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Sat, 04 Feb 2023
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The twisted logic behind the terror: Ukraine continuously shells civilian areas in Donetsk City

bombardement donetsk
Rockets have hit peaceful neighborhoods once again. Why does Kiev continue its policy, if not purely out of hate?

At least ten rockets hit central areas of Donetsk on Saturday morning, damaging three residential buildings, a local Russian official has reported in his Telegram channel.

One of the projectiles fired by Ukrainian forces hit an apartment building in the Kievsky district. While rescuers continue to search for survivors under the rubble, preliminary information suggests that there were three people in one of the apartments.

There was no information on casualties at the time of writing, but the absence of victims would be unusual; indeed, Ukrainian shelling of the capital of the Donetsk People's Republic intensified weeks before the Russian attack in February 2022, and has taken a heavy toll ever since.


Pentagon will allow Ukraine to fire long-range missiles at will

Madman Brigadier-General Patrick Ryder
© The Pentagon
Madman Brigadier-General Patrick Ryder just green-lit Ukraine to start WWIII
It is up to the government in Kiev to decide how to use new rockets being delivered for the US-supplied HIMARS launchers, the Pentagon said on Friday. The statement is a confirmation that the latest batch of munitions the American taxpayers are funding will include Ground Launched Small Diameter Bombs (GLSDB).

The Boeing-manufactured munitions consist of a rocket motor mated with an airplane bomb, with an estimated range of up to 150 kilometers. While Friday's announcement listed "additional ammunition" for the HIMARS and "precision-guided rockets," Brigadier-General Patrick Ryder told reporters that this indeed included the GLSDB, confirming the information leaked to Reuters earlier this week.

Ryder also confirmed that the US won't stand in the way of Ukrainians using the missiles to strike deep inside Russia.

Stock Down

Hyperinflationary hell: Lebanese central bank has devalued 'lira' by 90%

Cash is now king in Lebanon, where a three-year economic meltdown has led the country's once-lauded financial sector to atrophy and turned the country into a Venezuelan-esque hyperinflationary hell. The country has been hit hard by events over the past few years, starting with COVID.

In August 2020, the city of Beiruit was practically destroyed by a massive blast which killed at least 200 people and triggered as much as $15 billion in damage...
beirut explosion aftermath
© Mohamed Azakir/Reuters
Aftermath of the August 4, 2020 explosion in Beirut's harbor
In March 2021, violent protests erupted across Lebanon as the currency collapse accelerated and with it the economy and people's living standards.

And most recently, In December 2022, the Lebanese parliament failed for the eighth consecutive time to elect a new president, as a majority of lawmakers opposed the options laid on the table.

Comment: Is Lebanon the canary in the Western coal mine? Surely the amount of dollars sloshing around the world will dwarf Lebanon's problems should they all come flooding back into the U.S. What will happen when the majority of nations stop using the 'world's reserve currency'.


Biden says "More than half the women in my administration are women"

joe biden
Biden spoke about sexual assaults on women with Bill Clinton standing awkwardly behind him.

During an appearance at the White House with former president Bill Clinton, the current incumbent bragged that more than half of the women in his administration are... women.

It was another gaffe filled shit show from the now 80 year old Biden who first welcomed Clinton to "the United States Congress" despite being in the White House:


Sweden tightens 'anti-terror laws' as Finland makes public show of support over NATO application

La primera ministra de Finlandia, Sanna Marin

Finland's Prime Minister Sanna Marin
The Swedish government says it will further tighten its anti-terror laws to ban more activities linked to militant Kurdish groups, in the hopes of persuading Ankara to drop objections to Sweden's NATO membership bid.

Stockholm had aleady amended its constitution in November to pave the way for the legal changes, which have been in the pipeline for several years.

Comment: And so this is unlikely a reaction to the Koran burning and an attempt to appease Turkey, this is more likely akin to the draconian laws being rolled out across Europe that will instead be used to target ordinary folk in uproar over the collapse in living standards: UK gov't to tighten anti-protest restrictions, despite criticism from human rights groups

"It's a broader criminalisation, targeting a large number of activities within a terrorist organisation that are not concretely connected to a particular terrorist crime," explained Justice Minister Gunnar Strömmer at a press conference.

According to the new bill, acts such as handling equipment, organising rallies or meetings, managing transport for organisations designated as terrorists - or even cooking for them - would be criminalised. The government plans to put the bill to a vote in parliament in March, to be implemented from June.

Comment: Suitably vague and broad to, ultimately, provide them with the ability to target any and all dissenters deemed to be terrorists; bearing in mind how readily politicians use that term to these days.

Comment: Turkey dismisses NATO membership bids with Sweden, Finland, as "meaningless"


Budget cuts have left UK's military's stores bare: General says Britain would run out of ammo in a day if it fought Russia

General Sir Richard Barrons Britain
© Estonian Defence Forces
General Sir Richard Barrons, former Joint Forces chief, said years of cuts have left military's stores bare
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said military spending may have to rise for two decades

Britain's ammo stocks would run out in a day if it fought Russia - as a top former General said years of cuts have left military's stores bare.

The warning from General Sir Richard Barrons comes a day after Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the UK's forces have been 'hollowed out', adding that military spending may have to rise for two decades, owing to global threats.

According to The Sun, Britain is buying ammo from South Asia to support Ukraine.

Dr Jack Watling, at military think tank Rusi, said Ukraine had been firing around 6,000 shells a day, but we rely on imported explosives for tank and artillery shells. Our ammo plants, run by defence contractor BAE, would take a year to make a day's shells for Ukraine, sources said.

Comment: More bad (good?) news from the Daily Mail:
The British Army reportedly has no heavy guns left anywhere in the country after handing them all over to Ukraine to assist in the efforts against the Russian invasion.

Defence chiefs have pledged all 30 working AS90s to Kyiv and are now urgently seeking K9 Thunders and Archer guns to replenish their stocks.

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson told MailOnline: 'The granting in kind of AS90 will provide an important increase in Ukraine's capabilities and will help to accelerate Ukrainian success on the battlefield.


In a letter obtained by the Daily Mail last week, General Sir Patrick Sanders spelled out the realities for Britain of donating so much of its military equipment.

The UK is sending 14 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks, along with recovery vehicles, vast quantities of spare parts, hundreds of armoured vehicles, the AS90 artillery heavy guns, high-velocity rockets and drones.

The latest package of aid, alongside contributions from Nato allies, is intended to break the deadlock on the battlefields of Ukraine.

After months of stalemate, Ukraine and Russia are planning spring offensives - the success or failure of which could determine the outcome of the war.


On Covid-19 and beyond, Western democracies are deploying military-grade propaganda to fight dissent

© Milan_Jovic / Getty Images
Thanks to a whistleblower, we now know that critics of Covid-19-related lockdowns and vaccine mandates — including prominent journalists and politicians — were monitored by the UK army's information warfare brigade.

One of the military units reportedly deployed in the activity was the 77th Brigade, created in 2015 and described by the media at the time as comprised of "warriors who don't just carry weapons, but who are also skilled in using social media such as Twitter and Facebook, and the dark arts of "psyops" - psychological operations."

These big guns — backed by artificial intelligence surveillance tools — were trained on experts and authoritative voices who deviated from the conventional Covid-related narratives promoted by the state, with the collected data used to craft government propaganda. As we now know, any dissent during this period was often dismissed as disinformation, quashing legitimate scientific debate along with conspiracy theories and harmful misconceptions. Pre-Covid, it had emerged that an executive in charge of European editorial at Twitter was also serving as a part-time officer of the 77th Brigade. And apparently Twitter didn't have a problem with that.

Che Guevara

Review: Neo-compradors: the leftist foot soldiers of Imperialism

james petras book cover Neo-compradors: the leftist foot soldiers of Imperialism

Neo-compradors: the leftist foot soldiers of Imperialism
A review of James Petras' book NGOs: in the service of imperialism

NGOs: In the service of Imperialism by James Petras scientifically unpacks imperialism in contemporary communities of the global south. Prompted by the premise that capitalism, and by extension imperialism, is constantly evolving in an effort to perpetuate itself. James Petras takes neo-compradors as the unit of analysis for his study of imperialism.

The purpose of studies like this is a profound frustration with contemporary leftist discourse which has distorted Scientific Socialism, under the pretext of modernizing an outdated theory, into an ideology of political activism institutionalized by NGOs and sponsored by Western funds while employing revolutionary idioms.

Comment: Petras has presented and interesting lens with which to view the various 'people's revolutions' around the world.

Light Sabers

Hungarian FM slams US ambassador over 'interference'

Peter Szijjarto
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto issued a scathing rebuke of the US ambassador to Budapest on Thursday, asserting that he has no business meddling in the nation's internal affairs.

The minister's comments came after Ambassador David Pressman, who has represented Washington in Budapest since September 2022, told Politico earlier this week that Hungarian policymakers "continue to push policies endorsed by [Russian President Vladimir] Putin." He was referring to Budapest's opposition to anti-Russia sanctions and support of Moscow's proposals for a ceasefire.

When asked to respond to the statement at a press conference, Szijjarto said, "Nobody can tell us from the outside how to live, so it is of no interest what a citizen of another country - be it an ambassador - thinks about the domestic political processes in Hungary.

"We ask for more respect for the Hungarians, even from the ambassador," he added.



The battle for lithium: China plants its shovel in the US' back yard

lithium mine
© John Moore/Getty Images
A lithium mine supervisor inspects an evaporation pond of lithium-rich brine in the Atacama Desert on August 24, 2022 in Salar de Atacama, Chile
Lithium is the essential mineral for renewable energy resources, and is gearing up to become to the 21st century what coal was to the previous two centuries.

The mineral is the key material in producing lithium-ion batteries, which power everything from mobile phones to electric cars. More importantly, it is deemed to be a "pillar for the fossil-fuel free economy" by the United Nations, seen as the primary way to store energy in the clean power grids of the future. As such, lithium has become one of the most sought-after commodities with its price surging by over 500% in the past two years.

Geopolitical currents are driving a scramble for the precious mineral by world powers. There's a fight over who controls supply chains, started by the US, which has rejected globalization and is seeking to reassert its influence over critical global goods by forcibly re-shoring them and undermining competitors (a key aspect of its approach towards Russia and China).

With its dominant position over renewable energy goods and technologies, China has become the focus of the Biden administration's efforts to regain a lead in the industry. Washington's more competitive posture has seen the two countries at odds over who can locate and exploit lithium deposits around the planet. Whoever controls the supply chain will dominate the industry.