroshima, Zelensky fawned over his current bosses as best he could. He pathetically likened his request for F-16 jets to seeking “wings for freedom.”

[..] To sweeten the bitter pill of the humiliating defeat in Donbass, the Ukrainian president is trying to label the West’s promises to provide Kiev with F-16 fighter jets as a victory. What this will look like in practice is anyone’s guess, and no one knows how close it will bring the world to a potential catastrophe. Of course, Hiroshima is probably the best place to assess the consequences and understand how they could affect the entire planet. Especially the Ukrainian people, whom Zelensky promised to serve faithfully four years ago. But his promises to his new master are very different: not peace, but war.

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“..the guilty people will receive their punishment – as a minimum, they’ll be hanged on the Red Square.”

“So if they had at the start of it 500 tanks – now they have 5,000. If there were 20,000 men who were able to fight – now there are 400,000. So how exactly did we demilitarise it?”

Putin Has Led Russia To Failure With His Invasion – Prigozhin (DM)

Vladimir Putin has led Russia to abject failure with his invasion of Ukraine, the head of the Russian Wagner mercenary group has said in an astonishing outburst. Far from demilitarising Ukraine – Russia’s key war aim – Putin’s botched strategy has seen Kyiv amass ‘one of the world’s strongest armies’ through massive Western supplies, Yevgeny Prigozhin said. The Wagner chief was once considered a close ally and confidant of Russia’s tyrant and had been nicknamed Putin’s ‘chef’. But in the latest of his increasingly frequent outbursts, Prigozhin has given a devastating critique of his war strategy. He then warned of impending ‘revolution’ in Russia unless changes were made by the Kremlin leadership.

In an astonishing attack on military leaders, he said Russia would restore the death penalty and the guilty – he named defence ministry Sergei Shoigu and chief of the defence staff Valery Gerasimov as responsible for the war crisis – would be ‘hanged on Red Square’. Prigozhin blamed both Shoigu and Gerasimov for losing more men in Bakhmut than in the entire ten-year Soviet war in Afghanistan from 1979-89, which eventually led to the collapse of the USSR. ‘So the de-nazification of Ukraine, which we announced – we made Ukraine a nation, known to everyone around the globe,’ he said, mocking Putin’s warped purpose for going to war. ‘They are like Greeks at their peak, or Romans.’ He told interviewer Konstantin Dolgov – a prominent pro-war blogger: ‘We legitimised Ukraine, it became a country which is known to everyone.

‘As for de-militarisation… [this is] a painful issue indeed. ‘So if they had at the start of it 500 tanks – now they have 5,000. If there were 20,000 men who were able to fight – now there are 400,000. So how exactly did we demilitarise it? ‘Quite the opposite! We militarised it up to the brim. ‘I think Ukrainians today are one of the world’s strongest armies. They have high levels of organisation, training, military intelligence. ‘They have various ammunition and moreover, they are able to switch between any system – Soviet, Nato, anything at all – with the same success. They take their losses philosophically. ‘All they do is to achieve the supreme goal, just like us during the Great Patriotic War [Second World War].’ Prigozhin’s armed force of convicts and volunteers – named Wagner private military company – has claimed to have taken Bakhmut but at a devastating toll.

He admitted that in Bakhmut his force had lost 10,000 prisoners freed to fight for Putin, and the same number of volunteers. Many experts estimate the Wagner losses to be higher. Prigozhin then claimed Ukraine had lost 50,000 with 70,000 wounded. ‘During the [special military operation] I pulled out 50,000 inmates from jails,’ he said. Twenty per cent of them died.’ Adding to the latest of his outbursts, Prigozhin said he saw Shoigu and Gerasimov as guilty, not least for failing to supply Wagner with ammunition and weapons. ‘Without a doubt the death penalty will be brought back, because we are in a state of war,’ he said. And the guilty people will receive their punishment – as a minimum, they’ll be hanged on the Red Square.’

He lambasted the comfortable elites in Russia who continued to live normally while cannon fodder troops at the front lost their lives in huge numbers. Their sons must be forced to the war, he said. He singled out the defence minister Sergei Shoigu, whose daughter and son -in-law flaunt their wealth on social media. While last year it emerged the foreign minister Sergey Lavrov’s stepdaughter owns a £4 million luxury apartment in Kensington, London. Mr Prigozhin said: ‘Everything might end as in 1917, with a revolution, when first the soldiers rise up and then their loved ones.

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From a different source:

1. 6.5 thousand foreign mercenaries of the Ukrainian Armed Forces were destroyed.
2. 10 thousand units of military equipment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were destroyed.
3. 35 thousand units of weapons of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were taken as trophies.
4. More than 50 aircraft and helicopters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were destroyed.
5. 55,000 soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were killed.
6. 85 thousand soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were wounded.
7. Such a large percentage of the dead was due to the fact that the Armed Forces of Ukraine were almost surrounded and did not have time to take out the wounded.
8. PMC Wagner has also losses, but several times less.
9. 10 brigades of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were completely destroyed and deprived of combat capability.
10. 21 brigades of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were defeated and withdrawn to the rear for reorganization.
11. All these brigades were preparing for the offensive but instead of an offensive, they were defeated in Bakhmut.

Wagner Chief Reveals Losses In Fight For Artyomovsk (RT)

The head of Russia’s Wagner Group, Evgeny Prigozhin, has revealed that the private military company lost around 20,000 servicemen during the liberation of the strategic Donbass city of Artyomovsk, also known as Bakhmut, from Ukrainian forces. In an interview published by Wagner’s press service on Tuesday, Prigozhin said that during the long-running battle he had boosted the company’s ranks with 50,000 inmates from Russian prisons, who were offered the chance to fight instead of completing their sentences. “Around 20% of them have died,”Prigozhin said. “The casualties among them were the same as among those who enlisted by contract with us.” This suggests that Wagner’s losses in Artyomovsk, which is a key settlement in Russia’s Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), amounted to some 10,000 former prisoners and 10,000 military professionals.

Around 20% of Wagner’s forces had also received injuries that would require at least three months to recover from, Prigozhin stated. However, he insisted that the Ukrainian military had suffered far greater losses in what he previously called “the Bakhmut meat-grinder.” “We’ve destroyed 50,000 troops of the Ukrainian armed forces [in Artyomovsk],” the Wagner chief claimed, adding that another 50,000 to 70,000 had been seriously wounded. Prigozhin announced on Saturday that the operation to take control of Artyomovsk, which had been spearheaded by Wagner, had ended and that the city had been “fully captured.” The battle for the major logistics hub had been fought for 224 days, he added.

The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed later the same day that the city had been taken, with President Vladimir Putin congratulating Wagner servicemen and regular Russian military troops on their success. Ukraine, which previously claimed that Artyomovsk would be defended at any cost and would become a turning point in the conflict with Moscow, has thus far refused to admit the loss of the city. On Sunday, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said that the settlement “is only in our hearts”when asked by US counterpart Joe Biden at the G7 summit in Japan if Kiev still controlled Artyomovsk. A few hours later, Zelensky changed his stance and denied that the settlement was“occupied by Russia.”

Bakhmut

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“..Moscow is only considering the option of “completing the special military operation..”

Russia Opposes ‘Freezing’ Ukraine Conflict – Kremlin (RT)

Russia is “in solidarity” with the West on the view that the conflict in Ukraine cannot be frozen, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with Russia’s TASS news agency on Wednesday. Asked whether Russia was considering putting the fighting on hold, Peskov stated that Moscow is only considering the option of “completing the special military operation,” which means securing Russia’s interests and achieving its goals either through military, or other available means. The spokesperson said it’s premature to talk about a peaceful resolution to the Ukraine conflict, as there are no prerequisites for such an outcome yet. “It is unlikely that we can talk about real negotiations with any of the representatives of the current Kiev authorities, because there [in Ukraine] any negotiations with the Russian Federation are simply prohibited now,” Peskov explained.

Earlier, the German chancellor stated that any peace talks on the situation in Ukraine cannot aim to freeze the conflict. “Russia must withdraw its troops,” Olaf Scholz insisted on the sidelines of the G7 summit on Sunday. Meanwhile, the US is reportedly seeking to stretch out the conflict for years or even decades. According to the Politico news website, Joe Biden’s administration has been considering freezing the fighting instead of pushing for Ukraine’s victory, with the goal of achieving a situation similar to that between North and South Korea. “A Korea-style stoppage is certainly something that’s been discussed by experts and analysts in and out of government,” a source told the outlet. “It’s plausible, because neither side would need to recognize any new borders, and the only thing that would have to be agreed is to stop shooting along a set line.”

The benefit of such a scenario for the US would be that it would cost less for Western nations to support Ukraine, draw less public attention, and reduce the pressure to assist Kiev. Additionally, it would allow Ukraine to continue switching its military to NATO standards, in the hope of joining the military alliance. Russia, meanwhile, has repeatedly criticized NATO’s expansion into Europe and its attempts to build a presence in Ukraine without the country’s formal accession. Moscow has cited such moves as one of the key reasons for launching its military offensive in February 2022.

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“Mearsheimer expects that Russia, which already has incorporated four Ukrainian oblast plus Crimea, will take another four oblast from Ukraine.”

Mearsheimers Latest Talk On The War In Ukraine (MoA)

Yesterday the well known international relations scholar John Mearsheimer gave a talk (video, 1:33h) about the war in Ukraine to the Committee for the Republic. Mearsheimer made two major points: Ukraine can not win this war because the kill ratio in this war is in its disfavor. Mearheimer estimates that two Ukrainians die for one Russian soldier but says that many of his friends think that the ratio is more like 3:1 or 4:1. The reason for this is the WWI-style static war in which artillery is the most deadly weapon. Russia has an immense artillery advantage. During an offensive the attacker will often have more casualties than the defender. But in this war the Ukraine side has been (counter-)attacked most of the time while the Russians defended.

The Ukraine also has a much smaller population than Russia. The current ratio is about 5 Russians for 1 Ukrainian. With a much smaller population and much higher casualties the Ukraine will run out of able bodies way before Russia does. Mearsheimer expects that Russia, which already has incorporated four Ukrainian oblast plus Crimea, will take another four oblast from Ukraine. (I predicted this on February 24 2022, the day the war began. Those eight oblast plus Crimea are historically Russian land inhabited by Russian people. During the last thirty years they have consistently voted for pro-Russian candidates while the people in west Ukraine consistently opted for anti-Russian candidates.) Ukraine will end up as a dysfunctional (and poor) rump state.

Mearsheimer says that there will be no peace agreement in Ukraine. The war is seen by both sides as existential. Ukraine insists of regaining territory it sees as part of the country. Ukraine wants security guarantees from the ‘west’ which Russia opposes. The problem of hyper-nationalism (fascism) on the Ukrainian side also makes peace impossible. Then there is the problem that Russia, after having been lied to over the Minsk agreements, has zero trust in any ‘western’ word.

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“Storm Shadow allows the Ukrainian military to strike deep into Russian-annexed parts of Ukraine – and potentially at Russian cities too..”

British Warmongering Is Driving Europe Towards Catastrophe In Ukraine (Cook)

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky made an unexpected trip to Britain last week on a whistle-stop tour of European capitals, pleading for more powerful and longer-range weapons to use in his war against Russia. What was hard to ignore once again was the extent to which the UK is playing an outsize role in Ukraine. Last year, shortly after the start of the war, the then-prime minister, Boris Johnson, hurried to Kyiv – presumably on Washington’s instructions – apparently to warn Zelensky off fledgling peace talks with Moscow. At around the same time, the Biden administration made clear it favoured an escalation in fighting, not an end to it, as an opportunity to “weaken” Russia, a geo-strategic rival along with China. Since then, the UK has been at the forefront of European efforts to entrench the conflict, helping to lobby for the supply of weapons, training and military intelligence to Ukrainian forces.

British tanks and thousands of tank shells – including, controversially, some made from depleted uranium – are being shipped out. Last week, the UK added hundreds of long-range attack drones to the inventory. And an unspecified number of £2m-a-blast Storm Shadow cruise missiles, with a range of nearly 300km, have started arriving. Last week Ben Wallace, Britain’s defence secretary, said the missiles were already in use, adding that Kyiv alone was deciding on the targets. Storm Shadow allows the Ukrainian military to strike deep into Russian-annexed parts of Ukraine – and potentially at Russian cities too. A recent leak revealed that the Pentagon had learnt through electronic eavesdropping of Zelensky’s eagerness for longer-range missiles so that his forces were “capable of reaching Russian troop deployments in Russia”.

Britain now pays little more than lip service to the West’s claim that its role is only to help Ukraine defend itself from Russian aggression. The supply of increasingly offensive weapons has turned Ukraine into what amounts to a proxy battleground on which the Cold War can be revived. During Zelensky’s visit to the UK last week, Johnson’s successor, Rishi Sunak, effectively acted as an arms broker for Ukraine, joining with the Netherlands in what was grandly dubbed an “international coalition” to pressure the Biden administration and other European states to supply Kiev with F-16 fighter jets. Washington appeared not to need much cajoling. Three days later, Biden dramatically changed tack at a G7 summit in Japan. He effectively gave a green light for US allies to supply Ukraine not only with US-made F-16s but similar fourth-generation fighter jets, including Britain’s Eurofighter Typhoon and France’s Mirage 2000.

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“NATO’s reckless expansion reflects the same intentions that undergirded the Hitlerian doctrine of ‘Drang nach Osten’..”

NATO’s Eastward Expansion Shares Intent With Hitlerian Policies – Lavrov (TASS)

Behind NATO’s latest expansion push lie the same underlying intentions as the policies of Hitler, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at an international meeting of high-level officials responsible for security issues in Moscow on Wednesday. “In essence, NATO’s reckless expansion reflects the same intentions that undergirded the Hitlerian doctrine of ‘Drang nach Osten’ (German for ‘Drive to the East,’ which was the Nazi slogan justifying the conquest of Central and Eastern European lands – TASS),” Lavrov said. According to Russia’s top diplomat, the United States has purposefully set about destroying the architecture of European security, “while focusing in particular on engendering threats that are unacceptable to Russia.”


“It is enough just to mention the US withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty more than 20 years ago, as well as from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and from the Open Skies Treaty,” he maintained. Lavrov accused Washington and its allies of marginalizing the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), a body that he said no longer played any role in European security. The Russian foreign minister criticized the NATO countries’ “provocative” course toward relentlessly expanding the alliance eastward, which he said has been done in spite of the top-level Western pledges made to the then-leadership of the Soviet Union that NATO would not expand “one inch.” Also, this policy “contravenes [Western countries’] commitments made at the highest level to refrain from bolstering their own security at the expense of the security of other [nations],” he lamented.

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“I am confident that, together, we will achieve the formation of a more equitable, multipolar world..”

Neocolonial Model Of World To Become Thing Of The Past – Putin (TASS)

Russia, together with other countries, will assuredly achieve a fair world order, whereas the model under which certain countries develop at the expense of others will become a thing of the past, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, greeting the participants in the 11th International Meeting of High-Level Officials Responsible for Security Issues. “I am confident that, together, we will achieve the formation of a more equitable, multipolar world, while the ideology of exceptionalism as well as the neocolonial system, which has undergirded the exploitation of the resources of the entire world, will inevitably recede into the past,” he noted. Putin assured the foreign security officials that Russia was ready to engage in the closest level of interaction with all interested countries in efforts to counteract common threats and tackle the challenges that humankind is facing today.

“We highly appreciate the fact that Russia has numerous allies and partners across diverse regions and continents. We sincerely cherish our historically strong, friendly, and genuinely trust-based ties with Asian, African and Latin American countries, and we will continue to do all we can to strengthen them,” he assured his audience. Separately, Putin talked about the significance of the conference for the global situation, noting that, over the years, regular interactions between security officials aimed at sharing their expertise and assessments have proven their utility and relevance, and have been instrumental in resolving key issues of regional and global security as well as strategic stability. The Russian president also noted that the conference’s agenda is very intensive and substantive. Above all, the meeting’s participants will discuss the current global situation and the prospects for its further development, as well as analyze the most pressing contemporary threats.

“Among them are international terrorism, extremism, illegal arms and drug trafficking, transnational crime and illegal migration. And, of course, issues pertaining to food and information security,” the Russian leader elaborated. Putin hoped that the meeting would be constructive and produce useful results, while helping to determine new methods and areas for practical cooperation “for the benefit of countries and peoples, and in the interest of peace and stability on the planet.” The meeting is being held in the Moscow Region on May 23-25. Russia’s delegation is headed by Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev.

EFF

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Ukraine denies.

Ukraine’s Top General Gravely Wounded In Russian Strike (RT)

General Valery Zaluzhny, commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces, who had disappeared from the public eye in recent weeks, was seriously wounded some weeks ago in a Russian strike near the city of Kherson, a security source told RIA Novosti. Zaluzhny suffered a head trauma and numerous shrapnel wounds in early May, in a missile attack on a Ukrainian command post not far from the village of Posad-Pokrovskoe, the agency reported on Wednesday. The general had undergone a craniotomy at a military hospital in Kiev after the strike, the source claimed. The prognosis by the doctors is that the 49-year-old is going to live but won’t be able to execute his duties as commander anymore, he added. Zaluzhny’s condition is further complicated by the fact that he has an underlying condition namely diabetes, the agency also reported.

Speculations about Zaluzhny’s whereabouts emerged after he refrained from participating in a high-profile NATO meeting on May 10. The chairman of the bloc’s military committee, Rob Bauer, said that Kiev told Brussels that the Ukrainian commander couldn’t attend in person nor via a video-link due to a “complex operational situation” on the ground in the conflict with Moscow. The general hasn’t been seen in public since then, even though footage that has emerged online in recent days that suggested he was fine, turned out to have been made before his disappearance. On Saturday, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Anna Malyar claimed Zaluzhny was in good health and remained in charge of the armed forces. “The commander-in-chief is in his place. He’s doing his job. We just talked,” she wrote on Telegram.

Malyar suggested that rumors of Zaluzhny’s possible injury or death were being spread by Russia in an attempt to demoralize the Ukrainian forces during the battle for the strategic city of Artyomovsk, which the Ukrainians call Bakhmut. Moscow announced the “full capture” of Artyomovsk on Saturday, but Kiev has thus far been reluctant to acknowledge the loss of its key stronghold in Donbass. Zaluzhny has been popular with the Western media and portrayed as a key figure in Ukraine’s resistance to Russia. Throughout the conflict, the so-called ‘Iron General’ has given lengthy interviews to outlets like The Economist and Time, which listed him among the 100 most influential people in the world in 2022.

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We still have to state the obvious?

The War in Ukraine Was Provoked (Jeffrey Sachs)

George Orwell wrote in 1984 that “Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.” Governments work relentlessly to distort public perceptions of the past. Regarding the Ukraine War, the Biden administration has repeatedly and falsely claimed that the Ukraine War started with an unprovoked attack by Russia on Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022. In fact, the war was provoked by the U.S. in ways that leading U.S. diplomats anticipated for decades in the lead-up to the war, meaning that the war could have been avoided and should now be stopped through negotiations. Recognizing that the war was provoked helps us to understand how to stop it. It doesn’t justify Russia’s invasion. A far better approach for Russia might have been to step up diplomacy with Europe and with the non-Western world to explain and oppose U.S. militarism and unilateralism.

In fact, the relentless U.S. push to expand NATO is widely opposed throughout the world, so Russian diplomacy rather than war would likely have been effective. The Biden team uses the word “unprovoked” incessantly, most recently in Biden’s major speech on the first-year anniversary of the war, in a recent NATO statement, and in the most recent G7 statement. Mainstream media friendly to Biden simply parrot the White House. The New York Times is the lead culprit, describing the invasion as “unprovoked” no fewer than 26 times, in five editorials, 14 opinion columns by NYT writers, and seven guest op-eds. The first was the U.S. intention to expand NATO to Ukraine and Georgia in order to surround Russia in the Black Sea region by NATO countries (Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria Turkey, and Georgia, in counterclockwise order).

The second was the U.S. role in installing a Russophobic regime in Ukraine by the violent overthrow of Ukraine’s pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, in February 2014. The shooting war in Ukraine began with Yanukovych’s overthrow nine years ago, not in February 2022 as the U.S. government, NATO, and the G7 leaders would have us believe. Biden and his foreign policy team refuse to discuss these roots of the war. To recognize them would undermine the administration in three ways. First, it would expose how the war could have been avoided, or stopped early, sparing Ukraine its current devastation and the U.S. more than $100 billion in outlays to date. Second, it would expose Biden’s personal role in the war as a participant in the overthrow of Yanukovych, and before that as a staunch backer of the military-industrial complex and very early advocate of NATO enlargement. Third, it would push Biden to the negotiating table, undermining the administration’s continued push for NATO expansion.

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“..the G7 is an effective aggregation of former empires that once dominated the world unchallenged, now held under the wings and servitude of the US.”

The G7 Is An Outdated Tool Of The US Neo-Empire (Fomenko)

The summit of G7 nations took place in Hiroshima, Japan over the last weekend. Hiroshima is significant for a few reasons. First of all, it is known to the world as the location that the United States nuked, along with Nagasaki, at the end of World War II, which led to the surrender of the Empire of Japan and that country’s transformation into a US client state. Secondly, Japan is working to remilitarize itself in line with America’s dual containment effort against China and Russia. Thus, while Japan is chair of the G7 this year, the event was a rubber-stamping of US-centric geopolitical goals which took aim at both countries. However, what might be said about the G7 itself? Founded as a Cold War-era organization in 1975, and briefly incorporating the West’s aspirations for post-Soviet Russia, the group professes to represent the world’s “most advanced industrial countries,” but anyone could tell you this is an outdated category.

Countries such as China and India, with economies larger than most G7 members, are not part of the group. Rather, the character and agenda of the G7 is distinctly ideological, and its goal is to preserve a Western-dominated concept of the world at all costs. It should not go unnoticed that the G7 is an effective aggregation of former empires that once dominated the world unchallenged, now held under the wings and servitude of the US. Remarkably, all three Axis powers of World War II, defeated by the allies, are a part of this grouping. Although the respective fascist-oriented regimes of Germany, Italy and Japan were rightfully destroyed, these countries were all rebuilt as American client states following the war and their respective interests placed in the hands of Washington.

Similarly, the allied empires, which emerged victorious, including France, Britain and its imperial dominion, Canada, found that the war had severely depleted their national resources and strength to the point they could no longer continue as the global superpowers they had been. Consequently, they surrendered their leadership baton to the US and have ever since relied on following its lead to secure their interests around the world. In each instance, all of these countries held positions of privilege from their imperial eras. Having colonized most of the globe, and Japan having militarily occupied much of Asia, these countries had made themselves tremendously wealthy. Britain’s fabulous wealth, for one, is tailored directly to the exploitation of Africa and India. Colonial empires were strictly commercial in character, using ideology as a justifying force for aggression, upholding their economic interests by immense military power. This gave these countries privilege, which thus formed the distinction between the Global North and the Global South.

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Borrowed from Sun Tzu: “They are willing to burn down the world around them to get what they want.”

Catastrophic Borrowing Kills Global Financial System – John Rubino

Analyst and financial writer John Rubino says this time, the so-called debt ceiling fight could end in a systemic failure. Rubino points out, “In a well-run society, the debt limit would be zero. Governments should not borrow money in the first place…” “The amount of money we are borrowing is catastrophic. Historians are going to look back at this era, and they are just going to wonder why we allowed it to happen and what were we thinking. We are destroying the global financial system by allowing governments to borrow this much money. The debt limit thing is being called a crisis, and if they let it go too far, it will be a crisis… …I think this game of chicken will end in the not-too-distant future, and if it doesn’t, they have an ulterior motive. They want to crash the economy because that achieves something for them…

…We can speculate about this. The party in power wants to crash the economy, and that is a very dark scenario… They are willing to burn down the world around them to get what they want. Look at Russia-gate and the contents of the Durham Report. The Democrats are willing to do stuff like that… I would not put it past the Democrats to plan and implement it if they think it benefits them.” The economy is already doing bad and getting ready to tumble. So, why not tank it with a debt ceiling impasse and blame it on the Republicans? Some speculate that is the Dem plan because the Obama/Biden economy is going down anyway. If the economy sinks low enough, how much money will the Fed print to bail it out. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is already warning there is going to be more bank consolidation.

In other words, more banks will be going under. Rubino says that is a huge worry and explains, “The dark part of this scenario is the government has to step in and bail out those little banks. Let’s say it’s a couple of trillion dollars . . . to them, it’s play money . . .but what if the markets look at that and say what happens if all the other sectors blow up and the government has to come up with $10 trillion or $15 trillion? What does that do to the dollar? Then you go from a banking crisis to a currency crisis, which is almost impossible to contain. I think it is completely possible that we go to that next stage.”

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“India, in thesis, from the beginning regarded Chabahar as a key plank of its “Diamond Necklace” strategy, counterpunching the Chinese “String of Pearls..”

The Inside Story Of Russia-Iran-India Connectivity (Pepe Escobar)

The key New Silk Roads of emerging multipolarity are China’s ambitious, multi-trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Russia-Iran-India International North South Transportation Corridor (INSTC). They have evolved in parallel and may sometimes overlap. What is clear is the G7/G9 will go to the ends of the earth to undermine them. The recent $1.6 billion deal between Iran and Russia to build the 162-km long Rasht-Astara railway is an INSTC game-changer. Iran’s Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mehrdad Bazpash and Russia’s Minister of Transport Vialy Saveliev signed the deal in Tehran, in front of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and with Russian President Vladimir Putin attending on video conference. Call it the marriage of Iran’s “Look East” with Russia’s “pivot to the East.” Both are now official policies.

Rasht is close to the Caspian Sea. Astara is on the border with Azerbaijan. Connecting them will be part of a Russia-Iran-Azerbaijan deal on railway and cargo transportation – solidifying the INSTC as a key connectivity corridor between South Asia and Northern Europe. The multimodal INSTC advances via three main routes: the Western route links Russia-Azerbaijan-Iran-India; the Middle or Trans-Caspian route links Russia-Iran-India; and the Eastern one links Russia-Central Asia-Iran-India. The Eastern route features the immensely strategic port of Chabahar in southeast Iran, in the volatile Sistan-Balochistan province. That’s the only Iranian port with direct access to the Indian Ocean. In 2016, Iran, India, and an Afghanistan still under US occupation signed a tripartite deal in which Chabahar miraculously escaped unilateral US “maximum pressure” sanctions.

That was a stepping stone configuring Chabahar as the privileged gateway for Indian products to enter Afghanistan, and then further on down the road, toward Central Asia. Russia, Iran, and India signed a formal INSTC deal in May 2022, detailing a multimodal network – ship, rail, road – which proceeds via the previously mentioned three axes: Western, Middle or Trans-Caspian, and Eastern. The Russian port of Astrakhan, by the Caspian Sea, is crucial on all three. The Eastern route connects eastern and central Russia, through Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, to the southern part of Iran as well as India and the Arab lands on the southern edge of the Persian Gulf. Dozens of trains are already plying the overland route from Russia to India via Turkmenistan and Iran.

The problem is that in the past few years, New Delhi, for several complex reasons, seemed to be asleep at the wheel. And that led Tehran to become much more interested in Russian and Chinese involvement to develop two strategic ports in the Chabahar Free Trade Industrial Zone: Shahid Beheshti and Shahid Zalantari. Chabahar is a tough nut to crack. Iran has invested heavily to turn it into an inescapable regional transit hub. India, in thesis, from the beginning regarded Chabahar as a key plank of its “Diamond Necklace” strategy, counterpunching the Chinese “String of Pearls,” which are ports linked by the BRI across the Indian Ocean.

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“While the FBI was manufacturing evidence of a non-existent Trump-Putin connection it was actively covering for Hillary – and it is continuing to do so.”

The FBI Has Crossed The Rubicon (Faddis)

The recently released Durham report paints a graphic picture of an agency out of control. The FBI did not blunder into an investigation of Donald Trump, his campaign, and his associates. The FBI undertook to deliberately destroy Trump and those around him including General Flynn. The FBI took unto itself the power to decide who could be President. That fact has now been publicly exposed. The whole nation can see that the FBI acted in violation of law and every tradition we have had since the inception of the republic. The FBI has responded with remarkable clarity. It did nothing wrong. It does not care what Durham (or countless whistleblowers) say(s). It does not care what Congress thinks. It will do as it pleases.

The Assistant Director of the FBI for Counterintelligence, Suzanne Turner, just testified before Congress. Asked about the Durham report, the one that said her agency had run amok and tried to stage what amounted to a coup, she responded by saying she had not bothered to read the report nor had she been briefed on it. When pressed further she offered to take questions back to the FBI and see if she could get someone else to answer them. Contempt dripped from her every word and every mannerism. The concerns of the people’s elected representatives were clearly of no interest whatsoever to her.

The House Oversight Committee is investigating the possibility that the current President of the United States took money from foreign interests, including Communist China, in exchange for policy decisions. In other words, the House is pursuing evidence that suggests pretty strongly that Joe Biden works for Beijing. As part of that investigation, the House has demanded from the FBI copies of reports that apparently show the FBI knew about this some time ago. The FBI has refused to provide the documents. Meanwhile, there are continuing reports that whistleblowers from within the federal workforce who provide information about the Bidens are being retaliated against and sidelined. In some cases, they have had their security clearances taken away and been suspended without pay. That’s what happens to FBI agents who think Congress is still in charge.

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) has blasted the FBI for impeding the investigation into the Biden family’s business dealings, calling the federal agency “very patronizing.” He has also said that the FBI does not “respect anyone.” All of that is crystal clear. The days when the FBI would scurry to take action and avoid Congressional disfavor are long gone. The Bureau is above all that now. Meanwhile, the FBI has announced that it destroyed all of the evidence it gathered into the actions of Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, and the mountains of foreign money that flowed to the Clintons when Hillary was Secretary of State. This comes after revelations that the FBI shut down four separate investigations into the Clinton campaign in the runup to the 2016 election. While the FBI was manufacturing evidence of a non-existent Trump-Putin connection it was actively covering for Hillary – and it is continuing to do so.

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They want a monopoly on opinion. Because The Science. Same as with Covid.

US, EU Politicians Demand Withdrawal Of COP28 Chief (Cradle)

Over 100 members of the US Congress and European Parliament signed a letter calling for Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber to be removed as the head of the upcoming COP28 climate conference, Reuters reported on 24 May. COP28 will be hosted by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in December and will center around efforts to mobilize $100 billion of public and private climate finance for developing economies. Jaber, who heads the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and serves as the UAE’s climate envoy, was designated in January to lead the talks. In the public letter, lawmakers, including US Democratic senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, voiced “profound concern” that oil companies would be able to “exert undue influence” on the climate negotiations.

Addressing US President Joe Biden, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and the UN, the letter stated, “We urge you to … engage in diplomatic efforts to secure the withdrawal of the president-designate of COP28.” On the European side, the signatories hailed mostly from green political parties, which have exercised increasing influence over the continent’s energy policies, perhaps most prominently in Germany. Germany’s Green Party has been losing support as its energy policies move forward, increasing energy costs and threatening Germany’s energy intensive industrial economy. Energy costs have risen in part due to efforts to shut down both the coal and nuclear energy industries, while supporting sanctions against Russia due to the Ukraine war which have blocked imports of cheap Russian natural gas.

An effort to mandate the installation of expensive heat pumps in homes in the place of gas and oil heating systems as well as a proposal to ban combustion-engine cars as of 2035, have also been unpopular. Meanwhile, Sultan al-Jaber called for a major boost to public and private finance for the climate change project in Africa. At the African Development Bank 2023 Annual Meetings in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, Jaber said that Africa has “huge potential for low-carbon growth and sustainable development.” “But one critical challenge stands in its way – and that is the lack of available, accessible, affordable finance. And this lack of finance is putting the world’s climate goals and Africa’s sustainable development at risk,” he said, according to UAE news agency Wam. “Cop28 is exploring additional mechanisms to supercharge the flow of private finance to Africa.”

@JunkScience

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Luxembourg based P. Adams Schwertransporte, who specialize in the transport of heavy items, revealed striking photos of how it transported a 67-meter-long blade for a wind turbine

 

 

Filefish
https://twitter.com/i/status/1661281159244926977

 

 


The Inca tern is a uniquely plumaged bird that breeds on the coasts of Peru and Chile. It can be identified by its dark grey body, white moustache on both sides of its head, and red-orange beak and feet

 

 

Macropinna

 

 

 

 

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