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Sun, 23 Oct 2016
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With the EU leaders so wrong on Russia and Syria, it's no wonder the bloc is in crisis

© Francois Lenoir / Reuters
Russophobic rants by some European Union leaders and their willful distortion of events in Syria is a reflection of why the 28-member bloc is careering toward disaster. We are witnessing a crisis of appallingly inept leadership.

German, British and French leaders were among the most hawkish voices at the EU leaders' summit in Brussels this week, denouncing what they claimed were Russian "war crimes" in Syria and calling for additional economic sanctions on both Moscow and Damascus.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Russian-backed Syrian air strikes were "inhumane and cruel," while Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May took the "most shrill prize" with her condemnation of Moscow's "sickening atrocities."

French President Francois Hollande echoed their calls for the EU to slap more sanctions on Russia - in addition to those the bloc has implemented over the Ukraine conflict.


#Podesta15 emails reveal Clinton team conspired with media hack to invent Trump-Putin connection

Brent Budowski, liberal media hack
Newly leaked emails show that Hillary Clinton's campaign team was advised to link Russian President Vladimir Putin with Donald Trump in an apparent bid to distract voters from Clinton's strategy on Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

The exchange of emails between Clinton campaign chair John Podesta and Clinton ally and columnist Brent Budowski was among the batch of around 1,000 emails from Podesta's account released by WikiLeaks on Saturday.

In a December 21, 2015 email, Budowski slates Clinton's position on fighting ISIS before advising Podesta to draw Putin into her attacks on US presidential election rival Trump.

Comment: Brent Budowski, by the way, has made a number of appearances on PressTV and other decidedly 'un-American' outlets, positioning himself as a 'moderate American journalist'.

Maybe it's time to separate the moderate from the extremist journalists in the US?

Will we find that that too is impossible?


Russian diplomat: 'US using UN to shield terrorists in Aleppo'

The initiators of the UN Human Rights Council's special session on Syria are attempting to shield terrorists from airstrikes in Aleppo, Russia's envoy to the UN office in Geneva (UNOG) Alexei Borodavkin said Friday.
© Sputnik/ Michael Alaeddin
The international assessments of the situation in Syria are far from reality, Borodavkin said.
"The Human Rights Council has been considering the Syrian dossier for five years, and the assessments of the situation are moving closer from reality due to efforts of a certain group of countries. Today's session is an example of this. Instead of supporting the Syrian government and the people in the fight against international terrorism, its initiators are trying to take terrorists away from the strike, save them from destruction, allow them to regroup and continue their atrocities," Borodavkin said at the session.
The draft human rights council resolution on Aleppo presented by the United Kingdom essentially aims to justify the actions of jihadists, he said.
"We have to state that both the session and the draft are a part of information war which essentially aims to justify jihadists and their actions," Borodavkin said.

Comment: See also:


USA is about to face the worst crisis in its history

© Unknown
Watching the last Presidential debate was a rather depressing experience. I thought that Trump did pretty well, but that really is not the point here. The point is this: no matter who wins, an acute crisis is inevitable.

Option one: Hillary wins. That's Obama on steroids, only worse. Remember that Obama himself was Dubya, only worse. Of course, Dubya was just Clinton, only worse. Now the circle is closed. Back to Clinton. Except this time around, we have a women who is deeply insecure, who failed at every single thing that she every tried to do, and who now has a 3 decades long record of disasters and failures. Even when she had no authority to start a war, she started one (told Bill to bomb the Serbs). Now she has that authority. And now she had to stand there, in front of millions of people, and hear Trump tell her "Putin outsmarted you at every step of the way" (did you see her frozen face when he said that?). Trump is right, Putin did outsmart her and Obama at every step. The problem is that now, after having a President with an inferiority complex towards Putin (Obama) we will have a President with the very same inferiority complex and a morbid determination to impose a no-fly zone over Russian forces in Syria. Looking at Hillary, with her ugly short hair and ridiculous pants, I thought to myself "this is a woman who is trying hard to prove that she is every bit as tough and any man" - except of course that she ain't. Her record also shows her as being weak, cowardly and with a sense of total impunity. And now, that evil messianic lunatic with a deep-seated inferiority complex is going to become Commander in Chief?! God help us all!


'Hackers' behind massive DDoS attacks on US sites say they were 'testing' for coming cyberwarfare against Russia

© Steve Marcus / Reuters
An attack on a major DNS service provider literally broke the internet Friday, impacting more than 80 popular websites, including PayPal, Reddit and Twitter. Here's how a group of hackers is suspected to have pulled off the takedown.

A myriad of websites were unavailable Friday as three separate distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on a major internet server blocked service to heavily trafficked websites such as Pinterest, Spotify and the New York Times.

The first attack on the New Hampshire-based server occurred Friday morning, but Dyn DNS Company managed to resolve the issue within a few hours. However, a second attack began in the early afternoon followed by a third. It was not until 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time that all had been resolved.

Comment: US investigating massive attack on internet as 3rd DDoS wave stops
The Department of Homeland Security is reportedly investigating who is behind the DDoS attack that took down much of the internet, including Twitter and Spotify, on Friday. The White House called it a "criminal act," according to Reuters.

Here's what we think: we think the US is behind it, 'testing' capabilities as the 'hacker' claimed above. Note what he also said: that it's about going after Russia.

Last week, US VP 'creepy-veep' Joe Biden declared cyberwar on Russia.

IS this a test? Or was it to provide 'just cause' for planned operations to shut down networks in Russia?


Washington looking for a scape-goat

In Berlin, Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine made an effort to disentangle the Ukrainian and Syrian conflicts. However, from the Russian point of view, these blockages only exist because the objective of the United States is not the defense of democracy, on which they pride themselves, but the prevention of the development of Russia and China by cutting the Silk Roads. Disposing of conventional superiority, Moscow therefore did everything possible to link the Middle East with Eastern Europe. It managed to do so by exchanging the extension of the truce in Syria for the end of the blockage of the Minsk agreements. As for Washington, it is still seeking to offload its guilt onto one of its allies. After having failed with Turkey, the CIA is now turning to Saudi Arabia.

The conflict opposing the United States to Russia and China is evolving on two fronts - on one hand, Washington is looking for a possible scape-goat to bear the responsibility for the war against Syria, and on the other, Moscow, which has already connected the situations in Syria and Yemen, is now attempting to link them to the Ukrainian question.


Something to hide? US bars Russian monitors from presidential elections

© Brendan McDermid / Reuters
The US has rejected a Russian proposal to send diplomats to monitor the upcoming presidential elections and some states have even threatened to bring criminal charges against any that appear at ballot stations, Russian election officials report.

Sources in the Central Elections Commission have told Izvestia Daily that its representatives held a series of talks with the US State Department to discuss sending a delegation of monitors to US polling stations on November 8. US officials categorically rejected even the possibility of such a mission, however, instead recommending that Russia join the international mission of the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).

The request was also rejected on a state level, and in three states - Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Texas - officials used "very harsh formulas" to do so, the sources said. "In violation of all principles of democracy and international monitoring, in Texas they even threatened to hold monitors who appear at ballot stations criminally responsible," they added.

Comment: Update: Russian diplomats in US could face criminal charges for monitoring November elections - embassy
Russian diplomats in the United States have been threatened by US officials with criminal prosecution if they attempt to monitor upcoming Presidential and Congress elections at polling stations, the Russian Embassy in Washington said in a statement.

According to the Russian diplomatic mission, it has not submitted any official request to monitor the elections, due to take place November 8.

"We have not submitted any requests to the Department of State regarding the election observation. As a matter of respectfully conducting our diplomatic duties we sent the information on our intentions to the Department of State," the statement by the Embassy reads.

