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Fri, 29 Jul 2016
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Russia and China to hold joint naval drills in South China Sea

China and Russia will hold naval drills in the South China Sea in September, the Chinese Defense Ministry told during a news conference on July 28.

"This is a routine exercise between the two armed forces, aimed at strengthening the developing China-Russia strategic cooperative partnership," Reuters quoted the words of China's Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun, who also added that the exercise is "not directed against third parties."

"These drills are not targeted against any specific country. The main thing is to develop a common military response with our close neighbor against any threat," Russian Deputy Commander Sergey Vertepa said, speaking of the exercises in August, 2015.

Comment: Further reading: Pepe Escobar: The real secret of the South China Sea


Someone is playing us: NATO's war on Russia

For 17 months, since the Minsk Agreements were signed in February 2015 to try to bring peace to the eastern Ukraine the Kiev regime, and its neo-Nazi and NATO allies, have been preparing for a new offensive against the east Ukraine republics. On July 22nd the Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin stated in a letter to the UN Security Council that "a relapse of large-scale military operations in eastern Ukraine may bury the process of peace settlement there." He then called on Kiev's allies to pressure Kiev to back off its war preparations which include the continuous shelling of civilian areas by Ukraine heavy and medium artillery and constant probing attacks by Ukraine and foreign units over the past spring and summer months.

The commander of the Donetsk Republic forces stated in a communiqué on July 22 that the region along the contact line between the two sides was shelled 3,566 times in one week alone ending on the date of the communiqué and confirmed the information set out in Churkin's letter and reports of the Organisation For Security Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) that the Kiev regime had transferred more heavy artillery, mortars, tanks, multiple rocket launchers to the front.

The shelling has destroyed civilian housing, a water treatment plant and other infrastructure with the clear objective of forcing out the residents and to prepare the ground for a large scale offensive. Ambassador Churkin added that not only were regular Kiev forces massing in the east but they had also deployed the new-Nazi Azov and Donbas "volunteer" battalions, and that Kiev has begun a wide ranging seizure of land in the neutral zone and the towns located there.

Cow Skull

Night of the Hollow Men: Notes on watching the Democratic Convention

  • Since my co-editor Joshua Frank prefers to go surfing rather than do his reportorial duty and watch the DNC Convention from gavel-to-gavel, he's telling me that I have to write another account of tonight's proceedings. I'm not sure I'm up to it 'frankly.' What would Hunter Thompson do? Oh, yes, he would get his body and mind in fighting form by having breakfast. I guess I'll follow the good Doctor's example: "Four Bloody Marys, two grapefruits, a pot of coffee, Rangoon crêpes, a half-pound of either sausage, bacon, or corned-beef hash with diced chilies, a Spanish omelette or eggs Benedict, a quart of milk, a chopped lemon for random seasoning, and something like a slice of key lime pie, two margaritas and six lines of the best cocaine for dessert." All to be consumed while naked. Snarf! Sniff! Belch! ALRIGHT! I'm primed. Bring on Biden!
  • Margie Kidder was one of Hunter Thompson's best friends. I asked her if this menu remotely resembled his real appetites. Margie told me that she and Hunter were together during the 1984 Democratic Convention in San Francisco, where his main obsession was in scoring some cocaine to get him juiced for covering the tedium of the convention.
"Here's what Hunter would do," Margie told me. "He believed firmly in getting your cocaine first, which at that convention involved spending a lot of time with a gay friend of mine he referred to in his writing as "the bowl of fruit". Then you got your drinks lined up and we would sit and watch the TV in the press room. I kept insisting in going out onto the floor to interview what often turned out to be ex-lovers of mine, who I couldn't really quote for obvious reasons. He was disgusted with me. At one point, back at the St Francis hotel, Hunter screamed down the hall at me "You are a political neophyte! You are a dangerous woman!" Then he went off to a party at Ann Getty's house or apartment and called her a fascist dyke and punched a hole in her living room wall and Pat Caddell (the Democratiic pollster) and I had to race over with my trans driver Greta and our 1960s Cadillac convertible loaned to me by the gay community and rescue Hunter from the well-dressed and horrified Democrats. Sen Patrick Leahy thought he was funny. Few other Democrats did. But then Leahy often rode around with us in that Cadillac.
  • Terry McAuliffe, the Clinton's former BFF (second now to Elizabeth Warren), mentor to Tim Kaine in the art of political grifting and current governor of Virginia, has an ego the size of Trump Tower. McAuliffe knows all of the Clintons secrets. He knows what they think and how they deal. McAuliffe gave an early morning interview to Politico, where he confided to the reporter that Hillary was only pretending to oppose the TPP to neuter one of Bernie Sanders's main campaign themes. The governor assured the reporter that after the election Hillary would once again support the job-killing trade pact with a few cosmetic adjustments. The McAuliffe Leak exposed the worst kept secret in Washington. Bill O'Reilly did his best last night to calm a perplexed nation, still reeling from Michelle Obama's allegation, which had not been vetted by the Texas School Book Commission, that slaves had built the White House. Yes, it's true, O'Reilly told his anxious viewers, but relax the slave construction workers were, in fact, "well-fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government." With these ameliorating words from a professional historian, Fox Nation slept soundly.

Comment: More of Jeffrey Sinclair's commentary on the DNC:

Humiliation games and cognitive dissonance at the Democratic National Convention

Red Flag

Will preemptive accusations against Russia be used to cover up voting fraud in the Presidential election?

The poisonous propaganda against Russia just never ends.
The Clinton campaign and some pseudo experts assert that Russia is somehow guilty of hacking the Democratic National Committee and of revealing DNC emails via Wikileaks. There is zero hard evidence for that. The Clinton campaign also claims that Trump asked Russia to hack Clinton's emails. That is also not the case.

But two "liberal" computer experts, who are taken serious in the security scene, now build on those false assertions to say that Russia might manipulate voting machines in the November 9 elections. It would do so, presumably, to change the vote count in favor of Trump.

A Bruce Schneier op ed in today's Washington Post is headlined: By November, Russian hackers could target voting machines.

That headline alone is already dumb. ANY hacker could target and manipulate the easy to deceive voting machines - should those be connected to the Internet. Local administrators of such machines can manipulate them any time.

Comment: As either an unintended consequence of the Wikileaks DNC email story (or by some machiavellian design?) this story has further escalated the propaganda level against Russia to an absolute fever pitch in the U.S. - and seems to have planted the seeds for much more.

See also:

Snakes in Suits

WikiLeaks confirmed mainstream media works directly with Hillary, DNC

© Steve Marcus/Reuters
Wikileaks' Friday leak of nearly 20,000 Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails reveals many nefarious activities. In light of new evidence the DNC intentionally sabotaged Bernie Sanders while DNC staffers mocked him, Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party continue to be hit with embarrassing revelations.

One of the most damning findings of the leak is the fact Clinton and the DNC have worked closely with, manipulated, and bullied media outlets.

One email revealed Politico reporter Ken Vogel sent an article discussing the DNC to the DNC before he sent it to his editors. Vogel attached his story in an email titled, "per agreement... any thoughts appreciated," sent April 30, 2016, to Mark Paustenbach, Deputy Communications Director for the Democratic National Committee.

Comment: Detailed list of findings in Wikileaks DNC document dump - money, moles and dirty tricks


Hilarious propaganda: U.S. concerned that Russian humanitarian op in Syria is actually humanitarian

© REUTERS/ Hosam Katan/File photo
The U.S. State Department has expressed concerns about what Russia is calling a "large-scale humanitarian operation" in Syria, saying Moscow's announcement appears to be a demand for the surrender of militant groups and the forced evacuation of civilians from the besieged city of Aleppo.

Comment: That's exactly what it is (almost, no one is forcing the civilians to leave - it's their choice). The U.S. State Department has totally lost the plot. They think the terrorists in Aleppo should stay armed, and that the civilians should be caught in the crossfire. Psychopaths pretending to be humanitarian. Meanwhile, the Russians and Syrians actually do it.

At the United Nations, U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power said in a tweet that she was given a copy of a "chilling letter" that was being distributed to civilians who are trapped in opposition-held parts of eastern Aleppo.

Comment: Chilling? Seriously? Apparently Ms. Power can't help but shudder whenever she finds out her beloved terrorists are about to be destroyed, and innocent people saved. Terrifying, truly!

