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Fri, 08 Dec 2023
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Spain expels US embassy staff - El Pais

© Getty Images / Dana Hoff
The decision followed allegations the personnel bribed host country intel agents, the newspaper has said

At least two employees at the US embassy in Madrid have been quietly expelled from Spain on suspicion of recruiting agents from the country's National Intelligence Center (CNI) to obtain highly classified information, El Pais reported on Thursday, citing government sources.

According to the newspaper, two Spanish intelligence officers were arrested two months ago after an internal inspection revealed that they had gained access to classified information that was not required for their work and which they had no right to know.

Comment: Original title: EU State expels US embassy staff - El Pais The sources for the Spanish articles are: from El Pais, and from El Espanol.

Considering the statements:
"The recruitment of secret agents of the host state to betray their own country is considered an openly hostile action" -"are counted between one and none" and it is unclear why the US had to pay when they "get everything they ask for."
one may ask if the issues is that Spain does not share everything as alleged, or whether the US intelligence agencies are so compartmentalized that what is known in one quarter is not known in the next, and somebody who felt they were left out of the loop did their own ground work?

Apart from the little stomach upset in Madrid, many other US initiatives are swallowed without any upset by EU and NATO countries.

US ripped off EU for €185 Bln for gas due to Russia sanctions
Germany now addicted to US LNG - German MP
'Humiliating': Germany is not a sovereign nation - Moscow
Ex-Nazi in the service of Uncle Sam: How the US took control of Germany's main intelligence service
No shame: US official Vicky 'f*ck the EU' Nuland praises Nord Stream 2 destruction
Escobar: Germany and EU have been handed over a declaration of war
The Crusades: Germany's Obedience to America's 'Papal Primacy'
Weaken Germany to strengthen US: Alleged leaked RAND doc outlines plan to destroy Europe as 'political competitor'
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland says Washington has spent $5 billion trying to subvert Ukraine
Loony Nuland fumes over Minsk agreement, gives instructions to 'fight against the Europeans'
"F**k The EU" - U.S. State department blasts Europe; revealed as alleged mastermind behind Ukraine unrest
An important second listen to the "F--k the EU" Ukraine recording
'F**k the EU': Nuland's decade-old Maidan quip has never been more true

The list could go on and on; it is only a matter of recalling events and searching for the articles. Not that such an effort makes much of a difference, but it may help to keep things in perspective, next time a news item surfaces.


Scandal-stained Israeli 'rescue' group fuels October 7 fabrications

2 guys
© Landau
Founded by a serial rapist known as the "Haredi Jeffrey Epstein," Israeli ultra-Orthodox rescue group ZAKA is responsible for some of the most obscene post-October 7 atrocity fabrications, from beheaded babies to "mass rape" to a fetus cut from its mother.

Secretary of State Tony Blinken and President Joseph Biden have each echoed demonstrably false ZAKA testimonies about Hamas atrocities.

Marred by allegations of financial fraud, ZAKA is leveraging October 7 publicity to raise unprecedented sums of cash.

Its rival, United Hatzalah, has spun out bogus tales of babies baked in ovens as it closes in on a $50 million fundraising goal.

During an October 31 Senate hearing on Israel's war in Gaza, Secretary of State Antony Blinken offered his rationale for rejecting a ceasefire. Summoning as much emotion as a dour Democratic Party operative could muster, Blinken conjured up a gruesome scene intended to illustrate the savagery of Hamas, and the impossibility of negotiations with such an organization:
"A young boy and girl, 6 and 8 years old, and their parents around the breakfast table. The father's eye gouged out in front of his kids. The mother's breast cut off, the girl's foot amputated, the boy's fingers cut off before they were executed."
The Secretary of State concluded, "That is what this [Israeli] society is dealing with."

Comment: Playing 'the fake victim' card, Israel is selling horror for money.

Arrow Up

UK preparing to push Ukraine toward peace talks - media

© AFP/Ukrainian Presidential Press Office
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky • British Foreign Secretary David Cameron
Kiev, Ukraine • November 15, 2023
The West is reportedly disappointed with Kiev's failed counteroffensive and doubts its ability to score a victory against Russia...

British diplomats may soon start to put pressure on Ukraine to hold peace negotiations with Russia, Politico's UK editor has suggested, citing "chatter" in diplomatic circles. Wider media reports suggest that the West has grown concerned at Kiev's ability to score a battlefield victory.

Speaking on Monday on the latest episode of the Politics at Jack and Sam's podcast, Jack Blanchard noted that "Ukraine's big counteroffensive was not anything like the success people hoped, and that is raising big questions about Ukraine's ability to win this war in any meaningful military way."

In light of this, Blanchard claimed that there are rumors in British "diplomatic circles" about "putting pressure on Kiev to sit down and negotiate."

Comment: The time to quit was before war was declared: Families together, a deal on the table, Z wore a suit.


