Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 20, 2018

Sundry - Shutdown, Ukraine, Omidyar And Syria

As I am currently somewhat handicapped in writing a consistent piece (possible reasons: the flu, writers block or temporary burnout) I'll restrict this to some short thoughts on recent issues.

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The so called government shutdown in the U.S. is no shutdown. It is political theater that pretends a political divide between the two parties that simply is not there. All the bad stuff - the military operations, the spying on you and me, and of course the payments to Congress and the White House are designated as "essential" and will continue. Only the nicer stuff, services for the common people, will be restricted. Adam H. Johnson wrote about this split the last time a "government shutdown" happened: It’s Not a Government Shutdown. It’s a Right-Wing Coup.

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The Ukrainian Parliament has practically declared the Minsk agreements null and void and decided to militarily "liberate" Donetsk, Lugansk and Crimea from the will of the people living there. Just in time the neo-nazi fanatics of the Azov Battalion received a U.S. military delegation and U.S. arms.

The 2015 Minsk II agreement (full text) demanded that the Ukraine creates a new law for the administration of these regions:

Without delays, but no later than 30 days from the date of signing of this document, a resolution has to be approved by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, indicating the territory which falls under the special regime in accordance with the law “On temporary Order of Local Self-Governance in Particular Districts of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts,” based in the line set up by the Minsk Memorandum as of Sept. 19, 2014.

Russia is not a party of the agreement. But when the resolution by the Ukrainian parliament was not forthcoming western propaganda falsely blamed Russia for "not fulfilling the Minsk agreement" and the west has since bound the sanctions on Russia to this fake conclusion.

The National Bank of Ukraine announced that an independent accountant found that PrivatBank, then owned by the coup financier and billionaire Ihor Kolomoyskiy, was plundered of $5.5 billion shortly before it went bankrupt and nationalized by the coup government. In connection with that an IMF loan of $1.8 billion to the Ukraine allegedly went directly into Kolomoyskiy's pockets. How much of this stolen money was paid to U.S. politicians?

While the anti-Trump politicians and media still fret about "Russian influence" on U.S. social media everyone seems to have forgotten that in early 2016 the Ukraine set up a massive troll farm and a Ministry of Truth. Back then even the U.S. ambassador to the Ukraine disliked that. If every troll tweeting in Russian or with Cyrillic letters in its name is under the direct command of Vladimir Putin where then are those Ukrainians trolls?

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Back in December I described how the Silicon Valley billionaires Bezos and Omidyar helped the Obama administration to privatize and hide the NSA papers leaked by Edward Snowden. Mintpress now took a deeper look into Omidyar's service to the deep state and his active suppression of financial resources for WikiLeaks.

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The Turkish military has started to bomb the Afrin (Efrin) canton in north-west Syria. "Free Syrian Army" fighters under Ottoman/Turkish flags stand ready to invade it. The canton is held and administrated by YPK/PKK Kurds. Neither I nor Elijah Magnier nor Joshua Landis had expected that Erdogan would really do this. One wonders what deals have been made with Russia and Syria to allow for this invasion.

There was a plausible rumor yesterday that Syria had offered to send its security forces to protect the Afrin area but that the Kurds rejected that. Now Russia and Syria think that the best way to prevent the announced U.S. protectorate of Kurdish held territory in the north-east is to prove to the Kurds that the U.S. is unwilling to protect them and their brethren in Efrin from Turkish attacks. The Kurds had quite good relations with the Russians and to some extend also with the Syrian government. They then changed sides to get U.S. protection with the intent of splitting up Syria and anbing a big chunk for themselves. "Well, here is your payback. Now you will see what your new "allies" are willing to do for you."

I now expect a rather short fight, minor losses of territory to Erdogan's goons and a lot of bloody noses.

Posted by b on January 20, 2018 at 10:50 AM | Permalink

Comments
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Though the Eva Bartlett article I posted above is a great rebuttal to the The Guardian’s libelous Olivia Solon hit piece on Eva and Vanessa Beeley, this is the one with the excellent evisceration of Snopes.

Posted by: Daniel | Jan 22, 2018 12:06:37 PM | 101

Here’s another great article by the Swedish Doctors on fake or worse White Helmets “medical care.”

Posted by: Daniel | Jan 22, 2018 12:14:50 PM | 102

Arioch @ 100. Yes, those doctors I linked to are in Sweden. And you're correct that Sweden had one of those "terror truck attacks" the same month they published. I hadn't put those two events together.

BTW: One "bonus" for those who benefit from such things is these "lone crazed driver" attacks are paving the way for the public to welcome these autonomous/self-driving vehicles.

Picture the "benefits:"
1. Police don't want to take a chance serving a warrant? No problem, next time you get in your car, just auto-lock the doors and windows and drive the suspect straight to the police.
2. Don't want people driving to some protest or other location? No problem, just send an update that makes that place off limits to the GPS system.
3. Got an investigative reporter who's sniffing around where you don't want? No problem. Michael Hastings already died for our sins.

Posted by: Daniel | Jan 23, 2018 1:27:42 AM | 103

Daniel @103:

I agree with the privacy/security aspects of self-driving vehicles, but there is also one other valid reason: demographics. We're getting to the point where there will be significant number of aging/retired baby boomers on the road. Think of the number of ailments associated with old age. We should be OK if self-driving vehicles is not mandatory, but we are talking about government, so...

Posted by: Ian | Jan 23, 2018 2:39:12 AM | 104

103
"Sweden had one of those "terror truck attacks" the same month they published. I hadn't put those two events together."
Hit a hegemon nerve and expect to get hit in return. Swedish doctors obviously broke out of the reservation.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 23, 2018 2:40:01 AM | 105

Russia started the process of sorting out Syrian Kurd issues, by declaring the end of war on ISIS, and changing its posture in Syria to focus on helping end surrounded Al-Qaeda forces, and their various Salafi partners/competitors. US did get a message, and decided to put boldly cards on the table, permanent stay + nation building. Iran, and such other nebulous goals. But goals of creating boundaries of this imaginary state had been identified, along with the process of creating a large border force. US made a mistake by taking Russian bait -- it did not have to jump and take credit for defeating ISIS, and boastfully declaring ISIS dead. It was a mistake, that then brought on issue of Kurdish state. Now, Russia can move on with political process, while the Vienna process will have nothing to offer but the obsession with the "political transition". Those that have not laid arms already, or those that did, to an average person in Syria, all that matters is the end of hostilities, and return to normal life -- the questions of high politics is the last thing on their minds. So, two places, to approaches.

Very likely, Iraq will join Sochi conference.

And while the practical issues will dominate Sochi, Russia is leaving it up to Erdogan to deal with US.

In case we did not notice, Turkey still has a military base in Iraq, and Qatar. And is in the process of building one in Sudan, on Red Sea coast. Does anyone believe that this is solely Turkish initiative, or it has a blessing from Moscow, Beijing, Baghdad, and Teheran.

Posted by: Bianca | Jan 28, 2018 9:50:15 PM | 106

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