Sunday, July 14, 2019

Nuclear War is Near

The Bo$ton Globe gets you ready for it with this front page article from yesterday:

"Passing the torch: Cardiologist prepares younger colleagues to confront nuclear threat" by Robert Weisman Globe Staff, July 12, 2019

“We haven’t yet got the message out to the public,” said Dr. James Muller, 76, a prominent cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “It’s a mystery why the presidential candidates are largely silent on this.”

As a young doctor, Muller pressed heads of state to halt weapons-building and spelled out the danger of nuclear arms on Soviet television. He cofounded the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War at the height of the Cold War. Its work earned him and his colleagues — American and Russian heart specialists — the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize.

Now, after a hiatus of more than three decades, Muller is back in the fray, warning a younger generation of doctors that he hopes will carry forward his antinuclear campaign. It’s part of a broader effort by a corps of aging physicians and their allies to share what they learned in an earlier era, when the danger of nuclear war was seen as paramount, but Muller and his colleagues are discovering that the environment for activism has changed. The Internet has shortened attention spans and splintered audiences. Events including the Cuban missile crisis, and even the atom bombs dropped on Japan in World War II, have receded in history, and other looming threats, notably global warming and gun violence, weigh more heavily on young people.

Then throw the book at them, 'eh?

I'm just wonder what the Globe and good doctor know that we don't.

“People in my generation are talking about climate change,” said Emily Anderson, 25, a Boston University medical student. “We’re seeing the effects, and it’s pretty scary. The nuclear issue’s slid under the radar. It’s something I don’t have the bandwidth for yet.”

Joe Hodgkin, a 29-year-old internal medicine resident at the Brigham who Muller hopes might take up the antinuclear charge, admitted, “When I talk to some people my age, they see the threat of nuclear war as something that’s far away.”

That’s the challenge for Muller, who is in a hurry to convey the urgency of the threat. 

I don't think I will be sleeping tonight.

When playing guitar and bantering with neighbors at the recent Newton Porchfest, the soft-spoken Muller seems like a man who would be content to spend his afternoons belting out Beatles songs on his porch with his wife, Kathleen, and their grown children, but he has long been drawn to social justice issues. He was founding president of Voice of the Faithful, the Catholic laity reform movement spawned by the clergy abuse crisis, after years of sounding the alarm on nuclear weapons.

Oh, he was at the porchfest

I'll bet he was a real party pooper.

Muller still vividly recalls the “duck-and-cover” air-raid drills at his grade school in Indianapolis early in the Cold War. After the Soviets launched the Sputnik satellite in 1957, his father advised him to learn Russian. He studied the language at Notre Dame and later as an exchange student in Moscow. In medical school at Johns Hopkins, a professor’s lecture jolted him into recognizing the threat of nuclear annihilation. He remembers staring out the window of his Baltimore dorm room imagining the devastation that could be unleashed. 

Now it's an active shooter drill in kindergarten.

As part of the antinuclear physicians group, Muller reached out to Russian doctors. In one of its greatest successes, a team of American and Soviet physicians, led by Dr. Bernard Lown of Harvard and Dr. Yevgeny Chazov, personal physician to Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, were permitted to appear on Soviet television in 1982 to talk to an estimated 200 million Russian viewers about the threat. Muller addressed the viewers in fluent Russian.

Another American cardiologist who took part in the broadcast was Dr. John Pastore, also a longtime Boston physician. In the 1960s, he was one of the first US doctors to visit Hiroshima after the United States dropped an atomic bomb in 1945, killing more than 90,000 people. Conveying the human suffering that continued decades later “is getting more challenging the farther away we get” from the bombing, said Pastore, now 77.

The calculations behind nuclear deterrence can seem remote to young people, especially those who have few connections to the military and no direct experience of war, said Lawrence Clifford, a retired Air Force brigadier general who flew reconnaissance jets for the Strategic Air Command.

“Jim Muller and most of my military colleagues would be on the same page” on preventing nuclear war, Clifford said.

For all his passion, Muller admitted he “burned out” on the nuclear issue in the mid-1980s. “The issue is so horrible that it’s difficult to work on it your entire life,” he said, but after more than 30 years of focusing on his career, raising a family, and launching a couple of startups aimed at detecting the plaques that cause heart attacks, Muller returned to the cause two years ago when he became unnerved by rising tensions with North Korea.

Well, he ain't alone and Trump must have put him at ease over Korea.

The insults and nuclear threats exchanged between President Trump and the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, in 2017 were “a wake-up call that the problem was back,” said Muller. He arranged a meeting in New York with the North Korean ambassador to the United Nations. Muller was invited to visit Pyongyang, but the trip was canceled by the US government during preparations for the first Trump-Kim summit.

Muller said he plans to “get a Twitter handle” to help get the word out, but he first turned to a more familiar and conventional forum to reach medical peers. The scientists’ alarm isn’t reflected in public polling. In a Gallup poll before last November’s midterm election, gun policy and climate change were listed among 12 issues deemed extremely or very important. The nuclear threat didn’t register. By contrast, 57 percent of Americans surveyed by Gallup in 1984 cited nuclear weapons as a top issue.

At the recent lunch in the Brigham cafe, Muller talked about the difficulty of combining activism and a medical career with Hodgkin, the Brigham resident, and another young protege, Noy Kaufman, 26, a cardiovascular research assistant at the Brigham who is bound for medical school. They spoke about bird-dogging presidential candidates. Muller also urged them to press forward with his group’s “Back from the Brink” campaign, which advocates ending the unchecked authority of a president to launch a nuclear attack and scrapping a trillion-dollar “enhanced” weapons program, but will enough people listen? “It’s a question of human intelligence,” Muller told his young colleagues. “Can people recognize the threat without actually experiencing it?”


If that doesn't stop your heart, maybe this will:

"House votes to restrain Trump on war with Iran, setting up showdown with the Senate" by Karoun Demirjian Washington Post, July 12, 2019

WASHINGTON — The House voted Friday to prevent President Trump from launching into war with Iran without getting Congressional approval first, after more than two dozen Republicans joined Democrats to include the provision in the House’s annual defense authorization bill.

The move sets up a likely showdown with the Senate over whether the Iran restriction, which includes an exception for cases of self-defense, will be included in the final bill negotiated between the two chambers. The House voted 220 to 197 Friday to pass its version of the annual defense bill, despite Trump’s threat to veto the legislation.

So they did what they must even with the fur flying.

Republican leaders in the House and Senate have argued that the Iran language members included in the bill by a vote of 251 to 170 would send a bad message to Tehran that the United States is divided, complicating the president’s ability to manage escalating tensions. Supporters of the provision in the Senate failed to come up with enough votes last month to include a similar Iran measure in its defense bill.

The debate comes amid increased friction between Iran and the United States and its allies. The Iran amendment is just one of several high-profile measures that lawmakers voted this week to include in the first defense authorization bill Democrats have steered through the House since taking over the majority earlier this year. 

Did you notice the subtle WaComPo framing there, as if Iran has no allies?

Those measures, which range from ending US participation in Saudi Arabia’s military campaign in Yemen to undoing Trump’s ban on transgender troops, helped secure the support of liberal Democrats from the congressional Progressive Caucus, who had previously warned that they might vote against the defense bill, but those measures lost Democrats what little Republican support existed for the House’s defense bill.

That stands in sharp contrast to the traditionally bipartisan turnout for defense bills, even when the parties spar over provisions along the way. Instead, Republican leaders accused Democrats of using the must-pass measure to play politics in a way that is ‘‘shameful,’’ House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, Republican of California, said Friday morning.

What the traditional biparti$an$hip means is support for the war machine.

In fact, you can tell who really runs Washington based on the amount of unanimity with which bills pass. Aid to Israel is always at the top of the list, opposed by only a handful in either chamber. After that it is the funding of the MIC were a few dozen may oppose it. The inaction against the pharmaceuticals, and a bailout whizzed through in a week for banks tells you about those lobbies, while the handful of energy industries that are harangued pretty much round out the handful of top hierarchies in Wa$hington.

