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Putin

Merkel reveals West's duplicity

putin and merkel
© Kremlin
Recent comments by former German Chancellor Angela Merkel shed light on the duplicitous game played by Germany, France, Ukraine and the United States in the lead-up to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February.

While the so-called "collective west" (the U.S., NATO, the E.U. and the G7) continue to claim that Russia's invasion of Ukraine was an act of "unprovoked aggression," the reality is far different: Russia had been duped into believing there was a diplomatic solution to the violence that had broken out in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine in the aftermath of the 2014 U.S.-backed Maidan coup in Kiev.

Instead, Ukraine and its Western partners were simply buying time until NATO could build a Ukrainian military capable of capturing the Donbass in its entirety, as well as evicting Russia from Crimea.

In an interview last week with Der Spiegel, Merkel alluded to the 1938 Munich compromise. She compared the choices former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain had to make regarding Nazi Germany with her decision to oppose Ukrainian membership in NATO, when the issue was raised at the 2008 NATO summit in Bucharest.

Magnify

US lawmakers to probe 'secret' Biden-Saudi oil deal

US Representative James Comer
© Getty Images / Drew Angerer
US Representative James Comer
The top-ranking Republican on the US House Oversight and Reform Committee has announced an investigation into whether President Joe Biden forged a secret agreement with Saudi Arabia to help Democrats in November's midterm elections by driving down oil prices.

"If his administration is engaging in backdoor market manipulations with adversarial nations while jeopardizing our national security for the sake of securing more favorable election conditions for Democrats, the American people have a right to know," Representative James Comer said on Sunday in a letter to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Comer, a Kentucky Republican, accused Biden of pursuing higher foreign oil supplies "for political purposes" while enacting policies that cripple US output.


Comment: There's no if about it. That's exactly what the Biden Admin. is doing.


The congressman cited an October New York Times report that detailed Biden's efforts to persuade the Saudis to lead OPEC in accelerating and expanding increases to oil production. Biden announced his controversial visit to Saudi Arabia in June, breaking his campaign promise to shun the desert kingdom, on the same day that OPEC reported accelerated output increases, in compliance with the first part of the US-Saudi agreement.

Hiliter

Elon Musk's 'Twitter files' make it impossible for Democrats to deny their censorship practices

masked men
© Nicholas Kamm/AFP
US President Joe Biden and Hunter Biden
The platform's new CEO has made it possible to openly discuss information suppression efforts.

Elon Musk's release of the 'Twitter files' on Friday night confirmed what Donald Trump and many conservatives had long suspected, but could not prove: that the Biden campaign colluded with social media companies to shut down reporting on the contents of Hunter Biden's laptop, embarrassing his father, the now-president Joe Biden.

Beyond humiliating photographs and videos that detailed Hunter Biden's cocaine binges and dalliances with prostitutes, the laptop contained emails of the younger Biden's 2015 introduction of his then-vice president father, Joe Biden, to a top executive at a Ukrainian energy firm. A year later, Joe allegedly pressured government officials in Ukraine into firing a prosecutor who had launched a probe into the firm, though US Senate investigations ultimately failed to prove his son's employment was the motive.

Comment: See also:


Laptop

Revealed: Feds met 'regularly' with Twitter ahead of Hunter Biden laptop censorship

Yoel Roth
© CNN
Yoel Roth
New information has emerged in the case of Twitter's censorship and suppression of the New York Post's reporting on Hunter Biden's laptop in the lead up to the 2020 US presidential election.

In a disclosure to the FEC, it was revealed that Twitter had weekly meetings with federal law enforcement, and that it was during one of these meetings that Twitter was told to watch out for a Russian disinformation drop.


Bad Guys

Jonathan Turley: Twitter files reveal familiar name in Hunter Biden laptop scandal: James Baker

James Baker twitter hunter laptop Russiagate
© Ron Sachs/CNP for NY Post
James Baker has been featured repeatedly in the Russian investigations launched by the Justice Department.
As thousands of Twitter documents are released on the company's infamous censorship program, much has been confirmed about the use of back channels by Biden and Democratic officials to silence critics on the social media platform. However, one familiar name immediately popped out in the first batch of documents released through journalist Matt Taibbi: James Baker. For many, James Baker is fast becoming the Kevin Bacon of the Russian collusion scandals.

Baker has been featured repeatedly in the Russian investigations launched by the Justice Department, including the hoax involving the Russian Alfa Bank. When Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann wanted to plant the bizarre false claim of a secret communications channel between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, Baker was his go-to, speed-dial contact. (Baker would later testify at Sussmann's trial). Baker's name also appeared prominently in controversies related to the other Russian-related FBI allegations against Trump. He was effectively forced out due to his role and reportedly found himself under criminal investigation. He became a defender of the Russian investigations despite findings of biased and even criminal conduct. He was also a frequent target of Donald Trump on social media, including Twitter. Baker responded with public criticism of Trump for his "false narratives."

Comment: Baker is another slimy swamp-critter who leveraged his government posts to aquire positions where he could carry on in the same fashion with less oversight.


Fire

The TWITTER FILES released: How Twitter collaborated with "the Biden Team" to bury the Hunter Laptop story

musk taibbi twitter files
© Daily Mail
In a greatly anticipated Friday night drop of what has was expected to be a cache of information involving the censoring of Hunter Biden's notebook story days ahead of the 2020 presidential election, moments ago Elon Musk - who worked in collaboration with the notoriously independent gonzo journalist Matt Taibbi of "Vampire Squid" fame - has published the "Twitter Files."

Shortly before their release, Matt Taibbi sent the following email to his substack subscribers:
Dear TK Readers:

Very shortly, I'm going to begin posting a long thread of information on Twitter, at my account, @mtaibbi. This material is likely to get a lot of attention. I will absolutely understand if subscribers are angry that it is not appearing here on Substack first. I'd be angry, too.

The last 96 hours have been among the most chaotic of my life, involving multiple trips back and forth across the country, with a debate in Canada in between. There's a long story I hope to be able to tell soon, but can't, not quite yet anyway. What I can say is that in exchange for the opportunity to cover a unique and explosive story, I had to agree to certain conditions.

Those of you who've been here for years know how seriously I take my obligation to this site's subscribers. On this one occasion, I'm going to have to simply ask you to trust me. As it happens, there may be a few more big surprises coming, and those will be here on Substack. And there will be room here to to discuss this, too, in time. In any case, thanks for your support and your patience, and please hold me to a promise to make all this up to you, and then some.
Moments later Elon confirmed that he did, in fact, work with Taibbi:

Bullseye

No, Putin did not start the war in Ukraine

biden zelensky titanic ukraine aid money
"Ukrainian entry into NATO is the brightest of all redlines for the Russian elite (not just Putin). In more than two and a half years of conversations with key Russian players, from knuckle-draggers in the dark recesses of the Kremlin to Putin's sharpest liberal critics, I have yet to find anyone who views Ukraine in NATO as anything other than a direct challenge to Russian interests."
William Burns, US ambassador to Moscow writing to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, 2008

"There's nothing inevitable about the "multipolar world". Its emergence depends entirely on a war that is just beginning and whose outcome is still unknown."
— From the text
According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center: "About half of Americans... say they are either extremely (24%) or very (26%) concerned about the possibility of U.S. and NATO support for Ukraine leading to a U.S. war with Russia." ("Americans' Concerns About War in Ukraine: Wider Conflict, Possible U.S.-Russia Clash", Pew Research Center)

This is a smaller percentage than one might expect given the risk that an unexpected escalation that could trigger a nuclear war. Even so, this is what the data tell us and the data don't lie.

Newspaper

Germany resists US pressure for blanket Huawei ban

huawei
© AFP via Getty Images/TNS
Germany has come under pressure to take action on China's telecoms gear makers such as Huawei.
Germany does not want to follow the United States in generally banning products made by Chinese telecoms equipment makers such as Huawei, but will continue making such decisions on a case-by-case basis, an economy ministry spokesperson said on Friday.


Comment: As with the Nord Stream sabotage, if necessary, just the right case might be made for Germany so that it's forced to drop Huawei.


Berlin's relationship with Beijing has come under close scrutiny since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which exposed the German economy's reliance on Russia for energy and made officials wary of a similar dependence on China for trade.

Germany has come under particular pressure to take action on China's telecoms gear makers after the US Federal Communications Commission last week banned approvals of new equipment from Huawei and ZTE because they pose "an unacceptable risk" to US national security.

Comment: The US claims to be concerned about European reliance on Russia and China, meanwhile it's creating the conditions whereby Europe will become completely beholden to the US.


Bad Guys

As winter arrives on the battlefield, what will happen next in the Russia- Ukraine (NATO) conflict?

bombing missiles donetsk ukraine
© Sputnik / Ilya Pitalev
Servicemen of the People's Militia of the Donetsk People's Republic are pictured in the village of Novotroitskoe in the Volnovakhsky District that has come under the control of the Donetsk People's Republic.
Moscow has pulled out of a key southern city but launched a major air offensive striking targets deep inside Ukraine

The battle for Kherson that we discussed in our last article ended in Ukraine's favor - but with a small twist: there was no actual battle. For three weeks, Russia evacuated not only residents who wished to leave the city - and the right bank of the Dnieper River - but even monuments that the adversary entering the city might find objectionable.

By November 10, the last of the military personnel had left the right bank of the Dnieper, and after they crossed they blew up the bridges (included the long-suffering Antonovsky Bridge) spanning the river, as well as the overpass across the Kakhovka reservoir dam.

Comment: A short analysis of a previous barrage in October:




Jet4

Ukraine aid and stealth bombers: Pentagon lays out consequences if Congress can't pass a budget deal

ship at sea
© Petty Officer 3rd Class Scott Pittman/US Navy
Navy would be prevented from awarding a new contract for Arleigh Burke-class destroyers
Defense Department officials have compiled a list of dire consequences if the military is forced to operate under a one-year stopgap funding bill for the first time in history — from aid to Ukraine to procurement of the new B-21 stealth bomber.

The warnings, along with a recent letter from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to Congress, reflect increasing alarm in the top ranks of the Pentagon as congressional leaders face the prospect of missing critical deadlines to fund the government through next year.

A yearlong continuing resolution, or CR, would slash funding for DoD by $29 billion, or 3.7 percent, compared to President Joe Biden's request for fiscal 2023, according to conversations with senior DoD officials and internal documents exclusively obtained by POLITICO.

Operating under a short-term spending bill is nothing new to the Pentagon, which has seen CRs 13 out of the last 14 years. Every year, DoD leaders warn that the stopgap measure — which limits funding to the previous year's levels and bars the department from starting most new programs — erodes military readiness and puts key programs at risk. It's a common tactic to pressure lawmakers to come to an agreement before any significant damage is done, and it's typically successful.

But this year is different, officials said: A longer, one-year CR would be a major crisis for DoD.

Comment: They print money, don't they?