COULD USE SOME END-OF-THE-MONTH DONATIONS! THANKS!
Posted on: Feb 04, 2023
“When the taste for physical gratifications among them has grown more rapidly than their education . . . the time will come when men are carried away and lose all self-restraint . . . . It is not necessary to do violence to such a people in order to strip them of the rights they enjoy; they themselves willingly loosen their hold. . . . they neglect their chief business which is to remain their own masters.” -- Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America: Volume 2
On Thursday, smash-and-grab thieves ransacked a Macy’s store as nine masked men in their early twenties entered the Sherman Oaks at the Westfield Fashion Square location, filled up trash bags with merchandise and ran off quickly.
The controversial zero bail policy in Los Angeles has not helped keep the city and its citizens safe. The policy was reinstated earlier in 2023 on the grounds that it violates the suspects’ constitutional rights.
A user on X shared a compilation of robots moving through the streets of LA as they are repeatedly attacked and the contents stolen.
One of the most sophisticated and expensive fighter jets in the world is missing somewhere in South Carolina after a pilot was forced to eject for an unknown reason while leaving his F-35 with stealth capabilities flying in a 'zombie state.'
The incident occurred over North Charleston around 2pm Sunday as two jets, worth around $100 million each, were flying side-by-side.
The pilot ejected and parachuted safely into a residential area. He was taken to a local hospital, where he was in stable condition, said Maj. Melanie Salinas. The pilot’s name has not been released.
Based on the missing plane’s location and trajectory, the search for the F-35 Lightning II jet was focused on Lake Moultrie, around 50 miles from North Charleston, said Senior Master Sgt. Heather Stanton at Joint Base Charleston. The pilot enabled the autopilot function prior to his ejection.
Officials have also said that they have no evidence that that the plane has actually crashed.
Webmaster addition: The F-35 can fly 1,350 miles without refueling. By now, it has run out of fuel and crashed somewhere. Assuming the tanks were almost full when the pilot ejected, that means a range somewhere around 1000 miles depending on speed, which was probably slow to make the ejection process as safe as possible.
Videos posted by Fox News reporter Griff Jenkins and independent journalist Auden Cabello show open train cars in Mexico filled with migrants being taken north to the U.S. border. From the Darien Gap in Panama, from Central America and through Mexico there is a tsunami of migrants from all around the world headed to illegally enter the United States thanks to Joe Biden’s open borders.
The video posted by Griff Jenkins on Sunday shows at least two dozen open rail cars filled with cheering migrants on a FerroMex train in the town of Zacatecas in north-central Mexico, “**NEW VIDEO** FOX News sources capture a FerroMex train bursting with migrants out of Zacatecas heading to our southern border right now… cheering and clearly not heeding the message: “do not come”
As the U.S. gives cluster bombs to Ukraine—and as the Biden administration reportedly moves to send longer-range missiles armed with them to Kyiv—three nations this week said they’ve finished destroying their stockpiles of the internationally banned weapons amid renewed calls for more countries to join the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
The 11th meeting of parties to the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), to which 112 nations are party, wrapped up Thursday in Geneva on a high note as Bulgaria, Slovakia, and South Africa announced that they have completed the destruction of a combined 9,582 bombs and 585,422 bomblets. South Africa is the only country that once possessed but gave up both nuclear weapons and cluster bombs.
“Countries that have joined the Convention on Cluster Munitions have repeatedly demonstrated their commitment to destroy their stockpiles, clear remnants, and oppose the weapon’s use,” said Human Rights Watch acting arms director Mary Wareham, who played a key role in the CCM’s success.
Senator Jack Reed is leading an aggressive probe into Elon Musk and SpaceX’s role in the American war industry. The investigation stems from an incident where SpaceX declined a request from the Ukrainian government to extend the range of Starlink for an attack on Russia. That incident has been widely misreported as Musk ordering SpaceX to deactivate Starlink to thwart the Ukrainian attack.
On Thursday, Senator Reed said his committee had launched an “aggressive probe” of Musk. “The committee is aggressively probing this issue from every angle,” he said. “Neither Elon Musk, nor any private citizen, can have the last word when it comes to U.S. national security.”
The investigation stems from a portion of a biography about Elon Musk written by Walter Isaacson. Initially, Isaacson reported that in September of 2022, Musk directed SpaceX to deactivate Starlink communications near the Crimean Peninsula to stop a Ukrainian attack on the Russian naval fleet that was underway.
However, Isaacson has since admitted his original account of the incident was “mischaracterized.” Musk had declined to extend Starlink’s range to Crimea after Kyiv made an emergency request. Isaacson said that the decision was consistent with previous messages SpaceX delivered to Ukraine about the range of Starlink.
Starlink is a product offered by SpaceX that allows users to connect to the internet by connecting to satellites in low orbit. The system was designed to provide internet for civilian uses. However, SpaceX does allow Kyiv to use the system to allow for communication with the Ukrainian military. After the Russian invasion of Kyiv, Musk provided Starlink to Ukraine free of charge.
Still, the media and politicians have used this incident to attack Musk. A letter issued by Senators Jeanne Shaheen, Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Duckworth suggests Musk deactivated Starlink at the behest of the Kremlin. “According to public reports, Mr. Isaacson claims that Mr. Musk – after “conversations with senior Russian officials… interfered with the operation of Starlink services because of his concerns about the impact of the Ukrainian military’s operational decision-making as Ukraine has been defending itself from an illegal and unprovoked Russian invasion.”
Webmaster addition: First of all, Russia's special military operation wasn't unprovoked. The roots of the conflict go back to the 2014 US-backed Maidan coup that drove the democratically elected anti-EU Yanukovich from power and installed the western-friendly Poroshenko in his place. That led to Crimea seceding from Ukraine and joining the Russian federation. Kiev then launched a campaign against the ethnic Russians in the Donbass which continued under Zelensky, triggering the Russian intervention.
Second, the US government needs to consider what would happen if Elon Musk decided to relocate all his various companies outside the United States. What would be the economic impact?
Military-industrial complex players big and small gathered in London this week, hawking everything from long-range missiles to gold-plated pistols to arms fair attendees—including representatives of horrific human rights violators—as weapon-makers and other merchants of the machinery of death reap record profits.
“War is good for business,” one defense executive attending the biennial Defense and Security Equipment International (DSEI) conference at ExCel London flat-out toldReuters. “We are extremely busy,” Michael Elmore, head of sales at the U.K.-based armored steelmaker MTL Advanced, told the media agency.
Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the West’s scramble to arm Ukrainian homeland defenders have been a bonanza for arms-makers.
“Ukraine is a very interesting combination of First and Second World War technologies and very modern technology,” Kuldar Vaarsi, CEO of the Estonian unmanned ground vehicle firm MILREM, told Reuters.
Webmaster addition: War is good for business ... if you are in the war business.
Russia said it thwarted a coordinated Ukrainian attack on Crimea early on Sunday, while drones also targeted Moscow, disrupting air traffic in the capital, and caused a fire at an oil depot in the southwest of the country.
Ukraine in recent days has launched a series of strikes on Russian military targets in occupied Crimea and the Russian Navy Black Sea Fleet's facilities, seeking to undermine Moscow's war efforts in the critical region.
Attacks deep inside Russia, far from the front lines, have also increased, with Moscow's mayor saying at least two drones were shot down in the capital region early on Sunday.
If Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s Wednesday address in Washington is any indication, any hopes that the thousands of freshly dug graves across Ukraine and Russia might be giving rise to introspection or regret that diplomatic overtures could have staved off the war, are bound to be dashed.
In a speech titled, “The Power and Purpose of American Diplomacy in a New Era,” Blinken set forth a vision of U.S. foreign policy that is both exhaustingly familiar and deeply concerning because it indicates, at the very least, that our chief diplomat has very little understanding of what traditional diplomacy actually means. The sense one takes away from the speech is that Blinken believes it to be analogous to edict, fiat, and ukase.
Blinken’s conception of diplomacy does accurately reflect one thing: the Biden administration’s policy of waging a two-front cold war against the two principal authoritarian powers, China and Russia, as laid out in the 2022 National Security Strategy. Whether, by ratcheting up tensions with the two continental Eurasian powers, the policy has succeeded in making America and its allies in Europe and Asia safer, remains an open question.
Blinken, addressing (probably some) future members of the American (and international) foreign policy policy elite at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, noted that the students today are facing a vastly transformed international landscape than when he launched his own career at the dawn of the post Cold War era in the early 1990s.
The promise of that era has now passed. According to Blinken:
…Decades of relative geopolitical stability have given way to an intensifying competition with authoritarian powers, revisionist powers…Beijing and Moscow are working together to make the world safe for autocracy through their “no limits partnership.”
But the extent of the calamity cannot simply be ascribed to climate change. Though the media coverage studiously obscures this point, Britain’s actions 12 years ago – when it trumpeted its humanitarian concern for Libya – are intimately tied to Derna’s current suffering.
The failing dams and faltering relief efforts, observers correctly point out, are the result of a power vacuum in Libya. There is no central authority capable of governing the country.
But there are reasons Libya is so ill-equipped to deal with a catastrophe. And the West is deeply implicated.
Avoiding mention of those reasons, as Western coverage is doing, leaves audiences with a false and dangerous impression: that something lacking in Libyans, or maybe Arabs and Africans, makes them inherently incapable of properly running their own affairs.
A Saudi-owned newspaper reported Sunday that the nation has told the Biden administration it is freezing US-brokered efforts to normalize relations with Israel because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hardline government is unwilling to make any concessions to the Palestinians.
An Israeli and an American official both said the report was false.
According to the report in the Elaph newspaper, supposedly citing officials in Netanyahu’s office, the US has informed Israel of the Saudi stance. It said that Israel was “confused” by the move, believing that the Saudis were prepared to move ahead with normalizing ties without linking it to the progress on the Palestinian issue.
Two Russian cosmonauts and an astronaut from the United States have docked with the International Space Station (ISS) after blasting off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan amid raging tensions between Moscow and Washington over the invasion of Ukraine.
Russia’s Roscosmos space agency said cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub and US NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara lifted off on Friday onboard the Soyuz MS-24 spacecraft.
The Tory-led UK government has revealed that it invited eight countries it considers to be human rights abusers to the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair at the ExCeL centre in London. Accordingly, people have been protesting – making their objections to these death dealers clear.
DSEI: protests continue
The Canary has been covering this year’s DSEI. As we previously reported:
It’s a huge arms fair that hosts over 2,800 companies profiting from death, destruction, and surveillance. DSEI happens every two years – and so do the protests to it. Stop The Arms Fair (STAF) has been organising resistance. So far, it’s held a peace walk, a workshop on removing militarisation from education, and a ‘policing and prisons’ day
Then, on Monday 11 September, protests took place outside BAE Systems – one of the most notorious arms companies on the planet:
The United States is “in regular contact at senior levels with Saudi Arabia about ensuring a stable and affordable supply of energy to global markets”, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan says.
The statement on Friday follows International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates announced that oil output cuts – which Saudi Arabia and Russia extended to the end of 2023 – will result in a substantial market deficit through the fourth quarter this year because of high demand.
Webmaster addition: Biden is desperate to get oil prices down before the 2024 election!
On his first trip to Cuba during his third term in office, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva called the embargo imposed by the United States on the island "illegal" and denounced the island's inclusion on the list of state sponsors of terrorism.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump included the island nation on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, and though the Biden administration has reversed other Trump-era measures, it has so far not removed Cuba from the list.
"Cuba has been an advocate of fairer global governance. And to this day it is the victim of an illegal economic embargo," Lula said in a speech opening the G77 Summit of developing nations in the capital, Havana. "Brazil is against any unilateral coercive measure. We reject Cuba's inclusion on the list of states sponsoring terrorism."
The comments were made just hours before Lula left for New York, where he will attend the United Nations General Assembly and have bilateral talks with Biden.
Earlier, Cuba expressed concerns over the label and Washington’s decades-old Cold War-era economic embargo against the island governed by the Communist Party of Cuba. The 27-member European Union, the country's top trade partner, has also repeatedly rejected trade embargo. Cuba and critics of the economic sanctions say the embargo prevents and hampers access to food, medicine and other critical development supplies.
Abdelrahim Hamdan Dagalo – brother of Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces (RSF) commander Mohamed Hamdan “Hemedti” Dagalo and his deputy – has had his assets frozen in the United States, while Abdul Rahman Juma, an RSF commander in West Darfur, was hit with a visa ban.