‘‘Our national security is not a game. But that is exactly how Democrats are treating it,’’ McCarthy said of the bill.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Representative Adam Smith, Democrat of Washington, visibly riled at the charge, retorted that Republicans ‘‘can oppose [the bill], that’s fine, but to say we don’t care about national security . . . is a baldfaced lie.’’

‘‘In fact, our bill isn’t just good, it’s better than the ones that the Republican Party has put together, because we believe the Pentagon should be accountable,’’ Smith continued.

At the heart of the dispute between Republicans and Democrats is a disagreement over how much money Congress should allocate to the Pentagon and military this year. Republicans and the Trump administration want a $750 billion bill, which is the overall size of the defense authorization bill that the Senate passed last month, but the House’s bill clocks in at $733 billion — a figure that Smith argued military leaders endorsed previously.

For liberal Democrats, $733 billion was too steep a jump over the current fiscal year’s $717 billion authorization. In an effort to level out spending, they proposed a $16.8 billion reduction to the war funding authorized under the bill, but the effort failed to pass the House Friday morning, after Republicans and many Democrats opposed it.....


It's going to be this:

At the heart of the dispute between Republicans and Democrats is a disagreement over how much money Congress should allocate to the Pentagon and military this year.
At the heart of the dispute between Republicans and Democrats is a disagreement over how much money Congress should allocate to the Pentagon and military this year. (Charles Dharapak/Associated Press/File 2008)

Against this:

The supertanker Grace 1 off the coast of Gibraltar. (JORGE GUERRERO/AFP/Getty Images)
The supertanker Grace 1 off the coast of Gibraltar. (JORGE GUERRERO/AFP/Getty Images)(JORGE GUERRERO)

"Iran calls on Britain to release oil tanker" by Erin Cunningham and Michael Birnbaum Washington Post, July 12, 2019

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Iran called on Britain on Friday to release an Iranian supertanker seized off the coast of Gibraltar last week, warning British authorities against playing a ‘‘dangerous and unclear’’ game.

‘‘We call on [Britain] to release the oil tanker as soon as possible, because it would be in the interests of everyone,’’ Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said in an interview with the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency.

He questioned the legal basis for the ship’s detention, which authorities in Gibraltar said was a lawful seizure. Gibraltar is a British territory, and Britain’s royal Marines assisted in the operation to apprehend the vessel in the Mediterranean last week.

Authorities said that it was carrying 2.1 million barrels of light crude oil to a refinery in the Syrian port Banias, in violation of European Union sanctions. Police in Gibraltar arrested the ship’s captain and three officers and seized documents and electronic devices.

‘‘We acted because we had reasonable grounds to believe that this vessel was taking actions in breach of established EU sanctions against Syria,’’ Gibraltar’s chief minister, Fabian Picardo, told the territory’s Parliament on Friday.

Mousavi said the claims are ‘‘without legal basis.’’

‘‘We advise [Britain] not to start a dangerous and unclear game under the influence of the Americans,’’ he said.

The confrontation over the Iranian tanker comes amid broader tensions between Iran and Western countries, both in the Persian Gulf and over the 2015 nuclear deal Iran struck with world powers.

What deal? Washington tore it up.

Britain said Thursday that Iranian vessels attempted to block the oil tanker British Heritage near the Strait of Hormuz but were repelled by a British naval escort.

Iran has threatened to retaliate against British shipping assets in the gulf in response to the detention of the Grace 1 supertanker.

The British government said Friday that the destroyer HMS Duncan is being deployed to assist in maritime security efforts in the region, replacing the HMS Montrose.

The deployment is meant to ‘‘ensure we maintain a continuous maritime security presence’’ in the Persian Gulf, helping international partners to ‘‘support freedom of navigation for vessels transiting’’ the vital waterway, the government said in a statement, Reuters news agency reported.

So the whole event, if it even happened, was a pretext for increased deployment by the British, huh?

In Brussels, European diplomats said Friday that they were working to preserve the nuclear agreement after Iran’s decision this week to begin enriching uranium beyond levels set by the deal. Earlier this month, Iran also breached the 300-kilogram limit on its stockpile of enriched uranium.

The moves are part of a strategy to compel European nations to reset the deal’s terms and compensate Iran after a US withdrawal from the pact last year, Iranian officials said.

The mind is boggled by that pile of Washington ComPost BS filling up the toilet. 

Somehow, the European failure to abide by the deal and instead toady up to Washington is now describe as trying to preserve the deal, while it is Iran that is trying to complete a reset of a deal they had been abiding by and which the Trump administration abandoned.

The upside-down, inside-out distortion turned propaganda pre$$ narrative just mushroom-clouded my skull.

The United States abandoned the pact and reimposed sanctions on Iran in the fall, part of a ‘‘maximum pressure campaign’’ it hopes will persuade Iran to negotiate a broader deal that includes its ballistic missile program and its support of proxy forces across the Middle East.

‘‘We want to do everything to preserve the nuclear agreement,’’ a senior EU diplomat said at a briefing in Brussels on Friday. The diplomat spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive negotiations over the deal.

You can stand up to the U.S. if you mean it.

European officials said they were not yet ready to take formal action against Iran for the violations, saying they did not think the measures signified a decision by Tehran to walk away from the accord.



"The European Union supports an Iraqi proposal to hold a regional conference amid rising tensions between the United States and Iran, the group’s foreign policy chief said Saturday. Iraq is an ally of the two rival nations, which are on a collision course as the Iran nuclear deal threatens to unravel. Iraq has offered to mediate between Tehran and Washington, while Iran has pressed European parties to the nuclear agreement to offset the effects of U.S. sanctions. Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini, on her first visit since 2014, said the EU shared with Iraq the approach to dealing with the difficult situation, adding that the priority is to avoid escalation and any miscalculations that could lead to “dangerous consequences” for Iraq and beyond. She said the EU is ready to support the regional conference idea “in all ways that could be useful.”

Where is France in all this?

Also see:  Leaked UK memo says Trump ended Iran nuclear deal to spite Obama

One 2018 cable published by the Mail on Sunday said U.K. ambassador Kim Darroch says President Donald Trump pulled out of an international nuclear deal with Iran as an act of ‘‘diplomatic vandalism’’ to spite his predecessor, Barack Obama.

The diplomatic row has threatened to leave us all covered in ash and soot, and if only Iran had a defense system in place:

A handout photograph taken and released on Friday by the Turkish Defence Ministry showed a Russian military cargo plane carrying the S-400 missile defense system from Russia to the Murted military airbase in Ankara.
A handout photograph taken and released on Friday by the Turkish Defence Ministry showed a Russian military cargo plane carrying the S-400 missile defense system from Russia to the Murted military airbase in Ankara. (AFP Photo/Turkish Defence Ministry)

"Turkey gets first shipment of Russian missile system, defying US" by Carlotta Gall New York Times, July 12, 2019

ISTANBUL — Defying strenuous US objections and the threat of sanctions, Turkey began receiving the first shipment of a sophisticated Russian surface-to-air missile system Friday, a step certain to test the country’s uneasy place in the NATO alliance.

The system, called the S-400, includes advanced radar to detect aircraft and other targets, and the United States has been unyielding in its opposition to Turkey’s acquisition of the equipment, which is deeply troubling to Washington on several levels.

It puts Russian technology inside the territory of a key NATO ally — one from which strikes into Syria have been staged. The Russian engineers who will be required to set up the system, US officials fear, will have an opportunity to learn much about the US-made fighter jets that are also part of Turkey’s arsenal.

That is one reason the Trump administration has already moved to block the delivery of the F-35 stealth fighter jet, one of the United States’ most advanced aircraft, to Turkey, and has suspended the training of its pilots, who were learning how to fly it, but the problem runs far deeper. A breach with Turkey over the S-400 casts into question the future of the Incirlik air base, a critical post for US forces in the region, and while US officials never discuss it in public, the base is also the storage site for scores of US tactical nuclear weapons, a leftover of the Cold War.

