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Tue, 19 Oct 2021
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Turkey's existential choice: BRI or bust

Zipper China Turkey
© The Cradle
Two destinies are pulling on West Asia from two opposing visions of the future.

As devotees of the rules-based order laid out by Zbigniew Brzezinski 40 years ago strive to uphold their dystopic model of dividing populations to feed endless wars, a more optimistic program of cooperation is being ushered in by China's ever-evolving Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

While many nations have jumped on board this new paradigm with enthusiastic support, others have found themselves precariously straddling both worlds.

Turkey plays footsie with great powers

Chief among those indecisive nations is the Republic of Turkey, whose leader was given a harsh wake up call on 15 July, 2016. It was on this date that Russian intelligence provided Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan the edge needed to narrowly avoid a coup launched by followers of exiled Islamist leader Fetullah Gulen.

The timing of the coup has been subject to much speculation, but the fact that it occurred just two weeks after Erdogan's letter of apology to Putin went public was likely not a coincidence. The apology in question referred to Turkey's decision to shoot down a Russian fighter jet flying in Syrian airspace in November 2015, killing a soldier and very nearly activating NATO's collective security pact.


Durham probes Pentagon computer contractors in anti-Trump conspiracy

© blog.executivebiz/perkinscoie.com/AP/weil.com/gatech.edu/KJN
Rodney Joffe • Michael Sussmann • John Durham • Steve Tyrrell • Manos Antonakakis
Cybersecurity experts who held lucrative Pentagon and homeland security contracts and high-level security clearances are under investigation for potentially abusing their government privileges to aid a 2016 Clinton campaign plot to falsely link Donald Trump to Russia and trigger an FBI investigation of him and his campaign, according to several sources familiar with the work of Special Counsel John Durham.

Durham is investigating whether they were involved in a scheme to misuse sensitive, nonpublic Internet data, which they had access to through their government contracts, to dredge up derogatory information on Trump on behalf of the Clinton campaign in 2016 and again in 2017, sources say — political dirt that sent FBI investigators on a wild goose chase. Prosecutors are also investigating whether some of the data presented to the FBI was faked or forged.

These sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive law enforcement matter, said Durham's investigators have subpoenaed the contractors to turn over documents and testify before a federal grand jury hearing the case. The investigators are exploring potential criminal charges including giving false information to federal agents and defrauding the government, the sources said.

The campaign plot was outlined by Durham last month in a 27-page indictment charging former Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann with making a false report to the FBI. The document cites eight individuals who allegedly conspired with Sussmann, but does not identify them by name.


Washington Post's 'conspiracy theory' quiz declares existence of 'deep state' fake news, contradicting its own reporting

© CanadaFreePress/KJN
If you believe in a "Deep State" embedded in the US government, then you're falling down the conspiracy "rabbit hole," the Washington Post claims. Yet the Post believes this theory too. It just doesn't call it a 'Deep State'.

Nine in 10 Americans believe at least one conspiracy theory, researchers found earlier this summer. Yet conspiracy theories run the gamut from 'Bigfoot exists' to 'the Holocaust never happened', and the Washington Post published a quiz this week to remind its readers which ones to believe and which to discard. The answers tell a story in themselves.

In a series of multiple-choice questions, the statement "There is a 'deep state' embedded in the government that operates in secret and without oversight" is marked as false.

"For much of the past four years, Republicans have speculated that a 'deep state' was working to undermine President Donald Trump," the Post explained, adding: "While the FBI and CIA do conduct covert operations, there's little evidence for a separate Deep State."

Yet this is untrue, according to the Washington Post's own reporting.

Comment: Obviously there is less-than-scant evidence for a real 'deep state'. It wouldn't be deep if there was. The described machinations to thwart Donald Trump were a clandestine mosaic of conspiracies to sew doubt and cripple the presidency.


US nuclear submarine hits underwater 'object' in South China Sea

© File/US Navy.jpg
The USS Connecticut nuclear-powered fast-attack submarine
A US Navy attack submarine "struck an object while submerged" in international waters in the South China Sea, officials said on Thursday. They said there were no life-threatening injuries and the sub was still fully operational.

In a brief statement providing few details of an incident that happened on the afternoon of October 2, US Pacific Fleet said the USS Connecticut remained in a "safe and stable condition". Seawolf-class submarine's nuclear propulsion plant was not affected, it added. "The extent of damage to the remainder of the submarine is being assessed," the statement said, adding that the incident will be investigated.

The statement did not specify the location of the incident, but two US Navy officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss details not announced publicly, said it happened in the South China Sea while the Connecticut was conducting routine operations.

The officials said the sub then headed toward port at Guam. The incident was not announced before Thursday to maintain operational security.

Comment: Beijing has a question or two on this incident:
The Chinese Foreign Ministry has expressed its concern about an incident in the South China Sea. Speaking on Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian called on the US to clarify details concerning the USS Connecticut, a nuclear-powered Seawolf-class fast-attack submarine, which struck an unidentified object while submerged in the South China Sea on October 2.

Zhao requested that the US confirm the specific location of the accident, the vessel's intentions and more details about the collision itself, including whether it caused a leak of nuclear material. The spokesman also asked if the submarine had damaged the local marine environment.

He said China and its neighbors had a right to question Washington over the incident and seek the truth.
"The United States deliberately delayed and concealed details of the accident, demonstrating irresponsibility and a lack of transparency."
Zhao said the root cause of the incident was the US' insistence on sailing through the Beijing-claimed South China Sea under the banner of freedom of navigation.

No Entry

Florida school board punishes schools with mask mandates and tries to neutralize White House effort to help them out

© SOPA Images/Lightrocket via Getty Images
Students in Florida districts with mask mandates
The Florida State Board of Education voted Thursday to withhold funds from eight school districts that have imposed mask mandates in violation of a state-level ban on them — and moved to thwart the U.S. Department of Education's plan to assist those districts through federal grants that would make up for the lost money.

The board accepted recommendations from Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran to withhold state funds in an amount equivalent to school board members' salaries — as it's already done for several districts — as well as funding equivalent to any amount the district receives in federal grants because of its mask mandate.

Only two districts, in Alachua and Broward counties, have already been awarded federal funds so far, but the board's punishment also applies to schools that haven't yet gotten federal grant money in case they receive it in the future.

The U.S. Department of Education established a new grant program called Project SAFE to help schools that have been punished by their state government because of Covid-19 mitigation measures like mask mandates.

Comment: The federal government should butt out of state politics. It is not their level of governance nor turf to bribe.


Sleepy Joe's vaccine mandate for private companies doesn't exist. It's just a press release

Comment: Like almost all of the 'rule by decree' by Western regimes throughout the last 18 months, this too is bluff...

biden confused
© Reuters / Jonathan Ernst
Joe Biden
Yes, we've heard all about Joe Biden's alleged vaccine mandate for private companies employing 100 or more people. It was all over the news even before he announced it on September 9. His announcement has jeopardized the employment of millions of Americans and increased worker shortages in critical domains such as health care.

There's only one problem. It's all a mirage. Biden's so-called vaccine mandate doesn't exist — at least, not yet. So far, all we have is his press conference and other such made-for-media huff-puffing. No such rule even claiming to be legally binding has been issued yet.

That's why nearly two dozen Republican attorneys general who have publicly voiced their opposition to the clearly unconstitutional and illegal mandate haven't yet filed suit against it, the Office of the Indiana Attorney General confirmed for me. There is no mandate to haul into court. And that may be part of the plan.


Ukrainian president rallies party to oust speaker of Parliament: Zelensky continues to silence dissent & tighten grip on power

Zelenskiy Razumkov

(L) Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Reuters / GLEB GARANICH; (R) Dmitry Razumkov, former head of the party "Servant of the People". RIA
Ukrainian MPs have voted to remove parliamentary speaker Dmitry Razumkov after clashes over a new bill that aims to reduce the influence of oligarchs on the political system. Razumkov disagreed with President Volodymyr Zelensky.

On Thursday, 284 members of the 450-MP-strong Verkhovna Rada supported the motion against Razumkov, including the vast majority of representatives from the Servant of the People ruling party.

Razumkov, as a member of the faction, was a crucial part of Zelensky's election team in 2019. He was rewarded later that year when he was elected to the post of speaker.

Comment: It looks like the corruption fostered since the US-backed coup in the country is beginning to come home to roost. Of particular note is the recent space of murders of high profile figures:


AFP reports US special forces quietly training Taiwanese military

Taiwan air force
© Taiwan Presidential Office, via Flickr.
Taiwan Air Force
US special operations forces have been quietly training Taiwanese troops for months, a move which China warned Friday could cause "serious harm" to relations between Washington and Beijing.

A contingent of around 20 special operations and conventional forces has been conducting the training for less than a year, the Pentagon official, who declined to be identified, told AFP Thursday, adding that some of the trainers rotate in and out.

The official largely confirmed a Wall Street Journal report which said the training has been going on for at least a year, amid China's rising verbal threats against the island ally of the United States.

Comment: Taiwan is being used as a pawn in the Biden administrations inept policies towards China:


Biden Education Secretary dodges when asked if parents should be 'primary stakeholder' of child's education

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona
© Joshua Roberts/Getty Images
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona stopped short of claiming that parents should be the "primary" stakeholders in their children's education on Thursday.

Cardona sat before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on Thursday to testify on school reopening strategies and policies around COVID-19. Under questioning from Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN), Cardona refused to call parents the "primary stakeholders" in a child's education.

"Do you think parents should be in charge of their child's education as the primary stakeholder?" Braun asked the Education secretary.

Comment: In other words, Cardona is completely onboard with the Great Reset agenda and sees children as the property of the state, to be 'educated' as the state sees fit, damn the parents.

See also:


NYC investigators to release report into de Blasio's NYPD security detail

bill de blasio
© Matthew McDermott
Mayor Bill de Blasio came under scrutiny for using taxpayer funds to pay for his security detail while traveling for his long-shot presidential bid in 2019.
The city Department of Investigation on Wednesday said it is set to release the findings of a probe into Mayor Bill de Blasio's NYPD security detail.

The DOI will make public a 40-page report and hold a press conference about the "allegations involving the Mayor's security detail" on Thursday morning.

Law enforcement sources said the probe concerned use of city resources for personal use, a possible violation of New York's Conflicts of Interest Law.

Comment: See also: