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How the Pentagon Devours the Budget

Imagine for a moment a scheme in which American taxpayers were taken to the cleaners to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars and there was barely a hint of criticism or outrage.  Imagine as well that the White House and a majority of the politicians in Washington, no matter the party, acquiesced in the arrangement.  In fact, the annual quest to boost Pentagon spending into the stratosphere regularly follows that very scenario, assisted by predictions of imminent doom from industry-funded hawks with a vested interest in increased military outlays.

Most Americans are probably aware that the Pentagon spends a lot of money, but it’s unlikely they grasp just how huge those sums really are.  All too often, astonishingly lavish military budgets are treated as if they were part of the natural order, like death or taxes.

The figures contained in the recent budget deal that kept Congress open, as well as in President Trump’s budget proposal for 2019, are a case in point: $700 billion for the Pentagon and related programs in 2018 and $716 billion the following year.  Remarkably, such numbers far exceeded even the Pentagon's own expansive expectations.  According to Donald Trump, admittedly not the most reliable source in all cases, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis reportedly said, “Wow, I can’t believe we got everything we wanted” -- a rare admission from the head of an organization whose only response to virtually any budget proposal is to ask for more.

The public reaction to such staggering Pentagon budget hikes was muted, to put it mildly. Unlike last year’s tax giveaway to the rich, throwing near-record amounts of tax dollars at the Department of Defense generated no visible public outrage.  Yet those tax cuts and Pentagon increases are closely related.  The Trump administration’s pairing of the two mimics the failed approach of President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s -- only more so.  It’s a phenomenon I’ve termed “Reaganomics on steroids.”  Reagan’s approach yielded oceans of red ink and a severe weakening of the social safety net.  It also provoked such a strong pushback that he later backtracked by raising taxes and set the stage for sharp reductions in nuclear weapons. 

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Anonymous: It’s A Fact: Population Control Efforts Since The 1970s Per Declassified USA Document

North Korea and the Dangers of Nuclear War. The Demilitarization of the Korean Peninsula. Towards a Peace Agreement.

Fire and Fury” was not invented by Donald Trump. It is a concept deeply embedded in US military doctrine. It has characterized US military interventions since the end of World War II. 

What distinguishes Trump from his predecessors in the White House is his political narrative.  

We are nonetheless at a dangerous crossroads. Foreign policy miscalculation could lead to the unthinkable. Bear in mind that “MISTAKES” are often what determine the course of World History.

Insanity in US foreign policy, not to mention the fiction that nuclear weapons are an “instrument of peace” as formulated by the Trump administration could lead to the unthinkable. Decision-makers in high office believe in their own propaganda.

A Pre-emptive first strike US nuclear attack against North Korea could potentially precipitate a Third World War.

About-turn in January? President Trump not only confirmed his support for the North-South Pyeongchang inter-Korean dialogue, he also stated his resolve to establish a direct dialogue with Pyongyang. A few weeks later, this peace-making rhetoric was replaced by a new gush of military threats against the DPRK.

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China Just BAILED OUT One of the BIGGEST Companies In China! Then Literally Turned Off It’s VIX!

Meddling for Empire: The CIA Comes Clean

Electoral meddling has become the gruel of US politics for months, and more servings are being promised in the wake of the indictments against 16 Russians and Russian entities dished out Robert Mueller last week. Such actions can, when taken in isolation, seem sensible. Righteous indignation can be channeled appropriately, and given the suitable icing of exceptionalism.

One of the difficulties behind the podium stance of virtue taken by the US political establishment on Russian interference in the country’s electoral process is one of simple hypocrisy. In the game, and importantly theatre, of international relations, the shove, give, and take are all powerful incentives. Express outrage, by all means, but do so with a certain sentient awareness that you have been as culpable as your opponent of the same charge.

Idealism, however, is the magic mushroom that clouds such assessments. Filled with pride and a sense of purpose, individuals such as former CIA director James Woolsey are happy to first say that the CIA “probably” inserts its nose in the electoral affairs of other states, then justify it.

