Puppet MastersS


Arrow Up

Biden administration restores policy on illegitimacy of Israeli settlements

dontblink
© Gustavo Garello/APUS Secretary of State Antony Blinken • Press conference at the government house in Buenos Aires, Argentina • February 23, 2024
The Biden administration on Friday restored a U.S. legal finding dating back nearly 50 years that Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories are "illegitimate" under international law.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. believes settlements are inconsistent with Israel's obligations, reversing a determination made by his predecessor, Mike Pompeo, in the Biden administration's latest shift away from the pro-Israel policies pursued by former President Donald Trump.

Blinken's comments came in response to a reporter's question about an announcement that Israel would build more than 3,300 new homes in West Bank settlements as a riposte to a fatal Palestinian shooting attack.

It wasn't clear why Blinken chose this moment, more than three years into his tenure, to reverse Pompeo's decision. But it came at a time of growing U.S.-Israeli tensions over the war in Gaza, with the latest settlement announcement only adding to the strain. It also came as the United Nations' highest court, the International Court of Justice, is holding hearings into the legality of the Israeli occupation.

Comment: Decades, of 'really good' words from diplomats brighter than Blinky, have not phased Israel's trajectory. Then is now...only worse.


Bullseye

US sanctions threaten world order - China

He Yadong
© Getty Images / Zhao Jun; China News Service; VCGChina's Commerce Ministry spokesperson He Yadong
Washington's latest round of sanctions against Russia and its partners, including China, is yet another example of US "economic coercion" undermining global trade relations, China's Commerce Ministry said on Monday.

The US Treasury announced a new list of sanctions on Friday, targeting some 500 individuals and entities in Russia, as well as several Chinese companies, for Russia-related reasons.

Commenting on the restrictions, the Chinese Commerce Ministry stated on its official website that "the US approach is a typical example of unilateral sanctions, 'long-arm jurisdiction' and economic coercion, which undermines international economic and trade rules and order, and damages the security and stability of global industry and supply chains."

Beijing stressed that it firmly opposes such moves and vowed to take all necessary measures to "resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises."

Chess

Xi isn't destroying China's economy - he's changing it

xi jinping
© Handout / Uzbek Presidential Press Service / AFP
If there's one thoroughly unoriginal strand of thought on China present in the mainstream media today, it is the idea that China's economy has been wrecked, and that Xi Jinping's policies are to blame.

Such commentary, pushed by every major mainstream outlet on a weekly basis, frequently promotes a narrative of the "end" of China's rise, often talks about "decline" and squarely places responsibility on Xi Jinping, who supposedly ended the dynamic of an open and prosperous China for increasingly centralized, authoritarian rule and a return to communist fundamentals.

Such an article was pushed this week by the editorial board of the Washington Post, in a piece titled "Xi is tanking China's economy. That's bad for the US". The article was hardly original in its premise, stating the above argument pretty much word for word. When this argument is pushed, it always conveniently ignores the broader context that the world economy is in dire straits, and moreover the more pressing elephant in the room, that American foreign policy has been deliberately detrimental if not outright antagonistic to global economic prospects as a whole.

Broom

Trump WINS South Carolina primary, handing war-crazed Nikki Haley a whopping defeat in her home state

trump
Donald Trump took another step towards a general election rematch with Joe Biden by decimating Nikki Haley in her home state in the South Carolina Republican primary.

The result was called just seconds after polls closed in an embarrassing night for Haley who has vowed to stay in the race even as her path to the nomination rapidly closes.

Trump declared his swift victory at his Election Day party held on the South Carolina State Fairgrounds in Columbia, saying with a smirk: 'This was a little sooner than we anticipated.'

Trump's victory builds on the surging momentum he has built coming out of wins in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.

Comment: Nikki Haley's presence in the election season is primarily to get the elite's desires Trojan-horsed into the Republican primaries. She is solely a creation of her backers, a war-harpy who's only concern is advancing the interests of her war crazy backers.


Bad Guys

Lord Jacob Rothschild: Financier from elite family dies aged 87

Lord Rothschild
© PA
Financier, philanthropist and head of the renowned Rothschild empire, Lord Jacob Rothschild has died aged 87.

His family confirmed his death in a statement on Monday and described the patriarch - who has held a number of senior financial and philanthropic roles - as a "towering presence".

The Rothschilds have an estimated fortune of around £825m, according to last year's Sunday Times Rich List, and give away a reported £66m to Jewish causes, education and art each year.

The British peer started his career in the family bank, NM Rothschild & Sons, in 1963, before breaking away from the family business in 1980 and going on to co-found J Rothschild Assurance Group, now known as St James's Place, in 1991.

Arrow Down

Haley's backers spent millions on her bid in her home state. The war harpy still lost by 20 points

nikki haley
© Scott Olson/Getty ImagesRepublican presidential candidate Nikki Haley holds a town hall meeting in Nevada, Iowa, on March 9, 2023.
Political action committees and advocacy groups supporting Nikki Haley's presidential bid spent millions in her home state of South Carolina, only for Haley to lose by 20 points in the state's Saturday primary.

Groups including the pro-Haley SFA Fund, the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity Action and the liberal dark money-funded Defending Democracy Together collectively pumped over $8 million into supporting Haley in South Carolina between March 2023 and the February primary, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) data. Meanwhile, Donald Trump's backers only spent roughly $370,000 boosting the former president in South Carolina this election cycle.

Despite outside groups spending significantly more on Haley than Trump, the former South Carolina governor lost her home state by 20.3 points with more than 95% of votes counted, The New York Times reported.

Comment: Even the relatively bottomless pockets of the Koch brothers have had it. Politico reports:
In an email to staff obtained by POLITICO, Americans For Prosperity CEO Emily Seidel said Sunday that the group's political arm, AFP Action, had to "take stock" of its spending priorities after Haley's loss in the South Carolina primary. The Koch-aligned group, Seidel said, will now focus its efforts on competitive Senate and House races.

"She has made it clear that she will continue to fight and we wholeheartedly support her in this effort," Seidel wrote of Haley. "But given the challenges in the primary states ahead, we don't believe any outside group can make a material difference to widen her path to victory."

AFP Action's decision is the latest blow to Haley's longshot presidential bid, which has sustained losses in four early nominating states and the Virgin Islands, including on Saturday, when former President Donald Trump beat Haley in her home state by 20 points. Haley declared she will continue on in her primary fight, but has only committed to running through Super Tuesday on March 5.

[...]

While the decision by AFP to stop spending represents a blow to her campaign, Haley is still raising strong amounts of cash on her own. That, in turn, has allowed her to sustain her bid despite its string of losses.

Olivia Perez-Cubas, a spokesperson for Haley, thanked AFP for its support and said the campaign has "plenty of fuel to keep going" and a "country to save." Perez-Cubas on Sunday afternoon said Haley had raised more than $1 million online in the last 24 hours.

"AFP is a great organization and ally in the fight for freedom and conservative government," Perez-Cubas said. "We thank them for their tremendous help in this race."

A spokesperson for AFP Action declined to say how much the organization spent boosting Haley's campaign. In addition to television, digital and mail ads, AFP Action deployed hundreds of field workers on the ground to knock doors in the early states.

Seidel said the group "stands firm behind our endorsement for Nikki Haley," describing her as "a special leader with conviction, resolve, and steel in her spine to jump into a tough race with a narrow path."

Even prior to pulling the plug on Haley, AFP Action had started to boost its endorsed Senate candidates, including launching an ad buy last week in Montana and running digital advertisements in Nevada and Pennsylvania. The group also endorsed in the Wisconsin Senate race and plans to back candidates in the Ohio and Michigan races, too, Seidel said. She said this year's Senate races were always AFP's "top priority."



Bad Guys

Israel now bombing eastern Lebanon, follows Hezbollah downing $2m drone

lebanon israel bomb
© XSmoke rising over the area following an Israeli attack on the Baalbek-Hermel governorate. 26 February, 2024. This was the first Israeli attack near the eastern city of Baalbek since the war began in October.
Israeli warplanes attacked eastern Lebanon on 26 February for the first time since the Lebanese resistance began its operations in October.

An airstrike hit the town of Haouch Tal Safiya, west of the ancient city of Baalbek, in the Baalbek-Hermel governorate. Video footage shows heavy clouds of smoke rising from the area.

Hezbollah brought down a large Israeli Hermes drone over south Lebanon with a surface-to-air missile on 26 February, the resistance group announced via its media page, marking its second operation of the day.

Comment: See also: The following interview by Garland Nixon provides insight into how the empire is being thwarted by those in Yemen, Syria, and Lebanon.

Although it seems that if the establishment can't win outright that they are willing to settle for perpetual conflict:




Putin

Putin jokes Biden should've thanked him for endorsement over Trump after 'SOB' comment

Putin smiling
© Sputnik/Sergei Bobylev/Pool via REUTERSRussian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov in Kazan, Russia. (
Russian President Vladimir Putin responded with a joke when asked by the press for reaction to recent jabs from President Biden.

The U.S. president made national headlines this week when he called Putin a "crazy SOB" during a speech about climate change at a fundraising dinner in California.

"This is the last existential threat, it is climate. We have a crazy SOB that guy, Putin others. And we always have to be worried about a nuclear conflict," Biden said. "But the existential threat to humanity is climate."

Comment: Putin, ever the gentleman.


Bullseye

'The dollar will fall, and Western civilization with it' - El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele

Nayib Bukele
© Alex Peña/Getty ImagesFILE: The US dollar is backed by nothing and its fall will drag down the rest of the world, El Salvador's Nayib Bukele has declared
The US economy is on the "farce" of printing unlimited amounts of money, and Western civilization will collapse when that bubble "inevitably bursts," Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele warned American conservatives on Thursday.

Fresh from winning a second term in office with 84% of the vote, Bukele arrived at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland to a hero's welcome. Hailed by American right-wingers for his adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender and his iron-fisted crackdown on gang crime, Bukele closed his speech with a call for massive structural changes to the US economy.

Conservatives, he said, "always tell me that the problem is high taxes, but they are wrong."

Comment: And this is at least part of the reason why the West is eagerly fomenting conflicts against Russia, the Middle East, and China:


Hiliter

Kremlin responds to CIA 'revelations'

kremlin
© Natalya Seliverstova; RIA Novosti
It's no secret that the US is training people in Ukraine for subversive work against Russia, Dmitry Peskov has said.

The US has long been working in Ukraine to prepare operatives for subversive work against Russia, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday. His comments came after the New York Times claimed the CIA has been actively involved in Ukraine since the 2014 Maidan coup.

"The work of so-called American advisers, most of whom departmentally belonged to the CIA, is well known," Peskov told TASS when asked to comment on the NYT article published on Sunday.

Comment: Considering anyone with two firing neurons already knew about this (if not the actual details), one has to wonder what the driver is behind this 'revelation'. If anything, it simply reinforces Russia's justification for actions against Ukraine, which clearly represents an actual threat. So what are the spooks up to, here?

See also: