Welcome to Saturday's Potluck - Dec 9, 2023

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
Pablo Picasso

Morning - A few subjects I found interesting this week.

Scientists Stunned as Redwood Trees Sprout 1,000-Year-Old Buds After Weathering Wildfires Sputnik Global Dec 5, 2023

Despite fears that most of the redwood trees would perish due to intense blazes, a recent study revealed that these towering giants tapped into energy reserves dating back decades, enabling them to sprout new growth and challenge existing understanding of tree survival.
Tree ecophysiologist Drew Peltier and his team from Northern Arizona University discovered that, contrary to expectations, the surviving redwoods mobilized long-held energy reserves, using sugars produced from sunlight decades earlier. These reserves were channeled into buds that had been dormant for centuries beneath the bark.

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The Big Bang never happened – so what did? Asia Times Dec 3, 2023

In the past year, the story that most cosmologists have been telling about the history of the cosmos has begun to crumble under a flood of new data from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and other instruments. The hypothesis that the Universe is expanding from a gigantic explosion 14 billion years ago is today contradicted by dozens of separate sets of data and, by any scientific test, has been invalidated.

But if the Big Bang never happened, what did happen? Is there an alternative history of cosmic evolution that actually has been verified by observations? And what difference does it make to the here and now what happened in distant galaxies billions or trillions of years ago?

In fact, an alternative, scientifically validated history of cosmic evolution has been developed over the past half-century, starting with the work of physics Nobel Laureate Hannes Alfvén and his collaborators. ...

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Yin and yang trump Marx and Lenin in China Asia Times Dec 7, 2023

A new book by Dr Levente Horváth, Director of the Eurasia Centre at Budapest’s John von Neumann University – “Chinese Geopolitical Thinking – The Belt and Road Initiative from a Chinese Perspective” – presents a nuanced (and unorthodox) interpretation of the ideas that motivate China’s foreign policy, including its much-bruited Belt & Road Initiative (BRI).

Horváth makes a solid case that present-day China is more the product of 5,000 years of Chinese history and pedagogy than it is of messianic Marxism-Leninism, an ideology that is unprecedented in Chinese history, dates only to 1949 and is now running on fumes.

For this reason, he repeatedly takes the West to task for its burgeoning Sinophobia, which he suggests is tinged with paranoia over the prospect of having to play second fiddle to a rising power viewed as not clubbable.
...
Horváth’s thesis should play well across Eurasia and the so-called Global South, while garnering brickbats from many of the China mavens who work in our think tanks, universities, and newsrooms.
...
Horváth describes how China’s ancient philosophy and the concept of yin and yang – the view that seemingly contradictory forces in nature are, in fact, interwoven and interdependent – is at work in its foreign policy.

“‘Observe calmly; secure our position; cope with affairs calmly; hide our capacities and bide our time; be good at maintaining a low profile; and never claim leadership.’

And when the moment is right and all circumstances right, in the words of the ancient Chinese sage, tianshi dili renhe, then it is the time to step up and begin the fight in the spirit of Tao and bring the world into balance, into the right yin and yang, to restore the world order.”
...
Horváth illustrates China’s approach versus the West’s with a metaphor: “while in the Western world the most popular strategic game is chess, in China weiqi is more popular. In chess, the aim is to annihilate the opponent with a checkmate; in weiqi, the object is not to destroy the other player, but to gain territory and surround him.”

Thus, explains Horváth: “With the Belt & Road Initiative, the Chinese state has not created a unilateral [or unidirectional] policy [at the expense of others], but a common platform where participating states can negotiate and discuss, as equals, [paths to] the future development of countries, regions, and the world.”
...
Having said all this, Horváth points to this telling factoid: “More than 130 countries are participating in the BRI because they see the potential for economic development.” It would seem much of the world is betting that the BRI will not only succeed but prove mutually beneficial or they would not be playing ball with Beijing.

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Who is Tesla’s super-fast, bulletproof Cybertruck built for? Asia Times Dec 7, 2023

The angular shape, flat surfaces and triangular roof line of the Cybertruck look like nothing else currently on sale. The vehicle is very different from the traditional Tesla lineup of cars that are more curved and jelly mold-like in their appearance. This means they’re highly aerodynamic, with reduced drag to maximize their electric range.
...
In design, there is a well-known saying, “Form follows function.” In Tesla’s lineup to date, the design language clearly speaks to efficiency and dynamism.

