Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

'Progressives' Drinking Neocon Kool-Aid

by Oui Wed Jul 6th, 2022 at 09:32:10 PM EST

    Off script?

⏯ Repost of my diary ... unfortunately hit the wrong button and deleted it. My apology to Cat who had just posted a fine comment. 🥲

Biden Knows What He's Doing With Putin | @ProgressPond on Mar 26, 2022 |

Look how ridiculous Michael O'Hanlon's criticism appears in the context of reasonable end games to this conflict.

    "What it tells me, and worries me, is that the top team is not thinking about plausible war termination," said Michael O'Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and author of the book "The Art of War in an Age of Peace: U.S. Grand Strategy and Resolute Restraint."

    "If they were, Biden's head wouldn't be in a place where he's saying, `Putin must go.' The only way to get to war termination is to negotiate with this guy," O'Hanlon said.

This is precisely wrong. The goal here is not to negotiate an end to the war. If Ukraine wants to make concessions to Putin which allow him to keep huge chunks of their country, pay no price for the damage he's done, do nothing to rebuild Ukraine's flattened cities, and sit back while the sanctions are lifted, then they can make that call themselves. No outsider, and certainly no allies, should press that kind of decision on them.

The goal here is for Russia to leave Ukraine entirely, including Crimea and Dombas, and pay serious reparations. The second goal is for Russia to rejoin the community of nations, which means normal diplomatic and economic relationships, and this is simply never going to be possible with Putin in charge.

Russian business leaders probably understand this. Russian military leadership probably understands this. And they are the ones who will have to remove Putin from power and negotiate the peace.

Unfortunately not what historians of East European and Slavic studies advise ...

Found an article in New York Times Magazine of 2008 where Republican doctrine and Democratic progressive values appear to merge into a single glob of nothingness. The worst of both parties: not idealism, nor realism in setting foreign policy. McCains 'freedom fighters' are kidnappers, throat slashers and simple worst terrorists used to overthrow a leader in a sovereign state prohibited by the UN Charter.

The McCain Doctrines and Iraq War / Syria intervention

Lorne Craner, a foreign-policy thinker who worked for McCain in the House and Senate in the 1980s, told me that McCain had a standing rule in his office then. All meetings were to be limited to half an hour, unless they were with either of two advisers: Jeane Kirkpatrick, the Reaganite idealist, or Brent Scowcroft, the former general who was a leader in the realist wing. McCain loved to hear from both of them at length.

It's clear, though, that on the continuum that separates realists from idealists, McCain sits much closer to the idealist perspective. McCain has long been chairman of the International Republican Institute, run by Craner, which exists to promote democratic reforms in closed societies. He makes a point of meeting with dissidents when he visits countries like Georgia and Uzbekistan and has championed the cause of Aung San Suu Kyi, the imprisoned leader of the Burmese resistance.

Most important, as he made clear in his preamble to our interview, McCain considers national values, and not strategic interests, to be the guiding force in foreign policy. America exists, in McCain's view, not simply to safeguard the prosperity and safety of those who live in it but also to spread democratic values and human rights to other parts of the planet.

McCain argues that his brand of idealism is actually more pragmatic in a post-9/11 world than the hard realism of the cold war. He rejects as outdated, for instance, a basic proposition of cold-war realists like Henry Kissinger and James Baker: that stability is always found in the relationship between states. Realists have long presumed that the country's security is defined by the stability of its alliances with the governments of other countries, even if those governments are odious; by this thinking, your interests can sometimes be served by befriending leaders who share none of your democratic values.

McCain, by contrast, maintains that in a world where oppressive governments can produce fertile ground for rogue groups like Al Qaeda to recruit and prosper, forging bonds with tyrannical regimes is often more likely to harm American interests than to help them.

    McCains enduring War on Terror on Islamists according to the Neocon doctrine led to Islamophobia, xenophobia and Russophobia and a thousandfold in deaths of both militants and especially innocent civilians. Creating chaos, uprooting all of society in a state and leading to millions of displaced persons, hunger and starvation.

Interview took place a month after NATO's biggest act of aggression, expansion decision during the Bucharest Summit ... crossing Russia's red line.

Randy Scheunemann on Georgia: 'Most Important To Have Western Unity' In Face Of Russian Moves | RFE/RL - April 29, 2008 |

Just a few days ago, Senator John McCain issued a statement in which he strongly condemned Moscow's decision to establish direct governmental links with the breakaway regions of Georgia -- Abkhazia and South Ossetia. In his statement, Senator McCain calls the latest Russian move "de facto annexation" of those territories -- an accusation that Moscow flatly denies. What's next? What are the tools that the West, and the United States in particular, could use to make Russia cooperate?

McCain's Ties with Lobbyist Scheunemann and Georgia

The Falsehoods In American Foreign Policy

Exact blueprint of Biden's reset to Europe in a very morbid execution in 2022.

The Dominance Dilemma: The American Approach to NATO and its Future | Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft - Jan. 2021 |

  • Despite the Biden administration's push to revitalize U.S. alliances, U.S. relations with NATO are due for a reset. The United States should incentivize European members of NATO to take on additional responsibilities for their defense.

  • Encouraging the European allies to take initiative will help the United States focus on its other domestic and international  priorities and may facilitate improving relations with Russia. This approach will also prove attractive to European states concerned about the future direction of U.S. foreign policy.

  • Recalibrating the U.S. role in Europe would conform with the United States' post-World War II efforts to stabilize European security -- and stand as the fruit of Washington's success in this regard. 


Since its creation in the early days of the Cold War, American policymakers have been of two minds about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Seeking to project American power and influence in Europe and gain legitimacy for U.S. ambitions, policy planners have seen NATO as a useful vehicle for organizing Europe in ways conducive to broader American interests. At the same time, the United States has proven reluctant to pay or risk too much to achieve this result. For a country that is secure at home, influence in Europe is desirable for some but of dubious necessity. 

These contradictory impulses have been reflected not only in the variety of America's approaches to the alliance over time, but also in the attitudes of different policymakers. Now, having successfully helped to foster an unprecedented level of European stability and security, and facing growing pressure to reduce America's strategic burdens, American strategists in the years ahead must be prepared to revisit the fundamentals of the U.S. presence in Europe and devolve authority to local actors.

The Cold War era: Defending, dominating, and dodging Europe

Among American policymakers, both of the tendencies just outlined were on display during the Cold War. Despite later claims that NATO emerged almost naturally from a sense of trans-Atlantic solidarity, the reality is that the United States was divided over its commitment to NATO during much of its contest with Moscow. American leaders did not want the Soviet Union to dominate Europe, of course, but the path that would be taken to obtain this result, and the risks this entailed, were never clear.

In the late 1940s, this tension was reflected in vocal debates among officials skeptical of the need for a multilateral security commitment to Europe, including George Kennan, and advocates of a more robust U.S. overseas presence, such as John Hickerson. Even with Communist parties on the march in Western Europe and much of the region vulnerable to military assault, officials -- alongside influential senators such as Robert Taft and Arthur Vandenberg -- feared that a permanent U.S. commitment would foul relations with the USSR, entangle the United States in foreign disputes and conflicts, and impose unsustainable burdens on the U.S. public.

McCarthyism in the early 1950s, the John Birch society and later the imposition of the Barry Goldwater doctrine in Republican rightwing strategy has positioned the United States in a very awkward position it is in today. Losing friends and allies while the Pentagon, US military and policymakers in the National Security establishment are on a war footing and further aggression towards Russia and China. The failure of a hegemon dithering between extended globalization and isolationism with FOBs across the globe. Worse to happen ...

Carl Bildt: Neocon lobbyist? | by NordicStorm on Feb 21st, 2007 |

Swedish tabloid Expressen is apparently intent on setting some sort of world record in reporting on potential scandals involving Carl Bildt, former prime minister and current foreign minister of Sweden. (See also my previous diary on Bildt and Sudan). Expressen is now reporting that Bildt was recruited in 2002 (between Bildt's tenures in the Swedish government) by the (now defunct?) Committee for the Liberation of Iraq (CLI), which Wikipedia claims had "close links to the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), important shapers of the Bush administration's foreign policy." [CLI was headed by Randy Scheunemann - Oui]

But it does seems rather troubling that one minister would be able to generate so much article fodder. Bildt wasn't the only smart person suckered into believing intervention in Iraq would not be a tremendously bad idea. But to actually be working with allies of PNAC to promote this insanity? At a certain point you have to ask yourself where exactly the loyalties of the Swedish foreign minister lie.

On PNAC and RAND ...

Jochen Blsche closes his article in Der Spiegel with British Labour Member of Parliament Tam Dalyell's statement that the PNAC report is "garbage from right-wing think tanks stuffed with chicken-hawks - men who have never seen the horror of war [at home] but are in love with the idea of war [near abroad]".

The SIPRI Frösunda Report on the New Security Dimensions | April 2001 |

(The New Security Dimensions: Europe after the NATO and EU Enlargements)

"Whiskey on the Rocks" and the rise of rightwing politicus Carl Bildt ...

Alien Submarines in Swedish Waters: The Method of Counting as a Political Instrument - 1987

20 Years of Failed Middle-East Peace Policy | July 12, 2012 |

My observation, but the last time I admired US policy in the Middle East was under Bush #41 and James Baker III after the First Gulf War.

Secretary of State James Baker banned Benjamin Netanyahu from the State Department in the early 1990s when Netanyahu had publicly trashed U.S. policy in the Middle East, saying it was based on "lies and distortions."

Contradictio in terminis

[Update-1] CGTN Documentary

A brief history of U.S. military power used in wars across the globe with little or no legality nor in accordance with the U.N. Charter or International Law.

. Recent diary …

United In Rightwing US Heritage Sort of Warmongers



Conservative policy won't be missed. Surge in inflation, energy cost and rising cost of living.

Five months before the war in Ukraine feeling the economic rebound post-pandemic ...

Gas, coal and electricity prices have in recent weeks risen to their highest levels in decades | IEA - Oct. 12, 2021 |

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by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jul 7th, 2022 at 04:40:08 PM EST
Post Afghanistan retreat ... loss of a footprint in Central Asia.

Collapse of an Empire | Sept. 4, 2021 |

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by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jul 7th, 2022 at 04:41:51 PM EST
Will the EU-27 Survive the Biden Years? | Sept. 14, 2021 |

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by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jul 7th, 2022 at 04:43:06 PM EST

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by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jul 7th, 2022 at 04:44:57 PM EST
Big Lie China: Rutte Visits Johnson | Sept. 17, 2021 |

Warrior women in the Ural Steppes in a remote Russian outpost ...

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by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jul 7th, 2022 at 04:46:25 PM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jul 7th, 2022 at 04:47:32 PM EST
New on MoA:

'Drinking The Kool-Aid' On The War In Ukraine

In Summer 2004 Col. (ret.) Patrick Lang published Drinking the Kool-Aid which described the way in which group think had led to the war on Iraq. The idiom itself has a sinister background:

    Jim Jones, a self-styled "messiah" from the United States] called together his followers in the town square and explained the situation to them. There were a few survivors, who all said afterward that within the context of the "group-think" prevailing in the village, it sounded quite reasonable. Jim Jones then invited all present to drink from vats of Kool-Aid containing lethal doses of poison.

Many have never heard of that story or have forgotten it. The idiom's meaning had changed:

    What does drinking the Kool-Aid mean today? It signifies that the person in question has given up personal integrity and has succumbed to the prevailing group-think that typifies policymaking today. This person has become "part of the problem, not part of the solution."

Drinking the Kool-Aid: Reasons Behind the Jonestown Massacre

One survivor describes Jonestown in these words, "I'm talking about total isolation -- someone takes all your money and brings you to a place where there's no communication, or if there is you aren't allowed to use it. Those are the lessons I took from Jonestown, and that's the message I think the American people should take from it. Trust your gut and don't give up your liberties." This was the reality of the members of the Peoples Temple movement for many years.

The mass suicide was prompted by a visit of Rep. Leo Ryan, who came to investigate after hearing rumors of abuse and manipulation. According to Guyana Minister of Information Shirley Field-Ridley, some of the victims "showed signs of violence, including presumed gunshot wounds, which were not consistent with suicide." The children were forced to drink the cyanide-laced Kool-Aid first, because once a parent loses their child, they lose all other will to go on. Many of the "suicides" were a result of coercion and manipulation.

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by Oui (Oui) on Sat Jul 9th, 2022 at 11:03:48 PM EST
Pat Lang wrote articles on BooMan Tribune and was an Iran warmonger ...

    Iranian Conference on the Holocaust ◊ by Patrick Lang

Repeated the lie on wrong translation propagated by CNN and other western media.

I wrote a rebuttal at the time ...

Rhetoric - Pat Lang on Israel and the Iranian Conference ¶ A Rebuttal | Jan 17, 2006 |

#Nato Goes Global

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by Oui (Oui) on Sat Jul 9th, 2022 at 11:05:43 PM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Sun Jul 10th, 2022 at 08:07:44 AM EST
G20: Blinken hails Thai help in US push to Asia | France24 |

In Thailand, "we have an ally and partner in the Indo-Pacific of such importance to us in a region that is shaping the trajectory of the 21st century, and it is doing that every single day", Blinken said after talks with Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai.

Thailand is America's oldest ally in Asia, famously offering elephants to Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, but has also increasingly worked with a rising China.

Indeed a true ally to American morals and values on democracy ...

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by Oui (Oui) on Sun Jul 10th, 2022 at 08:09:25 AM EST
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Thailand's Military Dictatorship Endangered by Impassioned Students | CATO - Oct. 22, 2020 |

The current military junta traces its roots back to 2001. Politics was then dominated by a traditional business‐ oriented elite that was comfortable with the special and highly profitable position of the military and court. (For instance, Prayuth's family has enjoyed lucrative army contracts.) Left out were the poor, marginalized, and disadvantaged.

Along came billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra, who played the populist card, winning election in 2001 and 2005. There was much to criticize in his policies, but what most angered his opponents was that they were out of power and the wrong people were benefiting from government. In 2006, the military staged a coup while Thaksin was out of the country. In 2008, he was convicted of corruption in absentia in a show trial. The military also dissolved his party and banned him and many of his allies from participating in politics.

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by Oui (Oui) on Sun Jul 10th, 2022 at 08:10:43 AM EST
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Secessionist Movement to establish the Republic of Patani in Southern Thailand

Vietnam War Major US Base Air Force

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by Oui (Oui) on Sun Jul 10th, 2022 at 08:12:30 AM EST
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The CIA closed its original 'black site' years ago. But its legacy of torture lives on in Thailand

In February 2015, security forces in southern Thailand hauled in a 26-year-old Muslim man and demanded he confess to participating in a violent separatist insurgency. Officers tied him to a chair, covered his face with a shirt and poured water into his mouth until he choked.

