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Thu, 07 Dec 2023
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Israel planning global assassination campaign - WSJ

© Getty Images
The Assassin
Israeli spies are preparing to assassinate Hamas leaders living in Lebanon, Türkiye, and Qatar once the war with the militant group is over in Gaza, officials have told the Wall Street Journal. The operation was reportedly planned more than a month ago, but postponed so that hostage negotiations could take place.

The Israeli intelligence services began drawing up plans for the assassination campaign after Hamas' October 7 attack on the Jewish state, the American newspaper reported on Thursday, citing anonymous officials. Some reportedly wanted to embark on the campaign immediately, but were ordered to wait so that negotiations to free the roughly 240 hostages held by Hamas could progress.

The killings have been authorized by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the officials said, adding that it is now a matter of when, not if, the campaign will begin.

While such operations are usually planned in secret, the Israeli government has explicitly warned that it intends to kill Hamas operatives outside Gaza. Before the officials leaked the story to the Wall Street Journal, Netanyahu declared last month that he had "instructed the Mossad to act against the heads of Hamas wherever they are."

Comment: 'The Chosen' have chosen. Now we know for what.

No Entry

War-torn Yemen shuts Red Sea chokepoint on Israel and shames the impotent Arab/Muslim leaders

© public domain
Yemen may be slated as the poorest country in the Arab region, but it is emerging as posing the most potent threat to Israel.

In the past week, the Yemenis have detained three Israeli cargo ships as they transit through the Red Sea.

There is poetic justice in this. Yemen doesn't have much oil reserves. It has been devastated by more than eight years of war and famine, and yet it is showing a strength that puts so-called rich Arab and Muslim nations to shame over their venality and lack of integrity.

While Gulf Arab states like Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates corner vast oil wealth and Muslim leaders like Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan talk tough, it is war-torn, impoverished Yemen that is taking any meaningful stand against Israeli war crimes in Gaza.

Strategically located at the southern end of the Red Sea - a vital international shipping route - Yemen effectively has a veto on which vessels can pass through its territorial waters.

The Yemeni armed forces and the country's Houthi rebel movement have declared solidarity with Palestinians facing a genocidal onslaught by Israel since October 7. They warn that all Israeli vessels will be blocked from passing into or out of the Red Sea.

The Yemenis are making good on their threat. The latest Israeli ship to be interdicted is reported to be an oil tanker.

Comment: Interesting times: We see who stands up, who deflects, who lies and who hides.


Appeals court rules Trump doesn't have immunity from civil suits over Jan. 6 riots

© Patrick Semansky/Shay Horse/NurPhoto/Getty Images/KJN
Former US President Donald Trump
Former President Trump is not immune from civil lawsuits blaming him for the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, an appeals court ruled Friday.

The appellate court was asked to decide whether Trump's false claims of election fraud and rallying cry for supporters to gather at the Capitol and "fight like hell" was outside his presidential responsibilities, meaning he could be held liable for it under U.S. Supreme Court precedent.

A three-judge panel affirmed unanimously that Trump's post-election efforts to subvert the 2020 election results were done in his capacity as a presidential candidate — not a president.

"When a first-term President opts to seek a second term, his campaign to win re-election is not an official presidential act," Chief Judge Sri Srinivasan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia wrote in an opinion.

The appeals panel noted that Trump himself recognized his campaign to win re-election was in his personal capacity, citing a motion Trump filed "in his personal capacity as candidate for reelection to the office of President" with the Supreme Court when challenging election administration in several battleground states. Presidents can carry out their official duties without exposure to civil liabilities, but when they are not acting in that capacity, the protection doesn't carry over, the panel ruled.


Ukraine another historic U.S. war failure a la Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and more

Uncle Sam and Ukraine
© Public Domain
The U.S.-led NATO alliance held its first NATO-Ukraine Council meeting this week in Brussels. As usual, the cliched promises of supporting the Kiev regime to the end were trotted out by all and sundry.

In truth, these NATO events for Ukraine, and more generally, are becoming yawn fests.

The whole sordid charade is only postponing the reality that the proxy war in Ukraine against Russia is a debacle for the Western powers. This is not something to gloat over. It is a tragedy and an abomination.

Up to 400,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed, as well as tens of thousands of Russian military personnel. Total casualty figures are no doubt in the millions. In addition, millions of civilians have been displaced as refugees in Russia and throughout Europe. Hundreds of billions of dollars and euros have been raided from Western taxpayers to fund this bloody fiasco. Not only that but international tensions have been heightened between nuclear powers at a perilous pitch not seen since the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 at the depth of the Cold War.

Washington needs to come to its senses and negotiate a peaceful settlement on Moscow's terms. It's as simple and as blunt as that. This is what could have been achieved before the conflict erupted in February 2022 when Moscow was offering a negotiable security treaty. The West rejected those terms out of hand back then. Now it will have to accept. Primarily, the conditions are that there will be no further NATO enlargement around Russia's borders and in particular there will be no inclusion of Ukraine in the American-led bellicose military bloc.

Attending the NATO summit this week was U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken along with Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and the foreign ministers of the other 30 NATO member states. Kuleba declared with delusional disconnect: "We are pretty much becoming a de facto NATO army." He may be somewhat correct that Ukraine has been used as a proxy force for NATO, but it is a spent and decimated one.

Blinken seemed to be concerned with papering over cracks appearing in various media reports indicating that the U.S. is surreptitiously telling the Kiev regime to cut its losses and make a sort of peace deal with Russia. Blinken's bravado rhetoric is akin to empty U.S. promises previously made to Afghanistan and countless other proxy regimes over the decades before Washington ignominiously pulls the plug and does a runner.


Putin: The world is laughing at Germany's leaders

putin young scientists conference
© Sputnik
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with participants of the 3rd Young Scientists Congress at the Sirius Park of Science and Art in Krasnodar region, Russia.
Berlin is abandoning its own national interests in order to satisfy the whims of its "allies," the Russian president has said

Germany is being bossed by its Western partners because it lacks sovereignty, and its policymakers demonstrate poor leadership skills, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated at a meeting with young Russian scientists on Wednesday.

Putin weighed on the EU's push to wean itself off Russian energy following the escalation of the Ukraine conflict, arguing that by implementing the measure, Germany was only hurting itself.

The president noted that either European countries are turning their backs on cheap energy on their own accord, or the decision-making is being "done by their allies from the United States due to political reasons."

Comment: One wonders at what hold the U.S. has on the German leaders that causes them to essentially cut Germany's economic throat. Russia called it last March: 'Humiliating': Germany is not a sovereign nation - Moscow
scholz biden germany u.s.
© Sammy Minkoff/imago images
Joe Biden and Olaf Scholz

Eye 2

'Please us with their screams': Adviser to Netanyahu's wife fantasizes about torture of 'Gaza residents who participated in Oct 7th' in Facebook post

Tzipi Navon

A profile picture of Tzipi Navon from her Facebook page. Tzipi Navon, an adviser to Benjamin Netanyahu's wife, also hit out at 'traitor' leftists in her Facebook post.
An adviser to the wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shocked many on Saturday after posting a violent rant on social media in which she fantasised about torturing to death residents of Gaza she said were involved in last weekend's killings in southern Israel.

Tzipi Navon, a close adviser to and office manager for Netanyahu's wife, Sara, posted incendiary remarks on Facebook saying it was not enough to "flatten Gaza".

Comment: Also known as collective punishment, which is a war crime.

"It won't calm the storm of emotions, it won't dull the intensity of the rage and pain that can't find an outlet for them," Navon wrote.

Comment: It's perhaps not surprising that Navon is Sara Netanyahu's adviser, because it seems they share a similar temperament: Sara Netanyahu's narcissistic rage unleashed on aide: "I'm an educated woman, a psy-cho-lo-gist!" in recording from 2009 (VIDEO)

The following is the audio included in the article above, and is rather telling:

For further insight into the character of the wife of the PM, the PM who is cheerleading the genocide against Palestinians, see: See also: 'A mass assassination factory': How Israel is using AI in its calculated genocide in Gaza

No Entry

Zelensky admits Ukraine may never join NATO

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
© John Moore/Getty Images
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky acknowledged during a meeting with university students in the city of Nikolaev on Wednesday that his country may never join NATO.

Originally elected on an anti-war pledge and now promising another wave of conscription, Zelensky was replying to a question about the future of Ukraine's national security. The Ukrainian president explained that he didn't know whether Ukraine would be able to join the US-led bloc.

"We don't know how it will turn out... No one will be able to answer that for sure. Either we will be in NATO, or we won't be in NATO. We want to, but..." the Ukrainian president responded.

On Wednesday in Brussels, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reaffirmed that Ukraine can become a member of the bloc, "when allies agree and conditions are met." He added that "Ukraine is well on the path of NATO, as well as to the European Union, with the accession process, uh, beginning."

Star of David

Helmer: The thousand boat blockade-busting operation changes everything on the Gaza front - if it materialises

proxy war by swarm
There is one way in which regional war against Israel can be waged by the Arab states, Turkey, Iran, Russia, even China to which Israel and the US are vulnerable; against which they cannot achieve a quick and conclusive end to Hamas and prevent a multi-front, long and ruinous war for Israel; and against which the Israelis and Americans cannot fight by a firepower escalation against the major states when Israel's survival chances are far lower than the US will risk.

This is proxy war by swarm.

The Houthis have been practising this on a sub-swarm scale with modest drone and missile salvos aimed at Israel's southern coastline, Eilat port, and vessel movement up and down the Red Sea, as well as one Israeli-owned vessel capture on November 19.

This week Houthi missiles have also targeted a US Navy (USN) destroyer in the Gulf of Aden. "Nov. 27 Sanaa time, two ballistic missiles were fired from Houthi controlled areas in Yemen toward the general location of the USS MASON (DDG 87) and M/V CENTRAL PARK," CENTCOM said. "The missiles landed in the Gulf of Aden approximately ten nautical miles from the ships." This alleged Houthi attack followed an abortive takeover the day before, aimed at the Israeli-owned tanker Central Park. The ship attackers were Somali pirates, not Houthi forces, the USN has told the US press.

Against proxy war by swarm the US is currently monitoring Hezbollah along the Lebanon coast by long-range Northrop Grumman drones launched from the US airbase at Sigonella, Italy. At the same time, for safety sake, the USS Gerald Ford and its escorts have withdrawn more than a thousand kilometres westward, out of Hezbollah missile range. The Ford squadron is now reported to be under way in the central Ionian Sea continuing westward.


'The Gospel': how Israel uses AI to select bombing targets in Gaza

© Atef Safadi/EPA
‘To claim there’s precision and narrowness of force being exerted is not borne out by the facts,’ said one researcher.
Israel's military has made no secret of the intensity of its bombardment of the Gaza Strip. In the early days of the offensive, the head of its air force spoke of relentless, "around the clock" airstrikes. His forces, he said, were only striking military targets, but he added: "We are not being surgical."

There has, however, been relatively little attention paid to the methods used by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to select targets in Gaza, and to the role artificial intelligence has played in their bombing campaign.

As Israel resumes its offensive after a seven-day ceasefire, there are mounting concernsabout the IDF's targeting approach in a war against Hamas that, according to the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza, has so far killed more than 15,000 people in the territory.

The IDF has long burnished its reputation for technical prowess and has previously made bold but unverifiable claims about harnessing new technology. After the 11-day war in Gaza in May 2021, officials said Israel had fought its "first AI war" using machine learning and advanced computing.

The latest Israel-Hamas war has provided an unprecedented opportunity for the IDF to use such tools in a much wider theatre of operations and, in particular, to deploy an AI target-creation platform called "the Gospel", which has significantly accelerated a lethal production line of targets that officials have compared to a "factory".

Eye 1

FOI request reveals Bellingcat collusion with Western intelligence

© Unknown
Elliot Higgins
An extraordinary email uncovered by a Dutch researcher under freedom of information laws confirms what many have long charged: Bellingcat, the "open source" collective widely cited by mainstream journalists and loved by the CIA, collaborates directly with Western intelligence agencies.

An email sent on November 12, 2020 by an officer within Amsterdam's National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism (NCTV) shows a Bellingcat investigation was intentionally shared with the agency prior to publication, so as to assist the Dutch spooks in shaping media strategies and messaging following its release. The revealing communication is irrefutable proof of the cozy relationship the self-styled "independent investigative collective of researchers, investigators and citizen journalists" enjoys with Western intelligence services.

In the message, marked "high importance," the undisclosed author explained that Bellingcat would soon publish research amounting to a deeply libelous attack on independent journalists and researchers, who challenged the mainstream narrative surrounding Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.