Wednesday 4th of May 2016

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by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2016-05-03 22:04


Friday, a Russian SU-27 did a barrel roll over a U.S. RC-135 over the Baltic, the second time in two weeks. Also in April, the U.S. destroyer Donald Cook, off Russia’s Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad, was twice buzzed by Russian planes.

Vladimir Putin’s message: Keep your spy planes and ships a respectable distance away from us. Apparently, we have not received it.

Friday, Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work announced that 4,000 NATO troops, including two U.S. battalions, will be moved into Poland and the Baltic States, right on Russia’s border. “The Russians have been doing a lot of snap exercises right up against the border with a lot of troops,” says Work, who calls this “extraordinarily provocative behavior.”

But how are Russian troops deploying inside Russia “provocative,” while U.S. troops on Russia’s front porch are not? And before we ride this escalator up to a clash, we had best check our hole card.

Germany is to provide one of four battalions to be sent to the Baltic. But a Bertelsmann Foundation poll last week found that only 31 percent of Germans favor sending their troops to resist a Russian move in the Baltic States or Poland, while 57 percent oppose it, though the NATO treaty requires it.

Last year, a Pew poll found majorities in Italy and France also oppose military action against Russia if she moves into Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia or Poland. If it comes to war in the Baltic, our European allies prefer that we Americans fight it.

Asked on his retirement as Army chief of staff what was the greatest strategic threat to the United States, Gen. Ray Odierno echoed Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, “I believe that Russia is.”

He mentioned threats to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Ukraine. Yet, when Gen. Odierno entered the service, all four were part of the Soviet Union, and no Cold War president ever thought any was worth a war.

The independence of the Baltic States was one of the great peace dividends after the Cold War. But when did that become so vital a U.S. interest we would go to war with Russia to guarantee it?

Putin may top the enemies list of the Beltway establishment, but we should try to see the world from his point of view.

When Ronald Reagan met Mikhail Gorbachev in Reykjavik in 1986, Putin was in his mid-30s, and the Soviet Empire stretched from the Elbe to the Bering Strait and from the Arctic to Afghanistan. Russians were all over Africa and had penetrated the Caribbean and Central America. The Soviet Union was a global superpower that had attained strategic parity with the United States.

Now consider how the world has changed for Putin, and Russia.

By the time he turned 40, the Red Army had begun its Napoleonic retreat from Europe and his country had splintered into 15 nations. By the time he came to power, the USSR had lost one-third of its territory and half its population. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan were gone.

The Black Sea, once a Soviet lake, now had on its north shore a pro-Western Ukraine, on its eastern shore a hostile Georgia, and on its western shore two former Warsaw Pact allies, Bulgaria and Romania, being taken into NATO.

For Russian warships in Leningrad, the trip out to the Atlantic now meant cruising past the coastline of eight NATO nations: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Denmark, Norway, and Great Britain.

Putin has seen NATO, despite solemn U.S. assurances given to Gorbachev, incorporate all of Eastern Europe that Russia had vacated, and three former republics of the USSR itself.

He now hears a clamor from American hawks to bring three more former Soviet republics—Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine—into a NATO alliance directed against Russia.

After persuading Kiev to join a Moscow-led economic union, Putin saw Ukraine’s pro-Russian government overthrown in a U.S.-backed coup. He has seen U.S.-funded “color-coded” revolutions try to dump over friendly regimes all across his “near abroad.”

“Russia has not accepted the hand of partnership,” says NATO commander, Gen. Philip Breedlove, “but has chosen a path of belligerence.” But why should Putin see NATO’s inexorable eastward march as an extended “hand of partnership”?

Had we lost the Cold War and Russian spy planes began to patrol off Pensacola, Norfolk and San Diego, how would U.S. F-16 pilots have reacted? If we awoke to find Mexico, Canada, Cuba, and most of South America in a military alliance against us, welcoming Russian bases and troops, would we regard that as “the hand of partnership”?


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by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2016-05-03 19:26

On October 3rd, an AC-130 fixed-wing gunship — a fearsome array of high-caliber weaponry best described as a hovering battleship — unleashed an hour of hellfire on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, northern Afghanistan, killing 42 doctors, staffers and patients, and wounding many others. The facility was completely destroyed. MSF (the French acronym for the group) pulled out. There is no longer any high-quality trauma care available in a major city in an active conflict zone.

It is now universally acknowledged that the attack was a mistake.

At the time, however, the Pentagon lied and denied. “Collateral damage,” they first said — they were aiming at something else. For an hour. Over and over. Then they said the Taliban were firing at U.S. forces from inside the hospital. (Never happened.) Next they blamed Afghan forces for calling in the airstrike. (They couldn’t have, and didn’t.) Finally, they admitted it was U.S. Special Forces.

