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Collapse of An Empire

by Oui Sat Sep 4th, 2021 at 10:17:41 AM EST

The U.S. Foreign Policy 'Establishment' Is Incredibly Dumb | MofA |

Decades of zero accountability for US political, economic,Intel agency elites has decimated US democratic institutions & led to an establishment that is allowed to make the same 'mistakes' over and over again? Unending impunity for elites isn't Democracy, it's Tyranny.  [Posted by: Stephen Kalil]


Perhaps it's quite simple ... the Nazi regime was evil top down ... empire of American Century is evil bottom up. The weakness in leadership in the White House starts in the States, America is disunited from guns to morals and slowly but steadily sinks into a swamp of dispair through severe inequality. The State needs military power to keep up appearances and let capitalism survive. Has more characteristics of cannibalism.

Endless Wars

A statement doesn't make terror go away ... full blowback awaiting. Improve people's lives, do not destroy men, women and children.

US generals earned big bucks in the UAE after 9/11 and the decision of endless wars by the subsequent administrations in the White House. Erik Prince with Blackwater followed Dick Cheney and Halliburton (contracts with Iran).

Afghan defeat ... mostly losers, the winners are Taliban terror group, Al Qaeda remnants in AfPak territory, China, Turkey, Russia and a split decision on Pakistan.

Russia and China: SCO and Afghanistan run by the Taliban

China and Russia poised to step into the Afghanistan gap | FT |

Meanwhile planet Earth and effects Climate Change

Are the machines helpful to battle forest fires destroying nature and people's livelihood?

Turkey, Greece and Italy: Which countries are being affected by wildfires and why? | EuroNews |

Faltering Empire from Vietnam through 9/11 and 20 years of atrocities. Refugees across the MENA countries, Middle East and from Greece to the Baltics. America's forever wars.

America Has A Deep Moral Obligation to Accept More Afghan Refugees | Washington Monthly |

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Opinion: The Afghanistan fiasco will not herald a new world order | DW News |

Universal values hold true

The liberal, rule-based world order is by no means at an end. The ideals and values that the West upholds and rightly believes to be universal remain valid: the dignity of every human, equal rights for men and women, freedom of expression, the right to assemble, democracy, respect for human rights. Just because the West has failed in Afghanistan does not mean these values are any less significant. On the contrary. The likely tragic development over the next few months in Afghanistan will prove once again that they are right.

Moscow's claim that the US has tried to dominate the world since the end of the Cold War in 1991 is propaganda. It is not the West's fault if Eastern European countries have turned away from Russia, toward the free world. Is there a single genuinely democratic country in Europe with which Russia has friendly relations? If not, why is that so?

Further reading ...

Discrimination, Artificial Intelligence, and Algorithmic Decision-making

by Oui on Sun Sep 5th, 2021 at 08:33:58 PM EST
by Oui on Sun Sep 5th, 2021 at 08:34:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This statement is false.

Firstly, "values" and "dignity" (read: ideals) are neither identified not "accounted" by the author--all the better not to test a theory of "humanity" by any empirical (read: observed) unit of measurement--tangible AND intangible, quantitative AND qualitative--describing characteristics of the species' population in toto, everywhere, all the time, thought to express the whole one.

yanno, as well as a "women and minorities" Venn diagram.

This statement is a ridiculous, conclusory claim.

Just because the West has failed in Afghanistan does not mean these values are any less significant.
the antagon: res ipsa loquitor ... this week
by Cat on Mon Sep 6th, 2021 at 02:50:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A veteran of the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,  Riley was working as a bodyguard and a security guard. His girlfriend of four years told investigators he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and occasional depression.

...
Deputies responding to reports of two volleys of automatic gunfire arrived to find the suspect unarmed outside, wearing camouflage and body armour. Riley then went back inside ...

A gunfight ensued before he came out unarmed and was arrested.

"It would have been nice if he would have come out with a gun ... We would have shot him up a lot. But he didn't because he was a coward," Judd said. "When someone chooses to give up, we take them into custody peacefully."

