The Saudi War on Hizbullah

From Zero Hedge:

In a shocking development, Saudi press Al Mayadeen reported late on Saturday that prominent billionaire, member of the royal Saudi family, and one of the biggest shareholders of Citi, News Corp. and Twitter – not to mention frequent CNBC guest – Al-Waleed bin Talal, along with ten senior princes, and some 38 ministers, has been arrested for corruption and money laundering charges on orders from the new anti-corruption committee headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, while Royal princes’ private planes have been grounded…

Bin Talal’s arrest and the government reshuffle caps off a bizarre day for Saudi newsflow, which started with the resignation of Palestinian prime minister Saad al-Hariri, who announced he was quitting due to fears of an assassination plot, allegedly organized by Iran, followed shortly after by the Saudi defense forces intercepting a ballistic missile as it was about to strike the capital Riyadh.

From Moon of Alabama:

Four days ago we asked: Is The “Moderate Al-Qaeda” Set To Target Hizbullah?. The implied answer in that piece was “Yes, the war is coming to Lebanon.”

Today the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri resigned with a statement issues from Saudi Arabia on the Saudi Arabian TV station Al Arabia (video). This is the opening shot of the war.

The Saudi-Israeli-U.S. axis will lose this war while Iran and Russia will win from it…

The resignation of Hariri is intended to provoke a constitutional crisis in Lebanon and to prevent new parliament elections. The further Saudi plan is likely to evolve around these elements:

  • The Trump administration will announce new sanctions against Hizbullah and against Lebanon in general.
  • The Saudi government will slip some of its al-Qaeda/ISIS proxy fighters from Syria and Iraq into Lebanon (possibly via Turkey by sea). It will finance local Lebanese terror operations.
  • There will be new assassination attempts, terror attacks and general rioting by Sunni extremist elements against Christians and Shia in Lebanon.
  • The U.S. will try to press the Lebanese army into a war against Hizbullah.
  • Israel will try to provoke and divert Hizbullah’s attention by new shenanigans at the Lebanese and Syrian border. It will NOT start a war…

In their manic attempts to push back against perceived Iranian (and Russian) influence the Saudis and the U.S. have enabled Iran (and Russia) to gain better and more secure standing that they could ever have hoped to achieve otherwise. Why the Saudis think that their new adventure in Lebanon will have a different result is beyond me.

From the comments:

The main desire for change in Lebanon is the Israeli desire to be rid of Hizbullah and its missiles.

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Systemic Cowardice

I’ve had some time to think about this, and if anybody is being feminized, it is their fault for not standing up for themselves.  Lord knows, the most dangerous thing a woman can do is become pregnant.  And the state has stepped into the economic shoes of poor men, casting them adrift from their families.

Capitalism has done a pretty bad job with gender equality and at the corporate level, a good old boy network no doubt holds sway.  I’m not sure if the neoliberalism which has destroyed education, science, medicine etc., goes beyond substituting greed for merit.

Hollywood, like everything, is dying and Weinstein is merely part of the process.  It’s a good thing anytime people feel safe naming their attackers.  Careers are properly ruined, but who needs a House of Cards Season 6?

Helicopter parents and a fragile generation are probably the results of moms making up for lost time at work, granted to pay for cars, homes and schools they really don’t need.  I put that more at the feet of tribalism.

And if Bergdahl is crazy, he should have gone to a mental health facility.  But the military’s decision to induct him is consistent with feminization expressed by a counterinsurgency doctrine of winning hearts and minds by building schools and hospitals after we’ve bombed them.

Whereas lobbyists design our weapons, officers exhibit a sense of entitlement where the crusade is interpreted as patriotism.  The results are a military reduced to terrorism with equipment that is often older than their grandparents.

WWII was the last victory the US enjoyed and now we’re subjected to no-fly zones in Ukraine and Syria, Russian electronic countermeasures which dominate the battlefield and charges of illegal war.  We can’t field infantry of any kind and regularly ask special forces to do things for which they were never intended.

