Aletho News


Post-Bakhmut scenario in Ukraine war


Ukraine President Zelensky and US President Biden met on the sideline of the G7 Summit at Hiroshima within hours of the statement  from the Kremlin at 1 am last Sunday, transmitting President Vladimir Putin’s greetings to the Russian forces for the “completion of the operation to liberate Artemovsk” (known as Bakhmut in Ukraine.) 

The operation lasted 224 days and turned into an epic battle. Ukraine paid a heavy price in blood in trying to hold onto Bakhmut, which came to be called a “Meat Grinder”. American analysts have listed twenty five Ukrainian brigades and at least 9 battalions and 5 regiments —  an estimated deployment 120,000 troops at the very least — thrown into the battle by Kiev. An estimated 70% casualties would mean that Ukraine suffered as many as 94,150 killed and wounded. It is a devastating defeat. 

Conventional military doctrine says that an army attacking an entrenched force will need at least three times more soldiers than the defending force entrenched in fortifications. But Wagner fighters numbering 32,000 fighters faced off with a NATO proxy force almost 4 times bigger in numbers and equipped with modern weaponry. 

The shock over the crushing defeat was writ large on the faces of US President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky as they faced the media at Hiroshima a few hours after the Kremlin statement appeared. Reading from a prepared text, Biden announced, in a major reversal of policy, that the US would be “launching some new joint efforts with our partners to train Ukrainian pilots on a fourth-generation fighter aircraft like the F-16.” 

Meanwhile, in a series of showy incidents, Ukraine began hitting targets in Russia with US and British supplied weapons. There have been sporadic artillery and Himars missile attacks on Russian civilians in border towns; two drone attacks on the Kremlin; and British Storm Shadow cruise missile strikes on targets in Russia. In one particular instance last week, there has been a cross border incursion in the Belgorod region with US supplied vehicles and weapons. But none of these attacks can be deemed as “game changers.”

While the US and the rest of NATO are feigning ignorance about these attacks, the key fact is that Ukraine gets targeting data that only NATO intelligence sources could provide. Thus, the decades-old red line dating back to Cold War has been breached — namely, that neither the US nor Russia would attack the other side’s territory directly or indirectly. (They held the guardrails even during the Afghan jihad in the 1980s.)

There are going to be consequences. The first sign of it came with the news that nuclear weapons are already being deployed in Belarus and Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu was in Minsk to sign the necessary agreement detailing the logistics of deployment. Biden told reporters on Friday after returning from Japan that his reaction to the Russian deployment is “extremely negative.”

But in reality, Moscow’s intention is to provide Belarus with deterrent capability against any rash moved by NATO such as cutting off access to Kaliningrad. Incidentally, the US too has been keeping nuclear weapons on European soil for many years. 

But a flashpoint can always arise. The upcoming NATO exercise codenamed Air Defender 23 (June 12-23) will be the most significant military exercise ever carried out over the European skies and the most extensive deployment exercise of air forces in the history of the western alliance — involving 25 NATO countries, 10,000 military personnel and approximately 220 aircraft. 

According to Larry Johnson, well-known American blogger and former analyst at the CIA, “a training operation of this size and scale against the backdrop of heightened tensions in the region is akin to lighting a match in a gasoline storage tank.” That said, at the tactical level, the Russian military is also positioning itself for further operations to complete the liberation of Donbass, after having gained control of Bakhmut, which is a major communication hub through which all Ukrainian logistics passed along the Donetsk arc up to Seversk.

A report in Izvestia on Wednesday said, quoting expert opinion, that Avdiivka and Maryinka are “next in line… so that there will be no shelling of Donetsk city… Next, we will have to turn off the big Donetsk arc — from Ugledar to Seversk with access to Konstantinovka and Slavyansk. These are the last two cities of the large Donbass agglomeration, followed by the steppe (leading toward Dnieper River) where it will be very difficult for the enemy to hold on.” 

Again, the Wagner fighters being replaced by regular Russian forces for further operations. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview on Russian TV on Friday: “It’s hard to say where the breaking point is… Obviously, the degree of direct and indirect involvement in this conflict by the countries of the collective West is surging day by day. This may protract the conflict, but will not turn the tide drastically. It cannot turn the tide at all. Russia will press on with the operation, and Russia will ensure its interests one way or another and achieve the designated objectives.” 

Meanwhile, Russia has been conducting an intensive bombing campaign to make it difficult for Kiev to assemble the manpower and firepower required to launch and sustain an offensive operation beyond a few days, and is  intensifying its operations overall to decimate Ukraine’s military capabilities. 

The “known unknown” is how the 2024 US election campaign will affect the trajectory of the war. Biden’s shift on F-16s can be seen as a knee-jerk reaction. Even Gen. Mark Milley, chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff admits  that F-16 isn’t a “magic weapon.”

Meanwhile, Russia continues to probe the US intentions. In an interview with the prestigious International Affairs magazine, Russian Deputy Defence Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Friday that “The US ruling elite has consolidated itself to a great extent on an anti-Russian basis, regardless of party affiliation. In my opinion, the situation is turning into a force majeure.” 

However, Ryabkov who is the highest ranking “point person” for relations with the US at the foreign ministry also added, “No matter how things turn out, we are willing to maintain dialogue with whoever comes to power (in the US), stays in power.”

Therefore, Ukraine relinquishing the accession to NATO and the EU and returning to neutral non-aligned status will remain one of the key conditions of a successful peace process in Ukraine. The big question is how far the NATO will go at its forthcoming summit in July in Vilnius; would this mean Ukraine’s full membership or something else? The likelihood of any big decisions in Vilnius doesn’t seem to be in the cards.

Interestingly, the Kremlin instinctively warmed up to the idea of a phone call to Putin “in due course,” voiced by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz after his return to Berlin from the G7 summit in Hiroshima. Berlin has consistently disfavoured any precipitate move by NATO apropos Ukraine’s membership.

In an interview with Wall Street Journal on Friday celebrating his centennial, Henry Kissinger also remarked that “the offer to put Ukraine into NATO was a grave mistake and led to this war.” Kissinger advocated instead greater clarity in Russia’s stance on Europe, flagging that while Russia is interested in fostering ties with Europe for its own development, it is also cautious of potential threats coming from the West. 

May 28, 2023 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , | Leave a comment

Authorities Should Look Into Biden Family Corruption Instead of Hunter’s Tax Shenanigans

By Andrei Dergalin – Sputnik – 27.05.2023

As new revelations about the IRS probe into Hunter Biden’s tax affairs are being brought forth, a former US state senator suggests that the Department of Justice and the FBI should probably focus their attention on more serious matters related to the US president’s family.

An IRS whistleblower named Gary Shapley dropped a bombshell this week related to a tax probe into the shady affairs of Hunter Biden, son of US President Joe Biden.

Shapley, who supervised Hunter’s tax probe since January 2020, has alleged he discovered signs of the investigation being “slow-walked” prior to him taking over, and that the Department of Justice tried to interfere with and thwart his probe.

Commenting on this development, former Colorado State Senator Ted Harvey told Sputnik that Shapley’s surprise about how long the investigation has been taking likely stems from the fact that the latter has never previously worked on a case involving a president’s son or an “elite Democrat operative.”

“Everybody that’s part of the Democrat machine never has their day in court because the machine protects them. And this shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody,” he explained while speaking on Sputnik’s Fault Lines podcast.

