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Wed, 27 Oct 2021
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Russia scrambles fighter jets to head off US warplanes near country's airspace, days after warship intercepted near borders

US jets
© Russian Defense Ministry
US Airforce KC-135 Stratotanker refuels a B-1B Lancer in flight over the Black Sea, Oct. 19, 2021 recorded by Russian crew member aboard a Sukhoi Su-20 fighter jet.
The Russian Air Force has escorted two US bombers over the Black Sea, after radar operators identified the planes flying close to the border, just days after an American warship was tailed as it moved toward the country's waters.

On Wednesday, Moscow's Ministry of Defense said that a pair of the country's Su-30 fighter planes took off and followed two US B-1B strategic bombers over southeastern Europe, after the foreign aircraft were detected in the region. The ministry said in a statement:
"Russian fighter crews identified the aerial targets as two US Air Force supersonic strategic B-1B bombers, accompanied by two KC-135 refueling planes, and escorted them over the waters of the Black Sea. After the foreign warplanes had been turned away from Russia's state border, the Russian fighters safely returned to their home air base."

Comment: Provocations to distract or drill procedure...location, location, location!
The encounter, which appears to have occurred without incident, happened amid NATO's annual deterrence exercise Steadfast Noon, taking place this week all across southern Europe.

Aircraft from 14 NATO countries, including the U.S., are taking part in the drill. The U.S. B-1B Lancers operating in the Black Sea are from Dyess Air Force Base in Texas and have been carrying out missions across Europe as part of a bomber task force rotation. The U.S. military regularly flies in international airspace over the Black Sea, and encounters with Russian aircraft have become commonplace. While most intercepts occur without incident, the U.S. has cited instances in recent years of Russian planes flying too close to American aircraft or buzzing Navy ships on patrol.

The Black Sea has been a focal point this week for the Pentagon. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is touring the region, making stops in Georgia, Ukraine and Romania.

On Thursday, Austin will attend a NATO defense ministers meeting at alliance headquarters in Brussels.

Arrow Up

US police hungry for discarded military gear now use climate change as pretext to get priority delivery

Seattle police vehicle
© Reuters/Lindsey Wasson
Seattle police during a BLM protest.
The DoD program that arms police departments with surplus military equipment is prioritizing requests citing 'climate disaster' preparation - but the mine-resistant vehicles aren't necessarily being used for rescue operations.

The bureaucratic shift in how sheriff's offices and precincts justify their requests for military-grade vehicles under the Pentagon's controversial 1033 Program was reported on Wednesday by the Huffington Post. The report is based on the outlet's continued analysis of a trove of documents from the hand-me-down scheme that came into its possession earlier this year.

Local jurisdictions are increasingly citing extreme weather and other natural calamities in their applications, since Congress tweaked the program in its annual defense spending bill. Lawmakers instructed the DoD to give priority to "applications that request vehicles used for disaster-related emergency preparedness, such as high-water rescue vehicles" - a move that HuffPo describes as having "supercharged the incentives" to link climate concerns to military hardware.

On the Pentagon's cue, local police and sheriffs suddenly started "to make a big deal out of their role in disaster response," the report said.

Comment: What better means to address the populace than to treat them like terrorists. It certainly has nothing to do with climate change.


Capitalism has run out of steam? Putin warns that world's existing economic model is causing huge growth in inequality globally

Protest sign
© Alexander Pohl/NurPhoto via Getty Images
The current model of capitalism, the economic system in most of the world, is causing growing inequality, both within countries but also between them on the global stage, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.

Speaking to gathered experts and journalists at the Valdai Discussion Club in Sochi, the Russian president said that many people around the world are suffering from disappointed expectations and a lack of prospects, which leads to "uncontrolled migration" as some seek better life opportunities elsewhere.
"Everyone says that the existing model of capitalism, which is now the basis of the social order in the vast majority of countries, has run out of steam. There is no longer any way out of the tangle of more and more confusing contradictions.

"In the richest countries and regions, we see growing inequality of material benefits and of opportunities within society, and at the international level too."
Putin went on to explain that many around the world still suffer from a lack of food, water, and electricity, while others reap the rewards of the system. He called the lack of opportunities for much of the world a great problem.


