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US Amb Grenell Worse Than President Putin

by Oui Wed Jun 6th, 2018 at 08:21:52 AM EST

It's the United States of America that's been devisive over the past decades to harm peace in the world. A clear view, one of many signs in the past, was clearly stated by new US Ambassador Grenell to Germany. I do hope the shitstorm doesn't subside and European leaders will stand-up for ethics, morals and show some spine to the one moronic superpower in the world aiming to destroy the planet. Ooops, our slimeball PM Rutte will visit Herr Trumpf in the White House to receive gratitude for a continued PR pressure on Russia and Putin as only Bill Browder could do better. An Oscar nomination anyone?

Dutch elections: Prime minister Mark Rutte calls for a 'stand against Geert Wilders' populism' as Netherlands goes to the polls
Mark Rutte before the election: Leave if you don't like it here

How did Rutte manage? By positioning his VVD party platform as close as possible to Geert Wilders' PVV on immigration and radical Islam. A true wolf in sheep's clothing. To let the conservative agenda in Dutch politics prevail. Rutte is a close ally of Theresa May and the U.S. President with whatever name on the mailbox 1000 Pennsylvania Avenue.

More below the fold ...

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Iran Readies Natanz for Enrichment within Limits JCPOA

by Oui Tue Jun 5th, 2018 at 09:32:23 PM EST

Leader: Nuclear agency must get ready for enrichment up to 190,000SWU as of tomorrow

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has ordered the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) to make preparations for enrichment of uranium up to a level of 190,000 SWU without any delay.

Ayatollah Khamenei made the remarks in a ceremony held at the Imam Khomeini Mausoleum in south Tehran to commemorate the 29th anniversary of the passing away of the founder of the Islamic Republic while talking about Iran's nuclear deal with the P5+1 group of countries, which is officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

    "It seems from what they say that some European governments expect the Iranian nation to both put up with sanctions and give up its nuclear activities and continue to observe limitations [on its nuclear program]. I tell those governments that this bad dream will never come true," the Leader said.

    Stressing that the Iranian nation and government cannot tolerate to be both sanctioned and be put in the "nuclear custody," Ayatollah Khamenei ordered the AEOI to take rapid steps to make preparations for starting uranium enrichment "up to a level of 190,000SWU for the time being within the framework of the JCPOA" and take other preliminary steps that the president has ordered from tomorrow.

Continued below the fold ...

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Fake America In 3 Tweets

by Oui Sun Jun 3rd, 2018 at 07:08:13 AM EST

What more do we need to say or analyze ... woefully disturbed and far off the mark for moral standing. America got its president to destroy the planet ... America First! Corrupt ... corrupt ... corrupt ...

Dinesh D'Souza: Why did Trump pardon the provocateur? | BBC News |

Donald Trump announced that he would use his presidential powers to pardon Dinesh D'Souza, who had pleaded guilty in 2014 for campaign finance law violations.

It marks the latest twist in the rise, fall and Trump-facilitated rehabilitation of the Indian-born conservative author, lecturer and all-around political provocateur.

It also is only the latest example of Mr Trump flexing his presidential powers in a way that is markedly different from his predecessors - and could have serious implications for US politics.

Continued below the fold ...

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US/UK Point Man in Anti-Russia Campaign Speaks Up

by Oui Fri Jun 1st, 2018 at 09:28:11 PM EST

Deflecting all events that doesn't fit well into his narrative, Bil Browder talks to the media ...

Bill Browder: I found a way to challenge Putin. He's really sore about it | The Guardian |

Browder is heartened, though, that attitudes to Russia appear to be hardening, at least in Britain, after the Skripal case. Parliament is clearly "seething", he said, and Theresa May's speech on the incident was "extremely tough. But now she needs to follow up with action."

The Chelsea football club owner, Roman Abramovich, may have taken up Israeli citizenship this week because of his UK visa problems, but "even assuming that's policy, does `not renewing a visa' measure up against a chemical weapons attack?"
Having himself faced death threats, Browder finds western agonising over the "niceties" of whether or not the Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko should have gone along with the Ukrainian secret service's plan to fake his own death this week to be absurd.