Friday’s encounter with Laura Ingraham of Fox News was sufficiently frank, if unsettling, in pulling down any pretence about the role of US power and its self-justified assertiveness in the electoral processes of other states. “Have we ever tried to meddle in other countries’ elections?” posed Ingraham. “Oh, probably,” came the humoured response, “but it was for the good of the system in order to avoid communists taking over.”

Then came a few points of illustration: “For example, in Europe, in ’47, ’48, ’49, the Greeks and the Italians, we CIA…” Ingraham, at that point, charged in with an interruption, asking whether the US “did that anymore”. “We don’t mess around in other peoples’ elections, Jim?”

Faux, tinselled idealism is indeed an ugly sight of kitsch. From a man familiar with the dark arts and antics of an organisation he once ran, it was hard to keep it in. “Well… Only for a very good cause.” Through good causes, catastrophe breeds its dark spawn.

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BREAKING PRO Syrian fighters enters Afrin Syria helping kurds against Turkey February 20 2018

Why Washington Struck Russian Contractors In Syria

On February 7, the US B-52 bombers and Apache helicopters struck a contingent of Syrian government troops and allied forces in Deir al-Zor that reportedly killed and wounded dozens of Russian military contractors working for the Russian private security firm, the Wagner group.

In order to understand the reason why the US brazenly attacked the Russian contractors, we need to keep the backdrop of seven-year-long Syrian conflict in mind. Washington has failed to topple the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

After the Russian intervention in Syria in September 2015, the momentum of battle has shifted in favor of Syrian government and Washington’s proxies are on the receiving end in the conflict. Washington’s policy of nurturing militants against the Syrian government has given birth to the Islamic State and myriads of jihadist groups that have carried out audacious terror attacks in Europe during the last couple of years.

Out of necessity, Washington had to make the Kurds the centerpiece of its policy in Syria. But on January 20, its NATO-ally Turkey mounted Operation Olive Branch against the Kurds in the northwestern Syrian canton of Afrin. In order to save its reputation as a global power, Washington could have confronted Turkey and pressured it to desist from invading Afrin. But it chose the easier path and vented its frustration on the Syrian government forces in Deir al-Zor which led to the casualties of scores of Russian military contractors hired by the Syrian government.

Another reason why Washington struck Russian contractors working in Syria is that the US-backed and Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) – which is mainly comprised of Kurdish YPG militias – have reportedly handed over the control of some areas west of Euphrates River to Deir al-Zor Military Council (DMC), which is the Arab-led component of SDF, and have relocated several battalions of Kurdish YPG militias to Afrin and along Syria’s northern border with Turkey in order to defend the Kurdish-held areas against the onslaught of Turkish armed forces and allied Free Syria Army (FSA) militias.

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Iranian Foreign Minister Laughs At Netanyahu's Threats Calling Him "Cartoonish"

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Bibi and Jewish Dialectic

We learned this week that the Israeli police have  recommended indicting PM Netanyahu for bribery. Some Israeli commentators opine that this move by the Israeli police is the end of Netanyahu or at least the beginning of his end. I am not convinced that this is the case, Bibi has proved to be both resilient and resistant. In any case, Netanyahu won’t be the first Israeli politician to face trial and possible imprisonment. His predecessor Ehud Olmert was sentenced after being convicted of fraud, breach of trust, bribery and tax evasion.

Disdain for the law and a lack of ethics are deeply entrenched within the Israeli elite and in its political leadership in particular. Yet, unlike Bibi and Olmert, Moshe Katzav wasn’t really interested in mammon, bribery or fraudulent activity. When Katzav was president, it turned out that predatory sexual behaviour was his thing. He was exposed and paid the price.  On 22 March 2011, Moshe Katsav became the first former President of Israel to be sent to prison when he was sentenced to seven years with two additional years probation for rape, indecent acts, sexual harassment and obstruction of justice.

Disregard of elementary ethics, it seems, is so common in the Jewish State political universe  that Wikipedia decided to dedicate a special page to this social phenomenon titled “List of Israeli public officials convicted of crimes or misdemeanors.”

This begs the question, what is it with the Jewish State and its criminality?  Wasn’t Zionism a promise to fix the Jews, to make them productive and ethical or as an early Zionist phrased it -- ‘people like all other people’?

In fact, the Zionist promise may actually explain why so many Israeli politicians have ended up behind bars or at least faced indictment. The early Zionist promise expressed a desperate Jewish wish to morph into a civilised nation, to depart from Jerusalem and bond, once and for all, with Athens.

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US seeks to relieve Israel with new aid to Jordan: Analyst

Netanyahu’s “Operation Greater Israel”? Israel’s Intent to Wage War on Lebanon.

Will this be the trigger, finally, for the active commencement of Operation Greater Israel that Netanyahu has been meticulously planning for the whole of his political career, and prior to his increasingly likely indictment on corruption charges as he is finally forced from office later this year?

A last ditch attempt to implement the infamous Zionist ideological agenda for the ethnic cleansing of the whole of former Palestine and the military expansion into not only Lebanon but also Jordan, Syria and Iraq in order to confront his sworn enemy, Iran, and to implement his (revisionist) Zionist dream of Israel as hegemon of the Middle East?

That would likely involve a full-scale attack on Lebanon; the targeted (criminal) political assassination of senior Hezbollah leaders and presumably the Israeli occupation of Beirut using US-supplied F-16 and F-35 strike aircraft, courtesy of Mr Trump, and (reluctantly) backed by the American Pentagon.

The expected illegal annexation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights with the assistance of American troops authorised by the Trump-Kushner family White House would put the Middle East and the world on a trajectory that would very probably lead to a regional nuclear war.

It would appear that Europe, including Britain, will be impotent to stop the Trump-Netanyahu war machine but it will not come as any great surprise to those who are familiar with the long-time, Likud charter agenda for a Greater Israel: a neo-colonial enterprise that holds complete contempt for the UN Security Council; for the entire international community and for the concept of Middle East peace.

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Israel Escalates Aggression on Syria

In cahoots with Washington, Israel wants Syria’s government toppled, pro-Western puppet rule replacing it – tyranny instead of Assad, ignoring his overwhelming popular support.

In response to Syria’s air defense downing an Israeli F-16 attacking targets in its territory from its airspace, the IDF escalated aggression against multiple Syrian sites.

A same-day article discussed the pre-dawn Saturday incident, beginning when Israel downed what it called an Iranian drone, most likely a Syrian one called Iranian.

No Iranian or Syrian drone entered Israeli territory pre-dawn Saturday, as Israel claimed. The downed UAV was in Syrian airspace. Israel lied claiming otherwise.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi blasted its Big Lie, saying

“reports of downing an Iranian drone flying over Israel and also Iran’s involvement in attacking an Israeli jet are so ridiculous…Iran only provides military advice to Syria,” adding:

“The government and army of Syria as an independent country have a legitimate right to defend (their) territorial integrity and counter any type of foreign aggression.”

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France to spend 37bn euros on upgrading nuclear arsenal

A Guide to Top Anti-Russia US Think Tanks and Their Operatives

When you watch coverage of Russia in the US and UK mainstream media, know that many of the so-called ‘foreign policy’ experts are actually on the payroll of deep state think tanks which are extensions of the western military industrial complex. This is important to remember as you see them constantly advocating in western media for a more aggressive stance against Russia.

The same goes for individuals touted in the media as having ‘evidence’ which they always claim implicates Russia and Syria for various and sundry misdeeds – and in every case, their fallacious case is directly tied to a US or NATO military operation. Such dubious ‘experts’ include Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat (Atlantic Council/NATO), and Clint Watts from the new Hamilton 68 (an associate of the antediluvian cold warrior deep state think tank called Foreign Policy Research Institute), and Michael Weiss of the Daily Beast and CNN (Atlantic Council/NATO). By recognizing these individuals and the pseudo ‘think tank’ organizations who employ them, you can see easier how the western mainstream media is able to maintain an around-the-clock constant stream of pro-war propaganda, which in turn helps to propel the US and NATO war economies.

Bryan MacDonald from RT International has compiled a brief summary of the leading anti-Russia think tanks in the US, along with their key operatives and who funds them…

Countering Russia has become a lucrative industry in Washington. In recent years, the think tank business has exploded. But who funds these organizations, who works for them and what are the real agendas at play?