So, yeah the military is feminized and the reason again is cowardice.  Unfortunately the cancerous cause of Zionism means perpetual war, lest Israel be threatened.  These people, often women, optimize a corporatized military and medias’ unwillingness to stand up to them.  Other than in the comments on websites, we are left to Robert Parry, Paul Craig Roberts and Ron Paul.  Even arch paleocon, Pat Buchanan, fails to mention the neocons and their warmongering.  Rush Limbaugh references them indirectly, but Hannity nearly had a stroke recently when Ann Coulter referenced them.

So, we have cowardice in the media, but not feminization.  The Walmartization of society, where people leave the house inappropriately dressed is probably more a function of austerity.  Relaxed attire at work extends to all but the oligarchs, who appear increasingly more conspicuous.

I’d accuse Hillary of feminizing the Dems, but she’s not attractive or charming.  Her failure is more one of hubris than cyclical political decline.  Indeed, only her mendacity prevented Bernie Sanders from being President.  That’s where cognitive dissonance comes in.  They are just now processing the election result to understand that Trump is not the cause, but Hillary.  I expect a volcanic explosion of outrage against her soon.  And then there will be the inevitable realization that Trump is not terrible, but doing a pretty good job for a neophyte.

The alt right and left are insignificant.  Antifa is a product of the Zionists and the white supremacists are merely disaffected dead enders.   What we have are millions of troubled liberals, millions of deluded conservatives and millions in the middle who are thoroughly entertained.

The show on the Left currently features a daily bombshell, whereas the Right is constantly reminding that the Tea Party pols they’ve elected care more about money than serving constituents.

Millennials are pitiable for being robbed of a future.  Obligatory college debt renders home ownership untenable.  They will also be heard from loudly.

Their parents were subjected to corporatized democracy or inverted totalitarianism by addiction to consumerism and resulting narcissism.  Bertrand Russell said each were challenges to be overcome in an industrial society.  The resulting apathy and ignorance during what Jeremy Grantham says was an unprecedented period of wealth from cheap oil is especially unforgivable and responsible for our current predicament.

The Silent Generation enjoyed their lives after WWII, having been too young to serve and pampered as no generation ever before.  As their children came along, they were subjected to the cold war and manufactured Soviet threat inflation as cause to grow the military budget to its current untenable proportion.

These children, the boomers, perpetuated the good life and adopted a healthy indignation for it all, resulting in the ultimate spoiled brat of public policy, AKA postmodernism.  Fifty years later, we have two generations of people never schooled in the classics and doomed to repeat the same mistakes a historical perspective might have avoided.

Which brings us to now and the Bacchanalia of materialism and debt that James Howard Kunstler calls the greatest waste of resources in history.  It is truly madness and a result of the failure to be involved in politics and take a stand for austerity.  The conservative revolution since 2010 imposes fascism on those completely innocent of debt and promises not only inequality, but genocide.  Moreover, these Libertarian Christians do not possess the skills to be politic and therefore govern.

Steve Bannon promises to primary these creatures with nationalists, but I suspect it will take a couple of election cycles to run the rats from state houses and Congress.  Until then, a lot of people are gonna be subjected to more pain and we will probably lose at least a generation before prosperity returns.

Climate change also mitigates against a better future than we now enjoy.  The failures of the Left to fight for environmentalism, labor, peace and education doom us to idiots on the right who indulge in magical thinking.  Given the political vacuum on the Left, socialism as the result of nationalism may be the best way forward and history is not kind to that example.

Whatever, we’ve had Zionism with us since WWII and our neoliberal/globalist pols regularly act treasonously by promoting the cause of Israel over that of their country.

Ukraine is the perfect opportunity to finally bring these imperialist warmongers to heel.  They’ve set up shop there and attempted to suborn the government to disastrous effect.  Fortunately, the neocons do not know or care about military realities and have become pratfall artists on the border of increasingly unamused Russians.

We haven’t tested an ICBM warhead since 1962 and must rely on Russia to sell us rockets to launch satellites.  These pathetic circumstances virtually guarantee we won’t launch against anyone.  Tactical nukes delivered conventionally are another matter, but so far it is a decision the neocons have been reluctant to make.

Trump’s capitulation to the neocons is discouraging, but given the enormity of a Zionist Deep State, it was probably necessary.  However, over time, the ability of the US military will continue to degrade, limiting tactical options to false flags and terrorism.  Also, as the legitimacy of  the media continues to degrade, so does the secrecy upon which the neocons depend.

Putin is a great American and perfectly positioned to help us run these insane murderers to ground.  We are already pretty far along the continuum from generations of demonization to the realization that Russians have our best interests at heart for the simple reason that a peaceful America means a better world.

Putin and Trump are allied against the oligarchs and their neoliberal/globalist hold on the US and Europe.  Trump’s nationalist campaign promises spoke of this and better relations.  I have no doubt of his and Bannons’ ultimate desire to get there.

Say what you will, but they are not cowards.

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I’ve been spending way too much time on Twitter:

The greatest threat to America is the US Military.

Someday, will commit an act of terrorism. It’s on you, feminized US military general staff.

Rot in Hell, .

Do the right thing, : eat your gun.

If had been a woman, gay or black, he’d be in the gallows.

The US military is adult day care.

My thoughts on The Fragile Generation:

You’ll have to look deep into the comments for the reason: feminization. Women and the men who refuse to stand up to them are ruining society.

People who can’t tell the difference between a kid and a puppy.

Debt peonage is another result.

Men are too afraid to say “Oh, hell no,” and live with the consequences.

The He-Man Woman Hater’s Club in Liberty is giving a kid the opp to get away from their influence.

Most men never know long periods of silence.

The greatest stupidity in the universe dwells in the heart of a beautiful woman.

Men weren’t meant to live as slaves.

Children and debt were invented by women.

Their invention of Jesus is a device to reinforce mind control.

After all, a man who will come to Jesus will fall for anything.

Taking someone’s word for the nature of reality is cheating.

We were meant to be informed by experience.

Obedience is not love.

Most men become one of the kids.  I choose to be a cat.

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Manafort the Hero

From the NYT in July, 2016:

Mr. Manafort began working in Ukraine after the popular uprising in the winter of 2004-5 that became known as the Orange Revolution. Mr. Yanukovych, then prime minister, was declared the winner of a presidential election in 2004 that was marred by fraud and overturned by the country’s highest court after weeks of protests in favor of his pro-Western rival, Viktor A. Yushchenko.

Mr. Yanukovych had relied disastrously on Russian political advisers who underestimated voter frustration. After his defeat, he turned to American experts.

Mr. Manafort had begun working for one of Ukraine’s richest men, Rinat Akhmetov, to improve the image of his companies. Mr. Akhmetov was also a prominent sponsor of Mr. Yanukovych’s party, the Party of Regions, and he introduced the two men.

With Mr. Manafort’s advice, Mr. Yanukovych began a comeback, with the Party of Regions winning the biggest bloc in parliamentary elections in 2006 and again in 2007, returning him to the post of prime minister. At the time, Mr. Manafort called Mr. Yanukovych, a former coal trucking director who was twice convicted of assault as a young man, an outstanding leader who had been badly misunderstood in the West…

By 2010, Mr. Yanukovych’s revival was complete. He had won a presidential campaign against Ms. Tymoshenko, who was convicted of abuse of office and sent to prison.

Mr. Kopachko, the pollster, said Mr. Manafort envisioned an approach that exploited regional and ethnic peculiarities in voting, tapping the disenfranchisement of those who felt abandoned by the Orange Revolution in eastern Ukraine, which has more ethnic Russians and Russian speakers.

Remarkably, the article completely ignores the February 2014 Maidan Revolution, backed by the US State Dept. and ending with the removal of Yanukovych.  This began hostilities against the Donbass in eastern Ukraine, which has been successfully defended to this day by Russian general officers on leave and Ukrainian military veterans against neo-Nazi mercenaries trained and supported by NATO.

Say what you will about Manafort, but the Zionist neocons spent $5B deposing an elected president in their bid to sell off eastern Ukraine to Monsanto and goad Russia into war, neither of which have occurred.

These same bastards have since gone on to destabilize Libya and Syria, creating diasporas which threaten to ruin Europe.  Donald Trump and the Russians have since put an end to Hillary Clinton’s plans for the neocons.

From Andrew McCarthy, yesterday:

For someone to be guilty of laundering, the money involved has to be the proceeds of criminal activity before the accused starts concealing it by (a) moving it through accounts or changing its form by buying assets, etc., or (b) dodging a reporting requirement under federal law…

This count will thus fail if there is any doubt that the Ukrainian money was illegal under American law, that Manafort and Gates knew it was illegal, that they knew the work they were doing required them to register as foreign agents, or that it was their intention to promote a failure-to-register violation…

From President Trump’s perspective, the indictment is a boon from which he can claim that the special counsel has no actionable collusion case. It appears to reaffirm former FBI director James Comey’s multiple assurances that Trump is not a suspect. And, to the extent it looks like an attempt to play prosecutorial hardball with Manafort, the president can continue to portray himself as the victim of a witch hunt.

Manafort and Gates have since plead not guilty and a trial would give them an opportunity to explain their actions running up to the Ukrainian Revolution, during which Hillary Clinton was SecState and marshaling neocon forces.  Since Mueller’s case is weak, he will not be able to turn Manafort against Trump and will be forced to look elsewhere.

Which brings us to the Podesta brothers, whose penchant for creepy art and friends make them incredibly vulnerable to threats of prosecution unless they testify not against Trump, but the Clintons.  Tony Podesta’s resignation from his firm signals efforts, if not by Mueller, then the DOJ, to prove illegality regarding the fake Trump dossier and the UraniumOne deal.

Trump is having a really good week and it’s only Tuesday.

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Russian Oligarch Sanctions

On a day filled with unbelievable news, we also have this.

From the Moscow Times:

The Russian members of the Forbes list are worried about the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act that U.S. President Donald Trump signed into law on Aug. 2, 2017. By “adversaries” it means Iran, Russia, and North Korea.

The Act stipulates that the U.S. Treasury Department, Director of National Intelligence, and the Secretary of State have 180 days — that is, until approximately February 2018 — to present a detailed report on Russian “oligarchs” and senior officials involved in Russia’s foreign policy to a special committee of the U.S. Congress.

The document indicates that anyone whose name appears on the list could be targeted with personal sanctions. Such sanctions typically prohibit individuals from entering U.S. territory, freeze their assets, and ban them from doing business with U.S. citizens and companies…

According to the text of the Act that President Trump signed, by February 2018 the U.S. authorities must accomplish the following:

  • — Identify the circle of senior officials involved in foreign policy and oligarchs with close ties to the Russian authorities;
  • — Determine their relationship to Vladimir Putin and members of the Russian ruling elite;
  • — Determine whether those individuals are involved in corrupt actions;
  • — Estimate the amount of wealth and the sources of income of those individuals and their family members – spouses, children, parents, and brothers and sisters, including their assets, investments, and any other business interests and significant share holdings they have in any companies anywhere;
  • — Determine whether they have business relations and assets outside of Russia;
  • — Assess the potential impact imposing sanctions against these “oligarchs,” state-owned and partially state-owned companies would have on those entities themselves, and on the economies of Russia, the U.S., and U.S. allies.
  • — Determine the potential impact of imposing secondary sanctions against Russian oligarchs. (Secondary sanctions are especially odious because they carry force beyond U.S. territory. Anyone winding up on that “blacklist” would find themselves unable to obtain financing not only from U.S. banks, but also from European financial institutions.)..

