Ukraine Invades Russia


From EJ Magnier on the 15th:

Saudi media threatened the US – in the aftermath of the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi – to cease all hostilities towards Iran if Washington were to insist on accusing a Saudi top official (MBS) of the horrible kidnapping and murder…

Saudi officials are happy to continue feeding Trump the sums of money he wants as long as he allows Saudi Arabia a free hand in the region, mainly against Yemen…

Unwilling to surrender to the regional realignment, the US establishment envisions an Arab NATO – similar to the western NATO – to counter Russia in the Middle East…

However, the dramatic military failure of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates against the poorest country in the ME, Yemen, suggests that this new Arab NATO will be stillborn…

Baghdad is expected to reject any US demands to respect Trump’s sanctions.

How the Generals Are Routing the Policy Wonks at the Pentagon:

The degradation of the Defense Department’s civilian leadership dates to the Obama administration.

From Glenn Greenwald:

It is legal and constitutional to publish secret documents even if the sources of those documents obtained them through illicit or even illegal means…

There would be no way to prosecute Assange for publishing classified documents without also prosecuting the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Guardian and others for doing exactly the same thing…

Pompeo, as CIA Director, delivered one of the creepiest and most anti-press-freedom speeches heard in years, vowing that “we have to recognize that we can no longer allow Assange and his colleagues the latitude to use free speech values against us,” adding that WikiLeaks has “pretended that America’s First Amendment freedoms shield them from justice,” but: “they may have believed that, but they are wrong…”

THE ARGUMENTS JUSTIFYING the Trump administration’s prosecution of Assange are grounded in a combination of legal ignorance, factual falsehoods, and dangerous authoritarianism.

Israel’s ‘Iron Dome’ Air Defence Is A Failure, Russia’s Systems Actually Work – Here’s Why:

A key failure of the ‘Iron Dome’ system is that its intercepting missiles attempt to catch the incoming Palestinian rockets from the rear – by comparison, the more modern Pantsir-S system made by Russia is programmed for front-on and side-on interception of an incoming projectile.

From Pepe Escobar:

Nord Stream 1 and 2 supply northern Europe while TurkStream supplies southern Europe…

The Erdogan machine has sensed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to simultaneously bury the House of Saud’s shaky Islamic credibility while solidifying Turkish neo-Ottomanism, but with an Ikhwan framework.

From MoA:

The Turks had bugged the Saudi consulate and have records of all phone calls. When they learned from Khashoggi’s fiancee, a well connected daughter of a co-founder of Erdogan’s AK Party, that Khashoggi was missing, they wound back the tapes and unraveled the story. The killers had made four phone calls to Al Asaker to report back. In one of the calls the mission leader told him: “Tell your boss” that “the deed was done.” The Turkish president Erdogan was delighted to receive such a gift…

U.S. support for bloody dictators is the rule, not the exception…

The Saudis acquired not one big ticket item from the U.S. since MbS rose to his position…

The Saudis increased oil production to keep the markets stable while the U.S. sanctions Iran. But Trump gave waivers to buyers of Iranian oil and the oil price fell from $80 per barrel down to $60/b. The Saudis are furious over this. They need at least $80/b to balance their budget…

Trumps main Middle East project is to regime-change Iran in support of Israel. His main campaign sponsor, Sheldon Adelson, demands that. Without a stronger Saudi Arabia and its full support the project is likely to fail…

MbS has shown no sign that he will ever follow Trump’s orders…

If MBS gets the message and follows orders, he stays. If he doesnt and makes Lockheed Martin disappointed, he goes.

From EJ Magnier:

Moscow is sitting today, along with high ranking Iraqi, Syrian and Iranian military advisors, in one single operational room in Baghdad,waiting to pick up the slack if the US moves away from or slows down military support to Iraq, but also to ensure that ISIS doesn’t return to occupy any city in Mesopotamia…

The 48 hours battle in Gaza with Israel November 12-13 showed unprecedented unity between Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and many other Palestinian groups (13 groups in total have united in one single military operational room for the first time ever), and their closeness to Iran and Hezbollah, indicating, once again, the failure of US policy in the Middle East…

And finally, the US administration put on its list of terrorists the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, his deputy, and various top leaders. These men will thus never be able to visit Disneyland or enjoy the wildlife in Las Vegas!..