US Marshall instant remedy for Veteran PTSS at minimal cost.

by Oui on Mon Sep 6th, 2021 at 03:37:13 AM EST
by Oui on Mon Sep 6th, 2021 at 03:49:35 AM EST
by Oui on Mon Sep 6th, 2021 at 03:53:39 AM EST

UK denies dropping Paris climate goals from text to secure Australia trade deal | EuroNews |

Climate targets dropped from Aus-UK trade deal: reports | Canberra Times |

by Oui on Thu Sep 9th, 2021 at 10:34:50 AM EST
by Oui on Thu Sep 9th, 2021 at 10:35:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Isabel Wilkerson's World-Historical Theory of Race and Caste | The New Yorker - Aug. 2020 |

But the anecdote at once lends a civil-rights hero's weight to Wilkerson's bold thesis and provides the model response to it: a lightning flash of insight about the mechanics of white supremacy. In her view, racism is only the visible manifestation of something deeper. Underlying and predating racism, and holding white supremacy in place, is a hidden system of social domination: a caste structure that uses neutral human differences, skin color among them, as the basis for ranking human value.

"Caste is insidious and therefore powerful because it is not hatred; it is not necessarily personal," she writes. "It is the worn grooves of comforting routines and unthinking expectations, patterns of a social order that have been in place for so long that it looks like the natural order of things." The caste model moves white behavior away from subjective feelings (what motivates these people to do what they do) and into the objective realm of power dynamics (what they do, and to whom). The dynamic that concerns Wilkerson the most is how a dominant caste stops a low-ranking caste from gaining on it.

by Oui on Fri Sep 10th, 2021 at 06:07:29 PM EST

Security researchers at Citizen Lab have discovered
an exploit that they believe has been used by government clients of NSO Group, the Israeli spyware company, to silently hack into iPhones and other Apple devices since February 2021.

Apple patches an NSO zero-day flaw affecting all devices

by Oui on Tue Sep 14th, 2021 at 08:14:25 AM EST
NSO did not dispute Pegasus had prompted the urgent software upgrade, and said in a statement that it would "continue to provide intelligence and law enforcement agencies around the world with life saving technologies to fight terror and crime."

Pegasus has evolved to become more effective since it was uncovered by Citizen Lab and cyber security firm Lookout five years ago.

Pegasus can be deployed as a "zero-click exploit," meaning that the spyware can install itself without the victim even clicking a booby-trapped link or file, according to Lookout senior manager Hank Schless.

"Many apps will automatically create a preview or cache of links in order to improve the user experience. Pegasus takes advantage of this functionality to silently infect the device."

UN experts recently called for an international moratorium on the sale of surveillance technology until regulations are implemented to protect human rights following an Israeli spyware scandal.

Pegasus: Saudi Tracking Software for Dissidents | Oct. 20, 2018 |

Middle-East, Cyber Mercenaries and Devaluation of Human Life | Feb. 5, 2020 |

by Oui on Tue Sep 14th, 2021 at 08:17:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Tragedia Mottarone, il piccolo Eitan portato in Israele dal nonno. Zia: "Ignorati ordini giudice" | RAI |

Italy investigates alleged abduction of boy who survived cable car crash | The Guardian |

Private jet used to abduct Eitan Biran, Italian cable car crash survivor - report | JPost |

According to the report, Eitan's grandfather Shmulik Peleg picked him up at 11:30 am on Saturday from his aunt and drove him across the border to Switzerland. From there, the two boarded a private jet to Tel Aviv.

The paper said that a private plane was necessary because of the strict laws that forbid taking a child out of the country without the approval of the legal guardian.

In an interview with Eitan's grandmother, Etti, on 103FM Radio, she claimed that her grandson was not kidnapped. 

"We've brought Eitan home."

by Oui on Tue Sep 14th, 2021 at 03:54:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The choice of America to incorporate dictators and corrupt regimes to "fight evil". The big backlash and forever wars.

