"The world is his who can see through its pretension. See it to be a lie, and you have already dealt it its mortal blow." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Benny Gantz, a member of Israel’s war cabinet, threatened on Sunday that Israel will launch an assault on the southern Gaza city of Rafah if Hamas does not release the remaining Israeli hostages by Ramadan, which begins on March 10 this year.

“The world must know, and Hamas leaders must know — if by Ramadan our hostages are not home, the fighting will continue to the Rafah area,” Gantz told a gathering of Jewish American organizations in Jerusalem on Sunday.

Rafah has a pre-war population of 275,000 and is now packed with 1.5 million people as the city has become a final refuge for Palestinians who fled other areas of Gaza. Israeli airstrikes have been hitting Rafah, but Israel has yet to launch a full-scale invasion.

Tags: ISRAEL, PALESTINE, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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Israel's plans to restrict Palestinian Muslim worshippers access to al-Aqsa Mosque during the holy month of Ramadan is aimed at provoking the global Muslim community and prolonging Israel's military operations in Gaza, Palestinian political and religious figures have told Middle East Eye. 

A proposal put forward by Itamar Ben Gvir, Israel's far-right national security minister, to limit the entry of Palestinian citizens of Israel into the mosque was accepted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a meeting with senior officials on Sunday, according to a Haaretz report

The limitations will be based on criteria such as age and gender, the details of which are to be decided in the coming days. 

Tags: ISRAEL, PALESTINE, RELIGION/ATHEISM
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The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague began hearing submissions on Monday on the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands. 

Separate to the more well-publicised genocide case brought by South Africa on Israel's attack on the Gaza Strip, the UN's highest court will hear from 52 countries and three international organisations on the legal consequences of Israel’s decades-long occupation. The hearings will contribute to an advisory opinion, an ICJ instrument that has no binding force but carries significant legal and moral authority.  

The number of states participating in the oral proceedings is the highest in any case since the ICJ's establishment in 1945.

Israel has been occupying what is recognised under international law as Palestinian land since the 1967 war. East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza all fall under this category, and the separate legal systems, construction of settlements and acts of violence meted out against Palestinian residents are all key factors that will be considered in the hearings.

Tags: ISRAEL, PALESTINE, TORTURE/ WAR CRIMES, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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A visit from an Iranian general to the Shia militias in Iraq led to a pause in attacks on US forces, Reuters reported on Sunday, citing Iranian and Iraqi sources.

Brig. Gen. Esmail Qaani made the trip to Iraq on January 29, one day after three US troops were killed in a drone attack on a base in Jordan near the Syrian border. He warned that the death of the American soldiers would likely provoke a heavy American response and said the groups should lie low to avoid being targeted.

A day after the visit, Kataib Hezbollah, one of the most powerful Shia militias in Iraq, announced it was suspending attacks on US troops. In its statement, Kataib Hezbollah said Iran “repeatedly declared opposition to our escalation against the US forces in Iraq and Syria.”

Tags: IRAN, IRAQ, SYRIA
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The US Navy will test surface and underwater drone swarms next month in preparation for a future war with China. In the near term, American defense officials have warned that war with China over Taiwan could break out. The US is developing drone swarms in other domains for war in the Pacific. 

Adm. Sam Paparo, the head of the US Pacific Fleet, explained, “Beginning in March, we’ll execute Integrated Battle Problem 24.1.” He said it involves a “test and experiment” with naval drone swarms. 

The weapons being developed include a “large-diameter” unmanned submarine and “small uncrewed surface vessels that are functionally meant to be an interceptor.” The drones will be integrated with air and surface drones with AI for a potential war with China. 

“Drones may also be key to [Indo-Pacific Command’s] Joint Fires Network, a nascent battle-management system designed to find and deliver target data to forces much faster. The system will use AI and likely drones,” Paparo said at the AFCEA West conference. 

Tags: CHINA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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At the White House last week, President Biden claimed to have concerns about Israeli plans for a ground invasion of Rafah, the southern Gaza area where more than one million Palestinians have fled. In the process, he committed a gaffe that revealed his actual stance.

“Our military operation in Rafah,” Biden began, before correcting himself.  “Their — the major military operation in Rafah should not proceed without a credible plan... for ensuring the safety and support of more than one million people sheltering there. They need to be protected.”

Although unintentional, Biden was accurate to refer to an Israeli military operation in Gaza in the possessive form. Every Israeli atrocity in Gaza is committed with US support. Accordingly, within 24 hours, the White House made clear that despite Biden’s words of caution, only Israel’s mass murder campaign will remain protected.

Tags: ISRAEL, PALESTINE, TORTURE/ WAR CRIMES, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE
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The Grayzone has obtained a private letter authored by ADL director Jonathan Greenblatt threatening to weaponize the Nazi past of the BMG music company unless executives terminated a major deal with Roger Waters. BMG has publicly denied Israel lobby influence on its decision to nix Waters’ contract.

When the Berlin-based BMG music company terminated its business relationship with Roger Waters, the Pink Floyd co-founder claimed the decision was spurred by a concerted Israel lobby-directed campaign to financially retaliate against his outspoken support for Palestine. The Grayzone has obtained a threatening private letter sent by Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt to BMG executives which confirms the musician’s accusation.

“Given the fact that your parent company, Bertelsmann Group, has made laudable and necessary efforts to repair its Nazi past,” the ADL director warned in his June 16, 2023 letter, “it would be deeply unfortunate to have those efforts continue to be tarnished by such hurtful and injurious conduct.”

Tags: CURRENT EVENTS, ISRAEL, PALESTINE, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION, TORTURE/ WAR CRIMES, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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The US Navy's current conflict with Yemen's Ansarallah-led armed forces in the Red Sea is one of the most significant battles the US Navy has fought in decades, a US admiral said on 18 February.

"I think you'd have to go back to World War II where you have ships who are engaged in combat," Vice Adm. Brad Cooper told the CBS News' 60 Minutes program in an interview broadcast Sunday.

"When I say engaged in combat, where they're getting shot at, we're getting shot at, and we're shooting back," he continued.

Tags: MIDDLE EAST, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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Acquisition of territory by force, persecution, racial discrimination and apartheid, denial of self-determination – these are the crimes Israel has committed against the Palestinian people, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told the International Court of Justice this morning, in the Dutch administrative capital, The Hague, on the first day of Advisory Opinion hearings on the legality of Israel’s prolonged occupation of the Palestinian territories.

“For over a century, the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination has been denied and violated – their very existence negated,” al-Maliki told the court, flanked by Palestine’s 25-member delegation, many of them draped in keffiyehs.

“Palestine was not a land without a people,” al-Maliki added, the court’s fifteen justices listening closely.

Webmaster addition:  See ISRAEL & PALESTINE: THE MAPS TELL THE TRUE STORY

Tags: ISRAEL, PALESTINE
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A top Marine general worries about the U.S. military’s ability to maintain its munitions stockpiles while supporting wars in Ukraine and Israel as the services prepare for a more sophisticated conflict with China.

Lt. Gen. Karsten Heckl, head of Marine Corps Combat Development and Integration, spoke Wednesday at the U.S. Naval Institute and AFCEA International West Conference in San Diego.

Heckl referenced expensive weapons being used to defeat threats in such instances as Houthi missile strikes on watercraft in the Red Sea, Breaking Defense reported.

Tags: CHINA, ISRAEL, PALESTINE, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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Richard C. Longworth, in his Chicago Tribune op-ed “Is America Still the Indispensable Nation?” ponders whether America will remain the world’s indispensable nation much longer.

His concern is that for the first time in the half century of polling by the Chicago Council of Global Affairs, a majority of Republicans think the US should stay out of world affairs. Longworth adds it is reinforced by GOP leadership which is jeopardizing continued US funding of Ukraine’s war against Russia. The resulting US pullback from world dominance, Longworth frets, will produce “global anarchy, a power vacuum drawing in any number of nations, many of them nuclear-armed.”

It somehow escapes Longworth, a former Tribune foreign correspondent and current distinguished fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, that the world has largely moved on from subservience to US world dominance. Nearly half the world’s population is now in BRICS and SCO, the two non-aligned geo-political blocks that have largely neutralized US unipolar leadership. They include most nations outside of Europe and North America seeking distance from US hegemony.

Tags: CURRENT EVENTS
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The US is circulating its own Gaza-related UN Security Council resolution after threatening to veto one being drafted by Algeria that calls for a humanitarian ceasefire.

The new US version calls for the Security Council to express support for a “temporary ceasefire in Gaza as soon as practical, based on the formula of all hostages being released.”

The resolution essentially reaffirms the US position that it opposes a permanent ceasefire in Gaza and doesn’t want a temporary one without a hostage deal. But as things stand now, a hostage deal is far off as Qatar, which is mediating the talks, said the prospects of an agreement are “not very promising.”

The US resolution also warns Israel against launching an assault on Rafah under the current conditions. “The Security Council should underscore that such a major ground offensive should not proceed, under the current circumstances,” the resolution reads.

Tags: ISRAEL, PALESTINE, TORTURE/ WAR CRIMES, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE
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The EU on Monday announced a formal investigation into TikTok over alleged breaches of its obligations to protect minors online, under a landmark new law on policing digital content.

It is the second probe into a major online platform since Brussels introduced the Digital Services Act (DSA), after targeting tech billionaire Elon Musk's X in December.

Brussels is particularly concerned that the video-sharing app owned by China's ByteDance may not be doing enough to address negative impacts on young people.

A key worry is the so-called "rabbit hole" effect -- which occurs when users are fed related content based on an algorithm, in some cases leading to more dangerous content.

Tags: CORPORATE MEDIA, EUROPE
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Russian military personnel provided medical assistance to the residents of Avdeyevka, where a lot of elderly people still remain, one of the Russian servicemen said at a video distributed by the Russian Defense Ministry.

Tags: RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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Two “breaking news” items this week provided a timely opportunity for the United States and its media-intelligence apparatus to regain control of the narrative.

The claims about Russian space-based nuclear weapons unraveled to become a joke. Fortunately, the death of Western-sponsored dissident Alexei Navalny then occurred to enable Western media to go into a frenzy of anti-Russia headlines.

First up was the scaremongering story about Russia allegedly developing a space-based nuclear weapon. Initially, it was dramatically trailed as posing a serious national security threat to the United States. Despite the sensational reporting, the story quickly became a laughingstock. Even some U.S. lawmakers dismissed it as “bullshit” and a blatant attempt by the Biden White House and intelligence agencies to push Congress into passing a new mega military aid bill for Ukraine worth $61 billion.

We’ll get to the Navalny story in a moment. But let’s just first parse the orchestration of the alleged Russian space nukes.

Tags: COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE
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It turned out that the entreprise was a strategically-important facility which served the needs of the Ukrainian military. The destroyed plant reportedly produced about 5,000 drones per month, including Ukrainian UAVs of Furia, Leleka 100, RAM II UAV and other types.

No Russian drones were spotted in the region that night, so the fire was not a result of a Russian strike. The SBU of the Lviv region confirmed that the cause of the fire was not a missile attack. It was soon reported by military sources that the facility came under attack of pro-Russian saboteurs.

Local underground fighters entered the territory of the plant and set fire to the workshop, after pouring gasoline.

Tags: RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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The head of the DPR Denis Pushilin summed up the results of the last stage of the battle for Avdeevka, which was marked by the uncoordinated escape of the Ukrainian military from the city.

