Tue Jul 19th, 2022 at 09:02:35 PM EST
"Germany's good years are behind it, as a result of a confrontation with Russia. An important basis of our prosperity were the gas contracts with Russia."
For Scholz, Habeck and Baerbock peace was not an option. Poor effort to avert a war on Ukraine! What was at stake ... guaranteed neutrality instead of forcing through NATO membership. German newly elected government completely caught off guard ... now they are beginning to realize the consequences of not following through on the path set out by the previous leadership ... a sovereign Germany and an EU-27 making decisions in the interest of Europe. What a mess NATO has dumped on Europe.
The United States has reached self-sufficiency as a fossil fuel producing nation. Texas is ready to supply LNG far across the globe at very profitable pricing ... MAGA with Joe Biden.
Deutschland vor der sozialen Zerreißprobe: Diese Bundesregierung ist ein Albtraum
So far, Robert Habeck has not attracted attention because the fight against poverty is particularly close to his heart. But it was the Green Vice Chancellor, of all people, who warned of a "political nightmare scenario". 50 percent of the population are "running towards a situation where they earn less than they spend". That will put Germany in front of a "breaking test" like we haven't had for a long time." Shortly thereafter, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said at a public dialogue: "Prices will not fall again quickly, but this will remain a problem for a long time." This clarity is remarkable for government representatives, and there was a lot of recognition for it. Corona, war, inflation, sanctions: All of these are price drivers that put millions in sheer existential misery, even in relatively rich countries.
Habeck and Scholz give the impression that the hardships are a fate imposed only by the Kremlin. But is the federal government as powerless as it wants to appear? There is no question that the global situation limits their room for maneuver. The pandemic has caused supply chain problems that cannot be blamed on the Germans. The coalition is hardly responsible for the lack of staff in many sectors as a result of high sickness rates. Last but not least, the Russian war of aggression has caused inflation, because Ukraine, an important food exporter, is under military fire.
But the upgrade of the Bundeswehr for 100 billion euros is the decision of the federal government. The sanctions against Russia were their decision. It was their decision not to commission the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. And it is her choice not to reconsider that position in light of the emergency. The cabinet has just passed a reform of the "Energy Security Act". At its core is the ability for gas traders to pass on the cost of the energy crisis to consumers. Landlords may soon be able to require their tenants to "heat" the apartment to a maximum of 18 degrees and to save hot water. Employer President Rainer Dulger calls for a "national emergency" to be declared in order to limit the workers' right to strike. Finance Minister Christian Lindner has announced cuts in benefits for the long-term unemployed.
US Congress long record to block Germany's Nord Stream 2 and place sanctions on Russia's oil & gas sector.
Germany’s Baerbock: Germany must not be blackmailed
Sen. Lindsey Graham: hit Russian oil and gas sector with "sanctions bill from hell" | Aug. 2, 2018 |
Republican Senator Jim Risch, committee chairman, said the panel would also consider another bill, the bipartisan Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act (DASKA), although the timing was not clear.
That bill would impose stiff sanctions on Russia over meddling in U.S. elections and aggression against Ukraine. One sponsor, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, has called it the "sanctions bill from hell."
DASKA would impose strict measures on Russia's oil and gas sector, which contributes about 40 percent of Moscow's revenues. It would also sanction individuals who provide goods, services or financing to support development of crude oil in the country as well as Russian state-owned energy ventures outside of Russia, including investments in liquefied natural gas projects.
Why hammer Russia? Because it is our enemy and we can!
Invasion of the troll armies across the globe for political influence | The Guardian - Nov. 6, 2016 |
Governments all over the world are manipulating social media for their own ends. That's where the digital foot soldiers come in - smearing opponents, spreading disinformation and posting fake texts for `pocket money'.
You can hire your own troll army if you have the cash. In 2011 the PR firm Bell Pottinger told undercover journalists that they could "create and maintain third-party blogs", and spruce up Wikipedia profiles and Google search rankings. Indeed marketing has a rich history of so-called "astroturfing", which is laying down fake grassroots. Now, however, manipulating social media has become part of the business of government.
The existence of the wumao dang or "50 Cent Party" is not a secret in China, but then it is hard to employ up to two million people secretly.
According to internal documents released by a group of hackers in 2013, Internet Research Agency employed more than 600 people across Russia, and had an implied annual budget of $10m - half of which was paid out in cash.
In 2013, the Israeli government revealed that it would also recruit "covert units" however. These would be staffed by a mixture of international supporters and domestic students, whose high intelligence, low income and familiarity with social media make them generally well suited to professional trolling [hasbara]. During the war in Gaza the following summer, a student group called Israel Under Fire emerged as one of many voices promoting the Israeli side of the story.
Hasbara troll farm in Office of Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu
If Russia has a troll army, why shouldn't Ukraine? With this logic, last February, the country's new Information Policy Ministry announced the launch of its own i-army, based at i-army.org, with plans to challenge the enemy version of events on social media.
Andrew Auernheimer is a hacker and self-proclaimed Internet "troll" [by the name of Weev] as well as a notorious "neo-Nazi" white supremacist. After his sentence was vacated by the appeals court he move to Kharkiv, Ukraine.
The so-called "Twitter Troops" of the 77th Brigade were somewhat misunderstood by the media when the new army unit was created last year. In fact social media was just one example of many non-military skills that the specialist soldiers were intended to bring to the army.
And in any case, the MoD informs me, it would not be a soldier's job to launch a disinformation campaign on the battlefield, even if they had the time.
You don't hear much about JTRIG in Britain, however, and they do just this kind of thing. Indeed the very existence of the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group was a national secret until documents from Edward Snowden were published by Glenn Greenwald and Andrew Fishman in 2014. And they reveal a very busy group of people, whose work within GCHQ was intended to help everyone from the police and MI5 to the Department for Children, Schools and Families and the Bank of England.
Some of JTRIG's tactics, such as hacking into websites and setting up sexual "honeypot" stings, sound more or less like conventional spying. Others were carefully designed to manipulate and deceive.
In the words of the leaked document, these included "Uploading YouTube videos containing persuasive messages; establishing online aliases with Facebook and Twitter accounts, blogs and forum memberships ... sending spoof emails and text messages as well as providing spoof online resources; and setting up spoof trade sites."
Alliance Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, Mercier Foundation, Israel, Steve Bannon, Emirates to "nudge" the American electorate to elect Donald Trump ... a political statement "anyone but a Democrat", a lesson for the Mullah lovers. Trump felt good for every minute he sat in the Oval Office as the most powerful person on Earth, within reach of the nuclear football. He would so much like to return in 2024. He did the utmost to stay in power.
The Obama Administration and the citizens' right to be misled by their government ... blaming our enemies.
Cass Sunstein's Nudge (2008)
The Obama Fun Couple Samantha Power - Cass Sunstein
On September 15, 2015, President Obama issued an Executive Order recommending that executive departments and agencies use "behavioral science insights to better serve the American people." The articles in this special section were already in press when the order was issued, and this serendipity further underscores the timeliness of this special section.
Obama Signs New Law Restructuring U.S. Government Led International Media
Packaging the Emir of Kuwait - 1990
Hill & Knowlton, then the world's largest PR firm, served as mastermind for the Kuwaiti campaign. Its activities alone would have constituted the largest foreign-funded campaign ever aimed at manipulating American public opinion. By law, the Foreign Agents Registration Act should have exposed this propaganda campaign to the American people, but the Justice Department chose not to enforce it.
PM Tony Blair urged Kuwait to buy UK artillery as Gulf war payback, papers show | The Guardian - today |
The disinformation campaign | Center for Public Integrity - Oct. 2001 |
The way wars are reported in the western media follows a depressingly predictable pattern: stage one, the crisis; stage two, the demonisation of the enemy's leader; stage three, the demonisation of the enemy as individuals; and stage four, atrocities. At the moment we are at stages two and three: efforts to show that not only Osama bin Laden and the Taliban are fanatical and cruel but that most Afghans - even many Muslims - are as well. We are already through stage one, the reporting of a crisis which negotiations appear unable to resolve. Politicians, while calling for diplomacy, warn of military retaliation. The media reports this as "We're on the brink of war" or "War is inevitable."
News coverage concentrates on the build up of military force, and prominent columnists and newspaper editorials urge war. But there are usually sizable minorities of citizens concerned that all avenues for peace have not been fully explored and although the mainstream media ignores or plays down their protests, these have to be dampened down unless they gain strength.
Where us the nudge for a peace deal? Must armed conflict bring a decision for the US? America has been on a long losing streak ...