"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their Country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph." -- Thomas Paine December 23, 1776
On Monday, 26 September 2022 someone blew up the Nord Stream pipeline system, built at Germany’s request, to deliver Natural Gas from Russia to Germany. For a number of reasons, some of which I articulated in the article, “Britain’s Secret Diplomacy and the European Wars,” I thought that Great Britain was probably the mastermind and one of the perpetrators behind the attacks. Again, not any legitimate British government organization, but some deep state networks within the British military and structures. I expressed this view in the podcast with Tom Luongo, published five days after the attacks.
This week, Russia’s Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Defence revealed that Britain’s (then) PM Liz Truss sent a message to the US State Secretary Antony Blinken, saying “It’s done.”
The message was sent only one minute after the pipelines were destroyed. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova demanded an explanation from the British government. Not surprisingly, the allegations were rejected on both sides of the Atlantic, with the UK Ministry of Defence claiming that the Russians were “peddling false claims on an epic scale.” Of course they are: we all know that we in the west are the good guys and that the Russians are evil and far too unsophisticated for any such feat, so that should settle the issue. Or maybe not - Putin does hack into other nations elections and switch votes at will...
If you’re not so sure about the western narrative anymore, please continue reading.
The Israeli voting stations have closed, and the exit polls have come in. Although the exit polls are not final, they all seem to indicate a decisive win for Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing bloc, with a majority of either 61 or 62 seats out of 120.
Netanyahu is now poised to lead the most extreme and fundamentalist government in Israel’s history.
On October 27 twenty House Democrats sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressing concern over discriminatory restrictions on United States citizens traveling to the West Bank.
The letter, which was led by Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), also cautioned against the Biden administration allowing Israeli passports holders join the United States’ Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Under the VWP the citizens of some countries are allowed to stay in the U.S. for up to ninety days without a visa. Israel has been lobbying to join the program for years.
“It is incumbent upon Israel as a key U.S. ally and beneficiary of significant aid to treat U.S. citizens with dignity and respect regardless of race, religion and ethnicity, and it is especially pertinent at this time because Israel is currently being evaluated for entry into the United States Visa Waiver Program,” reads the letter.
The Atlantic Council is an American think tank founded in 1961 by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It represents a forum for political, business and intellectual international leaders. The council, through the documents it publishes, the ideas it promotes, the future leaders it develops and the communities it creates, “shapes policy decisions and strategies to create a freer, safer and more prosperous world.” The position of president and chief executive officer is held by Frederick Kemp, a former employee of the American newspaper The Wall Street Journal.
The Council is a member of the Atlantic Treaty Association, an international public organization designed to strengthen cooperation between the peoples of the countries of the Euro-Atlantic space. The main goal of the activity is to coordinate efforts to form a common understanding of security among NATO member countries and partners.
In 2021, Тhe Atlantic Council published the material “Biden and Belarus: a strategy for a new administration,” the authors of which gave recommendations to D. Biden on building relations with Belarus. They advocated strengthening the position of S. Tikhanovskaya, weakening support for A. Lukashenko, imposing sanctions against Belarusian officials and entrepreneurs, the annual allocation of $200 million to support civil society and the media in Belarus, as well as doubling the budget of the Belarusian service of Radio Liberty. Money for dislodge of the current authorities of Belarus, rocking public sentiment they never spared, but thanks to the timely adoption of measures by the military and political leadership of the Republic of Belarus, the West has not managed to achieve its goals.
It has now been a week since Rishi Sunak won the short leadership race to lead the Conservative Party and become Prime Minister. He becomes Britain’s 3rd Prime Minister in 7 weeks. So much for the British electoral system providing stability. At 42, he is the youngest Prime Minister since Lord Liverpool in 1812. He is the first Asian Prime Minister and the first Hindu.
There is an old lesson of warfare that says "never believe your own propaganda."
After the initial Russian strikes against Ukraine's power grids and infrastructure the general narrative was that Russian cruise missiles and drones were ineffective, inaccurate and that the country's utilities would be back up and running in no time. The message was reticent of previous propaganda out of Ukraine which requires constant theatrics of impending victory. As long as they act as if they are winning, billions in NATO dollars will continue to flow.