"Far too many people have been killed by Putin already," he says. "If you ask me whether I prefer a purist approach towards the information war or having Mr Babchenko dead, I know my answer. Russia is going to make stuff up no matter what. We should just save lives where we can and debunk their nonsense."

Bill Browder got roasted during the sworn testimony of Glenn Simpson [Fusion GPS] before U.S. Congress in August 2017.

More below the fold ...

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A Perfect Storm

by Frank Schnittger Fri Jun 1st, 2018 at 06:54:50 PM EST

With 300 days to go to Brexit, the Brexit negotiations are facing a perfect storm of UK Government incompetence, Italian governmental policy changes on the Euro, and a trade war initiated by Donald Trump. The UK government has still not made up its mind as to what kind of relationship it wants with the Customs Union and Single Market, and seems no closer to coming up with a coherent solution to the problem of the Irish border.

While Boris Johnson continues to waffle on about wanting a clean break from the EU, the UK government is actually seeking ever more complicated solutions to retaining "friction free" access to the Single Market and wants to retain access to the Blue Skies agreement, the Gallileo project, Europol, the Prüm Convention, and to retain influence over European defence and foreign policy. Basically the UK is seeking a partnership of equals between the UK and EU, and the EU is having none of it.

Meanwhile the "Italian Crisis", which is seen by many in the EU as a more serious threat to the Euro and the EU than Brexit, is reminding EU negotiators of just how much they need to show the Italians (and everyone else) of how much they stand to lose if they leave the EU or the Eurozone. The Italy Panic Might Be Bad News for the U.K.

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, stepped up rhetoric last weekend on the need for the U.K. to be worse off. It was sparked by last week's round of negotiations in Brussels in which European officials said they were taken aback by how much the British government wants to continue after Brexit as if Brexit never happened.

Read more... (157 comments, 686 words in story)

US Foreign Policy from Crisis to Crisis

by Oui Thu May 31st, 2018 at 11:59:37 AM EST

h/t Cat @EuroTrib

The Imperial Logic of U.S. Foreign Policy

How can U.S. foreign policy of the past several decades be explained in a systematic and rational way? The following chart - based on a model developed by political science professors David Sylvan and Stephen Majeski - reveals the imperial logic behind U.S. diplomatic and military interventions around the globe.

 « click for more info »

The American Empire and its Media

Largely unbeknownst to the general public, executives and top journalists of almost all major US news outlets have long been members of the influential Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

Established in 1921 as a private, bipartisan organization to "awaken America to its worldwide responsibilities", the CFR and its close to 5000 elite members have for decades shaped U.S. foreign policy and public discourse about it. As a well-known Council member once explained, the goal has indeed been to establish a global Empire, albeit a "benevolent" one.

Continued below the fold ...

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How to run a referendum

by Frank Schnittger Wed May 30th, 2018 at 08:50:15 AM EST

If only Brexit had been run like Ireland's referendum

In all the excitement of what happened in Ireland's referendum on abortion, we should not lose sight of what did not happen. A vote on an emotive subject was not subverted. The tactics that have been so successful for the right and the far right in the UK, the US, Hungary and elsewhere did not work. A democracy navigated its way through some very rough terrain and came home not just alive but more alive than it was before. In the world we inhabit, these things are worth celebrating but also worth learning from. Political circumstances are never quite the same twice, but some of what happened and did not happen in Ireland surely contains more general lessons.

If the right failed spectacularly in Ireland, it was not for want of trying. Save the 8th, one of the two main groups campaigning against the removal of the anti-abortion clause from the Irish constitution, hired Vote Leave's technical director, the Cambridge Analytica alumnus Thomas Borwick.

Save the 8th and the other anti-repeal campaign, Love Both, used apps developed by a US-based company, Political Social Media (PSM), which worked on both the Brexit and Trump campaigns. The small print told those using the apps that their data could be shared with other PSM clients, including the Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee and Vote Leave.

Irish voters were subjected to the same polarising tactics that have worked so well elsewhere: shamelessly fake "facts" (the claim, for example, that abortion was to be legalised up to six months into pregnancy); the contemptuous dismissal of expertise (the leading obstetrician Peter Boylan was told in a TV debate to "go back to school"); deliberately shocking visual imagery (posters of aborted foetuses outside maternity hospitals); and a discourse of liberal elites versus the real people. But Irish democracy had an immune system that proved highly effective in resisting this virus. Its success suggests a democratic playbook with at least four good rules.

