How Likely Is It That The US Replaces Zelensky In The First Half Of Next Year?

How Likely Is It That The US Replaces Zelensky In The First Half Of Next Year?

Authored by Andrew Korybvko via Substack,

President Putin shared his view during a press conference in Hanoi that the US will replace Zelensky during the first half of next year after they use him to make unpopular decisions such as further lowering the draft age.

His prediction coincided with Russia’s foreign intelligence service publishing its latest such report about this scenario, which claimed that Zaluzhny is being seriously considered by the US as his replacement and is also deemed to be more suitable for negotiating peace with Moscow than others.

It was explained last month how “Russia Hopes To Influence Ukraine’s Possibly Impending US-Backed Regime Change Process” after that same service released a related report about this at the time. This strategy continues unfolding as evidenced by President Putin declaring two weeks ago that the Rada Speaker is now the legitimate leader of Ukraine if the Constitution is still being followed. Accordingly, he said that Russia could negotiate with him or someone else if Kiev is interested in peace, but not Zelensky.

As regards the conflict’s military-strategic dynamics, they continue trending in Russia’s favor and won’t be changed by minor adjustments to US policy such as letting Ukraine use its arms to hit any targets across the border that are allegedly planning to cross the frontier.

The only variable that can make a meaningful difference at this point in time is if NATO stages a conventional intervention, but that would spike the risk of World War III by miscalculation.

Returning back to President Putin’s prediction about Zelensky being replaced in the first half of next year, he’s either assuming that no such conventional intervention will occur or that the subsequent escalation would remain manageable instead of spiraling into the apocalypse.

Regarding the first possibility, there’s a chance that this won’t happen since it’s dependent on Russia achieving a military breakthrough across the front lines, which NATO could then exploit to justify directly involving itself in this conflict.

That might either not happen and thus rule out this scenario, or it’ll unfold and then set that sequence of events into motion, therefore leading to the second possibility of them managing this escalation.

In that case, Russia might either eschew striking NATO units so long as they don’t cross the Dnieper and pose a credible threat to its new regions, or they’ll engage in controllable tit-for-tat strikes before freezing the conflict. No matter what happens, however, Zelensky’s political future is set in stone.  

The first possibility is actually much worse for him since he’ll be pressured like never before to lower the draft age as soon as possible in order to replace all the meat that’ll have to be ground to prevent a Russian breakthrough across the front lines.

It’s impossible to predict the timing with which he’d then be replaced since it depends on when that policy is implemented and whether (and how long) the secret police can control the public’s furious reaction to sending their young adult males to the slaughter.

If NATO conventionally intervenes in Ukraine but the escalation doesn’t spiral into World War III by miscalculation, which of course can’t be taken for granted, then the bloc might keep Zelensky in place only until they reach a deal with Russia for comprehensively managing Europe’s “new normal”. Once that’s achieved, whenever it may be, he’ll then be pushed aside in order to herald the coming of the so-called “new Ukraine” under these new circumstances and turn the page on this dark period.

Just like in the first possibility, he’d only remain in power long enough to make unpopular decisions, albeit under totally different circumstances in that case. Nevertheless, the writing is on the wall, and it’s that his political career is drawing to a close either way. Zelensky’s only use right now is to legitimize radical policies in either scenario. He’ll then be cast aside once he’s done what’s needed of him, though it’s unclear when that’ll be since everything depends on whether NATO conventionally intervenes.

 

Tyler Durden
Sat, 06/22/2024 – 23:20

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Nuclear Weapon Spending On The Rise

Nuclear Weapon Spending On The Rise

Global spending on nuclear weapons rose by 13.4 percent in 2023.

As Statista’s Martin Armstrong reports, a newly released report from the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) shows, the United States instigated the largest proportional annual increase with a rise of almost 18 percent, closely followed by the United Kingdom with 17.1 percent.

Infographic: Nuclear Weapon Spending on the Rise | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

In terms of spending, the U.S. had the largest outlay last year by some margin: $51.5 billion, compared to the second highest total of $11.9 billion in China.

The total global spend equated to an estimated $91.4 billion, the equivalent of $173,884 every minute. 2023 wasn’t a freak year, either, but rather the continuation of a trend.

From 2019 to 2023, global spending rose by 34 percent.

As reported by ICAN, a cumulative $387 billion was spent to build and maintain nuclear weapons over this five year period.

Tyler Durden
Sat, 06/22/2024 – 22:45

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Common Sense And Memes Are Viruses To The New World Order

Common Sense And Memes Are Viruses To The New World Order

Authored by Doug “Uncola” Lynn via TheBurningPlatform.com,

The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants.

– Albert Camus

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

– C.S. Lewis

Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.

– Albert Einstein

If there is one thing that became perfectly clear during my time in the dump truck, it is this:  The world runs on diesel. So every time I see a semi hauling a wind turbine, the following considerations come to mind:  How many blades have been transported for how many windmills in how many areas?  How much petroleum, or coal, or nuclear power, was utilized in the construction of said blades?  How many gallons of diesel fuel were used to excavate the ground to run power lines from the rural areas where the wind turbines are located?

For what genuine purpose are wind turbines planted? Who benefits? And how much maintenance will the turbines, subjected to the elements, require over time? What is the net payoff?

Certainly, wind power, or solar, or electric vehicles, for that matter, are not currently self-sustaining. Instead, these are now subsidized by false narratives, and tax-payer funds, all in the service of Anthropological Climate Change®, which is an epic lie.

Last fall, in a previous article under the paragraph heading “The electric school bus acid test…”, I described the electric school bus “sales pitch” being made to schools.  Consequently, earlier this month, I spoke to the transportation supervisor of our local school system and asked if he planned to order any electric vehicles this summer.  Fortunately, he said “no”.  He added that the superintendent was like-minded because of some information the supervisor had previously shared.  The supervisor said he had contacted the local utilities and was informed their power plant did not have the capacity to power a fleet of electric buses during peak usage.  Of course, peak usage occurs during the school year in a cold climate.

To be sure, narratives are so powerful because people believe them. Folks then act on their beliefs and sh*t happens.   This is why the global propaganda models remain ever-fluid and universal:  Problems are magnified via deception.  As a result, the reasoning of “authorities” seems quite noble to virtue-signaling ignoramuses eager to embrace the lies.  Tyranny ensues.

The War on Terror.  The War on Invisible Viruses.  The Wars against Foreign Aggressors. The War against Racism. The War against Sexism. The War against the Patriarchy. The War on the Weather.

Evidently, therefore, a correction is now required on my part:  The world runs on diesel and bullsh*t.   Except diesel is being phased out by climitards who Stand With Ukraine®.