The facility said it has reached out to several local electoral commissions to "get acquainted" with American electoral procedures, but got a negative response. The diplomats were even threatened with legal action, the Embassy said.

"We received mostly negative responses, including threats that our interest and presence at polling stations could be seen as a criminal act."
And all those years spent by US officials monitoring Russian elections?

"Do as we say, not as we do!"

Eye 1

Blustering British boats 'monitor' Russian Baltic fleet as it passes through English Channel (like it always does)

© Dover Marina.com / Facebook
NATO and EU ships were put on full alert along the British coast as a Russian naval fleet passed through the English Channel on its way to the Mediterranean.

The Admiral Kuznetsov, a Soviet-era aircraft carrier that can carry more than 50 planes, crossed international waters in the North Sea with seven other vessels on Friday.

Locals and media gathered in Dover to watch the fleet pass by into the channel.

The vessels are also being very closely watched. The British Ministry of Defence said it had dispatched Royal Navy ships to escort the vessels.

Comment: Update: UK combat jets buzz Russian carrier in English Channel to 'take photos' - media
Two UK Royal Air Force (RAF) combat jets flew over the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetzov in a "show of presence" as it passed the English Channel, the Times reports. The vessel, accompanied by seven more ships, is heading to the Mediterranean.

The planes were supposed to take pictures of Russia's only carrier and the seven ships accompanying it.

"They will be taking high definition photographs so we can analyze what is on the ships," a defense source told the Times, adding that among the points of interest were "how low and high they sit in the water."
Yeah? And? So? What?

The Russian Baltic Fleet is on its way to do something about ISIS.

Remember ISIS?

The problem you created, Blighty?

What the dickens are YOU doing about it?

No Entry

Elections cancelled, Palestinians outraged

© TheJournal.ie
Women voting in the 2012 general election, West Bank
The Palestinian Authority's high court has delayed elections, once set for Oct. 9, because of concerns that it was impossible to ensure free and fair voting in the Gaza. The decision comes as two rival Palestinian parties, Hamas in Gaza and Fatah in the West Bank, continue to struggle for power. The last time Palestinians held an election in both places was 2005, which ended in the election of Hamas and a subsequently worsening feud between the two groups. In 2012, Gaza boycotted another round of elections.

A Fatah spokesman in Gaza said that the cancellation was the fault of Hamas, and that courts there were illegitimate. "All the appeals that were presented against our electoral lists in Gaza were political and meant to deprive Fatah from its right in participation in the elections," said Fawsi Abu Atiea . "We were removed from five municipalities in the Gaza Strip, how the elections would take place." "Reckless" deeds by Hamas were behind the sudden change, he added.

Jamil el-Khaldi, chairman of the Gaza office of the Central Elections Commission, said that Hamas objections were lawful. He said Fatah's electoral lists were wiped out in five municipalities in the Gaza Strip and two municipalities in the West Bank.

Comment: We sometimes forget, when we think of Palestinians and their plight with Israel, that there are everyday societal processes and priorities at work within the various sectors and settlements, specific to different factions and purposes.


Court ruling says not even US president can legalize torture: Abu Ghraib inmates 'allowed' to sue

© DoD / Reuters
A federal court has ruled in favor of four former Abu Ghraib detainees intending to sue a US military contractor for its alleged role in torturing them. The decision also said laws against torture apply to all branches of government, even the executive.

On Friday, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a former ruling that claimed torture to be a "political question" out of the court's hands. It also reinstated a lawsuit against CACI Premier Technology that alleges their employees abused and tortured four men during interrogations at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq in the early years of the Iraq occupation.

The ruling is a major breakthrough for the eight-year long lawsuit for the Abu Ghraib inmates who were told last June that legal action would involve second-guessing military officials in a war zone. Therefore, the judge believed that the claims could not be litigated in the judicial system.

Comment: How much longer will this case keep bouncing around the courts?!