Read more... (17 comments, 895 words in story)

Malian Immigrant Saves Child from Paris Balcony

by Oui Mon May 28th, 2018 at 10:02:25 AM EST

Mamoudou Gassama: Mali 'Spiderman' scales four floors to rescue child from Paris balcony

After seeing the child was in danger, it took Mamoudou Gassama, 22, less than a minute to scale the outside of the building and haul the boy over the balcony to safety.

Gassama told Le Parisien he was watching a football match at a nearby restaurant with friends when he heard a commotion.

"We saw a lot of people screaming, honking, so, I crossed the road to save him," he said.

Gassama did not think twice about scaling the building, telling BFM Paris: "Thank god, I saved him."

Continue below the fold ...

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YES - Prohibition of Abortion repealed in Ireland

by Frank Schnittger Fri May 25th, 2018 at 11:25:01 PM EST

The Eight Amendment to the Irish Constitution, passed by a margin of 67% to 33% on a 54% turnout in 1983, made abortion all but equivalent to murder in all circumstances except where there was an immediate and certain risk to the life of the mother. 35 years later a referendum to repeal that amendment was held yesterday.

The Irish Times exit poll predicts a 68% to 32% victory for the repeal side. A much higher turnout, approaching 70% is also expected to have occurred. This is a better result than the Yes side dared to hope, given that the No campaign had the full support of the Catholic Church and assorted well funded right wing think tanks and organisations who used emotive posters and language basically portraying YES supporters as baby killers.


As might be expected, the younger the voter, the more likely they are to support repeal. However the contrast between the 50-64 demographic (YES 63-37) and the 65+ demographic (NO 60-40) is stark. A sea change appears to have occurred between voters born before and after 1953, a period which saw the Catholic Church defeat the first attempts by government to introduce publicly funded health care for mothers and children.

Women and urban voters also supported repeal in greater numbers, but again, it is striking that there was no great Male/female or Urban/rural divide. All parts of the country voted for repeal, and men supported repeal by 65-35%.

Read more... (44 comments, 1100 words in story)

Repealed

by Cat Fri May 25th, 2018 at 09:31:26 PM EST

Thank you for your confidence.

Read more... (1 comment, 78 words in story)

Poroshenko's Losing Bet on a Clinton Win

by Oui Fri May 25th, 2018 at 08:13:31 AM EST

See also Martin Longman's fp story earlier ...

The World of Michael Cohen and Felix Sater

My earlier diary on Felix Sater ...

It's Not Russia ...

Trump lawyer 'paid by Ukraine' to arrange White House talks

Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, received a secret payment of at least $400,000 (£300,000) to fix talks between the Ukrainian president and President Trump, according to sources in Kiev close to those involved.

The payment was arranged by intermediaries acting for Ukraine's leader, Petro Poroshenko, the sources said, though Mr Cohen was not registered as a representative of Ukraine as required by US law.

Mr Cohen denies the allegation.

Continued below the fold ...

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Trump Campaign: George Bush Sr. and Spy Stefan Halper

by Oui Fri May 25th, 2018 at 07:59:13 AM EST

Puzzling ... US Presidential Election 2016:
Cambridge Espionage Halper Dearlove British Conservatives MI6 and ties to CIA / George Bush Sr.

George H. Bush, former CIA Director, involved in the Bay of Pigs operation, the plumbers, Watergate, assassinations, drugs running for CIA, Vietnam War, Laos, Columbia, Nicaragua, Afghanistan ... political frontmen on the payroll, Marcos, Noriega, brother of Kharzai ...

h/t Cat :: Returning to your simple remark "Halper" refers to Stefan Halper, an US intelligence agent US Congress tried to keep confidential: Intel Uses Media To Report Informant's Life In Danger, Turns Out They Are Just Covering Themselves

Cambridge politics professor outed as FBI informant in Trump investigation | Varsity |

More below the fold ...

