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SOTT Focus: NewsReal: It's Armageddon! Iran Strikes Israel, World Trembles!

iran israel armageddon newsreal
© Sott.net
Nah, not really. Although, that's what they'd all LIKE you to believe. Trust us, you'll know Armageddon is here when it actually happens, and you won't need the media to tell you so.

Following Israel's barbaric attack on the Iranian embassy in Damascus two weeks ago, Israel and its Western stooges have practically goaded Iran into 'taking revenge' (while warning its government to 'keep it proportionate'). This finally happened last night, and both sides are claiming 'victory' from it. In reality, US-Israeli air defense did not block "99%" of the airstrikes, but nor did Iran do much damage. As Joe and Niall explain, this follows the pattern of 'strike and mediated counter-strike' we've seen in the Middle East since the assassination of Iranian general Soleimani in 2020.

In the meantime, the Russian government is pressing its Western counterparts for answers to its questions about the funding and logistics that went into the Moscow concert hall massacre in March, unusual seismic events recently took place in New York City and off southern Africa, and questions remain about what has happened to UK royal Kate Middleton.

Running Time: 01:38:46

Download: MP3 — 67.8 MB


The arrival of Russian troops in Niger will reshape the US' regional calculations

While the possibly impending withdrawal of US forces from Niger is definitely a victory of sorts, the proverbial "Battle for the Sahel" in the New Cold War is likely far from over.

It was wondered last month whether the US could salvage its Nigerien base deal after the military authorities scrapped their partnership pact upon being disrespected by visiting American officials. The news that Russian instructors just entered the country on a training mission likely spells the end of the Pentagon's influence there. The departure of US troops might soon follow, though it's unclear whether it'll [be] due to the military authorities explicitly demanding it or voluntary to avoid Russia spying on them.

In any case, this is a monumental development since it means that Russian forces are now present in all three of the Sahelian Alliance/Confederation's states after deploying to its Malian core several years back and then entering Burkina Faso in January. Their bloc also withdrew from ECOWAS later that month too, which bolstered their credentials as a new regional integration framework for others to join if they're interested. The combined effect of all this is that Western influence in the Sahel was dealt a deathblow.

Comment: See also:


J.D. Vance: The Math on Ukraine Doesn't Add Up

© Brendan McDermid/ReutersIn Scranton, Pa., 155-millimeter artillery shells are being manufactured.
President Biden wants the world to believe that the biggest obstacle facing Ukraine is Republicans and our lack of commitment to the global community. This is wrong.

Ukraine's challenge is not the G.O.P.; it's math. Ukraine needs more soldiers than it can field, even with draconian conscription policies. And it needs more matériel than the United States can provide. This reality must inform any future Ukraine policy, from further congressional aid to the diplomatic course set by the president.

The Biden administration has applied increasing pressure on Republicans to pass a supplemental aid package of more than $60 billion to Ukraine. I voted against this package in the Senate and remain opposed to virtually any proposal for the United States to continue funding this war. Mr. Biden has failed to articulate even basic facts about what Ukraine needs and how this aid will change the reality on the ground.

The most fundamental question: How much does Ukraine need and how much can we actually provide? Mr. Biden suggests that a $60 billion supplemental means the difference between victory and defeat in a major war between Russia and Ukraine. That is also wrong. This $60 billion is a fraction of what it would take to turn the tide in Ukraine's favor. But this is not just a matter of dollars. Fundamentally, we lack the capacity to manufacture the amount of weapons Ukraine needs us to supply to win the war.

Russian Flag

US citizens backing Russia - Zelensky

© Chris McGrath/Getty ImagesUkraine Presidendt Vladimir Zelensky
Moscow's lobby has pierced American politics, the Ukrainian president has claimed...

Russian influence has penetrated the US political system and warped the information field around the world, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claimed in an interview with Politico on Tuesday.

