Friday, March 16, 2018

Bear Roar

Time to step back and reserve judgment regarding the case:

"Britain expels 23 Russian diplomats over ex-spy’s poisoning" by Richard PÉREZ-PeÑA New York Times  March 14, 2018

LONDON — Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain expelled 23 Russian diplomats Wednesday over the poisoning of a former Russian spy on British soil, raising tensions between the two countries to a level not seen since the heights of the Cold War. She vowed to crack down on Russian spies, corrupt elites, and ill-gotten wealth in Britain.

Her statement to Parliament came after Moscow rejected a British deadline for Russia to explain itself over this month’s attack on the former spy, Sergei V. Skripal, and his daughter.

The relations between the two countries disintegrated in recent days, with Britain widening an investigation into the incident and courting friends and allies to pressure Russia, while Moscow has threatened to retaliate over any punitive action.

The strident remarks from the British prime minister were a marked departure for a leader who has faced a litany of domestic and international issues. May’s government is consumed with Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, a complex negotiation that it appears to be struggling with. And its closest international ally, the United States, is led by a president who has appeared reluctant to openly criticize Russia.

“This represents an unlawful use of force by the Russian state against the United Kingdom,” May said in an address to the House of Commons. “It must therefore be met with a full and robust response.”

She described the expelling 23 diplomats as the biggest expulsion in more than 30 years, hearkening back to a period in which Britain and the United States faced off against the Soviet Union.

Certain forces are sure trying to push the world that way.

The prime minister also said the government had agreed on new powers to crack down on the activities of foreign intelligence agents in Britain, that there was no place for “serious criminals and corrupt elites” in the country, and that an invitation for Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov of Russia to visit had been withdrawn.

No place for them unless they are Rothschilds, et al.

She added that no British ministers or royals would attend the World Cup in Russia this summer, that Britain would “increase checks on private flights, customs, and freight,” and that it would “freeze Russian state assets wherever we have the evidence that they may be used to threaten the life or property of UK nationals or residents.”


“They have treated the use of a military-grade nerve agent in Europe with sarcasm, contempt, and defiance,” May said of Russia. “Their response has demonstrated complete disdain for the gravity of these events. They have provided no credible explanation.”

Where is her proof? Have you seen it?

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley called the assassination attempt part of ‘‘an alarming increase’’ in the use of chemical weapons — and said Russia is ‘‘a growing concern in all of this dangerous and destabilizing activity.’’

Hysterical Haley! 

How distasteful!

Haley said the US will stop complaining about Russia ‘‘if the Russian government stopped using chemical weapons to assassinate its enemies, and if the Russian government stopped helping its Syrian allies to use chemical weapons to kill Syrian children.’’

(Blog editor just shakes head; USrael is responsible for white phosphorus and depleted uranium use, and her CIA is the champion of assassinations)

As for Syria, a senior Kurdish official, key to US policy, was killed (Russia obviously to blame), as thousands fled violence in mass exoduses from Syrian towns, a reminder of how the conflict that sparked a humanitarian catastrophe continues to hit new lows as it enters its eighth year.

She told an emergency meeting of the Security Council on Wednesday that Russia must also cooperate with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and turn over all information related to the military-grade nerve agent Novichok that British official say was used in the attack.

Since Monday, when May said that “it is highly likely that Russia was responsible” for the nerve-agent attack on Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury, England, this month, President Vladimir Putin’s government has made a series of statements denying any involvement and threatening dire consequences for Britain if it acts against Russia.


On Wednesday, the Russian Embassy in London said the British “hostile action” was “totally unacceptable, unjustified, and shortsighted.”

Earlier, Lavrov had said Britain was “acting out political drama” rather than investigating the matter seriously.

“Russia could not have had any motives” for the attack, he said, “but those who would like to continue a Russophobic campaign in absolutely all areas of human activities” could have had such motives.

Moscow has demanded that it be part of a joint investigation into the attack on the Skripals, along with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and that Britain turn over a sample of the nerve agent.

Seems reasonable to me.

May identified the chemical as a Novichok, a class of extremely deadly nerve agents developed by the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s. Britain was sending samples of the toxin to the chemical weapons organization for verification, the British prime minister said Wednesday.

The country has tried to marshal support from international organizations, an effort potentially complicated by Britain’s impending exit from the European Union, disputes within NATO, and the reluctance of President Trump to denounce Putin. Despite those tensions, several of Britain’s European allies have been quick to express solidarity over the attack on the Skripals, who remain hospitalized in critical condition.

Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, wrote on Twitter on Wednesday that he stood with May on what he called a “brutal attack inspired, most likely, by Moscow,” and said he was prepared to put the matter on the agenda for the council’s meeting next week.

Saying they inspired it doesn't mean they did it.

Skripal, a former Russian military intelligence officer, was imprisoned in 2006 for selling secrets to the British. In 2010, he was sent to Britain as part of a spy swap. He and his daughter were found unresponsive on a park bench in the cathedral city of Salisbury on March 4.

Which means he was no threat to Russia at all, so why kill him?

Also on Wednesday, Britain called for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the attack, and delivered a statement to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, decrying Russian aggression in Ukraine and Georgia, the country’s involvement in the Syrian civil war, and civil rights abuses within Russia, as well as the nerve agent attack.....

Why not throw in the kitchen sink, too?



US, France, Germany join UK in blaming Russia for spy attack

Also see:

Body of wife of Nobel-winning professor found at landfill 

Family: Nobel prize winner confused when wife’s body found

I'll bet Russia had something to do with it.

Four killed when new pedestrian bridge collapses near Miami


I'm calling them out.

Top Slovak official quits amid protests after reporter’s killing

Once again, it was, you know.....

Spanish and Portuguese police seize more than 2 tons of cocaine, arrest 10

Catholic, Jewish leaders in Poland seek to reduce tensions

Doctors to examine US man sought by Poland in Nazi case

Turns out it was once again.....

"Angela Merkel, 63, has long dismissed the notion that she should be regarded as the ‘‘leader of the free world’’ following the election of Trump, who is unpopular in Germany and elsewhere in Europe. She says no one person or country can solve every problem; however, elsewhere in Europe, Italy has entered postelection political gridlock just as Germany’s ends. And there are growing tensions between western nations and countries in eastern Europe, such as the nationalist governments of Poland and Hungary....."

Tell that to Malmstrom:

"A man who lives on a Maine island is accused of making hundreds of vulgar and threatening phone calls to the Swedish Embassy in Washington, D.C. The Bangor Daily News reports that 39-year-old Eric Malmstrom, of Vinalhaven, allegedly threatened Swedish Embassy officials and their families, and even the Swedish monarch. Court documents indicate the threats began last fall, continued after deputies checked on his welfare in November, and eventually reached 10 calls a day. Malmstrom was arrested this month in Sanford after threatening to travel to Washington to harm embassy employees. Malmstrom’s lawyer didn’t immediately return a message on Wednesday....."

I'm sure he would be happier in Finland.

Trump administration sanctions Russians for election meddling and cyberattacks

A cyberattack in Saudi Arabia had a deadly goal. Experts fear another try

Had to have been, you know.....


"Secretive raids part of US effort to stop Kabul attacks" by Dan Lamothe Washington Post  March 14, 2018

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — The United States is bolstering its efforts to assist the Afghan government squash a rash of deadly high-profile attacks in its capital city through Special Operations raids, intelligence to map out who lives in the city, and additional military advising, the top US general here said.

The New World Order bringing its Total Surveillance Grid to Afghanistan..... and they called it liberation!

Army General John W. Nicholson Jr. said that defending Kabul is the main effort for the US-led military coalition right now. While the number of bombings in the sprawling city has remained about the same, they have increased in size, he said. Hundreds of people have been killed within the last year, terrorizing civilians and damaging embassies and other buildings.

Then we are losing the f***er. 

Good thing Mattis is suing for peace.

The use of secretive Special Operations forces against networks of militants has been common from the streets of Baghdad to the mountains of eastern Afghanistan. But it rarely has been discussed in the city of Kabul before. It comes as the US and Afghan governments plan to build the number of Afghan special forces from 19,022 to 33,896 by 2020, according to a Pentagon report to Congress released in December.

They have been building that army for a decade and it still isn't any good.

Nicholson spoke to reporters Wednesday at the main US airfield north of Kabul as Defense Secretary Jim Mattis wrapped up a two-day visit in Afghanistan. The defense secretary, who did not grant interviews to media traveling with him Wednesday, left Bagram afterward. He arrived later in Bahrain, where he will meet with King Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa and visit with US troops.


Like Mattis, Nicholson sees a window open for the US and Afghan governments to reach a peace deal with some members of the Taliban. He cited Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s recent invitation to the Taliban to talk without preconditions, the Taliban not rejecting it out of hand and the ongoing US-led military campaign among the factors that could force a negotiated settlement.

But the attacks in Kabul must be addressed, the general said. The city, once seen as relatively safe as compared to the countryside, has been the site of some horrendous attacks over the last few years. US military and intelligence officials have warned that the Taliban will continue to carry out high-profile attacks, an effort to show that the Afghan government does not have control.

Security in Kabul has been complicated by the rapid and haphazard manner that the city has grown in the last 15 years from about 500,000 residents to about 5 million, Nicholson said. Afghan civilians have increasingly moved there during 16-plus years of war seeking not only safety, but jobs and modern amenities such as working cellphones and the Internet.

The Afghan government announced in August prior to the most recent spate of violence that it was developing a new plan to stop the attacks. Though officials did not describe it in detail, it was believed to include building security in two rings — one at the edge of the city, and another inside wrapping around the sensitive area that is home to government institutions, embassies, and the US military headquarters.

Nicholson said the security at the outer ring has traditionally been porous, but dozens of Afghan police commanders have been fired in the last few months and an effort has been made to make sure that Afghan soldiers now manning security checkpoints have appropriate training with explosive-sniffing dogs, X-ray machines, and other equipment. 

Does that look like freedom to you?

In between the two security rings, Afghan forces are expected to clear the area of militants with a mix of both targeted, intelligence-driven raids and house-to-house clearing operations, Nicholson said. Elite US.Special Operations troops will participate in at least some of the raids. 

All of a sudden, over the radio, comes the announcement, ‘‘the Taliban is in the city, the Taliban is in the city,’’ before turning to static.


If only they could deliver some law and order:

"Indonesia’s Aceh considers beheading as penalty for murder" AP  March 15, 2018

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia — The conservative Indonesian province of Aceh, known for publicly caning gays, adulterers, and gamblers, is considering the introduction of beheading as a punishment for murder, a top Islamic law official said Wednesday.

Hey, the Saudis do it and no one complains.

Syukri M. Yusuf, the head of Aceh’s Shariah Law and Human Rights Office, said the provincial government has asked his office to research beheading as a method of execution under Islamic law and to consult public opinion.

‘‘Beheading is more in line with Islamic law and will cause a deterrent effect. A strict punishment is made to save human beings,’’ Yusuf told reporters.

Aceh is the only province in Muslim-majority Indonesia to practice Shariah law, a concession made by the central government in 2005 to end a decades-long war for independence.

Its implementation has become increasingly harsh and now also applies to non-Muslims. Last year, the province for the first time caned two men for gay sex after vigilantes broke into their home and handed them over to religious police.

Yusuf said that if Shariah law is consistently applied, then crime, particularly murder, will decrease significantly or disappear.

Indonesia has the death penalty for crimes such as murder and drug trafficking, which it carries out by firing squad.


Indonesia must be drifting from the U.S. orbit.


UN envoys urges Cambodia to heed need for human rights

Myanmar Rejects U.N. Findings: ‘No Ethnic Cleansing or Genocide in Our Country’

All cozying up to China, no doubt. That's why these stories are appearing.

"President Rodrigo Duterte said Wednesday that the Philippines was withdrawing from the treaty that established the International Criminal Court. “It is apparent that the ICC is being utilized as a political tool against the Philippines,” Duterte said. Duterte’s angry words were a sharp departure from February, when he said he welcomed the court’s inquiry as a chance to prove his innocence....."

Kind says it all regarding the mindset of the elite ruling cla$$, doesn't it?

"A former president of South Korea, Lee Myung Bak, was questioned by prosecutors Wednesday on charges of bribery, embezzlement, and tax evasion, a year after another ex-leader was arrested on corruption charges. Lee was president of South Korea from 2008 to 2013. Since South Korea’s birth in 1948, all of its presidents have seen their reputations tarnished toward the end of their tenure or during their retirement because of corruption scandals involving them, their relatives, or aides. Lee’s successor, Park Geun Hye, became the first South Korean president to be impeached by Parliament, in a December 2016 vote that came amid a corruption scandal. She was formally removed from office and arrested last March....."

Looks like Peru, doesn't it?

Or Brazil, for that matter.

UN gets $100m in new funds for Palestinian aid after US cuts

The Palestinians still need nearly $350 million, and the countries that should be on guard for an Israeli false flag include Qatar, Canada, Switzerland, Turkey, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Mexico, Slovakia, India and France.

So how is the investigation going regarding the attempted assassination of the Palestinian prime minister anyway? 

The fact that there has been not one word of follow up tells you everything you need to know.