Harvey did note, however, that he would rather have the FBI look into the “actual criminal behavior of the Biden family” and into how said family allegedly put the US national security at risk, adding that, he does not particularly care about “any tax evasion from the president’s son.”

“I want the FBI and the Justice Department to look into the real issues with the Biden family and the corruption that we’ve seen there,” he added.

Meanwhile, Steve Gill, attorney and CEO of Gill Media, observed that while mainstream American media used to like whistleblowers, that same media now appears rather critical of them due to the media’s job essentially being to “protect the Biden family at all costs.”

He also pointed to allegations of foreign governments “dishing millions of dollars to the grandchildren of Joe Biden,” telling Sputnik’s Final Countdown podcast that it would be interesting to find out “exactly what these under-age grandchildren were doing to generate income from foreign governments.”

May 27, 2023 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , , , | 1 Comment

Biden’s Re-Election Hinges On The Success Of Kiev’s Counteroffensive


Senior Ukrainian presidential advisor Mikhail Podolyak told Italian media that his country’s much-hyped counteroffensive already began a few days ago, which is curious since that timeframe coincides with its proxy invasion of Russia’s Belgorod Region that was just copium for deflecting from Artyomovsk’s loss. That media-driven stunt tremendously failed to achieve any tangible gains, however, thus raising even more questions than ever before about whether the counteroffensive will succeed at all.

The Washington Post raised awareness in March about how poorly Kiev’s troops were faring in the NATO-Russian proxy war, which was followed by Politico citing unnamed Biden Administration officials a month later who worried about the consequences of it failing to meet the public’s expectations. Former Russian chess champion Garry Kasparov then concocted a conspiracy theory wildly speculating that Kremlin agents infiltrated the White House and sabotaged the counteroffensive before it even began.

This popular pro-Kiev figure seemed to have been spooked by Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Michael McCaul telling Bloomberg that “I think there’s going to be a lot riding on the line with this counteroffensive. If Ukraine is successful in the eyes of the American people and the world, I think it will be a game-changer for continued support. If they are not, that will also have an impact, in a negative way, though.” In other words, its failure could lead to the US severely curtailing aid to Kiev.

Therein lies the real reason why the counteroffensive is still going ahead despite the overwhelming odds against its success that were detailed in the preceding months by the Washington Post and Politico. Biden’s re-election hinges on the success of this campaign after NATO already sent over $165 billion in taxpayer-provided aid to Kiev, the vast majority of which came from the US. He needs anything that his perception managers can spin as a victory to justify this ahead of next year’s election.

It’s not just for the sake of placating taxpayers either in this increasingly partisan conflict that’s seen a rising number of Republicans calling for more pragmatism and restraint as opposed to their Democrat rivals who remain gung-go about going all in for as long as it takes. Biden presided over the US’ most humiliating military loss in history after August 2021’s chaotic evacuation from Afghanistan, which infamously resulted in leaving a large number of Americans and allied locals behind to an unknown fate.

He and his team don’t care how many tens of thousands of Ukrainians have to be sacrificed in this conflict so long as they can achieve something that the Democrats can distort as having made the most geostrategically significant conflict since World War II worth provoking. A failed raid into Russia and an unsuccessful assassination attempt against President Putin aren’t considered by most Americans to be worth the risk of a Third World War by miscalculation.

After 15 months of fighting, Kiev has only managed to reconquer part of the territory that it claims as its own, which is unimpressive when considering that it has the full backing of what the US portrays as supposedly being the world’s most powerful military alliance in history. The NATO chief’s self-proclaimed “race of logistics”/“war of attrition” with Russia that he declared in February inadvertently proved that Russia’s military-industrial complex can compete with the entire West’s.

That was an unintended self-inflicted blow to this de facto New Cold War bloc’s reputation of being a military superpower and also thus discredited their information warfare narrative that the Russian economy is collapsing. In late January, the New York Times admitted that the West’s sanctions failed, and then they admitted at the end of February after the NATO chief’s dramatic declaration that they also failed to isolate Russia too.

The abovementioned facts already make Biden look like a bumbling fool for provoking this conflict, which only proved just how limited the US’ influence and power have become in recent years, but he looks even worse when considering the bigger picture. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, former US National Security Council member Fiona Hill, and Goldman Sachs’ President of Global Affairs Jared Cohen all acknowledged earlier in May that multipolarity is now a geopolitical reality as a result of this conflict.

It’s only the Biden Administration and allied propagandists abroad that remain in denial about this, which places even more pressure on their proxies in Kiev to achieve something tangible throughout the course of its counteroffensive that they can then spin as having made it worth provoking this conflict. The clock is ticking too since there’s a growing consensus across the globe that this is their side’s “last hurrah” prior to likely commencing ceasefire and peace talks by year’s end or early 2024 at the latest.

The West’s military-industrial crisis will inevitably limit the pace, scale, and scope of armed aid to Kiev, not to mention the US’ election season that’ll see this conflict unprecedentedly politicized. Instead of soberly admitting his side’s shortcomings and proactively trying to reach some sort of peace agreement that could then be exploited as the pretext for him winning the Nobel Peace Prize and thus boosting his re-election prospects, Biden is gambling against the odds that the counteroffensive will succeed.

Even Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley foresaw in late January that it’ll likely be impossible for Kiev to remove Russia from all the territory that it claims as its own by this year, which means that Biden and his team are trying to prove the US’ top military official wrong. This in turn confirms that they’re prioritizing politics over military advice, thus extending credence to the claim that this counteroffensive is all about Biden’s re-election and not pushing Russia back to its pre-2014 borders.

If it fails to achieve this maximum objective as expected by Milley and the earlier cited US media, then the Republicans will rightly pounce on Biden to accuse him of cooking up the worst conflict since World War II in a desperate bid to win re-election by deflecting from his humiliating loss in Afghanistan. With his back against the wall, it can’t be discounted that his team will advise him to escalate to unthinkable levels, though Russia’s hypersonic missiles will likely keep him from crossing the ultimate red line.

Whichever way one games it out, there’s close to no chance that Kiev’s counteroffensive will meet the Western public’s expectations absent some black swan event, which means that Biden will be running for re-election with two losses under his belt in Afghanistan and Ukraine. It’s difficult to imagine that Americans will give him and his team another four years in office after they humiliated the US so badly, but tens of thousands more might still die before these warmongers are removed from power.

May 25, 2023 Posted by | Militarism | , , | Leave a comment

It’s Good News Week

Joe Biden is creating enemies everywhere


Well, if you thought the American Civil War ended back in 1865, you are apparently wrong. No less an authority than President Joe Biden, in a May 13th commencement speech to historically black Howard University’s graduates, told the overwhelmingly black students and their families that “The most dangerous terrorist threat to our homeland is white supremacy. And I’m not saying this because I’m at a Black HBCU, I say it wherever I go.” Indeed, both Biden and his inert Attorney General Merrick Garland nee Garfinkel have delivered that same message on a number of occasions, but this was the first time it was employed in such a racially charged environment. It was clearly a pre-electoral call to arms against white people in America, placing government sanctioned targets on the backs of whites who are generally peacefully struggling to retain their communities, identities, religion, heritage and culture, all of which are being engulfed by the White House’s tidal wave of self-serving and politically motivated “woke” promotions.

