Footage emerges from the Palace of Versailles at last night's sickeningly opulent event with WEF Charles and Macron - These are the parasites pushing net zero and open borders and you into poverty. by rundown9 in WayOfTheBern

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In the footage above, what's the actor Hugh Grant doing there?

On the topic of your comment. Did you ever watch this? It started out excellent ie enjoyable, but as soon as he acquired Madame de Montespan as mistress it starts to bog down. Inspite of over the top - too many - sex scenes the series eventually got the chop.

Arundhati Roy: The dismantling of democracy in India will affect the whole world. BJP is not just India’s, but perhaps even the world’s richest political party. Soon, if Modi wins in 2024, all avenues of dissent will be shut down. by Budget-song-budget in WayOfTheBern

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The author, who had just won the Booker Prize, found herself inadvertently cast as a cultural ambassador for the aggressive New India when a BJP-led Hindu nationalist government came to power in 1998 and conducted a series of nuclear tests. Feeling that keeping quiet was as political as speaking out, she wrote her first essay, The End of Imagination, which was published in two major mass-circulation magazines and labelled her a traitor and anti-national. This set her off on a long writing journey, entwining her fiction and nonfiction in ways that they can no longer be separated. Her essays were viewed with suspicion by some, but quickly translated into other Indian languages and distributed for free in places off the highway, where readers had an entirely different idea of what literature is or should be. The author believes that the place for literature is built by writers and readers, and that literature should provide shelter of all kinds.

The text discusses the current state of the media in India, stating that mainstream media houses are unlikely to publish essays critical of corporate advertisers. The author argues that the combination of the free market, fascism, and the so-called free press has led India away from democracy. The article highlights two recent events that illustrate this point: the BBC documentary "India: The Modi Question" and the Hindenburg Report, which exposed wrongdoing by India's biggest corporation, the Adani group. The Indian media portrayed these events as attacks on Prime Minister Modi and industrialist Gautam Adani, and the author suggests that Indian investigation agencies and media are unable to investigate or publish such stories. The article concludes by noting that in the current atmosphere of pseudo hyper-nationalism, foreign media coverage of such issues is often portrayed as an attack on Indian sovereignty.

The first episode of the BBC film The Modi Question focuses on the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat, India, which saw at least 2,000 people murdered. The film also covers the 20-year legal journey of some victims seeking justice and political accountability. The documentary includes eyewitness testimonies, including Imtiyaz Pathan, who lost ten members of his family in the Gulbarg Society massacre. The film also reveals an internal report commissioned by the British Foreign Office in 2002, which estimated the number of deaths and called the massacre a pre-planned pogrom. The Modi government has banned the film, and social media platforms have taken down all links and references to it.

The Hindenburg Report accuses the Adani Group of engaging in a “brazen stock manipulation and accounting fraud scheme”, which – through the use of offshore shell entities – artificially overvalued its key listed companies and inflated the net worth of its chairman. According to the report, seven of Adani’s listed companies are overvalued by more than 85%. Modi and Adani have known each other for decades. Their friendship was consolidated after the 2002 Gujarat pogrom.

Gautam Adani, an Indian industrialist, supported Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Gujarat riots in 2002 and helped establish the Gujarat Model of "development," which is characterised by violent Hindu nationalism and corporate money. Adani's wealth has grown from $8 billion to $137 billion during Modi's nine-year tenure, and his company, the Adani Group, controls a significant portion of India's shipping ports, airports, and power plants. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), India's ruling party, introduced electoral bonds in 2016, allowing corporations to fund political parties anonymously, and has become the party with the largest share of corporate funding. Meanwhile, Oxfam has reported that the top 10% of India's population holds 77% of the total national wealth, and 670 million Indians who comprise the poorest half of the population saw only a 1% increase in their wealth. Amnesty International and other NGOs in India have been harassed into shutting down.

Despite concerns about Indian Prime Minister Modi's human rights record, Western leaders such as President Biden and President Macron have continued to engage with him and even announced a major aircraft deal with India. Modi has also been feted during state visits to the US and France, despite his role in the Gujarat pogrom and ongoing violence against Muslims and Christians in India.

They would have known about the hounding of opposition politicians, students, human rights activists, lawyers and journalists, some of whom have received long prison sentences, about the attacks on universities by police and suspected Hindu nationalists, the rewriting of history textbooks, the banning of films, the shutdown of Amnesty International India, the raid on the India offices of the BBC, the activists, journalists and government critics placed on mysterious no-fly lists and the pressure on academics, both Indian and foreign.

They would have known that India now ranks at 161 out of 180 countries on the World Press Freedom Index, that many of the best Indian journalists have been hounded out of the mainstream media and that journalists could soon be subjected to a censorial regulatory regime in which a government-appointed body will have the power to decide whether media reports and commentary about the government are fake or misleading. And the new IT law that is designed to shut down dissent on social media.

They would have known about the sword-wielding, violent Hindu vigilante mobs who regularly and openly call for the annihilation of Muslims and the rape of Muslim women".

They would have known about the situation in Kashmir, which beginning in 2019 was subjected to a monthslong communication blackout – the longest internet shutdown in a democracy – and whose journalists suffer harassment, arrest and interrogation. Nobody in the 21st century should have to live as they do, with a boot on their throats.

They would have known about the Citizenship Amendment Act passed in 2019 that barefacedly discriminates against Muslims, the massive protests that it touched off and how those protests only ended after dozens of Muslims were killed the following year by Hindu mobs in Delhi (which, incidentally, took place while President Donald Trump was in town on a state visit, and about which he uttered not a word). They would have known about how the Delhi police forced grievously injured young Muslim men who were lying on the street to sing the Indian National Anthem while they prodded and kicked them. One of them died subsequently.

The author highlights the hypocrisy of world powers who continue to support Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi despite the rise of Hindu extremism and violence against Muslims in India. The author argues that this is a form of racism and that the dismantling of democracy in India will have global consequences. The author also notes recent events in India that demonstrate the erosion of democracy and warns that it is time to take action.

The text describes instances of violence and discrimination against Muslims in India. In Manipur, two women were handed over to a mob by a partisan police force and were gang-raped. In Maharashtra, a Railway Protection Force Officer shot Muslim passengers on a train and called for people to vote for Modi. A Hindu vigilante called for a religious march through a Muslim-majority settlement, which resulted in violence and the murder of six people. The state has responded by bulldozing Muslim settlements and causing families to flee. The prime minister has not commented on these incidents, which are seen as part of an election campaign to further polarize the population.

A video has surfaced of a teacher in a small school in India making a Muslim child stand while Hindu students slap him. The Muslim family has been pressured not to press charges and the boy has been taken out of school. The author argues that India has become a fascist state, with support from Hindus living abroad. The responsibility to stand up against this lies with everyone, as dissent will soon be shut down if Modi wins in 2024.

Nancy Pelosi Explains How The Establishment Destroys Opposition Like Russel Brand, Tucker Carlson, Donald Trump, Andrew Tate & ANYONE Else They Want To Discredit. by Budget-song-budget in WayOfTheBern

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“We call it the wrap-up smear. If you want to talk politics, we call it the wrap-up smear. You smear somebody with falsehoods and all the rest, and then you merchandise it. And then you write it, and they’ll say, see, it’s reported in the press that this, this, this, and this. So they have that validation that the press reported the smear, and then it’s called the wrap-up smear. Now I’m going to merchandise the press’s report on the smear that we made. And it’s a tactic and it’s self evident.”

Why the media aren’t telling the whole story of Libya’s floods - Jonathan Cook by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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Jeremy Corbyn stands out. No wonder they sought to undermine him from the minute he became Labour leader. His replacement is spineless drone, allied to the sell out back seat driver Blair.

What a surprise! David Owen,

in the Daily Telegraph, David Owen, a former British foreign secretary, wrote: “We have proved in Libya that intervention can still work.

Wiki describes him as a "physician". A physician?

David Anthony Llewellyn Owen, Baron Owen, CH, PC, FRCP (born 2 July 1938) [1] is a British politician and physician

Is Intellectual Property Turning Into A Knowledge Monopoly? Capitalism treats the environment as infinite but knowledge as finite & demands monopoly rights over it. Private ownership of intellectual property in capitalism limits new knowledge by combining communities and resources to benefit ALL by Budget-song-budget in WayOfTheBern

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In the 20th century, public universities and technical institutions were established, while technology development was focused in the R&D labs of large corporations. The era of lone inventors had ended and corporations gathered leading scientists and technologists to create future technologies. Capital was still expanding production during this time.

In the past, finance capital was dominant over productive capital, but major capitalist countries still had a strong manufacturing base. Science was seen as a public good and was mainly developed in universities or publicly funded research institutions. Technology development was considered a private enterprise, with the role of innovation being to turn ideas into artifacts. Patents were created to protect useful ideas and also had a public purpose of ensuring eventual public disclosure of the invention.

The traditional university system of knowledge production has been transformed into a profit-making commercial enterprise under the neoliberal order. The distinction between science and technology has blurred, leading to innovations that are both patentable and marketable. This has driven many disciplines of science and research output in universities closer to commercial production systems. The university system now produces knowledge directly for commercial purposes, while R&D laboratories have been destroyed. Finance capital controls university science through investment in R&D and the purchase of patents, allowing it to dominate over industrial capital.

The end of the twentieth century revealed the rupture of finance capital and productive capital. Today, global capital operates far more as disembodied finance capital, controlling production at one end with its control over technology and markets at the other. In this phase, where capital increasingly lives off speculation and rent, there is also a marked separation of knowledge as capital from productive or physical capital—plant and machinery. Foxconn/Hon Hai Precision Industries manufactures Apple products but cannot claim a major share in the profits from their sale, since Apple holds the intellectual knowledge and property rights. Roughly, Apple gets 31 percent of the profits from an iPhone sale, Foxconn less than two percent.

The transformation of capital to rent seeking, by using its monopoly over knowledge—patents, copyrights, industrial designs, etc.—characterizes the current phase of capital. With this, the advanced capitalist countries have increasingly become rentier and “service” economies. In essence, they dominate the world by virtue of controlling the global financial structure, new knowledge required for production, and distribution through retail and global brands.

Despite universities being influenced by capitalism and becoming more like businesses, the knowledge they produce is still funded by the public. Private capital dictates the direction of scientific research and takes over successful outcomes, but this transformation did not come about through private funding. The state covers the high cost of fundamental research, while private capital receives the patents. This reflects the neoliberal system's socialization of risk and privatization of rewards.

The understanding that science needs to be restored as an open and collaborative exercise has given birth to the commons movement. By a curious sleight of hand, capitalism sees the finite commons—the atmosphere and large water bodies such as lakes, rivers and oceans—as infinite, and demands the right to dump waste in these commons. Yet it regards knowledge, capable of being copied infinite number of times without loss, as finite and demands monopoly rights over it!

Never before has society had the ability it does today to bring together different communities and resources in order to produce new knowledge. It is social, universal labor, and its private appropriation as intellectual property under capitalism stands in the way of liberating the enormous power of the collective to generate new knowledge and benefit people.

MoA - How Sanctions Failed To Hinder China's Development. by Budget-song-budget in WayOfTheBern

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How Sanctions Failed To Hinder China's Development

These headlines related to China are demonstrating a very fast historic development:

Why Do the Chinese Copy So Much? - IHT/NY Times, July 25, 2012

26 Things That China Ripped Off - Insider, August 27, 2013

Chinese Tech Firms Are Increasingly Being Copied by U.S., Not Just Copying - The Street, June 28, 2018

World Record-Breaking Drone Swarm From China Puts on Magical Show - Nerdist, June 10, 2018

Pentagon unveils ‘Replicator’ drone program to compete with China - Defense News, August 28, 2023

From the last link:

The Pentagon committed on Monday to fielding thousands of attritable, autonomous systems across multiple domains within the next two years as part of a new initiative to better compete with China.

The program, dubbed Replicator, was announced by Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks, speaking at the National Defense Industrial Association’s Emerging Technologies conference here.

“Replicator will galvanize progress in the too-slow shift of U.S. military innovation to leverage platforms that are small, smart, cheap and many,” Hicks said.

China's industry developed by copying designs from other producers. But it only took a few years until it started to produce better or new products for new markets. Historically this is nothing new. Germany's industrial development happened by ripping off British manufacturing processes and products. A few years later industrial German products could compete with British ones and the Brits started to copy Germany technology.

In 2018 China demonstrated large swarms of coordinated drones that could draw moving pictures into the sky.


Now the Pentagon wants to replicate such capabilities.

replicate: verb - If you replicate someone's experiment, work, or research, you do it yourself in exactly the same way.

I have been given a DJI drone as a gift. It is an excellent product. It is light enough to stay within legal limits. It has good flight characteristics, with excellent design and usability of hardware and software. It is reliable and comes at a reasonable price. Even the packaging was very well designed and underlined the value of the product.

Asides from way too expensive Apple products I am not aware of many U.S. or European mass market products that come near to its overall quality level.

If China's military gets drones of the quality that Chinese companies produce for consumers it is likely a generation ahead of everyone else.

It is doubtful that the Pentagon, with its lengthy procurement processes subject to Congressional graft, will ever catch up with that.

In 2019, when Trump sanctioned Huawei by denying it access to modern chips, I wrote:

Huawei currently uses U.S. made chips in many of its smartphones and networking products. But it has long expected the U.S. move and diligently prepared for it: ... Soon U.S. chip companies will have lost all their sales to the second largest smartphone producer of the world. That loss will not be just temporarily, it will become permanent.

The moment of reckoning has come.

Last week Huawei presented its new cell phone Mate 60 Pro. **Since the sanctions were implemented the company has developed genuinely new CPUs for cell phones as well as for other equipment. Bloomberg reports of the teardown and preliminary analysis of the processor by a U.S. company. It is fairly complicate system-on-a-chip that is to 100% made in China:

tphuang @tphuang - 2:25 UTC · Sep 4, 2023

Kirin 9000S teardown so surprising

Includes CPU, GPU, 5G modem, ISP, DSP + NPU (w/ Ascend lite/tiny cores + TPU)

All this squeezed into 110mm2 die w/o stacking ... Oh, 9000S in teardown/testing showed better overall CPU performance & power consumption than 9000 & SD 888 + had better peak CPU performance than SD 8 Gen 1 all this w/o advanced packaging.


Huawei could do this because it is an extraordinary company that was created by an extraordinary man:

Ren Zhengfei, founder and CEO of Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei Technologies, urged the US-sanctioned tech giant to maintain its technological lead in specific areas and focus on developing internal talent, according to his latest speech published on the company’s employee website on Monday.

“Huawei will save talent, not US dollars,” Ren said in the speech, which he delivered on July 28. “We will try hard to lead in some business aspects globally, not all aspects. For our products, the boundary can be relatively narrow, but our research boundary can be wider.”

In his July speech, Ren said the best motivation for talented workers is passion.

“I think the material reward is not that important,” he said. “The first thing is that [the worker] finds a position he has passion for … If he can work on something he is interested in, he will have no regrets.”

Ren added that no one is good at all aspects of a business from day one and that it takes time for people to grow their talents beyond a single specialised field. “[In time], you will see who becomes a leader. It’s a natural process,” he said.

That sounds like a company I would like to work for. Huawei's response to U.S. sanctions was not to give up but to hire more people:

Talent recruitment has long been important for Huawei. Ren initiated a programme known as “Top Minds” in 2019, just months after the company was blacklisted by the US government. That recruitment drive, later dubbed the “Genius Youth” programme, gave priority to candidates whose research had produced “tangible and impactful” results and winners of top research honours, according to an advertisement posted by Huawei on Weibo at the time. Huawei has 207,000 employees globally, according to its website, and 55.6 per cent are research and development personnel. This is up from the end of 2021, when the company said it employed 195,000 people, with 54.8 per cent of them in R&D.

That is an extremely large research and development company to which a smaller production and sales arm is attached. Western finance and business attitude would never allow for something like it.

That is just one reason why the U.S. is losing the tech war with China:

Western media, for the most part, has ignored a remarkable array of Chinese pilot products in industrial automation, executed primarily by Huawei, the world’s largest maker of telecommunications infrastructure and the target of a global suppression campaign by the United States. Fully automated factories, mines, ports, and warehouses already are in operation, and the first commercial autonomous taxi service is starting up in Beijing. Huawei officials say the company has 10,000 contracts for private 5G networks in China, including 6,000 in factories. Huawei’s cloud division has just launched a software platform designed to help Chinese businesses build proprietary AI systems using their own data. This again proves that sanctions can not end development when a certain base is already there:

Restrictions on technology exports to China at best are a stopgap. Eventually, China, which graduates more engineers each year than the rest of the world combined, will develop its own substitutes, as ASML, the world’s premier maker of chip lithography equipment, avers. Even as a stopgap, though, the controls are failing. They impose high costs on China in several ways but have not impeded the Fourth Industrial Revolution. On the contrary: the limited adoption of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies by American industry is concentrated in firms that have major commitments to China. ... To maintain a technological edge over China, we will have to spend an additional several hundred billions of dollars, train a highly-skilled workforce, educate or import more scientists and engineers, and provide broader incentives to manufacturing. It is simply too late to try to suppress China. That is no longer within our power. What remains within our power is to restore American pre-eminence. Well, good luck with attempting that

How UK media mislead us about Britain’s leading military ‘think tank’. British press quoted Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) hundreds of times in the past two years without informing readers it is funded by the UK military, US govt, arms corporations, it’s a bastion of establishment interests by Budget-song-budget in WayOfTheBern

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Declassified could find no instances in the hundreds of press articles where RUSI’s funders were mentioned.

In the past two years, the Guardian or Observer mentioned RUSI in 106 articles, the Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph in 66 and the Times and Sunday Times in 28 articles.

The references in the papers were quotes from RUSI staff, notably on the war in Ukraine and UK military policy, or reports released by the organisation.

RUSI says it is “an independent think tank engaged in cutting-edge defence and security research” and that it “embodies nearly two centuries of forward thinking, free discussion, and careful reflection on defence and security matters”.

Based in Whitehall, close to the Ministry of Defence, RUSI was founded in 1831 by the Duke of Wellington, the Field Marshal and later prime minister.

Its second largest funder – providing between £500,000 and £999,000 – is the US State Department while its other large sponsors include the UK Foreign Office, the British army and arms corporation BAE Systems, which all gave up to £0.5m each in 2020-21.

Contamination fears after Ukraine loses British tank. A tank capable of firing depleted uranium shells has been destroyed in Ukraine, sparking health concerns. UK military safety studies from 1986-88, show that an accident in which DU rounds caught fire was regarded as “the most serious hazard”. by Budget-song-budget in WayOfTheBern

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Doug Weir, from the Conflict and Environment Observatory, told Declassified: “It is believed that Challenger 2’s can carry up to 52 rounds of ammunition, in this case a proportion of this is likely to have been CHARM3 DU munitions.

Past cases of fires affecting vehicles suggest that should the fire be sufficiently intense, pyrophoric DU can ignite and burn.

Vehicles suspected to be contaminated by DU oxide need to be marked and managed so as to avoid further dispersal to the environment, or the exposure of people coming into contact with them. Contamination may also be present in the vicinity of the vehicle.”

While the UK was the first to supply Ukraine with depleted uranium, the US has since announced the ammunition will be available with Abrams tanks it is sending to Kyiv.

Weapons containing DU have previously been fired by UK and US forces in conflicts such as Iraq, Syria and the former Yugoslavia.

An investigation by Declassified this summer in Kosovo found that civilians living near areas where DU was fired reported high levels of rare cancers.

Gabon Joins the Club of Military Putchers - Gabon has no US military base, but easy access to military advice & training from US largest African military base in Djibouti. Gabon has sizable natural resources. It is one of the resources-richest Sub-Sahelian countries. Mining Industry. Oil & Gas. by Budget-song-budget in WayOfTheBern

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Gabon is the world's third largest producer of manganese, with over 250 million tons of reserves. Manganese is the country's second largest export product, accounting for 11% of total exports. The largest company producing manganese in Gabon is La Compagnie Minière de l’Ogooue. Gabon also has large deposits of oil and natural gas, with the oil sector accounting for 38.5% of GDP and 70.5% of exports. However, the country's reliance on oil exports is a danger to its economy and social development, with over 80% of food being imported. The US controls almost 100% of Gabon's crude oil exports, but other countries such as China and Russia may also be interested in Gabon's resources. The recent military coup in Gabon may have been timed to coincide with the country's elections, and the US may become involved in restoring order.

Gabon’s almost exclusive reliance on oil exports is a real danger for her economy and social development, especially given the volatility of hydrocarbon prices. Due to this reliance on petrol income, the agricultural sector has been neglected to the point where, according to government estimates, more than 80% of food is imported – and this given the high degree of fertility of Gabon’s soil. See this.

Food imports make for food price volatility an instability.


Is There a Genuine "Anti-Imperialist People's Movement" in West Africa?

The U.S. Is Not "Overtaking China": "Industrialization isn’t coming back big-time for the USA". - US will never get out of its import-dependency. India won’t replace China as “factory-of-the-World”. The US is simply not overtaking China in growth. by Budget-song-budget in WayOfTheBern

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The latest World Economic Outlook July 2023 from IMF says that US will in 2023 have a growth of 1.8% against a growth in China of 5.2%. In 2024 the US will be even worse off with a growth of meagre 1.0% in 2024 and China will grow at 4.5% in 2024. In both years, we see China growing by around 3½ % faster than the US.

China will continue for many years to do a lot better than the US.

That puts the gleefulness by which US media describe China’s economic challenges into a more correct perspective.

A ‘Terrorist Onslaught’? This is Why Netanyahu, Gallant Blame Iran for West Bank Violence. But Tel Aviv is wrong. For Israel to understand reasons behind growing Palestinian resistance in all of its forms, it needs to look at devastated refugee camps of Jenin, Balata and Nur Shams for the answers by Budget-song-budget in WayOfTheBern

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant have blamed Iran for Israel's security problems, despite the country's ongoing socio-economic polarization, political and judicial crises, and settlers' pogroms in the West Bank. Every Palestinian attack on Israelis is preceded by Israeli army raids or settler attacks on Palestinian communities, and reports indicate that this year is the most violent in the West Bank in nearly two decades. The UN has described the violence as a "concerning trend" attributed to a "growing sense of despair about the future."

The UN humanitarian agency, OCHA, had similar findings. It said that nearly 600 settler-related ‘incidents’ were reported in the Occupied Territories in the first six months of 2023. Settler attacks have resulted in “Palestinian casualties, property damage or both.”

However, Netanyahu and Gallant are diverting attention from the ongoing human rights violations in Palestine by blaming Iran for the supposed threat.

For Netanyahu, blaming Iran allows him to stoke the fire of instability in the Middle East, unite all Israelis behind their supposed defender and avoid any accountability for the ongoing human rights violations in Palestine.

As for Gallant, blaming Iran elevates the military and all branches of intelligence services; instead of being seen as failing to stop homegrown Palestinian struggle, he wants to paint an alternative image of a heroic army fighting an ‘existential threat’ hatched elsewhere.

This is not a simple case of lacking self-awareness, but a deliberate diversion of the actual problem: the Israeli occupation and apartheid.

Throughout the years, Israel has insisted that Palestinians are not political actors capable of making their own collective decisions, and that some bogeymen elsewhere – the Arabs, the Iranians, the communists, the Islamists, and so on … – are to blame.

But Tel Aviv is wrong. For Israel to understand the reasons behind the growing Palestinian resistance in all of its forms, it needs to look at the devastated refugee camps of Jenin, Balata and Nur Shams – not Tehran – for the answers.

NATO is threatening to destroy Brazil by fattycakesfaker in WayOfTheBern

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Given Nato' role in the destruction of Yugoslavia - he's not an oracle!

Notorious Russian intelligence chief tapped to replace Prigozhin in Wagner’s Africa operations. by Budget-song-budget in WayOfTheBern

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Averyanov currently serves as the head of covert offensive operations in Russia’s military intelligence service, and he has been accused of ordering assassinations of Russian dissidents. He now has the task of maintaining Wagner’s operations in Africa after the death of their architect, The Wall Street Journal reported.


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From April 1964 to March 1985, a military junta ruled Brazil with an iron fist. Its crimes against humanity throughout this period were extensive, including institutionalized torture, imprisonment, forced disappearances and mass murder. Typically, the victims were political opponents of the regime, although the country’s indigenous population was a specific, dedicated target.

In most cases, their crime was objecting to economic “reform” projects that destroyed their homes or simply living in the wrong place at the wrong time. With the backing and direction of the World Bank, the junta forcibly displaced indigenous people and desecrated their lands to extract valuable natural resources for Western capital. Along the way, these communities routinely endured brutal repression, pogroms, and massacres.

Much of this barbarity was doled out by the Rural Indigenous Guard, a lethal elite police force covertly created by the CIA. The Agency also constructed a system of indigenous prisons, which played a pivotal and horrifying role in the junta’s policies of indigenous cleansing.

Is Wastewater an Answer for Adapting to Climate Change? Water pressures like droughts are intensifying due to global warming and population growth. Treating wastewater is a powerful solution, finally gaining more public support. by Budget-song-budget in WayOfTheBern

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Population growth and climate change are putting immense pressure on water supplies in the American Southwest, with states such as New Mexico, California, Arizona, and Colorado facing the most significant strains. The region has experienced higher temperatures and drought conditions since 2000, exacerbating the scarcity of water. Farmers use the majority of water withdrawn from the Colorado River to irrigate crops, and the river also supplies drinking water to 40 million people. The situation is set to worsen with continued climate change and population growth, highlighting the need for better management of existing water supplies.

Direct Potable Reuse (DPR)

Potable reuse technology, specifically direct potable reuse (DPR), can turn wastewater into drinking water safely and efficiently. This method is gaining momentum as a solution to water supply problems, as it is cheaper and quicker than other options. Despite initial reluctance, US states are now considering DPR as a legitimate and potentially imperative solution.

Bad Branding Stalls Progress

Potable reuse projects, which involve treating wastewater to augment drinking water supplies, have faced challenges due to concerns over the technology and misperceptions about the process. Indirect potable reuse (IPR) was once considered a last resort option, while direct potable reuse (DPR) was not even considered. Questions and uncertainties over potable reuse could only be resolved with more comprehensive data from full-scale operational systems. Misperceptions about the process, including the "toilet to tap" narrative, have also contributed to a lack of public support for these projects.

What “toilet to tap” missed was that treatment options—i.e., membrane filtration, membrane desalination, ozone, and advanced oxidation, to name a few—can make the purified water entirely safe to drink.

Recent advances in water treatment technologies have increased confidence in and acceptance of potable water reuse among water professionals. The Orange County Water District's Groundwater Replenishment System project has successfully provided drinking water to over 2.5 million people since 2008, highlighting the effectiveness of indirect potable reuse (IPR) and providing data to evaluate the viability of the process. The National Research Council (NRC) has also changed its position on water reuse, acknowledging that some engineered systems can perform as well or better than environmental buffers in diluting and attenuating contaminants. While IPR has slowly taken hold, direct potable reuse (DPR) remains controversial and legal in only three US states. DPR has several advantages over IPR, including the ability to recycle more water and avoid regulations on putting water back into the environment by eliminating the buffer. However, public acceptance remains a major obstacle to the proliferation of DPR, despite the fact that the purification process makes recycled water safe to drink and of higher quality than most bottled water.

Desperation: The Mother of Innovation

Big Spring, Texas, has the only functional DPR facility in the US, which was established in 2013 to address the urgent need to diversify the city's water portfolio and increase its supply reliability. Wichita Falls followed suit in 2014 due to a water crisis, but the system was decommissioned in 2015 due to sufficient rainfall. Both cities were forced to act under emergency regulations, highlighting the need for water reuse to be recognised before immediate action is needed.

Making Reuse Mainstream

Community practitioners are working to educate the public about the benefits of direct potable reuse (DPR) of water, which could lead to increased adoption of the technology. The key to success is making the concept of DPR easy to understand and demonstrating its safety. The Pure Water San Diego project, which uses DPR, has been successful in part because it has engaged with the community through tours, presentations, websites and mailers, and has identified all stakeholders. The project has also emphasised the fact that San Diego's water is already recycled many times before it reaches the city, which has helped to quell fears about the safety of recycled water.

The public used to be skeptical about using treated wastewater for drinking, but now they are more accepting of it. A proposed environmental buffer/recharge basin was meant to ease concerns, but it turned out to be unnecessary as the public embraced direct potable reuse (DPR). In 2005, only 28% of people surveyed were in favor of using recycled water, but in 2019, that number had risen to 79%.

As of 2023, the Pure Water Project, the first phase of which “includes 10 different projects that will clean recycled water to produce 30 million gallons per day of high-quality purified water,” has permission to add purified water to the Miramar Reservoir (using the reservoir as an environmental buffer) as part of the construction of an IPR facility, with DPR slated for phase two of the project—which could provide an extra 53 million gallons by 2035, ensuring that one-third of San Diego’s water supply will come from reused water by that time.

Education and Outreach Remain Critical

The public's perception of direct potable reuse (DPR) is changing in the face of water scarcity caused by climate change. San Diego and Brownwood, Texas, have demonstrated that the public can accept DPR with extensive water education and outreach. El Paso Water Utilities (EPWU) also received public support for its "Advanced Water Purification" system, which will produce fresh drinking water by turning treated wastewater into potable water. However, public perception in other areas is shaped by outreach, trust in messengers, and the reputation of water agencies and providers.

Southwest US Leads the Way in Water Reuse

Communities are more likely to accept recycled water when they see other communities doing it. A study in San Diego showed a 50% increase in acceptance when citizens learned that other communities had already implemented potable reuse. The Southwest US is leading the way in this trend.

Colorado became the first state to rubber-stamp their DPR regulations in 2023; others will follow. In addition to Pure Water’s plans in San Diego, Los Angeles is also considering a DPR/IPR hybrid facility that will deliver 230 million gallons a day.

To lessen its dependence on the Colorado River, the city of Phoenix, Arizona, announced plans in April 2023 for a multibillion-dollar facility that will use DPR to purify 60 million gallons of water per day—enough for about 200,000 households a year. El Paso, too, is in the design phase of a DPR facility that will turn up to 10 million gallons of wastewater a day into drinking water, which would make it the world’s biggest DPR facility providing treated wastewater to consumers.

But DPR isn’t a cure-all; it’s just another vital tool among many water reuse solutions that the U.S. will have to embrace as drought continues to grip the nation.

“We can’t have whatever we want,” says John Trotter, a photographer who has documented the Colorado River’s decline since 2002. “We must learn to adapt if we are going to continue to exist in these places.”

Who’s afraid of Prigozhin and Wagner? While Russian President Vladimir Putin had every reason to be annoyed with Prigozhin, at least three considerations discredit the hypothesis of Putin’s involvement in his death by Budget-song-budget in WayOfTheBern

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There was an avalanche of Western media reports within minutes or hours of the ghastly death on Wednesday of the head of the Wagner organization of Russian military contractors, Yevgeny Prigozhin, which pointed the accusing finger at President Vladimir Putin as the perpetrator.

It is almost as if a button was pressed at some unknown command center to launch a new narrative to demonize Putin for serving the cold dish of revenge to Prigozhin, to borrow the CIA director William Burns’ recent words, for staging a failed coup in Russia. No one cared to produce empirical evidence.

“Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth” — the law of propaganda is often attributed to the Nazi leader Joseph Goebbels who understood the power of repeating falsehoods. It is now the West’s compass to “erase” Russia.

True, Putin had every reason to be annoyed with Prigozhin — a “stab in the back,” as he put it — when the nation was waging an existential war against sworn enemies who seek the dismemberment of Russia. But three considerations discredit the hypothesis of Putin’s involvement.

First, why such a crude method reminiscent of the murder of the charismatic Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, the spearhead of Tehran’s ‘Axis of Resistance’ against America, by former US president Donald Trump?

In his celebrated 1827 essay titled On Murder Considered as one of the Fine Arts, Thomas De Quincey wrote, “Everything in this world has two handles. Murder, for instance, may be laid hold of by its moral handle… and that, I confess, is its weak side; or it may also be treated aesthetically, as the Germans call it, that is, in relation to good taste.” The aesthetic of Prigozhin’s murder is, simply put, the least appealing by the principle of murder connoisseurship if the motivation were revenge.

Second, Prigozhin was a dead man walking for staging such an idiotic act, after his security cover was withdrawn by the state. Imagine ex-president Barack Obama without secret service protection after the murder of Osama bin Laden — or Mike Pompeo and Trump walking around without security after murdering Soleimani.

But Putin made it clear that Wagner still would have a future and the nation will remember its role in the Ukraine war. Putin even invited Prigozhin to a Kremlin meeting. Arguably, Putin’s first remarks on Prigozhin’s death betray a trace of pity. (here and here)

Putin said, “I’ve known Prigozhin for a very long time, since the early 1990s. He was a man of no easy fate. He made some serious mistakes in his life, but he also achieved the needed results – both for himself and, when I asked him, for the common cause. The way it was in recent months.”

“As far as I know, he returned from Africa only yesterday. He met with some officials here. He worked not only in our country – and he worked successfully, but also abroad, especially in Africa. There, he dealt with oil, gas, precious metals and stones,” Putin added.

In the excessive zeal to focus on Prigozhin’s murder to demonize Putin, *what is overlooked is that whoever choreographed the crime also ensured that Wagner’s entire command structure has been eliminated. Bye, bye, Africa!

There isn’t going to be anyone in the foreseeable future to challenge the hegemony of the French Legion in the Sahel or match the vast network of 29 bases ( PENTAGON’S OWN MAP OF U.S. BASES IN AFRICA CONTRADICTS ITS CLAIM OF “LIGHT” FOOTPRINT ) under Pentagon’s Africa Command spread across the continent from Djibouti in the north to Botswana in the south. Put differently, the long arm of Russia’s “smart power” has been chopped off with one single swing of the blade. Who stands to gain?

Third, Prigozhin’s murder was staged on a special day that in a historical perspective, must be counted as the finest hour of Russian diplomacy ever since the disintegration of the former Soviet Union. The reality of “a new starting point for BRICS” — as Chinese President Xi Jinping stated — is yet to sink in fully, but what is beyond doubt is that Russia is walking away as the winner.

Make no mistake that the BRICS unity held firm and rubbished all Western prognosis; BRICS expansion means that the issue of a single settlement currency is on the table, and the international financial system is not going to the same again; de-dollarization is knocking at the gates; a new global trading system is taking shape which renders obsolete the exploitative 4-century old Western regime geared to transfer wealth to the rich countries; BRICS has graduated, finally, from an informal club to an institution that will eclipse the G7.

The host country South Africa delivered big-time for the Russian and Chinese agenda of multipolarity. The joint statement issued by South Africa and China and the induction of Ethiopia (where the West tried to stage a regime change) as a BRICS member underscores the emerging alignment in Africa. Doesn’t all that add up to something?

And, above all, the big message coming out of Johannesburg is that with all the king’s horses and all the king’s men, the Biden administration has failed miserably to “isolate” Russia — it is writ large in the resplendent glow of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s effulgent smile. Russia is capping its gains in the battlefields of Ukraine with an outstanding diplomatic victory by being on the right side of history alongside the global majority.

Isn’t it plain common sense that of all days, Putin would never have chosen Wednesday to act as a spoiler when Russia’s prestige was soaring high in the international community? Again, the question arises: Who stands to gain?

The plain truth is, there could be any number of people who wanted to physically eliminate Prigozhin. Within Russia itself, Prigozhin had recruited criminals undergoing prison sentence to fight in Ukraine and thereby get their sentence commuted. He deployed them without adequate military training and over 10,000 of them reportedly got killed. There is a deep sense of revulsion within Russia in the matter.

Then there are the external enemies starting from France, which has been virtually evicted from the Sahel region, its playpen where it had a field day until Prigozhin came and spoiled the party. France could barely hide its rancor toward Russia since then.

Meanwhile, the brewing crisis in Niger alerted the US that Prigozhin was on the prowl. The redoubtable acting secretary of state Victoria Nuland, who masterminded the 2014 coup in Ukraine, traveled to Niamey to plead with the coup leaders not to have any truck with Wagner.

However, Prigozhin reportedly had sneaked into the neighboring country, Mali, where Wagner is well established, with a view to establishing contact with Niger’s new rulers and offering the services of Wagner. Suffice to say, Prigozhin was threatening to do to the Pentagon what he earlier did to the French Legion in Sahel.

It is entirely conceivable that the Biden administration decided that enough was enough and Wagner must be decapitated. Of course, Prigozhin’s departure along with his senior commanders will weaken Wagner.

Within Russia, the ruthless Ukrainian intelligence operates at different levels. The drone attacks on Moscow are being staged by saboteurs within Russia. And Ukraine too has a score to settle with Wagner, which is present in Belarus.

Without doubt, there is a congruence of interests between the Ukrainian intelligence and its Western mentors to destroy Wagner and eliminate it from the geopolitical chessboard altogether.

The recent coup in Niger threatens to unleash more private military and security companies on a continent where they have become steadily more powerful in recent decades. Private Military Companies Continue to Expand in Africa by Budget-song-budget in WayOfTheBern

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The recent coup in Niger has brought attention to the expansion of private military and security companies (PMSCs) in Africa. Niger's new military rulers have asked Russian PMSC Wagner for help, while the US Secretary of State has warned of the PMSC exploiting instability. PMSCs have gained influence in Africa, evolving from mercenaries to powerful corporate-driven forces. As instability and conflict continue in the Sahel region, the strengthening of PMSCs, both domestic and foreign, will continue to reshape Africa's security in unpredictable ways.

Private military and security companies (PMSCs) have a long history in Africa, dating back to the post-World War II decolonisation period. Mercenaries were used by colonial powers to suppress rebellions and create unrest, with figures like Britain's "Mad Mike" Hoare and France's Bob Denard becoming emblematic of this era.

After the Cold War, PMSCs became more corporate as demobilized soldiers sought employment and civil conflicts increased. Executive Outcomes, a South African PMSC founded in 1989, gained notoriety for protecting energy infrastructure in Angola and fighting in Sierra Leone's civil war.

South Africa's government pressured the disbandment of EO in 1998, but other private military and security companies (PMSCs) emerged, including Sandline International, which helped gain control over mineral rights in Sierra Leone. The taboo of using PMSCs was broken after the US began heavily relying on them during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Existing in a legal gray zone, PMSCs have leveraged their strategic capabilities worldwide—no more so than in Africa. Fragile government institutions, powerful criminal and militant groups, international power struggles, and competition over Africa’s natural resources have nurtured an environment supportive of a growing network of PMSCs. Across the continent, they are used to secure energy facilities, government buildings, and private infrastructure, protect local actors and foreign personnel, and provide police and military training, intelligence, and active fire support to governments and corporate clients.

Russia is using private military companies like Wagner to gain influence in Africa's security landscape. In the Sahel region, Russian PMSCs have taken advantage of the departure of French military forces and local anti-French sentiment to fill the security void.

Amid shifting allegiances, Wagner underscores how Russia’s indirect power projection allows the Kremlin to wield substantial influence without deploying conventional military forces. Wagner’s activities are believed to span across Mali, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Angola, Madagascar, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Burkina Faso, Chad, the Central African Republic (CAR), and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Other Russian PMSCs, such as RSB Group, Moran Security Group, and Patriot, also operate across Africa.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the financier of Wagner, a Russian PMSC network in Africa, celebrated the success of a coup in Niger and claimed that Wagner was capable of handling the situation, despite the Russian government's lack of support. Prigozhin has had conflicts with the Russian military in the past but was recently seen meeting with African dignitaries at the Russia-Africa summit in St Petersburg.

Wagner, a Russian private military company, could act as a proxy for the Kremlin in Niger, filling the security void left by the French military. There are concerns that Niger may halt uranium exports, which are important to French and EU supplies, and this could draw the West's attention to the country. Although Russian officials have downplayed state connections to Wagner's activities in Africa, the ongoing role of Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Russian businessman with close ties to the Kremlin, suggests that the Kremlin is trying to hide its true motivations.

Beyond Russia, numerous Western PMSCs have embedded themselves within Africa’s security. Unlike Russia’s PMSCs, most do not operate on the frontlines of conflict and primarily operate in security and training roles, though do coordinate with official military deployments. French PMSC Secopex made headlines in 2011 when its founder was killed in Libya during the country’s revolution, and it remains unclear as to what the PMSC’s role was.

Secopex had also been involved in the CAR and Somalia, while Corpguard (also created by the co-founder of Secopex, David Hornus) has been involved in training the Cote D’Ivoire’s military.

Other French PMSCs, such as Agemira, are active in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Though French-owned, Agemira is registered in Bulgaria to take advantage of the country’s lack of regulation and transparency. The UK’s Aegis Defence Services is believed to have worked in 18 African countries, while G4S, Erinys, and Olive Group are also active in Africa.

Several private military and security companies (PMSCs), including MPRI, CACI International, Academi (formerly Blackwater), DynCorp, Triple Canopy, and AdvanFort Co, have been active in Africa since the 2000s. Xeless and Asgaard, based in Germany, also have operations in Sudan, Libya, Mauritania, and Egypt. These companies provide training, logistical support, and anti-piracy maritime protection across the continent.

Private military and security companies (PMSCs) are increasingly operating in conflict zones such as Somalia and Libya. In Somalia, PMSCs from various countries have helped train government forces and provide maritime protection. In Libya, PMSCs from multiple countries have been sent to exploit the chaos and advance their interests since 2011.

Active in Libya, Turkey’s SADAT group has also signed deals to train African troops while pitching itself as a Muslim alternative PMSC for Islamic-majority countries. The UAE-based Black Shield Security Company was accused in 2020 of promising Sudanese citizens security contractor jobs but instead sent them to conflict zones in Libya. Other UAE PMSCs have been active in East Africa, including in Somalia, while China has developed a multitude of PMSCs to secure its Belt and Road projects in Africa. Israeli PMSCs have their own African operations.

The Nigerian government hired PMSCs to fight Boko Haram in 2014, including STTEP which was successful and received more contracts. Other South African PMSCs include Osprey, Blackhawk, and Dyck Advisory Group, which was hired by Mozambique to combat Al-Shabaab militants but was accused of killing civilians indiscriminately by the UN in 2020.

The use of PMSCs in Africa is likely to expand. They often offer African governments a quick, relatively inexpensive, and tailored way to manage crises instead of relying on ineffective state forces. PMSCs also enable international companies to protect themselves without relying on the fanfare of official military deployments by working with another corporate entity.

*Nonetheless, this raises questions about sovereignty, a recurring issue in a continent where it has consistently been violated since African countries won their independence. The monopoly on the use of violent force by their police and military institutions has been steadily eroded by criminals, militants, foreign countries, and increasingly, PMSCs.

Commodifying security is dangerous as it allows foreign companies and powerful local actors to afford security while ignoring the core issues of instability. This instability is often exploited by outside forces. Additionally, many Africans end up working for Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs) outside the continent because they are cheaper than recruits from other parts of the world.

Furthermore, PMSCs, and the governments and companies that employ them, remain largely uncommitted to stronger regulation. The Montreux Document aimed to enforce greater rules for PMSCs, but has been criticized for its limited scope and lack of binding nature. Other countries, including the five members of the UN Security Council, have refused to ratify the UN International Convention Against the Recruitment, Use, Financing, and Training of Mercenaries.

Criticism of PMSCs in Africa is growing. In February 2023, the African Union (AU) commissioner for political affairs, peace, and security, Bankole Adeoye, called for the “complete exclusion of mercenaries from the African continent.” But US PMSC Bancroft Global had already been hired by the AU to assess the risk of Somali forces trained by Blackwater founder Erik Prince to continue operating in the country.

These entities epitomise globalisation. Aegis Defence Services was acquired by Canadian company GardaWorld in 2015, while DynCorp was bought by Amentum in 2020. Academi and Triple Canopy merged in 2014 to form Constellis Group, while Triple Canopy has outsourced work to Peru-based PMSC Defion International. Erik Prince, through the Hong Kong-based Frontier Services Group, has helped China train its own PMSCs for use in Africa and elsewhere. G4S was meanwhile bought by Allied Universal in 2021 and is now North America’s third-largest private employer. Allied Universal itself is owned by institutional investor Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and private equity firm Warburg Pincus.

Many PMSCs provide legitimate and needed security for civilians and government officials. But considering the wide-ranging motivations, means, and methods of so many PMSCs on the continent—and increasingly in the same spaces—it is critical for Africa’s governments, leaders, and populations to consider how comfortable they are in allowing this rapidly developing global PMSC network to continue expanding in their own backyards.

Finland, Sweden and NATO: Democratic West Unites for More Wars. Western governments may think that with Eurocentrism on their side, they can sell any foreign invasion to their citizens. However, every ideology has its sell-by date. by Budget-song-budget in WayOfTheBern

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Beyond Militarization

Any serious understanding of ways to avoid looming wars has to start with existing social contradictions. The increased militarization of the West, including Finland joining NATO and Sweden waiting in the wings for membership, is a sign of the march of neoliberalism. Lynch notes in her article how business interests in these countries are most enthusiastic about joining NATO. They foresee windfall profits from increased military spending. On the other hand, the youth, who will have to live through an emaciated welfare state and bear the burden of compulsory military conscription, are the biggest opponents. Many progressives in the West have noted that the European Commission and governments are using the war in Ukraine as a pretext to increase military spending while working people suffer the cost of living crisis.

Western governments may think that with Eurocentrism on their side, they can sell any foreign invasion to their citizens. However, every ideology has its sell-by date.

Many countries in the Global South are using the current crisis to come out of the West’s imperial hegemony. The emerging multi-polar scenario provides a unique opportunity for citizens of all countries to interact as equals. As the crisis of neoliberalism in the West deepens and its citizens search for alternatives, they would have an opportunity to join this emerging global community of equals and break free from the spell of Eurocentrism.

Finland, Sweden and NATO: Democratic West Unites for More Wars. Western governments may think that with Eurocentrism on their side, they can sell any foreign invasion to their citizens. However, every ideology has its sell-by date. by Budget-song-budget in WayOfTheBern

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Finland joined NATO on 4 April this year. Sweden could join the Western military alliance in the near future. Even at the height of the Cold War between 1950 and 1990, these countries remained neutral, so joining NATO is a significant break from their recent history. Sweden is ranked second out of 179 countries in the Liberal Democracy Index of V-Dem Institute. Finland is ranked tenth.

On the other hand, NATO countries have waged the largest number of armed aggressions and wars in the past three decades. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, and state institutions and public utilities have been destroyed in Serbia (1999), Iraq (2003), Libya (2011), Syria and Afghanistan (2001-2021). Most of these armed aggressions were illegal in international law, and their perpetrators would have been tried for war crimes in a fair world. Why are seemingly peace-loving and democratic Finns and Swedes tying themselves to an aggressive military alliance?

According to the political leadership of the two countries, NATO membership is necessary to counter Russia after it invaded Ukraine in February 2022. However, if Russia and NATO are effectively at war in Ukraine, how do peace and security get served by joining one of the warring parties? As for Russia, there is hardly any evidence of a direct and declared threat to Finland and Sweden. Since 1992, Finland had a Friendship Treaty with Russia, which forbids armed aggression against each other. Was Russia about to break the deal? Even if that was the case, and by attacking Ukraine, Russia has shown bad faith towards its international obligations, why join a military alliance which has led illegal wars in many parts of the world?

Clearly, a differential value judgment concerning armed aggressions is at work. War crimes of one group of countries are lesser than those of other countries. The fact that victims of NATO and its members’ military aggressions have been countries of the Global South says a lot about the strategic preferences of Finland and Sweden. A good indicator is Finland’s minister of Foreign Trade and Development, who said it would stop aid to countries of the Global South that have not come out against Russia.

Leaving aside the Russian bogey, the real reason is the self-perception of what passes off as ‘the West’ and the current crisis it is facing.

Eurocentric Charms of ‘the West

Critical literature on NATO often sees it as primarily the vehicle of US strategic interests. While not incorrect on specifics, such analyses miss the geopolitical significance of NATO in fostering a collective West. In a perceptive article on the Swedish and Finnish decision to enter NATO, journalist Lily Lynch explains why it is actually them ‘joining the West’ and what that implies.

While the United States undoubtedly commands all NATO operations, how even smaller NATO countries join its rampages is rarely understood. Belgian, Danish, Norwegian and Portuguese air forces were participants in the bombing of Serbia in 1999. According to one commentator, during the war on Libya in 2011, ‘little Denmark and Norway took as many targets as did Britain.’ These two liberal democracies are ranked first and third on the V-Dem index. But they did bomb Libya with gusto. The idea of the United States shepherding a bunch of reluctant allies or subservient minions does not match the reality.

‘The West’ fortified by NATO is a strong ideological, and political construct. In an address to the inauguration of the European Diplomatic Academy on 13 October 2022, Josep Borrell, the foreign policy chief of the European Union, called Europe a garden and the rest of the world a jungle. Borrell’s imagery succinctly combines the long-standing Eurocentric and Orientalist ideological currents in the West.

The liberal democratic credentials of the West are an essential part of its garden-like character, a Borrell might say. However, as Norway and Denmark demonstrate, democratic achievements are no constraint on bombing other countries. Of the top 25 countries on the V-Dem Liberal Democracy Index, only three (Switzerland, Costa Rica and Chile) are not part of NATO or associated with it. Eurocentric presumptions are too strong for a civilised behaviour expected from democracies.

The Eurocentrism of ‘the West’ would not be of much global significance, but since the success of industrial capitalism in Western Europe 200 years ago, it has been hegemonic. Not only the ruling classes of Western countries and sections of its popular classes, but social elites in the rest of the world also see the world through a Eurocentric lens. The material basis of this hegemony is economic and military dominance.

The short 20th century ushered by the Russian Revolution, later continued by anti-colonial struggles, did challenge this viewpoint. However, even before the USSR disintegrated in 1991, neo-liberal globalisation had helped Western countries re-establish economic domination. By the time Bush entered Iraq in 2003, only a clutch of bedraggled ‘rouge states’ (Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Libya and Cuba) and terrorist attacks from Islamic fundamentalist groups appeared standing in the way to the forever glory of ‘the West’.

Two decades later, the world looks different. Western countries are no longer at the centre of the global production of goods and services. The gross domestic product at purchasing power parity of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, the five BRICS countries, is $56 trillion or about 8% greater than that of the United States, Japan, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Italy and Canada of the G7. The BRICS economies are also growing at twice the rate. China’s share (including Hong Kong) of global goods exports in 2021 was 23%. By comparison, the European Union’s share was 15%, and the United States' 10%. If the growth of capitalism was key to Western domination, the development of capitalism in other countries seems to have unravelled that very domination.

The empire can and will strike back, particularly because the West still dominates in advanced technologies, including military hardware, software, and finance capital. Actions on these fronts require coordinated collective action. Not just the United States, many European countries have also banned the 5G technology of Chinese company Huawei and blocked transfers of advanced chip technology to China. Similarly, freezing foreign assets and sanctions against Russia would be impossible without collective action.

All such actions by the West, however, erode its hegemony. Other countries realise that they need economic strength and strategic autonomy for honourable survival. This explains why most countries in the Global South have refused to follow the West in sanctioning Russia.

Recent years have shaken the West out of its geo-strategic assumptions. The era of unipolarity ended in 2015 when Russia entered the Syrian civil war on the side of the Assad regime against Islamic fundamentalist groups supported by the West. Despite the United States Army’s bases in Northern and Eastern Syria and continuing occupation of practically a fourth of the country, Russian intervention was a decisive blow to anti-Assad forces and defeated the “regime change” plans of the West.

An intelligent Western leadership would have noticed the changed scenario and tried to evolve a modus vivendi with Russia to avoid further conflicts. Russia gave enough warnings about closer military integration of Ukraine with the West on its border, and proposed treaty-bound joint security architecture for Europe. Only Eurocentric hubris, a blind belief in the permanent paramountcy of the West, can explain the utter disregard for the emerging scenario.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine, right on the border of the West, to one it had guaranteed security, was a rude jolt. A perhaps even bigger shock is that the coordinated Western economic sanctions on Russia have not dented its economy. This is mainly because the major economies of the Global South have continued trading with it.

Sweden and Finland have long been politically and economically integrated into the West. Their decision to forego neutrality and join NATO shows deepening Western unity in the current crisis. Besides girdling up the West in a close military alliance, NATO is systematically building relationships with East Asian nations to contain China. For the first time, NATO’s 2022 Strategic Concept noted that developments in the Indo-Pacific directly affect Euro-Atlantic security. Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand have so far had military pacts with the United States only.

Since the 2022 Madrid NATO Summit, heads of State and governments of these countries have started attending these summits, indicating a closer military integration with the West.

The unity of the West and its expansion to other parts of the world is adversarial in intent and purpose. Rather than find ways to avoid war, it assumes war is the only option. Its biggest failure is that it emerges from the same Eurocentric vision of the world whose weakening hold has created the current crisis.

I'm a tad bit worried that this will be the third front in our WW3 Proxy war by SmockSignals in WayOfTheBern

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It seems the bankers wars are being outed.

Italy Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni Goes Viral Again After Niger Coup (5.25)

Documents Show Taiwan Working With FBI to Prosecute Chinese Americans, Intimidate US Politicians. Taiwanese govt is attempting to drum up anti-China hostility, influence & intimidate American politicians & is even working with the FBI and other agencies to spy on and prosecute Chinese US citizens by Budget-song-budget in WayOfTheBern

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Key points of this investigation

• Taiwanese officials are monitoring Chinese Americans and passing intelligence to the FBI in attempts to have them prosecuted.

• Taiwan is working with “friends” in media and politics to create a culture of fear towards China and Chinese people in the US

• Taiwanese officials claim they are “directing” and “guiding” certain US politicians.

• Taiwan is monitoring and helping to intimidate U.S. politicians they deem to be too pro-China.

• The island is spending millions funding US think tanks that inject pro-Taiwan and anti-China talking points into American politics.

What are people doing to prepare for the culmination of the Fourth Turning? by penelopepnortney in WayOfTheBern

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Is the point of a hinge to be more accommodating?

@caitoz: "Elon Musk's greatest contribution to humanity is his tireless work dispelling the myth of the billionaire genius." by Maniak in WayOfTheBern

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Are any of them exceptional minus their self publicity? Seeing as Musk squaked with glee about the Bolivian coup kind of makes you wonder ....

Video: Nationwide Protest in Pakistan in Support of Imran Khan: Largest Rally in the History of Peshawar City, in the History of the Province of the Pashtun People. by Budget-song-budget in WayOfTheBern

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"This, of course, follows the largest single-day nationwide protests in Pakistan last Sunday.

I hope our friends in Western alternative media will be so gracious (and self-correcting) to permit us all to put to rest now, the idea that these demonstrators are limited to the ‘educated’ and ‘urban middle class’, disconnected from the rest of Pakistan. And just by the way, I’m not sure why these labels are deployed so disapprovingly – especially by progressive Pakistani pundits who inhabit that same social class.

Almost half of Pakistanis are ‘urban’ by this point, which would obviously make them an important support base. And it’s quite bizarre why the term ‘educated’ is used either pejoratively or to associate it exclusively with the ‘middle class.’ A majority of Pakistanis from the lower classes are educated (but don’t necessarily have the ‘cultural capital’ or patronage networks of those above them to get good jobs), and a significant chunk of our upper classes have never felt the need for formal education.

We’ve also been given the impression that only dominant class and ethnic groups are the ones coming out in support of Khan. The Pashtuns, who Pakistani progressives have correctly considered to have been brutalized and marginalized by the ‘War on Terror,’ seem to be blinded by some ‘false consciousness’ (ostensibly, just like all of the non-‘urban middle class’ demonstrators) since they have come out on the streets in the hundreds of thousands on Wednesday evening.

I hope and pray that the Pakistani liberal-left and their very friendly hosts in Western alternative media carry on with caricatures of Khan till their hearts’ content, but go easy on the millions of demonstrators who don’t deserve the disparaging mischaracterizations to which they’ve been subjected."

"Defending Democracy" Through Fascist Nationalism and Suicidal Military Spending? No, Thanks. - Global Research by Budget-song-budget in WayOfTheBern

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2/2. The persecution of these populations, by formations that were inspired by fascism and Nazism, generated many counter-pushes of reaction and solidarity, pushing many sincere anti-fascists to rush to the aid of the attacked populations, in the name of a sincere ideal, and of an unusual and transparent courage, as it was for the case of the communist from Veneto Edy Ongaro, today remembered by his comrades of the Collective Red Star North East and by communiqués of various organizations, even inside a garrison against every imperialist war.

The Ukrainian government has never made a mystery of its will to “Ukrainize” the territory of the independent republics, with measures aimed at the prohibition of the Russian language, followed by military confrontation, acts aimed at the deportation of the Russian-speaking population in ways reminiscent of the burned houses of Serbs in the Croatian territories, or the Italian occupation of Yugoslavia, with the expropriation of the lands of Slovenes and Croats and the prohibition to speak languages other than Italian.

In the face of all this, as inexcusable as war may be, as much as it may be – as it almost always is – an expression of conflicts between imperialist interests, what does it take for certain self-styled anti-fascists in our Institutional Politics to understand the unacceptably ethnic and fascist nature of Ukrainian nationalism? What does it take not to confuse it with the Resistance, and to reveal the warmongering and suicidal project of feeding the ongoing conflict by sending weapons and by recklessly increasing military expenditures, without any reflection on the objectives of such a defense policy?

The immoderate attempts of Italian television to humanize or clear customs of this widespread and irredeemably puteolent Nazism could be dismissed with a joke describing their ridiculous response: “Alright they are Nazis, but they are “our” Nazis….”. However, the issue deserves more serious reflection, because it is an attitude that affects the very future of the working classes of Europe, who bear the brunt of the damage of military and economic warfare.

Such ridiculous insistence on painting the donkey as a zebra reveals a far more serious symptom within the Western ruling classes: the inability to read the events that occur beyond the false consciousness of the dominant ideologies. All this is associated with an inability to put to use the teaching or the suggestions that may come from past historical processes.

Such an inability, according to some historians, would have occurred several times in the history of the opposing blocs. When, at the end of 1979, the United States decided to deploy new nuclear weapons in five European countries, the then USSR was already spending an average of 12% of its GDP on military defense.

A remarkable figure if proportioned to the wealth produced, taking into account that the US itself came to spend 9% of its GDP in 1963 alone. The socialist bloc also suffered from the need to get into debt with Western countries for the importation of food and, at times, as in the case of East Germany, also energy needs. Almost all the countries adhering to the Warsaw Pact were heavily supported out of necessity by Soviet finances and unfortunately they were at the same time forced to go heavily into debt with Western countries, adopting at the same time a policy of sacrifice for the repayment of debts, a policy that generated social discontent and opened the way for the infiltration of Western secret services in the creation of protest movements, such as that of Lech Walesa, also financed with the laundering of dirty money coming from the hidden centers of power headed by Banco Ambrosiano and the Vatican.

In such a situation, the arms race led by the United States led to the progressive weakening and destruction of the Soviet bloc.

Western Europe today suffers from similar problems and a great dependence on several opposing blocs in the world. Inserted for historical reasons in the military vassalage led by the U.S. empire, however, finds its economic balance strongly dependent on other blocs, both for energy needs, both for exports/imports of manufactured goods. Its economy and its social substrate have been severely undermined by the past economic crisis and it is not so absurd to assume that a new policy of rearmament would lead to a new political suicide of the European entities, which would end up wearing themselves out in the name of the interests of island security (and also economic) of the United States.

This walking on the knife’s edge was well understood by the past political ruling classes, who worked to manage this difficult balance. A few days ago, the ubiquitous Zelensky did not even miss an attack on Angela Merkel for her past allegedly pro-Russian policy.

The former Bundeskanzlerin replied to the Ruthenian president that “it was right to exclude Ukraine from NATO”, as a witness to the fact that Europe was well aware of the need to balance powers. Moreover, a remnant of that past policy has been seen even within this crisis, with the positions of France and Germany.

The WSJ has recently revealed that a plan in extremiis containing the Russian requests had been transmitted to Zelensky by Sholtz, informing him that the western information gave for sure the invasion plan in case an agreement was not found, despite the fact that in front of the entire media world they declared themselves convinced of the contrary. Zelensky, as a good amplifier of NATO interests, refused. The European inertia towards these unreasonable and uncomfortable positions has contributed to generate what then happened.

This is why the absurd media coverage of the words and deeds of the Ukrainian leaders reveals an astonishing short-sightedness of the current European ruling classes. Such an attitude is so absurd, when it ends up adopting policies of Russophobia (persecution of Russian culture, which is not Putin’s culture) completely similar to the ridiculous efforts to eliminate French and Anglo-Saxon culture from the Italian intellect pursued in our country by the little teacher from Predappio. Here we are not at “our fascists”, here you become fascists altogether, without the need for a membership card.

At the time of writing, the media war is raging with the guest of honor the inevitable war crime that always appears in conflicts of this type. Each side is fundamentally certain of the guilt of the other or of the blatant fabrication by the other side, according to logics that, in time of media and military war, cannot be supported by an acceptable evaluation of the facts, because the facts at this time, are difficult – if not impossible – to ascertain and evaluate, due to the work of the same parties in conflict.

However, one certainty always remains: wars, especially imperialist wars, always bring with them every kind of horror, because in wars every limit to barbarism is by definition broken. The weight of imperialist conflicts is borne almost entirely by the popular classes, while the advantages are gradually enjoyed by the ruling classes, in a scenario in which, in both fields, the word democracy and the interest of the people are only puppets moved to clear the exploited classes of the sacrifices they will have to make, once again, so that the wealth they produce is managed and appropriated by blocks of economic and political power.

The “main enemy” in this case is the lack of organization of the exploited classes according to their own independent interests. Where these organize, as in the case of the boycott by the workers of Pisa, or of the Greek Railroaders against the sending of weapons to Ukraine, the imperialist war is opposed without the need to yield to the interests of one of the parties to the conflict.

The request that the Italian ruling classes propose today is to defend a democracy that they insist on not granting with the support of an ethnic and fascist nationalism, with a rearmament that will lead to the suicide of the economy on the shoulders of the popular and exploited classes.

Enough to answer: no, thanks.

"Defending Democracy" Through Fascist Nationalism and Suicidal Military Spending? No, Thanks. - Global Research by Budget-song-budget in WayOfTheBern

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Article 1/2.

"If Ennio Flaiano were to be called upon today to pronounce on the Italian mainstream on the subject of war, he would surely come out with one of his striking paradoxes:

“It is not so much what I see or read that makes an impression on me, but what I hear: that unbearable noise of nails climbing up the glass.”

On the loudspeakers of the media hegemony the defense at all costs of the words and deeds of the Ukrainian government has been broadcasted in unified networks, whatever the means used by this one, all in view of a costly militarization of the whole Europe, already in dire straits for the economic crisis.

The tasty interview with a commander of the Azov Battalion – composed of nationalists of the Ukrainian ultra-right, who confesses to “reading Kant” to their soldiers, the appearance of the band of “Kiev calling” singing with Banderas’ T-shirts, have discovered more than one nerve of the dominant narrative.

Once it emerged that the political horse on which it was counted allowed an unparalleled accessibility to organizations inspired by Nazism, ethnic nationalism, collaborators of the Third Reich worshipped as “national heroes” with monuments, it started the race to deny the evidence, to reduce a phenomenon that the Ukrainian government first refuses to reduce, or to use consolatory and justificationist narratives, disconnected from reality, such as the one that “the Nazis exist on both sides.

It should be made the usual premise, a must in these times in order not to see one’s own reasoning delegitimized to typhus: the nature of Russia governed by Putin is clearly an oligarchic regime in which the dominant historical bloc (composed of a political bloc allied to precise private economic blocs and controlled by the state) uses all the tools of propaganda, social management and repression for the perpetuation of power. There is no one who can deny that every form of political alternative is subject to strong repression, even when it is a matter of claiming simple democratic access.

However, it could be said, such an authoritarian course is not nowadays functioning only in Russia, but since a long time it characterizes almost all Western nations, which would like to censor it. Our shores are also home to a power managed in a manner increasingly independent of real democratic mechanisms, whether by strong men – or clans – as in Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, by plutocratic and oligarchic pillars as in the USA, or by technocratic elites as in Italy. If Russia shows off an unpresentable Khadirov in Chechnya, one has to wonder if the clans of Kosovo, Orban or Erdogan are not equally unpresentable. And one could go on.

However, this is not the point. Returning to Ukraine, never before in a state, in Russia or in the West, we have seen such an agility, cultural and political weight, entrusted to political organizations that blatantly draw inspiration from ideologies, characters, worldviews, explicitly fascist or Nazi. Words and works that in the German penal code would have been a pure crime of apologia for the Third Reich, or the object of a ban, at least until the half-reversal made with the judgment of the Federal Supreme Court of January 17, 2017, which rejected the request to ban the NPD (a neo-Nazi party), only because of minimal electoral importance.

Despite the fact that in the whole area of Eastern Europe movements inspired by ethnic nationalism or reinvigorated inspirations of Pan-Slavism have been reborn, neither in Moscow, nor in the ultra-atlantic Poland has anyone ever allowed themselves to inaugurate monuments and celebrate as a national hero a collaborator of the horrors of the Third Reich and its SchutzStaffel like Stepan Banderas. In the same sense, we have never gone so far as to integrate into the regular army paramilitary militias formed by neo-Nazi groups, celebrating their hierarchs as heroes of the resistance even when their acts have turned out to be real crimes in wartime, such as the taking of civilian hostages in many of the last war scenarios, or in peacetime, such as the massacre of the House of Trade Unions in Odessa.

But, if the narrative of blatantly claimed fascism were not enough, it would suffice to pay attention to the practices and laws directly put in place by the President of Ukraine and his government, in past and recent times.

Since the dawn following the 2014 coup, communists were outlawed (they will be permanently outlawed since 2015 after the appeal against the ban was rejected). With a decree a few days ago, as many as 10 opposition parties (representing 20%) in Parliament were banned:

Opposition Platform

– For Life (43 deputies), Pan-Ukrainian Union “Fatherland” (26 deputies), Opposition Bloc (6 deputies), Shariy’s Party (named after the blogger who animates it), Left Opposition, Union of Left Forces, Ukrainian Progressive Socialist Party, Socialist Party of Ukraine, Socialists, and Vladimir Saldo Bloc that had in the Ruthenian Rada another 43 deputies.

At the same time all national communication was gagged by unifying the television networks into a single network under government control.

Measures of this kind can be compared to the so-called fascist laws: the law that obliged the press to have a responsible director of prefectural-governmental approval (1926) and the institutionalization of the Great Council of Fascism as the supreme constitutional authority of the Kingdom (1928).

With reference to the issue of the Doneckij Bassein, it is certainly not peregrine to suspect that separatism was to some extent instrumentalized by the Russian government according to its own interests. However, we do not yet have adequate documents to ascertain what Russia’s role was in these political processes.

On the other hand, we have sufficient elements to observe that the alleged Ukrainian reaction took the form of a war that lasted eight years.

The offensive against the Ukrainian government has been carried out by ultranationalist and paramilitary formations with methods that aimed at the annihilation of an ethnic and/or cultural expression (Russian and Russian-speaking), with a massacre that, according to the most conservative estimates (Report of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees) concerns at least 3404 civilians (without “part”, because civilians are considered as such) and 6500 separatist insurgents. A war of eight years that the mainstream likes to define low intensity, but certainly high numbers.

German industry would collapse without Russian gas – BDI The head of the Federation of German Industries has advised against an embargo on Russian gas by Budget-song-budget in WayOfTheBern

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Solar panels? How effective/ efficient are they? Cycle - small distances to travel?

Why Does the Western World Need Ukraine? Nothing characterizes the madness of the situation around Ukraine better than the words of Josep Borrell, the head of EU diplomacy. In a recent interview with TF1 he said with disarming infantilism the following: “I am ready to admit that we made a number of by Budget-song-budget in WayOfTheBern

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"mistakes and that we lost the possibility of Russia’s rapprochement with the West,” <…> there are things that we proposed and then could not implement, such as, for example, the promise that Ukraine and Georgia will become part of NATO”.

These words could not fail to stun: such an honest admission of past mistakes, the man-made consequences of which are witnessed by the whole world, and the complete unwillingness to even verbally indicate their readiness to redeem them.

In fact, what Borrell said is an admission that the European Union still has not got a long-term strategy for Ukraine. Nor has it been seen in the actions of the U.S., despite the established view of the all-powerful hand of the U.S. empire playing all the chess games for the long haul.

Over the past thirty years in the corridors of the White House, as well as among the Brussels bureaucracy, the complete lack of interest in Ukraine has alternated with bursts of militant enthusiasm in the spirit of Zbigniew Brzezinski’s famous maxim (“without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be an empire”).

Moreover, the very change of this optics was not so much deliberate as conformist, i.e. inertial, and was always subordinated to global objectives: attempts to contain Russia or, conversely, the desire to establish more predictable relations with it. This explains the specifics of the new confrontation which has unfolded along the line Moscow-Brussels-Washington.

All these years Russia has invariably voiced a realistic demand to take its strategic interests into account. But in response, the abstract logic of the impossibility of a “new Yalta” and the universality of the principles of the liberal world order has been offered – without a solid understanding of why the West needs a “pro-Western” Ukraine in principle. Hence this strange indecisiveness of the Euro-Atlantic community toward Kiev, which has only increased the general tension, as well as thoughtful deafness to the warnings of skeptics about the consequences of endlessly ignoring Moscow’s interests.

In the new confrontation of the twenty-first century, unlike what we saw in the twentieth, there has never seemed to be anything but a frank zero-sum game.

The Dream of a Greater Europe Indeed, looking back over the past thirty years one can reveal a surprisingly chaotic picture, devoid of any coherence. Even the first symbolic contact between the Western world and Kiev was impactful.

“Americans will not support those who seek in order to replace a far-off tyranny with a local despotism. They will not aid those who promote a suicidal nationalism based upon ethnic hatred”. These words, spoken by George W. Bush to Ukrainian parliamentarians during a visit to Kiev three months before the collapse of the Soviet Union, were often recalled afterwards, especially in light of the White House-supported ultra-right policies adopted by Kiev after the 2014 coup.

Then, in 1991, the president was immediately criticized in the US press, so he had to demonstrably change his attitude towards Kiev as soon as the opportunity presented itself. When the Ukrainian SSR announced a referendum on its independence, America was among the first to express its willingness to recognize the new state.

By the way, the initiator of this gesture was Dick Cheney, then Secretary of Defense. Later on, he was a prominent supporter of the Ukrainian theme, which he thought to use in case of a hypothetical strengthening of Russia. However, it is significant that at the time this line of action almost immediately receded into the background.

Ukraine, which had broken away from the Soviet Union, was as distant as it was uninteresting to Washington and Brussels. For the former, it presented no electoral benefits, and for the latter, no economic profitability. At that time the geopolitical focus of the West was on Central and Eastern Europe. In the post-Soviet space, Russia and its energy riches were of the greatest interest.

At that time, the idea of a “Greater Europe” stretching from Lisbon to the Pacific Ocean seemed like a beautiful and inevitable future. Of course, there was a place for Ukraine inside this “Great European House”, but not as a priority. That is why, by the way, all the talks about the EU’s rapprochement with Kiev, which in the first years of independence the latter so liked to boast about, were declarative.

As American researchers Timothy Colton and Samuel Charap point out, if “the 2004 European Commission report emphasized the EU’s status as the largest donor to Ukraine” and “spoke of future integration in the abstract way”, the European Commission’s similar document on Russia, by contrast, described the ways to further integration comprehensively and specifically.

The only thing Europe could not part with was the Cold War phobias Brzezinski played on, convincing it that sooner or later Moscow would show its imperial ambitions again. The policies of post-Soviet Eurasia towards the West were based on the exploitation of these fears.

Many U.S. diplomats recalled that in the first years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Washington sought to maintain its presence in all the capitals of the new republics, at all levels. Ritual phrases about respecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the post-Soviet republics were regularly heard from officials. However, neither the United States nor Europe wanted to have any real influence on the internal political life of these countries.

But the leaders of the post-Soviet border states did not sit idly by: they regularly managed to attract for themselves financial aid as part of various Western programs. And Kiev was the most virtuoso at exploiting the weaknesses of then flourishing West.

Propaganda Machine at Work: Aussie Media Desperately Trying to Dissociate Cardiovascular Injuries from COVID Vaccines - Global Research by Budget-song-budget in WayOfTheBern

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"Dr. Robert Graham of the New South Wales-based Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute (VCCRI) shared a case of another SCAD patient he encountered. The SCAD patient from Melbourne who was just under 40 years old had suffered from a severe heart attack.

“We’ve got some very interesting families now where we think we absolutely nailed the gene that’s causing [SCAD],” said Graham. He also described the U.S. study that attributed SCAD to genetic mutations as “still early” and meant “for a very small number of patients.” Still, Graham said it needs to be replicated.

Rogers mentioned that the VCCRI is “casting the net wider” by taking gene samples from a list of 400 SCAD patients and using sophisticated techniques to determine other mutations responsible for the condition.

“Experts say finding an underlying cause of the condition is crucial, as up to 30 percent of cases are likely to have another heart attack,” she added.

Is SCAD the new name for damage caused by the spike protein vaccines?

The timing of the Nine News report about Stearn coincides with the emergence of reports about COVID-19 vaccine damage. The shots have been found to cause the formation of clots in the blood vessels, mainly attributed to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein used in them. (Related: BIOWEAPON: New study reveals spike protein in coronavirus vaccines responsible for adverse reactions.)

This Is the End of Free Speech Online - Global Research. The UK’s Online Safety Bill is an authoritarian nightmare. by Budget-song-budget in WayOfTheBern

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"The internet has changed radically in the past decade or so. Where social-media giants once boasted about being ‘the free speech wing of the free speech party’, in recent years, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other platforms have become increasingly censorious, cracking down on dissenting views and offensive speech. Big Tech has relished this role as the unofficial arbiter of acceptable thought. But while the likes of Facebook may have severely wounded free speech online, it could be the UK government that deals the killer blow.

This week the long-awaited Online Safety Bill was published, which aims to make the UK the ‘safest place to be online in the world’ – in other words, the country with the most strictly regulated and censored internet of any liberal democracy. This mammoth piece of legislation was five years in the making, and those five years show. The bill is vast in scope, and terrifying in its implications for free speech.

Most significant is the ‘duty of care’ the bill imposes on social-media firms. Tech platforms will be legally required to prevent users from seeing both illegal content and ‘legal but harmful content’.

What actually constitutes ‘harmful content’ has yet to be revealed. If the Online Harms White Paper (published in 2020) is any guide, then this is likely to include content which might cause psychological harm, disinformation and trolling or harassment. Of course, all of these ‘harms’ are subjective. ‘Trolling’ can extend from playful banter to persistent harassment. Which views tech firms consider to be ‘disinformation’ has less to do with lies and truth than political expediency.

Lawyer For Mother Of Hunter Biden's Daughter Says He Expects President's Son To Be Indicted. by Budget-song-budget in WayOfTheBern

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"The past few weeks have been tough for Hunter Biden and, by extension, the rest of the Biden family. On March 1, news broke that Hunter Biden's longtime business partner and friend Devon Archer was sentenced to a year in federal prison for defrauding a Native American tribe. Then just yesterday, the New York Times published an investigation revealing that although the younger Biden had paid his outstanding tax liability - which was reportedly greater than $1 million, and which required him to take out a loan to pay it off - a federal investigation into his failure to pay taxes on his earnings from overseas has continued."

"He also confirmed that the younger Biden hadn't visited his 3-year-old daughter with Roberts, "which is sad because the baby looks like him, with blonde hair." He also explained that he had come into possession of a vast trove of the younger Biden's financial records as part of his work on Roberts' child-support suit. When asked about the number of records, Lancaster said it was around "10 gigs of data".

“Oh, hell, it was a bunch,” said Lancaster when asked how many records there were related to Hunter Biden’s finances. The documents were part of the case file for an Arkansas court child-support lawsuit that Roberts filed against Biden in 2019 in connection with their daughter.

"They’re all in electronic form,” Lancaster said. “I would estimate it was anywhere from 10 gigs of data."

"I saw a lot of information” that is “problematic” for Biden, he said.

Finally, Lancaster told CNBC that his client hadn't received immunity before testifying because she hadn't committed any crimes. The NYT on Thursday reported that Roberts had been questioned about the provenance of the child support payments she had received from Biden. Prosecutors were apparently investigating whether the same corporate entity from which she received the payments was also used by Biden to receive payments from Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company from which he received a salary of $50K per month just for sitting on its board.

Given all the information on the investigation that's just come to light, we wouldn't be surprised if the grand jury hearing the evidence is soon asked to vote on whether federal charges should be brought against the younger Biden. His father, the president, has already recused himself from the case as his DoJ has continued with the investigation. If charges are brought and Hunter Biden is convicted (or pleads guilty), his father would then have the option of pardoning him. From this vantage point, it's not too difficult to imagine a scenario where Biden pardons his son after deciding not to seek another term in office."

Now that Joe Biden’s president, the Times finally admits: Hunter’s laptop is real by [deleted] in politics

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It was said it was a message, from the 1%, tax us, and more this dirt on the rest of the democrats will be spilled. So as an obedient servant, Biden did zero to rock the status quo. Outcome he won.

The US’ Reported Post-War Backup Plans In Ukraine Hint That Kiev’s Defeat Is Imminent. MSM is now in the process of radically reversing their narrative from one of ‘imminent victory’ to ‘imminent defeat’, thus further manipulating their naïve audience’ emotions for the purpose of controlling minds. by Budget-song-budget in WayOfTheBern

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"There was never any realistic chance that US-backed Kiev’s fascist-nationalist forces would defeat the Russian military superpower. The only reason that Moscow’s special operation there hasn’t yet fully achieved its military aims is that the Eurasian Great Power is going to great lengths to minimize civilian casualties and collateral damage. Nobody should doubt that President Putin could simply authorize that country’s complete destruction if that’s what he truly wanted, but his sincere belief in the historical unity of Russians and Ukrainians as well as his principled humanitarian views prevents him from replicating the US’ ultra-destructive “shock & awe” campaigns from Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Libya.

Russia is Publishing Documents that Show Bio-Weapons Labs Were Operating in Ukraine Close to Border with Russia by raven9 in WorldNews

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No surprise.

Operation Paperclip Case File: The CIA and the NAZI’s. Group of 104 Nazi Scientists that the U.S. government has implanted into high positions of technology, scientific, mental health, NASA, and many other government positions. The Liberty Beacon by Budget-song-budget in WayOfTheBern

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These were the kind of activities, Kissinger played a part in. Of which very few people are aware.

WERNHER VON BRAUN - the technical director of the Peenemunde rocket research center, where the v-2 rocket was devolved, an enthusiastic Nazi, Von Braun worked on guided missiles for the American Army and was later director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.

KURT BLOME, had been ordered in 1943 to experiment with plague vaccines on concentration camp prisoners, he was hired by the U.S. Army Chemical Corps to work on chemical warfare.

MAJOR GENERAL WALTER SCHREIBER, assigned doctors to experiments on concentration camp prisoners and made funds available for such experimentation, was placed at the Air-force School of Medicine at Randolph Field in Texas. After his past was exposed, be was given a visa and a job in Argentina.

HERMANN BECKER-FREYSING and SIEGFRIED RUFF, conducted experiments on Dachau inmates, starving them, then force-feeding them seawater that had been chemically altered to make it drinkable. Ruff's acquitte was touch and go, he had killed as many as 80 Dachau inmates in a low-pressure chamber designed to stimulate altitudes in excess of 60,000 feet. Before their trial, both were paid by the US Army Air Force to write reports about their experiments.

GENERAL REINHARD GEHLEN, derived much of his information from the torture, interrogation and murder by starvation of some four million Soviet prisoners. Gehlen and his most senior officers carefully microfilmed the vast holding on the Soviet Union in the military section of the Germany’s army’s general staff, packed the film in watertight steel drums and secretly buried it throughout the Austrian Alps. Allen Dulles of the CIA wanted Gehlen’s microfilmed records–and control of the German spymaster. In exchange Gehlen got a private intelligence facility in West Germany ie the Gehlen Organization. Gehlen hired former SS, SD or Gestapo members, amongst them Emil Augsburg and Dr. Franz Six, part of mobile killing squads, which killed Jews, intellectuals, and Soviet partisans on sight, and Willi Krichbaum, senior Gestapo leader for Southeastern Europe, and the Gestapo’s chiefs of Paris and Kiel, Germany.

KLAUS BARBIE, Nazi butcher of Lyons, France as part of the SS which was responsible for the death of thousands of French people under the German occupation.

HEINRICH RUPP, was convicted of bank fraud, an operative of the CIA, deeply involved in the savings and loan scandals. He was part of the Op paperclip. According to the court testimony, on October 19 and 20 1980, at the Hotel Florida and Hotel Crillion, meeting between Rupp, the late CIA director William Casey, Reagan’s campaign manager, and Donald Gregg, now American Ambassador to South Korea, and George Bush Sr, during the election in which Bush was on the ticket with Ronald Reagan, to sabotage President Jimmy Carter’s reelection campaign by delaying the release of American hostages in Iran, setting the foundation for the Iran-Contra scandal into motion.

LICIO GELLI, the Head of a neo fascist organization, in Italy catered to only the elite, was responsible for providing Argentina with the Exocet missile. Gelli was a double agent for the CIA and KGB.

The fear of Communism gave birth to the Fascists and Nazi’s. The Fascists represented right-wing government, while the Communists represent left-wing government. United States and Catholic Church desired the right-wing over Communism – because Communism would destroy the capitalistic system, which is why the CIA and the Vatican had to go through with Operation Paperclip. The Nazi’s had massive amounts of Soviet intelligence, had infiltrated Communist partisans, and were not going to be given up to USSR.

Gelli formed the P2 Masonic Lodge-which was supplied with $10 million a month by the CIA. It’s membership was a Who’s Who in the intelligence, military and Italian community. Gelli’s influence, meant he was a guest of honor at the 1981 inauguration of President Ronald Reagan.

Gelli and his P2 lodge comprised connections to banking, intelligence and diplomatic passports, whilst CIA poured hundreds of millions of dollars into Italy in the form of secret subsidies for political parties, labor unions and communications businesses, it also continued it’s relationship with far-right violent elements as a back-up should a coup be needed to overthrow a Communist government. Prime Minister of Italy in a speech to Parliament, exposed CIA covert funding, 600 or more people were in Italy were on the CIA' payroll. Licio through his P2 Lodge, acted as conduit for the CIA and the Vatican.

In 1957, Project Paperclip was stopped, after West Germany protested to America, Germany was being stripped of “scientific skills.” NO comment was made about supporting Nazis. The ramifications of Paperclip are world wide, due to Licio Gelli and his international dealings with the CIA in Italy/P2, and Heinrich Rupp's involvement in October Surprise,

CIA employed the Nazis as agents, to engage in clandestine work with George Bush Sr., the CIA, Henry Kissinger, and the Masonic P2 Lodge. Another umbrella project was spawned from Operation Paperclip was MK-Ultra.

Global WAR-NING! Geoengineering Is Wrecking Our Planet and Humanity - Global Research. Made available free of charge with a view to reaching out to people worldwide. We are envisaging a PDF version of the e-Books that can be downloaded, in the meantime, can be read on our website in 51 languages by Budget-song-budget in WayOfTheBern

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Extract: -

Global Research is glad to announce our publication of four e-Books.

They are made available free of charge with a view to reaching out to people worldwide.

We are envisaging a PDF version of the e-Books that can be downloaded straight to your devices; in the meantime, you can read them on our website, They are accessible in 51 languages by activating the Translate Website drop down menu on the top banner of our homepage.

Global WAR-NING! Geoengineering Is Wrecking Our Planet and Humanity

Edited by Prof. Claudia von Werlhof

After more than one year of “lockdowns” all over the world, the issue of “global warming” and “climate change” is back on the table of the international debate.

It seems that natural catastrophes have started to surround us everywhere – from the animal world next to us as well as from the sky above us. Is “nature” the enemy that has to be combatted today, be it by vaccinating humanity against the coronavirus that allegedly jumped out of the wilderness attacking us, be it by tearing down industrial production and consumption in order to avoid the alleged greenhouse gas CO2 emissions, being officially identified as the sole culprit of a so-called global warming? Or be it by applying methods of an alleged civil “geoengineering” against an ongoing climate change that seems to threaten the world?

When To Build Sea Walls | Countercurrents by Budget-song-budget in environment

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"The most recent warning on December 30th is of deteriorating conditions at the Arctic and Greenland. The second warning is the threatening collapse in Antarctica of one of the largest glaciers in the world. As these events unfortunately coincide so close together, one at the top of the world, the other at the bottom, should coastal cities plan to build sea walls?"

Dr Fuellmich & Dr Wodarg "New Findings. Enough to dismantle the VAX Covid Industry" by Budget-song-budget in WayOfTheBern

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More about the link above.

"Dr. Reiner Fuellmich is a German attorney who has been collaborating with an international network of lawyers for over a year to interview more than 100 experts from every field of science about COVID. They plan to sue the people behind the COVID Plandemic in a Nuremberg Trial 2.0. They claim to have conclusive evidence that the COVID “health” policies are the worst crimes against humanity ever committed. In the video below, they discuss the “smoking gun” that can remove all immunity from liability from drug companies and others involved with the COVID “vaccines”."

UK Govt is Colluding with the WEF on Artificial Intelligence for The Great Reset -UK govt confirms it is playing a leading role on global AI ethics & regulations & that it published Guidelines on AI Procurement in collaboration with World Economic Forum Centre for Fourth Industrial Revolution. by Budget-song-budget in WayOfTheBern

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"According to Ernst Wolff, German author and journalist, we are sitting right in the middle of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and expect, in the period ahead of us, the loss of millions and millions of jobs due to the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI). What has happened since March 2020 is according to a plan which can be read in books about the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Great Reset by Klaus Schwab, whose World Economic Forum (WEF) plays a key role in this whole agenda"

"The Numbers Killed by these Vaccines is Much Worse than What We Thought". Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi, Dr. Mike Yeadon. what’s new is the revelation that lymph node cells are also being invaded by the gene-based agents and marking THEM for auto destruction. - Global Research by Budget-song-budget in WayOfTheBern

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"When you destroy that part of the immune system, which we loosely call “immune surveillance”, every manner of nasty, latent infections, by viruses & also bacteria, explode, uncontrolled.

Hundreds of millions of people are going to die of unrestrained tuberculosis, Epstein Barr virus, toxoplasmosis etc etc etc

AND on top of this, the daily accidental production of cancer cells, normally deleted swiftly by immune surveillance, before they can divide, ceases."

British Colonialism And How India And Pakistan Lost Freedom| Countercurrents by Budget-song-budget in WorldNews

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"Do nations and civilizations grow out of the moral mire of military conquests, killings of innocent people, political cruelty and subjugation by imperialism? For more than 800 years, India as a Moghul Empire was an economically well integrated and politically viable entity and west European had strong trade and political relationships. After intrigued conspiracies and planned division, British invaded India in 1857, committing cold blooded massacres of two millions people mostly Muslims opposing the military invasion described just as a “Mutiny” in the British chronicle. Bahadur Shah Zafar – the last Moghul emperor was deposed over night in Delhi, his youngest son head was chopped-off and put on a breakfast plate to strangle the Shah and make him surrender unconditionally. Shah was hurriedly taken to Rangoon (Burma) and imprisoned in a garage and later on died and buried only to write poems in loss of his freedom and beloved country. Did the British overtake India to be a free country for democracy or to support the Hindu domination of futuristic India? British robbed Moghul India and became it became Great Britain and imagined India as an absolute entity of the British Empire.

Leaders like Gandhi and Nehru, Dr. Mohammad Iqbal, Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Liaquat Khan though educated in British intellectual traditions but articulated new mission and visions for national freedom as a revulsion against the British colonial political traditions and continuity of British Raj in India. Was this violent and ruthless indoctrination part of the British heritage or history-making efforts to besiege India forever? Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy made sure that Indians will remain loyal and committed subservient to the futuristic blending of so called celebrated national freedom after the 1947 partition into India and Pakistan. British failed to deliver the truth of national freedom to both nations in a universal spirit of political responsibility. Both nations continued to engage in military warfare, ethnic conflicts and hegemonic control to dominate each other by undermining their own future.

History could not have confined the tyranny and oppression of “divide and rule” of British imperialism against the will of the Indian masses. Canons of rationality clarify that national freedom granted to both new entities in August 1947 was a fake chronology of time and history. The so called national freedom perpetuated a hybrid socio-economic and political culture – part human- part vulture, British made no security arrangements to ensure communal peace and harmony which resulted in millions of people been killed in ethnic violence while migrating from one place to another.

Strange as it is, while British imperialism changed the Indian mindset and behavior within a century, but even after 75 years India and Pakistan remain glued to the British colonial systems to this day in thoughts, systems and governance. Does it not signal a naïve and void imagination of national freedom professed by both nations since 1947? They continue to interact with one another as the most hated enemy of time and history, wars, threat of nuclear arsenals, Kashmir dispute and worst of all lack of direct people to people communication or business relationships – all seem to be part of a highly ruptured and purging pursuit of national freedom."

History: "Wipe the Soviet Union Off the Map", 204 Atomic Bombs against 66 Major Cities, US Nuclear Attack against USSR Planned During World War II - Global Research by Budget-song-budget in WayOfTheBern

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"The following article first published in 2017 questions the history of the Cold War. It has a bearing on recent developments.

US nuclear threats directed against Russia predate the Cold War.

They were first formulated at the height of World War II under the Manhattan Project when the US and the Soviet Union were allies.

The secret plan to bomb 66 Soviet cities was released in mid-September 1945, two weeks after the formal surrender of Japan.

Had the US decided NOT to develop nuclear weapons for use against the Soviet Union, the nuclear arms race would not have taken place.

Neither The Soviet Union nor the People’s Republic of China would have developed nuclear capabilities as a means of “Deterrence” against the US, had it not been for the Manhattan Project which was intent to annihilate the Soviet Union.

Flash Forward to 2021:

President Joe Biden does not have the foggiest idea as to the consequences of nuclear war.

Massive amounts of money have been allocated by the Biden Administration to feed the weapons industry including the Pentagons’ 1.3 trillion dollar nuclear weapons program first launched under Obama.

Humanity is at a dangerous crossroads. Nuclear war has become a multi-billion dollar undertaking, which fills the pockets of US defense contractors. What is at stake is the outright “privatization of nuclear war”.

The use of nuclear weapons against Russia is currently on the drawing board of the Pentagon. US-NATO war games are being carried out on Russia’s doorstep. A first strike preemptive nuclear attack on Russia is not excluded. "

Covid vaccines “most dangerous biological medicinal product rollout in human history,” says Dr. Peter McCullough - Global Research by Budget-song-budget in WayOfTheBern

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"Untold thousands of deaths have already occurred from this, though most of them never make it into the government databases. Numerous presenters, including Dr. Peter McCullough, who has also long stood against the injections, revealed scientific evidence to support these and other claims.