Relativism, undeniably, trends in modernity.  And Orwell was right:

The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labour. War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent.

— Orwell, George, ”1984”: part 2, chapter 9

So whether by Marxism or any other form of secular utopianism:  The goals are always out with the “old” and in with the “new”.  Order out of chaos.  Dissolve and coagulate.

Also like Orwell’s “1984”:  The world’s global societal power structure is stratified into concentric rings of power.  The Inner Party functions to continuously preserve and enrich itself; as the Outer Party (i.e. those following orders) and the Proles are utilized and cannibalized when necessary. The circles of power have become increasingly interconnected in modernity; and technology allows the Inner Party to launch policies that are enforced by the Outer Party and unto the Proles.

This process is also called “history”.

The Outer Party depends upon the Inner Party for survival and it always remains a difficult challenge to convince the Proles of something they can’t, or won’t, see.

As a result, history unwinds in inevitable, cyclical waves.  Yet, the Inner Party has survived for generations – even before the establishment of the Federal Reserve in 1913 and its unleashing of the modern Fractional Reserve Banking monster.

Slavery is rooted in economics; and so the Inner Party uses debt to implement and expand its various wars. The rich get richer as the poor suffer, starve, and die.

While driving the other day, I listened to an “expert” on AM radio discussing the vast increase of carbon in Earth’s atmosphere and the conclusion was this:  “Climate Change is real!”

The radio voice seemed very confident in its conclusions and, by implication, it was ready to do everything necessary to stop what it perceived as a genuine threat.  Always the same dialectics, again and again.

What’s wrong with carbon, again?

Is America having seizures? Or postmortem convulsions?

At this point in time, I am convinced it’s the latter.

While in communication with a retired retarded professor, she expressed exasperation at those who still plan to vote for Trump.  After all, he was convicted by a jury of his peers and is now a convicted felon.

In response, and from memory, I typed out a meme I saw on the internet:  “He lived over 70 years without a criminal record. But when he ran for president he was charged with over 90 crimes! How can you explain that?”

Silence.  But… oops!  Did you notice what I did there? Did you see how the Inner Party’s phony dialectics had me defending the proud promoter of Operation Warp Speed®?

Behind the proliferating Kayfabe FUBAR, however, the Inner Party works tirelessly toward the establishment of their New World Order by 2030:  A high-tech prison camp ruled by “stakeholders”.

When it was revealed that U.S. Senate ratification was required for the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Pandemic “Treaty”, it was, instead, transitioned into an “agreement”Except that strategy went down in flames, too, at the WHO’s 77th World Health Assembly.  In response, Team Biden, China, and other unelected WHO totalitarians stealthily passed new International Health Regulations (IHR) behind closed doors. This was done on June 1, 2024 in Geneva, Switzerland.  The Ethiopian Communist, and WHO Director, Tedros Ghebreyesus, violated the IHR’s Article 55.2 eligibility requirements and with less than the required quorum of member states voting. This power grab was completely illegal and unlawfully elevated the WHO “from a global advisory-only body to an international enforcer of its mandates.

So we all better get the word out, before it’s too late.  Especially now that it’s another election year so flu season is almost here.

Politics is the religion of Marxists as well as all those who seek to establish any sort of earthly “utopia”.  But, to the Luciferians, Freemasons, and the friends of Jeffrey Epstein, politics is merely the means to their ends; and, in their view, communism has proven to be an efficient means to eventually control and depopulate political enemies and uncooperative Proles.

World War III is a War on the Petrodollar and it serves as just another means to facilitate the collapse of the West.  Accordingly, the high-speed daily saturation of arbitrary polemics has made it near impossible to discern, distill, and dispute what is occurring around the globe – which is, also, surely, part of the plan

The Inner Party was always long on communism; this is why U.S. manufacturing was gutted on behalf of China, and why the American economy has been Cloward & Pivened as corporate, political, and religious institutions have undergone Wokeification. The Inner Party’s desired NWO is an economic, political, and faith-based multi-polar dystopia; but, as I’ve stated before, any ideology, whatsoever, could be used as the “faith” to control the material and online realms: Fascism, Communism, Islam, Freemasonry, Luciferianism, Outer Space Aliens, or a witch’s brew of any, or all, of these to be administered as technocratic totalitarianism.

If Trump wins the 2024 U.S. Presidential Election he will surely embrace a new global order blended into separate (multi-national) economic regions.

Or maybe Trump will be imprisoned or killed before the election, thus, igniting the ever-simmering rage of American Patriots.

Toward whatever outcome, however, the fists of anti-democratic revolutions are forming, Left and Right.

The Inner Party has been successful, once again, in its efforts to distract and divide. This is so it can rule over fractious factions of enemies.  It’s a king’s strategy that has been applied continuously throughout history.

Even so, the memes march forward. They gather like torches in the dark.

Tyler Durden
Sat, 06/22/2024 – 22:10

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/4C3NGzW Tyler Durden

These Are The Countries With The Highest Smoking Rates

These Are The Countries With The Highest Smoking Rates

It was not until 1950 when the link between smoking and lung cancer was proven, though physicians as far back as the late 19th century had identified it as a potential cause.

Since then, many countries have discouraged tobacco products in an attempt to reduce smoking rates, and consequent health effects.

In the following infographic, Visual Capitalist’s Pallavi Rao visualizes the countries with the highest rates of tobacco use among their population aged 15 and older.

Data is sourced from the World Health Organization, and is current up to 2022.

Which Countries Smoke the Most?

In Nauru, nearly half of the population aged 15+ uses a tobacco product, the highest in the world. The island also has a high obesity rate, and nearly one-third of the population suffers from diabetes, due to poor nutritional variety in the food supply.

Here’s a list of smoking rates by country, ranked from highest to lowest.

Note: Figures rounded. “Tobacco use” includes smoke and smokeless products.

Meanwhile, countries in the Balkan also see a high incidence of tobacco use, bucking the general European trend. Entrenched cultural norms, lax laws, and inexpensive cigarettes are some of the most commonly identified causes.

On the other hand, tobacco use is a lot lower in the Americas and sub-Saharan Africa.

In the U.S., fewer than one in four adults smoke. Canada is even lower at 12% of the population. But some African countries (Nigeria and Ghana) are all the way down in the single-digits, at 3%.

Interestingly, men smoke more than women in nearly every country in the world.

Tyler Durden
Sat, 06/22/2024 – 21:35

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Gaps In Electoral College Tiebreaker Rules Could Bring Constitutional Crisis

Gaps In Electoral College Tiebreaker Rules Could Bring Constitutional Crisis

By Brian McGlinchey at Stark Realities

While many Americans know that an Electoral College tie sends presidential and vice presidential elections into the House of Representatives and Senate, few realize there’s a constitutional crisis lurking in the incomplete rules for resolving such draws.