Five days later, on the 18th, the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee and the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government released an 80 page report revealing that the FBI had deliberately miscategorized its investigations into the events surrounding the January 6th Capitol Hill violent demonstration to substantially inflate the numbers suggesting a dramatic increase in domestic terrorism in the United States. The GOP report, based largely on whistleblower testimony, stated that “whistleblowers assert that the FBI pressured agents to reclassify cases as domestic violent extremism (DVE), and even manufactured DVE cases where they may not otherwise exist, while manipulating its case categorization system to feign a national problem.” The FBI’s Washington Field Office deliberately categorized its Capitol disturbance cases to make the rise in DVE cases look more like a national problem than a one-time post-electoral incident.

The report includes “According to whistleblower information, the FBI has manipulated the manner in which it categorized January 6-related investigations to create a misleading narrative that domestic terrorism is organically surging around the country.” The manipulated statistics, based on regarding every individual even peripherally or allegedly involved in an incident as a terrorist suspect rather than as part of a group interaction, were then used to support the Biden Administration’s increasing rhetoric about “domestic terrorism.” One whistleblower explained how “By opening a separate case for each individual as opposed to one case with however many subjects are involved, they’ve turned one case into a thousand cases… And by spreading them to the field, they’ve given the impression that those domestic terror cases are around the country…”

Using the new parameters, the FBI Director Christopher Wray was able to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in August 2022 that “the number of FBI investigations of suspected DVEs has more than doubled since the spring of 2020.” The FBI was, in fact, conducting approximately 1,400 pending domestic terrorism investigations at the end of fiscal 2020, a number that jumped to 2,700 domestic terrorism investigations by the end of fiscal 2021. The Bureau arrested approximately 180 domestic terrorism subjects in 2020, a number that increased to 800 such subjects in 2021.

And then there was the May 15th release of the long-awaited Durham Report on the shenanigans engaged in by Team Clinton in 2016 to use the nation’s security apparatus to make it appear that Donald Trump was being directed by the Russian government. Predictably, there will likely be no political or legal consequences relating to the revelation. No one in the FBI or CIA , or even in the Clinton campaign, will be held accountable for efforts made to influence the outcome of the 2016 election and to denigrate Trump personally using what they knew to be lies. The FBI leadership has reportedly apologized and says it will not engage in such activity in the future, but many are skeptical, particularly as there was something of a repeat performance in 2020 involving the letter signed by 51 members of the intelligence and national security community claiming that the Hunter laptop allegations were nothing more than a Russian disinformation operation. “Will it ever end?” one might ask.

And there’s more. Nina Jankowicz, who made the news briefly back when she was about to assume the post of the Department of Homeland Security Disinformation Czar in April last year before she abruptly resigned three weeks later on May 18th is now, one year later, suing Fox News. She claims the network has been “waging a campaign of ‘vitriolic lies’ against her that amounts to a threat to democracy [by] damaging her reputation as a specialist in conspiracy theories and disinformation campaigns.”

Biden simultaneously got cold feet about systematically criminalizing what Americans were saying and writing and shut down The Disinformation Governance Board abruptly in the wake of attacks by Fox and others that the new DHS division Jankowicz led was itself part of a conspiracy to censor rightwing comment spearheaded by President Biden. Janowicz is claiming that no less than Tucker Carlson, the news channel’s then primetime ratings star fired by Fox recently in the wake of the Dominion settlement, led the charge. In his opening monologue on April 28th 2022, Carlson described Jankowicz as a “moron” and said that what she was doing constituted a “full-scale attack on free speech.” He also referred to the disinformation board as “the new Soviet America”.

Finally, what would the week be like without hearing more about the Biden Administration’s endless war against anti-Semitism? There were predictably numerous anti-Semitism developments during the week but the most compelling was the demand by Deborah Lipstadt, the US government’s renowned holocaust expert who serves as Special Envoy to Combat Antisemitism, that one of the world’s richest men Elon Musk must be taken to task for daring to criticize George Soros. Lipstadt elaborated how “You can criticize George Soros — many people do — for his economic policies, even for his political programs, for his foundation. But when you turn him into the Rothschild of the 21st century, then you’re engaging in antisemitism. When you link his activities to his Jewish identity, when you disparage his activities — some of which I may disagree with — and when you turn him into this villainous character, which has antisemitic overtures, you’ve crossed the line.”

Lipstadt was responding to Musk’s tweet “Soros reminds me of Magneto.” He was comparing Soros to a Marvel supervillain/hero character named Magneto, who is also Jewish like Soros and, also like him, a claimed holocaust survivor. Lipstadt believes that even mentioning the Jewish globalist Soros, or referring to someone as a “globalist” or “cosmopolitan,” just might be considered as “invoking antisemitic tropes,” as it implies that they are Jews. Per Lipstadt, “What you’re saying is Jews do not have loyalty to the country in which they live in, that they have loyalty one to the other and that they are out to destroy the countries in which they live in.”

And you will be hearing more from Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt, who also states flatly that “Antisemitism is not a niche issue… it is an existential threat to democracy,” possibly later this week when President Biden will be unveiling the first-ever national plan to counter “anti-Jewish bigotry.” She explains how “America has never done something like a national plan to fight antisemitism, which involves most of the major agencies of the US government. There will be some things that people will disagree with. But when I see the time and effort that has gone in by White House, by high-ranking individuals, it’s a message that we take this seriously.”

The plan was developed in recent months by an interagency task force created by Joe Biden last December. It incorporates claimed conversations with more than 1,000 Jewish community leaders across denominations in the United States. President Biden, at May 9th’s White House celebration of Jewish American Heritage Month, said it will “include more than 200 measures that government agencies, social media platforms and elected officials can adopt to counter rising antisemitism.”

There is considerable irony in all of this much ado about little based on deliberately inflated numbers promoted largely by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) claiming that antisemitism is surging. Neither the hideous Jonathan Greenblatt of ADL nor Dr. Lipstadt has suggested to their Israeli friends that the sometimes negative perception of Jews in America might improve if the self-declared Jewish state were to stop killing Palestinian children. Indeed, real antisemitic prejudice that produces negative consequences is hard to identify as American Jews have notably become the best educated and wealthiest demographic in the United States. Though only two per cent of the population, they dominate in key economic and social sectors to include finance, entertainment, the media and education. They occupy many if not most of the key policy making positions in the Biden Administration and are greatly overrepresented in Congress and in government in general. They constantly seek and regularly obtain benefits that accrue only to them, like the 90% of Homeland Security discretionary grants that go to them for “security.”

That new “measures” are being implemented to give Jews even more enhanced protected status that directly limits free speech might be considered ridiculous if it were not so downright dangerous, one more step in handing the keys of the kingdom over to an autocratic and self-centered tribe that describes itself as “chosen” by God. We will no doubt be hearing a lot more about their victimhood over the summer to justify what repressive new measures will be put in place. Will criticizing the so-called holocaust and the apartheid state of Israel become hate crimes with large fines and jail time attached? Stay tuned!

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is

May 23, 2023 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | 2 Comments

Biden Federal Government Goes Full Suicide Bomber Against America

By Francis Menton | Manhattan Contrarian | May 14, 2023

From his first days in office, President Biden has promised — threatened — to activate the administrative state at every level to address and solve the “climate crisis.” In the orthodoxy of the Biden/Democrat climate cult, this is to be accomplished by reducing U.S. carbon emissions into the atmosphere.

Now, even if you believe that a little more CO2 in the atmosphere is some kind of a problem (it isn’t), there is nothing that the United States can do to have any meaningful impact on that situation, given that countries with populations a large multiple of ours (China, India, Africa) are building coal-fired power plants as fast as they can. Even if we closed our economy entirely and reduced ourselves to eating grass and bugs, the effect on the climate would be zilch.

Meanwhile we have waited through the first two plus years of Bidenism to find out exactly what punishments the administrative state has in mind for us for our sins of prosperity and enjoyment of life. In the last few weeks, we have learned at least part of the answer, in the form of a series of gigantic new regulatory proposals emanating from EPA and other agencies. The answer is, the federal government will become a suicide bomber seeking to blow up and destroy the American economy and the well-being of the American people.

Here are three major regulatory initiatives from the past few weeks, each one supposedly somehow addressing this “climate crisis” thing:

I previously covered the new vehicle rule, really an EV mandate, in this post on May 5. True to form of regulators who treat their subjects with contempt, the rule never explicitly states that the cars we now use are henceforth to be banned. Rather, it is some 262 pages of impenetrable text, which has buried somewhere deep inside a formula (82 g/mile CO2 emissions) that only an industry professional would know effectively bans internal combustion vehicles. All manufacturers are to be forced to comply, irrespective of whether they can do so profitably.

What is the probability that the new EV mandate will put all large U.S. and European automakers out of business in favor of Chinese competitors who have an advantage in the EV segment? The regulators neither know nor care. From Engineering & Technology, May 9:

According to insurers Allianz Trade, China’s decision to invest heavily in EV production over the last 15 years has made it the global leader in this sector. . . . Chinese brands have seen their global market shares climb from less than 40 per cent in 2020 to close to 50 per cent in 2022. This is heavily bolstered by an 80 per cent market share in their densely-populated home country.

In the world of dishwashers, we already have dishwashers that don’t work very well. The reason is regulator-imposed restrictions on use of energy and water. Today, due to these restriction, dishwashers run for more than two hours, and still don’t get the dishes very clean unless you pre-wash them by hand. Well, with the new Energy Department rule, it’s about to get a lot worse. From the WSJ, May 12:

The proposal requires manufacturers to slash water use by a third, limiting machines to 3.2 gallons per cycle, down from the current federal limit of five gallons. New appliances must simultaneously cut estimated annual energy usage by nearly 30%.

And then there is the new power plant rule. This one is 682 pages. Again, it never explicitly says that fossil fuel power plants are banned; it’s just that the emissions standards that they set cannot be met by any fossil fuel plant. The WSJ on May 11 calls the rule a “death sentence” for fossil fuel power plants.

Supposedly the fossil fuel plants can continue to operate if they adopt some means to capture the carbon emissions from their exhaust. I have previously described this idea of carbon capture as a “war against the second law of thermodynamics.” Trying to capture CO2 from power plant emissions requires energy, and the higher the percentage of the emissions you want to capture, the more energy it takes. If you insist on capturing all of the emissions and somehow storing them permanently, it’s going to take more energy than the power plant produces. There has been endless talk about carbon capture for more than a decade, and there is almost nothing in the way of functional carbon capture systems, because as they capture enough carbon to be meaningful, their cost soars out of control.

Will there be any functional replacement for the fossil fuel plants by the time they are forced out of business? This rule doesn’t trouble itself with such matters. That’s for the low status people to figure out. Over here at EPA, we are much too important for that. Our job is to save the planet.

So the regulatory onslaught continues. We are told to expect yet more such regulations, notably in the area of home appliances, in the near future.

Put it all together, and the term “war against the economy” no longer does justice to what is going on. This is a full-blown attack by suicide bombers. They are so crazed with the righteousness of their cause that they couldn’t care less about the destruction and devastation they might cause to the innocent people around them, let alone even about their own death. Who ever thought our federal government would get into such a role?

May 22, 2023 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , | Leave a comment

Poll finds disconnect between US public and media

RT | May 22, 2023

Most Americans believe the ‘Russiagate’ investigation of Donald Trump was based on lies and that President Joe Biden’s family engaged in influence-peddling crimes, a new Harvard CAPS-Harris poll has shown, suggesting that legacy media outlets have failed to sway public opinion.

The poll, released on Friday, found that 56% of US voters believe the claim that Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election was a “false story.” The same percentage believe the Steele dossier, which was the basis for an FBI investigation of Trump’s campaign, was false.

Nearly seven in ten respondents said they weren’t surprised that the Durham Report, released earlier this month, found that the FBI violated its own standards in starting the Trump-Russia investigation and became a funnel for “disinformation” from Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Likewise, 70% of voters are concerned about interference by the FBI and intelligence agencies in US presidential elections, and 71% believe the federal government needs “wide-ranging reform” to prevent such meddling.

CNN and other US media outlets hyped the Trump-Russia collusion allegations for three years and downplayed last week’s release of the Durham Report, calling the special prosecutor’s findings about the FBI a “whole big nothing.” Just before voters went to the polls in 2020, media outlets amplified claims by former US intelligence officials that a bombshell report on alleged influence-peddling by Biden’s family – sourced to a laptop computer that Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, had abandoned at a repair shop – was based on “Russian disinformation.”

The Harvard CAPS-Harris poll found that 63% of voters believe Hunter Biden engaged in illegal influence-peddling and tax evasion, while 53% think Joe Biden was involved in the alleged criminal operation when he was vice president, according to the Harvard CAPS-Harris poll. Most voters (55%) also believe that the FBI and the US Department of Justice aren’t really investigating the Biden family’s alleged corruption, and 59% think the Russian disinformation claim was false.

Independent journalist Glenn Greenwald said the poll illustrated how “radically out of touch” liberal corporate media was with the views of Americans. He added that major media outlets were not only pushing narratives that Americans didn’t believe, but also didn’t permit the majority’s views to be heard.

The poll found other troubling opinions on Biden’s 2024 election prospects. Nearly two-thirds of voters (65%) believe Biden is showing signs that he’s too old to be president, while 57% have doubts about his mental fitness, and 61% think he wouldn’t make it through a second term.

Trump is the current frontrunner for the Republican Party’s 2024 nomination and is widening his lead over Biden in a hypothetical rematch. Harvard CAPS-Harris poll found that voters favor the former president over his successor by a 47%-40% margin, up from a five-point lead last month. If Vice President Kamala Harris is the Democratic Party’s nominee, Trump is favored by a 50%-39% margin.

May 22, 2023 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , | Leave a comment

On Korea, Joe Biden Is Choosing Every Bad Option

By Ted Galen Carpenter | The Libertarian Institute | May 15, 2023

Joe Biden has managed to embrace nearly all of the worst, most dangerous options with respect to U.S. policy on the Korean Peninsula. Washington’s policy toward North Korea is utterly sterile and ineffective. The glimpses of hope during Donald Trump’s administration that the United States might adopt a fresh approach instead of clinging to its longstanding, unattainable demand that North Korea abandon its nuclear weapons program have vanished. Biden abandoned even Trump’s modest policy deviations. Instead, his administration has resumed the insistence on Pyongyang’s complete denuclearization, along with placing strict limits on the country’s ballistic missile capabilities. North Korea continues to test missiles with ever longer ranges as U.S. leaders fume impotently.

At the same time, the Biden administration shows no inclination to re-examine the risk-reward calculation with respect to Washington’s alliance with South Korea, even as Pyongyang is now acquiring the capability to strike the American homeland. Indeed, administration officials are moving in the opposite direction, emphasizing the U.S. defense commitment to its longstanding dependent and discouraging any hints that Seoul may wish to take greater responsibility for its own defense—especially if such an initiative includes the acquisition of an independent nuclear deterrent. Instead, U.S. leaders are working to enlist South Korea as a pawn in a geostrategic chess match directed against China in exchange for a more robust U.S. commitment to defend Seoul against its North Korean adversary.

The continuing, if not intensifying, patron-client relationship between the United States and South Korea was underscored in the joint declaration that Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol issued following their April 26, 2023, summit meeting; “The ROK has full confidence in U.S. extended deterrence commitments and recognizes the importance, necessity, and benefit of its enduring reliance on the U.S. nuclear deterrent.” If that wasn’t enough to emphasize South Korea’s continuing security dependence on the United States, the declaration added, “President Yoon reaffirmed the ROK’s longstanding commitment to its obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty as the cornerstone of the global nonproliferation regime.”

Perpetuating America’s risk exposure in that fashion was bad enough, but Biden went out of his way to rattle sabers at North Korea:

“President Biden reaffirmed that the United States’ commitment to the ROK and the Korean people is enduring and ironclad, and that any nuclear attack by the DPRK against the ROK will be met with a swift, overwhelming and decisive response. President Biden highlighted the U.S. commitment to extend deterrence to the ROK is backed by the full range of U.S. capabilities, including nuclear.”

Such statements were decidedly unhelpful, given the already tense environment on the Korean Peninsula. But Biden managed to inflame the situation further. “Going forward, the United States will further enhance the regular visibility of strategic assets to the Korean Peninsula, as evidenced by the upcoming visit of a U.S. nuclear ballistic missile submarine to the ROK.” North Korea’s regime is notoriously prickly and prone to engage in saber rattling of its own. However, even a more sedate government likely would feel threatened by such a provocative U.S. deployment in its immediate neighborhood.

Washington needs to adopt the opposite course to the one it is pursuing toward both North and South Korea. The Biden administration’s ossified policy toward Pyongyang is especially frustrating and dangerous. The president’s commitment to the futile zombie policy of trying to isolate North Korea was confirmed when Washington imposed new sanctions following a new round of tests in January 2022. If the administration does not change course, it is likely just a matter of time until Pyongyang resumes testing not only ICBMs, but nuclear weapons. In early February 2022, China’s ambassador to the United Nations correctly emphasized that the United States needs to come up with “more attractive and more practical” policies and actions to reduce tensions with North Korea and avoid a return to a “vicious circle” of confrontation, condemnation and sanctions over its nuclear and ballistic missile program.

U.S. leaders should seek ways to establish a normal bilateral relationship with North Korea. That means easing and eventually eliminating the vast array of economic sanctions that have been imposed over the decades. It also means negotiating a treaty formally ending the Korean War and establishing full diplomatic relations between the two countries. If such actions are not taken, the United States faces the imminent prospect of having no meaningful relations with a country that has an expanding nuclear arsenal combined with delivery systems capable of striking the American homeland. One would be hard pressed to identify a more dangerous situation.

The drastically changed nuclear weapons environment also underscores why the United States needs to remove itself from the front lines of the tense situation between North and South Korea. U.S. leaders should encourage South Korea’s greater strategic autonomy, not try to stifle independent initiatives. Even the decision about acquiring nuclear weapons should be made in Seoul, not Washington. There is no question that South Korea can provide for its own defense. It has an economy 40 to 50 times greater than North Korea’s, and it is a technological juggernaut. Keeping a weak, vulnerable Seoul as a U.S. strategic dependent was a highly questionable policy even during the early decades of the Cold War. Keeping a strong, fully capable South Korea as such a dependent, despite rapidly escalating risks to the United States, is monumentally foolish.

President Biden’s Korea policy risks the worst possible scenario. Continuing to treat North Korea as a pariah increases the likelihood of rash, desperate behavior on Pyongyang’s part, which could rekindle the dormant Korean War. Continuing to treat Seoul as a U.S. protectorate makes it certain that if an armed conflict between the two Koreas does break out, the United States would be hopelessly entangled. It would be a challenge to identify a more dangerous, bankrupt policy than the one the Biden administration is pursuing.

Ted Galen Carpenter is a senior fellow at the Libertarian Institute and a senior fellow at the Randolph Bourne Institute. Dr. Carpenter also served in various policy positions during a 37-year career at the Cato Institute. He is the author of thirteen books and more than 1,200 articles on international affairs and the threat that the U.S. national security state poses to peace and civil liberties at home and around the world. Dr. Carpenter’s latest book is “Unreliable Watchdog: The News Media and U.S. Foreign Policy” (2022)

May 15, 2023 Posted by | Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , | Leave a comment

Washington Wants War with China Served Hot, Not Cold

By Connor Freeman | Libertarian Institute | May 11, 2023

The ruling class in Washington is planning on using America’s sons and daughters as cannon fodder to wage their long-awaited war against China. President Joe Biden along with the other de facto employees of the military industrial complex, including in Congress, have not made their plans a secret. Contrarily, they are quite happy to brag about basically any escalation they can get.

Hawks in the Pentagon, along with those in the administration and legislative branch—including the key leadership—have been speaking explicitly about the coming war with China for a while now, usually boasting about all they are doing to prepare for, as well as provoke, such a conflict.

This all began in earnest during the Barack Obama administration. War with China, despite the Republican Party’s obsession with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), is the Progressive Democrats’ project led by—among others—the likes of Obama, Biden, Hillary ClintonKurt Campbell, Antony Blinken, Lloyd Austin, and Michelle Flournoy.

In 2011, Obama launched the “pivot to Asia.” The policy has been expanded by each successive administration. Obama’s project for the new American century entails the largest military buildup since the Second World War, shifting hundreds of bases as well as two-thirds of all U.S. Air and Naval forces to the Asia-Pacific region. Washington is encircling China for a future war with Beijing. In the words of Lew Rockwell, “The U.S. seeks to encircle China and make it bow down before the hegemon.”

The new Cold War on China has been heating up for years, but things have taken a turn for the worse under the Biden regime which is significantly more hawkish than both the Obama and Donald Trump administrations.

In January, the top U.S. Marine Corps general in Japan explained to the Financial Times that Washington and Tokyo are “setting the theater,” for war with China. Lt. Gen. James Bierman, commander of the Third Marine Expeditionary Force (III MEF) and of Marine Forces Japan, said Washington is working with its allies in the region to prepare for the coming war with China, much like the U.S. did with its NATO allies following the 2014 U.S. backed coup in Kiev.

“Why have we achieved the level of success we’ve achieved in Ukraine? A big part of that has been because after Russian aggression in 2014 and 2015, we earnestly got after preparing for future conflict: training for the Ukrainians, prepositioning of supplies, identification of sites from which we could operate support, sustain operations,” the general said. He went on to explain this is called “setting the theater. And we are setting the theater in Japan, in the Philippines, in other locations.”

Later the same month, NBC News reported on a memo written by four-star U.S. Air Force General Mike Minihan, the head of Air Mobility Command (AMC), discussing the coming war with China. AMC includes 50,000 airmen and oversees roughly 430 aircraft. “I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me [we] will fight in 2025,” Minihan said, ordering his forces to begin preparing for war with Beijing.

In recent weeks and months, the U.S. has worked on deals to gain exclusive military access to the Federated States of Micronesia, secured an agreement with Manilla to gain access to four more military bases in the Philippines, awarded contracts to begin work on a new radar installation in Palau, announced increased cooperation between American and Japanese armed forces for a future confrontation with China, and made plans to deploy additional Marine units armed with anti-ship missiles along the Okinawa islands.

In April, Washington and Manila carried out their largest ever joint military exercises. 17,600 military personnel took part, including 12,000 American troops. The Balikatan exercises saw more than 100 Australian soldiers participate. The increasing pressure on both Russia and China has seen Moscow and Beijing step up their own cooperation in the region.

Later this year, the U.S. and Australia will carry out the “largest-ever” iteration of their Talisman Sabre war drills. This bilateral military exercise takes place every two years. As News Editor Dave DeCamp has explained,

The plans for the massive exercises come after the US, Australia, and Britain unveiled their plans under the AUKUS military pact with the ultimate goal of Canberra being able to produce nuclear-powered submarines by the 2040s.

The U.S. Navy envisions AUKUS will turn Australia into a full-service submarine hub for the United States and its allies in the region in operations targeted at China. As part of the deepening U.S.-Australian military ties, the United States also plans to deploy more troops and aircraft to Australia, including nuclear-capable B-52 bombers.

The rhetoric of U.S. military leaders may seem unhinged, but it is now all too common. In February, U.S. Army Secretary Christine Wormuth declared that “we” need to be prepared to fight a direct, hot war against China over Taiwan, and win it. “I personally am not of the view that an amphibious invasion of Taiwan is imminent,” she told an audience at the American Enterprise Institute, adding but “we obviously have to prepare, to be prepared to fight and win that war.”

Her plan consists of sending more U.S. troops and advanced weapons to the region, including hypersonic missiles. She also discussed setting up “theater distribution centers” in the region where weapons and other supplies can be pre-positioned for the coming war, suggesting Japan and Australia would make good candidates.

She said “our goal is to have Army forces in the Indo-Pacific seven to eight months out of the year,” when the war starts their job will be establishing “staging bases for the Navy, for the Marines, for the Air Force,” adding they will be providing “intra-theater sustainment.”

Wormuth also discussed what appeared to be a plan for the Army to impose martial law in the United States during the coming war with China. “If we got into a major war with China, the United States homeland would be at risk as well, with both kinetic attacks and non-kinetic attacks. Whether it’s cyberattacks on the power grids, or on pipelines, the United States Army, I have no doubt, will be called to provide defense support to civil authorities.”

In March, General Kenneth Wilsbach, the head of U.S. Pacific Air Forces, told a symposium in Colorado that his focus is on blowing up Chinese ships in the event that Beijing orders a blockade on the island of Taiwan. “You saw when Speaker Pelosi went to Taiwan, what [China] did with their ships,” Wilsbach said, adding, “They put them on the east side of Taiwan… as a sort of blockade.”

The General’s conclusion is “[w]e’ve got to sink the ships.” He continued, “sinking ships is a main objective of not only PACAF [Pacific Air Forces] but really anyone that’s going to be involved in a conflict like this.” In other words, even if the cross-strait conflict which Washington’s build up and closer ties with Taiwan is actively provoking does not immediately go kinetic, General Wilsbach will ensure that it escalates quickly as a result of his attempts to shoot through the Chinese naval blockade.

That same month, Trump’s former national security adviser Robert O’Brien said in the event of a cross-strait conflict, the U.S. would bomb and destroy Taiwan’s advanced semiconductor manufacturing facilities. The “United States and its allies are never going to let those factories fall into Chinese hands,” O’Brien threatened during an interview with Semafor.

A similar plan was laid out, as a potential joint operation with Washington and Taipei, in a 2021 paper published by the U.S. Army War College. The paper characterizes obliterating the island’s chip factories as a “scorched earth strategy” designed to leave Taiwan in ruins “not just unattractive if ever seized by force, but positively costly to maintain.”

The paper continues, explaining this “could be done most effectively by threatening to destroy facilities belonging to the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the most important chipmaker in the world and China’s most important supplier.”

This month, Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) told a think tank conference “the U.S. should make it very clear to the Chinese that if you invade Taiwan, we’re going to blow up [the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company],” which produces most of the world’s advanced semiconductors.

Apparently, the Taiwanese military brass did not get the memo. Taiwan’s Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng fired back against the Congressma, saying “[i]t is the military’s obligation to defend Taiwan and we will not tolerate any others blowing up our facilities.”

In April, for the first time, the U.S. Army’s Special Operations Command defended Taiwan from a mock Chinese invasion as part of CAPEX, the command’s annual capabilities exercise.

Lt. Gen. Jonathan P. Braga declared it was about time, these war drills are “in accordance with our national defense strategy, [China] is our true pacing challenge out there.”

According to, “[m]embers of the U.S. Army’s Special Operations Command fired Carl Gustaf recoilless rifles, breached tunnels and operated Switchblade drones that flew with an unsettling whiz over a training area… The exercise combined some of the hallmark tactics and weapons that were used during the Global War on Terror with other tools reflecting a seismic shift for the command as it prepares for potential conflict against major military rivals… and the mission they were gaming out was an insertion into Taiwan to defend against a Chinese invasion.”

Last fall, Navy Admiral Charles Richard, the head of Strategic Command, which oversees American nuclear forces, ominously warned the “Ukraine crisis that we’re in right now, this is just the warmup… The big one is coming. And it isn’t going to be very long before we’re going to get tested in ways that we haven’t been tested [in] a long time.” Unmistakably, the “big one” is the coming war with China.

For almost 50 years, the One-China policy has governed the now extremely fragile relationship between Washington and Beijing. Thirty years after Mao’s forces won the civil war, Washington accepted reality and made an agreement which has kept the peace and prevented war. Under the policy, the U.S. severed diplomatic ties with Taipei and recognized that there is but one China, with Beijing as the sole Chinese government.

One-China means the U.S. does not have an official relationship with Taipei, with Washington recognizing China and Taiwan as the same country. The U.S. also maintains “strategic ambiguity” towards Taiwan or at least it did until the Joe Biden administration unilaterally overturned that part of the delicate policy.

Per the former approach, the U.S. would never commit to defending or not defending the island against a potential attack against the breakaway province. Critically, “strategic ambiguity” has aimed to deter Beijing from attempting to retake the island by force and, at the same time, to discourage Taiwan’s radical factions seeking to declare Taiwan’s independence.

But for the bipartisan China hawks, that successful arrangement is no longer good enough. Worst of all, some are proposing, and in some cases outright issuing, defense commitments in contradiction of the longstanding U.S. policy.

Since Biden came into office, he has continued to make “gaffes” announcing the U.S. is doing away with “strategic ambiguity” and even potentially the One-China policy. Biden has seemingly committed Americans to Taiwan’s defense multiple times. But now it appears that these notorious mistakes which were often walked back by the White House, were not “gaffes” at all.

In March, speaking before a House Intelligence Committee hearing, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines announced that “strategic ambiguity” was dead and gone. When asked by Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) if the policy needed to be changed, Haines responded by announcing “I think it is clear to the Chinese what our position is, based on the president’s comments.”

Indeed, Washington constantly ramps up U.S. military cooperation with Taipei, committing billions of dollars in military aid to Taiwan, expanding U.S. National Guard training programs with the Taiwanese military, sending ever more Congressional delegations to the island, deploying ever higher numbers of U.S. troops to the island, concurrently training hundreds of Taiwanese soldiers for war on U.S. soil,  converting Taiwan into a giant weapons depot,” and sailing American warships through the sensitive Taiwan strait almost every month.

