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January 7, 2020

Jan 07 14:25

Iran Evaluating 13 Retaliation Scenarios To Inflict "Historic Nightmare" On US

"Even if the weakest of these scenarios gain a consensus, its implementation can be a historic nightmare for the Americans."

Breaking a 5-day silence over its response for the US killing of General Qassem Soleimani, on Tuesday Iran said it was assessing 13 scenarios to inflict a "historic nightmare" on the US. "Even if the weakest of these scenarios gain a consensus, its implementation can be a historic nightmare for the Americans," Ali Shamkhani, the head of Iran's national security council, was cited by Fars news agency, adding that, "For now, for intelligence reasons, we cannot provide more information to the media."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Oil and defense stocks will probably be spiking, very shortly.

Jan 07 14:21

McConnell Wrangles Republicans For Speedy Trump Acquittal As Schumer Cries Cover-Up

"McConnell likely has the votes to force the issue without cooperation from Democrats."

Most Senate Republicans have lined up behind Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's plan for a lightning-fast, witness-free impeachment trial which will end with the acquittal of President Trump - much to the chagrin of Senate Democrats led by Chuck Schumer of New York.

McConnell has guaranteed that Senate Democrats won't have the 67 votes required to convict Trump and remove him from office. Meanwhile, he can simply point to Clinton's impeachment as precedent on witness testimony, as it would allow Trump's lawyers and White House impeachment managers to make their arguments and answer questions from Senators before administration figures such as Bolton and acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney have a chance to speak.

There have been no discussions between McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who can go pound sand as talks seem unlikely.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This was nothing but "GOTCHA! politics, writ large."

Jan 07 14:18

Iranian MPs Pass Bill Labeling All US Military Personnel "Terrorist Entities"

Lawmakers of the Islamic Consultative Assembly on Tuesday have labeled the Pentagon and its affiliates as terrorist entities under a new law, according to Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

Iran’s new legislation was overwhelmingly approved by 223 lawmakers, according to IRNA. The law comes in response to the US' assassination of top Iranian general Qasim Suleimani last Friday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This... is about to get nasty, and very quickly.

Jan 07 14:16

And Again: The Fed Monetizes $4.1 Billion In Debt Sold Just Days Earlier

Over the past week, when looking at the details of the Fed's ongoing QE4, we showed out (here and here) that the New York Fed was now actively purchasing T-Bills that had been issued just days earlier by the US Treasury. As a reminder, the Fed is prohibited from directly purchasing Treasurys at auction, as that is considered "monetization" and directly funding the US deficit, not to mention is tantamount to "Helicopter Money" and is frowned upon by Congress and established economists. However, insert a brief, 3-days interval between issuance and purchase... and suddenly nobody minds. As we summarized:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is a little more than scary, looking at the volumes of money getting thrown around like this.



Taboola
Jan 07 14:13

"We're Going To War, Bro": Elite 82nd Airborne In Largest 'Fast Deployment' In A Decade

“We’re going to war, bro” — declared a young US soldier from the US Army's celebrated 82nd Airborne Division. He gave reporters a confident two thumbs up as his unit moved out on its largest “fast deployment” in a decade at a moment Iran has promised to inflict a "historic nightmare" on the US in retaliation for the killing of Qasem Soleimani.

Reuters provided a detailed account of the uneasy yet somewhat jovial calm before the storm atmosphere that prevailed on the airport tarmac at Fort Bragg, North Carolina as 600 soldiers and many hundreds more support crew flew out.

While Kuwait is expected to be the first stop for most of the some 3,500 total paratroopers ordered to the region, the final destination is classified, and the Army is concerned over information leaks. For this reason the US Army confiscated the cell phones and any personal communication devices of those deploying on the transport planes.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Of all the possible ways with which to break the US/Iranian impasse, there may have been a more volatile, and risk-laden response than what appears will be happening very soon, but I am having a hard time imagining just how.

and where, please, is the absolute, incontrovertible proof that an Iranian agent actually killed that American contractor?!? From what I have seen so far, there doesn't appear to be any factual basis; the timing is simply "convenient" to explain away the American extrajudicial assassination of Soulemani.

Jan 07 13:05

Trey Yingst: 'Shocking lack of understanding' from defense secretary on what's happening in Iraq

Jan. 07, 2020 - 2:04 - Fox News correspondent Trey Yingst reports from Baghdad after Defense Secretary Mark Esper's remarks on the U.S. presence in Iraq after the death of Gen. Soleimani.

Jan 07 11:41

Putin makes surprise visit to Syria, discusses security situation with Assad

Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a surprise visit to Syria, holding talks with his counterpart, Bashar Assad, at the Russian military command center.

Putin “rode through the streets of Damascus” on his way to the command center, where he headed after landing at the city’s airport, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said.

Jan 07 11:37

Mike Pompeo threatens to assassinate more Iranian leaders if they retaliate against US

Iran has already complained that the US breached international laws with the targeted killing of General Soleimani. The US Secretary of State said any US military strikes inside Iran would be legal.

Jan 07 10:36

Internet Disruption: Different Terms for Different Tactics

By Advox

As the internet progressively becomes an intrinsic part of our daily lives — from communicating with friends and applying for social services, to studying and working — staying connected is no longer a luxury but a necessity. In this context, internet shutdowns have evolved into a human rights issue with the power to severely disrupt people’s lives. Apart from the documented negative economic impacts, intentional internet shutdowns can be weaponized to silence dissent and stunt protest movements. However, internet shutdowns are on the rise with 196 intentional internet disruptions recorded in 2018 alone. In 2019, Global Voices covered internet shutdowns in Zimbabwe, Myanmar, Mauritania, Ethiopia, Iraq, and Ecuador to name a few...

Jan 07 10:35

Trump Administration Blocks Iran’s Top Diplomat From Addressing the U.N. Security Council

The Trump administration is barring Iran’s top diplomat from entering the United States this week to address the United Nations Security Council about the U.S. assassination of Iran’s top military official in Baghdad, violating the terms of a 1947 headquarters agreement requiring Washington to permit foreign officials into the country to conduct U.N. business, according to three diplomatic sources.


Jan 07 10:32

VIPS MEMO: Doubling Down Into Yet Another ‘March of Folly,’ This Time on Iran

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: Doubling Down Into Another “March of Folly”?

The drone assassination in Iraq of Iranian Quds Force commander General Qassem Soleimani evokes memory of the assassination of Austrian Archduke Ferdinand in June 1914, which led to World War I. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quick to warn of “severe revenge.” That Iran will retaliate at a time and place of its choosing is a near certainty. And escalation into World War III is no longer just a remote possibility, particularly given the multitude of vulnerable targets offered by our large military footprint in the region and in nearby waters.

Jan 07 10:29

Will the US deploy negative interest-rates?

Jan 07 10:25

The US unwittingly helped create Qassem Soleimani. Then they killed him.

While senior Iranian military leadership advocated a massive punitive expedition into western Afghanistan, Soleimani advised a more constrained response, with his Quds Force providing training and material support to the Northern Alliance, an umbrella group of forces opposed to the Taliban. Soleimani personally directed this effort, transforming the Northern Alliance into an effective fighting force.

After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the US used the Northern Alliance to establish a foothold in Afghanistan and eventually drive the Taliban from power. Soleimani played a major role behind the scenes helping make the US-Northern Alliance partnership viable, including providing operational and intelligence support.

Jan 07 10:20

Chevron pulls American oil workers from Iraq

America's second largest oil company has evacuated all of its American oil workers from Iraq following last week's U.S. airstrike in Baghdad.

Jan 07 10:18

Big Tech strikes again: All criticism of transgenderism will now be treated as “malware,” equivalent to malicious code

Just in time for the 2020 presidential election, a pair of college professors from the United Kingdom has unveiled a new technology for blocking “hate speech” online that involves algorithmically flagging politically incorrect language in the same way that anti-virus software identifies “malware.”

According to researcher Stephanie Ullmann and professor Marcus Tomalin, both from the University of Cambridge, this newfangled “Hate O’Meter,” as they’re calling it, will flag all potentially “controversial” content – at least as they personally define it as such – and place it into a “quarantine.” Users will then have the option to view the content with a simple click, or leave it in the digital “trash,” never to be seen again.

Jan 07 10:14

America is keen to protect ISIS so they killed Qasem Soleimani: Syrian Ambassador

New Delhi, Jan 04 (ANI): Speaking on US strike on Iran where Iran’s top commander General Qasem Soleimani was killed, Ambassador of Syria to India, Daniel Chuburu said, “This process will make danger escalation in the region. It proves that how America is keen to protect terrorism in the ground because America killed the leader who was against the terror groups. The leader Qasem Soleimani was the leader of military group and defeated ISIS in the ground of Iraq and Syria. ISIS is created by CIA, which is Central Intelligence Agency of America. Because America is keen to protect ISIS so, they killed Mr. Qasem Soleimani.”

Jan 07 09:54

Killing Iran’s Qassim Soleimani: Rule of law or rule of the jungle?

James Dorsey warns that adopting the principle of might is right and abandoning international law “risks creating a global jungle in which wars, political violence, marginalisation of ethnic and religious groups, and destabilising mass migration contribute to rule of the jungle rather than rule of law”.>>

Jan 07 09:50

A man-made catastrophe? More than 180 Australians have been arrested accused of DELIBERATELY lighting bush-fires since the start of the horror season that's left 25 dead

On the New South Wales south coast, where at least nine people have died since the fire season picked up in October, 29 blazes have been deliberately lit.

So far 24 people across the state have been charged with starting blazes in the bush, while a further 159 have been charged or cautioned over less serious fire offences.

The claims of arson have already become a political battleground, with some politicians and commentators seizing on them to argue that the impact of climate change has been overstated.

Jan 07 09:49

Iranian Parliament Votes to Designate US Armed Forces and Pentagon as ‘Terrorist Entities’

Iran’s parliament on Tuesday passed a bill labelling the entire US military a terrorist organisation in response to last week’s assassination of Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani by the United States.

The Iranian parliament’s presiding board earlier called the drone hit on Soleimani an act of ‘state-sponsored terrorism’.

The motion, which was approved unanimously by the Majlis, also allocated over $220 million to the Quds force, an elite unit responsible for clandestine military and intelligence operations abroad

Gen. Soleimani had been the Quds Force long-time commander; he was widely credited with helping Iraq defeat Daesh* and was considered to be one of Iran’s most prominent political figures, so his killing was interpreted by many in Iran as the de-facto declaration of war.


Jan 07 09:45

Russian president Vladimir Putin lands in Damascus on unannounced visit

Russian president Vladimir Putin has arrived in Damascus on a surprise visit to meet his Syrian counterpart, Bashar al-Assad.

Mr Putin met with Assad in a Russian military base in the capital, where the two leaders discussed the military situation in the country, according to the Kremlin.

Moscow has been a key backer of Assad for years, formally entering Syria's civil war on his side in 2015. That intervention was credited with turning the tide of the conflict in Assad's favour, allowing his military forces to recapture most of Syria.

"During his talks with Assad, Putin noted that it is now possible to state with conviction that a huge distance has been covered on the path to restoring Syrian statehood and the territorial integrity of the country," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, as quoted by the Russian Interfax news agency.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I would also like to politely remind those in the depths of the Bowels of Power in DC, what a Russian diplomat assured his Iranian counterpart in a conference held last summer:

Iran ‘Won’t Be Alone’ If U.S. Attacks, Russian Official Says

The article went on to state: "“Iran will withstand this type of fight and Iran is not alone,” Zamir Kabulov, the Foreign Ministry’s special envoy for Asian countries including Iran, said at a Russian-Iranian policy forum in Moscow." The story was published in the 26 June, 2019 edition of the English language version of Moscow Times.

So what we have, potentially happening here, is a shooting war with Russia...over Iran?!?!?

Unfortunately, just because something is one of the most ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid thing this government could do, does not guarantee they won't do it.

I am sure that Putin and al-Assad have been speaking about how such a potential war between the US and Iran, and how to minimize its impact on war-shattered Syria, in the most intelligent and logical manner possible.

But President Trump, please; at this point, the US military does not have the money, the troop strength, the weaponry, or manufacturing to insure that the US could win a conventional war with Russia over Iran.

And folks, someone in Putin's inner circle, like Kabulov, most probably doesn't FART, unless they have President Putin's absolute and complete authority to do so; therefore, think of this assurance to Iran, as having come straight from Russia's President himself.

Jan 07 09:43

Iraqi prime minister says Qassem Soleimani was in Iraq to 'discuss de-escalating tensions between Iran and Saudis' when he was killed - and claims Trump had asked for help mediating talks after embassy attack

Iraq's caretaker prime minister, Adel Abdul Mahdi, told his parliament in Baghdad on Sunday that US strike on Soleimani was a 'political assassination'
Abdul Mahdi claimed that Soleimani was due to meet with him on the same day that he was killed by a US drone near the Baghdad airport early on Friday
The outgoing Iraqi leader says that Soleimani was supposed to bring him Iran's response to a Saudi proposal for de-escalating regional tensions
Saudi Arabia, a regional rival, blames Iran for an attack on the kingdom's oil facilities in September
Abdul Mahdi also claims that President Trump called him and asked him to mediate talks with Iran after the US embassy in Baghdad was nearly overrun
Supporters of the Shiite group Kataib Hezbollah scaled the walls and barreled through security at the US embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday
Abdul Mahdi said he personally intervened to defuse the embassy crisis and that the American president thanked him for doing so

Jan 07 09:41

Meat Loaf Says Climate Change Doesn’t Exist, Greta Thunberg Begs To Differ

During a New Year’s Day interview with the Daily Mail, Meat Loaf, whose real name is Marvin Lee Aday, had some words for Thunberg, who has gotten under the skin of many conservatives, including President Trump.

He said, “She has been brainwashed into thinking that there is climate change and there isn’t. She hasn’t done anything wrong but she’s been forced into thinking that what she is saying is true.”

Unsurprisingly, Thunberg forcefully responded to this.

Jan 07 09:38

#WalkAway – Lifelong Democrat Rips Up His Democrat Voter Registration Card, Registers as Republican and Will Vote For Trump

Bill, a lifelong Democrat decided to walk away from the Democrat party because they have moved too far left and he can no longer support them.

Jan 07 09:38

Gen Soleimani Was On Official Saudi Iranian Peace Trip

According to the Iraqi Prime Minister Iran and the Saudi Kingdom were in Peace Negotiations that were being hosted by Iraq

Jan 07 06:22

Pentagon sends six B-52 strategic bombers to military base on Diego Garcia that is beyond the range of Iran's ballistic missiles to prepare to hit Tehran if given the order

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Dear readers; this is only one of the headlines which rattled in my brain this morning. Other, seriously distressing headlines followed, and they were:

Iran Evaluating 13 Retaliation Scenarios To Inflict "Historic Nightmare" On US

British Navy To Escort UK-Flagged Ships In Strait Of Hormuz

Chaos: Pentagon Denies "Poorly Worded" Iraq Withdrawal Letter, Esper Says "No Decision To Leave Iraq, Period"

Europe Scrambles As Heiko Maas Declares "Beginning Of The End" For Iran Nuclear Deal

Escobar On The Soleimani Psyop & The Financial WMDs

China Embassy Issues US Travel Warning Amid Threats Of Terrorism By Iran

52 Stealth Fighter Jets Elephant Walk In Show Of Force Amid Threats Of War

Hudson: De-Dollarization & America's Escalating "Democratic" Oil War In The Near-East

Soleimani Was In Baghdad On Peace Mission To De-Escalate With Saudis: Report

Amphibious Assault Ship Bataan With 2,000 Marines On Board Is Headed Toward Iraq

Trump Bars Iran FM From Addressing UN Security Council

The Soleimani Assassination: Worse Than a Crime, a Mistake

MILITARY CONTRACTORS RAYTHEON, LOCKHEED MARTIN SEE STOCK PRICES SOAR AMID IRAN CRISIS

These headlines, taken all together, are most probably going to mean that there will be a a new world of hurt launched against the Middle East and its people, courtesy of the government of the Unhinged, Surveilled state of America.

At 70, I remember a time when people demonstrated, peacefully, many times putting personal and ideological differences, to end the madness of the war in Vietnam; I would like to hope, being the incurable optimist, that this could happen again, and with the same result, regarding a re-invasion of Iraq, and a potential decap strike against Tehran.

However, as fractious as relationships between people who may think differently politically, I don't know that this is really possible at this time, for Americans to band together and say, logically and peacefully to this administration, that these wars, with which American hegemony is supported, must end.

But if you haven't started to prep for yourselves, please do so, and now. I know I sound like a chipped CD, but storable food, and potable water, and any meds which are taken on a consistent basis, need to be stockpiled, and now.

Go in with friends and family, to get a freezer, and start stocking it soon; between tensions in the Middle East and the flooding which has happened in the heartland of this country, prices are most likely going to escalate like crazy, so when spring gets here, you will be happy you did this.

And because troop strength for the American military is stretched beyond reasonable levels, do look for a draft to be "sold" to the American people in a very bipartisan way, by both parties, as the "patriotic" thing to do; but remember; this time, they will be coming for our young women, as well as our young men:

Why women should be required to register for the draft

Please note the date; March of last year. It appears that CNN was "grooming" its audience to make this sound like a good thing, because they understood that a war against Iran was not a question of if, but when.



Lockerdome

January 1, 2020

Jan 01 12:21

Trump’s ‘Maximum Pressure’ Campaign Is Blowing Up in IraqTrump threatens Iran after protesters storm Iraq Embassy

The threats hadn’t accomplished anything, despite confidence from the administration that they eventually will. Instead, they seem to have brought US ties with neighboring Iraq to the verge of collapse, with the US attacking Iraqi militia Ketaib Hezbollah, presenting them as “Iranian,” and then threatening more attacks.

Making America’s policy around the Middle East so Iran-centric, and making the Iran policy so one-note and bellicose, they have made relations and interests across the Middle East vulnerable not just to thinks Iran actually did, but to anything that officials perceive as Iran’s fault.

It is also exposing the US position in the Middle East as hollow and surprisingly unable to adapt to even minor issues. There are troops in Syria trying to steal oil, troops in Turkey facing the risk of expulsion, and Iraq’s parliament is probably going to be addressing kicking the 5,000 US troops out of there before long at this rate.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And we have a companion piece, also from ANTIWAR.COM, with the following headline:

Iraq’s Sadr Willing to Work With Rivals to Oust US Troops

Remember this guy, the Iranian Shiite Mullah, who let the US government know, in no uncertain terms, that the US military HAD to leave Iraq the exact moment the SOFA agreement said for the US to leave, otherwise, our service members would wind up as "fair game" for his Mahdi army?!?

So what has this guy done?!? His party won, bigtime, in the last election, and he has been able to cobble together a coalition which now controls the Iraqi Parliament.

It appears that he has waited until now to "find his moment", and he very much might have have done that this time. If his adversaries are willing to cooperate, the US government has one more than one hell of a problem on their hands, than that of a dead US contractor, whose death was blamed on Iranian elements.

December 29, 2019

Dec 29 07:52

USAF Is Spending Millions To Upgrade Turkey Bases Amid Turkish Threats To Kick Them Out

he U.S. Air Force has announced that it will pay eight different Turkish firms tens of millions of dollars to update the infrastructure and complete other construction projects at facilities it operates in that country over the next five years. This comes amid threats from Turkey's government, including from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to suspend or outright terminate American access to various bases in the country, including Incirlik Air Base, where the United States presently stores approximately 50 B61 nuclear bombs.

The Pentagon announced the Air Force deals, worth $95 million in total, in its daily contracting announcement on Dec. 23, 2019. The notice does not say how much each of the Turkish companies received. The Air Force only considered offers from local companies in accordance with the U.S.-Turkey Defense Economic Cooperation Agreement (DECA), which the two countries signed in 1980 and includes guarantees for Turkish participation in military construction projects.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

(sigh) With all the "agita" NATO and the US have received from the current Turkish government, why this deal was not suspended until President Edrogan "behaved himself", is a mystery to me.

Is it a little economic "sweetening of the pot" to get him to fall in line with NATO and US positions?!? Frankly, at this point, I am not sure they are correct in still offering this; time will tell.

Dec 29 07:46

Yemen's lifeline threatened by attacks on aid groups

International NGOs have suspended work in southwestern Yemen after weekend attacks by unknown fighters.

After almost five years of war, millions of Yemenis have become reliant on aid for survival, but they now fear they'll be cut off from this crucial lifeline after attacks on international aid groups operating in their country.

A number of international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) have suspended their work in Al-Dhale’e region after their offices were attacked with rocket-propelled grenades over the weekend.

The attacks in southwest Yemen follow a campaign carried out against the aid groups, accusing them of being "enemies of Islam" and using their work as a front for missionary work.

Fahd, a teacher who preferred not to use his real name, told Middle East Eye that they heard explosions on both Saturday and Sunday and later found out that the offices of several aid organisations were hit.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Even if they cannot name their attackers, Yemenis understand that this is the Saudi and US design intent; to starve the Yemeni people into submission, by taking away the last possible lifelines of food and medical care.

Dec 29 07:45

Yemen's lifeline threatened by attacks on aid groups

International NGOs have suspended work in southwestern Yemen after weekend attacks by unknown fighters.

After almost five years of war, millions of Yemenis have become reliant on aid for survival, but they now fear they'll be cut off from this crucial lifeline after attacks on international aid groups operating in their country.

A number of international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) have suspended their work in Al-Dhale’e region after their offices were attacked with rocket-propelled grenades over the weekend.

The attacks in southwest Yemen follow a campaign carried out against the aid groups, accusing them of being "enemies of Islam" and using their work as a front for missionary work.

Fahd, a teacher who preferred not to use his real name, told Middle East Eye that they heard explosions on both Saturday and Sunday and later found out that the offices of several aid organisations were hit.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Even if they cannot name their attackers, Yemenis understand that this is the Saudi and US design intent; to starve the Yemeni people into submission, by taking away the last possible lifelines of food and medical care.


Dec 29 07:40

Intel probe puts CIA’s Haspel in a bind

The prosecutor appointed by Attorney General Bill Barr to examine the origins of the Russia investigation is focusing much of his attention on the CIA, placing the agency’s director, Gina Haspel, at the center of a politically toxic tug-of-war between the Justice Department and the intelligence community.

The prosecutor, John Durham, has reportedly asked the CIA for former director John Brennan’s communications as he examines the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment that concluded Russian President Vladimir Putin intervened in the election specifically to help Donald Trump.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What is the US Deep State going to do to distract the American people from this travesty of justice?!?

Most probably, shortly after the turn of the New Year the US Deep State will start a war with a false flag; they hope that this will mean that most Americans will have been distracted enough by said war, to not be paying attention to the internecine squabbles between Justice, CIA, and FBI, no matter the moral and ethical implications of these actions with which these highly politicised elements of these groups plotted to "Dump Trump" with the Russiagate fiasco.

Dec 29 07:31

LNA Says Set for Major Tripoli Battles After Taking Control of Roads to Capital's Airport

CAIRO (Sputnik) - The Libyan National Army (LNA) announced on Friday that it had taken control of roads leading to the Tripoli airport and was set for major battles for main areas of the Libyan capital.

The news comes a day after information surfaced that the rival Tripoli-based government has officially requested military aid from Turkey.

"The LNA is advancing after violent clashes on roads that lead to the center of the capital. The GNA retreated leaving bodies lying on the road to Tripoli airport", the LNA wrote on Facebook, as quoted by Al Arabiya.

