Friday, November 12, 2021

An inconspicuous photo of a purple flower

"What’s Next for Julian Assange?" (Lauria). With necessary flow chart.

Thank you for your 'service':

UN Special Rapporteurs say the darndest things: "“The Israeli settlements are a presumptive war crime under the Rome Statute:” Will the UN listen to its own Rapporteurs?" (Wadi).

"Afghanistan: Between Pipelines and ISIS-K, the Americans Are Still in Play" (Escobar):
"Since its creation in 2015, ISIS-K continues to be financed by the same dodgy sources that fueled chaos in Syria and Iraq. The moniker itself is an attempt to misdirect, a divisive ploy straight out of the CIA’s playbook.

Historic ‘Khorasan’ comes from successive Persian empires, a vast area ranging from Persia and the Caspian all the way to northwest Afghanistan – and has nothing whatsoever to do with Salafi-jihadism and the Wahhabi lunatics who make up the terrorist group’s ranks. Furthermore, these ISIS-K jihadis are based in south-eastern Afghanistan, away from Iran’s borders, so the ‘Khorasan’ label makes zero sense.

Russian, Chinese and Iranian intel operate on the basis that the US ‘withdrawal’ from Afghanistan, as in Syria and Iraq, was not a withdrawal but a repositioning. What’s left is the trademark, undiluted American strategy of chaos executed via both direct (troops stealing Syrian oil) and indirect (ISIS-K) actors.

The scenario is self-evident when one considers that Afghanistan was the precious missing link of China’s New Silk Roads. After the US exit, Afghanistan is not only primed to fully engage with Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), but also to become a key node of Eurasia integration as a future full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU).

To hedge against these positive developments, the routine practices of the Pentagon and its NATO subsidiary remain in wait in Afghanistan, ready to disrupt political, diplomatic, economic and security progress in the country. We may be now entering a new chapter in the US Hegemony playbook: Closet Forever Wars."
"The U.S. Is Set to Make Nuclear War More Likely" (Lindorff):
"The Popular Mechanics article, also published in Yahoo News, quotes Pentagon sources as saying the new F35A capability gives the US flexibility to deliver nukes to targets in a country threatening the US, and also to recall them up to the last second before dropping the weapon since the plane would be piloted. But this supposed advantage of a manned delivery system being recallable is a fantasy.

As Daniel Ellsberg has exposed in detail in his 2017 book The Doomsday Machine, written based on his decades of work with a top security clearance on behalf of the Secretary of Defense office investigating command-and-control procedures and practices of the nation’s nuclear forces, there is no way to guarantee that a pilot ordered on a nuclear strike mission will receive — or believe — any message or signal ordering a cancellation of the attack order.

As Ellsberg explains, communication systems routinely break down on an almost daily basis at one of the US military’s hundreds of global bases and aircraft carrier battle groups. cutting of the link between Washington and bases far-flung military bases, because of equipment malfunctions, storms, solar flares, etc.. Furthermore, in a period of international crisis, a pilot may distrust even an order to call off an attack which, after all, won’t be a phone call from the president, a Pentagon general, or even a known base commander, but rather a short coded signal. As Ellsberg notes in his terrifying book, the other flaw is that a pilot, once ordered on such a mission, could decide in the heat of the moment, to just carry on with orders and drop his weapon regardless of receiving a cancellation order. Remember, in times of crisis, countries may be employing jamming systems to knock out enemy military communications, or could even be blinding communication satellites.

Meanwhile the scenario presented in the article — a lone pilot being dispatched to deliver one or two dial-able B61-12 thermonuclear weapons onto some command-and-control center or missile launching site, perhaps — is not really what the Pentagon strategists have in mind for its F-35A planes. 
Actually, hundreds of these Air Force versions of the F-35 have been getting so-called “block four’ alterations, with bulging farings replacing their formerly sleek bodies, in order to allow the carrying of two elongated Hydrogen bombs inside their fuselages, where they won’t present a larger radar image as bombs carried externally under wings would do. These re-configured planes, which also have software upgrades to allow them to prime, unlock and release their twin nukes, are being delivered to forward bases near Russia and China within the relatively short range of the bomb-laden planes."
and:
"Let’s be clear:  a nuclear-armed, radar-evading fighter-bomber fleet cannot by any stretch be conceived of as a “retaliatory” weapon. If Russia or China, the only countries that could even conceivably consider launching a first strike on the US, were to do so, having a plane that could hit command-and-control centers, missile silos and military bases in the attacking country would be useless. First of all those planes would have been already blown to smithereens on the ground in the initial enemy attack. Second, if they somehow survived to take off, the national political and military leaders of any country launching such an attack would long since have moved to protective hidden locations once having ordered their attack, troops would have been moved off their inevitably targeted bases with their equipment, and missile silos would be empty holes, their rockets having already been launched. Moreover, enemy countries would be on high alert looking for any incoming F35s or other bombers and would have their anti-aircraft missile arrays ready to fire, and their fighter defenses already in the air on full alert to knock down the heavily burdened and inevitably poorly armed incoming US planes.

It’s all a big lie in other words, for the Pentagon to claim these planes are making the world safer by including a pilot.

As first-strike weapons the nuclear bomb-capable F35A simply increases the chance that a war will be started by the US,  if Pentagon strategists start believing they have a window of  opportunity to strike without fear of a significant retaliation.

That leaves the other more likely risk too:  That this nuclear-capable fighter could be used to deliver a “small nuke”  against some  non-nuclear nation — one of the many where US military forces are constantly being engaged in undeclared wars like Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Somalia, Niger, the Philippines, etc. The consequences of such a use of a nuclear weapon against a non-nuclear nation, by opening the door to widespread use of nuclear weapons in virtually any armed conflict, could be as profound as was the first such use against non-nuclear Japan by a cocky US in the waning days of World War II."
"Prince Harry Says He Warned Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Of A Possible “Coup” Before The Attack On The Capitol" (Allison).  He wants to be the 'influencer' for more censorship.

"Belarus and the Migrant Gap" (Robinson).  Europe could just lift the sanctions.  Or:
"Turkey in the Light of a “Conspiracy” Stagged by Western Ambassadors" (Mikhin):
"Both the content and the method of the ambassadors’ initiative were contrary to established practice. It is expected that the resident-Ambassador does not interfere with the domestic affairs and justice process of their host country. First, according to widespread practice, a diplomatic demarche is carried out in a host country only if it is a positive signal for that host country. If it is a negative message, the demarche should be implemented in the capital of the sending country, and its Ministry of Foreign Affairs invites the foreign Ambassador to the Ministry and publishes a statement. This safeguards the Ambassador from dismissal in the host country. Thus it is assumed that these 10 countries chose the wrong capital for publication of such a statement.

Secondly, even if the Ambassador was instructed to make such a statement, the diplomatic niceties require that they do this individually, by visiting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the host country and politely expressing the feelings of the sending country on the matter in question. The joint action will provoke and possibly harm the host country. This is precisely what occurred in Ankara with the statement by these 10 foreign Ambassadors.  But Erdogan’s response was not proportionate to the Ambassadors’ initiative. He likely did not grasp that announcing an Ambassador as an unwanted person is the last step before the declaration of war. Declaring the Ambassadors of 10 countries as unwanted people, including the ambassador of a superpower such as the USA, many NATO allies along with great trading partners such as Germany, will likely remain a unique case in the annals of diplomatic relations and by no means will bring any points to the descendant of Ottoman Sultans."
"Why does an inconspicuous photo of a purple flower get 90 million hits a day?"

"Danchenko Indictment: How Dossier Non-Source Sergei Millian Was Framed" (Sperry).  The Ohrs appear to be next on Durham's chopping block.

"Could the GOP Become the Party of Women? Sen. Tom Cotton Says it Already Has" (Shrier) (goes sideways when they start to muse on the dangers of China):
"AS:   Can conservatives, like you, Senator, still find allies among moderate liberals? Is that possible today? 
Sen. Cotton:    I think it is possible because moderate Liberals are increasingly concerned about crazy Liberals—Woke progressives who have caused the Democratic Party to lurch far to the Left. I was just approached, a couple of weeks ago by a prominent liberal. We'd never met. And he said, ‘You might know who I am’—this successful businessman in Silicon Valley. And he said, ‘But I wanted to meet you, and I want to support you, because I believe the authoritarian Left is the greatest risk our country faces today.’ And while I'm sure I don't agree with that gentlemen or many other moderate liberals on a whole host of issues, when it comes to our basic common-sense questions—that parents should have a say over their kids’ education, and they should know if a school is actively aiding a child in transitioning gender, concealing it from parents. Or that people should not be canceled and deplatformed and lose their jobs because they use the wrong pronoun to describe someone. There is much space for cooperation between common-sense Americans of all political stripes. Whether they're moderate liberals or centrist or center right, or what have you."
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