Puppet MastersS


Chess

Democrat paymasters discussing 'elegant' Biden withdrawal - NYT

biden
© Andrew Harnik / Getty Images
Major donors to the US Democratic Party are discussing ways how President Joe Biden could drop out of the 2024 race without hurting the party's chances of beating Donald Trump in November, the New York Times reported on Monday. Democrats and their supporters have been increasingly doubting Biden's electability after his disastrous performance during the televised debate with Trump last month.

Multiple reports said that Democrats and some of Biden's own aides were "shocked" by the 81-year-old's behavior on stage and have big concerns over his mental and physical fitness to serve as president for a second term.

"Some donors have discussed 'elegant' ways for Biden to step aside to preserve his reputation," while others "believe that dropping out sooner is better," the NYT's DealBook newsletter said.

Comment: It should be clear to anyone paying attention that the average American has zero say in who becomes president. It is the oligarch class that gets to decide, and they have apparently decided it should be someone other than Joe Biden.


USA

US wants regime change in Georgia - Russian intel

Georgia protests
© Unknown
Washington is preparing major protests in the former Soviet republic, Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service believes

The US is looking to achieve regime change in Georgia by fomenting large protests around the time of the parliamentary election in the former Soviet republic later this year, Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) has claimed.

Relations between Washington and Tbilisi deteriorated after Georgia passed in May the so-called foreign agents law, which required NGOs, media outlets, and individuals that receive more than 20% of their funding from abroad to register as entities "promoting the interests of a foreign power" and disclose their donors. The country's pro-Western president, Salome Zourabichvili, vetoed the legislation but was overridden by the ruling Georgian Dream party.

The SVR's press service said in a statement on Tuesday that information obtained by the agency "indicates Washington's strong determination to seek regime change in Georgia as a result of parliamentary election in the country on October 26."

The administration of US President Joe Biden has "already prepared a large-scale information campaign to discredit the Georgian Dream party," it stressed.

"The American 'curators' have already given the command to the opposition forces in Georgia to begin planning protests in the country to coincide with the election," the agency said.

Comment:
"The country's pro-Western president, Salome Zourabichvili" is according to the Wiki born to Georgians who emigrated to France following the period of the Russian revolution. Born in 1954 she lived the first 50 years in France. There is also:
She joined Columbia University in 1972-1973 where Zbigniew Brzezinski, at the time director of the Trilateral Commission, trained her on Soviet politics and Cold War diplomacy.[11]

She has said that choosing a career in diplomacy was linked with hopes to one day being instrumental in helping Georgia.[4]
From her first marriage to Iranian-American World Bank economist Nicolas Gorjestani, Zourabichvili has two children: Kéthévane (France 24 journalist[12]) and Théïmouraz (a French diplomat[13]).
In 1992, Zourabichvili was appointed First Secretary to the Permanent Mission of France to NATO in Brussels, before becoming Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the Western European Union, still in Brussels, from 1993 to 1996.[20]

In 1996 and 1997, she held the post of Technical Adviser at the Cabinet of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paris. In 1997-1998, she was Inspector at the MFA, still in Paris, before she was appointed Under-Director of Strategic Affairs at the Management of Strategic Affairs, Security and Disarmament of the MFA, a post she leaves in 2001 to become director of International and Strategic Affairs at the General Secretariat of National Defense. She also works with the Bureau of Strategic Affairs of NATO.[19]

Ambassador to Georgia[edit]

Between 2003 and 2004, Zourabichvili was Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of France to Georgia.[20]
What is the word... Trojan horse! Exactly what the US, NATO and EU bureaucracy needs.

From the same source:
f9 Jul, 2024 09:29
EU suspends accession process for ex-Soviet republic
The Georgian 'foreign agent' law is "incompatible" with membership of the bloc, its ambassador in Tbilisi has said

The European Union has suspended the process of Georgia's accession to the bloc, the EU's ambassador to the former Soviet republic, Pavel Gerchinsky, told Russian media on Tuesday. A €30 million ($32.5 million) payment allocated to the Georgian Defense Ministry has also reportedly been frozen.

The envoy cited Tbilisi's controversial 'foreign agent' law as the reason behind the move. After the legislation was adopted last month, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell warned Georgia that its potential accession to the bloc was in jeopardy.

Formally titled the Transparency of Foreign Influence Act, the new law requires NGOs, media outlets, and individuals who receive more than 20% of their funding from abroad to register as entities "promoting the interests of a foreign power" and to disclose their donors. Those who fail to comply will face fines of up to $9,500. The bill came into force despite opposition protests and a veto by Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili.

