Puppet Masters

War Whore

China tests hypersonic missile vehicle

© AFP Photo
An artist's rendering provided by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), on April 23, 2012 shows the Hypersonic Technology Vehicle (HVT-2) which failed just minutes into a test flight in 2011.
China for the first time has tested a hypersonic missile vehicle designed to travel several times the speed of sound, the Pentagon said Wednesday.

The test makes China the second country after the United States to conduct experimental flights with hypersonic vehicles, a technology that could allow armies to rapidly strike distant targets anywhere around the globe.

"We're aware of the test of the hypersonic vehicle but we are not commenting on it," said Lieutenant Colonel Jeff Pool, a Pentagon spokesman.

The flight was conducted on January 9 and the Chinese vehicle, dubbed the WU-14, is supposed to travel at Mach 10, or 10 times the speed of sound, according to a report in The Washington Free Beacon, an online publication.

Is joining NATO going to be Scotland's first mistake as an independent state?

Britain's biggest missile range is of more strategic importance to NATO and the UK than its nuclear submarine fleet based at Faslane, Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has claimed.

The missile facility, based in the Outer Hebrides on Scotland's extreme west coast, was established in 1950 and employs around 200 staff.

Concerns have been raised locally over its future if Scotland chooses independence in an upcoming referendum.

But during a visit to the Isle of Lewis, First Minister Alex Salmond dismissed concerns claiming the facility would be even more important to the local economy if Scotland declared independence.
Eye 1

Pro-Russian protesters say three dead in Ukraine's Slavyansk

© Vesti.ru
Protesters rallying in support of federalization said one their activist and two members of the ultra-nationalist Right Sector group were killed in the operation in east Ukraine's town of Slavyansk on Sunday. A total of three people have been killed: two from the so-called Right Sector and one on our side, Nikolai Solntsev, an activist of the protest movement, told, RIA reports.

Two other pro-federalization protesters were injured, he said adding that protesters in neighboring Donetsk were preparing to transport the injured people from Slavyansk to the local hospitals.

Earlier reports said some 150 armed men from the radical Right Sector movement had arrived in Slavyansk to participate in the special operation against pro-federalization protesters.

Big surprise: CIA Director Brennan's trip to Ukraine initiates use of force

brennan cia
© U.S Government
CIA Director John Brennan
The recent visit of CIA Director John Brennan to Ukraine was likely an attempt to initiate the use of force against pro-federalization protests, Brandon Turbeville, an American international affairs expert, told RIA Novosti.

"It's clear that the CIA director's presence in Kiev is much more than mere coincidence," Turbeville said.

"Despite the denials by the White House, it seems that Brennan's visit was an attempt to, at the very least, express support for a violent crackdown on pro-Russian protesters and militants in Eastern Ukraine. It is more likely, however, that Brennan's trip was an attempt to formulate, encourage and initiate that use of force," he added.

CIA Director John Brennan visited Ukraine over the weekend, information that was confirmed by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Monday, after being reported by media on Sunday.

Over the same weekend, Kiev authorities cracked down on pro-federalization protests in eastern Ukraine. Regime troops advanced toward a number of cities in eastern Ukraine Tuesday to attack the protesters.

"Brennan's appearance in Kiev just before the announcement of a violent crackdown in eastern Ukraine is just too timely to assume that it is a coincidence," Turbeville said.

"Brennan, who has been actively involved in arming insurgents in Libya, Syria and Venezuela, has a reputation for using thuggish tactics in pursuit of CIA goals," Wayne Madsen, an American investigative journalist told RIA Novosti.
Snakes in Suits

Manuel Valls cuts €21bn from France's pensions, social care and health care

Prime Minister Manuel Valls today revealed how €21bn will be cut from France's pensions, social care and health care bill over the next three years.

The cuts form a large part of the savings demanded by the country's so-called €50bn "Responsibility Pact".

He said that the government plans to slice €10bn from the cost of health care and €11bn from pensions and social care by 2017 - but he vowed to maintain benefits for those with the lowest incomes, and said the minimum wage would not drop from it's current €9.43/hr level.

Family benefits, however, will be frozen until October 2015. This measure alone is expected to save the government between €2bn and €4bn.

Meanwhile, central government will have its spending cut by €18bn, while local councils will face cuts of €10bn.

Mr Valls took the unusual step of addressing the press after the Wednesday meeting of the Council of Ministers, a job usually reserved for a government spokesman.
Star of David

How the U.S. was used to create Israel: The origins of the Israel Lobby in America

The immediate precursor to today's pro-Israel lobby began in 1939[i] under the leadership of Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver, originally from Lithuania. He created the American Zionist Emergency Council (AZEC), which by 1943 had acquired a budget of half a million dollars at a time when a nickel bought a loaf of bread.[ii]

In addition to this money, Zionists [adherents of "political Zionism," a movement to create a Jewish state in Palestine] had become influential in creating a fundraising umbrella organization, the United Jewish Appeal, in 1939[iii], giving them access to the organization's gargantuan financial resources: $14 million in 1941, $150 million by 1948. This was four times more than Americans contributed to the Red Cross and was the equivalent of approximately $1.5 billion today.[iv]

With its extraordinary funding, AZEC embarked on a campaign to target every sector of American society, ordering that local committees be set up in every Jewish community in the nation [for decades the larger majority of Jewish Americans had been either non-Zionists or actively anti-Zionist]. In the words of AZEC organizer Sy Kenen, it launched "a political and public relations offensive to capture the support of Congressmen, clergy, editors, professors, business and labor."[v]

Comment: Just to add on the earlier influence of Zionism in the U.S. From Eric Walberg's "Postmodern Imperialism: Geopolitics and the Great Games":
The Zionist lobby in the US was not as comparably significant a factor in US politics prior to WWI. Brandeis, President Wilson's Supreme Court choice in 1916 and president of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), was an important exception. He was instrumental in securing the Balfour Declaration in 1917 [...], a landmark for the Zionists, whose support grew rapidly following the Balfour Declaration, the major supporting organizations being B'nai B'rith (founded in 1843), ZOA (founded in 1897) and the American Jewish Committee (AJC, founded in 1906). The impetus that increased their political power to a new level was the pressing need to ensure US government support for the creation of Israel after WWII.


'Letter to Jews', Kerry cited, appears to be fake

The faked letter that Kerry cited in the US government's pathetic propaganda war with Russia.
A letter urging the Jews of Donetsk to get registered, which the US Secretary of State cited in Geneva, is a fake says a man whose signature appears on the communication.

Following the four-side meeting on the Ukrainian crisis in Geneva on Wednesday, John Kerry lashed out at a letter that was allegedly sent to Jewish citizens in Ukraine's eastern town of Donetsk, asking them to register and report all their property, or be stripped of citizenship and face expulsion.

"In year 2014, after all of the miles traveled in all the journey of history, this is not just intolerable, it's grotesque... beyond unacceptable," he stated.

Images of the letter have been circulating online.


On advice of CIA, Ukraine to launch anti-terror operation

© Reuters/Konstantin Chernichkin
Ukrainian border guards stand on guard at a base close to the Russian border near Donetsk April 15, 2014. Ukrainian armed forces on Tuesday launched a "special operation" against militiamen in the country's Russian speaking east, authorities said, recapturing a military airfield from pro-Moscow separatists.
Ukraine is launching a "large-scale anti-terrorist operation" to resist attacks by armed pro-Russian forces, Ukraine's President Oleksandr Turchynov said on Sunday in a televised address. Related Stories

The authorities in Kiev will use the army in order to prevent Russian troops from moving in as they did in Crimea, Turchynov said as he pledged amnesty to anyone laying down arms by Monday morning.

"The Security Council has made a decision to begin a large-scale anti-terrorist operation with participation of army forces," he said. "We're not going to allow Russia to repeat the Crimean scenario in Ukraine's east."

Comment: UN's Ban Ki-Moon agrees with proposal from Right Sektor fascist leader Andriy Parubiy to have 'international peacekeepers' beef up 'anti-terrorist operation' in eastern Ukraine


Vital historical context: Viewing the Ukraine crisis from Russia's perspective

Events in Ukraine are moving fast and faster. Dangers of economic paralysis in Ukraine and of wider war with Russia are very real. This essay will argue that we all need to notice our historical biases in perceiving and misperceiving events. My own bias is anti-war. Now is not the time in human history for geopolitical power plays and military alliances. Now is the time for coordinated international actions on climate and economy. I am a professor of social and community psychology at the University of Tromsø in Arctic Norway, near the Russian border. I have no special knowledge of Russia other than conventional sources (Google Scholar, Wikipedia, JSTOR). My surname is Lithuanian, from my grandfather's emigration in 1897 when Lithuania was controlled by Russia.

James Joyce's famous statement that "history is a nightmare" from which we should try to awake, aptly describes current events in the Ukraine. All nations involved in these events are biased by the remembered, misremembered, forgotten, and mythologized history they carry in their heads. Chaos in Maidan Square, neo-fascists in positions of power in Kiev, Russia annexing Crimea, these are inkblots that everyone sees differently depending on the historical visions that dominate their minds. Our national memories have the passion and power to drive us blindly to hatreds and to war. The histories we believe set us up for easy manipulations and disastrous actions.

Comment: See also: Geopolitics of Empire: Mackinder's Heartland Theory and the Containment of Russia

Imperial Hubris: Ukraine as a 'regime change' too far for the American Empire

Lies and realities about the state of Ukraine


Vladimir Putin must be called to account on surveillance just like Obama

On Thursday, I questioned Russia's involvement in mass surveillance on live television. I asked Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, a question that cannot credibly be answered in the negative by any leader who runs a modern, intrusive surveillance program: "Does [your country] intercept, analyse or store millions of individuals' communications?"

I went on to challenge whether, even if such a mass surveillance program were effective and technically legal, it could ever be morally justified.

The question was intended to mirror the now infamous exchange in US Senate intelligence committee hearings between senator Ron Wyden and the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, about whether the NSA collected records on millions of Americans, and to invite either an important concession or a clear evasion. (See a side-by-side comparison of Wyden's question and mine here.)

Comment: It's interesting that Snowden is defending criticism from the West for asking a 'softball question', where in point of fact he 'dealt a blow for the team'!

It's highly probable that the Russian government does conduct mass surveillance. How else could they keep an eye on foreign agents' infiltration and subversion of public discussions and the country's internal political processes in general? Without it, they would have long since capitulated to a CIA 'colour revolution'.

Equivocating Russia's surveillance programs with America's GLOBAL surveillance infrastructure is like comparing the size of the US military with Russia's, AND their respective functions. America's serves to dominate the entire planet; Russia's to preserve its regional interests.