U.S. Foreign Policy and Authoritarian Regimes: Change and Continuity in International Clientelism | By Ostia G. Afoaku - Fall 2000 |

The Rise of Competitive Authoritarianism | Harvard by S Levitsky · 2002 |

The post-Cold War world has been marked by the proliferation of hybrid political regimes. In different ways, and to varying degrees, polities across much of Africa (Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe), postcommunist Eurasia (Albania, Croatia, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine), Asia (Malaysia, Taiwan), and Latin America (Haiti, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru) combined democratic rules with authoritarian governance during the 1990s. Scholars often treated these regimes as incomplete or transitional forms of democracy. Yet in many cases these expectations (or hopes) proved overly optimistic. Particularly in Africa and the former Soviet Union, many regimes have either remained hybrid or moved in an authoritarian direction. It may therefore be time to stop thinking of these cases in terms of transitions to democracy and to begin thinking about the specific types of regimes they actually are.

by Oui on Tue Sep 14th, 2021 at 08:19:03 AM EST
by Oui on Tue Sep 14th, 2021 at 08:35:19 AM EST
Biden Picking Up the pieces after the fall of Kabul and humiliation by the Taliban enemy forces ...

First Quad summit: How India, US, Japan and Australia plan to counter assertive China | Times of India - March 12, 20231 |
by Oui on Tue Sep 14th, 2021 at 01:12:06 PM EST
by Oui on Tue Sep 14th, 2021 at 01:16:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui on Mon Sep 27th, 2021 at 06:02:16 PM EST
US, NATO, Ukraine enhance interoperability with Rapid Trident exercise

The nations involved in the exercise are: Ukraine, U.S., Bulgaria, Canada, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Lithuania, the Republic of Moldova, Pakistan, The Republic of Poland, Romania, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

U.S. participation involves the Washington Army National Guard's 81st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, deployed in support of the Joint Multinational Training Group Ukraine since April 2021. Additionally, some 150 other U.S. Army representatives will participate as mission enablers.

Rapid Trident 21 continues more than 25 years of partnership between the U.S. and Ukraine. Through efforts such as Rapid Trident 21 and the Joint Multinational Training Group Ukraine, the U.S. Army supports ongoing training efforts and enhanced defensive capabilities of Ukraine. Rapid Trident 21 is the final training phase, or culminating event, of an intense and realistic annual training exercise to prepare Ukrainian Land Force units for the challenges of real world situations and deployments.

"This exercise is not just another stage of military skills improvement," said Ukrainian Brig. Gen. Vladyslav Klochkov, co-director of Rapid Trident 21 from the Ukrainian side, "but also an important step toward Ukraine's European integration. It will strengthen the operational capabilities of our troops, improve the level of interoperability between units and headquarters of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the United States, and NATO partners."

by Oui on Mon Sep 27th, 2021 at 06:04:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Multinational exercise Rapid Trident kicks off in Ukraine - July 2011

Rapid Trident 11 involves approximately 1,600 personnel and will consist of multi-
national airborne operations, situational training exercise lanes and a field training exercise. In addition to U.S. Army Europe, the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team and Ukraine, participants include: Latvia, Belarus, Moldova, Slovenia, Canada, Poland, Serbia, the UK, Lithuania, Estonia, California and Utah National Guard and U.S. Air Force Europe.

Rapid Trident is a joint training and exercise program designed to enhance interoperability among Ukraine, the U.S. and Partnership for Peace member nations.

"It is very important that during this exercise we will be visited by leadership of Ukrainian armed forces and force commanders of participating countries," Nazarkin said.

Ukrainian Ground Forces

Russo-Ukrainian War

by Oui on Mon Sep 27th, 2021 at 06:05:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Frontline Ukraine: Crisis In the Borderlands

In 2014, history returned to Europe with a vengeance. The crisis over Ukraine brought back not only the spectre but the reality of war, on the one hundredth anniversary of a conflict that had been spoken of as the war to end all war. The great powers lined up, amid a barrage of propaganda and informational warfare, while many of the smaller powers made their contribution to the festival of irresponsibility. This was also the seventy-fifth anniversary of the beginning of World War II, which wreaked so much harm on Central and Eastern Europe. The fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years earlier and the subsequent end of the Cold War had been attended by expectations of a `Europe whole and free'. These hopes were crushed in 2014, and Europe is now set for a new era of division and confrontation.

...
The `Ukraine crisis' refers to the way that internal tensions have become internationalised to provoke the worst crisis in Europe since the end of the Cold War. Some have even compared its gravity with the Cuban missile crisis of October 1962.