However, the rather surprising outcome of the Cybertruck delivery event launch on November 30 was the admission by Musk that the angular shape had largely been decided by the material choice: high-strength stainless steel (understood to be 30x cold-rolled stainless steel). This choice has apparently restricted the manufacturing process, resulting in a flatter, angular form.
...
So, if form follows function, the key function that has determined the design of the Cybertruck is the requirement to be bulletproof. For a public-facing consumer vehicle, that’s a rather surprising, unique selling point. Especially when taken in the context of Musk’s “why not?” reasoning, which he followed up with the rather worrying statement:

The apocalypse can come along any moment, and here at Tesla we have the best in apocalypse technology.
...
At the launch event, Musk said of driving the truck: “If you have an argument with another car, you will win.” The Cybertruck appears to focus very much on protecting its occupants, while negating the advances in road safety that take into account vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and even other vehicles.
...
A bulletproof, go-anywhere, do-anything tank with the ability to reach 60 miles per hour in 2.6 seconds? Quite a tool in the wrong hands.

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Not a good sign.

Biolabs at Work? 'Antimicrobial Resistance' Sees Alarming Spike in Ukraine - CDC Sputnik News Dec 8, 2023

Resistance to antimicrobial medicines which prevent and treat infectious diseases has experienced an explosive rise in Ukraine.

The report, made possible through collaboration between the CDC, the Center for Public Health of Ukraine (UPHC), and other local health authorities and “international partners,” including the World Health Organization and the US State Department, used data collected in hospitals in the western and central Ukrainian regions of Ternopol, Khmelnitskiy, and Vinnitsa.
The study found that in the period between November and December 2022, some 14 percent (50 out of 353) sampled patients suffered from health care-associated infections, with 30 of the 50 infected with a carbapenem-resistant organism – a type of bacteria that can produce chemicals that destroy antibiotics.
...
Now, as the problem of drug-resistant infections in Ukraine appears to be reaching critical mass and
- threatening America’s European allies, - https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/29/8/23-0567_article
the CDC’s report could very well constitute an attempt to cover up its activities and blame Ukraine’s underfunded and “war-strained” health care system for a potentially explosive regional health crisis to come.
However, Tim Fish notes in an October 2023 article for Breaking Defense that the chances of New Zealand joining AUKUS Pillar Two dramatically increased following its general elections that month.

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US hegemony was on full display yesterday. Our sole negative vote to prevent a ceasefire forces our ruling elite opinion's onto the world. Now the rest of the world needs to determine their next steps without using the United Nation's organizational structure created after WWII to prevent conflicts.

António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations briefing calling for action.
Israel/Palestine Crisis: 'The eyes of the world, and the eyes of history, are watching' - UN Chief 9 12:30 min) Dec 8, 2023

The vote 13 yes, US no, UK abstain.
US vetoes truce resolution: Draft UN resolution to stop fighting shot down (2.42 min)

Does it effect us personally - probably will in the future. The US vote basically implies - US governing body believes collective punishment of all civilians who voted in a political party who engaged in violent acts is an acceptable practice.

Of course we may not need to wait for actions from other countries if the Dec 7 Tweet from Tucker Carlson is accurate. Our ruling elite may already have plans if we do not fully support them.

The Biden administration is openly threatening Americans over Ukraine. In a classified briefing in the House yesterday, defense secretary Lloyd Austin informed members that if they don’t appropriate more money for Zelensky, “we’ll send your uncles, cousins and sons to fight Russia.” Pay the oligarchs or we’ll kill your kids.

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Micheal Rectenwald PhD is the Libertarian candidate for president and says he is running as a peace candidate. Not an endorsement - simply informational.

Prof. Michael Rectenwald: Why does Congress fund foreign wars? (23:24 Min)

Prof. John Mearsheimer has walked back his talking point for the last few years of an inevitable conflict between between the US and China. Of course we have simply been misunderstanding him.

Additional information on the subject of South China Sea by soryang yesterday- The Second St. Thomas Shoal is not an island.

Prof. John Mearsheimer: Russia, China, and Gaza. (25:59 min starts 22:18)

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson: When soldiers kill civilians. (25:14 min)

The livestream videos this week by Judge Napolitano channel ongoing discussions regarding current events in Israel/Hamas/Gaza, China and third subject Ukraine/Russia conflict. The interviews are generally posted on Monday through Friday if would like to view them in a more timely manner. The link opens in the LIVE column, occasionally an interview only appears in VIDEOS section.

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What is on your mind today?

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Comments

Lookout's picture

The US is hurting itself with the UN ceasefire veto. We will reap the wrath of the world for our support of the Gaza Genocide. Proves one thing, our political class is owned lock stock and barrel by the Israel lobby.

