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Fri, 31 Mar 2023
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Puppet Masters


Western Europe once ruled the world, now its former powers are just vassals of the US

© Alexey Maishev/Sputnik
Chinese President Xi Jinping • Russian President Vladimir Putin meet for talks
Kremlin • Moscow, Russia
Russia and China are shaping global politics while the US dominates its dependents across the Atlantic, leaving them as mere passengers...

The meeting of Russian president Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Moscow last week was met with predictable accusations in Western circles that Moscow was becoming "subservient" or even a "vassal" of Beijing.

MEP Guy Verhofstadt, a Euro-fantasist and former prime minister of Belgium, jeered on Twitter, "Putin's appalling legacy now includes turning Russia more and more into a Chinese vassal state," oblivious to the irony of his own words. As the United States took the lead in denouncing China's peace plan for the Ukraine conflict, publicly setting out the conditions on which it should end, the European Union was nowhere to be seen, or at least had nothing original to say.

This makes Verhofstadt's comments a damning display of lacking self-awareness. Russia and China are setting out their vision for a new multipolar world, while the US struggles against them in seeking to maintain its hegemonic position. Meanwhile, the European Union has been reduced to the status of a mere bench player in it all, and has become effectively irrelevant. The failure of EU countries to stake out their own will and position amidst the larger powers, as well as their total subservience to the US, has made a mockery of the "strategic autonomy" concept once championed by Emmanuel Macron.

Comment: Is the EU ready to exit the hologram, face reality and change course? Or, is 'US programming' complete.


Report: House Republicans to subpoena Antony Blinken for Afghanistan withdrawal dissent cable

© Drew Angerer/Getty Images
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken
House Republicans will deliver a subpoena to Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday to turn over classified cables related to the disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal, according to a report.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Mike McCaul (R-TX) told the Associated Press on Monday the State Department notified him that it would not turn over a dissent cable written by diplomats at the Kabul Embassy shortly before the August 2021 withdrawal.
"We have made multiple good faith attempts to find common ground so we could see this critical piece of information. Unfortunately, Secretary Blinken has refused to provide the Dissent Cable and his response to the cable, forcing me to issue my first subpoena as chairman of this committee."
According to the Wall Street Journal, the cable sent July 2021 warned Blinken about the potential fall of Kabul through a special dissent channel, which officials can use to express contrarian views to senior State Department officials. The State Department had previously offered to share the "substance" of the cable via a briefing, according to the AP.

McCaul first requested the cable back in January, after he became chairman of the committee.

Arrow Up

Trump's lead over DeSantis doubles in latest GOP primary race poll

© AP/Evan Vucci/Miami Herald/Matias J. Ocner/Barry Reeger/PennLive
Former US President Donald Trump • Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
Support for former President Donald Trump is continuing to increase within the GOP primary for the 2024 election, gaining the majority of support from Republicans, while many Democrats hope President Joe Biden is in his last term.

A recent Fox News survey found that Trump received 54% of the vote when respondents were read a list of 15 declared and likely Republican candidates, doubling his lead over Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL). In March, Trump held a 30-point lead over DeSantis (54%-24%) compared to a 15-point lead in February (43%-28%).

Of those who supported Trump in 2020, 60% will support him in the 2024 primary, while 25% pick DeSantis and 5% pick former Vice President Mike Pence. When asked who their second choice would be, Trump primary voters said they would back the Florida governor over the former vice president, and DeSantis supporters said they would vote for Trump.


Ukraine can't defend itself against Russia's newest jets

R jets
© RIA Novosti/Getty Images
Russian SU-35 fighter jets
The Su-35 has given Moscow's forces "increasing dominance" of the skies, a Kiev government source has told the network...

Russia's latest generation of Su-35 fighter jets has capabilities that Kiev's forces can't neutralize, a senior Ukrainian government official has told ABC News.

The newest Su-35s are equipped with "very effective radar and long-distance rockets," enabling them to attack Ukrainian jets and provide air support for Russian ground troops, the unidentified source said in an article posted on Monday. Ukraine "does not have capabilities" to counter this threat, he added.

Kiev sees Russian air superiority as a "real risk," the official admitted, making its push for more air defense systems from the US "priority No. 1" for Ukraine. "This is a problem," another unidentified official said. "What we keep telling the Americans is that in the end, there is no other solution than to give us fighter jets." He claimed that Russia has 12 times more military aircraft than Ukraine.

Comment: A couple of outdated fighter jets Ukraine can't fly will not change the future.

Arrow Up

'Russia alone can already confront the entire West...'

Xi & Putin
© Indian Punchline
President Vladimir Putin (R) and Chinese President Xi Jinping ahead of talks in restricted format, Kremlin, Moscow, March 21, 2023.
The Russian media reported that President Vladimir Putin made an extraordinary gesture as President Xi Jinping left the Kremlin following the state dinner last week on Tuesday evening by escorting him to the limousine and seeing him off.

And Xi during the goodbye handshake reportedly responded, "Together, we should push forward these changes that have not happened for 100 years. Take care."

Xi was alluding to the past 100 years of modern history that witnessed the United States transforming from a country to the north of Mexico in the Western Hemisphere to a superpower and global hegemon.

With his profound sense of history and dialectical mind, Xi was recalling the intense talks with Putin that dwelt on the contemporary realities burying the US' unipolar moment in the dustbin and on the imperatives of China and Russia joining hands to consolidate the transition of the world order toward democratisation and multipolarity.

It was an appropriate finale to a state visit that began the previous evening with Xi expressing confidence that Russians will support Putin at the presidential elections next year. At one stroke, Xi "cancelled" the West's demonising of Putin, mindful of the absurdity of even arranging an arrest warrant against the Kremlin leader to detract from his talks in Moscow.

China has a scrupulous policy of refraining from commenting on the internal politics of other countries. However, in the case of the situation surrounding Russia, Xi has made a notable exception by signalling his keenness for Putin's proactive leadership in such tumultuous times. The majority of world opinion, especially in the Global South, will agree.

Won't the erudite Russian public opinion take cognisance too — with a roar of approval? Yes, Putin's consistent 80 percent rating is a signpost. Xi may have poured cold water on the last desperate western ploys of instigating a bunch of Russian oligarchs to spearhead a regime change in the Kremlin.

Light Saber

'Pro-Moscow' Russian Orthodox monks resist Zelensky's eviction from Ukraine monastery

zelensky evict monks orthodox church ukraine protest
© Sergei Supinsky/Getty Images
Protesters hold placards reading "Moscow shaman - get out of the Sacred Lavra!," left, and "Moscow priests - get out of Ukraine!," right, at the entrance to the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra in Kyiv on March 28, 2023.
Monks have refused an order to leave a Kyiv monastery following accusations they had links to Russia, whose invasion of Ukraine has strained religious ties between the warring neighbors.

After Russia's full-scale invasion in February 2022, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) officially cut ties with the Moscow Patriarchate, whose primate, Patriarch Kirill has been accused of endorsing the war started by Vladimir Putin.

However, Kyiv believes the UOC is de facto dependent on Moscow and terminated the lease that allowed the monks to stay at monastery caves at Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, which overlooks the Dnipro River and has a key role in both Ukrainian and Russian history.

The Ukrainian government had given an eviction deadline of Wednesday to monks at the ancient cave monastery. But Metropolitan Kliment, the head of the information and educational department of the UOC, told reporters the monks would not leave.


Life Preserver

'Unfriendly' West triggers consolidation of Russian elite

The claim that sanctions, the ICC arrest warrant against President Putin, and other unfriendly actions by the West have had no effect on Russian political reality is fundamentally false.

After the collapse of the USSR, the new economic elites of Russia aligned themselves firmly with the West. Flattering themselves that they would be whole-heartedly embraced by the Western global aristocracy, they felt little solidarity with their less-fortunate compatriots, and were happy to enable the merciless colonial exploitation of Russia that prevailed in the last decade of the 20th century. The country plunged into chaos, and the poverty of the ordinary people became a stark contrast to the glitter of the oligarchy.

It could not go on like this for long. The excesses of the exploiters provoked the rise of a new political class, determined to restore the nation's sovereignty, and, after Putin came to power, the country began the long hard crawl back to self-respect. Amongst the first signs of this was a new determination to rein in the most odious oligarchs, some of whom were forced to relinquish the assets acquired so cheaply during the mis-managed privatizations. Some even left the country, bitterly complaining that the times had turned against them.

At that time, a uniquely Russian system of social relations had become the norm. This resembled neither the principles of socialism nor those of Western democracy, and still treated the people of Russia as the object, rather than a subject, of politics. Nonetheless, at least some of the new political elites were aware that without social consolidation it would be impossible to withstand the supremely challenging geopolitical and geo-economic conditions of the 21st century.

Comment: To get a little overview of changes in the first 20 years of Putin being the leader of Russia, see: 20 Years Of Putin: His Top Domestic & Foreign Policy Successes

Comment: The Western plan to crush Russia has backfired spectacularly. Those, not clouded by wishful thinking did mention it at the time, that the Western sanctions would primarily hurt the West, yet the Russophobic war lobby and the belief in the Western war machine drowned out all sane voices.


Governance by Artificial Intelligence: The ultimate unaccountable tyranny

Artificial Intelligence
It's no secret that globalist institutions are obsessed with Artificial Intelligence as some kind of technological prophecy. They treat it as if it is almost supernatural in its potential and often argue that every meaningful industrial and social innovation in the near future will owe its existence to AI. The World Economic Forum cites AI as the singular key to the rise of what they call the "Fourth Industrial Revolution." In their view, there can be no human progress without the influence of AI algorithms, making human input almost obsolete.

This delusion is often promoted by globalist propagandists. For example, take a look at the summarized vision of WEF member Yuval Harari, who actually believes that AI has creative ability that will replace human imagination and innovation. Not only that, but Harari has consistently argued in the past that AI will run the world much better than human beings ever could.


Hungary comments on Ukraine's NATO and EU bids

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto
© Global Look Press / Attila Volgyi
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto
Budapest will not support Kiev's membership due to discrimination against minorities, the foreign minister has insisted.

Hungary will not agree to Ukraine joining NATO and the EU as long as Kiev continues to discriminate against ethnic Hungarians living in Transcarpathia, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has stated.

Szijjarto added that he raised the issue at a meeting with the UN assistant secretary general for human rights, Ilze Brands Kehris.

Up to 99 Hungarian primary and secondary schools are in danger of being closed in Ukraine due to the nation's education law, Szijjarto said. "I made it clear to Ilze Brands Kehris... that Hungary will not be able to support Ukraine's transatlantic and European integration [bids] under any circumstances as long as Hungarian schools in the Transcarpathia region are in danger," the minister posted on Facebook on Friday.

Comment: See also:

Quenelle - Golden

'Those who play with fire will perish': China warns US that trip by Taiwanese president could lead to 'serious confrontation'

Tsai Ing-wen  Taiwan
© AP
Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen arrives in New York on Wednesday. She is scheduled to stop by California before beginning a 10-day trip to Central America.
Past transits by Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen through the US were "mistakes" and the precedent will not restrain Beijing's response to her current visit, China's senior envoy to Washington warned as Tsai arrived in New York on Wednesday.

Xu Xueyuan, chargé d'affaires at Beijing's embassy in the US, also sounded an alarm about another "serious confrontation" in the rival powers' relations if a planned meeting between Tsai and US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy were to take place.

Xu conveyed those messages at a press conference on Wednesday a few minutes after Tsai landed in New York as a stopover en route for her 10-day trip to Central America. Tsai is also expected to visit Los Angeles during her return trip next week where she is expected to meet McCarthy, a California Republican.

Comment: See also: