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Bizarro Earth

See no evil: Merkel's "wall of hypocrisy" regarding Israeli war crimes

Merkel & Netanyahou
© Inconnu
"The Berlin Wall, this symbol of state abuse cast in concrete, took millions of people to the limits of what is tolerable, and all too many beyond it."

On the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, German Chancellor Angela Merkel delivered a speech of sublime hypocrisy when juxtaposed beside the illegal Apartheid/Annexation Wall and beside the blockade 'wall' constricting Gaza constructed by Israel, which she once vowed, "Germany will never abandon Israel but will remain a true friend and partner."

Merkel rhapsodised, "the fall of the Berlin Wall showed us that dreams can come true - and that nothing has to stay the way it is, no matter how high the hurdles might seem to be."

The fact is Germany's partnership with Israel is one of the major hurdles that block Palestinians' right to self-determination under international law. In 2012, Germany abstained ( actually if its not a 'Yes' it's a 'No' ) to accord Palestine Non-Member Observer State status in the UN, voted against Palestine's membership to UNESCO and buttressed the brazen lie that Israel's war crime, Operation Protective Edge, was an act of self-defense.

Comment: The NSA was eavesdropping on her and a lot of other folks. Does 'someone' have something on Merkel? Germany is as big a toady to Israel as the US, and 'holocaust guilt' can't be the only reason. You can bet Israel has access to all the info.

Treasure Chest

Russia prepares for economic war by stockpiling gold

Russia has taken advantage of lower gold prices to pack the vaults of its central bank with bullion as it prepares for the possibility of a long, drawn-out economic war with the West.


Comment: With the current state of the world economy on a precipice, the economic war maybe sooner than later and very dramatic.


The latest research from the World Gold Council reveals that the Kremlin snapped up 55 tonnes of the precious metal - far more than any other nation - in the three months to the end of September as prices began to weaken.

Vladimir Putin's government is understood to be hoarding vast quantities of gold, having tripled stocks to around 1,150 tonnes in the last decade. These reserves could provide the Kremlin with vital firepower to try and offset the sharp declines in the rouble.

Russia's currency has come under intense pressure since US and European sanctions and falling oil prices started to hurt the economy. Revenues from the sale of oil and gas account for about 45pc of the Russian government's budget receipts.

The biggest buyers of gold after Russia are other countries from the Commonwealth of Independent States, led by Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.


Comment: The "super rich" are also purchasing gold.


Comment: Now why would Russia, China and other countries be hoarding gold? Could it be that gold is considered as currency?

Megaphone

Russian FM reiterates: Russian troops never crossed Ukraine border

Russian troops have never crossed the border with Ukraine, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told reporters Thursday.

"I state it openly and officially that there was no troop movement through the [Ukrainian] border and certainly no Russian military presence on the territory of Ukraine," he said.

On Wednesday, NATO said it had observed columns of Russian tanks, artillery and combat troops entering Ukraine over the past two days, while the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) on Tuesday said it had seen a convoy of 43 unmarked military trucks moving toward eastern Ukraine. However, both organizations failed to present any facts to support the claim.

Lukashevich added that "we are currently looking into what the OSCE wrote in their report."

As for NATO allegations, the spokesman said that such claims are mainly driven by the alliance's desire to justify boosting its military presence near the Russian border.

Relations between Russia and NATO have been strained since the alliance accused Russia of meddling in Ukraine's internal conflict, a claim Moscow has denied. NATO has also repeatedly said that Russia has been sending troops to Ukraine and supporting eastern Ukrainian militia. However, when leaders of the alliance have been asked to provide evidence to support their statements, they have failed to do so.

In April, NATO ended all practical cooperation with Russia over Ukraine, only maintaining contacts at ambassadorial and higher levels.

Comment: See also:
  • Moscow responds to NATO's paranoid delusions


Attention

Chechen Islamic State commander dead, according to Chechen leader

© Sputnik. Said Tcarnaev
Ramzan Kadyrov.
A national of Chechen origin from the post-Soviet republic of Georgia, considered to be a senior commander of the Islamic State (IS), has been killed, the head of Russia's Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov wrote in his Instagram account Thursday.

"The enemy of Islam Tarkhan Batarishvili, who called himself Omar al-Shishani, was killed. This will happen to everyone who dares to threaten Russia and the Chechen people," Kadyrov wrote.

Batarishvili, known under the nom de guerre Omar Shishani [Omar the Chechen], reportedly left the Georgian army after the 2008 conflict with Russia. According to the US Department of Treasury, he resurfaced in Syria in 2012 and became a senior IS commander the following year. The jihadist has appeared in several photos and videos released by the group in 2014.

In October, Bloomberg reported that al-Shishani threatened to invade Russia while calling his father in Georgia. "Don't worry, dad, I'll come home and show the Russians. I have many thousands following me now and I'll get more. We'll have our revenge against Russia," he was quoted as saying by his father.

Comment: Interesting that this veteran of the U.S. proxy war in Georgia - who had previously had contact with the terrorist 'rebels' in the U.S.'s proxy war in Chechnya - 'left' the Georgian army to join the U.S.'s newest proxy army, IS. Can we say intelligence asset? Or does Omar just get around?

It's also curious that news of "Omar the Chechen's" death comes at the same time as that of another alleged "IS terrorist", the so-called White Widow, killed while fighting for one of Kolomoisky's Right Sector 'volunteer' battalions death squads, the Aidar battalion, in Ukraine. Is someone sending a message by taking out these obvious U.S. 'war on terror' assets?

See also: Who is the "Islamic Emirate"?

Bad Guys

Money talks: Controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline set to be approved by U.S. House

Keystone Pipeline
© Reuters/Lane Hickenbottom
A TransCanada Keystone Pipeline pump station operates outside Steele City, Nebraska March 10, 2014. ()
The US House is expected to vote and pass legislation on Friday that would finally sanction the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, which would move heavy crude oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

Republican US Rep. Bill Cassidy introduced the House's Keystone XL legislation shortly after his opponent in the still-undecided Louisiana Senate race - incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu - introduced a measure in the Upper Chamber. Both legislators want to be seen as a key player in pushing the pipeline through Congress ahead of their Dec. 6 runoff election.

Similar pipeline measures have passed the conservative-dominated House. The Lower Chamber will vote on Cassidy's bill on Friday, a congressional aide told Reuters early Thursday.

Meanwhile, after a successful midterm election last week, Senate Republicans and Democratic allies like Landrieu are confident that there is enough support for the tar sands pipeline to move a vote on it up from January to as early as Tuesday.

"I believe it is time to act," Landrieu, chairwoman of the Senate Energy Committee, said to her Senate colleagues Wednesday, according to AFP.

Comment: Some happy spin-off benefits for the government here. Grounds for rounding up all those pesky little people who keep insisting they have "rights":

Vader

Gas shortages in EU small worry compared to NATO's agenda

nato expansion
The current stand-off between the EU and Russia could still go anywhere - from an all-out halt of gas deliveries to the opening of pipelines as if nothing ever happened.

Most probably, something will come out that will give either side the opportunity to pretend it did not give in, some solution that saves face both ways.

My educated guess here is that the previous EU-Commission under José Manuel Barroso has prepared the grounds for his successor Jean-Claude Juncker, who took office November 1.

Juncker is a traditional power politician, having served 18 years as prime minister of his country, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, combining that with the position of minister of finance (not uncommon in this tiny country of 550.000 people, about half that of the city of Brussels).

He can be suspected of a lot of things (such as broad logistical support for the use of Luxembourg banks as tax havens for EU companies) but not of being a man standing on solid principled ground.

He will just as easily defend an openly hostile stand against Russia as go for a total reversal of course.

He is, then, the ideal man for whatever comes up next. Political conflicts of such magnitude are obviously not just decided by the whims of one or the other personality who happens to be in power, most certainly not in the EU Commission.

Comment: The end goal of the US is to divide the world's biggest country, the Russian Federation, and to prevent any alternative power structures from emerging to oppose US-Atlantic domination. Undermining Russia is the strategic objective and the US is more than happy to use EU countries as patsies, no matter the destruction to their economies.

World War 3 in the offing? US-NATO Geo-Political policy will lead to exactly that

Brzezinski's vision for the dissolution and re-mapping of the Russian Federation after World War III takes root

Camcorder

Report exposes rapid expansion of domestic drone surveillance flights

© AP/Matt York
Lothar Eckardt, right, executive director of National Air Security Operations at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, speaks with a Customs and Border Patrol agent prior to a drone aircraft flight, Wednesday, Sept 24, 2014 at Ft. Huachuca in Sierra Vista, Ariz.
The U.S. government has quietly expanded its use of unmanned surveillance drones inside the country to the extent that now half of the nearly 2,000 mile border with Mexico is monitored by military drones that were once reserved for foreign battlefields, according to new reporting by the Associated Press.

The proliferation of domestic drones has long been a concern for those dismayed about how such weapons have been used in the warzones of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere. Defenders of civil liberty have said that the expanded use of surveillance drones for domestic purposes - including border patrol or local law enforcement - puts the nation on a slippery slope in which the normalization of such machines charts a worrying path towards a society constantly under watchful eyes from above.

The news agency cites government officials with direct knowledge of the program and reports that the secretive border patrol program - internally referred to as operation "change detection" - has operated 10,000 or more drone missions over large, mostly remote sections of the U.S-Mexico border since it began with little or no public fanfare in March of 2013.

Comment: Drone surveillance is on the rise with police forces such as at high school football games, monitoring college campuses, and police militarization.

Even the Supreme Court can see where this is all leading to.

Take 2

Reality creators' last episode of "White Widow"? Allegedly she was shot dead in Ukraine

Samantha Lewthwaite
© Interpol
The "notorious terrorist" Samantha Lewthwaite aka White Widow
The 'White Widow', a British female terrorist suspect who allegedly fought alongside ISIS terrorists in Syria and was sought internationally has reportedly been shot dead in Ukraine. The news was reported by Russia's Regnum news agency.

Samantha Lewthwaite, 30, was allegedly gunned down two weeks ago. However, no independent confirmation was available.

A source at the UK's foreign office told ITV News that "we are aware of reports that Samantha Lewthwaite has been killed in Ukraine".

Lewthwaite recently fought alongside one of Kiev's most infamous squads - the Aidar battalion, which was condemned by Amnesty International for its unmatched cruelty in eastern Ukraine.

Comment: A wife of terrorists, mastermind of terrorist attacks herself, ISIS's biggest fan, a sniper for Kiev's Aidar battalion and a mother of four, with the funds and means to travel and relocate at will, and a distinct preference to war-zones and groups with violent ideologies. Samantha Lewthwaite's story is so incredible as presented by the media, that only two neurons firing are enough for the mind to question whether she is a recruit of western intelligence alphabet agencies.

Jon Ryman didn't buy the media stories either, and his investigation led to the creation of the following must-watch documentary:

'White Widow' - The Samantha Lewthwaite Conspiracy

Not long ago, he was also interviewed by SOTT Talk Radio's hosts:

The "White Widow" - Western Intel's Phony 'Jihadis': Interview with Jon Ryman

Handcuffs

Justice for 'gangster bankers': Judge triples jail sentences in Kabul Bank scandal


Kabul bank advertisement for the Bakht Account (Lucky Account)

Almost $1 billion was stolen from the Kabul bank in 2010 - not so 'lucky' for the innocent customers!
An Afghan judge tripled the jail sentences of two former heads of Kabul Bank to 15 years on Tuesday at the end of a re-opened court case into the bank's collapse in 2010, which followed allegations of fraud and triggered a financial crisis.

Afghanistan's new President Ashraf Ghani announced on Oct. 1 that he would re-open the inquiry into the theft of almost $1 billion from the bank, fulfilling a campaign promise to make fighting corruption a priority.

The case also involved Mahmoud Karzai, the brother of Ghani's predecessor president Hamid Karzai. Mahmoud Karzai, a shareholder in the bank, has so far been spared jail but the judge on Tuesday ordered that his assets be frozen, along with those of others, until all the funds stolen from the bank have been returned. They face prosecution if the funds are not repaid.

The Afghan government was forced to bail out the country's then biggest bank after a run on deposits in 2010. It was later re-launched as the state-run New Kabul Bank, but confidence in the banking sector has yet to fully recover.

Only about a third of the $935 million stolen has been recovered, according to the receivers.

The two former heads of the bank, founder Sher Khan Fernod and former Chief Executive Haji Khalil Ferozi, had been convicted in the initial inquiry of taking $810 million of the stolen money and were both sentenced to jail for five years. Their jail terms were tripled on Tuesday.

"The court sentences you both, Sher Khan Fernod and Haji Khalil Ferozi to terms of 15 years in jail for embezzlement and money laundering of the Kabul Bank money," the judge, Mehrajuddin Hamidi, said, adding that they could appeal against the verdict.

Foreign donors, whom the Afghan government relies on to pay its bills, have welcomed Ghani's decision to re-open the inquiry. The Afghan Attorney General's office had said the initial sentences were too lenient given the amount of money stolen.

Comment: Where are the prosecutions for the Western 'robber baron' bankers? Having to pay a paltry 'slap on the wrist' fine and capping bonuses ("for dealers in both units at twice their basic salary for two years") for rigging foreign exchange rates is hardly a deterrent to further theft!

Slap on the wrist: Six banks fined record $3.4bn in currency manipulation probe

FINMA has capped UBS bonuses:

Time for a change? Even the IMF concedes "that by 2015, four of the world's top economies will be members of the club known by its acronym, BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China)"

Rise of BRICS nations has ushered in a new order

Multipolar world China India launch new Asia Infrastructure Bank

Yoda

Putin is winning the new Cold War - here's why

Putin
The Russian President is using asymmetrical strategies to stop - and ultimately bring down - the enemies of the Russian state

There are 7.2 billion people in this world but the United States fears only one man - Vladimir Putin. That's because on virtually every front of the new Cold War, the Russian President is walloping the collective challenge of the West. Fear can make you do strange things. Forbes magazine has named Putin as the most powerful person on the planet for the second year running.

It is said about the Russians that they take a long time to saddle their horses but they ride awfully fast. After slowly nursing the collapsed Russian economy back to health, Putin is now going for broke. In Syria, Crimea and Ukraine, the West has melted away at his approach and has faced humiliating setbacks. In the field of energy, it will be Russian - not western - pipelines that will dominate the Eurasian landmass.

But instead of scorekeeping, a more instructive exercise would be to try and understand how Putin has managed to keep Russia ahead in the game.

Comment: The situation is moving fast. Russia has now let the ruble float with respect to world currencies. It still works in Russia's favor as an exporting country. Putin is a man who's intelligence compasses many subjects. A realistic approach to economics seems to be one of them:

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