Power said the letter "warns Syrians to leave eastern Aleppo and entrust their lives to a government that has bombed and starved them."

Comment: BS. You're a liar, Samantha, plain and simple.

Meanwhile, the United Nation's humanitarian-aid chief, Stephen O'Brien, warned on July 28 that the so-called "humanitarian corridors" proposed by Russia to help Syrians leave Aleppo must be used voluntarily and that their protection must be guaranteed.

Comment: RFE/RL's anti-Russian bias is so strong and so obvious, it emits an odor that travels digitally. They just can't bring themselves to even admit that Syrians and Russians would open an actual humanitarian corridor. Guess that's because it's something propagandists like RFE/RL would never themselves do. Projection much?!

Георгиевская ленточка

Russia is more democratic than most in the West realize - and more democratic than the West itself

Russia is actually becoming a more democratic society than is true of many states in the West.

Democracy is to a politically curious man or woman what sex is to a young adolescent. They have all heard the word, they are intrigued by the concept, but only have a cursory idea of what it actually is. The latter is generally resolved through a natural process of biological and psycho-sexual maturity.

The former is only solved through education, no matter how old the particular student is. I'd like to explore some of the many manifestations of democracy throughout the world, paying close attention to the modern democratic process in the Russian Federation, a country which is vastly more democratic than many have been led to believe it is.

What is Democracy?

The English word democracy is derived from the ancient Greek word demokratia, itself a word which combined demos (the populace/people) with kratos (rule/strength). At the time this term came about there was no unified Hellenic state but rather multiple city states amongst the Hellenic peoples. Some, though not all were considered democracies, Athens being the most powerful and hence the best remembered.


Problem-reaction-solution: France to form National Guard in wake of terrorist attacks

© Pascal Rossignol / Reuters
French President Francois Hollande has announced that a National Guard will be set up to ensure additional protection after a series of terrorist attacks in the country.

Hollande said in an official statement that initial parliamentary talks on the formation of the force would take place in September, "so that this force can be created as fast as possible to protect the French."

"Training methods and the breakdown of the forces of protection across the territory" will be defined after the parliamentary consultations.

The French public and a number of politicians have expressed outrage at what they regard as a lack of necessary security measures to ensure people's safety, after a recent spate of terrorist attacks.

In Nice, heavily armed national police officers were absent at the entrance to a promenade, from where an attacker drove a truck and slammed through the crowd at Bastille Day celebrations on July 14, leaving 84 people dead.

Eye 2

UN calls out Australia for "torture and degrading treatment" of juvenile detainees at Darwin detention center

© ABC News (Australia) / YouTube
Abuse of juvenile detainees, teargassed and forcibly strapped to chairs at a Darwin detention center, in Australia's far north, could amount to "torture or cruel inhuman and degrading treatment," UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Mendez says.

Acts shown in the disturbing video aired by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) earlier this week from the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre immediately earned comparisons to outrageous abuses at the Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay prisons. Claims of abuse of juvenile detainees at the facility have been either ignored or dismissed over years, ABC reported.

Graphic CCTV footage showed children at Don Dale being teargassed and forcibly strapped to chairs, among other things. One particular image - that of a 17-year-old boy Dylan Voller, hooded and shackled to a mechanical restraint chair, shirtless, helpless and motionless, has become synonymous with cruelty.

On the day in question, the teen was handcuffed, hooded and strapped down for two hours after he threatened to hurt himself while in the adult prison, according to the ABC. Voller, who is thought to have suffered several incidents of alleged abuse over a five-year period from October 2010, is one of six teens held in isolation cells at Don Dale.


British special forces poised to rescue UK citizens if Turkey suffers another coup attempt

© Jason Reed / Reuters
British special forces are ready to rescue UK citizens in Turkey in the event of a second coup attempt. The news comes as Amnesty International reports credible evidence of the rape and abuse of detained coup soldiers as part of the government crackdown.

The SAS, as well as the Special Forces Support Group (SFSG), are reportedly ready to deploy from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus should the need arise.

The Daily Express reported Monday that the missions would focus on areas popular with tourists and that troops would be cleared to use lethal force if the rescue operations were interfered with.