Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Seeing The Difference

Out of Sight,

The US seems to be committed to ongoing illegal occupation of about 1/3 of Syria, similar in size to Croatia or Louisiana. With oil. Did Congress declare war? Whose war is this? Is the military-industrial-spy-complex actually "the government"? 

Eleni sent this:
Operation “Timber Sycamore”, initiated by President Barack Obama was privatized a little before the election of President Donald Trump. It is now coordinated by the investment fund KKR (established by Henry Kravis and whose military activities are led by the former head of the CIA, General David Petraeus).
“Timber Sycamore” is the most important arms trafficking operation in History. It involves at least 17 governments. The transfer of weapons, meant for jihadist organizations, is carried out by Silk Way Airlines, a Azerba├»djan public company of cargo planes.
In the week 27 November - 2 December 2018, eight of this company’s cargo planes landed at Aden (Yemen), Erbil and Bagdad (Iraq), Beirut (Lebanon), Djibouti (Djibouti), Kabul and Bagram (Afghanistan) and Tripoli (Libya).

And this:
Syria will adopt a new rule of engagement with Israel now that Russia has taken a tougher and clearer stance on the conflict between Israel and the “Axis of the Resistance”. Henceforth, Damascus will be responding to any Israeli strike. If it damages a specific military target it will reply with a strike against a similar objective in Israel. Decision makers in Damascus said “Syria will not hesitate to hit an Israeli airport if Damascus airport is targeted and hit by Israel. This will be with the consent of the Russian military based in the Levant”.
This Syrian political decision is based on a clear position taken by Russia in Syria following the downing of its aircraft on September 18 this year.

And this, too, explaining why puppet Poroschenko ordered the Ukrainain Navy to send military vessels across the Kerch Strait without notifying Russian forces.:
In 1997, Ukraine and Russia concluded a Treaty of Friendship which entered into force in 1999. This document was supposed to be automatically renewed every 10 years unless it was denounced by one party or the other.
In October 2018, Ukraine decided to denounce this treaty. Then it organized the incident at Kertch. Furthermore, President Petro Poroshenko gave his administration the task of listing all the agreements concluded with Russia and identifying those that he should denounce.
One of the provisions of the Treaty of Friendship and its extension in 2003 provide that the Sea of Azov falls within the territorial waters of Russia and Ukraine. As such, warships cannot enter these waters without the authorization of both states. The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 does not apply in this case.
Once the treaty and its extension is repealed, the Azov Sea will be governed by international law, with the Ukrainian and Russian territorial waters as well as an internationalized part. As a consequence, Nato ships will no longer need Russia’s consent to enter.
This explains why NATO is involved in the preparation of the incident at Kertch.

There is no disagreement between Republicans and Democrats on the absolute need to feed the war machine more, at any cost. Again, thanks Eleni.
To pay for all this, social services are to be gutted. “Mandatory entitlement programs drive spending growth,” the report complains, demanding that Congress address these programs, which include Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. It warns that “such adjustments will undoubtedly be quite painful.”
And finally, all of society must be mobilized behind the war effort. A “whole-of-nation” approach must be adopted, including “trade policy; science, technology, engineering, and math education.” Everything from private corporations to academic institutions must be brought to bear.
In listing the various challenges to the United States fighting and winning a war against Russia or China, none of the distinguished members of the committee arrived at the seemingly obvious conclusion: that maybe the United States should not fight such a war.


Trump’s foreign and military policy is indistinguishable from the policy of Bush father and son, Clinton husband and wife, Cheney, Obama, and the rest of the neoconservative/neoliberal clown posse who run this country. No kerfuffle is too trivial for the US not to intervene, no hamlet too remote to send the troops and hardware. The only requirements are that the intervention projects power—Washington-speak for forcing somebody to do what they don’t want to do—and funnels money to the connected...
If hubris and stupidity don’t fell the Empire, insolvency will. France’s revolt can spread like a California wildfire. The dirty secret of the welfare state is that somebody has to pay for it. France has the highest tax burden in the developed world, but there’s a long list right behind where it is almost as onerous. Especially galling is the largess bestowed on immigrants The horror: taxpayers might get the idea that they—not the state and its wards—own their own lives. Around the globe, the French revolt could inspire those stuck with the tab to do something more drastic than vote for candidates who pledge to cut tax rates a percentage point or two.
Crashing stock markets and a global recession, or worse, would expand the ranks of the Gilets Jaunes. Crashing bond markets would drive up interest rates for profligate governments and tighten the noose, just as they’re faced with aging populations, unfunded liabilities, shrinking economies, and demonstrations and riots. Any sympathy for the ruling class rather than its victims would be woefully misplaced.

General Michael Flynn was set up and framed and forced to plead guilty, as he did not have funds to defend himself against Robert Mueller and the FBI.
Flynn’s attorney’s had noted in their memorandum to the courts that the documents revealed that FBI officials made the decision not to provide Flynn with his Miranda Rights, which would’ve have warned him of penalties for making false statements.  “The agents did not provide Gen. Flynn with a warning of the penalties for making a false statement under 18 U.S.C. 1001 before, during, or after the interview,” the Flynn memo says. According to the 302, before the interview, McCabe and other FBI officials “decided the agents would not warn Flynn that it was a crime to lie during an FBI interview because they wanted Flynn to be relaxed, and they were concerned that giving the warnings might adversely affect the rapport.” ... In the redacted 302 report Strzok and Pientka said they “both had the impression at the time that Flynn was not lying or did not think he was lying.” Information that Flynn was not lying was first published and reported by SaraACarter.com. ... In the report, the two agents describe Flynn as being very open and noted said Flynn “clearly saw the FBI agents as allies.” Flynn is described as discussing a variety of  “subjects.”

The Justice Department's internal watchdog revealed on Thursday that special counsel Robert Mueller's office scrubbed all of the data from FBI agent Peter Strzok's iPhone, while his FBI mistress Lisa Page's phone had been scrubbed by a different department, according to a comprehensive report by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) released on Thursday.

​George Galloway, a member of Parliament in the UK for 30 years, writes abut the recent links that millions of pounds of government money was spent on covert operations to smear Jeremy Corbyn. (The same UK government seems to have meddled rather seriously in the 2016 US election, and lost their bet.)
As it stands, two million pounds of taxpayers’ money has been spent in part on discrediting the alternative government of Britain. It doesn’t get much more serious than that...
Mrs May, the prime minister (at the time of writing), put it best herself when she told him to his face live on TV in Parliament: “We will never allow you to rule”...
That Corbyn has faced such an unprecedented campaign of vilification, anathematization and delegitimization is a matter of public record. The journalists and broadcasters behind it are known. The source of funding of just one part of it now lies exposed, the British government itself.  

The Integrity Initiative, a British pseudo-NGO tasked with running anti-Russian propaganda operation, was recently exposed. Further digging into it revealed a much wider operation. It seems to involve a mole British spies inserted into the Bernie Sanders campaign...  We have already seen many consequences of this and similar programs which are designed to smear anyone who does not follow the anti-Russian government lines. The 'Russian collusion' smear campaign against Donald Trump based on the Steele dossier was also a largely British operation but seems to be part of a different project.

​Charles Hugh Smith on what drives Yellow Vest Protests:
Part of downward mobility is becoming politically invisible, a topic I discussed in France in a Nutshell: "The Government Stopped Listening to the People 20 Years Ago"(December 12, 2018).
The protesters rightly perceive that they are politically invisible: the ruling class, regardless of its ideological flavor, doesn't believe it needs the support of the politically invisible to rule as it sees fit. The ruling class has counted on the cultural elites to marginalize and suppress the politically invisible by dismissing any working-class dissent as racist, fascist, nationalistic and other words expressly intended to push dissent into the political wilderness.
Many commentators have listed the systemic sources of the erosion in standards of living and financial security: the loss of cheap, plentiful oil to fuel "growth" at rates that lift all boats; the financialization of the economy, which favors capital over labor; globalization, which increases corporate profits via labor, social welfare and pollution arbitrage (move production where these costs are the lowest), and the corruption of the political machinery via pay-to-play (favoring the corporations and super-wealthy) and the concentration of financial and political power in the hands of the few at the expense of the many.

​Abruptly Visible​

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