WaPo whitewashes the Ukraine debacle: 'Miscalculations, divisions marked offensive planning by U.S., Ukraine'

zelensky ukraine government u.s. government
© Washington Post Staff

Comment: The WaPo has put an enormous amount of resources into lipsticking this pig (2 parts!) and absolving the U.S., as best it could, of any blame. "It was all Ukraine's fault!"

A slog to be sure, but if you want to see a shining example of high-end weasel masquerading as historical record, go for it. If that thought is too exhausting, here's a tl:dr of Part 1, courtesy of Moon of Alabama:
Key elements that shaped the counteroffensive and the initial outcome include:
  • Ukrainian, U.S. and British military officers held eight major tabletop war games to build a campaign plan. But Washington miscalculated the extent to which Ukraine's forces could be transformed into a Western-style fighting force in a short period — especially without giving Kyiv air power integral to modern militaries.
  • U.S. and Ukrainian officials sharply disagreed at times over strategy, tactics and timing. The Pentagon wanted the assault to begin in mid-April to prevent Russia from continuing to strengthen its lines. The Ukrainians hesitated, insisting they weren't ready without additional weapons and training.
  • U.S. military officials were confident that a mechanized frontal attack on Russian lines was feasible with the troops and weapons that Ukraine had. The simulations concluded that Kyiv's forces, in the best case, could reach the Sea of Azov and cut off Russian troops in the south in 60 to 90 days.
  • The United States advocated a focused assault along that southern axis, but Ukraine's leadership believed its forces had to attack at three distinct points along the 600-mile front, southward toward both Melitopol and Berdyansk on the Sea of Azov and east toward the embattled city of Bakhmut.
  • The U.S. intelligence community had a more downbeat view than the U.S. military, assessing that the offensive had only a 50-50 chance of success given the stout, multilayered defenses Russia had built up over the winter and spring.
  • Many in Ukraine and the West underestimated Russia's ability to rebound from battlefield disasters and exploit its perennial strengths: manpower, mines and a willingness to sacrifice lives on a scale that few other countries can countenance.
  • As the expected launch of the offensive approached, Ukrainian military officials feared they would suffer catastrophic losses — while American officials believed the toll would ultimately be higher without a decisive assault.
His summary of Part 2 is further below.

On June 15, in a conference room at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, flanked by top U.S. commanders, sat around a table with his Ukrainian counterpart, who was joined by aides from Kyiv. The room was heavy with an air of frustration.

Austin, in his deliberate baritone, asked Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov about Ukraine's decision-making in the opening days of its long-awaited counteroffensive, pressing him on why his forces weren't using Western-supplied mine-clearing equipment to enable a larger, mechanized assault, or using smoke to conceal their advances. Despite Russia's thick defensive lines, Austin said, the Kremlin's troops weren't invincible. Reznikov, a bald, bespectacled lawyer, said Ukraine's military commanders were the ones making those decisions. But he noted that Ukraine's armored vehicles were being destroyed by Russian helicopters, drones and artillery with every attempt to advance. Without air support, he said, the only option was to use artillery to shell Russian lines, dismount from the targeted vehicles and proceed on foot.

"We can't maneuver because of the land-mine density and tank ambushes," Reznikov said, according to an official who was present.

Comment: Meanwhile, back in reality:
southfront ukraine map
© SouthfrontPress.org
Larger image


IMF head wants world wide carbon taxes

IMF Logo
© Off-Guardian
IMF Chief Kristalina Georgieva has called for every government to implement some form of carbon taxes or "carbon pricing" in the near future.

Yes, we're into week two of the UN's COP28 climate change summit, and the hits just keep on coming.

For example, yesterday it was announced sixty-three world governments have pledged to reduce the emissions from air conditioners and electrics fans.

[You can read a detailed breakdown of the other pledges made during COP28's first week here. Now, back now to the carbon taxes...]

Speaking at COP28 in Dubai, and repeated in an interview with the Guardian, Georgieva extolled the virtues of "carbon pricing" and heaped praise on the EU and Canada for their implementation:
When you put a price on carbon, decarbonisation accelerates. The Europeans introduced the emission trading scheme [in 2005] and they have been growing and yet emissions went down by 37%. You see the same thing in Canada with their carbon tax."
While both the speech and interview discuss the proposed carbon taxes in terms of corporations as "major polluters", any tax applied to big business would be directly passed onto private citizens via price increases.


Putin makes rare trip to Middle East, UAE and Saudi leaders welcome 'dear friend'

putin saudi uae
© Reuters
UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Abu Dhabi. The Russian leader has been bolstering his partnerships with Gulf nations as Moscow faces growing isolation by the West.
Escorted by four fighter jets, Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a rare one-day lightning tour to the Middle East during which he visited Saudi Arabia after a short trip to the United Arab Emirates.