Iran can build many factories in Lebanon, benefitting from its experience in various fields, mainly in the pharmaceutical domain, car production, domestic utilities and military industry…

Nevertheless, since 1949 Israel has never been subjected to precision missiles with hundreds of explosives on each of their warheads, capable of covering the entire Israeli territory and of reaching any target…

There are about 50 billionaires who consider MBS their sworn enemy who has humiliated and “impoverished” them in front of their friends and families…

These are people who find nothing disturbing about public decapitation…

13 billionaires are said to never have left the Ritz (alive).

Texas Is About to Create OPEC’s Worst Nightmare:

An infestation of dots, thousands of them, represent oil wells in the Permian basin of West Texas and a slice of New Mexico. In less than a decade, U.S. companies have drilled 114,000. Many of them would turn a profit even with crude prices as low as $30 a barrel.

Massive Al-Qaeda Gas Attack On Pro-Government Aleppo Leaves Over 100 Hospitalized

Russian Air Force eliminates militant group responsible for chemical weapons attack

Ukraine Declares Martial Law As Russia Refuses To Release Captured Ships

Commentary: Ukraine’s neo-Nazi problem

Ukraine Deploys Reservists To 10 Border Provinces As President Warns Of “Russian Invasion”

From the Rev. Chris Hedges:

“Deregulation allowed the financial system to become one of the main centers of redistributive activity through speculation, predation, fraud, and thievery,” Harvey writes in his book, perhaps the best and most concise account of the history of neoliberalism…”

Neoliberalism transforms freedom for the many into freedom for the few…

The good freedoms—freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, freedom of meeting, freedom of association, freedom to choose one’s job—are eventually snuffed out by the primacy of the bad freedoms.


From Matt Taibbi:

James Reader tried to do everything right. No fake news, no sloppiness, no spam. The 54-year-old teamster and San Diego resident with a progressive bent had a history of activism, but itched to get more involved…

In 2014, he launched Reverb, a site that shared news from a pro-Democratic stance but also, Reader says, took great care to be correct and factual…

Through Facebook and social media, Reader estimates, as many as 13 million people a week were seeing Reverb stories…

“We were pouring between $2,000 and $6,000 a month into Facebook, to grow the page…”

Reader saw drops in traffic. Soon, ad sales declined and he couldn’t afford to invest in Facebook’s boosting tools anymore, and even when he did, they weren’t working in the same way.  It was like crack-dealing,” he says. “The first hits are free, but pretty soon you have to spend more and more just to keep from losing ground…”

 “Everything I’d worked for all those years was dead,” he says…

“It’s a giant company trying to monopolize all behavior on the Internet…”

“News feed optimizes engagement,” said former Facebook designer Bobby Goodlatte. “Bullshit is highly engaging…”

Facebook recently began working with a comical cross section of shadowy officialdom: meeting with the Foreign Influence Task Force at the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security; partnering with the Atlantic Council, a NATO-connected organization featuring at least six former CIA heads on its board; and working with a pair of nonprofits associated with the major political parties, the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute.

From MoA:

The Ukrainian government under the oligarch Petro Poroshenko is in election campaign mode. That is one reason why it is launching new provocations against Russia. Yesterday Ukrainian forces reportedly occupied a town within the neutral zone between the government controlled part and the rebel held Donetsk area. Today the Ukrainian navy sent a tug and two small gun boats, recently acquired from the U.S. Coast Guard, Ukrainian build Gurza-M class types, to pass through the Kerch Strait into the Sea of Azov.

When the ships entered Russian waters without announcing their intent, a Russian coast guard ship rammed (vid) and damaged the tug. The two gun boats escaped but did not pass the strait…

The Sea of Azov has a maximum depth of 7 meters. Typical U.S. frigates have a draft of 10+ meters…

The Kerch Strait is now blocked by a large cargo ship the Russians anchored under the new Kerch bridge.

Russia Deploys S-400 Missiles To Crimea In Military Showdown With Ukraine

From Pepe Escobar:

The Kerch Strait, the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea, in military terms, are de facto Russian lakes…

Poroshenko’s approval rate barely touches 8%. His chances of being re-elected, assuming polls are credible, are virtually zero.

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