Thanks for all the news and the OT!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Is a great concept adopted by China. It just makes so much more sense than
the western 'might makes right' approach - especially in the long run.

Americans seem to be steered towards fear of ideas not understood.
Associations implanted in the minds of western thinkers are mostly
harmful to the acceptance of different cultures.

My hope is the BRICS+ initiatives will help to change this.

Thanks for the Potstickers!

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Pluto's Republic's picture

...into a global council that can fairly accommodate the model of dynamic cooperation and national sovereignty sought by the rapidly emerging New World — exemplified by the BRICs. The UN ways are too deeply forged in the prejudices and divergent privileges of the Old World — where international relations have devolved into a showcase of arrogance and hypocrisy. The UN has many important programs that should be continued, but its system of global governance has reached the end of its effectiveness.

The New World council of Global governance will need to be reimagined and relocated.

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____________________

The political system is what it is because the People are who they are. — Plato
enhydra lutris's picture

@Pluto's Republic global governance. It was intended to be exactly what it is. It is a device for the reigning powers to work to somewhat ensure that no WWIII pitting member states who are or were colonial powers against each other and to keep lesser states from getting out of line. It is powerless to act except by unanimous action of the colonial powers, effectively restricting its enforcement powers to actions against other, lesser states.

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

enhydra lutris's picture

to post a brief reminder that it is Anna's Day. Yep, time to start prepping that Lutefisk for the Xmas feast, so get to it.

Got some joint morning stuff to attend to, hope to be back in a bit (with a not-lutefisk breakfast.)

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

enhydra lutris's picture

the thirties overnight, but no frost on plants. Thermostat didn't automatically fire up the furnace so my wife did it manually, need to get the heat pump wallas to fix that.

Mr. Coffee coffee machine pretty much died this morning. We did get our coffee, but it is really ancient and progressively more and more aggravating. We bought a spare/backup ages ago in case it died some totally horrible time, so I invoked my right as a person borned in the Usofa to be a Merikan for a day which means that other than the carafe (called a decanter in the documents) and permanent filter, I am just going to shitcan the entire unit with no attempt to restore, repair, refurbish, reuse or any of that and set up the new one for mañana.

It is interesting that China has been detected as not following messianic Marxism-Leninism. I suspect that said messianic Marxism-Leninism has long been more of a bogeyman than a believed ideology that anybody tries to put into practice. China has long been something of a mixed economy, but its failure to evolve into a corporatocracy like hard core Market Economies baffles most because of the human tendency to binary thinking.

Heh,

Scientists Stunned as Redwood Trees Sprout 1,000-Year-Old Buds After Weathering Wildfires

They maybe should've asked north coast loggers or foresters. Coast redwoods are amazing things that reproduce in a wild variety of manners. years ago they went to dig out the stump of one somewhere up around Ukiah, iIrc, and found out that it was a sucker sprouted off the side of some long dead, deeply buried fallen giant. If there really are ents, its them.

Thanks for the potluck soe.

be well and have a good one all

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@enhydra lutris @enhydra lutris

so many mr. coffee machines out there
$5 at the thrift shops, working units

good to have a couple compatible ones
for spare parts. Cobbled together, they
last for years

good luck

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@QMS in case a glass carafe gets broken. I have dropped one before.
I do purchase a spare coffee maker when a store is running a sale, and have a small one for travel.
One way to start my day being totally pissed off at the world is to have no coffee.
I had plenty this morning, and am not in fight mode.
Have a great weekend, El, soe, et. al.

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

@on the cusp

Yeah, the little gasket to seal the drip plunger goes out a lot.
Very special size, not I'm my o-ring kit
Works without, but is better tempered by the drip

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Blinken also has his blood covered fingerprints over the genocide

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soryang's picture

...is nicely summarized. I just can't take Gordon Chang seriously, but he is widely promoted by western media.

I may have mentioned this before, but the current US Director of Naval Intelligence, wrote a thesis at one of the war colleges on South China Sea issues. It's dated, looks like it was published in 1996. While conservative in outlook, it recounts some valuable history of the Chines claims and case studies of disputes/confrontations in the 70s, 80s and early 90s. The paper is also more balanced and informed than the media tripe typical in the mainstream. I've read the thesis before, but I've started going through it again, because I don't want to be flippant concerning this potential flashpoint for international conflict. While reading it I found this surprising admission from the naval officer's paper-

In fact, the only party
with a strong physical presence in the contested Spratlys
zone prior to 1970 was Taiwan, which permanently stationed
troops on Itu Aba, the largest island in the Spratlys
archipelago, beginning in 1956.