It was one of dozens of torture cases documented by human rights groups in which Thais have been subjected to mock executions, held in painful "stress positions," deprived of sleep or waterboarded.

The methods were introduced here in 2002 -- by the CIA.

Thailand was home to the agency's first secret prison, or "black site," after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. There, American officers repeatedly waterboarded at least two high-profile detainees, part of the so-called enhanced interrogation techniques that much of the world would later describe as torture.

That dark chapter in CIA history has reemerged with President Trump's nomination of a new director, Gina Haspel, a career undercover officer who oversaw the Thai black site in late 2002.

ICC in The Hague is friendly to its donor country USA, guarantees impunity for war crimes.

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by Oui (Oui) on Sun Jul 10th, 2022 at 08:14:25 AM EST
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MFA Lavrov

💬 Maria Zakharova: Blinken: Russia was isolated at G20, and Lavrov left prematurely.

This is the same Secretary of State Blinken who said that everyone who knows the president, "knows that he speaks very clearly and very deliberately for himself".

It is you, Mr Blinken, who drove yourself into self-isolation by failing to attend a number of G20 events, where few people even noticed your absence. Now you're making up stories to justify your own failure.

As for us, we have been told how you personally have been asking everyone to isolate Russia. Everyone you have asked is laughing behind your back because they know that your Administration is doomed to an ignominious end.

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by Oui (Oui) on Sun Jul 10th, 2022 at 09:51:18 AM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Sun Jul 10th, 2022 at 09:52:02 AM EST
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The UK, NATO HQ and Washington DC frustrated any and all efforts to prevent outbreak of hostilities and put in an all out effort to Stop the War. EU president Macron was the single person to do his utmost to discuss a solution with the Kremlin. He received no backing and as war started, Zelensky was held prisoner to support the NATO strategy and all negotiation for at least a ceasefire were short lived. Zelensky held captive by domestic forces and his NATO allies.  Ukraine be doomed as a proxy battlefield shedding too much blood for Biden's fantasy of a NWO in 21st century Pax Americana or Trump's MAGA.

Ukraine crisis: Corbynites criticise Nato expansion | The Times / WSWS - Feb. 24, 2022 |

The prime minister has called on Sir Keir Starmer to remove the whip from Labour MPs who signed a letter condemning Nato's eastern expansion.

Eleven Labour MPs backed demands from the Stop the War coalition for the government to "change its policy, and start working for peace, not confrontation". The letter accused the British government of "aggressive posturing" and "sabre-rattling".

The Labour MPs who have signed it include prominent figures from the left of the party, including John McDonnell, the former shadow chancellor, Diane Abbott, the former shadow home secretary, Richard Burgon, the former shadow justice secretary, and Ian Lavery, the former party chairman.

List of signatories: Stop the War statement on the crisis over Ukraine

Stop the War opposes any war over Ukraine, and believes the crisis should be settled on a basis which recognises the right of the Ukrainian people to self-determination and addresses Russia's security concerns.

Our focus is on the policies of the British government which have poured oil on the fire throughout this episode. In taking this position we do not endorse the nature or conduct of either the Russian or Ukrainian regimes.

The British government has talked up the threat of war continually, to the point where the Ukraine government has asked it to stop.

Unlike the French and German governments, it has advanced no proposals for a diplomatic solution to the crisis, and has contributed only sabre-rattling.

Indeed, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has even accused those seeking a peaceful settlement of preparing "another Munich."

Instead, the British government has sent arms to Ukraine and deployed further troops to Eastern Europe, moves which serve no purpose other than inflaming tensions and indicating disdain for Russian concerns.

It has also declared that Ukraine has a "sovereign right" to join NATO, when no such right exists to join it or any other military alliance.

Britain needs to change its policy, and start working for peace, not confrontation.
Stop the War believes that Russia and Ukraine should reach a diplomatic settlement of the tensions between them, on the basis of the Minsk-2 agreement already signed by both states.

It believes NATO should call a halt to its eastward expansion and commit to a new security deal for Europe which meets the needs of all states and peoples.

We refute the idea that NATO is a defensive alliance, and believe its record in Afghanistan, Yugoslavia and Libya over the last generation, not to mention the US-British attack on Iraq, clearly proves otherwise.

We support all efforts to reach new arms control agreements in Europe and to move towards nuclear disarmament across the continent.

We urge the entire anti-war movement to unite on the basis of challenging the British government's aggressive posturing and direct its campaigning to that end above all.

Jeremy Corbyn MP

Claudia Webbe MP

LONDON, date Februari 18, 2022

Last Ditch Effort to Prevent War in Europe

US and UK members of the OSCE SMM mission leave their posts in the Donbas ...

US Evacuating Americans From OSCE Ukraine Special Monitoring Mission | Kyiv Post - Feb. 11, 2022 |

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by Oui (Oui) on Mon Jul 11th, 2022 at 07:38:35 AM EST
Reply to a post by Cat ...

July 2022 bootstraps

While the $750B Lugano venture capital pitch idles, EU is accepting pirate guideline advice from Ukraine's Justice Minister Denys Maliuska -- graduate of the 9/11 School of Occasional Sovereign Immunities Law.

EU freezes Russian assets worth €13.8 billion, but struggles to move towards seizure | EurActiv |

Retribution for losers only .. however that is not the case for Afghanistan. So I imagine those who own the banks and the system will always be victor and rules don't bind them.

Who still owes what for the two World Wars? | CNBC - March 2015 |

Relations between Germany and Greece hit a new low last week after the Athens government said it would pursue reparations from Germany for war crimes committed by Nazi troops in World War II. Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tspiras, stated that Germany had "never properly paid reparations for the damage done," according to Reuters.

It was only last week, that the U.K. government announced that they had finally finished paying back their debt loan from World War I.

    Originally issued with a coupon of 5 percent, the bond was converted into a lower coupon issue of 3.5 percent in 1932, after the UK's debt mountain became unsustainably high. The Debt Management Office estimates that Britain has paid some £5.5 billion in total interest on the 5 percent and 3.5 percent war loans since 1917.

    "In 1914, the national debt was £650 million, but by the end of the war it was around £7 billion and it was financed by bond issuance," said head of retail fixed income at M&G Investments, Jim Leaviss.

So the settle reparations and sovereign debt, I'm looking at 2130 for final settlement.

The ceased assets are peanuts compared to war damage, cost of buying US and NATO weapons and munitions and still minor compared to the economic damage to Europe's economy, rising cost of energy and food.

Spain sets the example to tax the war profiteering of banks, fossil fuel suppliers and hopefully will compensate all the people by higher salaries and pensions.

The train left the station on 24-02-2022 and the planet is not likely to recover this century.

Reparations due to a violent end of colonial regime 75 years ago are still in a legal process ...

Wisah Binti Silan et al. v. The State of The Netherlands (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

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by Oui (Oui) on Wed Jul 13th, 2022 at 07:24:22 AM EST

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by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jul 21st, 2022 at 09:19:43 AM EST

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by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jul 21st, 2022 at 09:20:33 AM EST
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Billionaire's sketchy Middle East gamble: Meet the man betting on war with Iran | Salon - Aug. 11, 2014 |

On the same evening last November that world powers announced an interim deal with Iran, halting its nuclear progress in exchange for a modest easing of sanctions, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) put out a statement complaining that the agreement was a "disappointment" and "provides disproportionate sanctions relief to Iran." The group's executive director, former U.S. diplomat Mark Wallace, suggested that no sanctions relief was appropriate as part of an interim deal: "By rolling back sanctions now, the international community is significantly lessening the pressure on Iran's economy."

That same group, at the end of July, turned up in a bit of intrigue: The New York Times revealed that the Justice Department had stepped in to a defamation suit against UANI to prevent the disclosure of documents revealing the group's donors, among other information. UANI serves as a key pressure group for the enforcement of sanctions, frequently issuing reports and press releases about companies doing illicit business with Iran.

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by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jul 21st, 2022 at 09:25:40 AM EST
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jul 21st, 2022 at 09:26:36 AM EST
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Dark-Money Group Linked to Anti-Iran, Pro-Israel Network Targets Türkiye But Has No Turks | The Intercept - Nov. 2021 |

The Turkish Democracy Project shares leadership and personnel with the most well-funded foreign policy pressure network in Washington. Mike Wallace, Joe Lieberman and Mr. Regime Change John Bolton. However, the foreign NGO "located" in Türkiye has no Turks employed in its leadership.

UANI and CEP have had questions raised about their aims and sources of funding, including whether they receive financial support from foreign governments and political figures. The Turkish Democracy Project did not respond to a request for comment about its own funding and sources of support.

The advocacy group Counter Extremism Project, or CEP

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by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jul 21st, 2022 at 10:06:34 AM EST
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John Bolton: Proud of A Hard Day's Work

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by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jul 21st, 2022 at 10:07:42 AM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jul 21st, 2022 at 12:13:49 PM EST

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by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jul 21st, 2022 at 12:14:49 PM EST
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Russia's Vladimir Putin 'very ill' with blood cancer: secret recording | NY Post - May 14, 2022 |

Persons close to me are praying may Vlad die sooner than later. Idiocy of modern brainwashing ... just horrific.

"The recording represents rare testimony by someone with proven ties to the Russian government that its fanatical dictator may well be seriously unwell," the magazine stated of the comments made during a mid-March discussion with someone described as a "Western venture capitalist."

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by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jul 21st, 2022 at 12:16:35 PM EST
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Politico | CIA Director: Putin 'too healthy'
wtF: "Burns, speaking at the Aspen Security Forum [!], noted that his declaration was "not a formal intelligence judgment." Still, given his position, Burns' comment could help dampen hopes among Putin's adversaries [G7?] that the Russian's demise is near."
by Cat on Thu Jul 21st, 2022 at 04:26:49 PM EST
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UK military chief says Putin health rumours are 'wishful thinking' | The Guardian |

The head of Britain's armed forces has dismissed as "wishful thinking" speculation that Russian President Vladimir Putin is suffering from ill-health or could be assassinated.

As the Conservative party chooses a successor to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Admiral Tony Radakin also said Britain's next leader should be aware that Russia poses "the biggest threat" to the UK and that its challenge would endure for decades.

"I think some of the comments that he's not well or that actually surely somebody's going to assassinate him or take him out, I think they're wishful thinking," the chief of the defence staff said of Putin, in a BBC television interview broadcast on Sunday.

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by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jul 21st, 2022 at 12:22:34 PM EST
Ukraine war: Military intelligence chief 'optimistic' of Russian defeat saying war 'will be over by end of year' | Sky News - May 14, 2022 |

Major General Kyrylo Budanov  spoke exclusively to Sky News and predicted the war will reach a turning point in August. He correctly predicted when Russia would invade earlier this year.

In an exclusive interview with Sky News, Major General Kyrylo Budanov also said a coup to remove Vladimir Putin is already under way in Russia and the Russian leader is seriously ill with cancer.

The general's office is dark and stuffed with the paraphernalia of war and espionage, sandbags stacked on its windows, machine guns piled on the floor, and a spare rifle magazine on his desk used as a paperweight.

'Impossible to stop coup'

General Budanov also told Sky News defeat in Ukraine would lead to the removal of Russia's leader and the country's disintegration.

"It will eventually lead to the change of leadership of the Russian Federation. This process has already been launched and they are moving into that way."
Does that mean a coup is under way?

"Yes," he responded. "They are moving in this way and it is impossible to stop it."

He claimed Mr Putin is in a "very bad psychological and physical condition and he is very sick".

In the Kyiv kabuki theater of many actors, the characters come and go ...

A close personal friend of president Zelensky, Ivan Bakanov was dismissed by the Verkhova Rada and will not be involved in victory over Russia by August. Forcing Putin out of Donbas and Crimea. The government in Kyiv crumbling under high goals and a heavy burden.

Traitors Inside SBU - Zelensky Sacks Close Friend

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by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jul 21st, 2022 at 12:25:43 PM EST

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by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jul 21st, 2022 at 12:26:51 PM EST
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From my diary one year ago with a bit of sarcasm ...

America Is Back Baby! | June 11, 2021 |

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by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jul 28th, 2022 at 07:06:06 AM EST
In secret memo, the US will repair its relationship with Europe by lifting the sanctions on trade imposed by the Trump administration.

🇪🇺🇺🇸 EU & US have agreed to suspend all tariffs in Airbus-Boeing dispute for 4 months

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by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jul 28th, 2022 at 07:07:24 AM EST
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Been trying to identify any progressives in all this.  Booman?  Please.
by rifek on Sat Jul 30th, 2022 at 07:08:35 PM EST

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by Oui (Oui) on Thu Aug 11th, 2022 at 08:48:10 PM EST

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by Oui (Oui) on Thu Aug 11th, 2022 at 08:49:27 PM EST
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Free Palestine 🇵🇸 🇵🇸 🇵🇸 occupation is a war crime ... Independence is a right. Western hypocrisy  🇷🇺 🇺🇦

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Aug 12th, 2022 at 06:39:03 PM EST

How Trump's Plan to Secretly Meet With the Taliban Came Together, and Fell Apart | NY Times - Sept. 8, 2019 |

From the diaries ...

Islamic State Khorasan Province | Aug. 24, 2021 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Aug 13th, 2022 at 06:35:48 PM EST

Af-Pak War: Failure to Win Hearts and Minds | Jan 2nd, 2010 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Aug 13th, 2022 at 06:37:53 PM EST
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'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Aug 13th, 2022 at 06:43:05 PM EST
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Senior Taliban cleric Rahimullah Haqqani, brother killed in Kabul suicide blast | Dawn News |

A senior Taliban cleric known for his fiery speeches against the militant Islamic State (IS) group and support for female education, was killed in a suicide blast at his madressah in the Afghan capital on Thursday.

Rahimullah Haqqani, who had recently spoken publicly in favour of girls being allowed to attend school, had survived at least two previous assassination attempts -- including one in Pakistan in October 2020.

"The madrassa of Sheikh Rahimullah was targeted today and as a result he and one of his brothers were martyred," Kabul police spokesman Khalid Zadran told AFP, adding that three others were wounded in the blast.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Aug 13th, 2022 at 06:44:40 PM EST
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Sheikh Rahimullah is careful not to criticise the continued closure of schools but, speaking at his madrassa in Peshawar, with his mobile phone in hand, scrolls through the text of his "fatwa", which shares decrees from earlier scholars and accounts from the life of the Prophet Muhammad.

"There is no justification in the sharia [law] to say female education is not allowed. No justification at all," he tells the BBC.

"All the religious books have stated female education is permissible and obligatory, because, for example, if a woman gets sick, in an Islamic environment like Afghanistan or Pakistan, and needs treatment, it's much better if she's treated by a female doctor."

Extremism and Terrorism Trends in Pakistan: Changing Dynamics and New Challenges

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Aug 13th, 2022 at 06:45:51 PM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Sat Aug 13th, 2022 at 06:46:42 PM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Sat Aug 13th, 2022 at 06:47:43 PM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Sat Aug 13th, 2022 at 06:48:37 PM EST
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Biden's Afghanistan exit decision looks even worse a year later | Op-Ed by Peter Bergen |

Last week, President Joe Biden took a victory lap when he announced that the US had tracked down and killed its most wanted terrorist, al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who was living in a house in Kabul, Afghanistan. Don't expect a similar celebration on August 30, the first anniversary of the US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, which ended the longest war in American history. Any realistic assessment of that action shows that it will long be seen as a defeat rather than a victory -- and it's likely no one will own up to the responsibility for the decision.

The US launched a war against Afghanistan in 2001 after the Taliban regime harbored Osama bin Laden, giving him the ability to plot and carry out the 9/11 terrorist attacks which killed almost 3,000 Americans.

As US and NATO troops battled Taliban and al Qaeda forces, the new US-backed government in Kabul also presided over two decades of progress in Afghanistan. To be sure, Afghanistan wasn't Norway, but it was becoming a somewhat functional, democratizing Central Asian state that saw striking progress in reducing child mortality and increasing life expectancy, one that provided jobs for women and education for millions of girls; it nurtured scores of independent media outlets, and held regular, if flawed, presidential elections.

All of that changed when the US began withdrawing and the Taliban took over the entire country on August 15, 2021. Women's rights evaporated. They have no right to work, except in a narrow set of female-related jobs such as cleaning women's toilets in Kabul; when they travel distances of more than 45 miles they must be accompanied by a male relative, and the Taliban have ordered women to stay at home and to cover themselves completely should they ever venture out. Their male relatives will be punished by the Taliban if women don't follow these directives. Girls do not have the right to be educated after the age of 12.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Aug 14th, 2022 at 12:09:09 PM EST
The Fall of Kabul ... Interview last Afghan president Ashraf Ghani

Earlier interview 8 Sept. 2021 ...

Ghani Says He Fled Afghanistan to Avoid Kabul Bloodshed

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Aug 14th, 2022 at 12:11:25 PM EST
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'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Aug 14th, 2022 at 12:12:47 PM EST
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The three decades topics evolved from a Peace Institute through an open institute of War and Peace to rightwing populism a John Bolton or Steve Bannon could embrace ... the horror scenario of Dutch think tanks of 12 years regime of Mark Rutte, friend of Donald and Boris, liar and NATO war hawk, MH17 propaganda, Russophobe, the conservative VVD of Frits Bolkestein, Rita Verdonk, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Geert Wilders, Neelie Smit-Kroes (formerly partner of Labour mayor for Rotterdam Bram Peper), illegal disposal in the Maas river of contaminated liquids, Uber consultant in term after EU commissioner.

See my recent diaries ...

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Aug 14th, 2022 at 06:25:15 PM EST
Rob de Wijk always had my respect for his knowledge as security analyst when he was part of Clingendael Institute here in The Hague. Much respected by me, Dr. Henk Neuman was a co-founder migrating his Netherlands Institute for Peace Issues into a broader Clingendael Institute in 1990. Neuman was honorable, idealist and a realist studying the Cold War era as journalist and reporter.

Recently Rob de Wijk left Clingendael and founded HCSS, The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies; and partners with former VVD member of parliament, rightwing provocateur Arend Jan Boekestijn. Reluctantly, I see Rob the Wijk has turned into a source of disinformation, NATO propagandist and Russophobe.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Aug 14th, 2022 at 06:25:53 PM EST
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Most recent retweets ...

The New Nuclear Age -- How China's Growing Nuclear Arsenal Threatens Deterrence | Foreign Affairs - May/June 2022 |

The most recent podcast by @ajboekestijn and @robdewijk made me think of this piece from @ForeignAffairs: the risk of a multipolar balance of power is that nuclear deterrence works very differently. The math changes, becomes more dangerous ...

Retweet Rob de Wijk ...

An interesting podcast by @ajboekestijn & @robdewijk
One question that came to my mind based on diplomatic pressure from Washington is to what extent it is possible to hold Russia to a potential treaty as they have violated Minsk II and other treaties as well?

F*cking idiot and fake news ... pressured by neo-Nazi military, Zelensky refused to abide by the Minsk 2 agreements. Zelensky got backing from Biden, Johnson and Stoltenberg to refuse necessary constitutional reform. Of course Poland and the Baltic States have been part of the provocation. A divided house will fall. Searching for Russian speaking citizens  in Ukraine ...

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Aug 14th, 2022 at 06:27:53 PM EST
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Does Rob de Wijk believe the bull from RussiaGate Congressional hearings, not looking into Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election cycle to favor Hillary Clinton? Putin didn't get Trump elected, not by a long shot. Look into the lobbying with foreign funds to get a Republican president elected #anti-Iran #anti-JCPOA... Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Israel.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Aug 14th, 2022 at 06:29:04 PM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Tue Aug 16th, 2022 at 07:55:13 AM EST
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Nuclear or not, classified or not, Mar-a-Lago files spell out jeopardy for Trump | The Guardian |

The unsealed search and seizure warrant shows that it was carried out, in part, under the Espionage Act, a set of statutes dating to 1917 that have been used aggressively to go after leakers, whistleblowers and the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange. The code quoted in the warrant carries a maximum penalty of 10 years' imprisonment.

The inventory of material taken out of Mar-a-Lago leaves in no doubt the importance of the documents discovered there. They included top secret and "sensitive compartmented information" (SCI) meaning there were restrictions on its circulation over and above its top secret status. It should normally only be in a special facility, a SCIF. A SCIF was established at Mar-a-Lago, but it operated as a secure facility only during the Trump presidency.

Altogether, there are five sets of top secret documents listed, three sets of secret, and three sets of confidential documents, as well as binders of photos, and intriguingly, information about the French president, Emmanuel Macron.

The papers removed on Monday were held back even after that subpoena, and their continuing presence at Mar-a-Lago was confirmed to the FBI by an informant. In the wake of all that focus on the documents, the possibility that they were retained by accident is extremely small.

It also looks significant that, in seeking a warrant, the FBI did not invoke code 1924, which is normally used in the case of government employees who hang on to documents they should not have. Instead the justice department used code 2071, relating to the "concealment, removal, or mutilation" of documentation, and code 1519, concerning the "destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in federal investigations".

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Aug 16th, 2022 at 07:57:55 AM EST
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George Bush and Condi Rice believed Russia was a paper bear ...

NATO Bucharest Summit: Invites to Georgia and Ukraine for membership - April 2008 (spokesperson Stephen Hadley)

Did Saakashvili believe he had Article 5 protection from Washington before launching an suicidal attack on South Ossetia killing dozens of Russian soldiers part of a small peacekeeping force.

Interview: with the 2008 Georgia War, 'We Knew What Was Coming, But We Were Slow To Believe It' | RFERL |

RFE/RL's Georgian Service spoke to Daniel Fried, a former U.S. diplomat with over 40 years of experience serving in senior posts under several U.S. presidents. Colleagues describe him as a pragmatist who led efforts to work with Russia as a White House aide under Bill Clinton after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and later when serving under George W. Bush.

Fried: And we thought this was another crisis, where the Russians were trying to intimidate Georgia, but they wouldn't attack.

Now, I don't want to be too hard on us. After all, President Bush, in the end, probably convinced Putin to pull back. You remember, we sent planes to fly the Georgian 1st Brigade back from Iraq, and ships. I remember we informed the Russians that we were flying them because we didn't want them surprised.

We wanted them to know what we were doing. And they said they couldn't guarantee the safety of our aircraft, which was a veiled threat. And we basically said to them, "We're going in anyway." And they backed off.

You remember, the war starts Thursday night (August 7), and on Monday (August 11), the Russian tanks are rolling. And the Georgian lines had broken and the Georgian Army is in retreat, and it looked like they (the Russians) would move on to Tbilisi.

EU Investigation: Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili blamed for starting Russian war | The Guardian - Sept. 23, 2009 |

Saakashvili, who was found to have started the war with the attack on Tskhinvali, the South Ossetian capital, on the night of 7 August last year, through a "penchant for acting in the heat of the moment".

The war started "with a massive Georgian artillery attack", the report said, citing an order from Saakashvili that the offensive was aimed at halting Russian military units moving into South Ossetia.

    "It appears that during the night from August 7 to 8. Tbilisi intended to deliver strikes on the positions of the Russian peacekeepers and the South Ossetian army in order to paralyze the chain of command. The next objective was to take Tskhinvali during August 8, install a puppet government chaired by Dmitry Sanakoyev [...], and bring residents of Georgian enclaves in the republic onto the streets during pro-Georgia mass rallies."

Flatly dismissing Saakashvili's version, the report said: "There was no ongoing armed attack by Russia before the start of the Georgian operation ...

Can do bullshit version of NATO and US war hawks be laid to rest once and for all??

Mark Ames: Cheney Starts New Cold War Over Oil | by Nomad on Jun 3rd, 2006 |

My recent diary ...

'Progressives' Drinking Neocon Kool-Aid

Search BooMan Tribune or EuroTrib for articles on Georgia, Saakashvili. McCain, Scheunemann. Warmongering and anti-Russia statements.

Israel had a close working relationship with Georgia to upgrade avionics in its older Russian Sukhoi fighter planes.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Aug 15th, 2022 at 10:38:39 AM EST

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