Cult

'The world is failing Yemen': Saudi Arabia desperate to escalate war as Yemeni rebels refuse to buckle

© AFP
Yemeni men stand amid the ruins of buildings destroyed in an airstrike by Saudi Arabia on the capital, Sana'a, July 16, 2015
Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies are escalating the war in Yemen. The Houthi rebels and their allies show no sign of bending to the will of Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud after more than four months of war. The grim struggle in Yemen goes on with a frightful toll for the Yemeni people.

The Saudis and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are pouring arms into Aden, Yemen's second-largest city, and expanding their foothold there to the north. They seized a large Soviet-built air base north of Aden at Al-Anad. The air base is on the main road to Taiz, the next Saudi military objective. In Taiz, forces loyal to President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi claim to control much of the city, Yemen's third-largest and the historic second capital of North Yemen.

The UAE has deployed over 1,500 of its own troops to the Aden front, the first time the coalition has placed its own ground forces into the battle. The Saudis have trained Hadi loyalists and equipped them with tanks and other armored vehicles to open another front in Marib governorate in the northwest of the country.

Comment: See also:

Yemen: Under-reporting of war deaths, or genocide?


Wall Street

Trump's Triumph: Billionaire blowhard exposes fake political system

© Counterpunch
Last night's FOX News GOP Presidential Debate Extravaganza featured the most riveting two minute political exchange ever heard on national television. During a brief colloquy between Republican frontrunner Donald Trump and Fox moderator Brett Baier, the pugnacious casino magnate revealed the appalling truth about the American political system, that the big money guys like Trump own the whole crooked contraption lock, stock, and barrel, and that, the nation's fake political leaders do whatever they're told to do. Without question, it was the most illuminating commentary to ever cross the airwaves. Here's the entire exchange direct from the transcript:
FOX News Brett Baier (talking to Trump): Now, 15 years ago, you called yourself a liberal on health care. You were for a single-payer system, a Canadian-style system. Why were you for that then and why aren't you for it now?

TRUMP: As far as single payer, it works in Canada. It works incredibly well in Scotland. It could have worked in a different age, which is the age you're talking about here.

What I'd like to see is a private system without the artificial lines around every state. I have a big company with thousands and thousands of employees. And if I'm negotiating in New York or in New Jersey or in California, I have like one bidder. Nobody can bid.

You know why?

Because the insurance companies are making a fortune because they have control of the politicians, of course, with the exception of the politicians on this stage. (uneasy laughter) But they have total control of the politicians. They're making a fortune.

Get rid of the artificial lines and you will have...yourself great plans...

BAIER: Mr. Trump, it's not just your past support for single-payer health care. You've also supported a host of other liberal policies....You've also donated to several Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton included, and Nancy Pelosi. You explained away those donations saying you did that to get business-related favors. And you said recently, quote, "When you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do."

TRUMP: You'd better believe it.

BAIER: — they do?

TRUMP: If I ask them, if I need them, you know, most of the people on this stage I've given to, just so you understand, a lot of money.

TRUMP: I will tell you that our system is broken. I gave to many people, before this, before two months ago, I was a businessman. I give to everybody. When they call, I give. And do you know what? When I need something from them two years later, three years later, I call them, they are there for me. And that's a broken system.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you get from Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi?

TRUMP: Well, I'll tell you what, with Hillary Clinton, I said be at my wedding and she came to my wedding. You know why?

She didn't have a choice because I gave. I gave to a foundation that, frankly, that foundation is supposed to do good. I didn't know her money would be used on private jets going all over the world. It was.

BAIER: Hold on.....We're going to — we're going to move on." (Transcript: Read the Full Text of the Primetime Republican Debate, Time)
There it is, two glorious minutes of pure, unalloyed truth on national television. How often does that happen?

Chess

Does the Greek bailout open a way to force a United States Of Europe?

© Associated Press

Red spray paint covers a French-language Bank of Greece sign to read ‘Bank of Merkel’ in reference to German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Athens, Monday, July 6, 2015.
Illusions are at play in the modern tragedy that is the Greek economic system, particularly when it comes to notions of who benefits most from the latest bailout

Modern Greek tragedy is at play, and so are illusions.

The big myth is that Greece overspent and the Greek government was reckless with its budgets, ultimately indebting Athens. It is true that Greek officials tried to gain influence and political support through spending. It's also true that they signed lucrative contracts with local businesses.

Athens, however, is no exception here; this type of conduct has been displayed by politicians throughout the European Union and around the world.

The fact is that this is not what created the economic crisis in Greece. What is really taking place in Greece and the eurozone is something altogether different. The Greek bailouts appear to be part of a rigid restructuring of the EU that is placing other members under the control of Germany.

Banker bailouts versus national bailouts

We are not dealing with national bailouts for failing economies, but with banking sector bailouts. Almost all the money that has been given to Greece, Cyprus, Ireland, and Portugal has gone to the banks of the creditor lenders.

In his 2013 documentary The Secret Bank Bailout, German investigative journalist Harald Schumann documents how the peoples of Ireland, Cyprus and Spain were not bailed out. The biggest recipients of the Irish bailout that saved Anglo-Irish Bank were British, French and German banks, including Union Investment Privatfonds, Rothschild et Compagnie Gestion, and Deutsche Bank. German and French banks accounted for 50 out of the 80 bondholders. The blogger Guido Fawkes revealed that the Irish government was protecting German investors when he published a list of the bondholders that he had obtained from an insider.

Comment: See also:

The Greek coup: Liquidity as a weapon of coercion


USA

USA dropped atomic bombs on Japan to 'send a warning' to Russia

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70 years after the US dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the real reasons behind the decision still divide historians. Recently declassified documents from the time suggest the nuclear strikes may have been performed not out of military necessity but to intimidate the USSR. RTD's Peter Scott travels to the two Japanese cities that were devastated by the attacks, where he visits a victims' memorial and meets nuclear blast survivors still haunted by their memories. He also interviews President Truman's grandson, Clifton Truman Daniel, on the subject of his grandfather's controversial legacy.

Watch the Russia Today 28 minute documentary 'Atomic Message' below for details.

USA

Hiroshima and Nagasaki - 70 years ago the US 'elite' murdered 500,000 Japanese civilians to 'send a warning' to Russia

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Blackened bodies, mothers who couldn't recognize their charred children and those still alive screaming with pain - these are horrific details the survivors of nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki recall ahead of 70th anniversary of the tragedy.

The US was the first nation to use nuclear weapons against an enemy target when they dropped atomic bombs on Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II on August 6 and 9, 1945.

More than 80,000 civilians died immediately as a result of the Hiroshima bomb - a device nicknamed 'Little Boy' by the US Air Force - and other 80,000 were believed killed in the Nagasaki attack by 'Fat Man'. Thousands died from radiation sickness in the months and years following the blasts.

As of August 2014 the memorials in Hiroshima and Nagasaki list the names of more than 450,000 people who died in the tragedy: 292,325 in Hiroshima and 165,409 in Nagasaki.

Chiyoko Kuwabara, a survivor of Hiroshima atomic bombing, told RT that she was only 13 years old when the tragedy happened but the moments that changed her life forever still "linger in her memory."

Take 2

MH17: A year without truth (RT documentary)

© Maxim Zmeyev / Reuters
Emergencies Ministry members walk at the site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash, MH17, near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region, July 17, 2014.
A year ago, Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was brought down over the territory of conflict-torn Ukraine. This tragedy shocked the world and affected families in many countries. Today, debris can still be found in the area around the crash and the investigation, shrouded in secrecy, still hasn't reached a definitive conclusion. RTD talks to witnesses, experts and family members of MH17 passengers in a bid to understand whether the truth of what caused the tragedy will ever be established.


Comment: After this documentary was aired, the Dutch Safety Board investigating the crash wrote to RT:
"With great interest we watched your documentary, 'MH17: A year without truth. In this film, RT shows parts of the cockpit roof which were found near Petropavlivka. We would like to gather those pieces and bring them over to the Netherlands so the Dutch Safety Board can use them for the investigation and the reconstruction."
How's that for total incompetence? You'd think the DSB would've made a thorough effort to retrieve all the evidence a year ago. But there's really no need, when you're not really investigating in the first place...


Bug

The Greek coup: Liquidity as a weapon of coercion

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"My father made him an offer he couldn't refuse. Luca Brasi held a gun to his head and my father assured him that either his brains, or his signature, would be on the contract." — The Godfather (1972)
In the modern global banking system, all banks need a credit line with the central bank in order to be part of the payments system. Choking off that credit line was a form of blackmail the Greek government couldn't refuse.

Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis is now being charged with treason for exploring the possibility of an alternative payment system in the event of a Greek exit from the euro. The irony of it all was underscored by Raúl Ilargi Meijer, who opined in a July 27th blog:
The fact that these things were taken into consideration doesn't mean Syriza was planning a coup . . . . If you want a coup, look instead at the Troika having wrestled control over Greek domestic finances. That's a coup if you ever saw one.

Let's have an independent commission look into how on earth it is possible that a cabal of unelected movers and shakers gets full control over the entire financial structure of a democratically elected eurozone member government. By all means, let's see the legal arguments for this.
So how was that coup pulled off? The answer seems to be through extortion. The European Central Bank threatened to turn off the liquidity that all banks - even solvent ones - need to maintain their day-to-day accounting balances. That threat was made good in the run-up to the Greek referendum, when the ECB did turn off the liquidity tap and Greek banks had to close their doors. Businesses were left without supplies and pensioners without food. How was that apparently criminal act justified? Here is the rather tortured reasoning of ECB President Mario Draghi at a press conference on July 16:
There is an article in the [Maastricht] Treaty that says that basically the ECB has the responsibility to promote the smooth functioning of the payment system. But this has to do with . . . the distribution of notes, coins. So not with the provision of liquidity, which actually is regulated by a different provision, in Article 18.1 in the ECB Statute: "In order to achieve the objectives of the ESCB [European System of Central Banks], the ECB and the national central banks may conduct credit operations with credit institutions and other market participants, with lending based on adequate collateral." This is the Treaty provision. But our operations were not monetary policy operations, but ELA [Emergency Liquidity Assistance] operations, and so they are regulated by a separate agreement, which makes explicit reference to the necessity to have sufficient collateral. So, all in all, liquidity provision has never been unconditional and unlimited. [Emphasis added.]
In a July 23rd post on Naked Capitalism, Nathan Tankus calls this "a truly shocking statement." Why? Because all banks rely on their central banks to settle payments with other banks. "If the smooth functioning of the payments system is defined as the ability of depository institutions to clear payments," says Tankus, "the central bank must ensure that settlement balances are available at some price."

Stock Up

Ukrainian poll fail: 84% would entrust Putin to lead Ukraine

A new information tragedy in Ukraine. It started so innocently: the nationally conscious patriotic website Nedelya.ua organized a survey. The question was: which politician would you entrust with governing your country? 41,664 votes were cast. The results were a knock-out blow for the organizers--a full and crushing victory for Vladimir Putin. Treason! Let's look at the results:
  • Putin: 84% (34,905 votes)
  • Lukashenko: 5% (2032)
  • Xi Jinping 2% (820)
  • Zhirinovskiy 2% (708)
  • Poroshenko 1% (538)
  • Merkel 1% (430)
  • Marie Le Pen 1% (426)
  • Nazarbayev 1% (318)
  • Obama 1% (244)
  • Timoshenko 0% (176)
  • Lyashko 0% (170)
  • Yatsenyuk 0% (158)
  • Kolomoysky 0% (150)
  • Simonenko 0% (130)
  • Kuchma 0% (86)
  • Yanukovych 0% (116)
  • Tigipko 0% (76)
  • Kravchuk 0% (32)
  • Yushchenko 0% (32)

Comment: One word: hilarious! This must be the proof Ukraine's leaders have been looking for this past year and half: Putin has invaded Ukraine!