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Trump a Master In Dynamite - A Nobel Prize?

by Oui Thu May 24th, 2018 at 05:57:26 PM EST

The Apprentice whose followers were already calling for his candidacy as the recipient of the explosive Nobel Prize, that would be true dynamite!

Trump is pretty good in "blowing-up" things from trade deals like NAFTA, TPP, Paris Climate Accord, WTO agreements due to "national security" risks and the Iran Nuclear agreement JCPOA signed by Barack Obama.

US Government destroyed NK Summit in Singapore with threat of "Libya Model"

Of all the countries that might have acted as a spoiler for the summit in Singapore between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un--China, Russia, Japan, the United States and North Korea themselves--the one that doomed it was unexpected. It isn't even involved in North Korea diplomacy and is located a long 6,000 miles away from the Korean Peninsula. It's Libya.

Continued below the fold ...

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Jerusalem as the Zionists See It's Future

by Oui Wed May 23rd, 2018 at 06:44:27 PM EST

The US has abandoned International convention and the UN Security Council Resolutions about Israel as a state and the illegal occupation of Palestinian land. To place a hardliner like Thomas Friedman in the US Embassy in Jerusalem ... 'nuf said!

Israel: US ambassador handed doctored image of east Jerusalem | DW |

The Al-Aqsa Mosque is one of Islam's holiest sites; Muslims believe the Prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven from the structure. Known to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif ("Noble Sanctuary") and as Temple Mount to Jews, the larger compound surrouding the mosque sits on land sacred to both religions. It is considered the holiest site in Judaism.

The site in Israel-annexed east Jerusalem has been a frequent flashpoint for violence between Israelis and Palestinians and a major source of tension in the decades-old conflict.

Continued below the fold ...

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All American, Spy Felix Sater Working All Sides

by Oui Thu May 24th, 2018 at 06:40:28 AM EST

So this guy Felix Sater was the Intelligence asset working from inside the Trump organization. He has been mentioned before as a FBI asset in Wall Street financial dealings, mob corruption and work for the US Government. Who was his handler? From his statement before the Senate Intelligence committee, he can be seen as the "Deep Throat" working all sides: Russia - Washington - Tel Aviv. I would be not surprised if he liasoned between IC of London - Moscow - Herzliya, the Mossad. He started work for the DIA under the Bill Clinton administration - Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, Mujahideen, Pakistan's ISI, Stinger missiles - thinking the Operation Infinite Reach of 1998 and the Clinton pardon of Marc Rich in 2000 - also a Mossad asset. See also the Russia links between Rosneft and Glencore.

In Afghanistan, working for British intelligence and also becme an CIA asset, was our right-wing "friend" Radek Sikorski. Another excellent relationship with Poland, Ukraine and a strong anti-Russian sentiment, dare I say hatred?

Radek Sikorski Returns to Ukraine's Headlines: Putin's Coup
U.S. Citizens Continue to Infiltrate Eastern European Governments

How Felix Sater Worked The Trump Moscow Deal During The Campaign  | BuzzFeed - 6 days ago |

The first attempt to build a signature tower in the Russian capital was in 1987, when he visited the Soviet Union to scout locations. In 1996, his company announced another "exploratory trip" that came to nothing. In 2005, he set his sights on an abandoned pencil factory before that deal flickered and failed. In 2013, after hosting the Miss Universe pageant there, Trump tweeted, "TRUMP TOWER-MOSCOW is next."

Cintinued below the fold ...

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Atlantic Council Teams Up With Zuckerberg's Facebook

by Oui Tue May 22nd, 2018 at 08:51:31 PM EST

Had to double-check news feed ... this can't be true, can it??

More below the fold ...

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An Economic 'Siege' of the Islamic State of Iran

by Oui Tue May 22nd, 2018 at 04:56:28 AM EST

Persons at the U.S. State Department have always sought revenge for lives lost during the Lebanon Wars between Sunni, Shia proxy groups in conjunction with Israel. Many American citizens were taken hostage for ransom in Beirut and the greatest loss of American lives was the Beirut Marine baracks bombing during the Reagan administration.

The US retaliated by supporting Saddam Hussein during the Iraq-Iran war and turning a blind eye when massive use of chemical warfare was used. During this war Iran lost a million lives on the battle field. Iraq used US satellite intelligence to pinpoint it's destructive arsenal of weapons.