Putin landed on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, which is hosting the United Nations COP28 climate talks. He was escorted to the presidential palace, where he was greeted with a 21-gun salute and a flyby of UAE military jets trailing smoke in the colours of the Russian flag.

The Gulf nation's President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan called Putin his "dear friend".

Comment: See also: Xi and Belarus' Lukashenko meet for 2nd time this year to renew strategic ties, strengthen defence, security

As you can see in the footage below, Putin received quite the welcome:

Eye 2

Israel reopens the Gaza slaughterhouse

netanyahu butcher
Phase One of Israel's genocidal campaign on Gaza has ended. Phase Two has begun. It will result in even higher levels of death and destruction.

The skies over Gaza are filled — after a seven-day truce — with projectiles of death. Warplanes. Attack helicopters. Drones. Artillery shells. Tank shells. Mortars. Bombs. Missiles. Gaza is a cacophony of explosions and forlorn screams and cries for help beneath collapsed buildings. Fear, once again, is coiling itself around every heart in the Gazan concentration camp.

By Friday evening, 184 Palestinians — including three journalists and two doctors — had been killed by Israeli air strikes in the north, south and central Gaza, and at least 589 injured, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza. Most of them are women and children. Israel will not be deterred. It plans to finish the job, to obliterate what is left in the north of Gaza and decimate what remains in the south, to render Gaza uninhabitable, to see its 2.3 million people driven out in a massive campaign of ethnic cleansing via starvation, terror, slaughter and infectious diseases.

War Whore

'High risk' of defeat - Zelensky's top aide

Andrey Yermak
© STR / NurPhoto via Getty Images
Andrey Yermak
Andrey Yermak has called for more funds for Kiev as Congress remains at loggerheads.

President Vladimir Zelensky's chief of staff has admitted that there is a "big risk" that Ukraine will lose its conflict with Russia unless the US Congress approves more funding to support Kiev. Andrey Yermak was among a number of Ukrainian officials who "swarmed Washington" ahead of a Senate vote on a White House request for over $100 billion in aid for Kiev, Israel and Taiwan, according to the New York Times.

Republican lawmakers are adamant that they will not approve the spending, unless the Democrats compromise on the issue of southern border security. President Joe Biden called their resistance "crazy" and "totally wrong."

Comment: See also:

Star of David

Report says US officials believe Israel will end ground operations in southern Gaza by January

idf israel tanks gaza palestine
© Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images
Israeli military tanks roll near the border with the Gaza Strip on December 5, 2023
Biden admin privately warns Israel about its tactics

US officials expect the current phase of Israel's ground invasion of Gaza targeting the southern end of the strip to last several weeks before Israel transitions, possibly by January, to a lower-intensity, hyper-localized strategy that narrowly targets specific Hamas militants and leaders, multiple senior administration officials tell CNN.

But as the war enters this new ground phase in the south, the White House is deeply concerned about how Israel's operations will unfold over the next several weeks, a senior US administration official said. The US has warned Israel firmly in "hard" and "direct" conversations, they said, that the Israeli Defense Forces cannot replicate the kind of devastating tactics it used in the north and must do more to limit civilian casualties.

The US has conveyed to Israel that as global opinion has increasingly turned against its ground campaign, which has killed thousands of civilians, the amount of time Israel has to continue the operation in its current form and still maintain meaningful international support is quickly waning.

Comment: It's not out of the realm of possibility that Israel will dramatically scale back their invasion well before then. The MSM won't breathe a word, but between Hamas and Hezbullah, the IDF is being handed its arse in northern Gaza. Scott Ritter on December 1, 2023:


US aid to Ukraine laundered back to military-industrial complex - congressman

© Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images
US Republican Rep. from Kentucky, Thomas Massie
Republican representative Thomas Massie claims that the money being sent to Kiev ultimately ends up in the pockets of stockholders...

The US Congress is continuing to vote in favor of sending billions of dollars to Ukraine because a lot of that money ends up being laundered back into the US military-industrial complex, Kentucky Representative Thomas Massie has said.

In an interview with Tucker Carlson on X published on Wednesday, the politician was asked to explain why Washington continued to push for more funding for Ukraine despite it becoming obvious that Kiev's forces "cannot win."

Massie, who has repeatedly voted against funding Kiev's military operations, alleged that a lot of the funds that are sent to Ukraine ultimately end up "enriching" people within specific US districts and "stockholders, some of whom are congressmen."
"You know, people are getting rich, so let's do it. It's an immoral argument, but it is one. But that's not the argument they're making in public."
He noted that those supporting the funding of Ukraine with US tax dollars are instead arguing that it is a "moral obligation" to do so. "You're a bad person if you're against this." He referred to a statement recently made by US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, who suggested that failing to support "the fight for freedom in Ukraine" meant letting Russian President Vladimir Putin "prevail."