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Fri, 31 Mar 2023
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West's labeling of Russia as 'imperialist' disgusts most Africans - senior diplomat to RT

Oleg Ozerov
© Nina Zotina; RIA Novosti
Deputy Director of the African Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry Oleg Ozerov
African countries are beginning to recognize their own national interests and are breaking away from the Western-dominated world order, Oleg Ozerov, the head of the Secretariat of the Russia-Africa Partnership Forum has claimed in an exclusive interview to RT.

Speaking to RT host Oksana Boyko, Ozerov noted that African-Russian relations have been on a significant upswing in recent years and that Russia is treating its African partners in a dramatically different manner than Western countries, which have retained a colonial mindset in their dealings with the continent.

This mindset "manifests itself in the form of patronizing attitudes, lecturing and moralizing, insisting that the Western model alone should be accepted as a gift from the gods by our African friends" the diplomat explained, adding that this "aura of arrogance" is backed by a desire to keep African nations dependent and subservient to the West.


Bellingcat and mouse game reveals advance Russian intelligence of Nordstream attack operation

3 ships
© Unknown
Top: Syzran • Below left: Aleksandr Frolov • Below Right: Yaroslav Mudry
The NATO intelligence publicity department known as Bellingcat has just produced new NATO-sourced evidence of an elaborate cat-and-mouse game which the navies and air forces of Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Poland, and the US played against Russian forces in the Baltic Sea off Bornhom Island in the week before the detonation of explosives on the Nord Stream gas pipelines last September 26.

Cat and mouse is also the game the NATO propaganda agencies are now playing.

The aim of the intelligence, published last week by the quasi-state German media platform called T-Online, and in the Danish offshoot of Bellingcat known as Oliver Alexander, is to accuse the Russian Navy of the pipeline attack, using a mini-submarine and deep-sea divers. This is based on NATO and US identification and tracking of a six-vessel Russian flotilla several days before the explosions - an intelligence vessel, a deep-sea operations vessel, two tugs, and heavily armed anti-ship and anti-submarine frigate and corvette.

Comment: The only explanation that will float is the truth.


Here's why Human Rights Watch deliberately only scratched the surface in exploring Ukraine's use of banned 'petal' mines

© Viktor Antonyuk/Sputnik
A PFM-1 anti-personnel land mine is seen in a field near the town of Artyomovsk (Bakhmut) Donetsk People's Republic
The American NGO begrudgingly acknowledges one of Kiev's war crimes, but not without smearing Russia along the way...

Since Ukraine dropped thousands of mines on the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) in July, 104 people have fallen victim to the internationally-banned PFM-1 'petal' (otherwise known as 'butterfly') devices. Nine of them are children. Of which three died.

Among the most recent civilians to be injured, on March 19, were two 60-year-old men. On February 26, a woman in her sixties was wounded in her neighborhood. On February 14, a teenager stepped on a petal mine near a school. These are just a few documented examples from recent weeks.

The first wave of over 40 victims came within the first few weeks after Ukrainian forces deployed the mines over Donetsk en masse in July 2022, and the number has more than doubled since. Since then I, along with other reporters on the ground, have documented their lingering presence and the civilian victims.

NGO reports... selectively

After signing the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty in 1999, Kiev was obligated to destroy its stockpile of 6 million PFM-1s. It denies using them, but abundant evidence incriminates Kiev in this particular war crime. While the West has yet to turn its attention to the victims of the petal mines in the Donbass, reports of Ukraine using them elsewhere have emerged.

Comment: See also:


US politicians 'held captive by their own propaganda' - Moscow

© Ben Birchall/Getty Images/PA Images
USAF nuclear-capable B-52 bomber
The American establishment still buys into the "dangerous delusion" of a preventative nuclear first strike, Russia's security chief has said...

US politicians are "held captive by their own propaganda" and still believe that Washington could deliver a fatal nuclear 'first strike' against Russia, the secretary of the Russian Security Council, Nikolay Patrushev, has said.

That Cold War-era strategy, however, is nothing but a "dangerous" and "short-sighted" delusion nowadays, Patrushev said in an interview with the newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta published on Monday.
"Held captive by their own propaganda, American politicians for some reason remain confident that in the event of a direct conflict with Russia, the US is capable of delivering a preventive missile strike, after which Russia will no longer be able to respond. This is a short-sighted delusion, and a very dangerous one."
The 'first strike' strategy dates back to the early days of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the US. Its proponents believe that achieving a certain advantage in nuclear warheads and means of delivery would allow a preemptive strike on an adversary without suffering an equally destructive retaliation. The concept was among the primary reasons behind the Cold War-era arms race, with both sides fearing a first strike at various points.

Arrow Down

Key Asian bloc looking to dump dollar and euro - media

© NuPhoto/Getty Images
Dollar and the Euro
The ASEAN economic union reportedly wants to protect transactions from "possible geopolitical repercussions"...

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is set to discuss dropping the US dollar, euro, yen and pound sterling from transactions and moving to settlements in local currencies, according to the news magazine Tempo.

An official meeting of ASEAN finance ministers and central bank governors kicked off on Tuesday in Indonesia. A regional grouping that aims to promote economic and security cooperation among its members, ASEAN includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The report stated:
"Efforts to reduce dependence on major currencies through the Local Currency Transaction (LCT) scheme will be discussed. This is an extension of the previous Local Currency Settlement (LCS) scheme that has already begun to be implemented between ASEAN members."
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has urged regional authorities: "
Abandon Visa and Mastercard payment systems and start using credit cards issued by local banks. Moving away from Western payment systems is necessary to protect transactions from "possible geopolitical repercussions."

Star of David

The Trump campaign's collusion with Israel

turmp aipac 2016 presidential campaign
© Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post via Getty Images
Common cause: Donald Trump speaking at a campaign press conference at the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, DC in 2016
While US media fixated on Russian interference in the 2016 election, an Israeli secret agent's campaign to influence the outcome went unreported.

"Roger, hello from Jerusalem," read the message from the Israeli secret agent. Dated August 12, 2016, it was addressed to Roger Stone — at the time a key player in Donald Trump's presidential election campaign. "Any progress? He is going to be defeated unless we intervene. We have critical intel. The key is in your hands! Back in the US next week." Later, the agent promised, "October Surprise coming!"

While the American media and political system fixated on Russian President Vladimir Putin and his armies of cyber warriors, trolls, and bots, what was completely missed in the Russiagate investigation of 2016 was the Israeli connection. No details of it were ever revealed in the heavily redacted Mueller Report. Nor was there any mention of an Israeli plot in the similarly redacted Senate Intelligence Committee Report on collusion charges in the 2016 election, or in any of the indictments or trials stemming from the Russia charges. Nor did any mention of Israeli involvement ever leak into the press. Yet I can reveal here the details of an elaborate covert operation personally directed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that aimed to use secret intelligence to clandestinely intervene at the highest levels in the presidential election on behalf of Trump.

Comment: Was Russiagate actually Israelgate? Israel cited often in Senate report but media ignore connection


USA is the central battlefield in the global total war

Even as the shooting war rages in Ukraine, the main show is in the United States.

There can be little doubt that we are at war, except it's not quite like in the movies. This war is unlike any others about which we learned in school where two opposed forces meet in a battlefield and fight it out until one side prevails. That kind of war is happening in Ukraine, but that's only a part of the conflict that's engulfed nearly all the rest of the world. It manifests in different and seemingly unrelated ways, but it is part of the same conflict.

Some analysts like to use the phrase "hybrid" or "asymmetrical" to describe it, by which they mean that in addition to shooting, the conflict has information, cultural, economic and financial dimensions. But I think that the war is still bigger than that: it is global and total - perhaps it should be called total global war. The "Trans Day of Vengeance" planned in Washington DC, is only the latest and weirdest part of it.

The clash of two systems
Rotting Meat
© Alex Krainer's TrendCompass
In his address to the World Economic Forum gathering in Davos in May 2022 George Soros explained that we are witnessing a clash between two models of governance. This was only slightly misleading: models don't wage war on one another; it is the stakeholders in these models that are fighting. Soros characterized the two opposing sides as "open societies," vs. "closed societies," where open societies are liberal democracies that respect human rights, and closed societies are autocracies.

But Soros's "open" societies are in fact oligarchies concealed behind faux democratic facades. To believe Soros, we'd have to accept that the trillionaire oligarchs in charge of open societies are die-hard defenders of democracy and human rights, willing to shed blood and treasure in their defense.


Israel's crisis is about who gets to play tyrant: the generals or religious thugs

In pushing through his 'judicial overhaul', Netanyahu wasn't destroying 'Israeli democracy'. He was richly exploiting the lack of it.

Bibi & Bezalel
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks on as Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich speaks during a press conference on 25 January 2023.
Israel edged closer to civil war over the weekend than at any point in its history.

By Monday night, in a bid to avert chaos, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to put a temporary halt to his plans to neuter the Israeli courts.

By then, city centres had been brought to a standstill by angry mass protests. The attorney general had declared Netanyahu to be acting illegally. Crowds had besieged the parliament building in Jerusalem. Public institutions were shuttered, including Israel's international airport and its embassies abroad, in a general strike. That was on top of a near-mutiny in recent weeks from elite military groups, such as combat pilots and reservists.

The crisis culminated with Netanyahu sacking his defence minister on Sunday evening after Yoav Gallant warned that the legislation was tearing apart the military and threatening Israel's combat readiness. Gallant's dismissal only intensified the fury.

The turmoil had been building for weeks as Netanyahu's so-called "judicial overhaul" moved closer to the statute books.

At the end of last week, he managed to pass a first measure, which shields him from being declared unfit for office - a critical matter given that the prime minister is in the midst of a corruption trial.

But the rest of his package has been put on pause. That includes provisions giving his government absolute control over the appointment of senior judges and the power to override Supreme Court rulings.

It is hard to see a simple way out of the impasse. Even as Netanyahu bowed before the weight of the backlash on Monday, the pressure began mounting on his own side.

Far-right groups launched a wave of angry counter-demonstrations, threatening violence against Netanyahu's opponents. Itamar Ben-Gvir, the police minister and leader of the fascist Jewish Power party, initially vowed to bring down the government if Netanyahu did not press ahead with the legislation.

But in the end, his acquiescence to a delay was bought at a typically steep price: a National Guard will be established under Ben-Gvir's authority. In practice, the settler leader will get to run his own fascist, anti-Palestinian militias, paid for by the Israeli taxpayer.


Why did US classify footage of 'downed UFOs'?

us fighter jet chinese balloon
© Chad Fish via AP
A fighter jet flies near a large balloon drifting above the Atlantic Ocean, just off the coast of South Carolina, February 4, 2023
The Pentagon has declined to share images of the objects shot down over North America last month

The Pentagon has reportedly admitted that it possesses video or still images of three unidentified flying objects that American fighter jets shot down over the US and Canada last month, but it won't make the footage public.

Videos of the UFOs are classified, and there are no plans to change that status, a Pentagon spokesman told the UK's Daily Mail newspaper on Monday. "I can tell you that there is not currently any images of video footage that we can release. The imagery remains classified."

Comment: Perhaps this is what they are being so tight-lipped about. The object described doesn't sound like a classic weather balloon:
According to the WSJ, who cited a Congressional aide, this time it was an F-16 to shoot down the object, that appeared to be shaped like an octagon and was flying at 20,000 feet, posing a threat to commercial aircraft flying in the area.

The engagement marks the fourth time an object was shot down over North America since a (supected) Chinese spy balloon was shot down on Feb. 2 over the Atlantic Ocean, after crossing CONUS from west to east.

The first one was the famous Chinese high altitude balloon shot down on February 4, 2023, at 2:39 p.m. by an F-22 Raptor, belonging to the 1st Fighter Wing from Langley Air Force Base, shot down with an AIM-9X infrared-guided air-to-air missile off the coast of South Carolina and within U.S. territorial airspace. The second one was a "high altitude object" described as "cylindrical and silver-ish gray" and appeared to be floating, that was shot down by F-22 launched from Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson on Feb. 10 over Alaska. The third object was shot down on Feb. 11 over Yukon, Canada. According to some reports, the objects shot down over Alaska and Yukon (second and third downing) were too balloon, although the size of both was smaller than the Chinese one shot down in Feb. 4.

This is how this Author commented the third object being shot down yesterday. It still applies today:
"For the moment we can't but notice the trend is concerning. What's particularly interesting is that while the first one was clearly a balloon, the second and third remain unidentified, hence possibly belonging to the category of the so-called UAP (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena). Are these objects unmanned aircraft unleashed to spy on the U.S.? Maybe. For sure something is happening and after the criticism caused by the response to the China's spy balloon (that flew over the U.S. for days before being shot down over the Atlantic Ocean), NORAD has engaged the "intruders" earlier (off the coast of Alaska, over territorial waters on Feb. 10; most probably over an unpopulated area in Canada, on Feb. 11)."
The number of engagement might be on a raising trend since monitoring of the airspace has been improved following the Chinese balloon incident. Most probably, ROE (Rules of Engagement) have also been changed, leading to early "decommission" of the unidentified object.

Dealing with the asset used to shoot down the "objects", the F-22s were used for very high altitude objects: as the altitude of the "zombie" (as an unidentified aircraft is called in the fighter pilot lingo) has decreased, more "traditional" fighters, namely the F-16s, could be used to destroy the "intruder".
Not only did the objects not match a weather balloon, there was this concerning piece of information:

Eye 1

CBDC: Technology and a Tyranny Worse than Prison

In an outstanding piece of political-theoretical writing, titled 'The Threat of Big Other' (with its play on George Orwell's 'Big Brother') Shoshana Zuboff, succinctly addresses the main issues of her book, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism - The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power (New York: Public Affairs, Hachette, 2019), explicitly linking it to Orwell's 1984.

Significantly, at the time she reminded readers that Orwell's goal with 1984 was to alert British and American societies that democracy is not immune to totalitarianism, and that "Totalitarianism, if not fought against, could triumph anywhere" (Orwell, quoted by Zuboff, p. 16). In other words, people are utterly wrong in their belief that totalitarian control of their actions through mass surveillance (as depicted in 1984, captured in the slogan, "Big Brother is watching you") could only issue from the state, and she does not hesitate to name the source of this threat today (p. 16):

For 19 years, private companies practicing an unprecedented economic logic that I call surveillance capitalism have hijacked the Internet and its digital technologies. Invented at Google in 2000, this new economics covertly claims private human experience as free raw material for translation into behavioural data. Some data are used to improve services, but the rest are turned into computational products that predict your behaviour. These predictions are traded in a new futures market, where surveillance capitalists sell certainty to businesses determined to know what we will do next.