With that, the paramilitary force has lost hope of acquiring political legitimacy after the duo were sanctioned on September 6, according to analysts and activists.
Both were sanctioned over human rights abuses, specifically atrocities in Sudan’s West Darfur province. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Juma was sanctioned for ordering the June 15 assassination of West Darfur’s Governor Khamis Abdallah Abakar.
“The sanctions really are a blow to the personal brand of the Dagalo family,” said Kholood Kair, a Sudanese expert and founding director of Confluence Advisory.
More than a dozen rights organisations have signed a statement rebuking the Biden administration's decision to approve more than $200m in military aid to Egypt, arguing that the money will only embolden President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi amid an intensified crackdown on civil society.
Earlier this week, the US announced it was withholding $85m in aid to Egypt, which had been conditioned on the release of political prisoners. Instead of going to Cairo, the money would be redirected to Taiwan and Lebanon.
At the same time, it approved $235m in aid to the North African country, which rights groups and lawmakers have long been calling to be withheld.
The rights groups' statement, published on Thursday, said that the approval "sends the wrong message at the wrong time".
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday pledged more support on "national sovereignty, security, and development", as Beijing grapples with tensions in the Indo-Pacific.
During a visit to Beijing, Hun Manet also promised to improve law enforcement and security cooperation to crack down on cyber scams in Southeast Asia, activities that that often target Chinese nationals.
"Regardless of changes in the international and regional situations, China has always been Cambodia's most trustworthy friend and most steadfast supporter," Xi was quoted by Chinese state media as saying.
The Pentagon’s Central Command has ordered interviews of roughly two dozen more service members who were at the Kabul airport when suicide bombers attacked during US forces’ chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal, as criticism persists that the deadly assault could have been stopped.
The interviews, ordered by Gen. Erik Kurilla, head of US Central Command, were triggered in part by assertions by at least one service member injured in the blast who said he was never interviewed about it and that he might have been able to stop the attackers.
The interviews are meant to see if service members who were not included in the original investigation have new or different information.
The decision, according to officials, does not reopen the administration’s investigation into the deadly bombing and the withdrawal two years ago. But the additional interviews will likely be seized on by congressional critics, mostly Republican, as proof that the administration bungled the probe into the attack, in addition to mishandling the withdrawal.
Some families of those killed and injured have complained that the Pentagon hasn’t been transparent enough about the bombing that killed 170 Afghans and 13 US servicemen and women.
A $13.3 billion program to safeguard American interests in the Arctic has run aground on an old industrial challenge: cutting and shaping thick, hardened steel.
U.S. officials are racing to procure new polar icebreakers because one of only two that the Coast Guard now sails has reached the end of its life, and the one assigned to the Arctic is out of service for maintenance every winter. Delivery of the first new icebreaker has slipped to 2028 from 2024 as designers, engineers and welders grapple with something the U.S. hasn’t done in decades: reliably shape hardened steel that is more than an inch thick into a curved, reinforced ship’s hull.
The Coast Guard hasn’t launched a new heavy icebreaker since 1976. Out of practice, U.S. shipbuilders have had to relearn how to design and build the specialized vessel, say officials in the industry and the government.
The technical challenge of working with special steel has been compounded by an industrywide labor shortage and the coronavirus pandemic.
Receding sea ice in the Arctic due to climate change is, paradoxically, increasing the need for icebreakers and other vessels that can handle rough conditions in and around the Arctic Ocean, officials say. Russian vessel traffic in the northern reaches of the globe is rising, including liquefied natural gas bound for China—between Asia and Europe.
Army Gen. Mark Milley pushed back on claims from Republicans that the military is “woke” and as a result not prepared to take on modern threats, saying he’s “not even sure what that word truly means.”
“What I see is a military that’s exceptionally strong. It’s powerful; it’s ready. In fact, our readiness rates, the way we measure readiness, is better now than they’ve been in years,” Milley said in a CNN interview Sunday.
Republican politicians and candidates have blasted the Pentagon for so-called woke policies, pointing to efforts to recruit a diverse group of military service members and be inclusive to transgender soldiers.
Those claims have also headlined efforts to reduce military spending.
“We’re going to cut money that’s being spent on wokeism; we’re going to cut legacy programs; we’re going to cut a lot of waste,” Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said earlier this year.
