While the wholesale theft of Syria's natural resources continues under the watch of illegal US troops, the Russian project of resurrecting ISIS-destroyed Palmyra stands as a stark reminder that ruins can rise again.
..According to Damascus, Syria’s energy sector as a whole was robbed by an astonishing $107 billion between 2011 and 2022 by a toxic mix of US occupation, “coalition” bombing, and theft or looting by terrorist and separatist gangs.
There are no less than a dozen US military bases in Syria – some bigger than the proverbial lily pads (less than 10 acres, valued at less than $10 million), all of them de facto illegal and certainly not recognized by Damascus. The fact that 90 percent of Syria’s oil and gas is concentrated east of the Euphrates in areas controlled by the US and its Kurdish proxies makes Empire’s job much easier.
The de facto occupation hits not only energy-rich areas but also some of Syria’s most fertile agricultural lands. The net result has been to turn Syria into a net importer of energy and food. Iranian tankers routinely face Israeli sabotage as they ship much-needed oil to Syria’s eastern Mediterranean coast...
..Countering so much doom and gloom, something nearly magical happened on July 23. Six years after the liberation of Palmyra – the legendary Silk Road oasis – and overcoming all sorts of bureaucratic hassles, the restoration of this pearl in the desert has finally started...
They also managed to find the Roman aqueduct that once fed Palmyra with potable water, 12 km away from the city. The Romans had dug a tunnel of nearly human size, then covered it in stone, and the ensemble was buried. It was found nearly intact...
..Plans for Palmyra include the restoration of the legendary theater before the end of 2023. The restoration of the arch, blown up with dynamite by ISIS, will take two years. The 1st century AD temple of Bel and other historical infrastructure will be restored...
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) said Monday that his country would attend talks on Ukraine that are set to be held in Saudi Arabia this weekend only if Russia is invited.
“If there’s acceptance from both Ukraine and Russia to look for solutions to achieve peace, we’ll participate,” Lopez Obrador said, according to Reuters. “We don’t want the Russia-Ukraine war to continue, it’s very irrational … The only thing that benefits from it is the war industry.”
This evening’s edition of Sixty Minutes offered an interesting perspective on the military putsch in Niger: that it followed directly from the principles of anti-colonialism which were the overriding theme of the just concluded Russia-Africa Summit in St Petersburg. What they did not say, but I will consider here, is whether there is more than just an idea nurtured in Russia to explain what is going on in Niger and its neighbors today. Is there a helping hand? ...
Niger happens to represent 5% of the world’s supply of uranium and accounts for a much higher percentage, perhaps 50% of French needs for its nuclear power plants. This assumes a pan-European importance given the key position France occupies in Europe’s overall power generation from nuclear fuels...
Mali has over the past year booted out French security forces and replaced them with Wagner Group mercenaries. Burkino Faso was named last week as one of the five neediest African countries which will receive between 25,000 and 50,000 tons of Russian wheat free of charge.
In closing, it is worth mentioning that Russian news today also speaks about the start of negotiations with several North African states which participated in the Summit to arrive at free trade agreements.
Renegotiate free trade agreements and impose compensatory tariffs on imports from low-wage countries.
Rein in military spending. A family of four’s share of current defense spending is at least $10,000 a year. Imagine if that money was devoted to free childcare or child tax credits.
Cut healthcare costs with Medicare-for-all, restrict pharmaceutical companies’ profiteering, and redirect a portion of medical research toward inexpensive natural, holistic, and alternative therapies.
Implement some form of student debt relief. Allow student debt to be dischargeable in bankruptcy. Cut interest rates on student loans to zero.
Raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour – about the level it was in 1968 – which will raise the floor on all wages and return a share of productivity growth back to workers.
Close loopholes and tighten enforcement against illegal corporate union-busting activity.
Fitch cited the rising total debt load, ongoing issues with debt-ceiling standoffs, and the possibility of a recession as reasons behind its downgrade.
Belief in the value of neutrality was a hard-won product of bourgeoisie political revolutions and religious wars. Having lasted for centuries, it is teetering today under attack from two directions. On one side, a brand of political activism condemns the very idea of remaining neutral as being a cover for subjugation and exploitation. In this view, the passive act of not denying someone banking services is recast as an affirmative endorsement of their entire political outlook. Simultaneously, digital networks are thrusting formerly apolitical institutions into the general arena of public surveillance, where failure to affirm new ideological mantras is seen as an act of treason against the whole system... [globalist, neoliberal neo-bolshevism]
In the US, the unprecedented coordination between the various sectors of the "counter-disinformation complex", which includes the media, intelligence agencies, non-profits, and universities, testifies to the same principle at work. Connected by a lattice of digital networks, they reinforce the same belief system while wielding their power to attack people accused of wrongthink and spreading disinformation. Political censorship and financial disconnection are two sides of the same coin.
Today, organisations such as the World Economic Forum and World Bank are promoting global digital IDs as a progressive cause to help lift “unbanked” people out of poverty. Their solution would herd billions of people into globalised surveillance databases where their every transaction, movement, and sentiment can be monitored and analysed. If the spread of debanking shows that the danger today comes from an interconnected digital web reaching into the foundations of privacy and neutrality, the response of the global elite is to insist we build a bigger bank.
"X is a free public service funded largely by advertisers," reads a Monday night Twitter blog entry. "Through the CCDH's scare campaign and its ongoing pressure on brands to prevent the public’s access to free expression, the CCDH is actively working to prevent public dialogue."
X also claims that "the CCDH has recently scraped X's platform, which is a violation of our terms of service."
That’s why X has filed a legal claim against the CCDH and its backers. X not only rejects all claims made by the CCDH, but, through our own investigation, we have identified several ways in which the CCDH is actively working to prevent free expression. That includes:
Targeting people on all platforms who speak about issues the CCDH doesn’t agree with.
Attempting to coerce the deplatforming of users whose views do not conform to the CCDH's ideological agenda.
Targeting free-speech organizations by focusing on their revenue stream to remove free services for people.
Attempting to illegally gain unauthorized access to social media platform data and to misuse that data. (aka "scraping")
Kennedy made the assertion in an interview with Jimmy Dore, noting “It may explain why Mayorkas doesn’t want to give me Secret Service, because I was very critical.”
.."Ukrainian officials have said Moscow has hit 26 port facilities, five civilian vessels and 180,000 tonnes of grain in nine days of strikes since quitting the grain deal," Reuters noted based on Ukrainian official sources.
Gonzalo Lira has reappeared three months after his arrest by the SBU