Surprisingly, Beijing was content to ride on Taipei's
commitment in the region—a tacit understanding existed
between the two entities that ROC forces would uphold greater
China's sovereignty over the entire sprinkling of rock, coral
and sand. Loosely united against potential challengers, the
two China's probably believed their claim was watertight, for
under the 1958 Territorial Sea Convention, legal jurisdiction
over an archipelago was accorded to the occupant of the
largest island in the grouping.u China's argument that it
possessed unquestionable autonomy over the region based on
centuries of exploration and exploitation and historic
"administration" of the islands appeared uncontestable,
especially in light of legal definitions of ownership at the
time.

I think only serious military/ China analysts would consider reading the whole paper. The current ONI's perspective at the time of writing the thesis was focused on avoiding unnecessary military conflict while protecting sea lines of communication. He also discloses that the Chinese focus is on the large potential of the undersea resources including hydrocarbons. Of course there are other influences, domestic political influences, the cultural need to recover losses from the "century of shame" as he calls it, and the jealously generated by Chinese nationalism toward foreign encroachments on their historical claims.

Studeman like Horvath and others made the Go gameboard strategy comparison-

The winner in a game usually takes only
12
slightly more territory than his opponent, and any attempt to
completely destroy a skilled adversary or take excessive
risks will ordinarily lead to failure. Additionally, the
four corners of the game board are strategically more
significant than the center.16

The strategies of Go parallel China's military style...

DRAGON IN THE SHADOWS: CALCULATING CHINA'S ADVANCES IN THE SOUTH CHINA SEA
Michael William Studeman

Itu Aba is also known as Taiping Island. Not surprising that Taiwan didn't accept the 2016 Permanent Court of Arbitration decision ruling against China's claim to an EEZ in the Spratly Islands.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China (Taiwan) 中華民國外交部 - 全球資訊網英文網
Taiping Island is an island, not a rock, and the ROC possesses full rights associated with an exclusive economic zone and continental shelf in accordance with UNCLOS...

Taiwan's Claim to a South China Sea EEZ.

There was a mild criticism of Horvath's occasional awkward translation made in the Asia Times review. I think it's difficult to avoid this when one is committed to delivering a translation. Dr. Peterson an Asian studies scholar who translates old Korean writings in traditional Chinese script, said sometimes it takes years to translate a Chinese document in a satisfactory way. If you want to get the message across in a more timely fashion, there are going to be awkward statements and even mistakes.

Really liked the discussion between the Judge and the Colonel. Wilkerson is really giving sound commentary on US policy, something dearly needed.

Thanks so much for the Potluck SOE!

(edit typo)

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語必忠信 行必正直

@soryang

and the politics involved
refreshing to get a different perspective
of events in others eyes

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soryang's picture

@QMS @QMS @QMS ...with Tim Shorrock, who is a very talented (old) white guy from the US of A, who just has some substantial connection to South Korea (and Japan which I don't), and Korean culture, although he is much more accomplished. I admire his work. I also share his interest in intel, history, politics of the region. One time I had to explain to the Asian group board moderator over at SV, that I was not Asian, when she tried to make me, the board host. I was posting over there on Korean culture, dramas, songs, news etc., for a few years. I went back and looked at my journal of news items after being away quite a while, and was surprised at the number of views. I rarely go there, too much koolaid drinking going on.

I meant to mention that the US did suspend Osprey flight ops in the last day or two. Tim S. reposted this Osprey (the aircraft) related news today-

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語必忠信 行必正直

It was a day for me to clip a few vines out of the crepe myrtles, now that their leaves are gone and the vines can be easily traced to the ground.
I noticed 7 new ant beds, so they got poisoned. It was so hot this summer, we were ant-free for at least 3 months.
It was a good day to burn off a burn pile of limbs, and some lumber from the house repairs of a month ago. We were sweating before the pile was set on fire. By bed time, it will be 41 degrees. It is 79 degrees now.
I am gonna check the fire, then check the world clock, verify that it is happy hour somewhere in the world.

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

enhydra lutris's picture

@on the cusp

It is always happy hour in the Bermudas, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Haiti and Montserrat.

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

enhydra lutris's picture

@enhydra lutris @enhydra lutris

In the maritime universe, the first daily tot of rum is served "when the sun is over the yardarm" (roughly 11 am.) For non-navy or retired, it seems that this is a marker for "all systems go" and cocktails, beer, and wine may be served and consumed any time after said sun crosses said yardarm. Should you be thirsty before that, just remember that this is a British Navy tradition, so arguably, one could base one's own rules upon the time at which the sun raises above the yardarm at, say, Portsmouth England.