The United States' highest-ranking military officer made a big statement on Ukraine. General Mark Milley, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, expressed his frustration over the slow progress on the battlefield. He accepted Russia's military might and said Ukraine faces a "very high bar." He added that the U.S. cannot just boost Ukraine's power by sprinkling "magic dust."
France24, Quartz, and the Wall Street Journal (paywall-free link) report that the EU abandoned its much-ballyhooed transition to electric cars, which was supposed to culminate with a total ban on gasoline cars in 2035.
The EU’s reversal allows “the sales of new cars with combustion engines that run on synthetic fuels,” which sounds very environmentally friendly. But synthetic fuels are similar to gasoline or diesel, so the decision allows internal combustion cars to continue being produced. While electric cars will still be produced and incentivized, there is no longer a 100% mandate by 2035.
The doctrine of peaceful coexistence was first formulated by Moscow in the wake of the 1918-1920 war against Soviet Russia.
It was presented to the Genoa Conference in April 1922.
The “unspoken” 1918-20 war against Russia (barely acknowledged by historians) was launched two months after the November 7, 1917 Revolution on January 12 1918.
It was an outright “NATO style” invasion consisting of the deployment of more than 200,000 troops of which 11,000 were from the US, 59,000 from the UK. 15,000 from France. Japan which was an Ally of Britain and America during World War I dispatched 70,000 troops.
The article below entitled Genoa Revisted: Russia and Coexistence was written by my late father Evgeny Chossudovsky in April 1972 (in commemoration of the Genoa 1922 Conference). It was published in Foreign Affairs.
At the height of the Cold War, the article was the object of a “constructive debate” in the corridors of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). According to the NYT:
Mr. Chossudovsky wants a United Nations Decade of Peaceful Coexistence, a new Treaty Organization for European Security and Cooperation which would embrace all Europe, and comprehensive bilateral and multilateral cooperation in everything from production and trade to protection of health and environment and “strengthening of common cultural values.” …
Skeptics, of course, can point out that Mr. Chossudovsky’s argument; has lots of holes in it, not least in his strained efforts to prove that peaceful coexistence has always been Soviet policy. Nevertheless, he has made such a refreshing and needed contribution to the East‐West dialogue that it would be neither gracious nor appropriate to answer him with traditional types of debating ploys.
Unquestionably, East‐West cooperation in all the fields he mentions is very desirable, and so is East‐West cooperation in other fields he doesn’t mention such as space. And he is pushing an open door when he laments the colossal burdens of the arms race. (Harry Schwarz, The Chossudovsky Plan, New York Times, March 20, 1972)
(This is Part 1 of a three-part series. For Part 2, please go here, and for Part 3, go here.)
Why Helms Perjured Himself
I wish in this essay to show how Richard Helms first lied to the Warren Commission about the CIA and Lee Harvey Oswald. I argue that his performance, and that of other CIA officials up to the present, constituted significant obstruction of justice with respect to one of this country’s most important unsolved murder cases.
Furthermore, we can deduce from the carefully contrived wording of Helms’s lies what the CIA most needed to hide: namely, that the CIA had recently launched a covert operation involving the name of Lee Harvey Oswald (and perhaps Oswald himself), only five weeks before President Kennedy was killed.
That operation—either in itself, or because it was somehow exploited by others—would appear to have become a supportive part of the assassination plot. It seems almost certain moreover that the “Oswald operation” became the focal point of the ensuing CIA cover-up, and of Helms’s perjury.
The US military occupation of the oil fields in north east Syria came under attack recently, and there were some who said it could foreshadow a US military withdrawal. However, the violence ceased, and the US supported Kurdish separatists are continuing to hide under the Pentagon’s wings.
The Obama created US-NATO attack on Syria for regime change began in 2011, but has failed. However, it was successful in destroying the country and preventing its recovery from an armed conflict utilizing terrorists supported by the US and its allies.
Neighboring Lebanon has been decimated, not by war, but by their political elite which have always been supported by the US, and the US has allowed a political stalemate to drag on without a President at the helm in Beirut.
Steven Sahiounie of MidEastDiscourse interviewed Scott Bennett, former US Army Psychological Operations Officer, and State Department Counterterrorism Analyst. His insight provides a rare glimpse into what is happening behind the scenes, and where the region is headed.