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Tue, 17 May 2022
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Erdogan says Sweden & Finland should NOT come to Turkey to convince it to approve NATO membership bids

Erdogan nato
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that Swedish and Finnish delegations should not bother coming to Ankara to convince it to approve their NATO bid.

Sweden's government has formally decided to apply for NATO membership, Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said on Monday, a day after Finnish President Sauli Niinisto confirmed that Helsinki will also apply for membership.

Turkey surprised its NATO allies last week by saying it would not view their applications positively, mainly citing their history of hosting members of groups Ankara deems terrorists.

In a news conference on Monday, Erdogan repeated that Turkey would not approve their bids to join NATO, calling Sweden a "hatchery" for terrorist organisations, and adding it had terrorists in its parliament.


In siding with Ukraine's far-right, the US deliberately sabotaged Zelensky's mandate for peace

zelensky inauguration
© President.gov.ua
Zelensky in his May 2019 inaugural address.
On a warm October day in 2019, the eminent Russia studies professor Stephen F. Cohen and I sat down in Manhattan for what would be our last in-person interview (Cohen passed away in September 2020 at the age of 81).

The House was gearing up to impeach Donald Trump for freezing weapons shipments to Ukraine while pressuring its government to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter. The Beltway media was consumed with frenzy of a presidency in peril. But Professor Cohen, one of the leading Russia scholars in the United States, was concerned with what the impeachment spectacle in Washington meant for the long-running war between the US-backed Ukrainian government and Russian-backed rebels in the Donbas.

At that point, Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelensky was just months into an upstart presidency that he had won on a pledge to end the Donbas conflict. Instead of supporting the Ukrainian leader's peace mandate, Democrats in Congress were impeaching Trump for briefly impeding the flow of weapons that fueled the fight. As his Democratic allies now like to forget, President Obama refused to send these same weapons out of fear of prolonging the war and arming Nazis. By abandoning Obama's policy, the Democrats, Cohen warned, threaten to sabotage peace and strengthen Ukraine's far-right.


At least 300 Azov fighters surrender to Russians at Azovstal Plant ending lengthy siege

© The Telegraph/Ukrinform/KJN
Azov Regiment soldier • Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol
The more than month-long standoff at Mariupol's Azovstal steelworks plant is finally over, after for many weeks the siege of the large complex by Russian forces remained the focus of international headlines, and following a series of high-risk civilian evacuations, some of them under the auspices of UN and Red Cross emergency teams.

The remnant hundreds of armed Ukrainian Azov battalion militants which had refused to come out have now surrendered in the Monday night hours.
"Reuters saw about a dozen buses apparently carrying Ukrainian fighters leaving the plant on Monday. It was not possible to determine how many people were aboard."
Widespread reports say that some 300 Ukrainian fighters have laid down their weapons and emerged from the cavernous facility. Ukraine's Deputy Defense Minister Ganna Malyar said:
"More than 260 Ukrainian soldiers were evacuated from the besieged Azovstal steel plant in the port city of Mariupol. Another 53 heavily wounded (soldiers) were evacuated from Azovstal to the medical mortgage near Novoazovsk for medical aid."

Comment: Under orders from Kiev to surrender:
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine confirmed via its social media networks on Tuesday evening that its servicemen holed up at the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol have been ordered to surrender.
"The garrison 'Mariupol' has completed the assigned combat mission. The highest military command issued an order to the commanders of the units located at Azovstal to save the lives of the personnel."
According to Kiev, while holding positions at Azovstal, its soldiers prevented Russian troops from operating in other theaters.

Kiev insisted that the Azov neo-Nazis and members of its regular forces had
"prevented the implementation of the [alleged Russian] plan for the quick capture of [nearby] Zaporozhye, and did not allow access to the administrative border of the Donetsk and Zaporozhye regions."
The president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, said:
"Thanks to the actions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, intelligence, as well as the negotiating group, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN, we have hope that we will be able to save the lives of our guys. I want to emphasize that Ukraine needs Ukrainian heroes alive. This is our principle. I think that every adequate person will understand these words. To bring our military back home, the work continues, and this work requires delicacy and time."
A large portion of them are members of the neo-Nazi Azov Regiment. Its first commander, Andrey Biletsky, has said he believes it's Ukraine's mission to
"lead the white races of the world in a final crusade... against Semite-led Untermenschen [inferior humans]."
Moscow has not yet made any public statements about an exchange. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian side has tried to avoid the use of the expression 'surrender'.
The lame justification, for Ukraine troops to remain prisoners, amounts to Kiev saving face.


Mark Middleton, dead at 59 - Bill Clinton's special advisor 'who let Epstein into the WH seven times

© Twitter/William J. Clinton Presidential Library
Mark Middleton • Former President Bill Clinton and Jeffrey Epstein
Middleton is known for cementing the former president's friendship with Jeffrey Epstein.

The cause of his death was not confirmed. Middleton ran an air conditioning business in Little Rock, Arkansas for decades before becoming a special advisor to Clinton and financial director for his Presidential Campaign. A representative of Middleton Heat & Hair, in a Facebook post, wrote:
"The Middleton family has lost an inspiring and dedicated leader, as well as a son, brother, husband, and father. Mark leaves behind a company that he helped build from the ground up alongside his family and was proud to run for the last 25 years. No words can express our sadness over this loss or our gratitude for your support and prayers during this time."
During his time with Clinton, he reportedly invited Epstein to the White House for at least seven of Epstein's 17 visits. Middleton may have also flown on Epstein's plane and connected the two powerful men.

He was also a managing partner of the MidCorp Capital investment firm and worked on multiple nonprofit foundations. While assisting President Clinton, Middleton also worked under then-chief of staff, Thomas "Mack" McCarty.

In February 1995, Middleton left the White House. The following year, an investigation by the White House found that he had abused his access to impress business clients and he was barred from the property without senior approval. He would deny these claims.

Comment: And another one's gone...


Navy chief defends decision to scrap nine warships

© Alex Wong/Getty Images
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday
The head of the U.S. Navy this week defended the military branch's decision to scrap nine fairly new warships over the next fiscal year, CNN reports.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday said before the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday that the vessels, which are anti-submarine ships, are unable to carry out their primary function.

Gilday told the panel on Wednesday, "I refuse to put an additional dollar against a system that would not be able to track a high-end submarine in today's environment."

He noted that the ships' anti-submarine warfare systems "did not work out technically," and that this move would save about $391 million according to a budget proposal.

Bloomberg reports that the nine ships are part of 16 littoral combat ships that were built for the Navy by Lockheed Martin and were intended to last 25 years at sea. Many of the ships set for retirement have only been in service for five years or less. Three of these ships were only commissioned in 2019: USS Indianapolis, USS Billings, and USS Wichita.

The nine littoral combat ships cost the Navy roughly $3.2 billion. However, the Navy projects it will save $4.3 billion that would have been spent on maintenance and upgrades for the vessels.

Comment: This is not a new problem in U.S. Navy construction.

See also: Undeployable! USN's money-pit ship can't deliver munitions to deck nor launch F-35 fighters


Musk rips Biden, says 'real president is whomever controls the teleprompter'

Ron Burgandy
© Frank Micelotta/Getty Images
"Anchorman Ron Burgandy" played by Will Farrell
Billionaire Elon Musk on Monday slammed President Joe Biden, saying he's not really in charge.

The Tesla and SpaceX founder also said that inflation could spiral out of control if the U.S. government keeps simply printing money.

"The real president is whoever controls the teleprompter," said Musk, who added he has voted "overwhelmingly for Democrats."
"The path to power is the path to the teleprompter. I do feel like if somebody were to accidentally lean on the teleprompter, it's going to be like Anchorman."
Musk referred to the 2004 film in which Will Farrell's character Ron Burgundy will read whatever's on the teleprompter.

"This administration doesn't seem to get a lot done," Musk said on the "All-In" podcast. "The Trump administration, leaving Trump aside, there were a lot of people in the administration who were effective at getting things done."

Musk also blasted the Democratic Party:
It is "overly controlled by the unions and by the trial lawyers, particularly the class action lawyers. The party goes against "the interests of the people."

Russian Flag

The end of the beginning: Ukraine orders Azovstal neo nazis to surrender

© Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters
Smoke rises above a plant of Azovstal Iron and Steel Works during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine April 21, 2022.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine confirmed via its social media networks on Tuesday evening that its servicemen holed up at the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol have been ordered to surrender.

"The garrison 'Mariupol' has completed the assigned combat mission. The highest military command issued an order to the commanders of the units located at Azovstal to save the lives of the personnel," the Ukrainian military statement explained. According to Kiev, while holding positions at Azovstal, its soldiers prevented Russian troops from operating in other theaters.

The two countries have been embroiled in a full-blown conflict since February, when Moscow attacked the neighboring state, following an eight-year standoff over the fate of the Donbass.

Comment: Moon of Alabama comments:
From the false headline down, the Washington Post report on the issue is a master piece of propaganda:

Ukraine ends bloody battle for Mariupol, evacuates Azovstal fighters
Ukrainian fighters have ended their weeks-long defense of a besieged steel plant in the strategic port city of Mariupol, as hundreds of combatants — dozens of them seriously wounded — were evacuated from the complex Monday.
One has to read beyond 323 words of falsehood to find out, down in paragraph 7, what really has happened.
Moscow hasn't yet publicly responded to the developments in Mariupol, which were described by Russian state media as an order from Ukrainian military command for its troops to "surrender."

Ukraine's deputy defense minister, Anna Malyar, said 53 seriously wounded soldiers were taken to a hospital in Novoazovsk, a nearby town which is controlled by Russian-backed separatists. Another 211 were transported to another Russian-aligned village, Olenivka, she said. Moscow and Kyiv are brokering a prisoner swap to secure their release.

Malyar said officials were still working to rescue the remaining soldiers, though it is unclear how many are still inside. Ukrainian authorities said last week there were nearly 1,000 holdout fighters in the plant.
The f***ers finally gave up and surrendered unconditionally to the Russian forces as their only alternative was to decease within the next hours or days.

I am sure that the Russian authorities will apply a fine filter to determine who of those prisoners of war are eligible for war crime prosecutions, de-nazification and a long stay in some north Siberian road builder camp.

There are also rumors of NATO personnel presence in the Azovstal catacombs. They will likely get to know the cellars of the famous Lubyanka building in Moscow before being exchanged in this or that deal with their home countries.

The rest will eventually be exchanged for Russian soldiers who are unfortunately held by the Ukrainian military.
A MoA commenter writes:
'The Cry was No Evacuation" doesn't really ring, does it?

Posted by: Merkin Scot | May 17 2022 9:24 utc | 1

A post at Defence Politics Asia YouTube channel reports the following process is being utilized"
The thing to remember about ANY/EVERY single person who leaves Azovstal previously, presently or in the future is this:

1. The Russians are not stupid or sloppy.

2. First they are taken under guard to a processing place. Wounded are under guard during treatment until fit for normal processing.

3. They are scrupulously checked for real identity by their papers and every civil database the Russians have access to. Local Mariupol LDPR investigators are also there to use their local knowledge to verify all claims of civilian neutrality.

4. They are stripped to look for any fascist sympathetic tattoos, men and women alike, it has been reported by one woman evacuee.

5. They are FINGERPRINTED AND PHOTOGRAPHED and their future intended residential address documented as they may be called as witnesses to war crimes in future criminal trials. The LDPR and Russians are fkn serious about legal retributions for the 8 year war and about making sure that not a single nazi sympathiser ever gets back into social circulation.

6. They are interrogated about all personal matters and all knowledge about what is going in inside Azovstal. Obviously, anyone NOT completely forthcoming is held for future interrogation.

7. Only after all the above tests, they are sorted into:
  • free civilians to go home, their choice of Uk or LD or RF territory or to refugee camps;
  • harmless Ukrainian Regular soldiers who go to LDPR POW camps awaiting exchange for Regular Russian POWs as per Geneva Convention;
  • foreign low level mercenary fighters who go to LDPR POW camps awaiting criminal prosecution;
  • high level foreigner (eg NATO staff), who most probably go to FSB Headquarters in Moscow for future intel and political purposes;
  • Azov fighters who will all get kept as non-swapable POWs to be prosecuted by the LDPF for war crimes. The LDPR Public Prosecutors have publically clearly stated their guilty punishments may be as high as the death penalty.
So that's the strict filtering regime. So have no fear that any of the "Rats of Azovstal" will escape their rightful fates. Even after another 1000-2000 surrenders, the exact same processing will be done to each and every one. The LDPR and Russian military jails are gunna be real full, real soon.

The poster apparently gathered this information from a range of participants in the conflict. He has been following the Azovstal / Mariopul conflict for the past two months collecting information for a possible book.
Media spin is already in play:

Light Saber

Former Rep. Devin Nunes says Durham case reveals criminal elusion of Congress

Devin Nunes

Devin Nunes
A case involving special counsel John Durham uncovered more documents than Congress was able to get when Devin Nunes was a leading member of the House, the former congressman said on Sunday.

Kash Patel, who was an aide to Republicans when they controlled the House Intelligence Committee under then-Chairman Nunes, said on Sunday that FBI notes disclosed as part of Durham's case against Democratic cybersecurity lawyer Michael Sussmann were subpoenaed by Nunes and "withheld" from the panel during its own Russia investigation.

"These are documents that they clearly hid from Congress," Nunes, appearing with Patel, told host Maria Bartiromo on her Fox News program, Sunday Morning Futures.

Mr. Potato

UK minister tells people to get a 'better paid job' to cope with cost of living crisis

Rachel Maclean

Safeguarding minister Rachel Maclean. Labour said the comments by safeguarding minister Rachel Maclean were "disconnected from the realities of people's lives" after she said the government has "already taken action to help people with energy bills and there's more help coming".
A government minister has suggested that people struggling with the cost of living could take on more hours or move to a better-paid job.

Rachel Maclean, the safeguarding minister, told Sky News' Kay Burley that those were some of the ways households could "protect themselves" as prices soar.

Downing Street defended her after opposition parties sharply criticised the comments.

Ms Maclean said that every minister was looking at the issue as consumers face "short term pressures" such as high energy and food bills - and added that there was "more help coming".

Comment: Short term pressures? Says who? Because the Bank of England governor just warned of 'apocalyptic food shortages', and Germany is warning of a global famine that could kill millions. And any help the government has to offer will likely be too little, too late, because they had the chance when farmers and businesses warned them of a collapse in the supply chain but absolutely nothing was done to ameliorate the situation; and worse, the government has actually been paying farmers to 'rewild' their arable land and has been arming the neo-Nazi's in Ukraine whilst sanctioning Russia, cutting the country off from two of the world's largest suppliers of wheat.

Comment: The state of incompetence and corruption in the US threatens the UK's spot at the top:

Also check out SOTT radio's: MindMatters: How Psychopaths Infect and Destroy Hierarchies of Competence


Four Star General shares video game footage as proof Ukraine Air Defense is 'formidable'

general barry mccaffrey video game
The NBC military analyst has since deleted his tweet.

Retired General Barry McCaffrey, a decorated military tactician who later became an analyst for NBC and MSNBC, shared video game footage to prove that Russians were losing air battles over Ukraine.

"Russian aircraft [are] getting nailed by UKR missile defense," the adjunct Professor of International Affairs at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point tweeted.

"Russians are losing large numbers of attack aircraft," he continued, adding that the Ukrainian air defense systems are finally becoming "formidable."

Comment: What makes the incident even more hilarious is the fact that the footage is quite obviously computer generated. It's good graphics and all, but even a moderately discerning eye can tell this isn't real footage. It's amazing how thoroughly ideology can blind one from the obvious.

See also: