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Wed, 30 Nov 2022
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EU moves to equate sanctions evasion with terrorism

© Comply Advantage/KJN
The EU has taken the first step toward making sanctions violations a bloc-wide crime on the same level as terrorism, human trafficking, and organized crime. On Monday, the European Council unanimously voted to add "violation of restrictive measures" to its list of "EU crimes" that carry universal penalties across all member states.

The move is meant to seal off any loopholes in member states' individual interpretations of the anti-Russian sanctions packages adopted since the start of Moscow's military operation in Ukraine in February. Czech Minister of Justice Pavel Blazek praised the European Council's decision as "an essential tool to ensure any attempts to circumvent [the EU's sanctions against Russia] will be stopped."

To ensure uniform obedience to EU sanctions across all member states, the European Commission must next propose minimum rules defining criminal offenses and penalties relating to the violation of restrictive measures, according to a European Council press release. That directive will then be discussed and subsequently adopted by both the European Council and the European Parliament.


New York Times leads media call for Biden to drop Assange charges

Assange poster
© AP/Alberto Pezzali
Protesters call for the release of Julian Assange in London, Britain, October 8, 2022
Prosecuting the WikiLeaks founder sets a "dangerous precedent," according to a group of prominent Western newspapers

Five major news outlets, including the New York Times, have called on the Biden administration to drop charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Obtaining and publishing "sensitive information," they wrote, "is a core part of the daily work of journalists."

The New York Times, The Guardian, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, and El Pais all published details from diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks in 2010. These documents revealed that the US spied on its allies, undercounted civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, and waged a secret war in Yemen.

Assange has been detained in the UK since 2019, and is currently held in a maximum-security prison awaiting extradition to the US, where he is facing charges of espionage related to the publication of these cables, as well as a trove of documents alleging US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The outlets wrote on Monday:
"This indictment sets a dangerous precedent, and threatens to undermine America's first amendment and the freedom of the press. Obtaining and disclosing sensitive information when necessary in the public interest is a core part of the daily work of journalists. If that work is criminalized, our public discourse and our democracies are made significantly weaker.

"Twelve years after the publication of 'Cablegate', it is time for the US government to end its prosecution of Julian Assange for publishing secrets."

Comment: Not often MSM does a splashy U-turn...why now? Why collectively?

Eye 1

CBDC: How Covid Became the Path to Global Financial Surveillance

© coingeek
Central Bank Digital Currency
"Who controls the food supply controls the people;
who controls the energy can control whole continents;
who controls money can control the world."
— Henry Kissinger

It's seemed evident for a while that the current fiat monetary system is, at best, unstable. At worst, it's a Ponzi scheme whose time has expired. If that's the case, I suspect the central bankers and 0.1% know this and might be prepared to usher in the new system before the old one collapses on itself - even as they loot it on the way down with the most significant wealth transfer in human history.

To anyone who pays attention to these trends, it seems evident that Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) will be that new system.

Every indication is that CBDC's arrival is imminent. Yesterday, several global banks announced a partnership with the NY Federal Reserve to pilot digital dollars. Given the ubiquity of credit/debit cards, payment apps, and other online payment systems, digital money has been bound to happen for some time. The risk isn't the electronic part, that's inevitable - it's the fact that a central bank will oversee the digital currency.


Defiance at the G20: 'World Order Z' and the birth of a Wider Political 'Movement'

© Unknown
Roadblocks refuse passage to US military convoys on the way to and from Kurdish protége allies manned by Syrian and Russian forces.
The western 'Iran containment mechanism' (known as the JCPOA) paradoxically was 'holed on the rocks' of US Senate dysfunctionality and obstruction.

Recall the origin of the G20? The G7 had winnowed down to represent a very narrow slice of the financialised élite economy -- whilst the global 'things' economy had grown to outsize the monetarised western one. Obama wanted to pull in more of these 'other' economies under the US' skirt and into its 'regulatory parameters', and so the G7 became the G20.

At bottom, it was, and is, all about actuating a US-led economic 'coalition of the willing', versus a non-compliant (and sanctioned) rest of the world: i.e. about bringing a large slice of the world to conceding the 'Washington Consensus' tutelage.

But, this spectacularly did not happen at Bali.

Well, not only did the G7 fail to get the wider G20 to condemn Russia over Ukraine, or to insert a wedge between China and Russia, but rather, the Manichean offensive targeting Russia produced something even more significant for the Middle East than the paralysis and lack of tangible results, described by the media.

It produced open defiance of the western order. It spurred pushback.


Pentagon mulls sending Ukraine GLSDB bombs that can reach 150km behind Russian lines

bomb launch
Test firing of ground-launched small diameter bomb
Boeing has offered the Pentagon to organize the supply to Ukraine of high-precision bombs, the so-called small-caliber bombs launched from the ground GLSDB (Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb), Reuters reported, citing sources in the military industry.

According to the agency, the Pentagon received an offer from Boeing, the developer of GLSDB, and is currently considering the possibility of supplying these munitions to Ukraine. The company itself is ready for mass production of this munition, which allows striking at a significant range of 150 km without the use of aviation.


Israel, US holds aerial drill simulating attack on Iran nuclear sites

israeli airforce

israeli airforce file image
The Israeli Air Force has unveiled that this week it will conduct its largest joint aerial drills in years with the US Air Force, which involves a highly provocative mock mission to take out Iranian nuclear sites.

The Jerusalem Post details based on military statements, "The drill will take place from Tuesday until Thursday over the Mediterranean Sea and Israel. It will include long-range flights such as those that Israeli pilots might need to make in order to reach the Islamic Republic."

Aerial refuelers from both sides will also assist, in addition to fighter jets - given the militaries will simulate operations that would theoretically reach all the way across the Middle East into the Islamic Republic.

The US and Israel have meanwhile lately pledged closer military and intelligence cooperation, with Washington vowing to assist the Jewish state with missile defense if it ever came under attack.

Comment: Netanyahu seems like he's neeb preordained, or has a life's mission, to lead Israel into a major war with Iran. And he may have recently gotten closer to such an outcome having just been re-elected to the job of Israel's Prime Minister. See also:

Arrow Up

US paralyzed by Islamic Republic of Iran's strategic swing

American Hegemony
© Press TV
Iran's parliament has just approved the accession of the Islamic Republic to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), previously enshrined at the Samarkand summit last September, marking the culmination of a process that lasted no less than 15 years.

Iran has already applied to become a member of the expanding BRICS+, which before 2025 will be inevitably configured as the alternative Global South G20 that really matters.

Iran is already part of the Quad that really matters - alongside BRICS members Russia, China and India. Iran is deepening its strategic partnership with both China and Russia and increasing bilateral cooperation with India.

Iran is a key Chinese partner in the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It is set to clinch a free trade agreement with the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) and is a key node of the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC), alongside Russia and India.

All of the above configures the lightning-fast emergence of the Islamic Republic of Iran as a West Asia and Eurasia big power, with vast reach across the Global South.

That has left the whole set of imperial "policies" towards Tehran lying in the dust.

So it's no wonder that previously accumulated strands of Iranophobia - fed by the Empire over four decades -- have recently metastasized into yet another color revolution offensive, fully supported and disseminated by Anglo-American media.

The playbook is always the same. Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei actually came up with a concise definition. The problem is not bands of oblivious rioters and/or mercenaries: "the main confrontation", he said, is with "global hegemony."

Ayatollah Khamenei was somewhat echoed by American intellectual and author Noam Chomsky, who has remarked how an array of US sanctions over four decades have severely harmed the Iranian economy and "caused enormous suffering."

SOTT Logo Radio

NewsReal: USA De-industrializing Europe? EU Insiders Issue Stark Warning

biden leyen newsreal deindustrialization
© Sott.net
Excess deaths - the numbers of people who die on a weekly basis above the 5-year-average - are up way higher today than they were in 2020, yet the media is not sounding the alarm. Instead it's being calmly reported that the massive jump in energy prices in Europe this year will translate into the additional, preventable deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.

This week on NewsReal, Joe and Niall discuss the first semi-official warnings from European leaders that they've been duped into destroying European food and energy supplies in order to transplant much of Europe's industrial base to the USA, warning that "the Continent [is] turning into an industrial wasteland."

And it's all being done under everyone's nose under the guise of 'saving the poor Ukrainian people' and 'saving the planet'...

Running Time: 01:56:52

Download: MP3 — 80.3 MB


Over half of Germans oppose boosting military aid for Ukraine - WaPo poll

Aid sent from the city of Hamburg to Ukraine
© Getty Images / Markus Scholz
Aid sent from the city of Hamburg to Ukraine
Respondents believe Berlin should adhere to anti-militarism and has given enough aid to Kiev.

Soaring energy prices driven by sanctions on Russian oil and gas are not even the primary factor behind German reluctance to help Ukraine in the ongoing conflict, according to a recent poll conducted by the Washington Post.

Instead, the outlet found that a general aversion to military intervention - which took hold after the country's defeat in World War II is behind the mood.

While the vast majority - 91% - of German respondents expressed sympathy for Ukraine, more than half (54%) said their country was doing either enough (37%) or too much (17%) in terms of military and humanitarian aid, according to the poll.

The news outlet queried Germans on four specific policies, hoping to gauge public support for "increasing sanctions on Russia and Putin, even if these sanctions might lead to a further increase in food and gas prices," sending more missiles and other military aid, welcoming more refugees "even if it placed additional burdens on the economy," and admitting Ukraine to NATO even if this would require defending the country militarily.

Comment: See also:


Biden admin scrambling to track $20B in Ukraine aid as House Republicans warn of audits

Marjorie Taylor Greene  Kevin McCarthy  ukraine aid cut off
© Getty
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy
Biden's admin reportedly inspected just 10% of weapons going to Ukraine between February and November

President Biden's administration is scrambling to track the nearly $20 billion in military aid it has sent to Ukraine as Republicans warn of impending audits when they take control of the House in January.

Likely future House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has said his party will not be giving Ukraine a "blank check" to fend off Russia's invasion. A potential audit would determine how much, if any, of the U.S. aid is ending up in the wrong hands. The Biden administration's previous tracking efforts have inspected only a fraction of the aid provided to the country.

The Republican push to ramp up oversight enjoys some bipartisan support in Congress. Some staunch Ukraine allies fear the party will cut off aid to the country entirely, however.