"The intentions of the current Georgian government are unclear to EU leaders. The Transparency of Foreign Influence Act is clearly a step backwards. [...] Also, the anti-Western, anti-European rhetoric is completely incompatible with the declared goal of joining the European Union. Unfortunately, as of now Georgia's accession to the European Union has been suspended," Gerchinsky said, as quoted by RIA Novosti.

While opponents of the law have described it as at attack on democracy and "Russian" because Moscow has similar legislation, its supporters have noted it is similar to what numerous Western nations, including the US, have in place.

Borrell said last month that Georgia will not progress with its EU accession unless its government changes its policies.

Georgia will hold parliamentary elections in October, and Gerchinsky expressed hope that a new government in Tbilisi, "whatever it may be," will again "begin serious work" toward EU integration.

The former Soviet republic applied for EU membership in March 2022, shortly after the start of the Ukraine conflict. In May of last year, the European Council agreed to allocate €30 million to boost Georgia's defense sector. The European Council granted Tbilisi candidate status last December.
An EU allocation to Georgia's defense sector is what one might expect from a military alliance. The lines between NATO and the EU have in recent years becoming increasingly blurred.

4 Jun, 2024 23:20
EU applicant wants to ban 'LGBTQ movement'
Georgia has introduced a set of bills against propaganda and gender reassignment

The speaker of the Georgian parliament, Shalva Papuashvili, has announced a sweeping initiative aimed at protecting traditional family values, in a move branded by critics as another Russia-inspired crackdown.

The set of proposals includes a ban on gay marriage and the adoption of minors by homosexual couples. In addition, the ruling Georgian Dream party seeks to ban LGBTQ and incest propaganda aimed at minors, and to prohibit broadcasters and advertisers from airing intimate same-sex scenes. Reassignment surgery and changing gender in official documents would also be banned under the proposals.

"Today, the parliamentary majority is initiating a package of bills on Family Values and Protection of Minors, which consists of one main bill... and 18 related bills that amend various laws, civil code, labor code, education legislation and so on," Papuashvili said at a government briefing on Tuesday.

According to Papuashvili, the proposed bill may be passed in its first reading as early as this month.

Western media have already branded the proposals a "Russian-style crackdown," pointing at how Moscow has increasingly tightened its legislation on "LGBT propaganda" since the early 2010s, first banning its dissemination among minors and ultimately expanding the prohibition to adults in 2022. Last November, the Russian Supreme Court designated the "international LGBT public movement" as an extremist group.

On Monday, Papuashvili signed into law a controversial bill on foreign agent transparency, after lawmakers voted last week to override a veto by President Salome Zourabichvili. It requires NGOs and media organizations that receive at least 20% of their funding from abroad to disclose this fact to the public.

Opponents of the new law, including the president, have branded it "Russian" and an attack on democracy. Supporters have countered that it is similar to what some Western countries, including the US, have in place.

The actions taken by Tbilisi against so-called 'foreign agents' will "fundamentally alter the US relationship with Georgia," US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said during a briefing on Monday. Washington has launched a review of its ties with the South Caucasus nation, which is an EU and NATO hopeful, he added.

In 2018, Georgia amended the constitution to explicitly define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The ruling party now wants to introduce further changes, which would require support from the opposition to achieve a three-quarters majority vote in the parliament.

Georgia applied to join the EU in 2022 and was granted candidate status a year later. The bloc's members have repeatedly criticized the treatment of the LGBTQ community in the country, where pride events are regularly met with threats and counter-protests.
See also:


Attention

NATO will use Kiev hospital tragedy to escalate conflict - Moscow

FILE PHOTO: Russian Ambassador to the US Antatoly Antonov.
© FILE PHOTO: Russian Ambassador to the US Antatoly Antonov.Sputnik / Mikhail Turgiyev
The US-led bloc will use the incident to justify continued arming of Ukraine, the Russian ambassador has claimed

A deadly missile incident at a prominent children's hospital in Kiev will be used by Western nations to justify sending more weapons to Ukraine, Russian Ambassador to the US Antatoly Antonov has claimed.

The Okhmatdet (short for "protection of motherhood and childhood") medical facility in the Ukrainian capital was seriously damaged by a powerful missile explosion that landed near it amid a Russian long-range barrage on multiple targets in Ukraine. Kiev and Moscow have accused each other of firing the projectile that damaged the facility.

Comment:
a video filmed from a distance by a witness, was probably an AIM120 fired by a NASAM missile system or an interceptor fired by the MIM-104 Patriot missile system. Western donors have provided those US-developed weapons to Ukraine.
A screenshot of the post on X under the link MIM-104:
Kh-101 or MIM-104
© X.com
From the same source:
9 Jul, 2024 10:42
Kremlin responds to Kiev hospital attack allegations
Russian forces do not target civilian infrastructure in Ukraine, spokesman Dmitry Peskov has stressed

Destroyed building of the Okhmatdet children's hospital in Kiev
© Getty Images / Sergei Chuzavkov; SOPA Images; LightRocketDestroyed building of the Okhmatdet children's hospital in Kiev
Moscow has vehemently denied responsibility for the tragedy at the Okhmatdet children's hospital in Kiev, after a missile hit the facility on Monday. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has insisted that the incident was caused by a Ukrainian air defense missile.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Peskov stressed that Russia "does not strike civilian targets" and that all strikes carried out by the Russian military are exclusively aimed at "critical infrastructure facilities and military targets that are somehow related to the regime's military potential."

Regarding Ukraine's accusations that Moscow intentionally hit the hospital in Kiev, Peskov pointed to the official statement by the Russian Defense Ministry, which "absolutely rules out that there were strikes on any civilian targets. It states that we are talking about the fall of an anti-missile."

The Russian Defense Ministry reported on Monday that it had conducted a large-scale attack using long-range high-precision weapons to strike Ukrainian military industry facilities and aviation bases. The attack was said to be in response to Kiev's continued attempts to cause damage to Russian energy and economic facilities.

The ministry stated that all the intended targets were hit and rejected Kiev's claims of Russian missiles striking civilian facilities as "absolutely untrue."

"Numerous published photos and video footage from Kiev clearly confirm the fact of destruction due to the fall of a Ukrainian air defense missile launched from an anti-aircraft missile system within the city," the ministry said.

It also accused Kiev of attempting similar "hysterics" in the past, especially before large international summits, such as the NATO gathering in Washington that kicked off on Tuesday. The Russian Defense Ministry suggested that the incident at Okhmatdet is being used by the Ukrainian authorities to ensure continued funding and the continuation of the conflict.

[...]
The event may serve to shoot down the attempt of the Hungarian PM, Victor Orban, to open a dialogue about the possibility of bringing the parties to the negotiation table, though we have to wait for the outcome of the current NATO Summit in Washington to learn if that interpretation is too pessimistic.


Beaker

Ukraine violated Chemical Weapons Convention - Russian MOD

Igor Kirillov
© Vladimir FedorenkoThe commander Russia’s Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Protection Forces, Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov
A facility has been found near the Donbass town of Avdeevka that was used to produce the highly toxic hydrogen cyanide, Moscow has said

Russia has found evidence that Ukraine has violated the Chemical Weapons Convention, a top military commander stated on Monday.

Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov, who leads Russia's chemical and biological defense forces, said engineering troops had discovered a laboratory that was apparently used to produce hydrogen cyanide - an extremely dangerous and highly toxic agent used as a chemical weapon during World War I.

The facility is located near Avdeevka, a fortified Donbass town liberated by Russia in February, the general claimed. The improvised laboratory itself was found inside a partially destroyed building in an industrial area, which also had a chemical processing plant. The facility had a rotary evaporator and several chemical reactors. Protective clothes, including US-made gas masks and Polish hazmat suits, were allegedly found at the site.

According to Kirillov, samples taken from the facility and analyzed in Russian military laboratories contained traces of sulfuric acid and sodium cyanide, which can be used to produce hydrogen cyanide. Traces of cyanide anions - poisonous chemical compounds of the cyano group - were on multiple equipment, the general claimed.

Comment: It isn't just Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov who is saying this. Much has been discovered in recent years about the US's massive bioweapons program. See also:


Tank

NATO state could shoot down Russian missiles - Zelensky

Vladimir Zelensky and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk sign an agreement during a meeting in Warsaw, Poland on July 8, 2024.
© Sergei GAPON / AFPVladimir Zelensky and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk sign an agreement during a meeting in Warsaw, Poland on July 8, 2024.
Warsaw says the details of the new security pact with Kiev need to be cleared with the US-led military bloc

A newly signed pact between Warsaw and Kiev contains provisions that would allow Poland to shoot down Russian missiles and drones in Ukrainian airspace, Vladimir Zelensky has said.

Zelensky spoke in Warsaw on Monday, after signing the security deal with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk. The government in Kiev has been making bilateral pacts with NATO member states over the past several months, in lieu of formally joining the US-led bloc.

Comment: The timing for the agreement came just a day before the NATO Summit in Washington that takes place 9-11 July. It is likely the content of the agreement will be discussed, as well as what red lines are next to be crossed.

Other possible topics are what NATO can give Ukraine. According to the same source, NATO won't give Zelensky what he wants - AFP (referring to NATO membership), there are hopes for a few more weapons:
When it comes to specific NATO commitments, Zelensky is reportedly poised to receive a promise of new air-defense system deliveries, with other measures to assist Ukraine to be put on "a firmer footing."

According to one diplomat, a promise of new air defenses, in the absence of other substantive commitments, could allow Zelensky to declare the summit a victory for Kiev. "What would you want more? Nice words in a declaration that don't mean much or military support?" the source added.
"A firmer footing" could related to Zelensky claiming he has several brigades that are underequipped.

Also a subject for discussion could be: Ukraine asks West for submarines.
The head of the Ukrainian navy added that the country does not need large submarines, as "they are useless in the Black Sea."

"Locating only near Odessa means having nothing, we should look further, spread the fleet throughout the Black Sea and use its entire area," he said, expressing hope that Ukraine would turn "from a coastal state into a maritime power."
This is how some of these people are thinking! But behind the begging for more weapons, there is another reality, which is corruption. The positive interpretation of the corruption in Ukraine is that the money that have gone elsewhere has saved a few lives in the conflict, alternatively the negative interpretation is that if there was not the temptation of gaining easy money, but a genuine concern among the elite for the welfare of the Ukrainian people the conflict would have been ended long ago.

Here is a review of the Ukrainian corruption achievements:

A focus on the corruption in Ukraine, overlooks the corruption among the Western sponsors of the conflict. This might be more elusive, but can we believe it does not exist?


Yoda

Why did Viktor Orban apparently defy the EU to visit Moscow?

orban putin hungary russia meeting
© SputnikRussian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban during a meeting at the Kremlin
Hungarian PM clearly decided it was worth offending many of his allies in order to focus minds on possibility of peace

The sudden appearance of Viktor Orban in Moscow this week shows how firmly everyone is entrenched in their positions. Something that is, in principle, normal and natural becomes a sensation, even a scandal. A personal visit by a third party to actors engaged in conflict, to explore all possibilities for resolution, is a practice that guarantees nothing, means nothing special, and is totally normal. However, the moralizing fervor of the liberal international order sees such a tried-and-tested approach as unacceptable. It is not an about solving the problem, it's about punishing the guilty.

The end result with this week's shuttle diplomacy became much ado about nothing, as the outcome of the Hungarian prime minister's trips showed.

Comment: Orban expands on his goals in this interview with Welt. Even thought the interviewer tries to bait Orban with some of the big lies about the Ukraine conflict, Orban skillfully bats them away. A statesman of the old school:




Robot

Ain't goin' nowhere: 'Firmly committed' Biden pens letter to congressional Dems who want him to drop re-election bid

biden step down stay in race
© ReutersPresident Joe Biden insisted to congressional Democrats Monday that he is “firmly committed” to staying in the 2024 presidential race.
President Biden insisted to congressional Democrats Monday that he is "firmly committed" to staying in the 2024 presidential race — while making no direct mention of his disastrous debate performance or concerns about his age and cognitive health.

The letter, which instead largely focused on bashing former President Donald Trump, came after four more senior House Democrats called for the 81-year-old commander-in-chief to end his re-election bid following a private call with Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) on Sunday.

"Now that you have returned from the July 4th recess, I want you to know that despite all the speculation in the press and elsewhere, I am firmly committed to staying in this race, to running this race to the end, and to beating Donald Trump," Biden wrote in his letter, which was addressed to "fellow Democrats."

Comment: Even money Jill 'Lady Macbeth' had a hand in that letter. Probably Hunter too. No Presidential Pop, no immunity.






Network

Xi Jinping meets Orban

Victor Orban and Xi Jinping
© X / PM_ViktorOrban
The Chinese leader has welcomed the Hungarian prime minister to Beijing

Chinese President Xi Jinping has held a meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who is in Beijing on what he has dubbed a "peacekeeping mission," Xinhua reported on Monday morning.

"China is a key power in creating the conditions for peace in the Russia-Ukraine war. This is why I came to meet with President Xi in Beijing, just two months after his official visit to Budapest," Orban wrote in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

Comment:
From the same source:
7 Jul, 2024 22:47
Orban makes surprise visit to China
The Hungarian PM has landed in Beijing following his visits to Kiev and Moscow last week

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has arrived in China as part of his "peace mission" tour, following meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow and Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky in Kiev.

The Hungarian premier confirmed he is in China with a photo of Deputy Foreign Minister Hua Chunying greeting him at the airport and a brief post on X (formerly Twitter) on Monday morning, saying: "Peace mission 3.0 Beijing."

News of a possible visit to Beijing was first reported by the Hungarian news portal 444, which wrote on Sunday that Orban was "scheduled to arrive in the Asian country at dawn on Monday."

Last week, Orban traveled to Kiev, where he met with Zelensky in an effort to persuade him to consider ceasefire talks with Moscow. The Hungarian PM then embarked on a surprise visit to Moscow, which, according to his office, was part of Orban's "peacekeeping mission."

Orban and Putin engaged in several hours of discussions aimed at finding the "shortest way out" of the conflict in Ukraine. The Hungarian leader, however, admitted that Moscow and Kiev remain "very far apart," noting that Zelensky "didn't like" his proposals much.

Orban's surprise trip to Russia drew criticism in Kiev and among fellow EU leaders, but the Hungarian PM stressed that "establishing contact" is crucial to resolving the conflict, and argued that he does not require an EU mandate to promote peace. Hungary, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency, is one of the few bloc members, alongside Slovakia, that maintains neutrality and refuses to send weapons to Ukraine.

The visit to Beijing comes after Hungary canceled "at short notice" a meeting between Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto and his German counterpart, Annalena Baerbock.
See also:
NATO threatening global peace and stability - China
Editorial from Hungary's Orbán: The point of NATO is peace, not endless war
Orban's surprise visit to Moscow sparks fury in Brussels: Key takeaways from Hungarian PM's 'peace mission'
Orban visits Moscow: I don't need a mandate to promote peace
Orban urges Russia-Ukraine ceasefire during surprise visit to Kiev, as Hungary assumes EU-presidency

Victor Orban flies directly from China to the NATO Summit in Washington that is held 9 - 11 July. Here there is likely to be a lot of consternation from some members, perhaps also serious questions and attempts to blackmail him, but a few will likely admire his courage and initiative, like the PM of Slovakia: Leader of EU state expresses 'admiration' for Orban's Moscow visit


Bad Guys

Flashback Chuck Schumer's brother Robert works for firm behind Bragg's Trump lawfare

chuck schumer democrat senate corrupt
© Senate Democrats/Flickr/Cropped/ CC By 2.0Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
Following Donald Trump's conviction in Manhattan last week, Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer proclaimed, "The undeniable fact is Donald Trump went through the same legal process that all Americans go through, he was tried according to the facts and the law, and he was found guilty by a jury of his peers."

Nothing could be further from the truth, and Schumer knows it because his brother's law firm, branded the "Biden-Era N.Y. Power Center" by Bloomberg, spurred the indictment of the former president.

Sen. Schumer's brother, Robert Schumer, is a partner in that law firm, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton, and Garrison. As I detailed Monday, Paul, Weiss granted three highly paid attorneys leaves of absence to join the Manhattan district attorney's office in its targeting of Donald Trump. And Alvin Bragg's prosecution of the former president came about only after the intentional leaking of a resignation letter from Mark Pomerantz, one of the Paul, Weiss attorneys on loan to the DA.

Comment: The future fallout for these shady-dealing "lawyers" may be very uncomfortable. This piece was published a month ago. Joe Biden's subsequent debate meltdown and Trump's surge in the polls (one hopes to the point where any attempt to cheat is overwhelmed) may make them sitting ducks in the next Trump administration.


Arrow Up

Iran announces presidential election winner

Masoud
© Vahid Salemi/APMasoud Pezeshkian at a campaign rally in Tehran, Iran, July 3, 2024
Heart surgeon-turned-politician Masoud Pezeshkian will succeed the late Ebrahim Raisi.

Reformist candidate Masoud Pezeshkian has won Iran's presidential election, securing 53.3% of the vote and defeating his conservative rival Saeed Jalili, the national election authority announced on Saturday.

With all ballots counted, Pezeshkian secured 16.4 million votes, while Jalili received 13.5 million votes, Press TV reports. Turnout was 30.5 million, or 49.8% of the 61 million eligible voters, according to a final update at 6:45 am local time (3:15 GMT).

The snap election was called after the death of President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash in Iran's East Azerbaijan Province on May 19. According to Iranian law, a candidate needs to garner at least 50% plus one vote; thus, after no candidate achieved this in the first round on June 28, the election headed into a runoff between the top two candidates.

Pezeshkian, 69, is a heart surgeon-turned-politician who served as health minister in the 2000s and as first deputy speaker of parliament from 2016 to 2020. Jalili, 58, was Tehran's negotiator during nuclear talks with world powers.