War and & regime change drums beating for Iran: Part III, the Geopolitics (short, w/ dark blue ink)

Part I is here, Part II Café version;  the caucuc99% version.

First, the Geopolitics of Mackinder’s Heartland Sort, reminding us why Obama initiated his ‘Pivot to Asia’ policy that Beijing knew meant ‘China Containment’ policy, shrewd devils that they are:  ‘Iran’s Role in New Silk Road Emphasized’, May 17, 2017, financialtribune.com

“China’s Finance Minister Xiao Jie underscored Iran’s strategic role in China’s New Silk Road plan, noting that Iran can be a party for fulfilling the ‘”One Road, One Belt” vision initiated by the Chinese government.    

“Iran not only could participate in carrying out the plan within their borders, but they could also be a force to execute the New Silk Road vision in other countries,” Xiao said during a meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Ali Tayyebnia, at a key event promoting the New Silk Road trade project in Beijing.

Iran’s Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Ali Tayyebnia arrived in the Chinese capital on Saturday to represent Iran in the New Silk Road summit, formally known as the “Belt and Road Initiative” and sign the communiqué to revive the Silk Road along with [20]other countries’ representatives , IRNA reported.”

Tayyebnia had met with the President of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), of which Iran was a founding member.

(click map for larger)

From Pepe Escobar’s April 18 ‘Syria, Iran and ‘chaos in international relations’; Any meaningful political resolution to the turmoil in the Middle East now seems more elusive than ever, asiatimes.com:

(the aforementioned heavy oil sanctions making small nuclear power plants built by China more necessary, etc.)

“All that points, once again, to the ongoing, massive Eurasia integration project – the cross-pollination of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Eurasia Economic Union (EEU) – featuring, not by accident, the three key nodes: China, Russia and Iran.

And to add it all up, in this case the European arm of NATO even turned off the “aggression” rhetoric; the dogs of war (“Real Men Go to Tehran”) may bark again, but even that won’t force the EU caravan to desist from doing business with Persia.”

For more recent reading on the BRI, ‘Belt, Road Initiative and China-Iran cooperation’, March 24, 2018, theiranproject.com



‘Iran in the crosshairs as the Empire enters its mad dog days’,
John Wight via RT, May 22, 2018, some outtakes, although it’s all worth reading, including his references to the true nature of the US an EU being akin to European satellites before the fall of the Roman Empire:

The Empire enters its mad dog days

Thus the dire consequences of the untrammelled power of what is an imperial hegemon in Washington have never been more manifest, with its drive to dominate and dictate on pain of war reflective of an empire desperate to arrest a decline, entering its mad dog days in the process.

Let us be clear: the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the JCPOA has nothing to do with Iran’s compliance, which has been impeccable, and everything to do with Washington’s hegemonic agenda towards the region – a hegemonic agenda which precedes Trump.

In the way of this agenda are Iran, Syria and Hezbollah – along with Russia – which, if not on a formal basis certainly on a de facto basis, comprise an axis of anti-hegemony that needs to be broken. It is for this and no other reason that Trump, Netanyahu, and bin Salman are intent on forcing the issue with Iran, regardless of the likely catastrophic results.

They have lost in Syria, where the drive to topple the Assad government has been thwarted thanks in no small part to Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah – standing with the Syrian people and Syrian Arab Army – and in response they are intent on settling accounts.” [long snip]

Europe’s choice – unipolarity or multipolarity

Crisis is opportunity, they tell us, and this particular crisis presents the opportunity for a new alignment in Europe, forged on the understanding that the destabilizing factor in Europe is not and has never been Russia; that it is and has always been the United States. Economically, culturally, and politically, Europe’s identity has been progressively subsumed into a US identity, with its regressive and shallow paean to the cult of the individual, unfettered capitalism, and might is right.

Therefore the choice Europe faces is clear. It can either remain tethered to the mast of the sinking ship of unipolarity, or it can join Russia, China and the rest of the world in shaping a multipolar alternative, rooted not in the caprice of a president in Washington but instead in the principles set out in the UN Charter – specifically respect for national sovereignty and international law.

Returning to Iran, which now finds itself firmly in the crosshairs of regime change for no other reason that it refuses to bow to the writ of Washington, there is no longer any hiding place when it comes to taking sides. If those countries threatened by this eruption of US aggression do not hang together they will hang separately.

Hegemony demands its response in the shape of anti-hegemony. The future of generations as yet unborn depends on nothing less.”

This is Café coverage of John Pilger’s ‘The Coming War on China’ with the trailer.  Pilger has been adamant about getting out this historical information, especially as the MSM cover none of it.

Bonus, of the tragic sort: ‘When 43% of Americans Can’t Pay for Food and Rent, We Can Safely Say the Economic Collapse Is HERE’, Daisy Luther, strategic-culture.org, May 5, 2018

(cross-posted from Cafe Babylon)

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wendy davis's picture

RT has the Yulia video here.

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@wendy davis

or a thought on her family, her live-in BF or her pet; no interest in them or how they're doing, doesn't even want to know - warmly smiling on camera all the while...

Also, a picture in the news said to be of Yulia sitting in the bar shortly prior to the incident looked nothing like other pictures of Yulia produced elsewhere - is this difference simply a bad picture and weight gain lost during illness?

The expressions and character of the faces seem completely different, though; does the curve of the eyebrow seem to differ? the pub/restaurant pics which were so conveniently luckily taken and provided to add public interest to the war effort (weren't they supposed to have been with Sergei Skripal's handler?) seem to be the only ones easily found with her ears showing, (as Yulia seems to normally wear her hair flowing over her ears,) or with her wearing spectacles, but I haven't gone back or through any older articles having her picture, either.

Don't really have the energy to do any real looking but I happened to notice that there's quite a list of people with that name on FB:

https://www.facebook.com/public/Yulia-Skripal

People named Yulia Skripal

From the article following:

...Miss Skripal's mother Liudmila died in 2012 aged 60, one year after she and Mr Skripal had bought a semi-detached home in Salisbury. ...

Silly, but I'd never thought about Yulia and her mother following Sergei to England; simply because she was always spoken of as a Russian citizen living with her BF in Russia, I never thought of her as having ties, apart from her father, in Britain. I miss a lot...

I looked for pictures of her online - please, have a look at source, comparing pictures - and bear in mind that she's apparently 33, not 66, btw, so, beyond that and the headline stating as definite what was a speculative 'maybe' in the actual quote, there may be other inaccuracies and the article below does interview someone speculating - and the fact that deleting photos or anything else from social media/internet is not going to affect the ability of any spy agency to track anyone down, although it might, I suppose, make a public impersonation less likely to be easily uncovered and publicized as such:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5604209/Yulia-Skripal-deleted-on...

Yulia Skripal's best friend says poisoned spy's daughter deleted online family photos 'so no other loved ones could be tracked down

Yulia Skripal, 66, has only just been released from hospital after poison plot
Best friend Irina Petrova said Miss Skripal usually said when she went abroad
Said Miss Skripal didn't tell her when mother or brother died in family tragedies
Claimed her boyfriend works night shifts for 'special government organisation'

By Mark Duell for MailOnline

Published: 12:05 EDT, 11 April 2018 | Updated: 12:19 EDT, 11 April 2018

The daughter of a former Russian spy poisoned in Britain deleted online family photos 'so no other loved ones could be tracked down', a friend has revealed.

Yulia Skripal, 33, the daughter of ex-spy Sergei Skripal, 66, has only just been released from hospital after being found critically ill alongside him on a bench in Salisbury, Wiltshire, on March 4.

Her best friend Irina Petrova said she was surprised to hear Miss Skripal was in England without telling her, because she usually told her when she went abroad.

She added that Miss Skripal, her best friend of 27 years, did not tell her when her mother or brother died in a series of family tragedies.

Miss Skripal's mother Liudmila died in 2012 aged 60, one year after she and Mr Skripal had bought a semi-detached home in Salisbury.

Then four years later her brother Alexander, 43, also died in St Petersburg – but there have been conflicting reports over the circumstances of their deaths.

Ms Petrova told Grazia magazine: 'Year after year, everybody was dead. It was so quick. I found out from my mother, who bumped into Yulia in the street in Moscow. ...

...She added that Miss Skripal might have deliberately held off having children, saying: 'She loved kids, but it's a difficult life. If you look at what's happened, she couldn't predict anything.'

Ms Petrova also told how her best friend was often home alone in Moscow because her boyfriend worked night shifts in what she describes as 'a special government organisation'.

She said she did not know him and he does not have a social media presence, adding: 'Because of his job he isn't allowed to travel abroad.'

Miss Skripal's mysterious fiance was named for the first time last week as Stepan Vikeev, 30, but he has had no contact with her or her family since the attack.

The friend also said that when she first heard about the Salisbury attack, she thought: 'This can't be Yulia. I didn't even know she was in England.'

Asked whether Miss Skripal would usually tell her when she made a trip abroad, she added: 'Yes, of course. She told me when she went to England for New Year in 2017. But I suppose she doesn't have to tell me about her every step.'

Miss Skripal hadn't worked at PepsiCo, the company she told her best friend she worked, at for more than a year. Ms Petrova said this was 'pretty strange', but admitted that her friend had been 'private' and 'an introvert'.

And speaking about her cousin Viktoria, who wants to take Miss Skripal home to Russia now, she said she found it strange, adding: 'Viktoria wasn't too close to Yulia.' ...

...Miss Skripal has told British authorities she does not wish to speak to Russian officials as she continues to recover from a nerve agent attack.

A diplomatic battle has been raging between the two nations over whether the Russian embassy should be allowed access to her. ...

... The embassy remains perturbed by a refusal from UK authorities to grant Ms Skripal's cousin Viktoria a visa to visit her family.

It escalated the war of words on Tuesday, saying in a series of statements posted on social media: 'Secret resettlement of Mr and Ms Skripal, barred from any contact with their family will be seen as an abduction or at least as their forced isolation.'

Ms Skripal's release from hospital was met with a similar broadside from the embassy, which has repeatedly criticised the handling of the investigation into the attack.

In a statement, a spokesman said: 'We congratulate Yulia on her recovery. Yet we need urgent proof that what is being done to her is done on her own free will.'

Continuing the onslaught of scepticism yesterday morning, it suggested reports Ms Skripal had turned down consular assistance actually revealed she is being 'held hostage by the same people who destroy evidence and fail to come up with a single official account of the crime'. ...

The 'she-said' details given in the article seem rather confusing to me and seem to imply that Yulia, as well as the vanishing fiancée never mentioned by her, was also involved in covert operations of some variety - but please, look at the photos and the difference between the photos of Yulia visiting her father just before the incident and all others, while the video purportedly of Yulia looks more like the others.

I'm a little bit curious as to whether the BF vanished at the same time as Yulia left the country... and why she changed her style so much while with her father as to not really be very recognizable when going by previous photos, only to look more like her old self in a video which actually might involve technology to make someone else look and sound like her. Beginning to wonder if it's possible that she never left/arrived but is somewhere/was taken/killed with her BF and her unwitting father was convinced by some story to go along with an imposter? This whole thing has been so weird, anything might be possible... blatant lie over blatant lie even where the truth is known, to drown it out with repetition. It seems that everything must be questioned and nothing taken for granted in any of their stories.

Comments below the article are skeptical (pointing out that she was not behaving like an agent by social-media-posting family pics) and one makes a passing mention of a large banking transaction into Yulia's account just prior.

Not sure what's babble/muddying of the water anywhere in this, in any area of the whole mess - but Yulia seemingly looks healthier, younger and more like herself in the video than she did prior to being poisoned into a lengthy coma (something which causes damage in itself when extended) and I do have suspicions of this video, as with the phone call, both having been produced after many publicly voiced suspicions and both failing to satisfy suspicions because such things can be faked.

All emphasis mine.

https://futurism.com/this-new-tech-can-copy-anyones-voice-using-just-a-m...

This New Tech Can Copy Anyone’s Voice Using Just a Minute of Audio
Written By
Dom Galeon
Kristin Houser
Published: April 27, 2017

In Brief
Montreal-based startup Lyrebird has launched a new API that allows people to synthesize speech using just a one minute recording of anyone's voice audio. While the tech is revolutionary, its potential use to commit fraud may be cause for concern.
Taking Your Word

We regularly hear about new technologies for editing images in a unique way or better algorithms for visual recognition software. Clearly, a lot of work is being done to improve image generation techniques, but very rarely, however, does news about new voice-editing tech emerge. Adobe’s Project VoCo software is one of just a few exciting examples, but now, Montreal-based startup Lyrebird believes it’s done something even more impressive.

Like VoCo, Lyrebird’s latest application program interface (API) synthesizes speech using anyone’s voice. Unlike VoCo, which requires 20 minutes of audio to generate its replication, Lyrebird’s tech only needs a minute-long sample of the voice it’ll synthesize.

And, as if that’s not impressive enough, Lyrebird’s new service doesn’t require a speaker to say any of the actual words it needs. It can learn from noisy recordings and put different intonations into the generated audio to indicate varied emotions, also.
A Concerned Voice

Lyrebird’s new tech is revolutionary, indeed. It doesn’t just edit audio recordings — it makes it easy for someone to generate a new recording that truly sounds like it was spoken by a particular person and not created by a computer.

This raises some rather interesting questions, and not only does Lyrebird acknowledge these, the company actually wants everyone else to as well:

Voice recordings are currently considered as strong pieces of evidence in our societies and in particular in jurisdictions of many countries. Our technology questions the validity of such evidence as it allows to easily manipulate audio recordings. This could potentially have dangerous consequences such as misleading diplomats, fraud, and more generally any other problem caused by stealing the identity of someone else […] We hope that everyone will soon be aware that such technology exists and that copying the voice of someone else is possible. More generally, we want to raise attention about the lack of evidence that audio recordings may represent in the near future.

In short, Lyrebird want people to know they can easily be duped by audio, and hopes this knowledge will actually prevent fraud: “By releasing our technology publicly and making it available to anyone, we want to ensure that there will be no such risks.”

Being aware of the potential to be bamboozled by audio is one thing, but protecting oneself from potential fraud is another. Still, the value of Lyrebird’s technology can’t be denied. Whether its usefulness for things like creating more realistic-sounding virtual assistants outweighs its potential for nefarious endeavors remains to be seen.

I've seen some very good articles on this, but now can't seem to find any on search, so my apologies for the site used... it's close enough to give the idea of what publicly available tech was doing last year, that we knew about.

Emphasis mine.

https://www.glennbeck.com/2017/12/14/seeing-is-believing-not-so-much-wit...

The Glenn Beck Program
12/14/17 - Is It Real or A.I?

...Who do you believe? Well, if there was videotape. Well, if there was audio.

Let me give you a story. It's from Wired Magazine:

Turning a horse into a zebra is a nice stunt, but that’s not all it is. It is also a sign of the growing power of machine learning algorithms to rewrite reality.

Now, zebraification was a really big deal. Taking a video of a horse in a field that's walking by a fence. And that is the original. Then, they take this and they make it a zebra. This algorithm could take that horse and make it look like a zebra. ...

... Sure there were little glitches here or there, but it was pretty close. And it was like, "oh, my gosh. Look at a zebra." If you weren't looking for it, you might not spot it, okay? Zebraificiation. The article continues:

Other tinkerers, for example, have used the zebrafication tool to turn shots of black bears into believable photos of pandas, apples into oranges, and cats into dogs. A Redditor used a different machine learning algorithm to edit porn videos to feature the faces of celebrities.

Now, this has just come out in the last couple of days. So now you can take a porn video, just a regular person can take a porn video and now superimpose the faces of celebrities in those videos. Now, it's still pretty crude. But that's just on the market. ...

...Back to the story:

The engineers developing Adobe’s artificial intelligence platform, called Sensei, are infusing machine learning into a variety of groundbreaking video, photo, and audio editing tools. These projects are wildly different in origin and intent, yet they have one thing in common: They are producing artificial scenes and sounds that look stunningly close to actual footage of the physical world....

But this boom will have a dark side, too. Some AI-generated content will be used to deceive, kicking off fears of an avalanche of algorithmic fake news. Old debates about whether an image was doctored will give way to new ones about the pedigree of all kinds of content, including text. You’ll find yourself wondering, if you haven’t yet: What role did humans play, if any, in the creation of that album/TV series/clickbait article?

At this point, there is enough video of me for the best of AI, I am told, to make a video of me doing and saying anything. And they will have the mannerisms down pat. You will be able to falsify video. Now, this is at the NSA or Google (top-of-the-food-chain) level, that they're able to do those things now.

We're talking about being able to create them for pennies on the dollar in apps. In realtime. ...

...However, if you could take that photo and you could make it so you see him with his hand down, going behind her, on her butt, if you could take that photo and show it from the other side, well, now you have something, right? And, I mean, look at the photo. Look at the photo. It's right there.

What if it was fake? Oh, yeah, right. It's fake. No one would believe it.

Now, you would say, "well, they'd be able to tell."

No, they won't. Russia. I told you this story about a year ago. Russia came out with a doctored photo of the moon landing.

It showed the astronaut in front of the Apollo. But on the Apollo 11, it had a Russian flag on the Apollo 11. It had a Russian name on the suit. A Russian flag on his shoulder. And he was planting the Russian flag on the moon.

Now, anybody could PhotoShop that. However, once you start to go in, you can do forensics on that and say, "okay, this has been Photoshopped."

Russia offered a million dollars to anyone that could prove that that was a doctored photo. They have gotten the algorithms down so well, that you can now not tell, even with forensics, whether that is real or fake.

Think of the ramifications of this. You will not be able to believe your ears. You will not be able to believe your eyes. ...

...It's the instinctive stuff. Our eyes and our ears. "I saw it myself." We're losing that. And I think we're going to lose it in the next 18 to 24 months.

When that happens, we better know what's true inside of ourselves. We better know who our spouses are. We better know who the people are that we're with. And they better know you.

Because the world is about to change.

And so we get a single - and rather peculiar - phone call to a relative to say that she wants no contact with anyone and plans to vanish forever, along with her father, followed some time later by a single, nicely produced video, rather than a live appearance, and must trust that Hollywood effects and computer technology cannot mimic - or rather, have not been used here to mimic, as they could do that - the demanded evidence of one of these victims as living, with a story-line changed from the forever-to-anonymously disappear to potentially one of several countries without ever again contacting loved ones in Russia, to a line about someday returning to - not that family and life which she had there but to - the country of Russia. But no contact with anyone now - jam tomorrow, just never today, until the public forgets?

Or otherwise, trust that she is not being held under duress with her father held captive and with her live-in BF and pet, (believe it was a small dog,) in all that I've encountered/read so far of him regarding a single media attempt at an interview, said by a reporter to have vanished, with their shared home abandoned, mail piled up and neighbours saying that he'd gone to his dacha (summerhome) and never apparently missed in word or deed by Yulia.

Has anyone heard anything more of this live-in BF from whom she apparently wants to hear nothing, with no concern for how he's doing, even to find out that he's MIA - as presumably also is her pet?

When Sergei's pets were slowly, foully and cruelly killed, locked in the house, over their vet's objections, to starve and dehydrate, with the barely-surviving cat later killed rather than rescued, when the vet finally got access too late for two out of 3 or 4 of them, (apparently there were 2 cats) while the owner was presumably lying in a coma fighting for life, to awaken to this having been so callously and sadistically done to his pets?

In other words, none of the human things which psychopaths are capable only as understanding as exploitable human vulnerabilities, and which they could never feel themselves as anything of importance, and which would not fit the official storyline, have been expressed by what's supposed to be this woman.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/13/friends-yulia-skripal-say-do...

Friends of Yulia Skripal question whether she is still alive as they raise concerns over British investigation

Helena Horton Alec Luhn Tom Ball

13 March 2018 • 5:05pm

Friends of Yulia Skripal have accused the British Government of covering up her "death", as they say they doubt she is still alive.

Yulia Ni, who is listed as one of the poisoned 33-year-old's five best friends on the popular Russian social networking site VK, said: "I need some undeniable proof that she is actually alive, because we have suspicions that the truth about Yulia's and her father's conditions are being held from us."

She said that friends back in Russia were desperate for further details about Ms Skripal's condition, and found the scarce information offered by the British government suspicious.

Ms Ni told The Telegraph: "It appears to be very strange that there is not more concrete information available. The week has passed since they went into a comatose state.

"Can they breathe on their own or are they on a respirator? Do they react to light or have any other basic reflexes? The authorities should have already released some information to the public!" A childhood friend of Ms Skripal, Irina Petrova, told The Telegraph she was suspicious of the police investigation into her friend's poisoning. ...

...Ms Petrova said she thinks it is "unlikely" that it was the Russian Secret Services who were behind the attack, explaining: "They lived in moderation, Yulia posted all sorts of photos … she posted photos with papa, if she would have feared something she wouldn't haven't posted." ...

If the Skripals were dead and admitted to be so, their bodies would be demanded by relatives and an autopsy could be done. And that would be yet another spoiler for the already-exploded narrative designed to provide an excuse for more attacks/war-crimes on other people's countries.

Even now, the Novichok fiction still continues to be presented in the media.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-14/independent-swiss-lab-says-bz-...

Independent Swiss Lab Says 'BZ Toxin' Used In Skripal Poisoning; US/UK-Produced, Not Russian

by Tyler Durden
Sun, 04/15/2018 - 12:11

Somebody has some explaining to do... or did the Syrian airstrikes just 'distract' the citizenry from the reality surrounding the Skripal poisoning.

Remember how we were told my the politicians (not the scientists) that a deadly Novichok nerve agent - produced by Russia - was used in the attempted assassination of the Skripals? Remember the 50 questions (here and here) we had surrounding the 'facts' as Theresa May had laid them out? Ever wonder why, given how utterly deadly we were told this chemical was, the Skripals wondered around for a few hours after being 'infected' and then days later, survived with no chronic damage?

Well those doubts may well have just been answered as according to the independent Swiss state Spiez lab, the substance used on Sergei Skripal was an agent called BZ, which was never produced in Russia, but was in service in the US, UK, and other NATO states.

RT reports that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, citing the results of the examination conducted by a Swiss chemical lab that worked with the samples that London handed over to the Organisation for the Prohibition of the Chemical Weapons (OPCW), that Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double agent, and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with an incapacitating toxin known as 3-Quinuclidinyl benzilate or BZ.

The Swiss center sent the results to the OPCW.

However, the UN chemical watchdog limited itself only to confirming the formula of the substance used to poison the Skripals in its final report without mentioning anything about the other facts presented in the Swiss document, the Russian foreign minister added.

He went on to say that Moscow would ask the OPCW about its decision to not include any other information provided by the Swiss in its report.

On a side note, the Swiss lab is also an internationally recognized center of excellence in the field of the nuclear, biological, and chemical protection and is one of the five centers permanently authorized by the OPCW. ...

And, in the meantime, the plan toward global take-over proceeds:

https://www.salon.com/2007/10/12/wesley_clark/

“Seven countries in five years”
Wesley Clark’s new memoir casts more light on the Bush administration’s secret strategies for regime change in Iran and elsewhere.
Joe Conason10.12.2007

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/44045-pentagon-plans-for-three-front-...

Pentagon Plans for Three-Front "Long War" Against China and Russia
Tuesday, April 03, 2018 By Michael T. Klare, TomDispatch | News Analysis

Think of it as the most momentous military planning on Earth right now. Who's even paying attention, given the eternal changing of the guard at the White House, as well as the latest in tweets, sexual revelations, and investigations of every sort? And yet it increasingly looks as if, thanks to current Pentagon planning, a twenty-first-century version of the Cold War (with dangerous new twists) has begun and hardly anyone has even noticed. ...

https://www.rt.com/news/427601-us-coalition-strike-syria/

US-led strike hits government targets in Syria – state media
Published time: 24 May, 2018 00:09
Edited time: 24 May, 2018 01:35

US-led coalition warplanes have bombed several Syrian army positions in the eastern Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor, state media outlet SANA reports, citing a military source.

The attack took place shortly after midnight on Thursday. SANA reported that the US-led coalition aircraft inflicted limited material damage and no casualties. The airstrikes, which hit near the city of Al-Bukamal, were reportedly coordinated with anti-government militants.

Earlier, Lebanon’s Hezbollah group, an ally of the Syrian forces in the fight with Islamic State (IS, former ISIS/ISIL) said the coalition jets targeted two Syrian army outposts, including an energy installation near the Iraqi border.

The area has seen rapid advances by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) pushing against IS militants near Al-Bukamal and moving towards the eastern bank of the Euphrates River.

Last week, the SDF announced they took control over a former IS base on the Euphrates River near the Syrian-Iraqi border, moving closer to territory controlled by the Syrian government.

Syria has recently been subjected to massive bombardment campaigns by another US ally, Israel, which in early May sent 28 fighter jets that fired some 60 air-to-surface missiles into Syrian territory against what Tel-Aviv claimed were targets belonging to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Israel said that its largest attack in years was a response to Iran’s launching an attack on the Israeli-controlled part of the occupied Golan Heights from Syria. The Syrian air defenses retaliated, allegedly firing some 100 missiles at Israeli warplanes.

Is Russia expected to just stand by and watch allies be taken down one by one, while the rest of the world is subjugated by either economic or military means, until her turn finally arrives? Only the Shadow Government knows what scenario such psychopathic lunatics expect, but then again, TPTB believe that they can make their own reality while ignoring the real thing - the definition of insanity, which forms the explanation of all they do.

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Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

wendy davis's picture

@Ellen North @Ellen North

i'd just amended the title of this diary to reflect its brevity and dark blue ink that it might encourage past detractors to click in and read. and here your comment is easily six times longer than the OP! (not that i don't appreciate the sole comment other than mine...)

yes on the wesley clark list from the pentagon, only i'd remembered it incorrectly as coming thru PNAC. i'l try to read other links as they seem pithy, and when i have time, but for now i'm reading the loooong michael klare piece and edit this later on. but for now, 70,000 special ops is a ghastly number, and i wonder how many are mercenaries trained by erik prince.
i'm not sure that klare is correct that counter-insurgencies are going nowhere fast: that's exactly the point of the GWOT: occupy holy or other lands, piss off more citizens to join radical groups, buy more weapons of war...stay in country...tra la la. of course herr trump loves the fact that the US and partners can eventually share the vast mineral wealth in afghanistan, part of the old silk road, as i remember it, and general daivid petraeus had called it in the forward he wrote for some book a decade a go. but maybe klare's mentioned all of that, but once again:

‘And the land, hitherto a common possession like the light of the sun and the breezes, the careful surveyor now marked out with long-drawn boundary lines. Not only were corn and needful foods demanded of the rich soil, but men bored into the bowels of the earth, and the wealth she had hidden and covered with Stygian darkness was dug up, an incentive to evil. And now noxious iron and gold more noxious still were produced: and these produced war – for wars are fought with both – and rattling weapons were hurled by bloodstained hands.’

(Ovid, written around 8 AD which laments humanity’s loss of its original Golden condition [Ovid Metamorphoses, Book 1, The Iron Age])

capitalism and Imperialism go hand in hand.

on edit: more on michael klare's column:

trump may be unaware of a boatload of stuff going on, but i’d have sworn he’d personally called russia and china competitors, not adversaries, signaling he knew what was in the pentagon’s defense review. so far klares quotes from the heads of the various commands is just right: project western hegemonic behaviors on imagined ‘enemies’, i mean...competitors, to get approval of more and more money for the defense dept. with the aid of democrats, of course (the extra $63 billion ? over what herr yaller hair had asked for). and yes, EUCOM, nato is exactly one of russia’s big gripes. dated, but still great...

nato memmbers, ‘friends of nato’, ‘under nato’s umbrella’, holding joint military ops with ‘not quite nato members’ yet, as...ukraine, georgia, slovenia,and others. and donald has once again been pressuring nato members to pony up!

@USAmbNATO May 17
Great discussion with #NATO SecGen, @jensstoltenberg, Secretary of Defense Mattis, @SecPompeo and @AmbJohnBolton about @NATO Allies' defense spending & capability modernization. These key issues will be top of the agenda with @POTUS today.

but oof; you've pasted in so much of the other links i reckon i may have read enough. oh, and the voice simulations thing is believable, and not unlike the CIA exploits showing how the cia can act as 'enemy' callers, e-mailers, etc. but facebook teaming up with the atlantic council (nato) is pure art. why would anyone be on farcebook?

now his ‘normalizing nukes’ link is too long 2 read, but the scent of it was unmistakably correct. this is great:

“Under such circumstances, Votel testified, it is incumbent upon CENTCOM to join PACOM and EUCOM in resisting Chinese and Russian assertiveness. "We have to be prepared to address these threats, not just in the areas in which they reside, but the areas in which they have influence." Without providing any details, he went on to say, "We have developed… very good plans and processes for how we will do that."

as is this: “However, the real question -- unasked in Washington at the moment -- is: Why pursue such a policy in the first place?” but this? “Are there not other ways to manage the rise of China and Russia's provocative behavior?” now the sole place china *may* be actively provocative is in the south china sea, but there’s likely no way that the US can claim the spratley islands, as far as i know. but it’s perhaps all under the guise of claiming that china is trying to close sea lanes.

funny he’d mentioned china building a base at djibouti, then never mentioned AFRICOM, one of my pet peeve commands. nor did klare mention israel's epic influence in amerikan aggressive foreign policy.

be back later to see what else i've missed.

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mimi's picture

@wendy davis
bilingual in German and English?
What kind of source did you get that from?
Who published that image first?

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“Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.” -- Mark Twain

wendy davis's picture

@mimi

on iran. when i'd bingled for the english one, the only straightforward two i could find were too large to embed. zo...i chose the bilingual one. why do you ask, mimi? but just for you, i bingled again, looked at the left corner where this site was listed as one provenance. (never heard of it)

any comments on the information in the post? glad to have a second commenter, in any event. was it more readable to you (the last one as well?) i've tried to answer some of the past complaints (smile).

how is your hunt for ukrainian history going, by the by? things are getting dicey there again, as well as in crimea. but: almost too many things to write up lately.

but ho published it first? who can say; stuff like that goes viral on twitter in a milwaukee minute.

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mimi's picture

@wendy davis
I (European) do with all of it. I start to see a fata morgana behind the image and came to the conclusion that I suffer under "Wahnvorstellungen" (hallucinations).

I visited the MTIC.us site before I asked this question and actually asked the question because of that site. "Beware of that site", my guts told me. I always trust my guts.

So, I gave up.

Therefore the choice Europe faces is clear. It can either remain tethered to the mast of the sinking ship of unipolarity, or it can join Russia, China and the rest of the world in shaping a multipolar alternative, rooted not in the caprice of a president in Washington but instead in the principles set out in the UN Charter – specifically respect for national sovereignty and international law.

Darn Germans don't want war with Russia, as far as I am concerned. So far I had not the feeling Russia wants war with us. That's all.

Ukraine? Hope folks over there have enough to eat and a warm shelter.

I liked cool Putin in the truck storming over the bridge like a Charles Heester in the chariot way back then when he was still considered "cool".

Orange trucks and Putin in it? That's like the Orange Satan for real.

Oh, Markos, what have you done? Shhh, don't tell me, it's a ...
Secret
Ok, I am a woman and sometimes look shyly at some cool men...
Blush
and am completely distracted from all the not so cool news.
Fool
Wendy, it's beyond me. I can't read the stuff anymore. Take good care of yourself. I'll try to do the same for myself. And thanks for all your efforts.

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“Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.” -- Mark Twain

wendy davis's picture

@mimi

in that it seems that you might not be getting the satirical nature of the map. it's dated, of course, as there are more nato bases surrounding russia now, as well as missile emplacements in most of the former soviet union nations. and nato is soooo proud of all the joint-operation drills they do as they schmooze the would-be-nato nations and puff up their anti-putin egos. but of course germany doesn't want war with russia; they do a hella lot bidness together, yes?

https://twitter.com/NATO

fun video, but i did love the video of actual-factual putin driving a convoy across the new bridge from crimea to...roosia. incredible engineering feat,installation feat...and work project. (RT had the video)

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mimi's picture

@wendy davis
I am just tired of satire. And a bit frustrated sometimes. That's when I try to post silly comments and attempt to make jokes. Sorry.

I watched three documentaries on German TV just now and my head is full. I will try to get back to your links. (Tschernobyl etc.)

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“Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.” -- Mark Twain

@wendy davis

than maybe somebody could make sense out of the situation - and details are kinda essential... not that we often get many, or can generally verify all that much.

Wow, love your Ovid quote!

Totally, it's the competition and freedom of action of others which TPTB, et al, can't stand and they know damn well that nobody else would attack America except in last-ditch self-defense against The Psychopaths That Be, a situation they're creating themselves, and using as the cover excuse for their attacks, invasions and provocations...

TPTB have to realize that they have no right to 'manage' the rest of the world, ideally before the rest of the world has to forcefully push back and WW3 ends us all.

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2 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

wendy davis's picture

@Ellen North

but just quoting the most illuminating and pithiest parts might be in order, and watch me not do it right now. gadzukes, it's almost 5:30 here, and i need to figure out dinner, lol. anyhoo, former UK ambassador craig murray has been on this case for a long time, including calling out 'storyteller' luke harding for his bullshit.

‘Duress cannot be ruled out’: ex-UK Ambassador Craig Murray unconvinced by Yulia Skripal interview’, via RT

"Murray stated his belief that, rather than translate what Skripal said in Russian for the subtitles, Reuters may have used a script handed to them by the British government. The blogger also added that Yulia’s statement would have been more convincing if her recently released from hospital father, Sergei, was by her side.

Murray, who has blogged constantly on the Skripal incident, added: “Duress cannot be ruled out when he is held by the British authorities.

“I remain extremely suspicious that, at the very first chance she got in hospital, Yulia managed to get hold of a telephone (we don’t know how, it was not her own and she has not had access to one since) and phone her cousin Viktoria, yet since then the Skripals have made no attempt to contact their family in Russia.

“That includes no contact to Sergei’s aged mum, Yulia’s grandmother, who Viktoria cares for. Sergei normally [called] his mother – who is 89 – regularly. This lack of contact is a worrying sign that the Skripals may be prevented from free communication to the outside world. Yulia’s controlled and scripted performance makes that more rather than less likely.”

He'd also noted that it's suspicious that she has no access to social media which they could have provided to her 'risk free' (he'd noted some tech thingie), much less access to a telephone.

but craig's very long version is here. as i remember the spiez swiss lab saying, the BZ was a very strong hallucinogen, but the OPCW wouldn't confirm or deny that the lab was part of the OCPW. whassup with that?

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@wendy davis
@Ellen North

You make me feel alive. So glad we witness the same reality.

My collections of evidence and examples focus on the same range of topics. I do this as if I had a mandate. Heh. Thought I'd post here one I completed this morning, as long as we're going long:

::

What then are we seeing from orbit?

The present in the US is straddling time. One foot planted in the glorified past of the "good" Empire and the other foot in the probable future, where the US is a golem with its horns plucked, under house arrest and wearing an ankle bracelet.

From the distance of space, the view shows the nation to be rogue; moving against the will of the people, moving despite continuous pockets of resistance by newly elected representatives. They arrive with their goals and promises and they come home, millionaires. They learn about process, not about product. They learn how to appear otherwise engaged, while the US is pushed along a trajectory that no one wants to travel. The people worry about the costs and consequences, but they are deliberately unburdened by knowledge or understanding. They can only recall that this was not what they voted for. The President had rallied against war and military spending at first — but then they all do that when they want to neutralize the Left. The only clue that anyone was given of the nation's rogue state was when their embassy was suddenly moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem — something that no one in the US had asked for.

And there it is. The pattern. The coup.

We see from up here that Trump got rolled by the Deep State just months after taking office in 2017 — the first false flag chemical weapon attack in Syria. Before it was over, he had committed his first war crime. Trump was just a sandlot bully who now had to face real, stone-cold killers. The implications of this are worrisome. The Deep State had shown its fangs against Obama in 2016, after Obama and Kerry worked a deal with the Russians to cooperate against ISIS. Ashton Carter said, “Defense might not obey that order.” This was open insubordination. Obama did nothing.

The Air Force abruptly bombed Syrian soldiers at Deir-Ezzor, killing 80 or more, and instantly scuppering the deal. Insubordination had escalated to open mutiny against a sitting President. Still, Obama did nothing. Was there even a reprimand? The only conclusion we can draw is that Obama decided to avoid tangling with the Deep State at the end of his term. The Deep State convinced Obama to keep his mouth shut. Then, they quickly conspired to put Trump, the next President, on a tight leash. A choke collar.

Who's happy now? At the Council on Foreign Relations, the elite families, the oligarchs, and the military commanders are all feeling more secure. Ordinary American workers are the only source of funding for the war machine. It is this funding — which works its way through the CFR's defense industry Member Corporations — that swells the coffers of the Very Wealthy. Propaganda is the key and the leaders of all six US media monopolies are among the most prominent Members at CFR headquarters in New York.

There is nothing really new under the sun. Marcus Tullius Cicero described the situation this way:

A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.

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________________________

While there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free. — Eugene Debs, 1918

wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

and i have the same quote on my blogging help word doc. awesome to be reminded of. i'd hoped you might come, knowing how well you know the geopolitics involved even further than i do.

but my heart's otherwise engaged for now. a longtime (but estranged for a few months) blogging ally at fdl and the café just emailed to let me know that his not-quite-adult daughter died last night of what the sheriff said was some sort of seizure while living once again w/ her mum and step-dad.

if i were a true human being i'd phone him, but...in the crap emotional state i'm still in...dunno if if can...or should.

anyway, thanks for the exquisite view from the orbit looking at the FP and other think tank NGOs ruling class, my friend. golems: what an apt metaphor. born out of mud...sigh.

more anon, perhaps, but from a different sort of orbit, nanci griffith covers julie gold's original w/ jane ray's book graphics...from a distance. and it course it's made me weep once again. never could perform it w/o tears; johnny' 'beautiful boy' was another (smile).

let that serve as tonight's lullaby, okay? hope you both sleep well if you can; dream well, or if not...at least instructively.

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@Pluto's Republic

all beautifully put together and outstanding, as always. I takes me 'at off to the Duke!

Hard to connect the dots to show a picture, never mind begin to flesh anything out, if you have room for only a few of the required dots, isn't it?

Lol, now it seems that draining Americans dry in funding the war machine isn't enough.

OMG, suppose they ran out of missiles and had to stop taking over the world? Wars are at risk here! Just as they planned to attack everyone at once and steal the materials their planned victims may no longer sell them to be bombed with. How sad to have global fascism stymied twice!

(All emphasis mine)

https://www.rt.com/usa/427593-pentagon-report-munitions-bombs/?froisappi...

Fragile: Pentagon report raises alarm that US industry can’t support war for much longer
Published time: 23 May, 2018 20:51
Edited time: 24 May, 2018 08:20

Between globalization and nearly 20 years of constant warfare, the industrial part of the US military-industrial complex is not looking so good, putting future wars at risk, according to a new Pentagon report.

The Annual Industrial Capabilities report, published by the Pentagon’s Office of Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy, warns that reliance on foreign-sourced materials combined with “twenty years of intermittent conflict,” have put a strain on US manufacturers of weapons, parts and ammunition.

“While US national defense demands for materials are seldom unmet, there exist risks to their supply now and risks are anticipated in the foreseeable future,” the report says, describing the two broad trends as the scarcity of materials used in new technologies and the US’ growing reliance on foreign supply sources.

Both US economic security and national defense are at risk due to “high US import reliance on foreign countries who may become adversaries and cut off peacetime supply during future conflicts, the report says.

One example is Dechlorane, a flame retardant used in insulation on all US missile systems. The sole source of the material is the Belgian company Occidental Chemical. Worse yet, the precursor to make Dechlorane used to come from China, but is no longer available, “so there is now no source for Dechlorane in the world.”

US fighter jets rely on Sidewinder and AMRAAM air-to-air missiles to dominate the skies, but what happens when they run out? The sole source of dimeryl diisocyanate, a key ingredient in the missiles’ propellant, has informed the Pentagon that it will be leaving the business soon, leaving the US with “no qualified source,” according to the report. ...

... “We may be too far down the path to resurrect an authentic munitions industrial base,” Mackenzie Eaglen of the American Enterprise Institute told Defense News, commenting on the report. “So then the question becomes: Now what?”

With the US capability to produce vital parts and materials for weapons systems and ammunition dwindling, Washington is facing the risk that “a conflict with China could rely on Chinese-made parts, Defense News noted.

Munitions aren’t the only problem either. Maintenance has been hit just as hard by the years of “overuse and underfunding” of industrial infrastructure, according to the report. US naval shipyards, for example, have not been able to meet the maintenance needs, resulting in compounding problems.

The neglect has been so severe that “in fiscal years 2000 through 2016, inadequate facilities and equipment led to maintenance delays that contributed in part to more than 1,300 lost operational days… for aircraft carriers and 12,500 lost operational days for submarines.

A January report by the Pentagon’s director of operations and testing noted that half of the F-35 stealth fighter fleet is not mission capable due to supply and maintenance problems. Lockheed Martin’s futuristic fighter has a lifetime cost estimated at over $1 trillion.

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/427699-china-syria-business-peace/

Enter the dragon: China’s crucial role in winning Syria peace
Finian Cunningham
Finian Cunningham (born 1963) has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, he is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. For over 20 years he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organizations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. Now a freelance journalist based in East Africa, his columns appear on RT, Sputnik, Strategic Culture Foundation and Press TV.
Published time: 24 May, 2018 17:12

China is stepping up its involvement in Syria, not with its military, but with cash – and lots of it. For Beijing, war-torn Syria is a golden opportunity for reconstruction business. For Damascus, prosperity means peace.

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Syrian counterpart Walid Muallem have shown through their cordial discussions that Beijing and Damascus are on the same page when it comes to envisaging the rebuilding of Syria through partnership.

Chinese President Xi Jinping also recently backed the Russian-brokered peace talks held in Sochi and Astana. When Russian President Vladimir Putin called for an urgent shift to diplomatic efforts to stabilize Syria and the Middle East region, Beijing appears to have answered that call with ambitious reconstruction plans.

Firms from China are reportedly queuing up to win contracts for rebuilding entire towns and villages, roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, and communication networks devastated by nearly seven years of war.

The United Nations estimates that the war damage to Syria’s infrastructure amounts to be at least $250 billion. China could be the ideal partner to rebuild the country. Russia and Iran certainly were crucial to President Assad’s forces winning the military war. But now it is China which is becoming crucial to winning the peace.

“Western powers are reluctant to help rebuild Syria after its civil war,” reported Bloomberg. “Because they think the wrong side won.”

It seems that the US and European Union are deliberately withholding money as a lever on pressuring “political transition” in Syria, which is a euphemism for regime change. The Western powers backed a seven-year insurgency to topple Assad, but they lost. Now, it seems, what these powers couldn’t achieve militarily, they are trying to do through financial coercion.

Of course, if international law was fairly applied, the US and its allies should be mandated to pay war damages given their responsibility for unleashing much of the violence on Syria. ...

...China’s involvement in Syria fits perfectly with its grand global vision of One Belt, One Road (OBOR) economic integration. Historically, Syria was a vital node in the centuries-old Silk Routes that fanned out from China across Asia to Europe and Africa. Today, Syria’s position as a strategic crossroads between Asia, Europe and Africa is no less important.

Beijing is keenly aware that its OBOR vision depends on political stability and security in order to become established.

This week, China hosted the security council chiefs from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Beijing. President Xi, as well as Russia’s top security official Nikolai Patrushev, reportedly emphasized the imperative need for cooperation and security to underpin progressive economic development in the Eurasian space and beyond.

That is why China is viewing Syria as an urgent priority. Without security and stability in the Levant, much of China’s global plans for reviving the Silk Roads are imperiled. No doubt, Russia is well aware of this essential part of the geopolitical jigsaw puzzle.

Earlier this month, China’s special envoy to Syria, Xie Xiaoyan, told Russian media that the two countries were working closely on “promotion of Syria’s political process and postwar recovery”. He said that collaboration between Moscow and Beijing on securing Syria’s future was part of the “sweeping strategic partnership” that has consolidated in recent years under the leaderships of Putin and Xi.

One may surmise that Russia and China are working in tandem with regard to pursuing peace in Syria, albeit in a quietly spoken way. Russia’s military power played an essential role in bringing the violence in Syria to an end. But now China is taking on the task of turning the diminished violence into a viable, lasting peace through reconstruction and economic revival.

Both countries are not doing this solely out of altruism. China and Russia, as well as Iran, India and others, stand to make lucrative gains from rebuilding an entire country.

President Assad has openly stated that Western states and their regional allies like Turkey and Saudi Arabia will not be given any opportunities to profit from Syria’s future. Assad is looking eastwards for future prospects.

But, as noted above, it’s the bigger picture of Eurasian economic integration that provides even more of an incentive for China and Russia. Bringing peace to Syria is a cornerstone in the global economic development plans that China and Russia have, in particular, been advocating, sweeping across continents from Vladivostok to Lisbon, down through the Middle East to Africa.

There are also specific security concerns for China and Russia in Syria from thousands of militants threatening to return to those countries. There is estimated to be some 5,000 Uighur jihadists from China that have fought in Syria as part of the Western-backed regime change war.

If Syria’s security and peace is left in the lurch, the country could become a dangerous breeding ground for terrorism across the entire Eurasian region, again putting ambitious economic plans in jeopardy.

Perhaps that is what Western imperial planners are counting on, by prolonging Syria’s conflict and chaos partly for the objective of destabilizing the Russian and Chinese vision of Eurasian integration.

As well as imposing sanctions on Syria and impeding investment for reconstruction, there are ominous signs that American, French and other NATO allies are trying to extend military pressure to carve up the country into occupied zones. There have been reports of increasing French troop numbers joining US forces in northern Syria. ...

...Western machinations over Syria have been a failure. The illegal war that Washington, Britain, France and their regional partners prosecuted has been a miserable waste. Now those same villains are trying to delay Syria’s peace by using financial weapons.

But if China steps in with its colossal economic power, the attempted Western isolation of Syria will only turn out to be another huge loss. Ever the shrewd strategists, China can turn Western depredations into an immensely rewarding opportunity.

If Syria gets back on its feet with peace and stability, it will be China, Russia, Iran and the entire Eurasian region that are the big winners. Moreover, that strategic economic integration will also spell further demise for America’s global power.

So maybe The Psychopaths That Be's big Global Dominance plans will simply run out of enough gas to consume the Earth in flame?

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1 user has voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

Pluto's Republic's picture

@Ellen North

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1 user has voted.

________________________

While there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free. — Eugene Debs, 1918

@Pluto's Republic

by stealing SS and firing starving elderly-Americans in place of the missiles they've run dry of, thereby killing the last two birds on Earth with one stone.

up
1 user has voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

@wendy davis

posted something from a wonderful blog which had been following, researching and putting together bits from/around the Skropal incident, in a series including evidence/indications of dirty work at the OPCW crossroads.

Unfortunately, I don't recall enough details to find the blog again and hope somebody here will recall it, as I thought it was an incredible blog, so this tiny smidge of what I do recall at the moment is with the caveat of my memory sucking.

In any event, there were no independent witnesses to safeguard the chain of evidence, although the Brits lied and claimed there were.

The exchange of samples from the Skripals were limited between the British and a couple of OPCW people, one a high-ranking Turk who'd overseen NATO massing on Russia's borders and was not neutral and another unnamed OPCW.

It was very evident that a fix was in.

Something ironic about what it seems they'd had administered to them:

(Emphasis mine:

http://military.wikia.com/wiki/3-Quinuclidinyl_benzilate

3-Quinuclidinyl benzilate

... 3-Quinuclidinyl benzilate | align="center" style="background:lime;" | 3-quinuclidinyl benzilate 3QuinuclidinylBenzilate 27feb
3-Quinuclidinyl benzilate (QNB, BZ, EA-2277), IUPAC name 1-azabicyclo[2.2.2]oct-3-yl 2-hydroxy-2,2-diphenylacetate, is an odorless military incapacitating agent.[1] Its NATO code is BZ.

BZ is a glycolate anticholinergic compound related to atropine, scopolamine, hyoscyamine, and other deliriants. Dispersal would be as an aerosolized solid (primarily for inhalation) or as agent dissolved in one or more solvents for ingestion or percutaneous absorption.

Acting as a competitive inhibitor of acetylcholine at postsynaptic and postjunctional muscarinic receptor sites in smooth muscle, exocrine glands, autonomic ganglia, and the brain, BZ decreases the effective concentration of acetylcholine seen by receptors at these sites. Thus, BZ causes PNS effects that in general are the opposite of those seen in nerve agent poisoning. CNS effects include stupor, confusion, and confabulation with concrete and panoramic illusions and hallucinations, and with regression to primitive, involuntary behaviors such as floccillation and disrobing.

Physostigmine, which increases the concentration of acetylcholine in synapses and in neuromuscular and neuroglandular junctions, is a specific antidote.

Production of BZ is controlled under schedule 2 of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Craig Murray is awesome - no wonder TPTB and corporate media hate him.

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1 user has voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

wendy davis's picture

@Ellen North

aggregator site for alternative views to the western hegemon's take. g'night, and thanks, ellen. but not craig's, i reckon? other than those, my mind's a bit bit blank jut now. bernhard at moon of alabama?

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2 users have voted.

@wendy davis

I never would have found that blog myself...

So sorry about everything behind that crap emotional state... I'd think definitely better not to try to offer support over such a devastating loss to others at a stage when you need it yourself and can only offer a frail and perhaps shattered reed, itself in need of binding for any strength. At least not when stronger others are likely in before you to offer what comfort they can.

That degree of grief may also leave bereaved parents incapable of dealing with condolences, especially in the first days, although since you know them, you might be able to guess at their reaction, whether more likely comforted by talking things out or by howling in a corner without having to try to hold themselves together to talk to anyone.

Have a good sleep to hopefully help work the ravels together and perhaps you'll feel better tomorrow?

Wishing you healing dreams and better circumstances, and sending many hugs.

up
1 user has voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

wendy davis's picture

@Ellen North

and am a bit less frayed this mornin'. i took the other avenue and emailed him, and felt far better for it as i believe i'm one of his only confidantes, not sure why. he's divorced, weird battles over custody, MH care issues, everything, really. an all of this is playing again now that their daughter has crossed over to the other side. i sent him this mary oliver poem that some say almost makes one look forward to death, and i agree.

i picture what it might be like to imagine one's teenage daughter (jayzus) on an autopsy table, then try to compartmentalize it to even get thru the day, however robotically. he may or may not find the answers he's seeking, because his ex-wife won't even communicate with him, nor will her new husband, even now. evil comes in so many packages, often within families, tragically.

got an answer back from him just now, i'll go write back. thanks again.

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@wendy davis

and an email is better; gives people privacy of response, as is not possible in live conversation...

I can't imagine how people cope with the loss of one of their children... losing a parent is devastating and that's something we know must one day happen in the natural order of things, but a child is supposed to outlive the parent, and if also having no supportive relationship between the two parents... you know in this case that you're a great comfort to him and it's unfortunate that this tragedy also arrives at such a time for you, albeit fortunate all round that you are such a strong as well as caring person, despite all strain imposed. And sometimes, even in such circumstances as this, the knowledge that you are needed can also help you through. *hugs*

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0 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

wendy davis's picture

@Ellen North

and i'm doin' my best. maybe sometimes the blind leading the blind...can work out okay (smile). i can't imagine losing a child, either. i did at least manage to make him laugh with a wry comment about his wife i refer to as 'cruella', though. i put up an open menu thread at the café until i get my wits about me to write one of myriad possibilities up soonish.

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@wendy davis

And congrats for letting a little light in by making him laugh!

Smart, get back to the fight when you feel you can. Sometimes, too much emotional pummeling is just too much... eager readers will be waiting, when the time comes.

(Sending extra hugs, to be sure you have spares.)

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Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.