In 2024, scrutiny of these hidden dangers is more than a mere academic exercise, as there are plausible scenarios by which Joe Biden and Donald Trump could end up with 269 electoral votes apiece. One, for example, centers on Trump winning Nevada, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, and Biden winning Georgia, North Carolina and Arizona.

One of the scenarios that could yield a 2024 Electoral College tie (via 270toWin)

In the event neither candidate reaches the requisite 270 electoral votes, Americans would witness the first “contingent election” in 100 years. In accordance with the 12th Amendment, the president would be chosen by the House of Representatives, and the vice-president by the Senate. In both chambers, votes would be cast by the newly-elected Congress that first convenes in January.

That top-level description — which is about all you typically get from most media references to the possibility —is deceptively simplistic. In practice, a contingent election would be far messier than most Americans realize, with the potential for a deadlock that leaves the Oval Office unattended.

“Unsettled legal and procedural questions permeate nearly every aspect of the process,” wrote Beau Tremitiere and Aisha Woodward at Lawfare, “and in today’s political environment, high-stakes legal disputes and constitutional hardball would be inevitable.”

Before we look at the lurking risks to an orderly transfer of power, let’s quickly review some contingent-election basics. In the House, presidential votes are cast not by individual representatives, but by state delegations, with each state having a single vote. The House chooses from the top three Electoral College vote-getters; of course, in most years, only the two major-party candidates receive any. Winning requires the votes of 26 states.

As of today, Republicans control 26 House delegations compared to the Democrats’ 22, while the North Carolina and Minnesota delegations are evenly split among the two parties. However, since the votes would be cast by the victors of the November election, the delegation-control math could be different when the 119th Congress is gaveled into existence at noon on Jan. 3.

If the House vote for president results in a tie, the state delegations keep on voting until there’s a winner. If that hasn’t happened by Inauguration Day — January 20, 2025 — the new vice president becomes acting president until a candidate gets 26 votes in the House.

Things work a little differently in the Senate. Unlike the House’s state-delegation approach, individual senators cast their own vote for vice president. Rather than the top three electoral-vote finishers, senators pick among the top two. Counting independents who caucus with the Democrats, the Democrats currently control the Senate by a slim 51-49 margin, but face an uphill climb to retain a majority in January.

Here’s where we encounter a major gap in the contingent-election rules: While the 12th Amendment spells out what to do if the House is deadlocked on Inauguration Day, it fails to address the same possibility in the Senate.

The vice president is also president of the Senate. During ordinary business, vice presidents are summoned to cast tie-breaking votes. Some suggest that, since Kamala Harris would be vice president during the contingent election, she would simply cast a tiebreaking vote — for herself.

However, the 12th Amendment stipulates that “a majority of the whole number [of Senators] shall be necessary to make a choice [of vice president].” Some scholars argue that this rules out a tiebreaking vote being cast by the vice president, who is, strictly speaking, not a “senator.”

The most concerning scenario would arise if both the House and Senate are deadlocked on Jan. 20. If that happens, some say the new president should be selected using the Presidential Succession Act of 1947. That’s the law that provides a line of succession that proceeds from vice president to speaker of the house, president pro tempore of the Senate, and then through the cabinet secretaries in order of their departments’ founding date, with State coming first.

Not everyone agrees on that solution. “The Succession Act does not clearly apply to a failure by the House to elect a President or the Senate a Vice President by the time the new terms of those officers begin,” wrote William Josephson in the Journal of Constitutional Law.

According to its language, the Succession Act applies to the absence of a president “by reason of death, resignation, removal from office, inability, or failure to qualify.” That last term seemingly refers to constitutional qualifications for office — such as being 35 years old and a natural citizen — and not the failure of any candidate to receive the requisite number of electoral votes or contingent-election votes.

On top of that, it’s been argued that the Succession Act’s inclusion of the House speaker and Senate president pro tempore in the succession sequence violates the Constitution. “The best reading of the Constitution’s text, history, and structure excludes federal legislators from the line of presidential succession,” wrote Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram David Amar in the Stanford Law Review.

Even if the Succession Act were to be applied, Americans may be surprised by who ends up serving as interim president. The House speaker would almost certainly refuse the opportunity to ascend. Given politicians’ huge appetites for power, that’s counterintuitive — but not when you consider that, under the Succession Act, the speaker becomes president only “upon his resignation as speaker and as representative in Congress.”

Knowing the House could sort out the contingent-election impasse in short order, most speakers would recoil at the idea of tossing away not only the speakership but even their seat. If the Senate president pro tempore likewise refused, that could lead to a President Antony Blinken as an interim solution. Again, that’s only based on the highly dubious assumption that the Succession Act covers a tied-election scenario.

Partisan Procedural Warfare

As if gaps in the basic rules of a contingent election weren’t enough, the process would also be subject to delays and breakdowns arising from parliamentary gamesmanship.

As many more Americans now know — thanks to what happened last time around — Jan. 6 is the legally-prescribed date on which Congress counts electoral votes submitted by the states. If there’s a tie, the 12th Amendment says the House must “choose immediately, by ballot, the President.”

The electoral vote count on January 6, 2021 was particularly well-attended 

Like so many other words in Washington, “immediately” can’t be taken at face value. Since Congress has never gotten around to passing a law spelling out how contingent elections are to be administered, the House would first need to adopt a set of rules for the process. The majority party as of January 2025 would be incentivized to force rules that favor its candidate.

To give one example of how the rules could be tailored to one party’s benefit, note that the 12th Amendment doesn’t stipulate how the House’s individual state delegations conduct their votes, or whether the state’s decision must spring from a plurality, simple majority or supermajority of the delegation.

Different procedural machinations could unfold as the Senate carries out its vice presidential election. Under Senate rules, ending debate and moving to a vote requires the consent of 60 senators — but it’s unlikely either party will have that many seats in January, which means the VP vote could be delayed by a filibuster. To break it, the majority party could be compelled to “go nuclear” — changing Senate rules so only a simple majority is needed to cut off debate.

Given the enormous stakes, the majority party could be tempted to use far more extreme tactics. In the House, that could mean expelling or refusing to seat members of state delegations that would otherwise be evenly split among Democrats and Republicans, or those delegations where the chamber’s minority party has a mere one-vote advantage.

As all these controversies and procedural duels play out, the clock will be ticking — and there are just 14 days between Jan. 6 and the Jan. 20 inauguration. Over that short period, any number of high-stakes legal challenges could play out in various courts.

While the prospect of rushed litigation is disconcerting, it may also be wishful thinking. Due to separation-of-powers concerns, the federal judiciary has historically avoided involving itself in what it considers internal congressional disputes. If controversy erupts over how the contingent election is being administered in the House or Senate, there may be no external referee for an aggrieved party to turn to.

In short, if both contests are still unsettled on Inauguration Day, America could conceivably be without a president or vice president and without any final authority on how to name a temporary one.

Potential “Faithless Elector” Mayhem

What seems like a 269-269 tie on Nov. 6 could be resolved in an altogether different and even more controversial way: One or more presidential electors could go rogue when the Electoral College votes on Dec. 17, voting for someone other than the winner of their state’s popular vote.

In 2016, there were a whopping ten such “faithless electors.” Texan Bill Greene, for example, voted for libertarian Ron Paul, who’d made a spirited bid for the GOP nomination. While a 2020 Supreme Court ruling upheld the power of states to impose penalties on faithless electors, many states have no laws barring deviant votes, some states have laws with no penalties, and many states have no provision for canceling deviant votes.

In a less likely but more explosive scenario, rather than breaking a seeming 269-269 tie, faithless electors could instead cause a tie and a contingent election. Keeping in mind that the House chooses from the top three electoral-vote recipients, faithless electors could throw someone other than Biden and Trump into the mix — such as independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr, or someone else who could end up becoming president as a House compromise candidate.


Americans can debate the likelihood of a 2024 electoral college tie and ensuing contingent-election deadlock. However, until gaps in the Electoral College tiebreaker rules are filled by new federal law and perhaps a constitutional amendment, we’ll keep playing a quadrennial game of chance that could someday result in an unprecedented crisis from which there is no clear exit.

Stark Realities undermines official narratives, demolishes conventional wisdom and exposes fundamental myths across the political spectrum. Read more and subscribe at starkrealities.substack.com  

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ZeroHedge.

Tyler Durden
Sat, 06/22/2024 – 21:00

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/BYtnhLw Tyler Durden

Social Media: Where It’s Hardest To Tell Truth From Fake News

Social Media: Where It’s Hardest To Tell Truth From Fake News

According to a survey conducted in 47 markets for the Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2024, concern over what is real or not on the internet in general is on the rise.

Such concerns were notably prevalent in some of the countries holding elections this year, including South Africa (81 percent), the United States (72 percent) and the United Kingdom (70 percent).

Expanding on the concerns themselves, the writers write:

“Previous research shows that these audience concerns about misinformation are often driven less by news that is completely ‘made up’ and more about seeing opinions and agendas that they may disagree with – as well as journalism they regard as superficial and unsubstantiated.”

Specifically, Statista’s Anna Fleck notes that TikTok and X are the hardest social media platforms for identifying whether news content is trustworthy…

Infographic: Social Media: Where It's Hardest to Tell Truth From Fake News | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

As the chart above shows, roughly one in four respondents surveyed in early 2024 said that it was at least somewhat difficult to make the distinction between truth and fake news on the two platforms.

Facebook and Instagram weren’t far behind though, with 21 percent and 20 percent saying the same, respectively.

Tyler Durden
Sat, 06/22/2024 – 20:25

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/Qnaytmq Tyler Durden

“We Need Icebreakers”… And More Strategic Partnerships

“We Need Icebreakers”… And More Strategic Partnerships

Authored by Pepe Escobar,

The St. Petersburg forum offered a wealth of crucial sessions discussing connectivity corridors. One of the key ones was on the Northern Sea Route (NSR) – or, in Chinese terminology, the Arctic Silk Road: the number one future alternative to the Suez canal.

With an array of main corporate actors in the room – for instance, from Rosneft, Novatek, Norilsk Nickel – as well as governors and ministers, the stage was set for a comprehensive debate.

Top Putin adviser Igor Levitin set the tone: to facilitate seamless container transport, the federal government needs to invest in seaports and icebreakers; a comparison was made – in terms of technological challenge – to the building of the Trans-Siberian railway; and Levitin also stressed the endless expansion possibilities for city hubs such as Murmansk, Archangelsk and Vladivostok.

Add to it that the NSR will connect with another fast-growing trans-Eurasia connectivity corridor: the INSTC (International North South Transportation Corridor), whose main actors are BRICS members Russia, Iran and India.

Alexey Chekunkov, minister for development of the Far East and the Arctic, plugged a trial run of the NSR, which costs the same as railway shipping without the bottlenecks. He praised the NSR as a “service” and coined the ultimate motto: “We need icebreakers!” Russia of course will be the leading player in the whole project, benefitting 2.5 million people who live in the North.

Sultan Sulayem, CEO of Dubai-based cargo logistics and maritime services powerhouse DP World, confirmed that “the current supply chains are not reliable anymore”, as well as being inefficient; the NSR is “faster, more reliable and cheaper”. From Tokyo to London, the route runs for 24k km; via the NSR, it’s only 13k km.

Sulayem is adamant: the NSR is a game-changer and “needs to be implemented now”.

Vladimir Panov, the special representative for the Arctic from Rosatom, confirmed that the Arctic is “a treasure chest”, and the NSR “will unlock it”. Rosatom will have all the necessary infrastructure in place “in five years or so”. He credited the fast pace of developments to the high-level Putin-Xi strategic dialogue – complete with the creation of a Russia-China working group.

Andrey Chibis, the governor of Murmansk, noted that this deep, key port for the NSR – the main container hub in the Arctic – “does not freeze”. He acknowledged the enormity of the logistical challenges – but at the same time that will attract a lot of skilled workers, considering the high quality of life in Murmansk.

A maze of interconnected corridors

The building of the NSR indeed can be interpreted as a 21st century, accelerated version of the building of the Trans-Siberian railway in the late 19th/early 20th century. Under the overarching framework of Eurasia integration, the interconnections with other corridors will be endless – from the INSTC to BRI projects part of the Chinese New Silk Roads, the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) and ASEAN.

In a session focused on the Greater Eurasia Partnership (GEP) Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Pankin praised this concept of Eurasia “without dividing lines, uniting ancient civilizations, transportation corridors and a unified common space of 5 billion people”.

Inevitable connections were drawn – from GEP to the EAEU and the SCO, with the proliferation of multimodal transport and alternative payment systems. Khan Sohail, the deputy secretary-general of the SCO, remarked how virtually “everyday there are new announcements by China” – a long way “since the SCO was established 21 years ago”, then based exclusively on security. Big developments are expected at the SCO summit next month in Astana.

Sergey Glazyev, the minister of macroeconomics at the Eurasia Economic Commission, part of the EAEU, praised the EAEU-SCO progressive integration and fast-developing transactions in baskets of national currencies, something “that was unchallengeable 10 years ago”.

He admitted that even if GEP has not been formalized yet, facts on the ground are proving that Eurasia can be self-sufficient. GEP may be on the initial stage, but it’s fast advancing the process to “harmonize free trade”.

Another key session in St. Petersburg was exactly on the EAEU-ASEAN connection. The ASEAN 10 already configure the 4th largest trading bloc in the world, moving $3.8 trillion and 7.8% of global trade annually. The EAEU already has a free trade agreement (FTA) with Vietnam and is clinching another with Indonesia.

And then there’s Northeast Asia. Which brings us to the ground-breaking visit by President Putin to the DPRK.

A new concept of Eurasia security

This was quite the epic business trip. Russia and the DPRK signed no less than a new Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement.

On trade, that will allow a renewed flux to Russia of DPRK weapons – artillery shells to ballistics -, magnetic ore, heavy industry and machine tool industry, as well as the back-and-forth of an army of mega-skilled IT specialists.

Kim Jong-un described the agreement as “peaceful” and “defensive”. And much more: it will become “the driving force accelerating the creation of a new multipolar world.”

When it comes to Northeast Asia, the agreement is nothing less than a total paradigm shift.

To start with, these are two independent, sovereign foreign policy actors. They will not blackmailed. They totally oppose sanctions as a hegemonic tool. In consequence, they have just determined there will be no more UN Security Council sanctions on the DPRK enacted by the U.S..

The key clause establishing mutual assistance in case of foreign aggression against either Russia or the DPRK means, in practice, the establishment of a military-political alliance – even as Moscow, cautiously, prefers to phrase that it “does not exclude the possibility of military-technical cooperation”.

The agreement completely shocked Exceptionalistan because it is a swift counterpunch not only against NATO’s global designs but against the Hegemon itself, which for decades has enforced a comprehensive military-political alliance with both Japan and South Korea.

Translation: from now on there is no more military-political Hegemony in Northeast Asia – and in Asia-Pacific as a whole. Beijing will be delighted. Talk about a strategic game-changer. Accomplished without a single bullet being fired.

The repercussions will be immense, because a broader concept of “security” will now apply equally to Europe and Asia.

So welcome, in practice, to Putin the statesman advancing a new integrated, comprehensive concept of Eurasian security (italics mine). No wonder the mentally-impaired collective West is stunned.

Gilbert Doctorow correctly observed how “Putin considers what NATO is about to do at its Western borders as the very act of aggression that will trigger Russia’s Strategic Partnership with North Korea and present the United States with a live threat to its military bases” in Korea, in Japan and in the wider Asia-Pacific.

And it doesn’t matter at all if the Russian response will be symmetric or asymmetric. The crucial fact is that the U.S. “containment” of the Russia-China strategic partnership is already unravelling in real time.

In auspicious terms, Eurasia-style, what matters now is to focus on connectivity corridors. This is a story that started in previous editions of the St. Petersburg forum: how to connect the DPRK to the Russian Far East, and beyond to Siberia and wider Eurasia. The DPRK’s founding concept of Juche (“self-reliance”, “autonomy”) is about to enter a whole new era – in parallel to the NSR consolidation in the Arctic.

Everyone indeed needs icebreakers – in more ways than one.

Tyler Durden
Sat, 06/22/2024 – 19:50

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US-Built Gaza Pier To Be Dismantled Early Amid Ongoing Failures

US-Built Gaza Pier To Be Dismantled Early Amid Ongoing Failures

Following the latest weather and choppy seas setback, the US-built aid pier off Gaza has resumed operations as of the end of this week (Thursday), the Pentagon said, after it broke apart last month. It’s been an on-again off-again situation and the controversial and costly pier project has by and large proven ineffective.

But despite aid reportedly now rolling off the pier once again, Israeli media on Saturday has documented more embarrassing issues, including apparently broken off parts from the pier still washing up to shore far away from its location

Following significant repairs it underwent at an Israeli port, the pier was transferred back in place amid a series of problems largely due to turbulent seas in the eastern Mediterranean..

The Associated Press has written in a fresh report that “Aid groups have sharply criticized the plan to bring aid by sea into Gaza, saying it’s a distraction to take pressure off Israel to open more land border crossings that are far more productive.”

This week The New York Times essentially declared that the expensive Biden project is an utter failure and that it will be dismantled earlier than expected.

“The $230 million temporary pier that the U.S. military built on short notice to rush humanitarian aid to Gaza has largely failed in its mission, aid organizations say, and will probably end operations weeks earlier than originally expected,” the Times wrote.

“In the month since it was attached to the shoreline, the pier has been in service only about 10 days. The rest of the time, it was being repaired after rough seas broke it apart, detached to avoid further damage or paused because of security concerns,” the report continued.

Anadolu via Getty Images

Top US military officials have also acknowledged the failure of the project: “The pier was never meant to be more than a stopgap measure while the Biden administration pushed Israel to allow more food and other supplies into Gaza through land routes, a far more efficient way to deliver relief. But even the modest goals for the pier are likely to fall short, some American military officials say,” according to NYT.

This project was never fundamentally about hungry Palestinians, but more about White House PR and damage control amid an avalanche of international and domestic criticism over Biden’s contradictory Gaza policy.

Tyler Durden
Sat, 06/22/2024 – 18:05

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/MbG8Kz9 Tyler Durden

David Stockman On The Ukrainian Border War Folly

David Stockman On The Ukrainian Border War Folly

Authored by David Stockman via InternationalMan.com,

Someone should tell the European ruling elites to take a long jump off a short pier.

Their endless whining about the Ruuskies and Putin is just plain pathetic because…

  • It’s not justified—Russia bears no hallmarks of an expansionist imperial power.

  • The Russia-Ukraine conflict is none of western Europe’s business—since its essentially a territorial and civil war within the borders of historic Russia.

  • If EU officialdom is really concerned about the purported Russian threat why do they spend just a pittance of their GDP on defense?

Yet, here we have Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, former German defense minister and full-throated war-hawk, talking absolute nonsense:

“Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to see empires and autocracies back in Europe, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told the European Economic Congress in Katowice.

Speaking alongside Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, von der Leyen insisted that she stands for a European Union that is ready to do whatever it takes to protect Europe, and especially Ukraine.

Putin’s war is about redrawing the map of Europe, but it is also a war on our Union and on the entire global rules-based system,” she said.”

Well, that’s rubbish if there ever was such. The only time the borders of Ukraine have been redrawn at the barrel of a gun is when Lenin, Stalin and Khrushchev did it between 1922 and 1954. That’s right, this bureaucratic half-wit wants to embroil the world in WWIII in order to enforce borders drawn by a trio if history’s most blood-thirsty tyrants.

As explained below, there never was a country even remotely resembling modern Ukraine until the Soviet communists decreed its existence. Before that, the pieces and parts of the country’s history go back to the 1650s when one of the more powerful and brutal rulers of the Cossack Hetmanate that occupied a small part of today’s central Ukraine abandoned his tribe’s historic fealty to the Polish kings and switched his loyalty to the Russians. After that, the “borderlands”( i.e.”Ukraine” in Russian) were all about vassalage in the Russian Empire and the Soviet one which followed.

During that 375 year span the borders shifted all over the lot and back, as the Mongol, Turkish and Polish-Lithuanian empires receded and the Russian and communist ones expanded. So what’s so sacrosanct about the very last version of the map—one that hosted both the murderous regime of Stalin and Hitler’s Wehrmacht, too?

Indeed, Europe is rife with borders redrawn again and again. While von der Leyen was in Poland preaching for border wars in Ukraine, in fact, it might well be asked, which sacrosanct Polish borders did she have in mind?

For 700 years “Poland” has cavorted around the rivers, plains and forests of central Europe like a traveling minstrel show. This includes its disappearance entirely at the hands of the Prussians, Russians, Hapsburgs and other long-gone lesser powers during the later years of the 18th century and the entirety of the 19th century. Only in 1919 was it resurrected—in part upon German lands at Versailles because Woodrow Wilson realized that there were votes to be had among the fair part of the Polish nation which had migrated to Chicago and the industrial Midwest.

Then Hitler and Stalin redrew Poland’s borders again under the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop pact of 1938, cancelling Wilson handwork and returning the German Danzig Corridor to its previous owner. And then, seven years later, a different set of victors re-carved it again at Yalta, setting borders for “Poland” that satisfied Stalin’s aim to recover eastern lands the Soviets lost in the post-1918 civil war.

That is to say, the picture below reminds not only how the latest borders of “Poland” were drawn, but how over the last several centuries of history most of Europe’s present borders came to be. They were not drawn by God’s deputies on earth or even the statesman of the day—but by the victors of the most recent wars.

The Border Men of 1945

Moreover, even a glance at today’s map reminds that the border-drawing work of victorious generals and politicians, and occasionally statesman, has always been subject to revision without necessarily making a war about it. In recent times that’s been true even for the handiwork of the better kind of draftsmen who drew maps at Versailles as opposed to the bloody chambers of the Soviet Empire.

Thus, the statesman at Versailles decreed the existence of Czechoslovakia in 1919 as a potpourri of nations including a lot of Slovaks, Czechs, Hungarians, Romani people, Silesians, Ruthenians, Ukrainians, Poles, Jews and most especially millions of Germans. So it was subsequently dismembered by Hitler to bring the Sudetenland Germans home; then re-assembled by the Yalta winners; and finally divided between Slovakia and the Czech Republic on peaceable terms in 1993.

Or take the case of the meandering borders of the six autonomous republics of the vanished state of Yugoslavia and particularly its anchor in Serbia. Wikipedia explains the border-making process there as well as can be done:

“(Serbia) achieved de facto independence in 1867 and gained full recognition by the Great Powers in the Berlin Congress of 1878. As a victor in the Balkan Wars of 1912–1913, Serbia regained Vardar Macedonia, Kosovo and Metohija and Raška (Old Serbia). In late 1918, with the defeat of the Austro-Hungarian empire, Serbia was expanded to include regions of the former Serbian Vojvodina. Serbia was united with other Austro-Hungarian provinces into a pan-Slavic State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs; the Kingdom of Serbia joined the union on 1 December 1918 and the country was named the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.

Serbia achieved its current borders at the end of World War II, when it became a federal unit within the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia (proclaimed in November 1945). After the dissolution of Yugoslavia in a series of wars in the 1990s, Serbia once again became an independent state on 5 June 2006, following the breakup of a short-lived union with Montenegro.”

Albeit mention should also be made of the former Serbian province of Kosovo. Washington and its NATO retainers decreed its independence after 75 days of persuasion with the Serbs. The messages were apparently written on the bombs dropped from a range of NATO aircraft that included about everything which could fly:

“A large element of the operation was the air forces of NATO, relying heavily on the US Air Force and Navy using the F-16, F-15, F-117, F-14, F/A-18, EA-6B, B-52, KC-135, KC-10, AWACS, and JSTARS from bases throughout Europe and from aircraft carriers in the region.

The French Navy and Air Force operated the Super Etendard and the Mirage 2000. The Italian Air Force operated with 34 Tornado, 12 F-104, 12 AMX, 2 B-707, the Italian Navy operated with Harrier II. The UK’s Royal Air Force operated the Harrier GR7 and Tornado ground attack jets as well as an array of support aircraft. Belgian, Danish, Dutch, Norwegian, Portuguese and Turkish Air Forces operated F-16s. The Spanish Air Force deployed EF-18s and KC-130s. The Canadian Air Force deployed a total of 18 CF-18s, enabling them to be responsible for 10% of all bombs dropped in the operation.

The fighters were armed with both guided and unguided “dumb” munitions, including the Paveway series of laser-guided bombs.The bombing campaign marked the first time the German Air Force actively attacking targets since World War II.[142]

The US B-2 Spirit stealth bomber saw its first successful combat role in Operation Allied Force, striking from its home base in the contiguous United States.”

At length, the Serbian borders were redrawn!

In the process, its president was captured as a war criminal. When he died prior to his trial in a NATO prison from “natural causes” he undoubtedly did not view this particular border drawing incident as an exercise in the rule of law.

In any event, notwithstanding the historic fluidity of borders, there is no case whatsoever that Russia’s invasion was unprovoked and unrelated to NATO’s own provocations in the region. The details are arrayed below, but the larger issue needs be addressed first. Namely, is there any reason to believe that Russia is an expansionist power looking to gobble up neighbors which were not integral parts of its own historic evolution, as is the case with Ukraine?

The answer is no, and its based on what should be called the double-digit rule. The true expansionary hegemons of modern history have spent huge parts of their GDP on defense because that’s what it takes to support the military infrastructure and logistics required for invasion and occupation of foreign lands.

For instance, here are the figures for military spending by Nazi Germany from 1935–1944 expressed as a percent of GDP. This is what an aggressive hegemon looks like in the ramp-up to war and the actual conduct of military campaigns of invasion and occupation.

Not surprisingly, the same kind of claim on resources occurred when the United States took it upon itself to counter the aggression of Germany and Japan on a global basis. By 1944 defense spending was equal to 40% of America’s GDP, and would have totaled more than $2 trillion in present day dollars of purchasing power.