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@enhydra lutris It's ridiculous that I let that slip my mind!
We had to turn on the a/c this afternoon. By 8pm, we will have the heat pump ginnin'. The horrific t-storms and heavy rains we have been concerned about this week turned out to be 5 minutes of a light sprinkle that didn't put out the fire going on the burn pile.I admit the hot summer and even fall kept me indoors. I am really feeling the 30 minutes I spent bending, lifting, yanking, carrying. Getting old sucks! Yard work is a joy, not meant to wear me out!

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

snoopydawg's picture

.

offensive could have never worked. And both America and Ukraine knew that the losses would be enormous, but they sent them to their deaths anyway. America goes to war with a huge Air Force and yet expected Ukraine to defeat Russia without one. And many of the troops had no experience in battle whatsoever. They sent troops into fields littered with mines and when the equipment didn’t survive they sent troops on foot. They didn’t survive either.

This is nothing short of military malpractice on the part of the U.S. and Ukrainian commanders. They provided the recruits enough information to get them on the battlefield where they could be slaughtered.

https://sonar21.com/dissecting-the-washington-posts-analysis-of-ukraines...

https://sonar21.com/dissecting-the-washington-posts-analysis-of-ukraines...

The Ukrainian troops had expected minefields but were blindsided by the density. The ground was carpeted with explosives, so many that some were buried in stacks. The soldiers had been trained to drive their Bradleys at a facility in Germany, on smooth terrain. But on the mushy soil of the Zaporizhzhia region, in the deafening noise of battle, they struggled to steer through the narrow lanes cleared of mines by advance units. . . .

By day four, Gen. Valery Zaluzhny, Ukraine’s top commander, had seen enough. Incinerated Western military hardware — American Bradleys, German Leopard tanks, mine-sweeping vehicles — littered the battlefield. The numbers of dead and wounded sapped morale. . . .

Rather than try to breach Russian defenses with a massed, mechanized attack and supporting artillery fire, as his American counterparts had advised, Zaluzhny decided that Ukrainian soldiers would go on foot in small groups of about 10 — a process that would save equipment and lives but would be much slower.

Maybe 600,00p men dead and twice that wounded. And now old men and young and pregnant women are being sent to their deaths while Zelensky sells out the country to globalist parasites. It’s too bad that no one who planned this clustfck will never be held accountable.

Apparently Zelensky told Zaluzhny to resign, but Zaluzhny said that he’s not going anywhere. Will we see another Ukraine coup? Who would the Nazis back?

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Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

snoopydawg's picture

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Yemen is the only country that is trying to help Palestinians. All the rest are sitting on the fence watching as the slaughter continues. America vetoed the ceasefire because the others didn’t condemn Hamas. What absolute BS. Every country has done this already multiple times. Did anyone there even talk to him after he condemned thousands more to death? How many people have already died from thirst, starvation or any of the diseases that have to be rampant by now? How many people are lying under the rubble of the thousands of buildings Israel has destroyed?

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Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

snoopydawg's picture

.

These men were stripped to their underwear. They aren’t Hamas, but people they pulled out of places they were sheltering in.

BREAKING: HAMAS LEADER OFFICIAL STATEMENT

ON MASS ARREST

Izzat Al-Rishq;

‌The Israeli Nazi occupation army committed an uncovered crime yesterday by apprehending a group of displaced Palestinian civilians who were disgracefully stripped of their clothing within a school in the Gaza Strip.

This reprehensible crime underscores the Zionist desperation for empty revenge against our people, following Israeli inability to counter the resolute resistance from our heroic freedom fighters and their defeat and strategic fiasco on October, 7.

The kidnapping, invasive searches, and disrobing, documented in a criminally explicit manner, once more reveal behaviors typical of mercenaries and terrorist militias lacking any principles and disregard for laws, a characterization fitting for this Israeli Nazi army. We hold the occupation forces responsible for the lives and well-being of these civilians.

We implore all human rights and humanitarian organisations to promptly intervene and expose this atrocious crime committed against innocent, defenseless civilians seeking refuge in a school repurposed as a shelter due to the Zionist aggression and massacres. We call for relentless efforts through all available means to secure their prompt release.

Why hasn’t anyone from Biden’s administration called out the Israeli who denigrate Palestinians and say that they aren’t human? So many people in Bibi's administration have made clear that they are going to ethnic cleanse Gaza and plan to genocide them.

He definitely is a war criminal.

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Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.