Russian tactics were decidedly restrained in the early months of the conflict, with the Kremlin mostly avoiding precision attacks on vital resources, including power, water and internet. This is a departure from traditional military doctrine, which the US followed when it invaded Iraq and decimated vast segments of their grid utilities at the onset of the war.
America's main battle tank, designed by Chrysler Defense (now General Dynamics Land Systems), has been in service for over forty years. The M1 Abrams is one of the world's most fearsome tanks, though it's becoming outdated and vulnerable on the modern battlefield.
Earlier this month, General Dynamics' unveiled "AbramsX," the next generation of main battle tanks that could one day replace the M1 Abrams, at the United States Army annual conference in Washington, D.C.
A demonstrator version of the AbramsX was on the show floor. The most notable upgrades for the new tank are weight reduction, fuel efficiency, artificial intelligence systems, and reduced crew size.
A left-wing civil rights group is asking the Supreme Court to review the felon disfranchisement provision of the Mississippi Constitution that permanently prevents certain felons from voting, claiming the law is rooted in racial animus.
The appeal is not expected to affect the approaching Nov. 8 elections.
The petition (pdf) in the case, Harness v. Watson, is expected to be docketed by the Supreme Court in the coming days. The respondent, Michael Watson, is Mississippi’s Republican secretary of state.
The petitioners, Roy Harness and Kamal Karriem, are black Mississippi residents. Harness was convicted of forgery in 1986. Karriem, a former Columbus city council member, was convicted of embezzlement in 2005. Both have completed their sentences.
According to a summary provided by the Mississippi Center for Justice, which is representing the men, Section 241 of the Constitution permanently blocks anyone from voting who was convicted of certain crimes that the original framers of the document believed were committed mostly by black people.
The state constitution bars those convicted of murder, rape, bribery, theft, arson, obtaining money or goods under false pretenses, perjury, forgery, embezzlement, or bigamy, from voting.
U.S. marshals detained Catherine Engelbrecht and Gregg Phillips after a hearing in federal court in Dallas, according to a court docket entry.
Court filings show U.S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt, the Reagan appointee overseeing a lawsuit against True the Vote, Engelbrecht, and Phillips, ordered the defendants jailed after they refused to share information, including all people who have had or still have possession of any information from Konnech computers.
Konnech is an election management software firm whose CEO was arrested in October for allegedly stealing poll worker data and hosting it on servers in China.
Konnech sued True the Vote prior to the arrest, alleging that the election integrity group and its founders gained unauthorized access to its computers and gained information from them.
When it comes to American audiences at least, an entire cultural pathology has grown up around World War II that overlooks its predecessor. This hyper-fixation on the more romanticized sequel does us an immense disservice today. Not only is it rooted in a questionable appeasement mythology, it neglects the very obvious fact that, without the Great War, the Second World War would have never happened.
The numerous Balkan Wars — set off by the terminal early 20th century decline of both the Hapsburg and Ottoman Empires in Eastern Europe and coupled with the development of hair trigger alliances enmeshed in globe-spanning colonial holdings — all but guaranteed that, should policymakers make a rash decision or error, a local war would quickly go global. Such a cascade of catastrophe would ensue in the summer of 1914, with a local dispute between Austria-Hungary and Serbia sending the post-Bismarck world order tumbling down.
Rampant escalation and fear of the rival powers’ motives touched off a spark that would cause the decline or outright collapse of every initially involved power, massive refugee flows, and eventually exacerbate a deadly influenza pandemic in the later years of the conflict. Even at the end of the war, regional conflicts would rage on, including the Russian Civil War, the Greco-Turkish War, the Irish War of Independence, and many others. One could even say that the first half of the 20th Century was one gigantic conflict with a comparative intermission between two major phases now known, perhaps incorrectly, as separate world wars.
A group of illegal migrants, previously removed from the U.S., have built a tent city on the Mexican border. On Monday, they stormed Border Patrol Agents on the US side of the border resulting in the agents firing non-lethal pepper balls – at the crowd. A total of three shots were fired.
