Puppet MastersS

Crusader

Switzerland to hold referendum on Russia sanctions, enshrine neutrality in constitution

switzerland vote neutrality russia
© Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty ImagesSupporters during the handover of signatures supporting neutrality, in Bern on April 11.
Activists are seeking to restore the country's historic neutrality

Swiss activists backed by the country's top political party have filed a petition with enough signatures to trigger a referendum that could enshrine Bern's neutrality in the constitution and potentially restore the country's economic ties with Moscow.

The so-called "Neutrality Initiative" signed by over 130,000 residents was officially filed on Thursday, according to Swissinfo. The proposal would define Switzerland's neutrality as "perpetual and armed," and explicitly prohibit the country from joining "any military or defense alliance," unless directly attacked.

The proposed constitutional amendment would also prevent the government from imposing or joining any form of "non-military coercive measures" and sanctions, unless mandated by the UN Security Council. However, Bern would still reserve obligations to prevent circumvention of sanctions imposed by other states.

Comment: Hopeful to see Switzerland potentially turning away from the dangerous path the Eurocrats were leading it down.


No Entry

US funding Ukraine groups censoring critics, smearing pro-peace voices

Ukraine Brigadier-General Oleksii Hromov propaganda censorship opposition
© Vladimir Shtanko/Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesBrigadier-General Oleksii Hromov, Deputy Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine speaks during a press conference of representatives of the Security and Defense Forces of Ukraine at the Military Media Center in Kyiv, Ukraine, on April 13, 2023.
Ukraine's American-backed fight against Russia is taking place not only in the blood-soaked trenches of the Donbas region but also on what military planners call the cognitive battlefield - to win hearts and minds.

A sprawling constellation of media outlets organized with substantial funding and direction from the U.S. government has not just sought to counter Russian propaganda but has supported strong censorship laws and shutdowns of dissident outlets, disseminated disinformation of its own, and sought to silence critics of the war, including many American citizens.

Economist Jeffrey Sachs, commentator Tucker Carlson, journalist Glenn Greenwald, and University of Chicago Professor John Mearsheimer are among the critics on both the left and the right who have been cast as part of a "network of Russian propaganda."

But the figures targeted by the Ukrainian watchdog groups are hardly Kremlin agents. They simply have forcefully criticized dominant narratives around the war.

Attention

History repeats - Germany stands on wrong side of history again

Germany Coat of Arms
© Public Domain
The repeating of history might seem tragic, even farcical. One may wonder how such apparent madness can be repeated. But the explanation is straightforward when it is understood that the motive force is the same.

The charge against Germany at the International Court of Justice this week of aiding genocide in Gaza is truly shameful. Germany was brought to court by Nicaragua for facilitating Israel's genocide in Gaza in breach of the 1948 Genocide Convention.

That convention was created in the aftermath of Nazi Germany's mass murder of six million Jews during World War Two. Only 79 years after the end of that war, the German state is again in the dock for complicity in an ongoing genocide in Gaza committed by a self-declared Jewish state of Israel.

It seems a shocking and deplorable twist in history. Within living memory, Germany stands accused again of abominable crimes against humanity.

What is even more disgraceful, the German authorities are denying that Israel is committing genocide and that Germany is nobly defending Israel's security out of a special obligation owing to its heinous World War Two holocaust.

Germany's supposed rationale for supporting Israel is an astounding perversion of history.

The case against Germany this week is incontestable as was the earlier case brought against Israel by South Africa in January before the same United Nations court at The Hague. A definitive ruling by the court on both cases is pending.

Nevertheless, already world public opinion is in concurrence with numerous international legal and human rights experts that Israel's military siege of the Gaza Strip amounts to genocide and incorporates multiple violations of international law. Ergo, Germany's culpability.

Bomb

Huge Iranian counter-strike on Israel expected within hours - US

iran
© AFP / Iranian Army officeThe Iranian Army launches a missile during a military drill at an undisclosed location in southern Iran, January 19, 2024
Iran could launch a massive strike on Israeli soil within the next 24 to 48 hours, US officials claimed on Friday. Tehran has been threatening a harsh response since Israel killed two senior Iranian generals in an airstrike earlier this month.

As recently as this week, US intelligence agencies figured that Iran would target Israeli interests in the Middle East, an anonymous US official told the Wall Street Journal. Now, the US believes that the attack will take place between Friday and Sunday, "possibly on Israeli soil," the official said.

The attack could see more than 100 drones and dozens of missiles fired at the Jewish state, two anonymous US officials told CBS News, adding that the strike could come as soon as Friday evening.

Comment: A few hours later The Times of Israel reported that Hezbollah launched multiple rockets at northern Israel:
Lebanon's Hezbollah terror group fired a large barrage of rockets at northern Israel on Friday night, as the country braces for an expected retaliatory attack by Iran or its proxies to an alleged Israeli strike in Syria that killed several Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps members.

A statement from the Iran-backed terror group claiming responsibility for the rocket fire on the Galilee Panhandle said Hezbollah operatives launched dozens of Katyushas at Israel Defense Forces artillery positions in northern Israel.

The military said around 40 rockets were launched, some of which were intercepted, while others impacted open areas or fell short in Lebanon.

Hezbollah also fired several projectiles from Lebanon at the Upper Galilee earlier in the day, which, according to the IDF, caused no injuries.



Road Cone

Biden 'very proud' of expanding NATO to Russia's borders

Biden
© YouTube/Univision NoticiasUS President Joe Biden
The US leader believes it would be a "disaster" if the bloc were to break up...

US President Joe Biden has hailed NATO's further expansion toward Russia's borders, while accusing Republican rival Donald Trump of undermining the unity of the American-led military bloc.

Russia has for years voiced concern about NATO's creeping encroachment, viewing its policies as an existential threat. However, in an interview with Spanish-language broadcaster Univision that aired on Tuesday, Biden touted the recent addition of Finland and Sweden to the bloc's ranks amid the Ukraine conflict as a great achievement.
"We've done something that I was very proud of. I've engaged with NATO for my whole career. We were able to expand NATO, and we have 2,000 miles of border because you have two Nordic nations having joined NATO. You have a whole range of NATO countries along the Russian border."
Biden went on to argue that a stalemate in Congress over his $61 billion military aid package for Kiev is "very dangerous" for the bloc's unity, accusing his former US leader Trump of virtually holding the measure - and the entire Republican party - hostage.

Comment: Biden wouldn't recognize a disaster if he looked in the mirror.


Sherlock

Andrey Sushentsov: Americans can't tell us who blew up Nord Stream, but they solved the Moscow terror attack case in 15 minutes

burned building
© Gregory Sysoev/SputnikA view shows the burnt-out Crocus City Hall following a deadly attack on the concert venue outside Moscow, Russia.
Washington appears desperate to prevent Ukraine from being associated, in any way, with the horrific murderous rampage in the Russian capital...

The United States of America is trying to control and manipulate the media and political interpretation of the tragic terrorist attack in Moscow last month. In the Western information space, Washington is forming a narrative to try to distract attention from its proxy, Ukraine.

At certain points, ISIS was a useful tool for the Americans in Syria. There is published evidence suggesting that the US operated in parallel with the terrorist group against the Syrian government. The fact that Washington was ready to offer a coherent version of events from the first minutes after the attack in Moscow is in itself extremely paradoxical.

Consider this. The Americans have spent decades trying to determine the cause of crimes on their own soil, such as the assassinations of leading US political figures. They lack the resources, attention and enthusiasm to determine who was behind the sabotage of pan-European energy infrastructure: the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

However, within 15 minutes, they provided "accurate" information about who organized the terrorist attack in Moscow.

Comment: See also:


Chess

Ukraine fatigue: Kiev and the West are tiring of war and each other

Zelensky
© Adam Gray/Getty ImagesUkraine President Volodymyr Zelensky • United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)
September 19, 2023 • New York City
The idea of some form of compromise solution to Kiev-Moscow conflict is creeping up on foreign hawks and on more and more locals...

What a small band of objective-though-long-disparaged observers in the West have long warned about is now happening: Ukraine and the West are losing their war against Russia. The strategy of using Ukraine to either isolate and slowly suffocate Russia or to defeat and degrade it in a proxy war is coming to its predictable catastrophic end.

This reality is now being acknowledged even by key media and high officials that used to be uncompromising about pursuing the extremely ill-advised aim of military victory over Russia. A Washington Post article has explained that with "no way out of a worsening war," Ukrainian President Zelensky's options "look bad or worse." NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg has discovered the option of ending wars by concessions - Ukraine's concessions, that is. The sturdy old hardliner Edward Luttwak warns of a "catastrophic defeat" - for the West and Ukraine. True, Luttwak is still spreading desperate illusions about a direct NATO deployment to avert the worst. In reality, it would, of course, only make things much, much worse again, as in World War III worse. But his fear, not to say panic, is palpable.

Helm

US may revoke Houthis terrorist designation as Red Sea attacks persist

houthi strike
© NEOHouthis strike in Red Sea
In an underreported new development, Washington said it could revoke its recent designation of the Iran-backed Ansar Allah Shia islamist political and military movement, commonly known as the Houthis, as a "terrorist" group in a kind of quid pro quo if the Houthi-based movement stops its ongoing campaign against shipping in the Red Sea. The US special envoy for Yemen, Tim Lenderking, stated, during a press briefing on April 3 that their hope is to "find diplomatic off-ramps" and to find "ways to deescalate", which would allow Washington to "pull back, eventually, the designation and of course to end the military strikes on Houthis' military capability." Most analysts doubt this will work. Interestingly, Lenderking added the US favors "a diplomatic solution", and admitted that "there is no military solution."

Comment: Sorry US, the Houthis will not be dismissed.


Attention

New conscription wave could cause 'panic' in Ukraine - WaPo

Ukrainian BMP tank
© Ignacio Marin / Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesFILE PHOTO: A Ukrainian BMP tank.
Ukrainian leaders are unlikely to publicly acknowledge the scale of a new mobilization campaign, fearing it would send shockwaves across the country and demoralize the population, the Washington Post reported on Thursday.

The Ukrainian parliament passed a long-awaited mobilization bill this week, which is awaiting signature by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky. It significantly simplifies procedures for the draft and forces all men aged 18 to 60 - including those residing abroad - to register with the military authorities.

In a last-minute move, the bill was stripped of a clause envisaging the demobilization of men who had served for three years, meaning that many troops would have to remain in the army until the conflict is over. Aleksandr Syrsky, the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian army, reportedly lobbied for the change.

Kiev officials have signaled that they need around 500,000 troops to reinforce the frontline, although they later said that this number had been reduced.

Comment: Stoking a panic is likely an understatement. Were the real numbers of anything regarding this conflict to make it to the soldiers and population of Ukraine, Zelensky would be overthrown overnight.


USA

Pro-Trump Republicans kill spy bill

Donald Trump
© AFP / Spencer PlattDonald Trump attends a campaign event in Grand Rapids, Michigan, April 2, 2024
A group of conservative lawmakers have defeated an effort by House Speaker Mike Johnson to hold a vote on funding the FISA surveillance act. While the act once enjoyed bipartisan support, the GOP's pro-Trump faction have soured on it since it was used to wiretap the former president's campaign.

Drafted in 2008, Section 702 of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) grants US intelligence agencies the power to monitor messages from abroad made through American networks like Google. The provision, which must be reauthorized every year by Congress, also allows these agencies to 'indirectly' collect data from millions of American citizens.

Once collected, this intelligence is stored for five years, during which it can be searched - for example by name, phone number, or email address - by the agencies without a warrant.

Ahead of an April 19 deadline to renew Section 702, 19 conservative Republicans opposed a procedural vote on Wednesday that would have brought the measure - along with three other unrelated bills - to a full floor vote later this week. With 193 votes in favor and 228 against, the floor vote has effectively been postponed unless Johnson can win back the support of the 19 defectors.