Zelensky was asked to comment on recent statements made by two Republican lawmakers: Mike Turner of Ohio and Mike McCaul of Texas. They claimed that "pro-Russian" propaganda has filtered into the minds of some of the members of Congress, which has failed to greenlight the $60 billion aid package for Kiev.

The Ukrainian leader stated:
"Russia has succeeded in distorting the information field of the world. They have their lobbies everywhere: in the United States, in the EU countries, in Britain, in Latin America, in Africa. When we talk about the Congress — do you notice how they work with society in the United States?"
Zelensky added that the scale of Russian influence in the US has been underestimated. He claimed that US citizens were helping Russia by spreading its ideas in the American media.


British container ship hijacked near Strait Of Hormuz amid soaring Iran tensions

cargo ship aries hijacke gulf oman
© BloombergLocation of the British cargo ship Aries where it was hijacked, April 13, 2024
While Israel on Friday braced for cruise missile and suicide drone attacks, there are new reports on Saturday morning that Iranian commandos hijacked an Israeli-affiliated container ship heading towards the Strait of Hormuz.

AP News says the British military's United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations initially reported the hijacking of Portuguese-flagged MSC Aries, a container ship linked to London-based Zodiac Maritime. Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer controls the international ship management company that owns and charters large vessels.

Video of the boarding has been circulating X for the past hour. However, "AP could not immediately verify the video, it corresponded to known details of the boarding, and the helicopter involved appeared to be one used by Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, which has carried out other ship raids in the past," the media outlet said.

Comment: Iran has more than a passing interest in the Aries:

Full text:
#Iran (IRGC) is sending multiple messages to the #US and #Israel by seizing the Israeli-own ship MSC ARIES in the Strait of Hormuz.
1. It is in no way a response to the violation of the Israeli bombing of a diplomatic consulate in #Syria.
2. It is a response to @JoeBiden's message to Iran saying: Don't (attack Israel). Iran says: What will you do now?
3. Responding to US officials saying that the US "will defend Israel by any means necessary". Iran says: Show us your move now!
4. A response to Israel's bombing of Iranian logistic warehouses in #Syria (not the consulate).
5. Ratcheting up tensions with Israel before the BIG HIT.
6. Cutting off the land route provided to Israel by the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Jordan by offering Israel a port at Jebel Ali where goods are transported via the Trucknet Israeli-Eilat base company to bypass the Yemen Ansar'Allah blockade.
7. The Strait of Hormuz will be closed in case of war (20% of world transit commerce and oil). Expect inflation and oil prices to reach the sky if this conflict continues.
it isn't Iran's first attack on Ofer's shipping fleet:

Suspected Iranian drones hit Israel-linked tanker in Arabian Sea - US military source


Israel getting punished with 'Operation Truthful Promise'

© unknown
Israeli reports say Iran has already fired three waves of drones at Israeli positions, as well as a number of cruise missiles. Footage captured by citizens in Iraq, suggests Iran's famous Shahed-136 drones are among the UAVs launched at the occupied territories.

The initial announcement regarding the launch of the Iranian attacks came from the Israeli military. Daniel Hagari, the army's spokesperson, stated that the drones would take some hours to reach their destination while emphasizing Israel's readiness for the situation.

During a briefing with the press, Hagari highlighted that Israel has defensive and offensive measures in place and maintains close cooperation with the U.S. and regional partners.

Iran also confirmed it has begun its retaliation against Israel through a TV announcement. A news anchor, reading a statement by the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC), said:
"In response to various crimes of the Zionist regime, including the attack on the Iranian consulate section in Damascus and the martyrdom of some of our country's military commanders and advisors in Syria, the IRGC's Air Force targeted specific objectives inside the occupied territories by hitting them with dozens of missiles and drones."
ABC News has quoted American officials claiming that 400 to 500 drones are currently making their way towards Israel after being launched from Iran's territory.

Comment: See also: Hezbollah fires dozens of missiles towards Northern Israel

Star of David

'Islamic world will celebrate the destruction of Israel': Is war inevitable between Tehran and West Jerusalem?

What will the Islamic Republic's response be to the attack on its embassy in Syria?