LNA spokesman Ahmed Mismari, in turn, told the TV channel said that the next few hours would surprise all those following the developments in Libya, saying that the battle for Tripoli was ongoing.

Mohammed Al-Khalid Kalo
@Ka9lo

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Folks, this... is a get out your scorecards moment.

Turkey is sending troops to support the NLA Turkey speeds up Libya troop deployment deal to prevent slide into 'chaos'

The story goes on to state: "Libya’s internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli has been struggling to fend off General Khalifa Haftar’s forces, which have been supported by Russia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Jordan.

“If today Libya becomes like Syria, then the turn will come for the other countries in the region,” Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Saturday at a meeting of the governing AK Party."

And yes, you read that correctly; Russia is supporting Khalifa Haftar and his forces, along with the UAE, Egypt, and Jordan.

So what we could potentially be seeing here, is another proxy war between the US (the Government of National Accord, established by the UN) and Russia, which is supporting Haftar in Libya.

This could, potentially, get a lot more bloody than it already has been, and very quickly.

Dec 29 07:29

LNA Says Set for Major Tripoli Battles After Taking Control of Roads to Capital's Airport

CAIRO (Sputnik) - The Libyan National Army (LNA) announced on Friday that it had taken control of roads leading to the Tripoli airport and was set for major battles for main areas of the Libyan capital.

The news comes a day after information surfaced that the rival Tripoli-based government has officially requested military aid from Turkey.

"The LNA is advancing after violent clashes on roads that lead to the center of the capital. The GNA retreated leaving bodies lying on the road to Tripoli airport", the LNA wrote on Facebook, as quoted by Al Arabiya.

LNA spokesman Ahmed Mismari, in turn, told the TV channel said that the next few hours would surprise all those following the developments in Libya, saying that the battle for Tripoli was ongoing.

Mohammed Al-Khalid Kalo
@Ka9lo

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Folks, this... is a get out your scorecards moment.

Turkey is sending troops to support the NLA Turkey speeds up Libya troop deployment deal to prevent slide into 'chaos'

The story goes on to state: "Libya’s internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli has been struggling to fend off General Khalifa Haftar’s forces, which have been supported by Russia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Jordan.

“If today Libya becomes like Syria, then the turn will come for the other countries in the region,” Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Saturday at a meeting of the governing AK Party."

And yes, you read that correctly; Russia is supporting Khalifa Haftar and his forces, along with the UAE, Egypt, and Jordan.

So what we could potentially be seeing here, is another proxy war between the US (the Government of National Accord, established by the UN) and Russia, which is supporting Haftar in Libya.

This could, potentially, get a lot more bloody than it already has been, and very quickly.

Dec 29 05:41

Somalia truck bombing kills at least 90 people, dozens wounded

A truck bomb killed at least 90 people and wounded dozens more in Somalia’s capital Saturday morning — the deadliest attack in Mogadishu since a 2017 bombing that killed more than 500 people.

Most of those killed were university and other students returning to class, Mayor Omar Mohamud Mohamed said at the scene, where rescuers carried bloodied bodies past twisted wreckage.

Multiple reports said at least 17 Somali police officers were among the dead.

Officials said the death toll is likely to rise.

The target may have been Turkish engineers who were in a vehicle near the busy security checkpoint where the truck exploded, Bloomberg News reported. Two Turkish brothers and two other foreign nationals were among the dead.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I looked at this headline, and wondered; Is there a US troop presence in this country about which someone is desperately unhappy?!? And why?!?

In researching, I stumbled across an article from April 2019, with the following headline; US military mission in Somalia could take seven years to complete

SAY WHAT?!? the article goes on to explain: "While officials say the effort is making progress, they tell CNN that the US training mission is likely to not be completed until 2026.

For nearly two years, a small team of US Special Operations forces has been embedded with the Somali National Army, assisting in the fight against the militant group Al-Shabaab. As well as advising on airstrikes and ground assaults, the Navy SEAL-led team's primary task is to train and build Somalia its own elite light infantry force.

Named Danab, which in Somali means lightning, the force currently numbers only about 500 soldiers, too few to carry out operations in a country with a coastline almost as long as the east coast of the US. The plan, US defense officials say, is to eventually build Danab into a force of 3,000 soldiers capable of clearing militants from villages and towns across Somalia."

Forgive me, but isn't this just the same kind of thing the US has tried in both Afghanistan and Iraq, which has been met with only a tiny metric by which one could measure the programs' success, which was actually closer to zip, none, nada?!?

So why Somalia, and why now?!? Is it a great "love and bonding" between Somalia's President, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, and President Trump?!? The former dual US/Somali citizen is American educated; He renounced his US citizenship just when the US was bombing his country heavily last summer, hoping that his citizens would forget all about it, as the US bombs indiscriminately killed innocent people, and destroyed what little physical housing and possessions they had.

And what has Somalia got after which the US government covets and prizes highly?!?
uranium; and lots of it!! Oh, and oil too!

Shell, Exxon reach deal for Somalia oil blocks

The pattern is crystal clear here; install a western-centric political structure in place (regime-changing the existing government first, if necessary); have western-centric companies expropriate the countries resources, to which they have no moral right; and insure that those resources are only sold in US dollars.

The US does not have troops in this country "out of the goodness of its heart", to protect the Somali people from extremists; the US military is there to clean out any competition to those companies already developing resources here.


Dec 29 05:06

MEDIA’S DEAFENING SILENCE ON LATEST WIKILEAKS DROPS IS ITS OWN SCANDAL

WikiLeaks has published yet another set of leaked internal documents from within the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) adding even more material to the mountain of evidence that we’ve been lied to about an alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria last year which resulted in airstrikes upon that nation from the US, UK and France.

This new WikiLeaks drop includes an email from the OPCW Chief of Cabinet Sebastien Braha (who is reportedly so detested by organisation inspectors that they code named him “Voldemort”) throwing a fit over the Ian Henderson Engineering Assessment which found that the Douma incident was likely a staged event. Braha is seen ordering OPCW staff to “remove all traces, if any, of its delivery/storage/whatever” from the organisation’s secure registry.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It is painfully apparent, that truth is of no use and value to those presstitutes in the west, when that truth does not "sell an agenda to legitimize more war."

At this point in the 21st century, I fully expect my government to lie to me, to attempt to make these hegemonic wars appear to be the normal course of events which, I as a loyal American, should support, but as a Christian pacifist activist, morally and spiritually, cannot, and will not.

War, in my world, is an absolute catastrophic failure of imagination, by those in the Bowels of Power in the US government, that they can find no other ways in which to achieve their geopolitical agendas.

And it is rarely children of the monied or powerful, who wind up coming home with physical or emotional traumas which cannot heal, or in a cheaply made coffin, topped by a US flag, made in China; it's the kids, relatives, and friends of the rest of us, who bear that fate.

And I will predict something here; I don't know if this will happen in 2020 or beyond that time-frame; I think that a draft is coming back in this country, because our troop strength has been very stretched with these intense deployments around the world.

And this time, the US government, will be coming for our daughters, as well as for our sons.

Dec 29 04:48

BALTIMORE BREAKS CITY RECORD FOR KILLINGS PER CAPITA IN 2019

SOURCE: AP
Baltimore broke its annual per capita homicide record after reaching 342 killings Friday.

With just over 600,000 residents, the city hit a historically high homicide rate of about 57 per 100,000 people after recent relentless gunfire saw eight people shot — three fatally — in one day and nine others — one fatally — another day.

The new rate eclipses that of 1993, when the city had a record 353 killings but was much more populous before years of population exodus.

By contrast, New York City, with more than 8 million residents, had 306 homicides through Dec. 15.

The total is up from 309 in 2018 and matches the 342 killings tallied in 2017 and 2015, the year when the city’s homicide rate suddenly spiked.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Prayers for the victims and their families; but what happened here to make the numbers spike so intensely?!?

December 28, 2019

Dec 28 14:33

US Navy Chief Says Only ‘Regime Change’ in Iran Can Stop Country’s ‘Provocative Actions’ in Gulf

Russian and Chinese warships joined Iran’s Navy and Revolutionary Guards vessels on Friday for four days’ worth of maritime exercises in the Gulf of Oman and the northern Indian Ocean, simulating search and rescue, anti-piracy and shooting drills.

The US Navy is concerned that the recent lull in hostilities with Iran following this summer’s string of escalatory actions in the form of tanker sabotage attacks, ship seizures and drone shootdowns may be repeated, Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly has said.

“I think they’re going to continue to perform provocative actions over there,” Modly said, speaking to Reuters on Friday. “And I think they’ll look at every opportunity they can to do that,” he added, without offering any more details.

“There’s nothing that suggests to me, short of a regime change there, that you have a different tone set from the leadership, that would suggest to me that they’re going to stop doing what they’ve been doing,” Modly explained.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Major Modly, can you please produce something even remotely resembling the hard evidence, regarding Iran's alleged "provocations"?!?

Because for the US to go to war against Iran right now, or in the near future, is "inviting" a Russian retaliation through the deployment of their newest and most deadly weapon, against which the US and its allies have utterly no defense; the Avangard, which has recently been introduced to the Russian military.

Dec 28 14:25

"We Cannot Be Isolated": Iran Warns At Start Of Joint Naval Drills With Russia & China

This past year witnessed the United States nearly go to war with Iran in the Persian Gulf, after a summer of 'tanker wars' and the September Saudi Aramco attack, but now it appears the new year will witness a superpowers balancing act of sorts play out in the region.

FT reports of an unprecedented development in the gulf region:

Russia, China and Iran launched their first joint naval exercises in the Gulf of Oman on Friday in a direct challenge to US influence in the Middle East. The move reflects growing co-operation between the US’s two main rivals and the Islamic republic, which is under sanctions imposed by Washington.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It is almost as though the US government desperately wants to start a war but have the blame for starting such a war laid squarely on the shoulders of the countries enumerated above; unfortunately "plausible deniability", seems to be the attitude of those involved with US Statecraft these days, rather than creating a cohesive foreign policy, where war is not invoked, but geopolitical wins are achieved through responsible, moral, and hard won negotiations.


Dec 28 13:54

Washington's Unmasked Imperialism Towards Europe And Russia

Washington must think the rest of the world is as stupid as many of its own politicians are. Its passing into law – signed by President Trump this week – of sanctions to halt the Nord Stream-2 and Turk Stream gas supply projects is a naked imperialist move to bludgeon the European energy market for its own economic advantage.

Russia, Germany and others have defiantly told Washington its weaponizing of economic sanctions will not halt the Nord Stream nor the Turk Stream projects.

As German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said earlier this month, “it is unacceptable” for the US to brazenly interfere in European and Russian energy trade. The American pretext of supposedly “protecting” the national security of its purported European allies is frankly laughable.

Dec 28 13:49

An American Oligarch's Dirty Tale Of Corruption

Authored by William Engdahl via LewRockwell.com,

Rarely does the world get a true look inside the corrupt world of Western oligarchs and the brazen manipulations they use to enhance their fortunes at the expense of the public good.

The following comes from correspondence of the Hungarian-born billionaire, now naturalized American speculator, George Soros. The hacker group CyberBerkut has published online letters allegedly written by Soros that reveal him not only as puppet master of the US-backed Ukraine regime.

They also reveal his machinations with the US Government and the officials of the European Union in a scheme where, if he succeeds, he could win billions in the plunder of Ukraine assets. All, of course, would be at the expense of Ukrainian citizens and of EU taxpayers.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Absoflippinglutely amazing!!

And that his US citizenship is not revoked, due to these shenanigans, is very much a demonstration of how much power this billionaire holds over various Heads of State.

Dec 28 13:43

Foreign Fighter 'Rat Line' In Reverse: Turkey Sends Syrian 'Rebels' To Libya

Bloomberg has confirmed on Friday the prior rumors that Turkey will be sending mercenaries to Libya — where it is propping up the UN-backed government in Tripoli (the GNA) — are true. "Turkey is preparing to deploy troops and naval forces to support the internationally-recognized Libyan government, joining a planned push by Ankara-backed Syrian rebels to defeat strongman Khalifa Haftar," reports Bloomberg.

Though Ankara has yet to confirm or deny the new reports, Erdogan's Turkey has for years overseen a Libya-to-Turkey-to-Syria arms "rat line" which saw both heavy weaponry and jihadists fighters transported for the purpose of toppling Assad. But now with Erdogan's eyes set on defeating Benghazi-based General Khalifa Haftar, it appears this arms and jihadist rat line has conveniently been reversed.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I have to ask; how is Russia, which is backing Haftar, going to react to this Turkish move in Libya?!?

It looks to me as though this has the very real possibility of this exploding in Erdogan's face like a bad trick cigar.

Dec 28 13:17

Yale Psychiatrist Who ‘Diagnosed’ Trump As Unfit Has Dirty Secret That’s Just Been Exposed

n a bid to have President Donald Trump removed from office, the left is pushing the “diagnosis” of a Yale psychiatrist who has ruled him “unfit” to be president. However, Dr. Bandy X Lee’s own dirty little secret has just been exposed — and it’s bad news for her career.

In December 2017, more than a dozen lawmakers secretly met with leading Yale psychiatrist Dr. Bandy X Lee to discuss their concern for the president’s mental health, which they suspect is unstable and rapidly declining. Of course, this was merely another one of their countless plots to get Donald Trump removed from the White House since their frivolous impeachment campaigns have miserably failed.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I don't know if she can lose either her accreditation as a psychiatrist, or her position at Yale; either way, she has created a very nasty situation for herself, and it will be interesting to see how this will be allowed to play out.

Ignorance of the law - particularly when a person is accusing someone wielding great geopolitical power of having any kind of personality - or behavioural problems - is a very risky business, and blowback, as Dr. Lee is discovering right now, can be pretty gruesome, professionally.

So now, what is this lady doing, to attempt to cover a professional faux pas when she should have known better?

Dr. Lee has quintupled down, by making the following statement, which we find in breitbart.com today:

Psychiatrist: Pelosi Can Subject Trump to 'Involuntary' Evaluation The article goes on to quote Dr. Lee further, in her statement, by saying: "“As a coworker, she has the right to have him submit to an involuntary evaluation, but she has not,” Lee told Salon. “Anyone can call 911 to report someone who seems dangerous, and family members are the most typical ones to do so. But so can coworkers, and even passersby on the street.”

A "co-worker", Dr. Lee?!? Really, is this how you see the role of the President of the United States, relative to the House Position held by Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House of Representatives?!? This is one of the most interesting characterizations of the Office of the President I have seen in some time, and I have seen some Doozies!!


Dec 28 06:03

Syria: Trump Administration Builds Military Base in Oil Field

The United States is building a large military base within the al-Omar oil field, in the province of Deir Ezzor, in Syria, local media reported.

“The U.S. is equipping the base to serve as the command headquarters for the international coalition’s operations,” the Syria Now portal reported.

Besides fortifying the field with logistic and military reinforcements, the U.S. Army is building airstrips for its helicopters, which will be used to monitor oil wells from the air.

According to Syrian analysts, Washington is working to find a mechanism that makes it easier to extract as much Syrian oil as quickly as possible.???????

To do so, the U.S. is moving electrical equipment to put the electricity network into operation at the oil fields, which would allow it to begin to exploit them.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder just what Russia will do to end this madness, and when.

Dec 28 05:59

The Russia-Ukraine Gas Deal Took the World by Surprise. New Detente?

Few could have predicted several years ago that Russia and Ukraine would reconcile with one another to the point of agreeing to ensure the reliable delivery of gas to the EU for the next 5-15 years, but that’s exactly what just happened last week in the most convincing sign yet that the long-awaited “New Detente” is finally beginning to bear some fruit.

Dec 28 05:58

‘Blinding the Truth’: Israeli Snipers Target Gaza Protesters in the Eyes

The journalist

According to Dr Alqedra, most people with eye injuries from the Great Return March are journalists or photographers.

One of them is Sami Musran 35, a photographer who works for Al-Aqsa TV. On July 19, he was shot several times – first in his hand, the next two times in his shoulders and the fourth time in the chest. (Fortunately, he was wearing a bulletproof vest, so it did not harm him.) The last time cost him his left eye.

Sami says he had received several calls from Israeli officers warning him not to take photos at the Great Return March. His mother also received calls, saying her son might be killed.

“Forty times, my Facebook account was hacked or deleted for me, and I received death threats as well,” he says. “But I decided to keep on with my work to reveal the Israeli crimes against unarmed Palestinians who participate in the march.”

The night before Musran was shot, his wife tried to insist he stay home, but he refused.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Notice that when Israel does this against Palestinian reporters or children, this is always defended by the US, while when the Iranian government does this, it is always characterized as horrible, and wrong, which it actually is in both cases!!

Dec 28 05:52

Who Is Winning the Arms Race? Russia’s “Super-Weapons”

Russia’s defense budget is a small fraction of what the US spends for militarism and warmaking. Yet Russia’s super-weapons exceed the best in the West because of efficient and effective use of its resources.

Meeting with Russia’s Defense Ministry Board on Tuesday, Putin discussed Moscow’s military development and key objectives next year.

Ahead of the meeting, he “visited an exhibition of advanced Russian weapons and equipment.

Putin earlier said Russia will not engage in an arms race. It’ll use its resources effectively and efficiently for maximum bang for the buck, my words interpreting his.

He also stressed that, unlike the US and NATO, Russia abides by its treaty obligations.

“How are we able to…remain in the lead,” he asked? “By using our brains, by intellect, by a better work organization, by minimizing” waste, fraud and abuse, by focusing on achieving maximum defense capabilities against possible aggression.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

When someone is doing something excellently well, as the Russians are with their weaponry, how they are doing it must also be a matter of learning and inclusion bytheir competitors.


Dec 28 05:47

Trump Threatens Syria: Will POTUS Come to the Rescue of Al-Qaeda Terrorists in Idlib?

Trump wished the Syrian Arab Republic a belated Merry Christmas by tweeting yet another threat, warning the Syrian Armed Forces not to liberate Idlib from the approximately 10,000 al Qaeda terrorists who have occupied this area of the country, since the beginning of the crisis.

Surely the 45th President of the USA knows these stats, supported even by the same UN that also wails for al Qaeda on a regular basis. Surely Trump heard Special Presidential Envoy to the alleged anti-Daesh Global Coalition, Brett McGurk when he emphatically stated that Idlib province is the largest al Qaeda safe haven since 9/11.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mr. President, if the US goes into Syria in any great numbers, what, please, is Russia going to do here?!?

IS it your desire to get a shooting war going against Russia... over Syria?!?
I would like to politely suggest, sir, that this, of all the potentially ham-fistedly, pig-headedly potentially disastrous thing for the US to be even contemplating right now, this is probably one of the worst ideas, ever.

And this is particularly alarming, since the inclusion of the Avangard missile in the Russian military's, which renders everything we have as a counter measure, now obsolete.

Dec 28 05:37

In Malaysia, China’s PR blitz on Uygurs in Xinjiang sparks anger

In op-eds carried by several media outlets, China’s ambassador Bai Tian denounced ‘Western’ reports of abuses in Xinjiang.

But the commentaries in English, Chinese and Malay have backfired, causing outrage online and among the country’s leading Muslim intellectuals.

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad last October released 11 Uygurs who had been jailed under the previous administration, disregarding China’s request to extradite them to Beijing. Photo: APMalaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad last October released 11 Uygurs who had been jailed under the previous administration, disregarding China’s request to extradite them to Beijing. Photo: AP
Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad last October released 11 Uygurs who had been jailed under the previous administration, disregarding China’s request to extradite them to Beijing. Photo: AP

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This "re-education" campaign is either an attempt at a complete ethnic cleansing of the Uygur people, or a way to clamp down on anti-Chinese violence; depending on what the Chinese believe they will gain from their efforts. And perhaps, a bit of both elements are at work here.

Dec 28 05:26

'Militarising Christmas': Israeli army slammed over 'repugnant' Twitter postSocial media users call out the IDF a day after it admitted making 'mistakes' when it bombed and killed a family in Gaza

The Israeli army has been slammed for a 'Christmas' themed Twitter post in which it celebrated the festive period by baking a F-35 fighter-jet made from gingerbread.

In the 30-second video, a group of Israeli soldiers, some of whom are wearing military-style clothing, can be seen decorating the F-35 jet with sweets, chocolates and Oreo cookies.

The video, which has an acapella-style song playing throughout, ends with a soldier holding up the jet as the text 'Happy Holidays' fill the screen.

"While some bake gingerbread houses, we decided to go with an F35 jet ????#MerryChristmas to all our Christian soldiers and to all those celebrating around the world!"

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This .... is the kind of thinking you get from IDF members who are just so emotionally twisted, that they cannot see this, for what it is.

Dec 28 05:11

Media Elites To Assange: Fight For Your Own Hide: The Committee to Protect Journalists mimics the government and drops the jailed Wikileaks founder like a hot potato.

Home/Articles/Politics/Media Elites To Assange: Fight For Your Own Hide
POLITICS
Media Elites To Assange: Fight For Your Own Hide
The Committee to Protect Journalists mimics the government and drops the jailed Wikileaks founder like a hot potato.

By Alexandros Michailidis/Shutterstock
DECEMBER 26, 2019|12:01 AM
TED GALEN CARPENTER
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange languishes in a British prison awaiting probable extradition to the United States to stand trial for violating the Espionage Act of 1917. Ironically, he is serving jail time for jumping bail on trumped-up sex crime charges in Sweden that even the Swedish government has now abandoned. Most Western, especially American, mainstream journalists, though, have expressed at most tepid opposition to the persecution of Assange, even as reports mount that his health has deteriorated to an alarming extent.

This is shameful and jeopardizes the news media’s own long-term interests.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What Assange did, was to tell the truth, which was found terribly embarrassing those in the bowels of power in DC, so they have reacted en masse to silence him permanently.

And I would like to challenge former CIA Director (and now Secretary of State) Pompeo with the following question; when was Assange, and the information he shared, ever proven wrong?!?

The short answer is, absolutely never, to the best of my understanding.



Pixfuture
Dec 28 05:03

Israel's Military Chief Outlines Strategy For "Coming War" With Iran & Its Allies

Via AlMasdarNews.com,

The Chief-of-Staff for the Israeli Armed Forces, Aviv Kochavi, said on Wednesday that Israel cannot allow Iran to station militarily in Iraq. According to Ynet News, Kochavi stated on the seventh anniversary of the death of the former Chief-of-Staff, Amnon Lipkin Shahak, that the Israeli army would never allow Iran to be stationed in Iraq.

“The Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Iraq… transfer advanced weapons there monthly. We cannot leave this situation without interference,” he said.

“In the coming war, we will have to attack with great force in populated areas and also target the state structure or the entity that allows terrorism to act against us,” Kochavi continued.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Well, Aviv Kochavi has certainly spelled out Israel's intentions; but one has to wonder, just where does that put the US government, vis a vis, with its relationship with Israel?

Let me tell you about a Defense Pact, being cobbled together by Netanyahu and Pompeo, which should have the hairs on the back of your neck standing up and shivering:

Netanyahu, Pompeo Push Forward With US-Israel Defense PactAnd here is the most utterly terrifying line in the whole article:

"Details of the pact aren’t clear, beyond it committing the US to war to defend Israel."

What the hell?!? I mean, yes, we know that Mike Pompeo, our Secretary of State is a "Rapture Aficionado", as he has made clear in a number of speeches, including this one in 2015:
Mr. Pompeo talks about the rapture. “We will continue to fight these battles,” he said at a “God and Country Rally” in 2015, because there is a “never-ending struggle” until “the rapture.”

But to conflate biblical conjecture with insane foreign policy, which such a US/Israeli defense pact would imply?!?!?

Those who believe in The Rapture, also believe that an entire, world-engulfing war has to happen as the "trigger" for the Rapture to begin. Is this, possibly, Pompeo's "trigger" for such an action to happen?!?

“Be part of it,” he said at the meeting, at the Summit church in Wichita, Kan. “Be in the fight.”

In November, Mr. Pompeo told a reporter for The New York Times Magazine that the Bible “informs everything I do.” The reporter noticed an open Bible in his office, with a Swiss Army knife marking his place at the end of the book of Queen Esther.

This legislation will most probably be "rolled out" in some form, in March, right after the AIPAC Policy conference in DC.

The fact that Netanyahu, bribery charges, et al, still won the last "snap" election in Israel last week, means that he will be certain to push for this legislation to be "fast-tracked and passed" by Congress, before they even can realise the implications of such a pact, which throws America's military into any Israeli confrontation in the Middle East, no matter if Israel actually started the fight, or did not.
Unfortunately, just because something might be the most ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid piece of legislation to be thrown at Congress, is utterly no guarantee that they will not pass it, particularly if their political lives depend on those AIPAC donations and its good will.

Dec 28 04:31

Maddow Meltdown: In Defense To OAN Lawsuit, Host Argues Her Words Are Not Facts

Back in September, we reported that TV network OAN had filed a lawsuit against Rachel Maddow for the time the host said that OAN “really, literally is paid Russian propaganda.”

Now, Maddow finds herself having to come up with a defense for her statement in court. And she has also apparently hired Lionel Hutz as her legal adviser.

According to Culttture, her lawyers argued in a recent motion that "…the liberal host was clearly offering up her ‘own unique expression’ of her views to capture what she saw as the ‘ridiculous’ nature of the undisputed facts. Her comment, therefore, is a quintessential statement ‘of rhetorical hyperbole, incapable of being proved true or false."

Oh, it's capable of being proved false, alright. Maddow had previously claimed, on air, about one of OAN's reporters:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Are the walls closing in on you for backing the "wrong horse", my dear, with this big blob of codswallop?!?

Did you believe, for one moment, that your personal "invincibility" would ever be questioned, or challenged?!? That moment seems to have come, and all you appear to be able to do here, linguistically, is an attempt to "duck and cover" for the moments you lied to the American people with impunity, and thought, really thought that you could get away with it.

Whose going to pay the penalties, if this lawsuit is successful for OAN, you personally, or the station which carries you, MSNBC?!?

We here at WRH, will be watching the conclusion of this trial with great interest.

Dec 28 04:20

WIKILEAKS: Chemical Weapons Watchdog Ordered Deletion of ‘All Traces’ of Findings That Syrian ‘Chemical Attack’ May Have Been Staged

Wikileaks has published shocking leaked documents from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in which they covered up a dissenting report that concluded chemical weapons were not used in the Syrian city of Duoma last year.

The latest release is the fourth batch of leaked documents that WikiLeaks has published from OPCW.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Color me completely unsurprised here; the US government relies on codswallop like this, to further its own agenda; the one thing that would be a surprise is finding a situation in which the US government actually told the truth.

Dec 28 04:17

Avangard changes everything: What Russia’s hypersonic warhead deployment means for the global arms race

Moscow’s deployment of ‘Avangard’ hypersonic warheads means the US missile defense installations in Europe are now obsolete – and that Washington would have to spend a lot of money it doesn’t have in order to catch up.
Video released by the Russian defense ministry on Friday shows the hypersonic glider warheads being loaded onto silo-based missiles. For now, the Avangards will be mounted on the UR-100N (or SS-19 Stiletto, as NATO calls them) ballistic missiles, until the RS-28 Sarmat is ready to enter service.

Hypersonic weapons fly far faster than the speed of sound. Avangard is capable of reaching Mach 27 without losing control or disintegrating under heat and pressure. This means that the weapon can outmaneuver any defenses on its approach phase, rendering it “absolutely invulnerable to any air or missile defense system,” in the words of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

With such a bloated budget for Defense, why does the US seem to consistently be drawing the "short stick", when it comes to developing weapons which can, and will, outperform those of Russia?!?

This is a question which must be asked, and answered, by both the defense industry, and congressional representatives of the districts in which they work.

The answer to this is complicated, because isn't one or two factors here, but a conjoining of factors which has allowed this to happen.

Representatives Military Industrial complex rub shoulders with Presidents and Congressional bigwigs on a consistent basis, and overtly and covertly fund those candidates, in both Presidential and State races, to make sure that they get the best "bang", in terms of defense contracts for their campaign buck.

And because they contribute in this manner, executives of these companies believe that they can present shoddy products which are late; antiquated by the time of delivery; don't ever perform as promised; and are besieged with production problems, and the kinds of cost over-runs which could make one's eyes water.

First, this kind of contributing should be immediately outlawed.

Secondly, in the language of any contract by any branch of the US military, there should be a clause inserted stating that if the product is not delivered on time, within budget, and performing as advertised, then the corporate head of that company could be tried, convicted, and serve jail time for a "failure to deliver as specified".

Draconian steps?!? Absolutely.

But would they begin to diminish this kind of perpetual crisis with the American weapons systems industry, in its always being behind the proverbial eight-ball, regarding Russia and China's weapons program?!?

Absolutely.

We've been bled to death, economically, by military-centric companies which believe that all the above, including late, non-performing products, coming with staggering cost-over-runs, are just the way their businesses should work; this government needs to change up its game here, and quickly.


December 26, 2019

Dec 26 11:04

Trump’s EPA Goes to Bat for Bayer as Company Fights $25 Million Verdict in Roundup Cancer Case

resident Donald Trump‘s Environmental Protection Agency—already accused of being “pesticide cheerleader”—threw its weight behind chemical company Bayer AG on Friday when the agency asked a federal appeals court to reverse a lower court’s ruling in favor of a man who said the company’s Roundup weedkiller was responsible for his cancer.

The case centers on Edwin Hardeman of California, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2015 after using the glyphosate-based pesticide, made by Monsanto, for years on his property. Bayer acquired Monsanto last year.

A federal jury in July ordered the company to pay Hardeman roughly $25 million in damages, a lower amount than the $80 million a federal judge had ordered months earlier.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF any one of us were to advocate the consistent dosing of the families of EPA members with the amount of Roundup to which this man had been exposed, we would be charged with "terroristic threatening".

And if it hasn't dawned on you by now, it's official: President Trump, and the cronies he has chosen to run this government, are just as much a swamp creatures as those who he excoriates in his rants and addresses.

Dec 26 10:49

Video: Turkish-based ‘Syrian Government’ Threatens Damascus with Military Action

Late on December 23, the Turkish-based “Syrian Interim Government” (an entity funded by Turkey in an attempt to legalize its actions in Syria) threatened the real Syrian government with a military action.

In a released statement, it claimed that forces that participated in Turkey’s Olive Branch and Euphrates Shield operations are now moving to Greater Idlib in order to support their counterparts in repelling an attack by “regime forces, Russia and Iranian militias”.

It remains unclear what “forces” the barely existing “defense ministry” is planning to send to Idlib because Turkish-backed militant groups are already supporting al-Qaeda-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in the battle against the Syrian Army. The Turkish-backed coalition of militant groups, the National Front for Liberation, has always been a useful partner for al-Qaeda in Idlib.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

President Erdogan, are you flipping kidding us, with this potential threat against Russia forces in Syria?!?

And sir, if you think you can do this on your own, please go ahead; But do you really believe that NATO will back you against Russia in Syria?!?

Was there some under-the-table quid pro quo, between you and Israel, or between you and the US, that such an act against Russia would be supported in any way?!?

Because if such has not happened, and you are out there, all on your lonesome, expecting NATO to come and rescue you, from your own catastrophic stupidity, and it refuses to do so, WHAT THEN, PLEASE?!?

Dec 26 10:36

The Trump-Biden and the Russia-Ukraine Saga: The Game is About Eurasia

Regarding the Bidens’ role in this fiasco, one surprising aspect is that it took so many years for the controversy regarding Burisma Holdings to go viral, even in alt-media. The facts that not only Hunter Biden but also Devon Archer, a former John Kerry campaign manager, sat on Burisma’s board of directors, and that Burisma was extensively invested in shale-gas extraction in the vicinity of the Donbas war-zone, had been public knowledge in the Russian-speaking world ever since 2014.

Dec 26 10:31

AFTER HAFTAR SEIZES TURKISH VESSEL, ERDOGAN DEEPENS MILITARY ROLE IN LIBYA, ANGERING RUSSIA

SOURCE: ZERO HEDGE
As we predicted the Libyan war 2.0 has spilled into the Mediterranean and now standings on the brink of becoming a major renewed international proxy conflict bringing in regional powers, especially Turkey, Egypt, and potentially Russia.

The pro-Haftar Libyan National Army (LNA), based in the war-torn country's east, announced late Saturday it seized a Turkish vessel and briefly detained several Turkish crew members while the freighter was searched for weapons. "A vessel under the flag of Grenada, with a team of Turkish citizens on board, was detained," the LNA press service said. It was seized “because it entered Libya’s territorial waters without prior permission,” the LNA spokesman added.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This was a deliberate confrontation by Turkey, against Russia, through their proxy, Haftar, and may well go full-on war, before the end of the year.



Xmas w/o borders
Dec 26 10:01

‘Cutting each other's throats’: Allies fear Russia will annex Belarus to save Putin’s life

Western allies fear that Russia will gain sovereignty over Belarus, a former Soviet satellite state that could help preserve Vladimir Putin’s grip on power and sharpen Kremlin threats against NATO members.

Russian expansion is on the table because Putin is trying to finalize the implementation of a union treaty that the two countries signed in 1998. Moscow and Minsk interpret the agreement differently, but Putin has begun to apply economic pressure to Belarus while scheduling a flurry of meetings with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko over the last year.

“I think this mild annexation will just happen, probably next year,” Alisa Muzergues, a foreign policy analyst at GLOBSEC in the Slovak Republic, told the Washington Examiner. “To be honest, my personal feeling is that it's already a done deal."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I wouldn't throw the alarm here; Putin has, by in large, been good for the Russian people; the American government, by in large, has been good...for large corporations, and the already monied.

And I strongly believe that if given the chance, the Russian people would vote for him again.

Has Russia got superior weaponry to NATO?!? The short answer is, yes; but that is completely NATO's fault, and they need to up their game here.

And can someone, please, articulate what these "threats" to NATO are, concretely?!?

Because I sure as heck cannot see these "threats" other than some conjured Codswallop, courtesy of NATO, which have no basis in reality. What I do see, however, are new NATO deployments close to Russia's borders, which has got to make the Russians more than a little nervous.

Dec 26 09:37

Report: FISA Court Has Not Ordered FBI to Check FISA Applications Beyond One Lawyer

The court that granted the FBI surveillance warrants on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page has only ordered that the FBI review all warrant applications related to one FBI attorney and not all FBI agents involved in misconduct, according to a report.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) earlier this month ordered the FBI to re-verify all previous Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant applications involving Kevin Clinesmith, the FBI attorney who falsified evidence in the FBI’s efforts to seek a renewed surveillance warrant against Page.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Amazing, how the concept of US "Justice" has morphed into "Just US!!!" in recent decades, hasn't it?!? So what we have here, is an extremely limited hangout, courtesy of the FISC.

Dec 26 09:30

IRAN AGAIN BLOCKS INTERNET & MOBILE SERVICE AHEAD OF PROTESTERS' FUNERALS 

SOURCE: ZERO HEDGE
Fearing the potential for renewed protests and violent clashes with police, Iran has again blocked internet and mobile access to broad section of the country on Wednesday.

This as several funerals will be held over the coming days for protesters killed last month amid a severe government crackdown, which also witness an unprecedented nationwide internet blockage which lasted for a week or more in some provinces.

Citing Iranian state media, Bloomberg reports, "The mourning services are scheduled to begin on Thursday. The independent Shargh newspaper said five unidentified provinces will be subject to the blackout, while ILNA said internet users in those areas will have access to a limited number of state-approved Iran websites and applications."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Isn't it amazing that, according to the US government, Iranian live fire on peaceful demonstrators is bad, but Israeli life fire against peaceful Palestinian protestors, is good, and never gets condemned?!?

Just more than a little curious about that!!

Dec 26 09:10

SOCIAL MEDIA AND SOCIAL CONTROL: HOW SILICON VALLEY SERVES THE US STATE DEPARTMENT

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is in the spotlight for “dining with far-right figures,” and their influence over the information that appears in your feed is apparent. However, Facebook isn’t the only Silicon Valley firm that’s masquerading as nonpartisan as it curates the “facts” you see in ads, posts, or searches: Google, Twitter, Microsoft, and others are deeply wedded to the U.S. security state and the billionaires it upholds.

Walter Lippmann’s groundbreaking 1922 study of the news media, “Public Opinion,” begins with a chapter titled, “The World Outside and the Pictures in our Heads,” in which he presents the media as a bottleneck through which information about the world beyond the perception of our senses must pass. Aside from the question of which stories get passed through that bottleneck, which information about an event that survives the crucible of condensation into an article, news bulletin or wire is determined by the biases of the writer and editor.

Dec 26 09:07

ISRAEL TO REINSTITUTE ‘ASSASSINATIONS POLICY’

SOURCE: MIDDLE EAST MONITOR

Israel’s foreign minister on Thursday said Tel Aviv would return to “the policy of assassinations” against Palestinian resistance figures in the Gaza Strip, Reuters reports.
In statements he made to Israel’s army radio, Yisrael Katz indicated that there was “an intelligence effort to identify the rockets’ launchers and work to eliminate them.”

He stressed: “Intelligence efforts are currently focused on determining who is responsible for ordering missile launch instructions in order to work to eliminate him.”

On Wednesday evening, Israel’s iron dome anti-missile system intercepted a missile reportedly fired from the Gaza Strip towards the country’s south while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was attending an election rally in Ashkelon province.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder; was Wednesday's alleged attack close to where Netanyahu was campaigning, done to give the Knesset a "raison d'etre" for bringing back assassinations as the "new normal" for Israel?!?

Understanding just how good these folks are with geopolitical theatre, I, right now, would not bet against this possibility.

Dec 26 09:02

MIKE BLOOMBERG EXPLOITED PRISON LABOR TO MAKE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN PHONE CALLS

SOURCE: THE INTERCEPT
FORMER NEW YORK CITY mayor and multibillionaire Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg used prison labor to make campaign calls. Through a third-party vendor, the Mike Bloomberg 2020 campaign contracted New Jersey-based call center company ProCom, which runs calls centers in New Jersey and Oklahoma. Two of the call centers in Oklahoma are operated out of state prisons. In at least one of the two prisons, incarcerated people were contracted to make calls on behalf of the Bloomberg campaign.

According to a source, who asked for anonymity for fear of retribution, people incarcerated at the Dr. Eddie Warrior Correctional Center, a minimum-security women’s prison with a capacity of more than 900, were making calls to California on behalf of Bloomberg. The people were required to end their calls by disclosing that the calls were paid for by the Bloomberg campaign. They did not disclose, however, that they were calling from behind bars.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mikey, Mikey, Mikey... if your people cannot fact-check how a company sources its campaign phone calls, should you, by some miracle, get nominated and elected, how can the rest of America expect you to protect us from harm's way, if there is a real danger at our doorstep?!?

The short answer is, they cannot, sir; you've just proven it to them, with this debacle.

Dec 26 08:57

HUNTER BIDEN ACCUSED OF $156M UKRAINE MONEY LAUNDERING SCHEME IN COURT FILING

SOURCE: ZERO HEDGE

A new filing in an Arkansas lawsuit against Hunter Biden claims that the former Vice President’s son "is the subject of more than one (1) criminal investigation involving fraud, money laundering and a counterfeiting scheme."

Filed by private investigator Dominic Casey of D&A Investigations on behalf of Lunden Alexis Roberts - with whom Hunter fathered a child, Monday’s "Notice of Fraud and Counterfeiting and Production of Evidence" alleges that Hunter Biden and associates Devon Archer and John Kerry stepson Christopher Heinz engaged in a money laundering scheme which accumulated over $156 million between March 2014 and December 2015.

According to the document, Biden, Archer and Heinz became directors of consulting firm Rosemont Seneca Bohai, LLC in order to "conceal their family members ownership," establishing financial accounts at Morgan Stanley and China Bank, the latter of which was used in a money laundering scheme.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Tom Perez, courtesy telephone, please; this issue will NOT go away for either the Democratic Party, or for the "Famile Biden"; if Biden does, by some kind of miracle, win the nomination, the Republicans are going to dog that nomination with these accusations right up until the day of the election itself.

Warren's numbers for "medicare for all" are blowing up in her face; the country is singularly unready for a Bernie Sanders Presidency; and Hillary, your two-time epic fail, is Kryptonite who comes across with all the warmth and compassion of a Dr. Who Dalek; so what do you do?!?

Tom, I have mentioned before, (and I would almost bet that you have someone tasked with the "punishment" of looking at this blog on a daily basis); you have understand that Presidential candidates are created, not necessarily born. So what you need to do, is to look at what is left after you seperate the "non-electable" from the most likely electable candidates, and this gives you two names; those of Tulsi Gabbard, and Pete Buttegieg.. Both are Vets who have seen active duty service, and because of that, are not the warmongers your military/industrial complex likes to see, even through, these people will always get their proverbial "pound of flesh" from Congress, because of the candidates they support, overtly and covertly.

Tom, it's time for a little horse-sense here. Running Hillary for a third time, with no change in the Electoral College set up, nearly guarantees (even with all the possible vote fraud factor included), that the Democrats will implode come November, and from self-inflicted wounds.

Please try for a couple of candidates who can make sense for the American people this time, and who can be made to at least appear to "have the backs" of the very quiet "American center", please?!?

Dec 26 06:43

VACCINE FAIL: “WHOOPING COUGH OUTBREAK CLOSES TEXAS SCHOOL DESPITE 100-PERCENT VACCINATION RATE: OFFICIALS”

SOURCE: GREEN MED INFO
Despite a 100% vaccination rate, a Texas school closes early for winter break due to a whooping cough outbreak. Clearly the vaccine is failing to work as advertised.

If ever there was convincing proof that vaccination does not equate to bona fide immunity, it is at St. Theresa Catholic School in Texas…

Reported by FoxNews.com on Dec. 19th, the school experienced an outbreak of whooping cough, causing them to close their doors and start their winter break early.

On Dec. 4th, St. Theresa Catholic School in Memorial Park, reported its first case to the Texas Department of State Health Services. Since then, the outbreak has continued to escalate — and not because of the abuse of religious and medical exemptions, and so-called “anti-vaxxer” parents.

According to the FoxNews report, the school vaccine uptake rate was at 100%:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

As vaccine failures go, this one was utterly epic.

And we have a companion piece, also at blacklistednews (originally published at sputnik.com), which is no harbinger of vaccine freedom, for any reason;

MIT Develos Tattoo ID, to track who has veen vaccinated.

The article goes on to state; "SOURCE: SPUTNIK NEWS
MIT researchers have struck on a novel, and for many surely unsettling, method of keeping track of who has and hasn’t had a particular vaccination – creating an ink that can be safely embedded in the skin alongside the vaccine itself, and only visible using a special infra-red application.

The invisible “tattoo” is a pattern made up of tiny semiconducting crystals that reflect light and thus glows under infra-red light. The pattern will be delivered alongside the vaccine into the skin via hi-tech dissolvable microneedles made of a mixture of polymers and sugar.

“In areas where paper vaccination cards are often lost or do not exist at all, and electronic databases are unheard of, this technology could enable the rapid and anonymous detection of patient vaccination history to ensure that every child is vaccinated,” MIT researcher Kevin McHugh said in a statement.

Strikingly, the research was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – in fact, the project came about following a direct request from the Microsoft founder himself, who has been personally and somewhat controversially involved in efforts to eradicate polio and measles via vaccinations worldwide."

This funding... was no accident. And neither is the reality that getting vaccinated against measles, is not a guarantee that a child will not get measles;
Seven of My Vaccinated Kids Have the Measles Right Now
The article went on to state: "According to Mrs. Pearl, the health department official also told her that measles vaccine failure is common and that about half the people getting measles in the current measles clusters in Brooklyn are fully vaccinated.

Mary Holland, a Harvard-educated lawyer on the faculty at New York University and co-author of two books about vaccines, says she’s not surprised.

While the CDC reports the efficacy rate after two doses of the measles vaccine at 97 percent, some experts, like Holland, believe that number is inflated.

“The measles component of the MMR suffers from primary and secondary failure,” Holland says. “In other words, it simply doesn’t work in some individuals and in other individuals the protection wanes. One size just doesn’t fit all.”

Dec 26 06:38

Mysterious drones flying nighttime patterns over northeast Colorado leave local law enforcement stumped

A band of large drones appears to be flying nighttime search patterns over northeast Colorado — and local authorities say they don’t know who’s behind the mysterious aircraft.

The drones, estimated to have six-foot wingspans, have been flying over Phillips and Yuma counties every night for about the last week, Phillips County Sheriff Thomas Elliott said Monday.

The drones stay about 200 feet to 300 feet in the air and fly steadily in squares of about 25 miles, he said. There are at least 17 drones; they emerge each night around 7 p.m. and disappear around 10 p.m., he said.

“They’ve been doing a grid search, a grid pattern,” he said. “They fly one square and then they fly another square.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I don't believe that they don't know what the drones are doing; they have just been ordered, by those flying the drones, not to say anything about their use.

Dec 26 06:35

COLLEGES ARE TURNING STUDENTS' PHONES INTO SURVEILLANCE MACHINES, TRACKING THE LOCATIONS OF HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS

SOURCE: SLASH DO

Colleges are tracking students' location to enforce attendance, analyze their behavior and assess their mental health. One company calculates a student's "risk score" based on factors such as whether she is going to the library enough.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Were I a student in this part of the 21st century, when inspecting a college for future attendance, I would ask point blank, if it was an established policy to do such surveillance of their students, without their permission.

If the answer was yes, I would thank the person showing me the campus, and leave, scratching that particular school of higher surveillance off my list, as a place I would want to go.

December 25, 2019

Dec 25 10:37

An End to the World as We Know It? Congress and the White House compete in year-end stupidity sweepstakes

Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, has been in Washington lobbying for the additional military assistance. He has had considerable success, particularly as there is bipartisan support in Congress for aid to Kiev and also because the Trump Departments of Defense and State as well as the National Security Council are all on board in countering the “Russian threat” in the Black Sea. President Trump signed the NDAA last week, which completed the process.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The behaviour of both Congress and our President, with these "bundles of joy" attached to their spending legislation, very much reminds me of a very funny American comedian by the name of Ron White, who made the comment in one of his stand-up routines: "You can't fix stupid."

I can't be the only one out there, very negatively responding to all of the above; why, in the name of heaven, cannot this government find ways to use collaboration, instead of confrontation, to calm down geopolitical squabbles, other than with war?!?

And it doesn't matter which party is in power; the idiocies of both US foreign and domestic policy suffer from a permanent, and almost pathological inability of the crafters of these obtuse, and occult bits of legislation, to think a scenario through to its logical conclusion, or understand what the "crash and fail" results of this behaviour will be, when these actions happen, simultaneously, in real time.

Dec 25 10:18

Turkish parliament readying bill to allow sending troops to Libya

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey may need to draft a bill to allow for troop deployment to Libya and its parliament is working on the issue, Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Tuesday, after Ankara signed a military cooperation agreement with Tripoli last month.