Star of David

Gaza's Black Friday: Israel stands accused of war crimes, murdering 75 children during indiscriminate 2014 slaughter

© AFP/Getty
Israel lies about the fact that it murdered at least 135 civilians during four days of 'indiscriminate' attacks in Rafah after the capture of an IDF soldier
Israeli forces have been accused of carrying out war crimes during a day of "carnage" in the Gaza Strip that has been called Black Friday.

A report by Amnesty International on alleged atrocities in Rafah during last year's conflict with Hamas claims Israeli forces killed at least 135 Palestinian civilians, including 75 children, following the capture of a soldier.

Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, 23, was with a unit searching for tunnels between Gaza and Israel when a fight started with militants and he disappeared on 1 August 2014.

Philip Luther, director of Amnesty International's Middle East programme, claimed that the "relentless and massive bombardment" that ensured in residential areas of Rafah was a direct response to the capture and displayed a "shocking disregard for civilian lives".


Comment: That's right. A 'direct response' to a capture that had not even been investigated, had not gone through any process remotely resembling a process of justice - just brute aggression that was grossly disproportionate using the 'capture' of Goldin as a pretext for mass murder.


"They carried out a series of disproportionate or otherwise indiscriminate attacks, which they have completely failed to investigate independently," he added.

"This report presents an urgent call for justice that must not be ignored.

"The combined analysis of hundreds of photos and videos, as well as satellite imagery and testimony from eyewitnesses, provides compelling evidence of serious violations of international humanitarian law by Israeli forces which must be investigated."


Comment: Business as usual for the terrorist 'state'. For them, humanitarian law exists to be broken.


Galaxy

Russian scientist: Slowdown in Earth's rotation means we're on the verge of major climatic upheaval

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The 2011 tsunami in Japan was just part of the warm-up routine. The Really Big Show has yet to begin in earnest...
The world geological community is warning that today's seismic activity on our planet is nothing compared with what's to come.

Over the past three years, Pakistan, for example, has been hit by dozens of earthquakes. In March 2005, 80,000 people died under the rubble there. On October 30, the last time nature went on the rampage, there were hundreds of victims. Tens of thousands of people drowned during an overwhelming Asian tsunami at the end of 2004. China and Afghanistan have been rocked by quakes again more recently.

These natural disasters, which have swept our planet in recent years, indicate that the world has entered an era not only of a political, but also of climatic instability. Most scientists - biologists and environmentalists - tend to blame the human race for the catastrophic climate change on the Earth. No doubt, the greenhouse effect due to industrial activity plays a considerable role in global warming, but there are other reasons worth considering.

The Earth is rotating around its own axis slower. The International Earth Rotation Service has regularly added a second or two to the length of a 24-hour day in recent years.

Comment: An intriguing article, and very much in line with Sott.net's research over the years. It makes us wonder if Russian-Chinese plans to develop the relatively uninhabited Eurasian interior are being made with this kind of research in mind?

As for the overall model put forward by this Russian scientist, 'Earth-as-electrical-machine' suggests that all planets in the solar system together form a circuit. And, indeed, we observe 'Earth changes' on our nearest neighbours.

In between galactic influences and local geomagnetic influences on natural cyclical climate change, there are intermediary factors to consider, such as the role played by comets, cosmic ray flux, and the solar-system mechanism that 'sets the motor running'.

And don't forget that while there may be 'phases' to the process of climate shift, it is now believed to be far more abrupt than previously thought:
Ice Ages start and end so suddenly, "it's like a button was pressed," say scientists