COULD USE SOME END-OF-THE-MONTH DONATIONS! THANKS!
Posted on: Feb 04, 2023
"Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear." -- Harry S. Truman
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky attacked the UN as an ineffective body unable to enforce its own principles. The Ukrainian leader called for Russia to lose its veto power on the Security Council (UNSC).
Speaking at a special session of the UNSC – the UN’s most powerful body – Zelensky said the organization had failed to uphold its values. “Ukrainian soldiers now are doing at the expense of their blood what the UN Security Council should do by its voting,” he argued. “They’re stopping aggression and upholding the principles of the UN Charter.”
He went on to call for Russia to be punished for invading Ukraine by removing Moscow’s veto power at the UNSC. “Humankind no longer pins its hopes on the UN when it comes to the defense of the sovereign border of nations.” Zelensky continued, “We should not wait for the aggression to be over. We need to act now. Our aspiration for peace should drive the reform.”
The Ukrainian leader added that removing Russia’s veto power was a “necessary step..because all efforts are vetoed by the aggressor.” The US, UK, France, China, and Russia are permanent members of the UNSC and can veto any resolution that comes to the floor of the body.
The Ukrainian Main Directorate of Intelligence (HUR) claims a sabotage attack was carried out on a key Russian airbase just miles from Moscow. The HUR has not provided evidence any Russian planes were damaged or that the covert operation happened.
Anton Gerashchenko, an advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, posted details about the alleged covert bombing on Twitter. “Unidentified saboteurs blew up two airplanes and a helicopter in Moscow region on 18th September – Ukrainian Defense Intelligence. The sabotage reportedly took place at the Chkalovsky Air Base, where government planes, “doomsday” planes and reconnaissance aircraft are based,” he wrote. “Unidentified persons placed explosives on a closely guarded airfield and blew up AN-148 and IL-20 aircraft (both belonging to the 354th Special Operations Aviation Regiment), as well as a MI-28N helicopter, which had previously been actively engaged in shooting down attack drones.”
Ukrainska Pravda reported the HUR believes the damage to Russian aircraft will take time to repair. “The damage caused to the planes makes their rapid restoration improbable. A tail part of the helicopter was damaged by the explosion. Another AN-148 parked close to other ones was slightly damaged,” the HUR said.
Ukrainian officials and intelligence provided satellite photographs that show Chkalovsky Air Base and the aircraft, but the satellite photos allegedly proving that the bombing took place are blurry and do not confirm the HUR assertions.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi used his time in front of the UN General Assembly to request President Joe Biden commit to a return to the 2015 nuclear deal or abandon the agreement. The Iranian leader stressed that Tehran believes Washington’s control over the global economy is faltering.
Speaking in New York on Tuesday, Raisi urged Biden to show he would like to return to the Iran nuclear deal – or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the agreement’s official name. The US should “demonstrate in a verifiable fashion” that it wants to return to the 2015 nuclear deal, he said. Adding, Washington must choose a path, “either JCPOA or not.”
Raisi explained Iran was in full compliance with the agreement when then-President Donald Trump exited the deal in 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Tehran that were lifted under the JCPOA. The UN’s nuclear watchdog – the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) – confirmed that Iran was fully complying with the terms of the JCPOA.
After Trump initiated an economic war on Tehran aimed at destroying the Iranian economy, the Islamic Republic started to walk back its commitments to the JCPOA, including caps on enrichment and inspections.
Washington imposed sanctions on four entities and seven people in Russia, China, and Turkey over their alleged assistance with Tehran’s drone program which the US says has significantly benefited Russia in its war with Ukraine. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has denounced the accusations that Tehran has been arming Moscow since the Kremlin launched its invasion last year.
The sanctions announced by the Treasury Department on Tuesday target the Iranian drone company Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company – also known as HESA – which was hit with sanctions in 2008, along with its managing executives. Additionally, a Chinese tech company, two Turkish money exchangers, and a group of Russian parts manufacturing companies were hit with sanctions.
“Iran’s continued, deliberate proliferation of its UAVs enables Russia, its proxies in the Middle East, and other destabilizing actors to undermine global stability,” said Brian E. Nelson, the Treasury’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.
State Department spokesman Matthew Miller further declared that Washington will “continue to use every tool at our disposal to disrupt these efforts and will work with Allies and partners to hold Iran accountable for its actions.”
However, while meeting with media executives on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Raisi explained “[Iran] is against the war in Ukraine” and reiterated Tehran’s offer to mediate peace talks between the two sides. He emphasized that his nation’s strong ties with Russia includes defense cooperation but insisted there have been no weapons transferred since Ukraine was invaded last February.
“If they have a document that Iran gave weapons or drones to the Russians after the war,” then they should produce it, Raisi said. Moscow has officially denied that Iran’s drones are being used by Russian forces against Ukraine. In June, US intelligence officials accused Tehran of assisting Moscow in building a drone manufacturing plant that may be operational next year.
US President Joe Biden’s speech before the General Assembly on September 19 spent surprisingly little time on Russia and the war in Ukraine and, in many ways, hit many of the right notes with its praise of “Sovereignty, territorial integrity, human rights . . . the core tenets of the U.N. Charter, the pillars of peaceful relations among nations. . ..” But America’s past performance on these very issues weaken the persuasiveness and sincerity of the appeal.
The opening remarks of Biden’s speech demonstrated America’s tone deafness to the demands of the global majority and the rising nonaligned multipolar movement. His comment that “As president of the United States, I understand the duty my country has to lead in this critical moment” represents a continued insistence on US hegemony.
Biden’s criticism of Russia’s “illegal war of conquest,” its “aggression” and his appeal to “sovereignty” and “a world governed by basic rules that apply equally to all nations” is justified. But he said it as if he was unaware of, and the assembled audience did not remember, Kosovo, Iraq, Libya, Grenada and Panama. He said it as if the US did not conduct 72 regime changes during the Cold War with Russia, as Lindsey O’Rourke, Associate Professor of Political Science at Boston College, has documented. And as if those regime changes had not continued unabated since, including, most recently, the US encouragement of the coup in Pakistan that removed Prime Minister Imran Khan from office for his “aggressively neutral position” on the war in Ukraine. He said it as if the US was not starving Cuba and unilaterally sanctioning a host of countries in contravention of those basic laws.
The US drills were carried out last week and included an amphibious ready group led by the USS America, an amphibious assault ship that can carry certain types of aircraft, including F-35 fighter jets. According to The South China Morning Post, the drills marked the largest US show of force in the Yellow Sea in 10 years.
Ethnic Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh say they have agreed to a Russian proposal for a ceasefire, a day after Azerbaijan began an offensive to take control of the contested enclave and demanded a full surrender.
The agreement for a ceasefire starting at 1pm local time [09:00 GMT] on Wednesday was also confirmed by Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Defence. The office of President Ilham Aliyev separately confirmed talks with Armenian separatists about “reintegration” with Azerbaijan on Thursday in the town of Yevlkah.
As leading American politicians, generals, and pundits continue advocating for open-ended support to Kyiv in their war against Russia, a sober, accurate analysis of Ukraine's nearly completed summer offensive reveals that the heroic sacrifice Ukraine continues to make is producing little to no meaningful progress toward the objective of evicting Russia from Ukraine's territory.
Washington should instead employ a necessary course correction and form a new policy, based on the harsh, ground-truth combat realities in Ukraine. Revising the objectives would give Washington and Kyiv a chance to preserve Ukrainian lives and American interests.
Washington's current policies do neither.
Despite great hopes for a rapid success, Ukraine's months-in-the-making offensive has sputtered from the outset. That shouldn't have surprised anyone in the White House. On April 5, two months before the start of the offensive, I wrote that "Zelensky's troops—with little to no air power and a dearth in artillery ammunition—could suffer egregious casualties while gaining little."
A delegation of Australian Members of Parliament spoke out Wednesday evening after meeting with Biden admin officials at the Department of Justice demanding the release of Australian citizen and Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange.
The delegation included five different political parties as well as Assange's brother Gabriel Shipton.
Senator Peter Whish-Wilson (Green Party) spoke first, describing that "Australia and the US are the closest of friends and the closest of allies, and of course that kind of relationship should be built on mutual trust and mutual respect."
"It was a good start that we had a meeting today with the Department of Justice as a cross-party Australian delegation."
Australian MP Tony Zappia (Labor Party) invoked the Statue of Liberty and explained that "Julian Assange, an Australian citizen, has been effectively deprived of his liberty for the last 11 years."
"We're here to speak to the US government and to make it clear that the people of Australia believe that Julian Assange has been punished enough, that his detention should come to an end, that the charges against him should be dropped."
Historians have branded a recently released children’s history book as an attempt to “brainwash” youngsters over dubious claims that England’s famed Stonehenge monument was built when Britain was a “black country”.
Nigerian-born British author Atinuke’s new illustrated children’s book, titled Brilliant Black British History, has asserted that “Britain was a black country for more than 7,000 years before white people came, and during that time the most famous British monument was built, Stonehenge.”
The book goes on to claim that “Britain has been a mostly white country for a lot less time than it has been a mostly black country,” according to The Telegraph.
Atinuke’s book, which is aimed at children seven and above, presents a supposed chronological history of the existence of black people in the country, starting with the ‘Cheddar Man’ — the oldest discovered human remains found in the UK dating back around 10,000 years ago. The book claims the pre-historic human had skin “as dark as can be”.
While some analysis of Cheddar Man’s DNA indicated that he may have had dark skin and blue eyes, other scientists, including geneticist Susan Walsh at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, said that genetic modelling is not advanced to make a firm determination of his skin colour.
According to recent findings from the University of Porto in Portugal claimed that the people who inhabited Britain at the time of Stonehenge’s construction, approximately 5,000 years ago, likely had pale skin similar to modern-day Britons.
Australia’s Fair Work Commission is set to decide on Friday whether to halt the strikes at Chevron’s two LNG export facilities in Australia after the latest talks between the U.S. supermajor and trade unions failed on Wednesday.
“The ongoing lack of agreement reinforces our view that there is no reasonable prospect of agreement between the parties,” a spokesperson for Chevron told Reuters today.
The workers have stepped up their industrial action that began earlier last week, and plan further escalations in the coming weeks.
After the latest negotiations between the trade unions and the U.S. company failed to resolve the labor dispute, the Fair Work Commission, the labor market regulator, will meet on September 22 to hear the dispute after Chevron reached out to it in an effort to force the workers to settle.
The supermajor is seeking to get a so-called “intractable bargaining” declaration from the Fair Work Commission, meaning the FWC could force workers to agree to terms proposed by Chevron.
About three weeks after Shell, Europe's largest oil company, quietly shelved the world's largest corporate plan to develop carbon offsets, the world's number four iron ore producer, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd., has decided to end purchases of voluntary carbon offsets. This comes as at least one major study has revealed carbon offsets are prone to 'greenwashing' and most credits don't actually benefit the climate.
Billionaire Andrew Forrest's Fortescue Metals produced about 2.55 million tons of scope 1 and 2 carbon dioxide emissions in the year leading up to June 30. Bloomberg said the company has implemented a new policy to halt purchases of carbon offset credits from the current fiscal year.
"We are the only heavy emitter in the world to stop purchasing voluntary offsets," Dino Otranto, chief executive officer of Fortescue's metals business, said in a statement.
The move by Fortescue comes after Shell laid out an updated strategy for the company that included cutting costs and doubling down on profit centers (oil and gas) - which notably shelved the world's largest corporate plan to develop carbon offsets.
According to Bloomberg Green's investigations, many offset programs don't deliver the promised environmental benefits.
The European Right is calling out Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni for what they call a betrayal and U-turn on migration at this key moment that the southern Italian island of Lampedusa is being overwhelmed with well over 6,000 migrants, the bulk of which flooded the tiny outpost on a single day last week.
For example, Matteo Salvini and France's Marine Le Pen, who leads the National Rally’s parliamentary faction, have blasted Meloni for her handling of the crisis, or rather for being missing in action at this pivotal moment.
"(There is) trouble, trouble for those leaders who don’t realize there are signs of alarm and danger from the massive arrival of migrants on Lampedusa," Le Pen said at a rally this week. "An island of 6,000 people, where more than 6,000 migrants arrived in a single day — trouble for the population in which the leaders don’t take action immediately to face this giant challenge."
The AP called it a direct "swipe" at Meloni, even though she wasn't mentioned by name. Le Pen went so far as to say these same leaders "justify their cowardice by claiming there is no alternative."
Syria is clearly on the verge of collapse in terms of the economy and humanitarian situation.
The country's southern province of al-Suwayda', whose population primarily comes from the Druze minority, is currently witnessing protests on an unprecedented scale. While the province has previously seen protests motivated primarily by the country's deteriorating economic and livelihood situation, these protests are now far more widespread in the province and larger in scale.
There has also been a definite paradigm shift in these protests: the main initial demands to improve the economy and livelihood situation were endorsed by the Druze community's three leading religious authorities in Syria. Calls for the government to resign, for the departure of President Bashar al-Assad and a political transition are now stronger and more prevalent. In multiple localities in the province, which has formally been under government control since the start of the unrest and civil war in 2011, demonstrators have closed the Ba'ath Party headquarters and removed portraits of Assad and his father, Hafez al-Assad.
While these protests are in themselves remarkable for the province in terms of the numbers participating, their persistence and how open the calls for political change are, they do raise the question about whether they constitute the potential for a real shift in Syria's "status quo" since spring 2020. However much one might sympathise with the protests, they are probably unlikely to shift the situation in a significant way. The protestors, although immensely courageous, are too few, and have little leverage.
It will take ages to unpack the silos of information inbuilt in the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok last week, coupled with the – armored - train-keeps-a-rollin’ conducted by North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un straddling every nook and cranny of Primorsky Krai.
The key themes all reflect the four main vectors of the New Great Game as it’s being played across the Global South: energy and energy resources; manufacturing and labor; market and trade rules; and logistics. But they go way beyond – exploring the subtle nuances of the current civilizational war.
Key statements by Russian President Vladimir Putin in his address to delegates at the Eastern Economic Forum:
▪️ The global economy continues to change, primarily because the West is tearing down the system of financial relations;
▪️ Amid the destruction of the financial system by the West, the list of countries that are ready to cooperate not based on Western conventions, but for all humanity, is expanding;
▪️ The dynamics of investment in the Far East is three times faster than for all of Russia in its entirety;
As Hurricane Nigel churns in the Atlantic Ocean, weather forecasters are closely watching the possibility of a subtropical depression or storm forming off the Southeast coast later this week and could swamp the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast by the weekend.
While NYC Mayor Eric Adams insists that the migrant crisis will "destroy New York City," and hurt 'low-income New Yorkers' because of the 'financial tsunami,' it seems the city is somehow able to rationalize launching a reparations task force, and removing statues of George Washington.
These are among various measures the city council discussed on Tuesday during a public hearing on a measure to remove works of art on city property that "depict a person who owned enslaved persons or directly benefited economically from slavery, or who participated in systemic crimes against indigenous peoples or other crimes against humanity," Fox News reports.
[We assume this includes all Islamic art, since Muhammad had 14 concubines?]
The removals would include statues of America's first president, George Washington, Dutch governor and New York settler Peter Stuyvesant, and Christopher Columbus.
If the Public Design Commission (PDC) determined not to remove the work of art, then it would be required to include a plan to install an "explanatory plaque" next to the work of art. The proposal would also require PDC to consult with the Department of Education to install plaques on sidewalks or other public space adjacent to schools named after a person that fits the criteria. -Fox News
Assistant Secretary of the US Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology Doug Bush told Defense News in an interview on Monday that the service's Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) aims to be fielded at the end of the year, contingent on a successful retest after missing a four-year-old target to deploy by the government's fiscal year that ends Sept. 30.
"We still have a path with a follow-up test to get to a fielded capability by the end of calendar 2023," Bush said.
He continued, "It is just what it is, I mean, a fact of life, we're not going to field something until we have some confidence that if soldiers are asked to go use it in combat that it's going to work and be safe for them to use."
Bush noted, "We're still finding problems" and "it's actually good we're finding these" problems rather than later.
The Austro-libertarian movement has the better ideas. They continue to be discussed, elaborated, and intellectually defended. But how can the right ideas be implemented? What good is it to be right if the reality is left-wing? In fact, most of the population, or at least public opinion, seems to be drifting further and further to the left, with cancel culture, climate hysteria, a sprawling welfare state and ever higher taxes and levies.
The right ideas and theories are there, but they have not yet been put successful in practice. How can this be changed? Of course, ideas are important, they must also be disseminated, from below, from the grassroots up. It's an arduous process. And there has been undeniable progress in recent years. Nevertheless, the left-wing zeitgeist is rolling over the freedoms of citizens almost unhindered; most shockingly during the Covid crisis. The left tries to paint anyone who stands in the zeitgeist´s way as an extremist or even a Nazi.
Against this background, what can a successful strategy look like? Murray Rothbard addressed this question in an article in the Rothbard-Rockwell Report entitled Right-Wing Populism: A Strategy for the Paleo Movement. His contribution is groundbreaking and forward-looking. He anticipates the successes of Donald Trump in the United States and, more recently, of Javier Milei in Argentina.
Javier Milei is making a splash on all sides, because on August 13, 2023, he won the primaries for the presidency in Argentina. In the German media, he is described as ultra-right and ultra-libertarian. Recently, the Financial Times dealt with the self-confessed anarcho-capitalist in a column, in which the author insinuated that the libertarian Milei would follow the strategy of right-wing populism designed by Murray Rothbard in 1992. This gives rise to the question if that claim is true and what exactly is this right-wing populism?
Update(1336ET): The controversial American transgender spokesperson for Ukraine's Territorial Defense Forces Sarah Ashton-Cirillo (born Michael Cirillo) has been suspended indefinitely by the Ukrainian military, also pending an investigation. According to an official Ukrainian military statement, Ashton-Cirillo's recent statements regarding "hunting down" dissidents and "propagandists" were not approved...
The Biden administration's Department of Health and Human Services announced on Wednesday that it has officially banned the Wuhan Institute of Virology from receiving US funding for a decade, based on mounting evidence that it was ground zero for the Covid-19 pandemic.
On Tuesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra sent a letter to WIV Director Genera, Dr. Yanyi Wang, to inform her that the lab - which Dr. Anthony Fauci offshored risky gain-of-function research to, would no longer be funded by US grants until July 16, 2033, theNY Post reports.
The letter notes that attempts had been made to contact the lab via fax, email and mail about HHS’s decision to suspend funding in July, but no WIV officials had contested the designation or even responded to the agency.
In that earlier missive, the NIH said it found the Wuhan Institute of Virology had “conducted an experiment yielding a level of viral activity which was greater than permitted under the terms of the grant,” which was for the study of bat coronaviruses.
Other requests for the Chinese research institution’s lab findings had also been ignored after NIH made requests for them on Nov. 5, 2021, and Jan. 6, 2022. -NY Post
A court in Alberta, Canada, sentenced Pastor Artur Pawlowski on Monday to 60 days in prison for a speech to Freedom Convoy truckers in February 2022 in which he supported their protests against repressive lockdown, vaccine, and other mandates related to the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.
Pawlowski, who first rose to prominence for expelling Canadian police from his church for trying to shut down an Easter service in 2021, faced multiple charges, including “mischief,” a crime in Canada, and violating the Critical Infrastructure Defense Act (CIDA). The latter charge suggested that Pawlowski’s speaking to protesters on the Alberta-Montana border was an attack on the province’s road infrastructure, as he encouraged them to continue an ongoing blockade demanding the lifting of coronavirus-related mandates. Prosecutors were demanding up to ten months in prison for the pastor on the grounds that he has publicly and repeatedly denied having any remorse for his vocal opposition to lockdowns.
“I’m not ashamed of what I did. If I had a chance to do it again, I would do it again, gladly,” Pawlowski told a crowd of supporters after his conviction on Monday.
A hidden disadvantage of our ruling class within the US/NATO imperialist sphere is that frequently, these elites need to scramble in response to developments they haven’t foreseen, and whose consequential outcomes they have limited control over. When the Democratic Party and its partnered intelligence agencies used the DNC leaks to construct a narrative about “Russian hacking,” they hadn’t planned the inciting incident; they were reacting to it. And their attempt to turn the leak in their favor by pointing to it as “evidence” of a Russian plot against America wasn’t ultimately effective. When somebody decides to lie strategically, they then take on the risk of that lie getting exposed, and of their ability to control situations becoming limited due to their credibility being ruined. That’s the backfiring effect which the anti-WikiLeaks, anti-Assange, and anti-Russian psyops have had on our ruling institutions.
These psyops have worked to the imperial hegemon’s detriment partly because the empire has tried to maintain another psyop alongside these ones: the Syria psyop. Which became too much for the narrative managers to handle; when this psyop got exposed, it made all the other deceptions apparent.
As we all know, the U.S. already has imposed sanctions on Nicaragua, but they haven’t yet brought about the kind of hunger and poverty and suffering that some U.S. policymakers think is necessary to overthrow the popular Nicaraguan government. So there is a new sanctions bill co-sponsored by Marco Rubio and Tim Kaine that will try to further depress the Nicaraguan economy, increase unemployment, decrease revenue for the government’s popular programs so the government will be less popular.
The stated goal is the overthrow of the Nicaraguan government and a “free and fair election” to replace Daniel Ortega. Another target is the repeal of the foreign agents law, a law in Nicaragua that prohibits foreign governments from funding its elections and requires the registration of lobbying activities on behalf of foreign governments. It’s very similar to U.S. laws, but the bill’s authors demand that foreign governments be allowed to underwrite political parties in Nicaragua’s elections.
That’s why they call it the ‘sovereignty bill’, because all of the sanctions bills are ironically named. The foreign government they’re referring to, of course, that should be allowed to meddle in Nicaragua’s elections is the U.S. government.
Iran has invited Saudi Arabia to join the Islamic Republic in a proposed initiative for the global registration of the “intangible cultural heritage” of Iftar, the fast-breaking evening meal of Muslims in the holy month of Ramadan.
The invitation was extended by Ali Darabi, the deputy minister of Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts of Iran, during a meeting with Saudi assistant minister of Culture, Rakan bin Ibrahim Al-Touq, in Riyadh on Thursday.
During the meeting, both sides called for efforts to expand cultural and tourism relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Al-Touq, in turn, extended a warm welcome for Iran’s participation in the 45th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee being held in Riyadh on September 10-25.
He also extended an invitation to Iran to participate in an international tourism exhibition, scheduled to be held in Jeddah in 2025.