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JULIAN ASSANGE ASSINATION ATTEMPT and HIS WARRANT STILL STANDS

US Foreign Policies Remain Unchanged Since 1948

Ever since 1948, the U.S. Government’s foreign policies have been consistently focused upon breaking up the Soviet Union and turning its Warsaw Pact allies against the Soviet Union; and, then, once that would be (and was) accomplished, turning any remaining allies of Russia against Russia; and, then, once that will have been accomplished, conquering Russia. Since at least 2006, U.S. ‘defense’ policy has been that nuclear war will be an acceptable way to conquer Russia if lesser measures fail to do the job. (Since 2006, the concept that a nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia would result in “mutually assured destruction,” or “MAD” —  a war that both parties to it would lose — has been rejected at the highest levels of the U.S. Government, but continues unchanged as being the policy at the highest levels of Russia’s Government, which are terrified of the U.S. Government’s attempts to develop anti-ballistic missiles and other systems that would eliminate Russia’s defenses — i.e., ability to retaliate — against a U.S. nuclear first-strike attack — terrified at the U.S. Government’s preparations to win a nuclear war.) 

When the Republican U.S. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney said on 26 March 2012 that, “Russia, this is, without question, our number one geopolitical foe”, he was actually stating publicly something that U.S. President Barack Obama secretly agreed with and had been working since day-one of his Presidency to implement — and his State Department had secretly already been drawing up plans since 2011 to overthrow the Moscow-friendly leaders of two nations: Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and Ukraine’s Viktor Yanukovych. But Obama (who was the most gifted liar in U.S. Presidential history, and really understood how to use truths to demolish even lies that his own policies were secretly based upon — simultaneously criticising bad polices while secretly implementing them) responded to Romney’s statement of March 26th, by saying on 22 October 2012,

“Gov. Romney, I’m glad that you recognize that al-Qaeda is a threat, because a few months ago when you were asked what’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia, not al-Qaeda. You said Russia … the 1980s, they’re now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because, you know, the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.”

And Romney replied,

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Free Speech Victory: Federal Court Strikes Down a Law that Punishes Supporters of Israel Boycott

A federal judge on Thursday ruled that a Kansas law designed to punish people who boycott Israel is an unconstitutional denial of free speech. The ruling is a significant victory for free speech rights because the global campaign to criminalize, or otherwise legally outlaw, the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement has been spreading rapidly in numerous political and academic centers in the U.S. This judicial decision definitively declares those efforts — when they manifest in the U.S. — to be a direct infringement of basic First Amendment rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

The invalidated law, enacted last year by the Kansas legislature, requires all state contractors — as a prerequisite to receiving any paid work from the state — “to certify that they are not engaged in a boycott of Israel.” The month before the law was implemented, Esther Koontz, a Mennonite who works as a curriculum teacher for the Kansas public school system, decided that she would boycott goods made in Israel, motivated in part by a film she had seen detailing the abuse of Palestinians by the occupying Israeli government, and in part by a resolution enacted by the national Mennonite Church. The resolution acknowledged “the cry for justice of Palestinians, especially those living under oppressive military occupation for fifty years”; vowed to “oppose military occupation and seek a just peace in Israel and Palestine”; and urged “individuals and congregations to avoid the purchase of products associated with acts of violence or policies of military occupation, including items produced in [Israeli] settlements.”

A month after this law became effective, Koontz, having just completed a training program to teach new courses, was offered a position at a new Kansas school. But, as the court recounts, “the program director asked Ms. Koontz to sign a certification confirming that she was not participating in a boycott of Israel, as the Kansas Law requires.” Koontz ultimately replied that she was unable and unwilling to sign such an oath because she is, in fact, participating in a boycott of Israel. As a result, she was told that no contract could be signed with her.

In response to being denied this job due to her political views, Koontz retained the American Civil Liberties Union, which sued the commissioner of education, asking a federal court to enjoin enforcement of the law on the grounds that denying Koontz a job due to her boycotting of Israel violates her First Amendment rights. The court on Thursday agreed and preliminarily enjoined enforcement of the law.

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