The world at various points stood close to a new conflagration, provoked by desperately overheated rhetoric on all sides. As I shall describe later, the asymmetrical end of the Cold War effectively shut Russia out from the European alliance system. The failure to establish a genuinely inclusive and equal European security system imbued European international politics with powerful stress points, which in 2014 produced the international earthquake that we call the Ukraine crisis. There had been plenty of warning signs, with President Boris Yeltsin, the Russian Federation's first leader, in December 1994 already talking in terms of a `cold peace', and when he came to power in 2000 President Vladimir Putin devoted himself to overcoming the asymmetries.

The major non-state institution at the heart of the `architecture' of post-Communist Europe, the European Union (EU), only exacerbated the tensions rather than engaging in transformative conflict resolution. The EU represented the core of what in this book I call `Wider Europe', a Brussels-centric vision of a European core that extended into the heartlands of what had once been an alternative great-power system centred on Moscow. The increasing merger of Wider Europe with the Atlantic security system only made things worse.

Russia and some European leaders proposed not so much an alternative but a complementary vision to the monism of Wider Europe, which I and others call `Greater Europe': a way of bringing together all corners of the continent to create what Mikhail Gorbachev in the final period of the Soviet Union had called the Common European Home. This is a multipolar and pluralistic concept of Europe, allied with but not the same as the Atlantic community. In Greater Europe there would be no need to choose between Brussels, Washington or Moscow. In the absence of the tensions generated by the post-Cold War `unsettlement', the peace promised at the end of the Cold War would finally arrive. Instead, the double `Ukrainian' and `Ukraine' crises combined with catastrophic consequences.

by Oui on Mon Sep 27th, 2021 at 06:07:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
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Putin 2-Day State Visit to The Netherlands - Nov. 2, 2005

During this visit, the first state visit to the Netherlands by a Russian leader in 130 years, Vladimir Putin will hold talks with Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende and meet with members of the Dutch royal family, the parliament and business community.

Economic cooperation will be high on Putin's agenda as he starts the visit with a meeting with prominent Dutch businessmen at the Great Industrial Club in Amsterdam to discuss the expansion of economic ties.

The Netherlands is Russia's second largest European trading partner after Germany. Russian statistics show that the trade turnover between the two countries was 16.6 billion US dollars last year. A large component will be most likely exchange of energy, im- and exports of gas through the existing pipelines. See Dutch gas resources of Slochteren, Drenthe.

IHT - Putin expected to focus on energy in Dutch visit

AMSTERDAM Nov. 2 -- Putin and his wife, Lyudmila, were welcomed by Queen Beatrix and her son, Crown Prince Willem Alexander, at the airport, and the group then drove to the royal palace in Amsterdam. Putin walked across Dam Square to pay respects to Dutch war victims at the national monument. The police had sealed off the square in the center of the Dutch capital hours before.

The Russian president was also to visit Zaandam, a town where Czar Peter the Great spent several months in 1697 studying Dutch shipbuilding.

Putin was repaying a 2001 state visit by Queen Beatrix. He had been due to visit in 2002, but the trip was postponed when terrorists seized 800 hostages at a Moscow theater in a siege that ended with 170 people dead.

Although Putin has made business trips to the Netherlands before, it is the first state visit by a Russian leader since Czar Alexander II in 1874.

Putin met Balkenende in The Hague a year ago, when the Netherlands held the European Union presidency, and the two had a sharp exchange when Balkenende raised human rights issues in Russia's war in Chechnya. An irritated Putin reportedly responded by questioning the Dutch leader about problems with the Muslim community in the Netherlands.

Talks between the two leaders this time were likely to skirt contentious issues and focus on developing economic ties. But the wars in the Caucasus will figure at least in talks between Foreign Ministers Ben Bot and Sergey Lavrov, with the Dutch voicing concern that the conflicts are getting closer as the European Union's borders expand.

Political talks will also touch on Iran and its nuclear program, officials said.

The Dutch gas company Gasunie is reported to be seeking a greater role in transporting Russian gas to Europe. Royal Dutch Shell has invested heavily in developing oil and gas fields around Sakhalin Island, a project that has been plagued by cost overruns.

The future of European gas after Groningen - Feb. 2020

Further reading ...

It's Not Russia ...

by Oui on Tue Sep 28th, 2021 at 02:36:32 PM EST


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