The Israeli strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus on April 1 left political experts and millions of people around the world wondering whether the attack will lead to a direct war between the two nations. Iran has every reason to retaliate, since the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 is still in force. Tehran could respond either by striking the Israeli diplomatic mission on the territory of another country, or by directly attacking Israel. However, this course of action would be too predictable and could lead to a full-scale war with unforeseen consequences. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared that he is ready to take harsh action in such a case. According to Netanyahu, Iran has acted against Israel for years, and Israel will respond to any threat to its security. In other words, if Iran strikes Israel, war is inevitable.

Comment: Whether they apply, defy or ignore, the way forward is offered.


China tells US it won't be bullied on Russia

© Pedro Pardo/AFPChina's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning
Washington has repeatedly threatened unspecified "consequences" over the Ukraine conflict...

Relations between Beijing and Moscow are their business alone, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning has said, responding to veiled threats by a senior American diplomat.

US Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell said on Tuesday that any further Russian advances in Ukraine will "have an impact" on the US-China relationship.

When asked about Campbell's comments at Wednesday's press briefing, Mao said:
"China and Russia have the right to carry out normal cooperation. Such cooperation should not come under external interference or constraint. China will not accept the accusations and pressuring."
Speaking to the nonprofit National Committee on US-China Relations, Campbell - who recently took over from Victoria Nuland - said that recent Russian gains could "alter the balance of power in Europe in ways that are, frankly, unacceptable" to Washington, and that the State Department has told Beijing as much.

Arrow Down

The longer it takes the West to accept that Ukraine is losing, the worse things will get for Ukraine

© unknownUkrainian Soldiers
Well, we do seem to have got ourselves into a bit of a pickle in Ukraine. How we get out of it is not immediately obvious.

Like many wars, this one seems to have started due to catastrophic blunders by the ruling elites on both sides. To simplify a rather complex situation, I believe that there were two massive blunders.

The West's blunder: For several years Putin has warned NATO "not one inch further" - that he would not accept further NATO expansion eastwards and would not allow countries like Ukraine and Georgia, both with long borders with Russia, to join NATO. In 2008, Putin even attended a NATO summit during which he gave a speech warning NATO that Russia would not accept Ukraine's and Georgia's admission to NATO. To me that seems reasonable. After all, the U.S. would hardly accept Russia doing a deal with, say, Mexico which would allow Russia to establish bases close to the U.S.-Mexico border (although it's also understandable that Ukraine and Georgia wanted to join NATO, given Putin's sabre-rattling). And, of course, there was the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis when the USA was not too pleased about Russian missiles being situated close to the American mainland. Probably due to stupidity, hubris or a belief that Putin was bluffing, NATO delivered a diplomatic note to the Kremlin reiterating NATO's view that countries like Ukraine and Georgia could join the Alliance if they wished. The result - Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Comment: Risk, backed by hubris and stupidity, defines the West. There will be no 'wake-up call'.


How Trump could beat Deep State

DS begone
© Dr Hero/shutterstockErasure
Let's say that Trump wins the November election. What would a second Trump presidency actually look like?

Today we're going to investigate that question. Let's first back up to the 2016 election.

Trump ran the most incompetent presidential transition process in my lifetime and perhaps the worst in history. The problems began with the fact that none of Trump, his family members and inner circle actually thought he would win the 2016 election with the exception of campaign manager Steve Bannon.

I predicted Trump would win but I was almost alone in that regard.

Trump picked Chris Christie as his transition manager, seemingly oblivious to the fact that as a prosecutor, Christie had put Jared Kushner's father in jail. Given Kushner's role as Trump's son-in-law and close adviser, this was a recipe for failure.

A well-run transition doesn't start the day after the election. It begins a year or more advance with a list of loyal appointees ready to go. Trump had no preparation and no team. Christie was fired as transition manager and Mike Pence took over, but the entire process was bungled.

Comment: Beyond strategic opposition, Washington has fomented a war within.