“There might be a need for an authorisation in line with the developments over there. The parliament is conducting work on this issue,” Kalin told a news conference in Ankara.

“We will continue to support the internationally recognised Libyan government. This support may be in terms of military training, or other areas, such as political support,” Kalin said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder just what Erdogan's ploy may be here; possibly to revitalize a very fractious relationship with NATO, which appears to be fraying at the edges, and rapidly?!?

Dec 25 10:12

Morales claims US orchestrated 'coup' to tap Bolivia's lithium

Former Bolivia president Evo Morales told AFP on Tuesday that he was forced from office by a United States-backed coup d'etat aimed at gaining access to the South American country's vast lithium resources.

Demand for lithium is expected to grow globally as it is one of the key components in batteries used in high-tech equipment such as laptops and electric cars.

Morales resigned as president on November 10 after almost three weeks of protests against his controversial re-election to an unconstitutional fourth term in a poll widely denounced as rigged.

His resignation came after then-chief of the armed forces General Williams Kaliman publicly stated the former trade union leader should step down.

But since then, Morales -- Bolivia's first indigenous president -- has claimed to have been the victim of a coup d'etat.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This guy, who was known for really trying to lift the Bolivian people out of poverty, is entirely correct in his assessment.

Dec 25 10:03

Mercenaries flock to Libya raising fears of prolonged war

A new wave of mercenaries from Sudan is fighting in Libya, deepening concerns that the conflict in the north African state has descended into an intractable international war that could destabilise much of the region.

Leaders of two different groups of Sudanese fighters active in Libya have told the Guardian that they had received hundreds of new recruits in recent months. Both groups were fighting with the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by General Khalifa Haftar against the internationally recognised government in Tripoli.

“A lot of young men [are coming] … we even do not have the capacity to accommodate these big numbers,” said one commander who is based in the south of Libya.

The commanders said that there are at least 3,000 Sudanese mercenaries now fighting in Libya, significantly more than most previous estimates.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Cheese Louise, Guardian, playing fast and loose with the facts yet again?!?

Jason Burke and Zeinab Mohammed Salih, are you two collectively suffering from a lousy case of SMD (Selective Memory Disorder), as this article appears to reflect?!?

Well, gentlemen, as just a little bit of fact checking would have saved you from the embarrassment of getting Gaddafi's assassination so completely wrong, here is the truth of what led to Gaddafi's assassination, and I will assure you that the folks here got it correctly.

Hillary’s War Crime: The Murder of Muammar Gaddafi. “We Came, we Saw, he Died.”

The article goes on to state: "Gaddafi’s independence from Washington is what brought him down. Earlier in life Gaddafi’s goal was to organize Arabs as a bloc that could withstand Western depredations. Frustrated, he turned to Pan-Africanism and refused to join the US Africa Command. He wanted to introduce a gold-based African currency that would free Africans from American financial hegemony.

Washington organized mercenaries, termed them “rebels” as in Syria, and sicced them on Libya. When it became clear that Gaddafi’s forces would prevail, Washington tricked naive and gullible Russian and Chinese governments and secured a UN no-fly zone over Libya to be enforced by NATO. The express purpose of the no-fly zone was to prevent Gaddafi from attacking civilian targets, which he was not doing. The real reason was to prevent a sovereign state from using its own air space so that the Libyan Air Force could not support the troops on the ground. Once the gullible Russians and Chinese failed to veto the Security Council’s action, the US and NATO themselves violated the resolution by using Western air power to attack Gaddafi’s forces, thus throwing the conflict to the CIA-organized mercenaries. Gaddafi was captured and brutally murdered.

Ever since, Libya, formerly a prosperous and successful society, has been in chaos, which is where the Obama regime wanted it.

All sorts of lies were told about Gaddafi and Libya, just as lies were told about Saddam Hussein and are told today about Syria and Russia. A British Parliamentary Report concluded unambiguously that the Western peoples were fed lies by their governments in order to gain acceptance for the destruction of Libya, and that Libya was destroyed because Gaddafi was regarded as an obstacle to Western hegemony."

But there was a further reality for which Gaddafi was assassinated, and this article also comes from globalresearch.ca:

Hillary Emils Reveal that NATGO killed Gaddafi to stop Libyan Creation of a Gold-Backed Currency

First published on June 13, 2017

Hillary’s emails truly are the gifts that keep on giving. While France led the proponents of the UN Security Council Resolution that would create a no-fly zone in Libya, it claimed that its primary concern was the protection of Libyan civilians (considering the current state of affairs alone, one must rethink the authenticity of this concern). As many “conspiracy theorists” will claim, one of the real reasons to go to Libya was Gaddafi’s planned gold dinar.

One of the 3,000 Hillary Clinton emails released by the State Department on New Year’s Eve (where real news is sent to die quietly) has revealed evidence that NATO’s plot to overthrow Gaddafi was fueled by first their desire to quash the gold-backed African currency, and second the Libyan oil reserves.

The email in question was sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by her unofficial adviser Sydney Blumenthal titled “France’s client and Qaddafi’s gold”.

So gentlemen who so studiously avoided the real reasons for Gaddafi's death; if I am able to access this information, why were you unable to do this?!?

Or did you just not want to go there?!?

I would politely suggest that the later better reflects the truth.

Dec 25 09:23

Israel prevents hundreds of Gaza's Christians from Bethlehem Christmas pilgrimage despite lifting ban

Christians from around the world have arrived in the West Bank town of Bethlehem ahead of Christmas day, while hundreds of Palestinian Christians from Gaza have been blocked by Israel from undertaking the pilgrimage.

Over 3.5 million tourists visit the city during this time, queuing to visit the grotto inside Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity, believed to be the exact site where Jesus was born.

Palestinian tourism minister Rula Maaya told AFP it had been a good year, but fewer Christians from the Gaza Strip were in attendance than in previous years.

Wadie Abunassar, an advisor to and spokesman for church leaders in the Holy Land, said out of the 951 applications from Gazans so far, only 192 had been granted.

This comes after Israel announced on Sunday that it will allow Christians in the Gaza Strip to travel to Jerusalem and the West Bank for Christmas, reversing an April decision to ban them from leaving the besieged Palestinian enclave.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Oh, sure, all Gazan Christians can come to Jerusalem and the West Bank for Christmas; all they have to do is get the proper permits, which we will make almost damn near impossible!!!" Official Tel Aviv Souse.

Dec 25 09:01

Saudi Artillery Strikes Kill 17 at Yemen Border Market

Cross-border shelling by Saudi Arabian forces against a popular marketplace on the Yemeni side of the border killed at least 17 people, according to locals. Indications are that everyone killed was a civilian, and the Saudis have not commented on why they attacked.

The sources said 12 Ethiopian migrants were among those killed in Yemen, and that 15 people were wounded and taken to hospitals for treatment. The market has been attacked several times by Saudi forces.

The market doesn’t seem to have any military significance, but it is in Saada Province, which is the main province of the Houthi movement. This seems to be reason enough for the Saudis to regularly attack them.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

When I was a kid in public school, I never imagined, in my wildest dreams, that the US was anything but the "good guy" in its dealings with other countries.

Then came the insanity of the Vietnam War, and that.... was an industrial-strength wake-up call that challenged my former evaluation of the US government's actions internationally forever.

Fast forward to the Trump Administration, and here is what we see; the US government, in collusion with Saudi Arabian government in their war crimes, to bomb Yemen to back beyond the stone age; military interventions in countries around the world, in order to expropriate their resources, to which we have no moral right; and threatening the awakening economic and military powerhouses of Russia and China with a shooting war, because it's just great for the US military/industrial complex.

I have a friend who once confided that she believed we were actually living through the "End Times" of Biblical prophecy; and looking at the pathological inability from the US government to do something remotely intelligent, as in learning from its mistakes over the decades, I have to wonder if she doesn't have a valid point here.

Dec 25 08:46

Israel says filing error to blame for strike that killed nine members of al-Sawarka familyIsraeli army says the home of the Palestinian family was not a military compound as it was previously categorised

In November, Israel conducted a series of air strikes on the Gaza Strip after it assassinated a senior Islamic Jihad commander and his wife.

The Palestinian armed group retaliated to the assassination by launching a barrage of rockets into Israel, before the two parties agreed on a ceasefire following joint Egyptian and UN mediation.

‘All that’s left are their school uniforms’: Israeli air strike kills eight Palestinian relatives
Read More »
During the two days of air strikes, at least 34 Palestinians were reported killed and more than 100 wounded.

No Israelis were killed during the same time period.

The deadliest of these attacks was carried out on the home of the al-Sawarka family, killing eight members of the family, including children.

A week after the strike, a ninth member of the family, Mohammed al-Sawarka, died from injuries sustained in the bombing.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This was no "computer error"; this was "genocide by increments", wiping out a few Palestinian families, and their children.

It is a favorite tactic of the IDF, who, after the slaughter, say, "Geewhiz, gang, our bad! It was a clerical error which caused the slaughter of these innocent families, really, you have to believe us, honest, it was just a mistake!"

This is why the peaceful, non-violent course of BDS is the right, and moral course, for the rest of the world to follow against Israel for these horrific assassinations; Most Israelis speak Hebrew, and some may speak some English; but all Israelis are very bi-lingual when it comes to economics.

Dec 25 08:37

US Defense Secretary Eyes Pullout From West AfricaRedeployment from region would be first in moves aimed at Russia and China

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper is interested in seeing a substantial reduction in troops and operations ongoing in Western Africa, with the troops being redeployed to areas closer to Russia and China.

This comes, ironically, amid speculation about the Islamist factions in the Sahel, and suggestions this might be a growing priority for the US. Esper, however, has made much of wanting to have more troops directly lined up against Russia and China for “Great Power” competitions.

Among the pullouts in West Africa would be ending US operations in Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso. The end of US involvement in Niger would include abandoning the $110 million drone base that the US just got finished building and bringing into operation.

After West Africa, the plan is that the US will also draw down forces in Latin America, and subsequently then cut troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan, all as part of a new pivot to Eastern Europe and the Pacific.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is madness, writ large, represented to the American people as logical foreign policy; But to me, however, this "repositioning" of American troops, ever closer to Russia and China, is just a couple of steps short of creating a situation where we will be dealing with a shooting war with Russia and/or China.

I looked at Esper's background, both personal and professional, to find a motive for this, to see if he, like Secretary of State Pompeo, was someone with a personal belief in a the Rapture; it is not, but there us another avenue of Esper's background which suddenly caused his thought process come completely into focus.

In an article from rollingstone.com, we have the following made clear;
Trump’s Pick for Defense Secretary Is as Swampy as You’d ExpectThe article goes on to state: "The president officially conferred the nomination to Esper on Monday. The following day, Esper testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee, where another entry on his resume was pulled into the spotlight: the seven years he spent as the top lobbyist for Raytheon, the defense contractor that does billions of dollars of business with the government every year."

When it comes to these contracts, there is nothing like a "former lobbyist" in a position to do a corporation good, as is Esper, in his current position as Secretary of Defense.

This makes his "vision" (and his "logic") crystal clear, to anyone who is paying attention. The issues of him wanting perhaps to get as close to war as possible, eating up billions of Defense Department dollars, without actually going to war, can then be seen in its proper perspective.

December 24, 2019

Dec 24 08:15

THIS IS AMERICA: 10 EXAMPLES THAT SHOW HOW DRAMATICALLY THE U.S. HAS CHANGED AS WE APPROACH 2020

SOURCE: MICHAEL SNYDER, GUEST POST
One thing that you can count on in life is that things are going to change. And these days the pace of change in America is absolutely breathtaking. Our culture is in the process of being radically transformed, and the direction of that change has not altered very much at all no matter which political party has been in power in Washington. Many of the values that are now embraced by a solid majority of the population run directly counter to the values that once dominated our society, but only a small minority of Americans seem alarmed by that fact. It appears to be exceedingly unlikely that there will be any deviating from the path that our nation has chosen, because at this point the American people seem quite satisfied with the dramatic “progress” that is taking place.

So what do you think?

Are we on the right track as a nation?

Webmaster's Commentary: 

My short answer to this question about "Are we on the right track as a nation?" would be a resounding "HELL, NO!!!!!!!

And the primary (but governing) reason is the following; pro-peace, national candidates from both parties will never see daylight as President or Vice President, because their pro-peace stances will translate into billions lost by the military industrial complex; so our alleged "choices" for President and Vice President are orchestrated by this lewd tango between the military industrial complex and the US deep state, both of which have nearly never seen a potential war, or potential regime change they didn't just love, no matter the horrific costs to our men and women in uniform.

The paupacity of true education and true understanding in this country, is embarrassingly amazing, but it is done purposely: programs like Common Core, are enabled to keep people from thinking, and using their God-given common sense.

Because when people are numerate; literate; and capable of true critical thinking, that huge ooze of codswallop we are supposed to swallow whole, courtesy of the corporate Presstitutes whose almost every word is dictated by this country's deep state, to support a war-centric agenda, very much falls apart, under even the most casual scrutiny.

This leaves US citizens easily confused, and torn apart to the point where we cannot even talk about political issues without that devolving into a real shouting match, in many families and friendships.

A house divided against itself cannot stand; so while we are distracted by every single, possible distraction, including those provided by our media, and arguing among ourselves, the US Deep State and military industrial complex provides us with enemies du jour, and wars we, of course, MUST fight to "contain (fill in country's name here) that country's alleged "aggression" against us.

So here is the process; regime change any governments not to the US government's liking; install a puppet regime which will enable US-centric multinational companies, to come in and expropriate that country's natural resources, to which this government, and these corporations have no moral right; ; and only sell those resources in US dollars.

Follow the money; follow the resources, and it is pretty easy to see how this happens, and is happening seemingly endlessly, on the part of this government.

What do we need to do to change this?!?

First, we need to have a peaceful, reasonable, and national conversation about these endless wars, and why our military is fighting in them in the first place.

The first of these which comes to my mind, is our governments'partnering in war crimes and the biggest humanitarian disaster in recent history in Yemen, by supporting Saudi Arabia against the Houthi rebels here. Every single rational article I have read about this conflict, indicates that it has to be resolved not by more bullets and bloodshed, but by moral, intelligent, and hard-won negotiations.

So we have to ask our leadership; is there no other way than wars with which to obtain those geopolitical concessions which the US seeks from other countries?!? I am convinced that there is; but there has to be a will in the Bowels of Power in DC, to make that happen, which currently does not exist.

I want to see this country go back to hand-written ballots which cannot be electronically altered.

I want to see a "none of the above" on every Presidential ballot, so ultimately, We the People will have actual choices on candidates, not candidates "pre-digested" by the military industrial complex, and the US Deep State.

And finally, I would like to see an amendment to the Constitution, stipulating that any national candidate who wins the Presidency, Vice-Presidency, or Congressional race, must have their kids enlisting in the military, if they are of appropriate age, and must be trained with combat units most likely to see action on the front lines of whatever war the US government has decided we are fighting.

Now, I understand, as well as a grown person, that such an amendment might only happen when pigs discover that they are aerodynamic; that being said, however, I wouldn't bet against such an Amendment slowing down the US Government's lust for wars, when the people ordering those wars understand that it most probably will be their kids who may well die in the first stages of those wars.

Dec 24 07:11

MI5 GIVEN THE GO-AHEAD TO ALLOW INFORMANTS TO COMMIT CRIMES

HUMAN rights campaigners today vowed to appeal against a “knife-edge” divided tribunal ruling which allowed MI5 to continue authorising informants to commit serious criminal offences.

Privacy International, Reprieve, the Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) and the Pat Finucane Centre took legal action against the government over a policy the groups claim “purports to permit agents to participate in crime” potentially including murder, kidnap and torture.

The campaign groups said the policy effectively “immunises criminal conduct from prosecution” and asked the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) to declare the policy unlawful and grant an injunction to restrain further conduct.

But the tribunal today ruled the policy lawful by a 3-2 majority.

Reprieve director Maya Foa said: “The IPT’s knife-edge judgment, with unprecedented published dissenting opinions, shows just how dubious the government’s secret policy is.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So let me get this straight: UK intelligence agents are now formally authorized to commit torture, if they deem it necessary to extract life-saving information, and there will be no lawful repercussions for having done this.

I have to wonder just how far they are going to have to "grandfather" this protection in for people in intelligence work, who have already been accused of this kind of behaviour.

But the big, ugly question here is timing; why now?!?

What sort of "horrible, hideous international incident" is the British and/or US going to throw at us this time, to distract us from what is going and for when is this being planned?!?

I would politely suggest, that the timing of this ruling is anything but accidental.

Dec 24 06:57

Can China Dethrone The US Dollar As Global Reserve

As a result of this ‘trade war’ China has let the yuan slide versus the USD which is a warning to Trump, specifically Mnuchin, popularly known as one of the most slippery dealers (IndyMAC and One West) to ever walk the earth (and China knows that). China is hoping that a lower yuan will offset tariffs just as the US has ‘weaponized’ the dollar and has imposed sanctions and tariffs on China. Because the sums are so vast with China holding so much US debt, and because China depends on exports to the west, China is somewhat boxed in.

Dec 24 06:52

The Christmas Truce Of WWI Paused The Murderous Demands Of The State

As December waxed, the combat ardor of the frontline troops waned. With Christmas approaching, the scattered and infrequent gestures of goodwill across enemy lines increased. About a week before Christmas, German troops near Armentieres slipped a “splendid” chocolate cake across the lines to their British counterparts. Attached to that delectable peace offering was a remarkable invitation:

We propose having a concert tonight as it is our Captain’s birthday, and we cordially invite you to attend – provided you will give us your word of honor as guests that you agree to cease hostilities between 7:30 and 8:30…. When you see us light the candles and footlights at the edge of our trench at 7:30 sharp you can safely put your heads above your trenches, and we shall do the same, and begin the concert.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is a terribly under-reported episode of World War I, but one which needs to be examined and cherished, because of the human decency these soldiers shared with one another, even though they were allegedly "sworn enemies".

Dec 24 06:43

Turkey Can't Handle New Refugee Explosion & Greece Will Be First To Feel Impact: Erdogan

At a moment Erdogan has his hands dirty in Syria and is preparing to get more militarily involved in Libya, Turkey's president has yet again threatened Europe with a refugee horde so large no country will be able to handle it. He's now specifically threatened Greece as being among the first to bear the brunt of the first waves of refugees unleashed by Turkey.

His threats are now centering on the major uptick in airstrikes by Russia and Syria on Idlib province, said to number in the "hundreds" since a new operation began on Dec.16. Since then, tens of thousands of civilians living under al-Qaeda's Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) have reportedly fled.

"Turkey cannot handle a fresh wave of migrants from Syria, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday, warning that European countries will feel the impact of such an influx if violence in Syria’s northwest is not stopped," Reuters reports.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The people for whom I feel sorry the most, in this whole, sordid mess, generated by the US in a continuing (and failing) bid to unseat Al-Assad, are the people displaced by the fighting.

What is happening to them, should not be happening at all, but to the US government, these folks are simply "collateral damage", with no real human value at all.

Dec 24 06:36

European Firms Stop Work On NS2 Pipeline As Gazprom Readies Own Ships 'Immune' To US Sanctions

Trump's signing the 2020 NDAA into law on Friday, and with it sanctions targeting European and Russian companies laying the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, had the immediate impact of forcing a work stoppage over the weekend as Allseas, the Swiss company that is Nord Stream’s main contractor, confirmed its workers as well as partner contractors have laid down their tools.

And Russia is now hitting back, first by promising Washington will not impede the project, and further with reports that Moscow is drawing up retaliatory sanctions against the US, while not citing specifics.

Majority stakehold Gazprom has indicated it's already taken measures to complete the project while circumventing the US measures. The WSJ continues:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

To a small child, everything it it sees, is a nail, just waiting to be hammered in.

So it is with Trump's sanctions, which will only have the effect of pushing Europe ever more deeply into Russia's economic embrace, and insuring that Europe doesn't really want to have anything more to do with the Unhinged; surveilled State of Amerika.

Dec 24 06:26

Buchanan: Today France, Tomorrow America?

Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org,

As that rail and subway strike continued to paralyze travel in Paris and across France into the third week, President Emmanuel Macron made a Christmas appeal to his dissatisfied countrymen:

“Strike action is justifiable and protected by the constitution, but I think there are moments in a nation’s life when it is good to observe a truce out of respect for families and family life.”

Macron’s appeal has gone largely unheeded.

“The public be damned!” seems to be the attitude of many of the workers who are tying up transit to protest Macron’s plan to reform a pension system that consumes 14% of GDP.

Macron wants to raise to 64 the age of eligibility for full retirement benefits. Not terribly high. And to set an example, he is surrendering his lifetime pension that is to begin when he becomes an ex-president.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

We have a companion piece to this on this Christmas Eve, also from Zero Hedge, titled as follows:

Half Of France's National Train System "Grinds To A Halt" As Labor Unions Strike On Christmas Week

December 23, 2019

Dec 23 10:02

A great disturbance in the force: The Rise of Skywalker's debut generates $374million in worldwide ticket sales - the LOWEST of the recent Star Wars trilogy in blow to Disney

The 2015 movie The Force Awakens opened with $517million domestically and 2017's The Last Jedi had a $450million global debut.

Dec 23 09:59

Cats flops at US box office, opens to disastrous $6.5 million

Cats also bombed in its UK debut, where it grossed a dismal £4.4m.

The musical cost more than $100m (£77m) to produce before marketing costs.

Dec 23 09:59

NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg says alliance should seek better relations with Russia, signals willingness to meet with Putin

NATO should pursue dialogue and stronger relations with Moscow, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said, declaring that he is open to meeting with the Russian president.
Stoltenberg told German news agency dpa that a summit with Putin is feasible if the “context is right.” He said that dialogue with Moscow was important, even though the alliance has a “difficult” relationship with Russia.

Russia is our biggest neighbor, Russia is here to stay and we need to strive for a better relationship with Russia.

NATO and Russia have been at odds with each other on a number of key security issues and conflicts. The alliance’s eastward expansion, as well as troop and hardware buildups along Russia’s border, have further strained trust and cooperation between the two world players.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This feels both like an outreach to Russia, and a further "step away" from the US government's stance that no matter what it does, Russia always remains a villain of the highest order against both the US's and Western Europe's desired outcomes in world affairs.

Dec 23 09:56

Nuclear talks between the US and North Korea are 'more important than anything', the South tells China

Keeping up momentum for discussions between America and North Korea is of vital importance, South Korean President Moon Jae-in told Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Monday.

North Korea has set a year-end deadline for the United States to change what it says is a policy of hostility amid a stalemate in efforts to make progress on their pledge to end the North's nuclear program and establish lasting peace.

Dec 23 09:53

'Direct threat to peace': China raises alarm as US Space Force receives first funding

China has condemned the inauguration of the newest branch of the US military, the Space Force, describing its creation as a threat to peace that endangers global stabilit
y.
Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters on Monday that Beijing was "deeply concerned" and "resolutely opposed" to the Space Force, which received its first funding after US President Donald Trump signed the annual military budget last week.

The Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said Washington's new military branch sets a dangerous precedent for the militarization of outer space.

The specific US actions are a serious violation of the international consensus on the peaceful use of outer space, undermine global strategic balance and stability, and pose a direct threat to peace and security in outer space.

He called on the international community to "adopt a cautious and responsible" approach to space, in order to prevent it from becoming a conflict zone

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Geng Shuang is completely correct in his assessment; Trump added this "enhancement" to the budget bill, in order to control actions of governments he doesn't like on this planet, or with which he has a very complicated relationship.

I think China falls under that last characterisation very well.

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