The U.S. government absurdly promises these provocations are done to “deter” war, but China has made clear that Taiwan is a “red line” and Washington’s actions make war more likely. Beijing has repeatedly said that they are seeking a “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan but they have not ruled out using force.

Even Haines appeared to admit this when, at the same hearing, she admitted “it’s not our assessment that China wants to go to war.” Bellicose members of Congress are foaming at the mouth for a confrontation with China nonetheless.

In April, during an interview on Fox News Sunday, Republican senator and neoconservative spokesman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called for an outright reversal of “strategic ambiguity,” as well as a complete overhaul of Washington’s China policy. As the Libertarian Institute’s Kyle Anzalone reported,

Graham claimed the United States had only a short window of time to prepare for the coming conflict, calling to “increase training and get the F-16s they need in Taiwan,” He also complained about a “backlog“ of arms sales to the island, arguing the transfers should move ahead while proposing new US military deployments in Asia and elsewhere.

“I would move war forces to South Korea and Japan. I would put nuclear-tipped cruise missiles on all of our submarines all over the world,” Graham continued.

He additionally explained he was willing to send US troops to fight for Taipei, a dramatic departure from longstanding policy, saying “Yes, I’d be very much open to using US forces to defend Taiwan.”

The ultra-hawkish Republican Chair of the House Foreign Relations Committee, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), further declared that sending U.S. troops to fight China over the island of Taiwan is “on the table.” McCaul clarified his position that if “communist China invaded Taiwan, it would certainly be on the table and [that’s] something that would be discussed by Congress and with the American people.”

How gracious of our ostensible representatives! After more than 70 years of illegal, undeclared wars and millions killed, some are willing to concede perhaps before going to war with another nuclear superpower, it may warrant at least a discussion with the American people.

To date, we—the people—have not been consulted regarding any of these horrendous and reckless policies. The hyper-drive propaganda against China is already designedly overwhelming our neighbors’ psyches. Given the current anti-Russia hysteria among the populace, with minimal domestic resistance, the White House has been able to ratchet tensions with Moscow—via its proxy war in Ukraine—to levels not seen since the Cuban Missile Crisis. In fact, it’s even worse, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists says the risk of nuclear war has never been higher.

There is no telling what Americans may be frightened into consenting to if a cross-strait conflict kicks off, or if there is an accident or confrontation between U.S. and Chinese forces in the South China Sea. Not too long ago, some were almost calling for war with China over a weather balloon.

As is the case with Russia, the U.S. launching a direct war with Beijing is essentially guaranteed to lead to a nuclear exchange. In such a scenario, China has the ability to destroy continental American cities, not just the aircraft carrier strike groups and the hundreds of U.S. military bases encircling China.

This should go without saying, if the hawks were honest about the risks of the war with China they are proposing, and indeed cultivating, the American people would refuse to allow a continuation of the buildup at all.

It is not inconceivable that, under the circumstances, an informed American populace may collectively decide they no longer wish to be ruled by notoriously venal people in Washington irrevocably caught up in the insane, outmoded, long discredited, and arms industry funded neoconservative ideology of unipolar, global hegemony.

And yes, that is what this coming war with China is about: world domination by Washington. The same Democrats and Republicans whose hands are still covered in blood from Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Palestine, Yemen, Somalia, and Afghanistan now want to go to war with China.

But just like the other wars you’ve likely lived through, it’s not our war—it’s their war—even if the American people are fighting it.

We must stop this madness.

Connor Freeman is the assistant editor and a writer at the Libertarian Institute, primarily covering foreign policy. He is a co-host on Conflicts of Interest. You can follow him on Twitter @FreemansMind96

May 11, 2023 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Biden unilaterally extends ‘national emergency’ targeting Syria

The Cradle | May 9, 2023

On 8 May, US President Joe Biden signed a new one-year extension for the “national emergency” declared concerning Syria, just one day after the Arab League approved Damascus’ reentry to the bloc despite Washington’s objections.

Initially signed in 2004 by former president George W. Bush, Executive Order 13338 classified Syria, a nation nearly 10,000km away from Washington, as an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.”

“The United States will consider changes in policies and actions of the Government of Syria in determining whether to continue or terminate this national emergency in the future,” Biden’s letter concludes.

On Sunday, White House officials confirmed that crushing US sanctions on Syria would continue to be enforced despite an ongoing push by the Arab world to normalize ties with the war-torn country.

“We do not believe that Syria merits readmission to the Arab League at this time, and it’s a point that we’ve made clear with all of our partners,” US State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel said on 7 May.

Since 2011, Syria has been the setting of a brutal war sponsored by several members of NATO and regional nations like Qatar and Saudi Arabia. This includes the ongoing occupation of large swathes of its territory by the US and Turkiye and the plundering of its natural resources and humanitarian aid by anti-government militias.

While the CIA was tasked with arming and training extremist groups in Syria since late 2012, US troops officially entered the fray once Damascus asked for Russia’s help to push back against ISIS in 2015.

Seeing the gains the Syrian and Russian armies made against ISIS and other armed groups, the US partnered with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) to create the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), effectively starting a race for control of Syria’s resource-rich Deir Ezzor and Hasakah governorates.

Around 900 US troops are still present in Syria. Their deployment is illegal under international law, as the government in Damascus did not approve it.

Moreover, former US presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump deployed the troops without congressional approval, abusing the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) passed in 2001 in the wake of the 11 September attacks.

May 9, 2023 Posted by | Economics, Illegal Occupation, Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

South Korean Leader’s US Visit Sets Stage for New Cold War in Pacific

By James Tweedie – Sputnik – 26.04.2023

The election of right-wing South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol has once again frozen relations with the north. Greg Elich, Korea Policy Institute board member and a contributor to the collection Sanctions as War: Anti-Imperialist Perspectives on American Geo-Economic Strategy, said Seoul had taken Washington’s side in the broader new Cold War.

The South Korean presidential state visit to the US is intended to cement agreement on ratcheting up the “new Cold War” with China, North Korea and Russia, says a regional expert.

Yoon Suk-yeol arrived in Washington DC on Tuesday for talks with US President Joe Biden.

Officials said the focus of the discussions was North Korea’s nuclear weapon and missile programmes, now back in motion after a deal brokered by former US leader Donald Trump collapsed after the US resumed its twice-yearly joint military exercises with the south.

Greg Elich told Sputnik that Yoon’s visit was “about overt military aggression, alliance building and threat signalling,” not the “stalking horse” of Pyongyang’s missile tests.

Yoon “repeatedly made it clear that he wants to subordinate South Korea’s foreign policy to the US Indo-Pacific strategy,” Elich said. “Basically, he’s adopted the role of vassal state. There’s no critical examination of the US role in the Asia Pacific. He just wants to strengthen that alliance.”

The Asia expert pointed out that Yoon had recently angered Beijing by weighing in on Taiwan’s claim to independence, describing it as “a global issue that goes beyond the regional level.”

“Taiwan is basically an internal Chinese affair. It’s the one-China policy that most of the nations in the world, including the United States, recognize that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China,” Elich said. “This is Yoon’s way of going along with US policy lately of trying to internationalize and make Taiwan a global issue rather than internal affairs.”

At a recent meeting between Asian governments and NATO officials, the South Korean deputy foreign minister said he welcomed the US-led military bloc’s “leadership” in the pacific, adding that “We hope to work more closely with NATO.”

“The US wants South Korea to provide direct military assistance to Ukraine, including howitzers and military shells,” Elich noted, pointing to Seoul’s agreement to supply the US with half a million artillery shells on credit — ostensibly on the basis that they will not be re-exported to Ukraine. “This is about South Korea saying that it’s not adhering to its policy of not becoming directly involved with a war in Ukraine while actually doing so.”

Turning to the tensions between the Republic of Korea (RoK) and the northern Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the commentator did not believe the US would back Yoon’s recent threat to develop his own nuclear weapons.

“But one of the key things that they will be discussing this week is the US nuclear umbrella over South Korea and what circumstances the US would deploy nuclear weapons against North Korea,” Elich said. “Both the US and and Yoon want to take a more aggressive stance against North Korea. They’re doing everything to ramp up tensions.”
The DPRK’s moratorium on nuclear weapon and missile tests was dependent on Trump’s pledge to halt bi-annual US-South Korean military exercises along the Demilitarised Zone border that partitions the Korean peninsula.

“There’s been a tremendous ramp-up in both the size and frequency of military exercises in South Korea, and not just in South Korea,” Elich siad, also mentioning the Cobra Gold wargames in Thailand. “That was directed to basically China because it was all about, quote, keeping the Indo-Pacific free and open. The standard coded language for the China campaign.”

“But on the Korean Peninsula as well, the US has flown this year in nuclear capable bombers,” he added. “this is the largest exercises in several years, basically trying to keep tensions ramped up against North Korea.”

April 26, 2023 Posted by | Militarism | , , | Leave a comment

Spy letter about Hunter Biden shows how Dems are undermining democracy

By James Bovard | April 21, 2023

In the closing address at last month’s Summit for Democracy, Secretary of State Antony Blinken piously proclaimed, “As President Biden has said, democracy doesn’t happen by accident.

“It requires constant effort.”

Or in the case of the 2020 election, it required deceiving American voters.

The House Judiciary Committee revealed that Blinken, then a top Biden adviser, orchestrated the letter from 51 top intelligence officials claiming that Hunter Biden’s laptop was nothing but a Russian disinformation campaign.

Blinken contacted former acting CIA chief Mike Morell, who swayed scores of other former top officials — including three ex-CIA chiefs — to sign that letter to debunk the biggest threat to the Biden presidential campaign.

In the final presidential debate on Oct. 22, Joe Biden invoked that letter from former intelligence officials to deflect Donald Trump’s attacks on Biden family corruption.

Polls show that Biden would have lost the election if the media had accurately reported the contents of that laptop.

Biden pretended that letter arose spontaneously from the patriotic sentiments of former officials.

But the letter was “triggered” by Blinken’s call to Morell, who then contacted his former colleagues.

Blinken’s ploy may have swayed Biden to appoint him secretary of state.

The media are mostly ignoring or downplaying the revelations of Blinken’s machinations.

If the roles were reversed, cable news and front-page headlines would be screaming about a villainous Trump operative pulling official strings to whitewash the Donald.

MSNBC would be howling about the death of democracy, and CNN hosts would be sobbing hysterically about the dirty deal.

But when Team Biden does it: nothing to see here, move along.

How many presidential elections can Democrats seek to dishonestly rig without suffering any penalty flags from media scorekeepers?

Shortly before the 2016 election, senior Hillary Clinton adviser Jake Sullivan peddled false claims linking the Trump Organization to Russia.

The Federal Election Commission last month levied a $113,000 fine on the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign for their deceptive funding to cover up their role in the Steele dossier.

The FBI, which was apparently willing to pay any price to defeat Trump, offered former British spy Christopher Steele $1 million in cash if he could prove the charges in that dossier before the 2016 election.

There was no proof — but that didn’t stop the FBI from using the dossier to get warrants to spy on Trump campaign officials from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Jake Sullivan is now Biden’s national security adviser.

Did he get that gig in part because of his willingness to lie for Democratic kingpins?

Avril Haines is Biden’s director of national intelligence.

Did signing the Hunter laptop letter help her snare that plum job?

The letter Blinken finagled would not have been so influential if journalists were not shamelessly docile to federal job titles.

Inside the Beltway, former intelligence kingpins are viewed like royalty or at least second-tier aristocracy.

But the CIA has a long record of secretly intervening in dozens of foreign elections.

In 2019, former CIA director Mike Pompeo summarized his agency’s motif: “We lied, we cheated, we stole. It was like we had entire training courses.”

Former CIA chief James Woolsey insisted in 2018 that the CIA intervenes in elections “only for a very good cause in the interests of democracy.”

Yet the letter from former spooks was instantly revered by journalists as if it were handed down from Mt. Sinai.

For the Washington political elite, defeating Donald Trump was the ultimate good cause to save democracy.

Biden talks as if his 2020 election victory was the result of practically a divine incarnation of the “will of the people.”

Unfortunately, presidential elections are irrevocable regardless of how many voters were conned.

How much official deceit can democracy survive?

Any notion of “informed consent” by voters is a mirage if federal agencies and former officials have the power to endlessly distort the news.

Shortly after he became secretary of state, Blinken boasted that the US government doesn’t sweep problems “under the rug. . . . We deal with them in the daylight, with full transparency.”

That pledge apparently did not extend to Blinken’s own tampering with the 2020 election.

What else is Blinken hiding, and when will the next shoe fall?

April 24, 2023 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , | Leave a comment

‘Growing Frustration’ At FBI Over Failure to Charge Hunter Biden – Report

By Wyatt Reed – Sputnik – 22.04.2023

There’s “growing frustration” among the FBI as US President Joe Biden’s unruly son Hunter has yet to be charged in multiple felonies and misdemeanor investigations over a year after agents concluded the bulk of their research, US media is reporting.

Investigators in the FBI “finished the bulk of their work on the case about a year ago,” according to NBC News, which noted that “a senior law enforcement source said the IRS finished its investigation more than a year ago” as well.

Per the outlet, “the possible charges are two misdemeanor counts for failure to file taxes, a single felony count of tax evasion related to a business expense for one year of taxes, and the gun charge,” which is “also a potential felony.”

The revelation comes just two days after a lawyer representing an anonymous IRS employee wrote in a letter to Congress that his client, a “career IRS Criminal Supervisory Special Agent who has been overseeing the ongoing and sensitive investigation of a high profile, controversial subject since early 2020,” is seeking to testify before the legislators as a protected whistleblower.

According to the lawyer, the IRS Special Agent, who’s reportedly spent over a decade on the job, is seeking to provide information that would “contradict sworn testimony to Congress by a senior political appointee,” “clear conflicts of interest” in the case, and specific instances of “preferential treatment and politics improperly infecting decisions and protocols.”

It’s unclear whether authorities are still considering charging the younger Biden with money laundering and failing to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act as well. But over the past several years, the Justice Department has seriously ramped up prosecutions of alleged FARA violations – though so far they’ve largely focused on those politically opposed to the Biden family.

In 2018, Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was sentenced to 60 months in prison for supposed FARA violations relating to work carried out in Ukraine. He was hit with a further 30 months for other charges as well.

This week, several Black socialists in Florida were indicted for allegedly failing to register under FARA by prosecutors who accuse them of not telling US officials they received funds from someone supposedly acting on behalf of the Russian government, further fueling suspicions that the Biden administration’s prosecutions are politically motivated.

April 22, 2023 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Progressive Hypocrite | , | 1 Comment