By shredding the JCPOA nuclear deal, the USA has lost all of its credibility across vast regions of the globe.

The tragicomedy of Iran sanctions | Al Jazeera |

Iran marks May 22 as the anniversary of its economic 'siege' by the US. Following the takeover of the US embassy in Tehran in 1979, Jimmy Carter, the then US president, imposed sanctions on Iran, freezing around $12bn worth of Iranian assets abroad.

But coming as it did during a period of internal upheaval for Iran and shortly before the Iran-Iraq war, the sanctions were initially little more than an irritant for a country facing much greater issues.

In most cases, US-produced goods could be purchased through third parties, adding relatively small transaction costs. And Iranian exports - which tended to be essential items such as oil or high quality goods such as carpets, caviar and pistachios - did not depend on any single market.

In 1995, then US president Bill Clinton expanded the scope of sanctions significantly to include oil, gas and trade, effectively banishing US firms from the Iranian market.

Continued below the fold ...

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America On Path to Break-up the European Union

by Oui Mon May 21st, 2018 at 06:04:01 PM EST

Very much the theme of the AngloSaxon conservatives joined by the alt-right across the Western world ... once again warmongering coming out of the Pentagon, White House and the National Security Council under leadership of neocon John Bolton.

US vows 'strongest sanctions in history' on Iran, will 'crush' terror proxies | Times of Israel |

'This is just the beginning': Laying out strategy after exiting nuke deal, Pompeo says Iran must come clean about nuclear program, stop threatening Israel, leave Syria, halt terror.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Trump administration is preparing to impose "the strongest sanctions in history" on Tehran after withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal earlier this month, and laid out a laundry list of demands for a new treaty, in his first major speech outlining Washington's strategy for curtailing the Islamic Republic's nuclear ambitions and its `malign' regional behavior.

"We will apply unprecedented financial pressure on the Iranian regime," Pompeo told a crowd gathered at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank based in the nation's capital.

Continued below the fold ...

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NY Times: Collusion Trump Transition Team with UAE/Israel

by Oui Sun May 20th, 2018 at 08:05:19 AM EST

[Update-2 Title of diary was "Explosive News NY Times"]

Like I have said all along, looking in the wrong place for the defeat of Democrats in the 2016 Election ...

The New York Times discloses the basic collusion between the Trump Campaign and the joint effort by Israel and the Arab princes to get Trump elected. No one in U.S. Congress will put blame on close ally  PM Netanyahu of the Jewish State of Israel ... so the bully got a pass and carte blanche to setup the Republican nominee to defeat the Democrats and in its extension to confront Iran, the archenemy of Israel and Saudi Arabia. The "piggyback" coup d'état by covert forces of AngloSaxons conservatives [STL Group and Cambridge Analytica] in combination with the State of Israel.  See also the move of US Embassy to Jerusalem contravening International Law and UN Security Council resolutions. President Trump obliged Israel and Suadi Arabia by breaking the JCPOA, deal of the Five +1 with Iran on nuclear disarmament.

Continued below the fold ...

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The Global Plutocracy Story

by gmoke Sun May 20th, 2018 at 02:09:18 AM EST

With the news of Saudi and UAE meetings with the Trmp campaign, Jeet Heer, staff writer at the New Republic, points out that the "so called Russia story is a global plutocracy story" and I believe he is correct.  In fact, the global plutocracy story is the key to many stories:

The global plutocracy story is also the story of fossil foolish companies burning everything they can now & soaking the public for "stranded assets" when climate change becomes undeniable.

The global plutocracy story is also the real estate story with kakistocratic kleptocrats buying multiple high-end properties in London, NYC, and other cities around the world as part of a money laundering operation and hollowing out once living neighborhoods on the side.

The global plutocracy story is also the story of media and audience commercialization with growing 24/7/365 surveillance capability now technologically available to governments, corporations, groups, & individuals.

The global plutocracy story is also .... ad almost infinitum.

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 18 - 25 June 2018

by Bjinse - Jun 18, 49 comments

Your take on this week's news

 11 - 17 June 2018

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Your take on this week's news

 June Open Thread

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