The U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), a division of the U.S. Treasury Department, is responsible for drawing up sanctions lists…

The OFAC has almost complete authority to expand its list of restrictions independently. Here are some of the agency’s powers, extensively reported on by the RBC business outlet in 2014;

  • — The agency can freeze assets in U.S. accounts, limit access by foreigners and foreign organizations to the U.S. financial system, and prohibit U.S. banks from cooperating with any financial institution in the world;
  • — There are serious fines for those who circumvent the agency’s sanctions;
  • — Once an individual or organization is “blacklisted” by the OFAC, it is extremely difficult to undo. There is no clearly defined mechanism for challenging such a decision and the OFAC has the right simply to ignore such complaints.
  • — In February 2011, the OFAC needed only 72 hours to freeze former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s U.S. account holding $30 billion.

Again, we are seeing two separate versions of US foreign policy: one to placate the insane Zionist neocon warmongers and another to keep campaign promises to pursue Nationalism.  Indeed, this effort is entirely consistent with the fight Putin has waged against the oligarchs since the dissolution of the Soviet Union.  And of course, he will have no choice but to reciprocate in kind against US oligarchs.

As we watch Trump dismantle the FBI/CIA Deep State by publishing evidence proving  generations of clandestine violence and murder, both here and abroad, Putin has done his part by rolling up two US Presidents, two AGs and a host of DNC functionaries with the Uranium One deal.

Viewed separately, these events seem fantastic, but taken together a pattern becomes apparent of Trump and Putin colluding in the best interests of their citizens.

As the US and Russia work to limit influence by fifth column plutocrats in their own governments, problems created by Western central bankers in Europe will also be addressed by supporting right wing populist movements.

And then there is the cesspool of Ukraine, where $5B was spent over a number of years by Zionist neocons to destabilize the government.  The IMF, contrary to its bylaws, is financing war against the Donbass, in concert with corrupt Ukrainian oligarchs.  So far, Russian general officers on leave and military veterans have effectively resisted paid neo-nazis and their NATO advisers.  This particular experiment has been a dramatic failure, but provides abundant evidence of their malignant intent.

Trump, Putin and right wing nationalists all over the world stand side by side against them.  Those concerned with increasing austerity, poverty and inequality have good reason to be encouraged.

China is a different situation, but Xi is as weary of Western central bankers as anyone.  His attempts to rein in their unprecedented debt are welcomed by a world ruined by products exported at much less than fair value in subjugation of Chinese workers.

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Operation Phoenix 2.0

I’ve been fighting a cold this week, but still been able to chronicle items I deemed of importance on Facebook.  I’ve also spent my evenings convalescing by having a tremendous amount of fun reacting to outrageous events on Twitter.

From Moon of Alabama:

U.S. soldiers, and especially commanding officers, have a well pampered and safe life. Many civilian jobs pay less and are more dangerous. A myth is build around the U.S. military with the help of hundreds of millions in public relations and marketing expenditures. The U.S. military does not win wars, but its soldiers are depicted as being better humans than the general population…

If the soldiers do not work “for any other reason than that they love this country” why do they ask to be paid? Why is the public asked to finance 200 military golf courses? Because the soldiers “love the country”? Only a few 10,000 of the 2,000,000 strong U.S. military will ever see an active front-line.

From the comments:

We more closely resemble post WW1 Germany, in that although largely defeated on the field of battle far away from the home front in our 16 years of dubious missions, the hoi ploy here only hears of individual valor in a everybody in our armed forces is a hero, fashion…

In the wars of the past decade, hundreds of Army generals were deployed to the field, and the available evidence indicates that not one was relieved by the military brass for combat ineffectiveness.…/11/general-failure/309148/…

Either American generals are so inept that they cannot defeat an enemy whose most advance weapons system is a Toyota pick up truck, or they are so cowardly that they will not state clearly that the US military cannot “win” any counter insurgency conflict.

From Russia Today:

What the US-led coalition did to Syria’s Raqqa is comparable to the infamous Allied bombing of Dresden in 1945, the Russian Defense Ministry said, adding that the allies may be rushing to pour money into Raqqa to cover up the aftermath.

From RT:

The tactic used by the US forces – whether in Syria or in Iraq – is to cause as much damage as possible to make the cities that get liberated from ISIS hard to rebuild and to reconstruct. At the same time, they want to turn the issue of the civilians and their needs as a mean to obstruct further advances of the Syrian army – especially that the US is losing ground, both in Syria and Iraq, and it wants to hold on to whatever it could in order to enter into negotiations later on.

From Thomas E. Ricks on General John Kelly:

So you want to be a career soldier? Good for you. But remember that the longer you stay in uniform, the less you will really understand about the country you protect. Democracy is the antithesis of the military life; it’s chaotic, dishonest, disorganized, and at the same time glorious, exhilarating and free — which you are not.

After a while, if you stay in, you’ll be tempted to say, “Look, you civilians, we’ve got a better way. We’re better organized. We’re patriotic, and we know what it is to sacrifice. Be like us.” And you’ll be dead wrong, son. If you’re a career soldier, you may defend democracy, but you won’t understand it or be part of it. What’s more, you’ll always be a stranger to your own society. That’s the sacrifice you’ll be making…

Being part of the “one percent” doesn’t make us any more entitled than any other citizen. And while we’re happy that the public respects military service, too much respect makes us a little uneasy, for the reasons the old colonel said. We are privileged to serve, not the other way around.

From ABC News:

Despite being massively outnumbered, the American and Nigerien troops held their own — including Sgt. La David Johnson, who was killed in the ambush, the sources told ABC News.

“He was the best kid you could ask for,” the survivor said of Johnson, who fought back the militants with machine gun fire from the back of a pickup truck, before grabbing a sniper rifle and continuing to shoot.

“The guy is a true war hero,” the survivor added. “I really want his wife and kids to know that.”

From MoA:

Last week the new head of the CIA Mike Pompeo publicly threatened to make the CIA a “much more vicious agency”. His first step towards that is to unleash CIA sponsored killer gangs onto the people of Afghanistan…

The campaign will be a boon for the Taliban. While it will likely kill Taliban aligned insurgents here and there, it will also alienate many more Afghan people. Some 75%  of the Taliban fighters are locals fighting near their homes. Killing them creates new local recruits for the insurgency. It will also give the Taliban a more sympathetic population which it can use to cover its future operations.


As usual, the MoA comments are chock full of chewy goodness, should you be so inclined.

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Elm Street Grill

We had Saturday off, so we hit the ancient and venerable Smith Street Diner for breakfast, before going in to the store.  They regularly serve great meals to hundreds of people.  Our waitress, whom we’ve come to love, suggested we also try brunch at Elm Street Grill.  We hit the store, shipped orders and I watered the plants.

This morning, I went to the store, watered the plants and drove to Liberty,  My tenant at the He-Man Woman Hater’s Club is done painting the living and bedrooms.  I swapped the Fun Machine for the truck and drove to Lowe’s for John Deere green spray paint.  Then I drove to the store on the way home and picked up the metal loveseat in front of the store, which had begun to rust.

The Wife and I drove Darth Beetle to Elm Street Grill, which is just north of Pisgah Church.  The place is tastefully adorned.  The hostess showed us to the area just off the bar, which is where we like.  One wall was covered with at least a dozen screens, each showing something different and one showing the Panthers.

The polite bartender brought us regular and brunch menus, which were, like everything else, clean and appealing.  The first things I noticed were Chicken Tikka Tacos and Turkey Curry Flatbread.  WTF?

We’ve been substituting ground turkey for beef for years.  But unlike typical Indian restaurants, I had no clue from the smell.  I got a Blue Moon and the Wife had an excellent Bloody Mary.  The food came and it was understated, but great.  Instead of chutney, there were slices of lime and red onion.

The desserts, from Philly, were not to be missed and we got salted caramel cake to go.

The bill should have been about 25% more than it was.  Nor did we have to wait for it: a pet peeve.  Everyone was cheerful and better yet, busy.  Few things put me off more than walking into a restaurant and seeing employees standing around shooting the shit.  There’s always something to done.

Everyone was well groomed and moving quickly.  I started asking questions and the bartender indicated the owner, who was everywhere, ran front of house and his Wife ran the kitchen.

This place is on our way home from the store.  La Bamba is great, but I’m so excited to have found this new hangout.

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