To the minds of Pentagon strategists, the S-400 deal is part of President Vladimir Putin’s plan to divide NATO. US officials are clearly uneasy when asked about the future of the alliance, or even how Turkey could remain an active member of NATO while using Russian-made air defenses.

“The political ramifications of this are very serious because the delivery will confirm to many the idea that Turkey is drifting off into a non-Western alternative,” said Ian Lesser, director of the German Marshall Fund in Brussels. “This will create a lot of anxiety and bad feelings inside NATO — it will clearly further poison sentiment for Turkey inside the alliance.”

Well, maybe the Obama coup attempt back in 2016 wasn't a good idea after all.

Strategically positioned at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, and sharing a border on the Black Sea with Russia, Turkey has long been both a vital peg in NATO and one of its more prickly members.

Prickly because they aren't a total vassal like the EU members and the government actually cares about the national interest.

With one foot in the conflicts of the Middle East and a toehold in Europe, its interests have not always easily aligned with an alliance originally forged as a Western European defense against the Soviets. Instead, under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey has increasingly played both sides in the East-West struggle.

NATO has stationed the American-made Patriot surface-to-air missile system on Turkish soil since the outbreak of the civil war in Syria, but Erdogan has insisted his country needs its own long-range system.

Turkey tried for years to buy its own Patriot system, but talks with Washington never produced a deal — a result that President Trump, at the Group of 20 meeting last month, said was the fault of the Obama administration.

“It’s a mess,” Trump said. “And honestly, it’s not really Erdogan’s fault.”

Even as he announced the arrival of three planes bearing the first parts of the Russian system, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said Turkey still hoped to buy its US counterpart. “We are looking for Patriot procurement and our institutions are working intensively in that regard,” he said in remarks shown on the state-owned TRT channel.

Turkey does need to fill a gap in its defenses, but in purchasing the S-400, “the political-military outcomes could turn into a weakness for Turkey’s security,” said Ahmet Han, professor of international relations at Altinbas University in Istanbul. “The delivery has already caused a creeping vulnerability because it has damaged Turkey’s relations with NATO.”

On the other hand, it is a state-of-the-art defense that virtually neutralizes any US or Israeli bombing attack.

The presence of the Russian system — which includes truck-mounted radars, command posts, and missiles and launchers — would introduce an extra consideration into every NATO operation, he said, and that added strain “is the exact thing that Russia is after.”

Turkey’s turn to Russia for its own system is a success for Putin, who has sought to draw Turkey closer since a dramatic falling-out over the Syrian war, in which the Kremlin has backed the Assad government, while Turkey has supported a rebel faction.

The S-400 delivery comes just before celebrations Monday in Turkey to mark the third anniversary of a failed coup attempt against Erdogan. That upheaval marked a turn in relations with Russia, said Diba Nigar, the Turkey director for the International Crisis Group, a research institute based in Brussels.

Because it was Russian intelligence that tipped Erdogan off and likely saved his life. I'm sure he hasn't forgotten and is still grateful.

Many Turks, she said, believe “that NATO allies didn’t stand up for Turkey, that the West turned a blind eye during the coup but that Moscow was more supportive.”

That's because the West was behind it!

The sale also promises to add to Russia’s growing reach in the greater Middle East. Moscow’s decisive intervention in the conflict in Syria has cemented Russia’s dominance there, and Libyan strongman Khalifa Hifter is another beneficiary of its support.

Libya was in the news pages for a few days before vanishing yet again, and that must be why the CIA now considers their boy a headache.

A NATO spokesman said Friday, “We are concerned about the potential consequences of Turkey’s decision to acquire the S-400 system,” in part because it is considered technically incompatible with the weapons systems used by NATO countries.

“Interoperability of our armed forces is fundamental to NATO for the conduct of our operations and missions,” said the spokesman who, in keeping with the organization’s protocol, declined to be quoted by name. “We welcome that Turkey is working with several Allies on developing long-range air and missile defense systems.”


Were I a war-planner in Washington, I see only one option: a three-pronged attack with a nuclear strike against Iran, thereby cutting open the soft underbelly of Russia (after the false flag mushroom cloud over Chicago, a dig at Obama that will be blamed on an Iranian bomb smuggled in by Syrian terrorists). 

At the same time, NATO will open up a 3,000-mile front against the Soviets, 'er, Russia, showing Hitler how it is really done:

"Rehearsing for a shadow war against a foe embraced by Trump" by Eric Schmitt New York Times, July 13, 2019

SZOLNOK, Hungary — Secretive, behind-the-lines mission rehearsals and other operations by 1,400 US and allied commandos to combat shifting Russian threats have laid bare a fundamental tension in the Trump administration: While the president courts Moscow, much of his government considers it an increasingly dangerous foe.

Just days before President Trump made light of Russia’s interference in US elections during a meeting last month with President Vladimir Putin, teams of Army Green Berets and Navy SEALs were practicing support missions for local resistance forces in Eastern Europe and the Baltics should they have to confront Russian commandos without insignia, the so-called little green men who helped Moscow seize Crimea in 2014.

Now the New York Times is seeing little green men, but leaving that aside, I now see Crimea wasn't just annexed but now seized. 

Related: "Egypt on Saturday opened two of its oldest pyramids to visitors for the first time since 1965. Egypt has been whipping up publicity for its new historical discoveries in the hopes of reviving a devastated tourism sector still recovering from the turmoil following a 2011 uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak....."

They are still blaming that and ignoring the coup and death of Morsi, but at least the temples of the Ancient Alien Astronauts are being reopened.

Under a revamped Pentagon strategy to counter growing threats from Russia and China, US commandos are teaming up with partners on Europe’s eastern flank to thwart Russia’s so-called hybrid warfare, which allied officials say increasingly involves manipulating events using a mix of subterfuge, cyberattacks, and information warfare. The threats hark back to Cold War-era intrigue, but so far are being fought with bytes and bandwidth, not bombs and bullets.

“This is back to the future,” General Richard D. Clarke, the head of the Pentagon’s Special Operations Command, said in an interview. “Special Operations forces have to work on the edges to counter Russian aggression.”

It's another Red Scare, and to say so is sedition.

The two-week exercise in Hungary, Bulgaria, and Romania offered a window into shadowy so-called gray-zone operations, which are meant to stay below the threshold of inciting open conflict but always run the risk of touching off exactly what both sides are trying to avoid: a shooting war, but in an unexpected geopolitical twist, American and Hungarian officers here at the headquarters of this country’s special operations forces 60 miles east of Budapest sought to stay far away from domestic politics in their countries and from questions about the close links with Moscow that their commanders in chief have embraced.

Trump gave Viktor Orban, the authoritarian prime minister of Hungary and one of Europe’s leading nationalists, a warm welcome in May despite concerns about Orban’s rollback of democratic institutions and warming ties with Russia.

Once a leader in the move to adopt Western values when the Soviet bloc collapsed three decades ago, Hungary has charted a different course since Orban assumed office in 2010. Even though Hungary is a NATO ally, Orban’s government has pressured nongovernmental organizations, brought most of the news media under control of his allies and upended the electoral process to favor his party.

During Orban’s visit to Washington, Trump made no mention of the fact that Hungary spends only 1.15 percent of its economy on defense, one of the proportionately lowest in NATO, even though he routinely criticizes other leaders for not meeting the 2 percent goal set by the alliance. Likewise, Trump said nothing about Hungary’s growing energy ties with Russia, unlike his repeated criticism of Germany on the same issue.

Meantime, Trump has dismissed bipartisan concerns about Russia, most recently last month when he warmly greeted and joked with Putin on the sidelines of an international summit in Japan.

It's almost as if they are trying to goad him into war.

When asked about these seeming contradictions, the top Hungarian and American officers overseeing the commando exercise exchanged glances and, after an awkward silence, chose their words carefully.

“Military-to-military relations are really resilient to what’s going on in the political environment,” Brigadier General Tamas Sandor, the head of Hungary’s 1,000 special operations troops, said in an interview in his office. “I’m staying in my professional lane.”

What they are telling you is the MIC is bigger than the commander-in-chief. It's what Nixon once called The Beast.

In many ways, Sandor’s personal journey tracks the evolution of Eastern European militaries to NATO allies and post-9/11 comrades in the battlefields of Afghanistan from Cold War rivals.

Sandor, 52, joined the army as a cadet in the late 1980s, when Hungary was still part of the Warsaw Pact. He later trained at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., Fort Bragg, N.C., and the National Defense University in Washington. He served three tours in Afghanistan alongside US forces.

We will be getting to Afghanistan a little later in this post.

Sitting across from him was Captain Mark Schafer, 47, a member of the Navy SEALs who is heading the US-led exercise here and in neighboring Bulgaria and Romania.

“We hear the background music; we’re not deaf to it,” Schafer, a native of Utica, N.Y., whose first taste of European conflict came when he deployed to Bosnia in the late 1990s, said of the highly charged political discourse. He now commands 600 Navy SEALs on the East Coast and has deployed to war zones more than 15 times since Sept. 11, 2001.

“But as the operational commander,” Schafer said, “I’m focused on our partnered capabilities. That’s my mission.”

The Special Operations exercise came at the same time as one of the largest US-led exercises since Russia invaded Crimea. It involved thousands of other conventional American and European troops and some 50 ships staging a mock assault on the Baltic coast near Russia, and it is not just in Eastern Europe and the Baltics where US commandos are gearing up to counter Russia. Swedish and Norwegian special forces have passed along tips on having the right gear not just to survive in the increasingly contested Arctic region, but to operate effectively and improve tactics there as well, said Major General Kirk W. Smith of the Air Force, an Afghan war veteran who is the commander of several thousand American Special Operations forces in Europe.

Now Russia invaded Crimea!

The truth is, they did no such thing. After the Obama putsch in 2014, the Crimea's voted to secede from the Ukraine. They then voted in favor of joining the Russian Federation, and the Russians accepted. There was no invasion.

In their efforts, the US and its allies must overcome one natural disadvantage: Authoritarian powers, like Russia, have an easier time with hybrid conflicts built on deceptions and falsehoods.


The New York Times just ignores 75 years of the CIA interfering in elections while projecting their own behavior onto Russia, and when you think of it, no member of the propaganda pre$$ has been more responsible for starting conflicts with deception and falsehoods than the New York Times -- and they are still at it!

In the run-up to elections in Ukraine this year, US officials said, Russian-backed social media targeted US Special Operations forces and conventional troops in disinformation efforts aimed at sowing distrust between the two countries.

Ukrainian authorities acted quickly to debunk the bogus information and urged the public to report messages that they found suspicious, US officials said.

What a load of BS!

“This is going to be a very long, sustained campaign,” Smith said, referring to countering Russian efforts. “They are trying to get through the seams. Our job is to recognize that, and compete with, counter and disrupt them.”

You can't say they didn't warn you.


Thankfully, Russia's power systems have been sabotaged while they were out to lunch.


Power restored after failure leaves Manhattan’s West Side, and subway, in the dark

Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Barry crawls ashore in Louisiana, weakens to tropical storm

I'll bet they are responsible for that, too.

"A Russian Proton-M rocket successfully delivered a cutting-edge space telescope into orbit Saturday after days of launch delays, Russia’s space agency said. Roscosmos said the telescope, named Spektr-RG, was delivered into a parking orbit before a final burn Saturday that kicked the spacecraft out of Earth’s orbit and on to its final destination: the L2 Lagrange point located almost a million miles from Earth. Lagrange points are unique positions in the solar system where objects can maintain their position relative to the sun and the planets that orbit it....." 

Once again, Russia leads the world in space exploration, making things like this increasingly laughable:

"The Indian Space Research Organization plans to launch a spacecraft using homegrown technology on Monday, and it is scheduled to touch down on the moon on Sept. 6 or 7.  It will ‘‘boldly go where no country has ever gone before,’’ the organization said in a statement. With India poised to become the world’s fifth-largest economy, the ardently nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is eager to show off the country’s prowess in security and technology. India successfully test-fired an antisatellite weapon in March, which Modi said demonstrated the country’s capacity as a space power alongside the United States, Russia, and China. India also plans to send humans into space by 2022, becoming only the fourth nation to do so. India’s ambitions come amid a resurgent space race. The United States — which is marking the 50th anniversary this month of the Apollo 11 mission that made Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin the first humans on the moon — is working to send a crewed spacecraft to the lunar south pole by 2024. In April, an uncrewed Israeli craft crashed into the moon in a failed attempt at the first privately funded lunar landing. Decades of space research have allowed India to develop satellite, communications and remote sensing technologies that are helping solve everyday problems at home, from forecasting fish migration to predicting storms and floods....."

I suspect something will happen to the Indian craft also, or will they sell us production like in 1969?

A young boy was photographed by his mother in a cutout of an astronaut at the Nehru Planetarium in New Delhi.
A young boy was photographed by his mother in a cutout of an astronaut at the Nehru Planetarium in New Delhi. (Altaf Qadri/associated press)

Yes, only a child would believe it, and the $141 million Chandrayaan-2 mission will analyze minerals, map the moon’s surface, and search for water -- while ordinary Indians suffer poverty and hunger.

We are told the next ‘giant leap’ will be taken by the Chinese, which brings us to our third prong of attack: a Pacific-wide effort by the U.S. to bog China down as the soft Iranian underbelly has its guts spilled and the Russians are preoccupied with the front in Europe:

China says US should not allow visit by Taiwan’s leader

They are urging the ‘‘US to abide by the ‘one China’ principle and . . . China said it would impose sanctions on American companies that sell arms to the self-governing island as part of an expected $2.2 billion deal,’’ and it's the spark that will ignite a wider war:

"China’s trade with the United States plunged last month as a tariff war battered exporters on both sides of the Pacific Ocean, and there’s no letup in sight: Tensions between the world’s two biggest economies continue to simmer even though President Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, called a ceasefire two weeks ago. Data out Friday showed that the hostilities are taking a toll. The two countries are fighting over US allegations that China deploys predatory tactics — including stealing trade secrets and forcing foreign firms to hand over technology — in a headlong drive to challenge American technological dominance. The dispute won’t be easy to solve. Mistrust between Washington and Beijing runs high, and a substantive solution likely would require China to scale back its ambitions to become a world leader in advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence and electric cars....."

If China won't back down, more pressure will be brought to bear:

"Clashes erupt as Hong Kong protest targets Chinese traders" by Dake Kang and Nadia Lam Associated Press, July 13, 2019

HONG KONG — Several thousand people marched in Hong Kong on Saturday against traders from mainland China in what is fast becoming a summer of unrest in the semiautonomous Chinese territory.

Never mind that they have lost the public!

Violent clashes broke out at the end of the march between police and a group of mostly young protesters, who say they believe peaceful demonstrations have failed to bring about change.

And thus the hand of the CIA is exposed.

After issuing a warning, police moved forward to disperse the crowd with pepper spray and batons. In panicky scenes, fleeing protesters scrambled over each other, some falling to the ground. Some had donned protective masks and helmets ahead of the confrontation.

Earlier, walking behind a banner that read ‘‘Strictly enforce the law, stop cross-border traders,’’ the marchers passed by pharmacies and cosmetic shops that are popular with Chinese tourists and traders who bring goods back to sell in the mainland. Many of the stores were shuttered because of the protest.

Major demonstrations in the past month against a proposal to change extradition laws have reawakened other movements in Hong Kong. Thousands marched last weekend against middle-aged mainland women who sing loudly and dance somewhat provocatively in a public park. Some of the women receive tips from older men.

The covert destabilization campaigns have been reawakened!

The protests have a common refrain: Hong Kong’s government, led by a chief executive who is not democratically elected, is not addressing the people’s concerns.

The American people have so much in common with the rest of the world.

Amy Chan, a 25-year-old bank employee who joined Saturday’s march, called it a continuing action building on the momentum of the antiextradition law protests.

This after they had one final chance and were running out of steam.

‘‘There isn’t an antiextradition protest every day to keep us going,’’ she said. ‘‘I hope that through today’s action, people in Hong Kong will not forget that there are actually many other social issues waiting to be solved.’’

The city’s leader, Carrie Lam, has pledged to do a better job of listening to all sectors of society, but many protesters want her to resign.....

The ‘‘citizens are really angry,’’ and to capitulate to their demands would simply be appeasement.


Indonesia has already fallen in line:

"A woman facing six months in prison in Indonesia for recording her boss’s sexual harassment is expected to receive a presidential amnesty after an outcry over the sentence. Attorney-General Muhammad Prasetyo said Friday he suspended enforcement of the prison term and a 500 million rupiah, about $35,000, fine that were recently upheld by the Supreme Court. The case has become a ‘‘Me Too’’ movement-like moment for Indonesia, a predominantly Muslim and conservative nation that tolerates child marriage and imposes virginity tests on females who want to join the military or police. According to court documents, Baiq Nuril Maknun’s ordeal began in 2014 when as a temporary teacher at a school on Lombok she began receiving telephone calls from the headmaster describing his sexual relationship with another woman. Maknun was afraid to report the headmaster but recorded one of the calls. The recording circulated and the local education agency reported Maknun to police, who prosecuted her for violating an electronic communications law."

In addition to coming up from the south, U.S. forces can pour in from the west:

"US service member killed in action in Afghanistan" by Amir Shah Associated Press, July 13, 2019

KABUL — An American service member was killed in action in Afghanistan, the US military said Saturday without offering details about the service member’s identity or the circumstances surrounding the death.

In a telephone interview, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed said the militant group was behind the killing, even as US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has been holding talks with the Taliban in recent weeks to try to negotiate an end to the war in Afghanistan. The current conflict began in 2001 with the US-led invasion to unseat the Taliban and hunt down Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. After nearly 18 years, it is America’s longest war, in which more than 2,400 American service members have died.

Mujahed said two US service personnel were killed when Taliban militants attacked a tank in Sayed Abad district of central Wardak province, barely 40 miles south of the Afghan capital, Kabul. The discrepancy between the number of fatalities given by the United States and the Taliban could not immediately be explained, but the Taliban often exaggerate their claims.

As opposed to the Pentagon and mouthpiece pre$$, which underplay such things while exaggerating the threat from Iran and Iraq's WMD program -- or lack of one.

Honestly, the self-serving projection that serves as nothing other than propaganda has been sooooo played!

Separately, a gun battle in the capital of Badghis province in the country’s northwest left three police dead, provincial governor Abdul Ghafur Malikzai said. It still wasn’t known who was behind the attack.

Afghanistan’s police and military personnel come under near-daily attacks and have suffered staggering casualties in recent months, most often at the hands of Taliban insurgents, who say the war will continue as long as US and NATO forces are still in Afghanistan.

Earlier on Saturday, the Islamic State group’s affiliate in Afghanistan claimed responsibility for a suicide attack Friday at a wedding in eastern Nangarhar province. The bomber, a 13-year-old boy, killed six people and wounded several others. Police said the attack targeted Malik Toor, a pro-government militia commander, who was killed in the blast. The IS affiliate is headquartered in eastern Afghanistan and is slowly expanding into the mountains of nearby Kunar and Nuristan provinces, also in eastern Afghanistan.....

Yeah, that will win the population over -- same way George Washington raised the countryside during the Revolution.

The whole world knows ISIS™ is nothing more than a U.S.-created, -funded, and -directed  proxy that allows for military intervention wherever needed.



"On Friday, Canadian-Somali journalist Hodan Nalayeh, the journalist dedicated to telling positive stories from a country suffering through decades of civil war, extremist attacks and famine, was killed along with her husband, Farid Jama Suleiman, entrepreneur Mahad Nur, and at least 23 others after a bomb exploded outside the Asasey Hotel in the Somali city of Kismayo and gunmen stormed inside. Fifty-six other people were wounded in the attack, the Jubbaland regional president said. Somalia’s Islamic extremist rebels, al-Shabab, claimed responsibility for the 14-hour assault that ended as troops killed the gunmen....."

The journalist’s death was mourned on Twitter, and I had to find out about it through the obituaries.

Also see: 

"Islamic extremists blew up the gate of a Somali hotel with a car bomb and took over the building for more than 14 hours, leaving 26 people dead before Somali forces who besieged the hotel overnight killed the attackers. The victims included prominent Canadian-Somali journalist Hodan Nalayeh and her husband, Farid Jama Suleiman. Three Kenyans, three Tanzanians, two Americans and a Briton also were among the dead, said Ahmed Madobe, the president of Jubbaland regional state which controls Kismayo. Fifty-six people, including two Chinese, were injured in the hotel attack, he told reporters. At least four al-Shabab assailants attacked the Asasey Hotel Friday evening, beginning with a suicide car bomb at the entrance gate and followed by an assault by gunmen who stormed the hotel, which is frequented by politicians, patrons and lawmakers. The attack lasted more than 14 hours before troops shot dead all attackers inside the hotel compound, a local police officer said. Somalia's Islamic extremist rebels, Al-Shabab, claimed responsibility for the attack. The attack is a blow to the Somalia government's efforts to hold nation-wide, one-person one-vote elections next year....." 

We all know which death was most important to the pre$$, and that was a columned brief that appeared in my printed Sunday Globe, but was absent the web version.

As for this hemisphere, only the David Ortiz shooting and the corruption of the Dominican dream registers, as the details of the crime, the authorities’ much-doubted conclusion, the undercurrent of gossip, and the loose ends are all pieces of the complex puzzle of power in Latin America that has one seeing a conspiracy.

We end where we began:

"Janne E. Nolan, principled adviser on world affairs, dies at 67" by David Stout New York Times, July 13, 2019

WASHINGTON — Janne E. Nolan, an expert on international affairs and arms-control issues who advised politicians and diplomats and lamented the reluctance of skeptics to speak out against policies they believed to be wrong, died June 26 in Washington. She was 67.

The cause was cancer, said David J. Lane, a former US diplomat and friend who is now president of the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands in California, where world leaders gather to discuss international issues.

Ms. Nolan, who stood out as a woman in a field dominated by men, acquired her expertise through decades of scholarship and membership in numerous research organizations. She held various teaching positions and wrote nine books, including “Tyranny of Consensus: Discourse and Dissent in American National Security Policy.”

By “tyranny of consensus,” Ms. Nolan meant a kind of governmental ethos that derives from the unwillingness of officials to voice concerns about a policy that they thought mistaken, or even potentially disastrous, once it had been generally adopted and had acquired its own momentum.

Sort of like the war-games and invasion preparations being made despite president's policies, 'eh?

Former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, who knew her for many years, said in a phone interview that though Ms. Nolan had been “hard-nosed about the international system,” she had also believed that decisions based purely on realpolitik, without regard for morality and ethics, were likely to be disastrous.

Rice was one of the 9/11 collaborators (looks like they have been taken down like a WTC tower).

Ms. Nolan lamented that while America trains its military officers to obey the Constitution and to disobey orders they know to be illegal, there is no comparable training to help civilian leaders navigate the difficult terrain where “morality, strategic imperatives, and self-interest” bump up against one another.

Failure to speak up and speak out has been “a source of strategic failure over and over again,” Ms. Nolan said in 2018 in a panel discussion at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University, where she was a research professor.

Iraq, 2003.

She recalled how Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara, whom she knew well, had kept quiet as he continued to send troops to fight in Vietnam even after he realized that the US strategy embraced by President Lyndon B. Johnson and some of his generals was fundamentally flawed. McNamara was left “wracked with guilt,” she said.


Rice said Ms. Nolan had continued to concentrate on nuclear weapons policy even after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the rise of international terrorism had made nuclear issues less pressing, perhaps less fashionable, to some in Washington.

She saw curbing the spread of nuclear weapons as “one of the great moral challenges for humankind,” Rice said. “And she was right about that.”

Will Israel have to give up theirs, because if not, I want to keep ours. 

Rice said Ms. Nolan understood that working on nonproliferation of nuclear weapons was hard, unglamorous work, something that “you had to keep chipping away at” without hoping for an “aha” solution.

Ms. Nolan articulated that belief in 1990 in an op-ed article in The New York Times, occasioned by the arrest of six people in Britain who had been attempting to smuggle nuclear triggers to Iraq.

“Denying technology to states like Iraq may, in the end, be an exercise in delay,” she wrote, but “it can buy time to develop policies that address regional ambitions and conflicts that fuel demands for weapons of mass destruction.”

So she was Dick Cheney when Cheney was DefSec to H.W. Bush, when we were treated to the babies thrown out of incubators lie!

Ms. Nolan was a Democrat (she was an adviser to Senator Gary Hart of Colorado during his unsuccessful 1984 presidential campaign and continued to serve on his Senate staff), but, said Rice, who led the State Department under President George W. Bush, she was bipartisan in dispensing advice. Ms. Nolan was for a time chairwoman of the Presidential Advisory Board on US Arms and Technology Policy. She was also a member of the State Department’s Accountability Review Board, which investigated terror attacks on US embassies in Africa, and a congressional panel that assessed ballistic missile threats.

She was no Valerie Plame, though.

Janne Emilie Nolan was born Dec. 28, 1951, in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, to American citizens, James and Margaret (Claughton) Nolan. Her mother was known as Maggi Nolan when she was the society reporter for the Paris edition of The New York Herald Tribune.

OMG, even the obituaries are self-serving sections. The New York Herald Tribune used to be the New York Times!

She received a bachelor’s degree in political science and foreign languages from Antioch College in Ohio, a master’s in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Stanford University, and a doctorate in international economics from Tufts University.

Her academic posts also included professorships at Georgetown University, the University of Pittsburgh, and Columbia University.

Her marriage to Barry Blechman ended in divorce. Rice said that Ms. Nolan had been able to form opinions about mistakes in US policy, as she perceived them, while remembering that policies are made and carried out by human beings and that hindsight is easy.

She married a Jew (what a surprise), while the policies that were made and carried out were done so by blood-pouring-from-the-fangs war criminals.

In the 2018 discussion at George Washington University, Ms. Nolan refrained from saying that the Vietnam War stood in memory as a national tragedy, but she suggested that for McNamara, with his unwillingness to challenge the White House consensus on the war, it was certainly a personal one.

“Your conscience,” she said, “is a living, breathing organism that you cannot mess with too many times before you become a broken person.”

Good thing most of them don't have one.


She was warning against a nuclear holocaust, and the only thing that can stop it will be rioting against a military draft. There is no John F. Kennedy or Jimmy Carter riding in on a white horse, just an old man saying he is going to ‘‘make America great again’’ by putting an end to busing and the reinstitution of lynchings that began last year (she was taken down by Simona Halep yesterday).


I'm going to begin at the end on this day in history:

"Hong Kong protests expand in geography and goals" by Shibani Mahtani Washington Post, July 14, 2019

HONG KONG — Protests in Hong Kong expanded in terms of both geographical reach and demands Sunday as thousands of people marched in the streets of a populous suburb, calling not just for the complete withdrawal of a bill allowing extradition to China but the right to vote for their leaders, as well.

As the march wound down, scuffles broke out between riot police and protesters, as well as some journalists, on the front lines. Police again deployed pepper spray and batons to push the crowd back. Later, officers in riot gear forcibly cleared protesters from a suburban shopping mall in the kind of chaotic scene that is becoming commonplace here.

The first tell regarding this covert destabilization campaign filled with agents and dupes is its near-daily coverage in the pre$$, often being the World lead or co-lead. 

The intent, of course, is to tie China down, and to expand on the the war-planners agenda a bit, it's not like the former colonizers are going to reinvade Hong Kong (the kids may raise a flag), but it forces the Chinese to send troops and law enforcement to secure the peace.

Taiwan is seen as an operating forward base, eventually leading to China having to occupy the island out of national security, and both of the above actions will lend themselves to much excoriation in the pre$$.

That leads to the wider Pacific plan, which to engage China all across the region. Australia is the staging area for Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean, with the front-line countries keeping them busy (there is a bit of a problem on the Malaysian Peninsula and on up through Myanmar, but that's what ground forces are for after establishing a beachhead).

You have to give the U.S. war-planners their props, they have developed a brilliant strategy that should deliver a quick and decisive victory before winter sets in.

Prodemocracy groups reported that several of their members had been arrested, and live video feeds showed officers subduing protesters. Police did not immediately provide details on arrests.

Organizers rallied demonstrators around calls for universal suffrage for Hong Kong, the latest sign of how the movement has grown to include broader demands — all squarely pointed at Beijing’s influence.

‘‘We want total democracy in Hong Kong,’’ said Kelvin Wong, who declined to give his age. ‘‘We need to be autonomous.’’ 

Are you sure, because massive wealth inequality and lousy social services come with them.

Sunday’s protest was held in Sha Tin, an area populated only in the 1970s as the city expanded. Protesters have deliberately moved into neighborhoods beyond central Hong Kong in an effort to reach the wider population. Sha Tin is located in the New Territories, a hilly region between Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbor and mainland China, and is popular with mainland Chinese visitors.

‘‘We used to not really protest in residential areas. Most of us think it’s not good to disturb the neighborhood,’’ said Jacky Chan, 26, who says he has been involved in most of the protests over the past five weeks. ‘‘But it is significant that these residential neighborhoods will allow us to do these events here.’’

He added that the protests could help reach locals who might otherwise consume only progovernment news.

I feel such a kinship right now.

Some residents unfurled banners of support from their homes Sunday and threw down umbrellas and other supplies to the crowd. The protesters use umbrellas as shields against riot police.

The citizens of the semiautonomous territory of Hong Kong do not directly vote for their leaders, who are instead chosen by a 1,200-member committee out of a pool of candidates screened by Beijing.

They have an electoral college, too?

Protests in 2014 known as the Umbrella Movement represented a landmark moment in the city, shuttering parts of downtown over a demand for universal suffrage. Those protests were ultimately quashed and their leaders imprisoned.

The affixing of a catchy nickname is a hallmark of covert U.S. destabilization operations, and in that case it was the Obama government. The efforts are like clockwork, and I'm sure the Chinese are prepared.

A separate protest was held Saturday in Sheung Shui, close to Hong Kong’s border with the mainland city of Shenzhen, against ‘‘parallel traders’’ from China who buy baby formula and other necessities tax-free and then sell them to day-trippers from the mainland at marked-up prices.

Local residents say the traders have pushed out mom-and-pop shops and depleted supplies of groceries and other goods.

During Saturday’s demonstration, ambulances were seen transporting a few injured protesters away from the site. A number of police officers were also injured, according to videos and local reports.

The government statement also spelled out measures Hong Kong has taken to ‘‘mitigate the nuisance’’ caused by the parallel traders. The traders typically take advantage of multiple-entry visas into Hong Kong and sometimes hire illegal workers.

Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam, last week described the extradition plan as ‘‘dead’’ and stressed that the Hong Kong legislature would be unable to advance it after the groundswell of dissent, but she has repeatedly declined to fully withdraw the bill, which in Hong Kong requires a specific legislative procedure rather than just a statement.

The weekend demonstrations were the latest indication of a sustained wave of dissent here that has grown to include demands unlikely to be met by Beijing authorities. Many in Hong Kong argue that their leader, who is not directly elected, is illegitimate. Half a dozen more protests are planned for the coming week, including a march led by the elderly.

All across Hong Kong, memorial walls — known as ‘‘Lennon Walls’’ for a memorial in Prague filled with messages supporting global causes — have cropped up. They were first used as a protest tool during the 2014 Umbrella Movement. Colorful sticky notes bearing inspirational messages now obscure walls at subway stations and overpasses.

‘‘We have come back even stronger’’ since 2014, Wong said.....



"China has detained another Canadian citizen, authorities in Canada have said, adding to the high tensions between the two countries’ governments. The person, who was not identified by the Canadians, was arrested last week in the eastern Chinese city of Yantai, according to Global Affairs Canada, the country’s foreign ministry. The Canadian being held in custody has received consular services, the ministry said Saturday. The two countries have been at odds since December, when China arrested two Canadians — a former diplomat and a businessman — who were later charged with espionage. Their arrests are believed to have been in retaliation for the arrest by Canada that same month of a senior executive at Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications giant that the United States has declared a security threat. Chinese courts have also sentenced two other Canadians to death on drug-related charges. The detention of the Canadian last week occurred at about the same time as the arrest of a number of foreign teachers and students on drug charges in the city of Xuzhou, also in eastern China. The arrest of the Canadian could be a drug case related to the other arrests or it could have been a way for China to send another signal to Canada that it wants the Huawei executive, Meng Wanzhou, to be released, according to a Canadian former official, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the cases. Canada arrested Meng at the behest of the Trump administration after Washington requested her arrest and extradition on the grounds that she was responsible for Huawei violating economic sanctions against Iran. Meng, who owns two multimillion-dollar mansions in Vancouver, British Columbia, is on bail and living in one of them while she awaits trial in January. She is seen as corporate royalty in China, and her arrest has been interpreted among the Chinese elite as a signal that the government is unable to protect its most valued people as they travel the globe. At least four of the 16 arrested in Xuzhou were British teachers, according to the British Embassy in Beijing."

You have to love the New York Times speculation as to motive as the Chinese lash out at the British bulldog:

"Leaked UK memo says Trump axed Iran deal to spite Obama" by Jill Lawless Associated Press, July 14, 2019

LONDON — Scotland Yard is hunting for the perpetrator who leaked confidential diplomatic cables to the Mail on Sunday.

Not very hard, but they are hunting.

Some blame then-Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who is likely to become Britain’s next prime minister. Rumors are swirling in government circles in London about who was behind the leak, widely seen as benefiting supporters of Brexit and President Trump. 

How? The leaks have made him look amateurish and bad, and nothing like a leader.

The upside down distortion of the reporting informs us that the real leakers are the Deep State globalists and sources for the pre$$ -- all in a concerted campaign to put pressure on Trump to take action against Iran.

The journalist who reported the cables, Isabel Oakeshott, is a strong supporter of Brexit and an ally of Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage, who also is Britain’s leading champion of Trump.

By that reasoning, everything the Globe reports is subject to the scrutinization of their politics.

Police are investigating the leak as a potential breach of the Official Secrets Act, which bars public servants from making ‘‘damaging’’ disclosures of classified material. Breaking the act carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison, though prosecutions are rare.

Contentiously, police issued a warning to journalists that publishing the documents ‘‘could also constitute a criminal offence.’’

What is this, Australia?

Both Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, his rival in the race to be Britain’s next leader, defended the media’s right to publish, and the Mail on Sunday said publication was in the public interest.

‘‘Our readers across the globe now have important information about how Britain tried, but failed, to stop President Trump abandoning the Iran nuclear deal,’’ the newspaper said in a statement.

‘‘What could be more in the public interest than a better understanding of how this position was reached, which may have serious consequences for world peace?’’



In a giant leapTrump is now being compared to Greg Stillson, the “real estate con man who ran an unlikely though successful presidential campaign devoted to upending the political establishment in the 1979 novel “The Dead Zone,” a sci-fi horror-thriller. Only problem is, he was in fact running for a seat in Congress, so wrong again, Globe!

"Scientists hope the massive telescope they plan to build atop Hawaii’s highest peak, a world-renowned location for astronomy, will help them peer back to the time just after the Big Bang and answer fundamental questions about the universe, but the site where they plan to build is considered sacred by some native Hawaiians — a realm of gods and a place of worship and prayer. The road to Mauna Kea’s summit will be closed Monday morning as trucks carrying construction gear start to make their way to the peak. Alongside them will be native Hawaiian and other protesters who are willing to get arrested to stop the development. The project already has been delayed by years of legal battles and demonstrations, drawing attention from the likes of ‘‘Aquaman’’ actor Jason Momoa, who has native Hawaiian ancestry and has voiced opposition to the telescope. Scientists selected Mauna Kea in 2009 after a five-year, worldwide search for the ideal site. Protests disrupted a groundbreaking and Hawaiian blessing ceremony at the site in 2014. After that, the demonstrations intensified, but Hawaii’s Supreme Court has ruled the construction is legal, permits are in place, and the state has given the company behind the telescope a green light to resume its efforts. The company is made up of a group of universities in California and Canada, with partners from China, India, and Japan....."

At least they are working together on something, and "according to the University of Hawaii, ancient Hawaiians considered the location kapu, or forbidden, and only the highest-ranking chiefs and priests were allowed to make the long trek to Mauna Kea’s summit above the clouds. Supporters of the $1.4 billion giant telescope say the cutting-edge instrument will not only make important scientific discoveries but bring educational and economic opportunities to Hawaii, and it’s not yet clear what protesters plan to do but hopes remains peaceful."

What is telling are the protests that don't draw attention. They are the real, grass-roots protests that are ignored by the agenda-pushing pre$$ that promotes agenda-pushing protests of controlled opposition.

Exhibit A:

"France’s annual Bastille Day celebration became a showcase for European defense cooperation Sunday as other national leaders joined President Emmanuel Macron in Paris to inspect the troops marching in the country’s annual military parade. Flags of the 10 European countries that are in a joint military pact spearheaded by Macron last year led contingents of French and foreign armed forces from the Arc de Triomphe down the Champs-Elysees avenue. France has had a Bastille Day parade since 1880, and it’s customary for a foreign leader to be the guest of honor. The guest of honor in 2017, US President Trump, came away so impressed by the spectacle he ordered a military parade in Washington for America’s Independence Day celebration. In Paris, the focus this year was the European Defense Initiative, a coalition formed last year to prepare for possible military action outside of NATO. The heads of state of Germany, Portugal, the Netherlands, and Finland watched from the ceremonial viewing stand as 4,000 military personnel, 69 military airplanes, and 39 helicopters passed by or overhead. The biggest crowd-pleaser, though, was the man who rocketed through the air on a flying hoverboard......"

That encompassed the entirety of my print, and my first thought was what was the carbon footprint and cost to the poor French taxpayer for such an ostentatious display? Then I thought of Trump, and although I didn't see it, I heard it was some spectacle.

That brought me to the web additions to the print version: 

"Tensions were high on the streets of Paris following eight months of anti-Macron demonstrations by the so-called yellow vest movement seeking more financial help for French workers. Several hundred yellow vest activists — without their trademark fluorescent emergency jackets — gathered on the margins of the parade. Television images showed police grabbing one of the movement’s leaders, Eric Drouet, as he stood peacefully on the sidelines and escorting him away. Later in the day, riot police squads and groups of young people scuffled amid security barricades along the parade route. Officers fired tear gas to clear the streets after some people set trash cans on fire."

That is not how Boston celebrated Bastille Day, while the Spanish lit a bag of bull shit on fire before ringing the bell and running away.

"At least 47 people have died in Nepal and 25 more in India, with hundreds of thousands of others displaced from their homes, after severe flooding driven by heavy monsoon rains battered South Asia, officials said Sunday. Every year, from June to September, monsoon season brings heavy rains that pummel South Asia, regularly provoking deadly flooding. July is often the wettest month. Though floods are common in Nepal during the rains, the levels of inundation this year have been higher than usual. With the rainfall finally beginning to ease, Bed Nidi Kfanal, the head of Nepal’s national emergency operation center, expressed hope that the flooding would recede in a phone interview Sunday. For now, authorities were doing the best they could, he said. Neighboring countries, particularly India but also Bangladesh and Myanmar, have also been affected. Mohamad Farukh, chief executive of Rapid Response, a nongovernmental charity focusing on disaster relief, said that at least 25 people had died so far in India, adding that this number could increase significantly in the coming days....." 

Around 1 million have been displaced from their homes in “the beginning stage of the more intense than normal flooding after the heaviest monsoon rains in a decade,”  and in Bangladesh where tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees living in makeshift camps where the risk of waterborne illnesses was high after fleeing violence in Myanmar.

Time to go Green:

"Greens are the new hope for Europe’s center. For the far right, they’re enemy number one" by Katrin Bennhold New York Times, July 14, 2019

BERLIN — When protesters in reflective yellow vests took to the barricades in France, rebelling against a gas tax that would hit hardest those who could least afford it, Annalena Baerbock was watching closely from across the border.

A leader of Germany’s Greens, Baerbock has seen her party steadily strengthen over the last year, but she knows if the Greens are to become a bigger force, they will have to convince voters that climate policy is not an elitist but common cause, while also addressing their economic concerns.

“The lesson from France is that we cannot save the climate at the expense of social justice,” Baerbock, who at 38 is roughly the same age as her party. “The two things need to go hand in hand.”

This is the Greens’ moment in Europe, or at least it could be.

The Greens now routinely beat Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives in the polls and are widely expected to be part of the next German government. In recent European elections, Green parties gained significantly in other corners of the Continent, too, winning 63 of 751 seats in the European Parliament, an increase of about 47 percent.

Her government is unsteady.

crop of once-radical, single-issue environmental protest parties have emerged as the unlikely beneficiaries of the seismic disruptions to Europe’s politics of recent years.

Climate change has vaulted to near the top of voters’ concerns in a Europe beset by record-high temperatures. The collapse of traditional social democratic parties has opened acres of space on the center left. A generation of younger voters is casting about for new allegiances, and others, for an antidote to the nationalist, populist far right.

If nothing else, the Greens now sit astride Europe’s latest culture war.

With migration receding in the newsclimate change has become a potent new front in the battle between green-minded liberals and populists.

As the Greens emerge as the new hope for Europe’s political center, they have become enemy No. 1 for far-right populists and others who cast their policies as part of an elite agenda that hurts ordinary people. (Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s National Rally, formerly known as the National Front, rages against “climate psychosis.”)

Doesn't being embraced by the lying, agenda-pu$hing, war-promoting corporate pre$$ bother them, or are they just a corporate front to begin with?

In Germany, where the Greens surged to more than 20 percent in the recent European Parliament elections, their campaign posters explicitly lashed out at the far right: “Hatred is no alternative for Germany.”

Britain’s Greens won a striking 12 percent of the vote, finishing fourth ahead of the governing Conservatives, not only by promoting the environment — but also by opposing Brexit.

Even in France, rocked for months by yellow vest protests against a higher fuel tax that was ultimately scrapped, the Greens won 13.5 percent and became the most popular party among voters under 35.

With their number of lawmakers rising in the European Parliament, the Greens will have roughly the same influence in the 751-seat assembly as the far-right populists led by Italy’s interior minister, Matteo Salvini, and like the populists, Green parties are networking across the Continent, trying to coordinate campaigns and holding joint party conferences.

“The Green idea has been European from the outset, because you can’t solve environmental problems within national borders,” said Baerbock, pointing out that the very first election her party participated in was for the European Parliament in 1979.

The battle is playing out not only inside nations but also between them, pitting cities against rural areas, and richer, more liberal northern and western European countries against their poorer counterparts in the south and former communist east.

Bernie, Bernie, Bernie!

In southern Europe, with swelling debt and high youth unemployment, Green parties remain marginal. In Italy, the Greens have never won more than 4 percent of the vote in a national election. In Spain, Equo, an environmental party, has a single seat in Parliament.

The same is true in Eastern Europe. Poland did not send a single Green lawmaker to Brussels. Joined by the Czech Republic, Estonia, and Hungary, it recently blocked the latest attempt by the European Union to set a target for carbon neutrality by 2050, by appealing to national grievance and historical memory.

Gee, the article made it seem like the Greens were flowering and now, almost near the printed end, it starts to wither.

Even in Germany, Europe’s biggest and richest country, where the Greens have been the most successful, the Alternative for Germany, commonly known as AfD, accuses Baerbock’s party of being elitist — and hypocritical.

These accusations play well among far-right voters, not least because for a long time it was true that Green voters were among the wealthiest in the country, but the Greens have been expanding their support. The party won 1 in 5 votes in the European elections. They were not only the most popular among all voters under the age of 60 but for the first time among unemployed voters, too. Still, the accusation of privilege sticks, Baerbock said.

The protests in France were a crucial learning moment, she said. The fuel taxsold as a climate-saving measure, had been perceived as deeply unfairTo those who could least afford it, the tax was seen as a way for them to offset the environmental damage caused primarily by big businesses and the jet-setting urban elites, who increasingly vote Green but whose lifestyles also have the biggest carbon footprint.

It's called thinking their $hit don't stink syndrome.

“There, in a nutshell, lies our challenge,” Baerbock said. “We looked at the yellow vests very carefully so we don’t walk into the same trap.”

One German Green lawmaker, Franziska Brantner, who had studied in France, met in February with one of the leaders of the yellow vests, Ingrid Levavasseur. Like Brantner, Levavasseur is a single mother who grew up in a rural area with poor public transport.

“We discovered that we had a lot in common,” Brantner said, but she also said that she was humbled by Levavasseur’s experience as a nurse who until recently worked in palliative care but could rarely afford new clothes for her two children, let alone a holiday. “We have to make sure that the ecological question does not fire up the social question but that it helps to solve it,” Brantner said.

Germany’s Greens recently learned from a study of voter concerns in Europe that the second-most-popular statement among far-right voters, after one on limiting migration, was: “We need to act on climate change because it’s hitting the poorest first, and it’s caused by the rich.” The second part of that statement in particular resonates, Brantner said. “We need to speak more loudly about this,” she said.

You mean spew more hot gas?

Across the French traffic circles where the yellow vests gathered and in the streets where they marched, many protesters emphasized that they cared about climate change and “the end of the world” as much as making ends meet at “the end of the month.”

Then why are they not protesting the wars?

“Environmental policies are punitive when they are poorly implemented,” said Damien Carême, the former Green mayor of Grande-Synthe, a struggling industrial area in northern France. “Of course people will shout when gas taxes increase, but if we reallocate this money to help people better insulate their homes and reduce their energy bills, everything is fine,” added Carême, who has now been elected to the European Parliament as a Green lawmaker.

That is what Germany’s labor unions are preaching, too.

For now, the jobs in polluting industries like cars and coal are among the most unionized and best-protected. In the renewables sector, however, unions are still rare and companies often pay little more than minimum wage.

“This is a real issue,” said Ralph Obermauer, a longtime Green member who used to work for the party and now works for IG Metall, one of Germany’s most important labor unions. “If you want to achieve an ecological society, you have to take working people with you. That new society,” he said, “has to be fair.”

Can we go back to being agrarian?

Workers are facing the prospect of job losses and transformation on two fronts: automation and climate policy. Already, automotive parts-makers are cutting jobs as the prospect of transitioning to electric cars looms.

How much of a carbon footprint does the robot leave?

“If we don’t take this seriously, we will lose the support of workers,” Obermauer said, and then, union representatives warn, Germany might have its own yellow vest revolt.....

They will be Nazis with a different color!


Last week they were burning down Jews and contributing to the problem. 

What a whipsaw.