Washington must be going MAD: Nuclear-era logic of Mutually Assured Destruction to make America safe, Chinese media boss jibes

Rocket launch
© Oscar Sosa/US NAVY/AFP/(inset)Screenshot/Twitter/@HuXijin_GT
Rocket launch
The editor-in-chief of a Chinese state media group subtly mocked the US, suggesting it re-adopt the Cold War doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) after Washington was shocked by Beijing's missile tests.

The Global Times editor-in-chief Hu Xijin mocked Washington in a tweet on Thursday after a week in which the US reiterated its concern and surprise by Chinese hypersonic missile tests in the summer.

Hu was responding to a story published on Thursday from The Financial Times, which stated that China conducted two hypersonic missile tests this summer, and not one as originally reported at the weekend. The state media boss wrote:
"In face of speculation of China's hypersonic weapons, the US needs to keep rationality and returns to the logic of major power game in the nuclear era. MAD [Mutually Assured Destruction] won't make the US unsafe. The US must abandon the crazy idea that it can strike China and Russia, but they can't strike it."
MAD is a doctrine associated with the Cold War era, when both the US and the Soviet Union built up sizeable nuclear arsenals. The doctrine is based on the theory of deterrence, in which neither side will use nuclear weapons against the other on the principle that the other party has the capacity to strike back in equal force.


'Mossad espionage network' busted in Turkey: 15 men arrested for spying on Palestinians & foreign students

turkey arrests mossad spy ring israel
© TRT Haber
Raid by Turkish forces to arrest alleged 'Mossad spy ring'
Turkey's intelligence agency reportedly cracked a Mossad spy ring in an operation earlier this month, exposing five cells and arresting 15 men suspected of conducting covert activities on foreign students and Palestinians.

After tracking the network for over a year, the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) shared the information with counter-terrorism forces. According to the Sabah daily newspaper, a 200-strong team raided the cells in a secret operation across four provinces on October 7.

The Turkish newspaper reported that the arrested men had been instructed to gather information on foreign students, particularly Palestinians, enrolled in Turkish universities - with an eye on those thought to have a future in the defense industry. The spies were also allegedly tasked with looking into a number of other unspecified associations and organizations that hosted Palestinians in Turkey.

Comment: Turkey's intelligence services have been busy. RFE/RL reports:
Turkish authorities have arrested four Russian citizens, one Ukrainian citizen, and one Uzbek national on charges of "military and political espionage" linked to alleged plans to attack Chechen opposition activists residing in Turkey.

The Turkish Prosecutor-General's Office said on October 20 that the men arrested in the cities of Antalya and Istanbul on October 8 are Abdula Abdulayev, Ravshan Akhmedov, Beslan Rasayev, and Aslanbek Abdulmuslimov of Russia; Ihor Yefrim of Ukraine; and Amir Yusupov of Uzbekistan.

The men are also suspected of buying weapons to use against Turkish-based critics of the Kremlin-backed leader of Russia's North Caucasus region of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov.

If convicted, the men face up to 20 years in prison.

Russian officials have yet to comment on the situation.


The killing of Gaddafi 10 years ago has resulted in the death of the nation of Libya and the destruction of its people

Muammar Gaddafi
© REUTERS / Zohra Bensemra
Muammar Gaddafi
Muammar Gaddafi led his nation to become the wealthiest in all of Africa. A decade after his demise, it is riven by tribalism, terrorism and slavery, all because the West could not allow an Arab leader to succeed.

There was never really an 'Arab Spring' in Libya the way there was in Egypt or Tunisia. Protests were much smaller, and as time went on to show, the biggest players turned out to be extremist groups and foreign actors, each trying to get a slice of the country.

NATO's bombing of Libya and support for rebels seeking to overthrow Gaddafi had little to do with wanting the country to prosper. Under the guise of 'human rights' and 'democracy', the Western military alliance helped murder one of the Arab world's most prominent leaders in order to steal Libya's resources and protect Western hegemony. Later on, as part of Operation Timber Sycamore, the CIA would find additional utility in Gaddafi's ousting: funnelling Libya's stockpiles of weapons and ammunition over to Syria to arm Al-Qaeda and other jihadist groups.

Seldom discussed in the news anymore, Libya has become a shadow of its former self, ravaged by 10 years of war and chaos. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and the other war criminals who orchestrated its destruction don't want you to know how badly it's doing.


'Testing the same weapons': North Korea denounces US 'double standard' after Washington condemns submarine missile test

North Korean flag
© REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
North Korean flag
US overtures of diplomacy are hypocritical and don't match Washington's actions, North Korea said, after a UN Security Council session hastily convened to condemn its recent test of a submarine-launched missile.

"It is a clear double standard that the United States denounces us for developing and testing the same weapons system it already has or was developing, and that only adds suspicions to their sincerity after saying they have no hostility towards us," the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) quoted an unnamed Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying on Thursday.

The US and the UN Security Council could face "more grave and serious consequences" if they react inappropriately to the launch, the spokesperson added, warning them against "fiddling with a time bomb."

Bad Guys

Letting Ukraine join NATO would be a dangerous escalation with Russia, and a disaster for Kiev & the West itself

Ukraine miliary us flag
© Sputnik / Stringer
A serviceman at the Three Swords-2021 military drills, at the Yavorovsky training ground, in the Lviv region, Ukraine
Russia's position on Ukraine's hopes of joining NATO is well known: It's a red line that, if crossed, would have profound repercussions for Moscow, Kiev and the whole military bloc. 'Active measures' have even been promised.

In a documentary recently aired on French TV, President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, has confirmed exactly that. You may, of course, disagree with this assessment, or even resent it. But, equally obviously, to ignore it would be stupid.

Governments sometimes bluff, it's true. Yet it would be a reckless gamble to count on Russia not meaning what it says when it sends such a clear warning. Especially since it does not only oppose full NATO membership for Ukraine, but also what Moscow sees as the excessive expansion of Western military infrastructure in Ukraine. This, as well, has been identified as a "red line."

Comment: Russia can only do so much, but, to its credit, it is doing all it can to maintain a modicum of stability in the region: Also check out SOTT radio's: NewsReal: Why You Should Question Media Reports About China 'Causing Covid' And 'Invading Taiwan'


Christopher Steele: Corrupt product of a corrupt FBI

christopher steele George Stephanopoulos

Trump dossier 'author' Christopher Steele, (inset) ABC host George Stephanopoulos
Christopher Steele is a symptom, not a cause, of what ails the FBI. The nation's top law enforcement agency flagrantly involves itself in U.S. elections on behalf of the Democratic Party.

Just as the special counsel's investigation into the origins of Crossfire Hurricane — the FBI counterintelligence probe launched in the summer of 2016 to sabotage Donald Trump's presidential campaign — is showing signs of life, one of the central figures in the hoax is attempting to burnish his sullied image.

ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos has produced a documentary featuring Christopher Steele, the man responsible for the so-called dossier bearing his name. "Out of the Shadows: The Man Behind the Steele Dossier," streamed on Hulu Monday night; promotional clips hinted that, far from a hard-hitting interview exposing Steele for the charlatan he is, Stephanopoulos gave Steele a chance to spin his story ahead of possible new indictments related to John Durham's inquiry into the Trump-Russia election collusion hoax.


Billionaire wants to build a utopia in the US desert that would house 5 million people

billionaire utopia
© Patrick T Fallon/AFP/Getty
Entrepreneur Marc Lore, left, at a high-tech aviation expo in Hawthorne, California. Lore wants to build a 'city of the future' in the desert. The architects of the proposed 150,000-acre project are scouting the American south-west. They're already predicting the first residents can move in by 2030
Welcome to Telosa, a $400bn "city of the future," according to its founder, the billionaire Marc Lore. The city doesn't exist yet, nor is it clear which state will house the experiment, but the architects of the proposed 150,000-acre project are scouting the American south-west. They're already predicting the first residents can move in by 2030.

Telosa will eventually house 5 million people, according to its website, and benefit from a halo of utopian promises: avant-garde architecture, drought resistance, minimal environmental impact, communal resources. This hypothetical metropolis promises to take some of the most cutting-edge ideas about sustainability and urban design and make them reality.

Comment: If this theoretical project had any potential to provide an alternative to the current system, that would lead to the betterment of people as it claims to want to do, we can be sure that it would be shut down before it had chance to give people ideas; and, if it does go ahead, it's likely because it serves to further the agenda of the ponerized establishment, in one way or another: