Welcome to Sott.net
Thu, 28 Sep 2023
The World for People who Think

Puppet Masters
Map


Bad Guys

So much for European solidarity...Poland's bickering with Kiev regime threatens to unravel NATO's proxy war facade

Flagmap
© SCF
NATO in shreds
Like dropping a hot Polish potato, when political interests change and self-preservation at the voting polls becomes a priority, we see the rationale for "defending" Ukraine being dumped.

A sordid spat burst open this week revealing the absolute lack of principles among the NATO alliance supposedly defending Ukraine against purported Russian aggression. The chief antagonists in the latest row are Poland and the Kiev regime but the angry sparks are liable to explode the whole shaky facade of NATO and European Union support for the Ukrainian regime.

Poland this week said it would halt the supply of weapons to Ukraine. Warsaw declared that its priority was to modernize its armed forces. This is an astounding U-turn by the Polish authorities who up to now have been one of the most gung-ho supporters of the Kiev regime against alleged "Russian aggression".

The subsequent panic is palpable. Germany has accused Poland of "playing politics" in its solidarity towards Ukraine, while Lithuania and the other Baltic states are clamouring for drastic mediation.

Comment: The farmers of the world are the heroes. Liars and cheats never are.


Stock Down

War of economic corridors: The India-Mideast-Europe play

Neti et al

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu • Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
India PM Narenda Modi
The India-Middle East-Europe transportation corridor may be the talk of the town, but it will likely go the way of the last three Asia-to-Europe connectivity projects touted by the west - to the dustbin. Here's why:

The India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) is a massive public diplomacy op launched at the recent G20 summit in New Delhi, complete with a memorandum of understanding signed on 9 September. Players include the US, India, UAE, Saudi Arabia, and the EU, with a special role for the latter's top three powers Germany, France, and Italy. It's a multimodal railway project, coupled with trans-shipments and with ancillary digital and electricity roads extending to Jordan and Israel.

If this walks and talks like the collective west's very late response to China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), launched 10 years ago and celebrating a Belt and Road Forum in Beijing next month, that's because it is. And yes, it is, above all, yet another American project to bypass China, to be claimed for crude electoral purposes as a meager foreign policy "success."

No one among the Global Majority remembers that the Americans came up with their own Silk Road plan way back in 2010. The concept came from the State Department's Kurt Campbell and was sold by then-Secretary Hillary Clinton as her idea. History is implacable, it came down to nought.

And no one among the Global Majority remembers the New Silk Road plan peddled by Poland, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Georgia in the early 2010s, complete with four troublesome trans-shipments in the Black Sea and the Caspian. History is implacable, this too came down to nought.

In fact, very few among the Global Majority remember the $40 trillion US-sponsored Build Back Better World (BBBW, or B3W) global plan rolled out with great fanfare just two summers ago, focusing on "climate, health and health security, digital technology, and gender equity and equality." A year later, at a G7 meeting, B3W had already shrunk to a $600 billion infrastructure-and-investment project. Of course, nothing was built. History really is implacable, it came down to nought.

The same fate awaits IMEC, for a number of very specific reasons.

Attention

Ukraine's top spy issues warning on US-made tanks

Tankinair
© Daniel Mihailescu/AFP
Manoevering an Abrams tank
US-supplied Abrams tanks should only be deployed by Kiev in specific breakthrough operations, or they will be quickly destroyed by Russian forces, Kirill Budanov, head of the Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) of the Ukrainian military, has said.

Ukraine is "looking forward" to receiving the 31 Abrams M1 main battle tanks that Washington promised to provide in January, according to Budanov in an interview with the War Zone website on Friday.

During their meeting at the White House on Thursday, US President Joe Biden told his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky that the first Abrams M1s will be arriving in Ukraine "next week."

However, the spy chief warned:
"If the American armor is deployed on the front line and just in a combined arms fight, they will not live very long on the battlefield with Russia. In order to make the best use of the tanks, Kiev should only engage them in very specific, well-crafted breakthrough operations."
Budanov explained:
"The wide use of artillery and mines by both Russian and Ukrainian forces has reduced the possibility of using armored equipment in practically all of the main directions to the minimum. If we just deploy some battalion tank group into the battlefield somewhere, just as soon as it gets under the range of artillery it will get hit. Currently, all main instances of fighting are done on foot without using any materiel."

Comment: The progress of destruction:
Russian forces have destroyed another two German-made Leopard tanks, according to a report issued by Russia's Defense Ministry on Friday.

It stated that Russia's "Western" military group had opened fire on Ukrainian forces near the settlements of Artemovka in Russia's Lugansk People's Republic, as well as Sinkovka, Berestovoe and Ivanovka in Ukraine's Kharkov Region.

The ministry claimed that Kiev's forces had lost a total of 20 servicemen, two Leopard tanks, and three other vehicles in the attacks.

RT has obtained footage purporting to show the destruction of the German tanks. According to the commander of the brigade that destroyed the tanks and supplied the video, the vehicles were discovered at night and destroyed at 8am using Lancet UAVs.

The Defense Ministry also reported that Russia's Southern Group of forces repelled four Ukrainian attacks near the settlements of Vodyanoye and Maryinka in the Donetsk People's Republic. The ministry's latest report suggested that up to 200 Ukrainian servicemen had been killed and wounded in those attacks, and that two infantry fighting vehicles and three cars were also destroyed.

Meanwhile, Ukraine has reportedly rejected some Leopard tank deliveries from its Western partners. According to German news outlet Der Spiegel, Kiev refused to accept a batch of 10 Leopard 1A5 main battle tanks from Berlin, arguing that they were in need of extensive repair and maintenance work requiring special parts and technical expertise that Kiev simply doesn't have.

It follows confirmation from Denmark that it was using tanks from museum exhibits to train Ukrainian crews how to operate them.

In February, Berlin vowed to deliver more than 100 Leopard tanks to Kiev in a joint effort with the Netherlands and Denmark. However, according to a Die Welt report in early August, only 10% of the pledged tanks had so far been delivered.

After Kiev rejected the delivery, the German side reportedly dispatched a team of specialists to Poland, where the tanks were supposed to enter Ukraine.

After examination, the specialists allegedly concluded that the Leopards were "already quite worn out after the training of the Ukrainian soldiers in Germany and needed repairs."



Target

Censorship is death of science and leads to death of people

paperhead
© unknown
On May 15, 1970, the New York Times published an article by esteemed Russia scholar Albert Parry detailing how Soviet dissident intellectuals were covertly passing forbidden ideas around to each other on handcrafted, typewritten documents called samizdat. Here is the beginning of that seminal story:
Censorship existed even before literature, say the Russians. And, we may add, censorship being older, literature has to be craftier. Hence, the new and remarkably viable underground press in the Soviet Union called samizdat.

Samizdat - translates as: "We publish ourselves" - that is, not the state, but we, the people.

Unlike the underground of Czarist times, today's samizdat has no printing presses (with rare exceptions): The K.G.B., the secret police, is too efficient. It is the typewriter, each page produced with four to eight carbon copies, that does the job. By the thousands and tens of thousands of frail, smudged onionskin sheets, samizdat spreads across the land a mass of protests and petitions, secret court minutes, Alexander Solzhenitsyn's banned novels, George Orwell's Animal Farm and 1984, Nicholas Berdyayev's philosophical essays, all sorts of sharp political discourses and angry poetry.
Though it is hard to hear, the sad fact is that we are living in a time and in a society where there is once again a need for scientists to pass around their ideas secretly to one another so as to avoid censorship, smearing, and defamation by government authorities in the name of science.

I say this from first-hand experience. During the pandemic, the U.S. government violated my free speech rights and those of my scientist colleagues for questioning the federal government's COVID policies.

Comment: 'The upside-down world' has become our faux reality.


Dollar

Busted! Adam Schiff funneled millions to defense contractors after taking donations

Schiffty
© Zach Gibson/Getty Images
Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA)
While Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) campaigns for a Senate seat on a platform of earmarks for local causes, the 12-term Congressman has been busted steering millions in taxpayer dollars to for-profit defense contractors, many of whom have been political donors to his campaigns.

According to an investigation by Politico, Schiff "has offered an incomplete and potentially misleading account of his record on earmarks."
A POLITICO review of congressional earmarks and political contributions found that in addition to the money for homelessness and drug treatment, Schiff also steered millions to for-profit companies and raised tens of thousands for his House reelection campaigns from corporate executives and people connected to them. The review was mostly limited to publicly available data from the brief three-year window when corporate earmarks were disclosed.
In two particularly egregious cases, Schiff channeled millions in funding to Smiths Detection and Phasebridge, Inc., two defense companies within his district - with $6 million steered to Smiths Detection and $3 million to Phasebridge. Both moves would have been barred under reforms adopted in 2010. This financial maneuvering coincided with Schiff receiving $8,500 in contributions from PMA Group PAC and two family members of Paul Magliocchetti, founder and owner of the lobbying firm retained by both defense companies.

Comment: See also:


X

BRICS an 'ideal alliance' to ditch the dollar - Venezuelan FM

Pinto
© Kadir Kemal Behar/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Yvan Eduardo Gil Pinto
The pro-multipolarity group will soon include most of the world's major oil producers and consumers, FM Yvan Gil Pinto has said...

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Yvan Gil Pinto foresees that BRICS expansion will unite major energy producers and consumers, offering a pathway toward reducing the dependence on the US dollar in global trade.

In a recent interview with RIA Novosti, the senior diplomat highlighted the inclusion of Saudi Arabia and Iran in this group of emerging economic powers. Additionally, Venezuela aspires to join BRICS in the future. This expansion would encompass over 80% of the world's crude reserves and production, as emphasized by Minister Pinto during the interview, which was published on Monday.
"With China and India included, BRICS will also be the biggest energy consumer. In other words, it will become an ideal alliance, ideal complementary."
Starting next year, Saudi Arabia and Iran will officially become full members of BRICS, following the approval of their candidacies, along with four others, during last month's leaders' summit in South Africa. The group aims to shift the global landscape away from institutions predominantly controlled by Western powers, which member states argue are subject to misuse by the United States and its allies.

Vader

Moscow: US pushing Ukraine towards 'self-destruction'

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu
© Vadim Savitsky; Press Service of the RF Ministry of Defense; RIA Novosti
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu
Kiev has lost more than 17,000 servicemen this month alone, according to the Russian Defense Ministry

Facing pressure from its Western backers to demonstrate tangible battleground results, Kiev continues to throw untrained soldiers into the meat grinder, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said at a meeting of ministry officials on Tuesday.

"Despite the absence of any significant results of the so-called counteroffensive, Ukraine's Western handlers are not backing down from their inhuman principle of 'arms as a path to peace,'" Shoigu said at a regular briefing of senior military officials.

Kiev does not disclose statistics about its military losses, but according to Moscow's estimates, the number of Ukrainian servicemen killed since the counteroffensive began has now surpassed 83,000, with at least 17,000 killed in September alone.

Comment: Regardless of who ends up in control of what amount of territory, the "nation" known as Ukraine is gone. Between death and refugee outflows starting right from the 2014 Euromaiden (and likely never to return), it is finished. No meaningful level of population, no country.


Attention

War: oligarchy's great silencer

Imperial wars are primarily directed at the empire's domestic populations. Foreign enemies are only interesting if there's booty to plunder.

James Madison wrote that, "If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will come in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy." Today this statement no longer seems like a remote risk for the "free world." Indeed, we are witnessing an escalation of attacks against the foundational values which, not so long ago, we were taking for granted: freedom to travel, free speech, the right to bear arms, etc. Of course, the popular resistance to these infringements is also escalating.

James Madison
© Alex Krainer's TrendCompass
A class war is afoot and it's getting worse

The American people, one of the last nations that still defends their right to bear arms, are clearly responding to the attacks on their Second Amendment with more gun purchases; the defense of free speech has spilled into the social media like a tsunami; and the authorities' attempts to restrict the freedom of movement have also run into a revolt of volunteer vigilantes in the UK who are simply taking down the surveillance infrastructure. Essentially, this is the clash between the people and the ruling oligarchy. If this clash continues to escalate, it could lead to revolutionary disruptions in which the oligarchy risks losing the hold on levers of political control.

Throughout history, such circumstances tended to precipitate wars. The "enemies at the gate" emergency has been effective at inducing fear in the population, redirecting people's grievances towards an external enemy and drawing the able-bodied, fighting age men - precisely the group that constitutes the greatest danger to the oligarchy - into the military units where they can be sacrificed in large numbers, while the loyal ones can be rewarded, promoted and recruited into Praetorian guard units tasked with defending the established order.

Red Pill

France lost Africa. Macron just can't accept it

macron
© Ludovic MARIN / AFP
In a wide-ranging interview last weekend that aired as much of France was conveniently glued to the Paris Saint Germain vs. Olympique Marseille football match, President Emmanuel Macron was asked about his recent bad breakup. He was only too happy to spill all his feelings about the relationship, like he was talking with Oprah Winfrey rather than TV news anchors.

He said that France was ending its military cooperation with Niger and repatriating France's ambassador to Niamey and around 1,500 troops. It's about time, since he was already dumped a month ago and Niger has been threatening to get France's tent off its lawn.

France's military presence in some of its former African colonies, including Niger, was to combat terrorism, he said, adding that without France's presence, "most of these countries would have already fallen prey to territorial caliphates and jihadists."

Indeed, thank goodness for France, whose anti-terrorist mission was such a resounding success that the UN's own peace operations advised the Security Council in May 2023 that "insecurity in the tri-border area of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger continues to grow." 'Rampant jihadists are spreading chaos and misery in the Sahel', a headline in The Economist read in April, while the Wilson Center reported that same month that "The Sahel Now Accounts for 43% of Global Terrorism Deaths." All of that was going on right under France's nose.

Eye 1

EU state used Israeli spyware on Russian journalists - editors

Galina Timchenko
© AP / Alexander Zemlianichenko
Galina Timchenko
An unnamed EU state used Israeli malware to hack the mobile phone of Galina Timchenko, a Russian media editor based in Latvia, Timchenko told The Guardian on Monday. Authorities in Riga have denied any role in the incident.

Timchenko, who founded the Meduza news site, in 2014, told The Guardian that she received a message from Apple earlier this year informing her that her phone had been hacked prior to a meeting of Russian media workers in Berlin. According to the newspaper, at least four other Russian journalists - three of whom used Latvian SIM cards in their phones - were similarly targeted.

Timchenko said that she initially suspected that the Kremlin was behind the hack, but an investigation by the University of Toronto and Access Now found that the likely culprit was an EU state agency using Pegasus, a spyware program developed by Israel's NSO Group.

Comment: A Dutch MEP responded to this news, calling the hacking "totalitarian," while saying that governments across Europe were utilizing Pegasus to monitor the communications of reporters "with no oversight or remedy." More from her:
"People have often said this whole spyware story compares to the European version of Watergate. It's not. It's more like 'The Lives of Others'," she said, referring to a German film depicting the pervasive surveillance of the East German Stasi.

"I'm not saying Europe is already descending into totalitarianism, but these are totalitarian methods," she continued. "If it is true that the Latvian government or other European states did this, then there is no way to find out. There is no remedy, and no oversight."

"[EU] governments are using it for political purposes, just like undemocratic ones do. In some very exceptional cases the use of spyware might be legitimate...the point is that we have no way of knowing if the use is proportionate and legitimate," in 't Veld concluded.