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Fri, 03 Feb 2023
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Germany finally admits it's 'open' to the idea the West could be responsible for Nord Stream sabotage, 'with aim to blame Russia'

gasleak
© Danish Defence/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Gas leak at Nord Stream 2 seen from a Danish F-16 interceptor. Investigators reportedly have not ruled out the possibility that a Western nation was responsible for the blasts.
German officials are "open to theories" that the sabotage of the Nord Stream undersea pipelines was carried out by a Western nation "with the aim of blaming it on Russia," The Times reported.

In an article published on Wednesday, the British newspaper described the mystery of who was behind the attacks as "one of the biggest questions of the 21st century."


Comment: It's only a mystery to those same people who can't tell us 'what a woman is'.


The two pipelines, each of which has two strings, were damaged by explosions in late September. Germany, the recipient of Russian natural gas, for which the undersea energy routes were built, as well as Sweden and Denmark, in whose territorial waters the damage was done, are each running a separate investigation.

Bullseye

Geopolitical battles, Ukraine, and US exceptionalism: Highlights from Lavrov's big interview

Lavrov
© Sputnik/Grigory Sysoev
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks during an interview with Dmitry Kiselev, director general of the Rossiya Segodnya International Media Group, in Moscow, Russia.
Moscow is locked in a geopolitical struggle against Washington and the crisis in Ukraine is at the forefront, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said. The diplomat added that Western nations are not keen for hostilities to end.

Lavrov made the remarks during a wide-ranging interview with Russian state media on Thursday, in which he also accused the US of stripping the EU of any semblance of independence.

Here are some of the key comments from Lavrov's TV appearance.

Light Saber

Russia issues warning to Israel over Iron Dome for Ukraine

Israeli soldier guards Iron Dome system
© AP Photo/ Ariel Schalit
Israeli soldier guards an Iron Dome system
PM Netanyahu told CNN he was "looking into" sending the Iron Dome to Kiev, prompting a reaction from Moscow

Anyone so much as speculating about sending weapons to Ukraine is escalating the conflict, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in response to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In an interview to CNN on Tuesday, Netanyahu said he did not rule out the possibility of sending Iron Dome missile defense systems to Kiev - something his predecessor rejected outright.

"All countries that supply weapons [to Ukraine] should understand that we will consider these [weapons] to be legitimate targets for Russian armed forces," Zakharova told reporters in Moscow.

"Any attempts - implemented or even unrealized but announced, for the supply of additional, new or some other weapons - have led and will lead to an escalation of this crisis. And everyone should be aware of this," she added.

Comment: When you get down to the bottom of it, it's still U.S. tax dollars: Acquiring an Iron Dome system may not be worth the effort: Israel's Iron Dome is an iron sieve


Light Sabers

Key NATO member state Türkiye accuses allies of 'psychological warfare'

Suleyman Soylu turkey  Türkiye interior minister
© Guven Yilmaz/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Türkiye's Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu.
Türkiye's interior minister claims the US, the UK and several other nations are behind it

Several of Türkiye's NATO allies are engaged in hostile activities against Ankara, the country's Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu has claimed. His comment came shortly after the US issued a warning to its citizens in the country about the possibility of "imminent" terrorist attacks.

Speaking on Thursday, Soylu said: "On the day when we announced our target to attract 60 million tourists annually, they started psychological warfare against Türkiye."

The UK, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and several other nations also announced their decisions to temporarily shut down their respective consulates in Istanbul, citing a terrorist threat.

Comment:



Türkiye has long been the craw in NATO's throat as it pursues a precarious balancing act between Russia and the West, as it always prioritizing its own interests.The West finds it infuriating that Erdogan will not immediately bow to every demand, but picks and chooses its compliance according to what he perceives as being to his country's best advantage.

On the other hand, Türkiye gets on (mostly) well with Russia, because Putin respects Erdogan's motivations.


Clipboard

Amendments to WHO's international health regulations: An annotated guide

WHO logo
© Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images
The WHO
The Covid-skeptic world has been claiming the World Health Organization (WHO) plans to become some sort of global autocratic government, removing national sovereignty and replacing it with a totalitarian health state. The near-complete absence of interest by mainstream media would suggest, to the rational observer, that this is yet another 'conspiracy theory' from a disaffected fringe.

The imposition of authoritarian rules on a global scale would normally attract attention. The WHO is fairly transparent in its machinations. It should therefore be straightforward to determine whether this is all misplaced hysteria, or an attempt to implement an existential change in sovereign rights and international relations. We would just need to read the document. Firstly, it is useful to put the amendments in context.

The changing role of WHO

Who's WHO?

Comment: Global health dictate over all countries in one person's hands is lunacy. That this is even proposed (and in such detail) flashes RED ALERT on all levels.


MIB

No surprise: Suspicions of state security set-up in Germany's far-right 'coup'

protester old german imperial flag
© EPA-EFE/Clemens Bilan
A German protestor wrapped in the flag of the Imperial German Navy of the German Empire, which existed between 1871 and 1919.
A massive police raid foiled extremist plans to topple Germany's government. But the timing of the plot and its absurdity raised questions about a state security role in instigating it - something seen many times in Germany's past.

On the morning of December 7th, 2022, Germany's security services conducted the largest police raid in their history, as 3,000 officers stormed 130 properties spanning almost the entire country, as well as Austria and Italy.

When the police sweep was over, 25 individuals had been arrested for plotting to overthrow the German government. They stood accused of plotting to storm parliament, arrest lawmakers, and declare the restoration of the country's monarchy by force, led by aristocrat Heinrich XIII Reuss.

However, a closer examination of the police action and its timing raises serious questions about the legitimacy of the alleged coup, and whether the German security state played a role in instigating it. If so, it would fit within the historical pattern of the government's infiltration of extremist movements since the post-war period. In 2003, a German court was forced to abandon a case against a notorious neo-Nazi group when it determined the organization was at least partially, if not wholly, controlled by state assets.

Comment:


Megaphone

Serbia will not join NATO, Kosovo trying to provoke Belgrade into a confrontation with NATO - President Vucic

President Aleksandar Vucic

President Aleksandar Vucic
Serbia will maintain its militarily neutral status and will not seek to join the US-led NATO alliance, President Aleksandar Vucic said on Thursday. He made the remarks during a special parliamentary session debating negotiations regarding Serbia's breakaway region of Kosovo and the Western-designed reconciliation plan.

"This morning, I heard nonsense from fake patriots saying that we are leading Serbia towards the Atlantic integration. We don't. We will continue to maintain our military neutrality and, unlike those who destroyed our military, we are building our army," Vucic said.

However, the president acknowledged that Serbia is "surrounded by NATO member countries," which makes staying non-aligned very difficult. Belgrade will continue to seek EU membership, which is "vital" for the country, Vucic added.

Comment: A brawl erupted in Serbia's parliament following Vucic's special session:

Top War provides more details of what was outlined during the session:
Vucic: Pristina wants to provoke a conflict between Serbia and NATO and present itself as a "Balkan Zelensky"

The President briefed the deputies on the content of the report on the negotiation process with Pristina in the period from September 1, 2022 to January 15, 2023.

Vučić reminded the parliamentarians of the pressure Serbs have experienced in Kosovo and Metohija since the beginning of the war in Ukraine.

"From the moment the military conflict in Ukraine began on February 24, 2022, a general political offensive began between Pristina and part of the Western allies against Serbia" said the Serbian leader.

Vučić stressed that Pristina intentionally does not want to form a Community of Serbian Municipalities in Kosovo and Metohija, although this was stipulated by the agreement back in 2013. According to him, this is done only in order to provoke a military conflict between Serbia and NATO and the whole world, and then to present oneself as a victim - some kind of "Balkan Zelensky", as the politician put it.

"Their only intention, since they are not going to form a Community of Serbian municipalities in Kosovo and Metohija, is to provoke a military conflict in order to push Serbia into a confrontation with NATO" Vucic said.

"Their whole game is this, and that is why the arrests of Serbs began." summed up the Serbian president.

During his speech before the parliament, A. Vučić presented the political concept of Serbia's development for the coming period. The plan consists of 10 points, including: maintaining peace at any cost, defending the rights of its citizens in Kosmet, strict observance of national interests, continuing the "European path" of development, military neutrality, and so on.

Almost throughout his speech in parliament, Vučić was attacked by the opposition, whose representatives from time to time taunted the president.

In turn, almost at the end of his speech, the politician decided to answer his counterparts.

"Today I attended, unfortunately, a circus performance instead of a serious meeting, because everyone wanted to be photographed with some stupid poster. They were holding banners with the image of Oliver Ivanovich (approx. Serbian Kosovo politician, killed by unknown people in northern Kosovo in 2018) and with the inscription: "You will answer." I sent my son to Oliver Ivanovich's prison to deliver a message and greet him, and, unlike all of you who speculate on his name, helped him and his family.
Vucic said.



Bad Guys

Jimmy Dore: Your enemy is not China or Russia, your enemy is the Military-industrial complex

jimmy dore
© Twitter
On February 1, 2023 Anti-war activist and podcast host Jimmy Dore told FNC's Tucker Carlson on Tuesday that the U.S. general predicting war with China is trying to incite a conflict:
JIMMY DORE: What I think it means is the United States is trying to provoke and sabre-rattle with a nuclear power. Is is what we were supposed to be afraid would happen with Donald Trump. "He's a crazy man with a finger on the nuclear button." Now we have demented Joe sabre-rattling with two nuclear powers, and they get the corporate media sponsored by the military industrial complex to get Americans to cheer it on.

Why do Americans cheer this on? Because they have no idea what is happening with their foreign policy. What is worse, they have no idea that they have no idea that they don't have any idea what is happening with the foreign policy.

Bad Guys

Qatargate: Two MEPs lose immunity in corruption case

Marc Tarabella
© OLIVIER HOSLET/EPA-EFE/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK
Belgian lawmaker Marc Tarabella said he had voted to waive his immunity as he wished to clear his name
Two MEPs have had their legal immunity lifted by European lawmakers, following a request by Belgian authorities investigating a corruption scandal that has rocked the European Parliament.

Italian Andrea Cozzolino and Belgian Marc Tarabella deny wrongdoing.

The Qatargate affair unfolded when a Greek lawmaker and three other suspects were arrested on suspicion of corruption and money-laundering.

One of the suspects then agreed to "tell all" as part of a plea deal.

Pier Antonio Panzeri is alleged to have led a network that took bribes from Qatar and Morocco in return for influencing the European Parliament. Some €1.5m (£1.3m) was recovered in cash in a series of raids in Brussels and Italy.

Comment: See also:

The European Parliament's 'Qatar scandal' is just the tip of a corruption iceberg
Reports: EU corruption scandal politician partly confesses
EU vice-president arrested by Belgian police in 'Qatar lobbying scandal'


Bad Guys

US makes diplomatic move targeting China

Solomon Islands
© AP / Mark Schiefelbein
Solomon Islands
The US embassy in the Solomon Islands reopened on Thursday, decades after being shut down as redundant, amid concerns in Washington about the South Pacific archipelago's overtures to Beijing.

The mission in Honiara will consist of a charge d'affaires, a "couple" of State Department employees and a "handful" of locals, according to Associated Press, which described the reopening as part of an effort to "counter China's push into the Pacific."

In a pre-recorded statement, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that through its new embassy, Washington will be "better positioned" to advance democracy and "tackle shared challenges."

Located about 1,800 kilometers northeast of Australia, the Solomons last hosted a US diplomatic mission in 1993, when the State Department decided to downsize due to the end of the Cold War. The US had played a key role in liberating the archipelago from Japanese occupation during the Second World War, in the bloody Guadalcanal campaign.