The US Department of Homeland Security is pursuing a sprawling campaign against online 'disinformation' through close partnerships with social media companies, raising concerns about encroachments on free speech, according to a new report.
In a lengthy report on Monday citing internal documents that have emerged through leaks and court filings, The Intercept described what appears to be a growing focus within DHS on controlling online discourse.
Though the Biden administration earlier this year disbanded its controversial Disinformation Governance Board after furious backlash, the documents suggest that DHS has quietly maintained an intense interest in policing speech it deems false or dangerous.
The documents show that Facebook has a special online portal for DHS and other government officials to request content moderation, and that the federal department plans to target 'inaccurate information' on a wide array of topics.
Those hot-button topics include 'the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, racial justice, US withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the nature of US support to Ukraine,' according to a draft copy of DHS's Quadrennial Homeland Security Review cited in the report.
There are some still holding out hope that Elon Musk will implement freedom of speech on Twitter. However, I am not among them. To me, his first few days have shown that he is going to back down completely, and at this point, it’s possible Donald Trump won’t even be allowed back on.
The fact is, if he was going to do freedom of speech, he would have come in like a whirlwind and just done it. He could have very easily fired every employee at Twitter and brought in his own people. Twitter is not a complicated website. A team of skilled programmers could take over from the old staff and no one would really notice. Instead, like Donald Trump when he became president, Musk has decided to keep much of the staff.
As the astute author Hunter S. Thompson noted, “Whenthegoinggetsweird, theweirdturnpro.” Weird is indisputably the condition in Great Britain, where Liz Truss, an arguably empty and talentless prime minister, is out—and was, it seemed for a moment, very nearly replaced by her vacuous predecessor, Boris Johnson.
Weirdness, however, is not foreign to American politics. An indicator of just how weird Washington is becoming is the apparent interest in General (ret.) David Petraeus’s recent suggestion that Washington and its allies may want to intervene in the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev.
According to Petraeus, the military action he advocates would not be a NATO intervention, but “a multinational force led by the US and not as a NATO force.” In other words, a U.S.-led Multi-National Force on the Iraq model composed of conventional ground, air, and naval forces.
Petraeus does not explain why U.S. military action is needed. But it’s not hard to guess. The intervention is designed to rescue Ukrainian forces from defeat and presumably compel Moscow to negotiate on Washington’s terms, whatever those terms might be.
Vice President Kamala Harris and failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will reportedly join New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and Attorney General Letitia James in Manhattan on Thursday in a last-ditch effort to save the governor from defeat in the midterms next week.
The New York Times’ Nicholas Fandos reported Tuesday that Harris, who has not been a popular surrogate for candidates this cycle, and Clinton, would campaign with Hochul and James in Manhattan Thursday in an effort to try and move the needle in the governor’s reelection campaign.
This comes as national Democrats are starting to worry about Hochul’s election chances as her Republican opponent, Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin, has been riding a late surge. Late Monday night, a Trafalgar Group poll showed Zeldin slightly leading in the polls, 48.4 percent to 47.6 percent, after closing the gap over the last few weeks.
The State Department said in order to achieve its oversight goals, the US will bolster the ability of Ukraine and other regional countries “to account for and safeguard their arms and ammunition,” strengthen borders, and bolster security agencies to “deter, detect, and interdict illicit trafficking of certain advanced conventional weapons.”
Another aspect of the effort is in-person inspections of US weapons inside Ukraine that are being conducted by the US military. The Pentagon revealed on Monday that its personnel has begun conducting these inspections inside the country, marking the first official confirmation of a US military presence on the ground in Ukraine since Russia invaded on February 24.
Late last month, 25-year-old Indigenous leader Yermy Chocue was found dead near her home in Morales, in the Colombian department of Cauca. The young woman, a prominent human rights defender, had reportedly been approached and shot by armed men.
“Yermy’s dreams and hopes were thwarted by the violence that is consuming the country,” the Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca said in a statement.