The head of the DPR claimed that the Armed Forces of Ukraine had committed many war crimes in Avdeevka, especially in recent weeks and days, when they were furiously treating the civilian population during their retreat.

Russian forces captured a lot of Ukrainian fighter. The number of Ukrainian prisoners is so high that there is no enough place in prisons for them. Abandoned corpses of Ukrainian servicemen are yet to be collected.

Tags: RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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On February 19, the Armed Forces of Ukraine supported by the NATO military attempted an attack in the Russian rear areas using British kamikaze UAV.

Russian FSB, units of the military commandant’s office and the Russian Guard intercepted a British kamikaze drone Banshee Jet 80 in the Novoazovsky district of the DPR.

The Russian military managed to intercept control of the UAV and land it in the fields far from the residential areas. After the controlled landing, the specialists defused the warhead, which included seven kilograms of explosive and destroyed the charge on the spot.

Tags: GREAT BRITAIN/ UK, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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Former US president Donald Trump plans to use the military to round up and terrorize Americans, failed US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton told CNN on Saturday. 

The Republican frontrunner would become a “dictator on day one,” Clinton insisted, listing several affronts to democracy the Republican frontrunner supposedly had in store for Americans.

“He wants to round up people because of the way they look. They may or may not be undocumented, it doesn’t matter to him. He wants to call out the army to do that,” she claimed. “He wants to use the Insurrection Act to militarize American law enforcement.”

Webmaster addition: If Trump were going to do all the awful things the Democrats claim, why didn't he do them in his first term? And why is Hillary all over the media these days?

Tags: COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION
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The West grossly overestimated Ukraine’s chances of battlefield progress against Russia last year, a senior NATO commander has told the Financial Times. His comments came after Kiev’s botched counteroffensive and the recent loss of the strategic city of Avdeevka.

In an interview published on Monday, Admiral Rob Bauer, who chairs the NATO Military Committee, admitted that Western powers had been “overly optimistic about the war in 2023.” He was apparently referring to Kiev’s ambitious plans to breach Russian defenses and reach the Crimean Peninsula, which failed to materialize.

Tags: NATO, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE
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It’s hard to tell if she’s blaming him or crediting him, but European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told a meeting of the Paris-based Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on February 13th that “[Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s attempt to blackmail our union has utterly failed. On the contrary, he really pushed the green transition.” 

The word “pushed” is telling – and projecting. Because that’s exactly what she’s been doing – evoking Putin to manipulate EU citizens into acceptance of a profitable system of greenwashed authoritarianism. Putin’s been a busy guy here in Europe lately. Just the other week, he was apparently pushing Europe’s farmers and their tractors onto highways.

Why does Queen Ursula always have to sound so shady? “Last year, in 2023, for the first time ever, we produced more electricity from wind than from gas,” she said. How many ways did her battle-hardened brigade of bureaucratic paper-cut Purple Hearts have to parse the data to come up with that bright spot? Because the truth is that, at 37% of the EU’s electrical power, renewables are still only just a half a percent more prevalent than fossil fuels at 36.5%, according to the EU’s own data – and that really hasn’t changed much over the past several years. 

Tags: CLIMATEGATE, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, ECONOMY, EUROPE, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA
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Washington and Kiev have violated articles of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) as Ukrainian forces have used illegal munitions on the battlefield, Russian Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov has claimed.

The head of Russia’s Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Protection Forces provided several examples of Kiev’s alleged use of banned chemical weapons and non-lethal chemical agents that he said were obtained from the US. 

Kirillov claimed that Ukraine used drones to drop US-made gas grenades on December 28, 2023 containing “CS” compound – a chemical classified as a riot-control tool that irritates the eyes and upper respiratory tract, and can cause skin burns, respiratory paralysis and cardiac arrest when used in high concentrations.

He said the delivery of such munitions by the US to Ukraine was a direct violation of the rules of the OPCW, which states that a country must “never, under any circumstances, transfer chemical weapons directly or indirectly to anyone.”

Webmaster addition:  But it was okay for the US Government to use that same gas on that church full of women and children in Waco, Texas!

Tags: RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WMD
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Nearly all member states of the European Union have warned the Israeli regime against going ahead with its planned ground invasion of the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, which is packed with Palestinian refugees.

The warning came in a joint statement issued by 26 of the bloc's foreign ministers at the end of their Monday meeting. Only Hungary did not join in.

The statement asked the regime "not to take military action in Rafah that would worsen an already catastrophic humanitarian situation and prevent the urgently needed provision of basic services and humanitarian assistance."

Tags: EUROPE, ISRAEL, PALESTINE, TORTURE/ WAR CRIMES, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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A court has ruled in favor of nationalizing a candy factory owned by former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko in Lipetsk, western Russia. The property belonging to confectionary company Roshen has been under investigation for tax evasion and fraud since 2015.

Poroshenko was elected president of Ukraine in June 2014, and oversaw Kiev’s military operation against Russian-speaking secessionists in Donbass. In 2019, he lost a re-election bid to the current president, Vladimir Zelensky. The former leader also faces charges of high treason at home over alleged secret coal dealings with representatives of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics during his time in office.  

He is currently a member of parliament and the leader of an opposition party called European Solidarity. 

Tags: POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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The extension of martial law and the military mobilization process in Ukraine are connected to the falling popularity rating of President Vladimir Zelensky and fears that he would not be re-elected to a second term if the election were allowed to be held as scheduled, Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Head Denis Pushilin said on air in a Rossiya-24 television broadcast.

"This is already the tenth extension of martial law. This particular extension is characterized by the internal political dynamics in the rest of Ukraine, because Zelensky's [five-year] term is now coming to an end, while [his approval] rating is not what is was at the beginning [of his presidency]," Pushilin said. "His approval rating has collapsed, especially due to a number of recent [mis]steps related to the sacking of Valery Zaluzhny [as commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces], among others. And, of course, there is a great deal of fear [among Kiev officials] that Zelensky simply cannot get re-elected, and so this extension of martial law is [seen as] sort of legitimizing the decision not to hold the upcoming [constitutionally mandated presidential] election."

Tags: POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION, RUSSIA/ UKRAINE /BELARUS /CRIMEA, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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Russian troops discovered foreign-made ammunition in the Ukrainian stronghold in Avdeyevka and a cache of US-and Czech-made 120-mm mortar shells in the nearby building, the Russian Defense Ministry said, adding that ready-to-eat meals (MREs) belonging to Canadian and Georgian mercenaries were discovered as well.

Previously, the Defense Ministry reported that the Ukrainian positions near the railway station were defended by the 3rd Assault Brigade, staffed with former "Azov" regiment (deemed terrorist and outlawed in Russia) militants.

Tags: SCIENCE/ HEALTH/ CLIMATE/ NATURE, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS
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Ursula von der Leyen has thrown her hat into the ring to seek another five-year term as the top official in the European Union, despite her first term being marred by the war in Ukraine, coronavirus authoritarianism, and widespread uprisings against her globalist green agenda.

During a meeting in Berlin with members of the federal executive board of the centrist Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Ursula von der Leyen told party leadership of her intentions to seek a second term as President of the European Commission, German broadcaster NTV reports.

The German politician will have to wait until after the European Parliament elections in June to officially file to stay on at the helm of the powerful executive branch of the EU. Following the elections, a candidate for the post will be put before the parliament for a vote by the parliamentary group that secured the most votes in the elections. According to current projections, the European People’s Party (EPP) Group to which von der Leyen belongs is expected to maintain its position as the largest bloc within the parliament.

While the EPP will almost assuredly back her nomination, it is not a foregone conclusion that von der Leyen gain enough votes from other groups within the parliament to secure a second term.

Tags: EUROPE, POLITICS/ ELECTIONS/ CORRUPTION
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