Military Spending As A Percent Of GDP In Nazi Germany

  • 1935: 8%.
  • 1936: 13%.
  • 1937: 13%.
  • 1938: 17%.
  • 1939: 23%.
  • 1940: 38%.
  • 1941: 47%.
  • 1942: 55%.
  • 1943: 61%.
  • 1944: 75%

By contrast, during the final year before the Ukraine proxy war broke out in 2022, the Russian military budget was $65 billion, which amounted to just 3.5% of its GDP. Moreover, the prior years showed no build-up of the kind that has always accompanied historic aggressors. For the period 1992 to 2022, for instance, the average military spending by Russia was 3.8% of GDP– with a minimum of 2.7% in 1998 and a maximum of 5.4% in 2016.

Historical Russian Military Spending As a Percent Of GDP

Needless to say, you don’t invade the Baltics or Poland—to say nothing of Germany, France, the Benelux and crossing the English Channel—on 3.5% of GDP. Since full scale war broke out in 2022 Russian military spending has increased significantly to 6% of GDP, but even at current levels it has not been able to subdue even its own historic borderlands.

So if Russia does not have the economic and military capacity to conquer its non-Ukrainian neighbors, let alone Europe proper, what is the war really about?

In short, it is rooted in territorial disputes and civil strife in lands which have been vassals or integral parts of greater Russia for several centuries. Ukraine actually means “borderlands” in the Russian language. As we indicated, it now comprises a state that did not even exist until Lenin, Stalin and Khrushchev confected it by force of arms after 1920.

In fact, prior to the communist takeover of Russia, no country that even faintly resembled today’s Ukrainian borders had ever existed. So what NATO’s proxy war actually amounts to is a hideous attempt to enforce the dead hand of the Soviet presidium, as we amplify below.

For avoidance of doubt here are sequential maps that tell the story, and which make mincemeat of the von der Leyen’s sanctity of borders malarkey. The first of these is a 220-year-old map from 1800, where the yellow area depicts the approximate territory of the four breakaway regions—Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia plus Crimea—that are now allegedly under Russian “occupation”, but which in fact voted overwhelmingly during referendums in 2023 and 2014, respectively, to separate from Ukraine in favor of affiliation with Russia.

Collectively, the five regions were historically known as Novorossiya or “New Russia” and had been acquired by Russian rulers, including Catherine the Great between 1734 and 1791.

As is evident from the red markings on the map which designate the year of acquisition, the Russian Empire had gradually gained control over this vast area, signing peace treaties with the Cossack Hetmanate (1734) and with the Ottoman Empire at the conclusion of the various Russo-Turkish Wars of the 18th century.

Pursuant to this expansion drive – which included massive Russian investment and the in-migration of large Russian populations to the region – Russia established the Novorossiysk Governaorate in 1764. The latter was originally to be named after the Empress Catherine, but she decreed that it should be called “New Russia” instead.

The Breakaway Provinces Of Ukraine Were Part Of Russia Before The US Constitution Was Even Written

Completing the assemblage of New Russia, Catherine forcefully liquidated its aforementioned century-long Cossack ally known as the Zaporizhian Sich (present day Zaporizhzhia) in 1775 and annexed its territory to Novorossiya, thus eliminating the independent rule of the Ukrainian Cossacks. Later in 1783 she acquired Crimea from the Turks, which was also added to Novorossiya, as shown in yellow area of the map above.

During this formative period, the infamous shadow ruler under Catherine, Prince Grigori Potemkin, directed the sweeping settlement and Russification of these lands. Effectively, Catherine had granted him the powers of an absolute ruler over the area from 1774 onward.

The spirit and importance of “New Russia” at this time is aptly captured by the historian Willard Sunderland,

The old steppe was Asian and stateless; the current one was state-determined and claimed for European-Russian civilization. The world of comparison was now even more obviously that of the Western empires. Consequently, it was all the more clear that the Russian empire merited its own New Russia to go along with everyone else’s New Spain, New France and New England. The adoption of the name of New Russia was in fact the most powerful statement imaginable of Russia’s national coming of age.

In fact, the passage of time solidified the borders of Novorossiya even more solidly. One century later the light-yellow area of the 1897 map below gave an unmistakable message: To wit, in the late Russian Empire there was no doubt as to the paternity of the lands adjacent to the Azov Sea and the Black Sea: they were now part of the 125 years-old “New Russia”.

Where’s Waldo Ukraine on This Map Circa 1900? 

After the Russian Revolution, of course, the pieces and parts in this region of the old Czarist Empire were bundled-up into a convenient administrative entity by the new red rulers of Moscow, who christened it the “Ukrainian SSR” (Soviet Socialist Republic). In a like manner, they created similar administrative entities in Belorussia, Georgia, Moldavia, Turkmenistan etc.—ultimately confecting 15 such “republics”.

Here is how and when these brutal tyrants attached each piece of today’s Ukrainian map to the territories acquired or seized by the Russian Czars over 1654-1917 (yellow area):

  • The old Novorossiya of the Donbas and Black Sea rim was added by Lenin in 1922 (purple area).

  • The western territory around Lviv (blue area) that been known as Little Poland or Galicia were captured by Stalin in 1939 and thereafter, when he and Hitler carved up Poland.

  • Upon the death of the bloody Stalin in 1954, Khrushchev made a deal with his Presidium allies to transfer Crimea (red area) from the Russian SSR to the Ukrainian SSR in return for their support in the battle for succession.

In a word, Ukraine was born in communist blood and iron. Yet now the NATO and Euro-hawks like von der Leyen want to spend yet upwards of $200 billion to ensure that the handiwork of autocratic Czars and Commissars remains intact into the 21st century and presumably beyond.

Modern Ukraine: Born In Communist Blood and Iron

Of course, had the above-mentioned 20th century communist trio been benefactors of mankind, perhaps their subsequent map-making handiwork and reassignment of Novorossiya might have been justified. Under this benign counterfactual, they would have presumably combined peoples of like ethnic, linguistic, religious and politico-cultural history into a cohesive natural polity and state. That is, a nation worth perpetuating, defending and perhaps even dying for.

Alas, the very opposite was true. From 1922 to 1991 modern Ukraine was held together by the monopoly on violence of its brutally totalitarian rulers. And that became more than evident when the Kremlin temporarily lost control of Ukraine during the military battles of World War II: During that especially bloody interlude, the communist administrative entity called Ukraine came apart at the seams.

That is, local Ukrainian nationalists joined Hitler’s Wehrmacht in its depredations against Jews, Poles, Roma and Russians when it first swept through the country from the west on its way to Stalingrad; and then, in turn, the Russian populations from the Donbas and south campaigned with the Red Army during its vengeance-wreaking return from the east after winning the bloody battle that turned the course of WWII.

Not surprisingly, therefore, virtually from the minute it came out from under the communist yoke when the Soviet Union was swept into the dustbin of history in 1991, Ukraine has been engulfed in political and actual civil war. The elections which did occur were essentially 50/50 at the national level but reflected dueling 80/20 vote breakouts within the regions. That is, the Ukrainian nationalist candidates tended to get vote margins of 80% + in the West/Central areas, while Russian-sympathizing candidates got like pluralities in the mainly Russian-speaking East/South.

This pattern transpired because once the iron-hand of totalitarian rule ended in 1991, the deep and historically rooted conflict between Ukrainian nationalism, language and politics of the central and western regions of the country and the Russian language and historical religious and political affinities of the Donbas and south came rushing to the surface. So-called democracy barely survived these contests until February 2014 when one of Washington’s “color revolutions” finally “succeeded”. That is to say, the Washington fomented and financed nationalist-led coupe d état ended the fragile post-communist equilibrium.

That’s the true meaning of the Maidan coup. It ended the tenuous cohesion that kept the artificial state of Ukraine intact for barely two decades after the Soviet demise. So save for Washington’s destructive intervention, the partition of a communist-confected state that had never been built to last would have eventually materialized.

The evidence that the Maidan coup was the coup ‘d grace for the makeshift Ukrainian state is apparent in the maps below. These maps below tell you all you need to know about why this is a civil war, not an invasion of one neighbor by another.

The first map is from the 2004 presidential election, which was won by the Ukrainian nationalist candidate, Yushchenko. The latter predominated in the orange areas of the map, over the pro-Russian Yanukovych, who swept the blue regions in the east and south.

2004 Ukraine Election Results—National Divorce In The Making

The second map is from the 2010 election, showing the same stark regional split, but this time the pro-Russian candidate, Yanukovych, won.

In the map below, the dark blue parts to the far east (Donbas) indicate an 80% or better vote for Viktor Yanukovych in the 2010 election. By contrast, the dark red areas in the west voted 80% or more for the Ukrainian nationalist, Yulie Tymoshenko. That is to say, the skew in the Ukrainian electorate was so extreme as to make America’s current red state/blue state divide seem hardly noteworthy by comparison.

As it happened, the sum of the pro-Yanukovych skews from the east and south (Donbas and Crimea) added up to 12.48 million votes and 48.95% of the total, while the sum of the extreme red skews in the center and west (the lands of old eastern Galicia and Poland) amounted to 11.59 million votes and 45.47% of the total.

Stated differently, it is hard to imagine an electorate more sharply divided on a regional/ethnic/language basis. Yet it was one which still produced a sufficient victory margin (3.6 percentage points) for Yanukovych – so as to be reluctantly accepted by all parties. That became especially clear when Tymoshenko, who was the incumbent prime minister, withdrew her election challenge a few weeks after the run-off in February 2010.

At that point, of course, Russia had no beef with the Kiev government at all because essentially Yanukovych’s “Regions Party” was based on the pro-Russian parts (blue areas) of the Ukrainian electorate. But when Washington essentially put the anti-Russian regions in charge of Ukraine’s government by orchestrating, funding and immediately recognizing the Maidan coup, everything changed on a dime. That was especially the case when the new, illegal government enshrined in its constitution a requirement to join NATO at the earliest possible opportunity.

In effect, Washington’s 2014 Maidan coup was the equivalent of Khrushchev’s emplacement of missiles in Cuba during 1962. Even had Putin been as erudite and civilized as JFK, rather than the ruffian he actually is, he would have had little choice except to insist that NATO missiles 30 minutes from Moscow cannot stand.

In a word, there has been no unprovoked “invasion” by Moscow of the transitory artifact known as the Ukrainian state. The latter effectively began and ended with the Soviet Union.

Moreover, with respect to the actual underlying reason for intervention in Ukraine—NATO’s proxy war against Russia– a simple question recurs: Besides restocking the NATO arsenals depleted by the demolition derby in what remains of Ukraine, what’s the reason for NATO’s war?

Alas, the question answers itself. The War Capital of the World on the Potomac insists upon it, and its vassals in Europe like Ursula von der Leyen nod, jawohl!

*  *  *

The amount of money the US government spends on foreign aid, wars, the so-called intelligence community, and other aspects of foreign policy is enormous and ever-growing. It’s an established trend in motion that is accelerating, and now approaching a breaking point. It could cause the most significant disaster since the 1930s. Most people won’t be prepared for what’s coming. That’s precisely why bestselling author Doug Casey and his team just released an urgent video with all the details. Click here to watch it now.

Tyler Durden
Sat, 06/22/2024 – 16:20

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/nd7No8z Tyler Durden

Judge Judy Says Trump’s NYC Hush Money Trial Was “Nonsense” And She “Resents” It As A Taxpayer

Judge Judy Says Trump’s NYC Hush Money Trial Was “Nonsense” And She “Resents” It As A Taxpayer

There’s going to be a lot of conflicted daytime TV viewers who count both The View and Judge Judy in their daily lineup after this one…

One of Manhattan’s favorite judges, TV icon Judge Judy Sheindlin, weighed in on Donald Trump’s criminal “hush money” trial last week in an interview with Chris Wallace, calling the spectacle “nonsense”. 

Sheindlin, known for her show “Judge Judy,” discussed former President Trump’s recent felony conviction with CNN’s Wallace. Sheindlin, a Brooklyn native, expressed her disapproval of Trump’s Manhattan prosecution.

“Trump was indicted in 4 separate cases,” Wallace asked Judy. “Is that the justice system working?”

She responded to Wallace: “I would be happier as someone who owns property in Manhattan, if the district attorney of New York County would take care of criminals who are making it impossible for citizens to walk in the streets and use the subway…”

“…to use his efforts to keep those people off the street, than to spend 5 million or ten million of taxpayers money trying Donald Trump on this nonsense,” she continued. 

“I, as a taxpayer in this country, resent using the system for your own personal self-aggrandizement,” she said.

The former family court judge, who is known for being ruthless on the stand, said that even she couldn’t figure out what the charges against Trump were: “You had to twist yourself into a pretzel to figure out what the crime was, he doesn’t like [Trump].”

“I think he was a good businessman, a real estate guy, and he was certainly terrific on The Apprentice,” Judy is seen saying in the clip. 

Despite this, Judy isn’t all sold on Trump, telling Wallace: “I don’t think that Donald ever should have been president, and I don’t think that even Donald thought he was going to be president.”

Tyler Durden
Sat, 06/22/2024 – 15:45

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/KMA6SnY Tyler Durden