Ultimately the new commander of NATO and U.S. forces in Afghanistan issued an actual apology on March 22nd. “They hit us six months ago and are apologizing now?” spat Zabiullah Niazi, an OR nurse who lost his eye, one finger and the ability to use his hand, in the attack — and, like the other victims, has yet to receive compensation.

The heavily-redacted 3000-page report issued Friday by the Pentagon “describes a mission that went wrong from start to finish,” according to The New York Times. What stands out is the Americans’ obsession with protecting themselves at all cost, all others be damned — an attitude that has characterized the post-9/11 War of Terror.

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by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2016-05-03 13:59

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has hit out at "advocates and others" who he believes are pressuring refugees to "behave in a certain way", saying the Federal Government will not be persuaded to change its border protection policies.

Twenty-one-year-old Somali refugee Hodan Yasin has been transferred to Australia in a critical condition after setting herself on fire on Monday.

It follows the death of Iranian asylum seeker Omid Masoumali, who also self-immolated on the island.

Speaking in Canberra this morning, Mr Dutton accused advocates of providing false hope to those have been held in offshore detention.

by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2016-05-03 10:31


Are we likely to have an Australian Donald Trump?

Q and A panel (ABC News)Q&A

On budget eve, the panel discussed whether our political system is working and whether it's capable of reform.




Gus: Yep we had our Donald trump moment when Tony Abbott was voted in by Rupert Murdoch. But I would venture to say that Donald Trump is far better than Tony Abbott. I supposed if we managed to survive nearly two years of Abbott disasters and fucups, I believe the Yanks can survive a few years of Trump... See toon at top.



by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2016-05-03 10:21

Jet Designer: The F-35 Would Have Been Defeated Even During World War II

As the Senate Armed Services Committee holds hearings on the controversial F-35 program, Radio Sputnik hears from Pierre Sprey, one of the designers of the F-16, to discuss how the beleaguered fighter jet is emblematic of the US military industrial complex.

"I would say that the cost will come out to $200 million per airplane," Sprey tells Loud & Clear, referring to the F-35 Joint Strike fighter developed by defense giant Lockheed Martin.

"Maybe more. Maybe the bills will be even larger, because this airplane is in the middle of testing, and every time they test it they find another failure, and another failure means an expensive fix that has to be put into the production line."

While the F-35’s developers tout its stealth capabilities, Sprey finds that to be a misleading description.

"[Stealth] was an advertising hook when it was first developed as a multibillion dollar program in the early 80s," he says. "Stealth itself dated all the way back to World War II, but was a relatively cheap and low-level operation until [former US Defense Secretary] Bill Perry saw it as a hook for selling a whole new generation of missiles and very expensive bombers and fighters.

"They managed to put across the idea that if you didn’t have stealth, you were obsolete."

Stealth technology relies on the reshaping and coating of aircraft to deflect radar pulses away from the sender, rendering an object "invisible." But while these techniques may work against high-frequency radars, it does nothing against low-frequency devices.

"Every Battle of Britain radar would be able to see every stealth airplane today, loud and clear," Sprey says, describing how low-frequency radar was used during the 1940 air battle over the UK. "That’s the irony. Stealth is supposed to be the latest hook that obsoletes everything that came before it, but WWII radar sees it perfectly."

While the US military moved away from low-frequency radar after World War II, many of America’s adversaries did not.

"Other countries did not walk away from the long-wave [low-frequency] radar, [including] notably, Russia, which from World War II on to this day, and every generation, has produced radars of increasing sophistication and increasing ability in that range."

But the effectiveness of the F-35’s stealth may be immaterial, since the true goal of the program is to funnel government money to Lockheed Martin.

"[The military industrial complex] is not working in the interest of improving [the] national defense of the United States, which I very much favor. It is working in the interest of a small group of companies that are making a huge amount of money out of very expensive airplanes and missiles and radars and so on."

The huge sums of money invested in projects also make it impossible to abandon programs, even after they have been deemed failures.

"The political difficulties of canceling the F-35 were designed into the airplane right at the start," Sprey says. "This is called political engineering. It’s part of every major new procurement in all our services. It’s enormously costly, unsafe, and an effectiveness-crushing practice that nobody is able to root out.

"So the question is, ‘Should the F-35 be canceled?’ Of course, it should have been canceled yesterday. Will it be canceled? No. Not until it becomes such a public disgrace because of crashes and failures in combat that the services will have to walk away in embarrassment."

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by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2016-05-03 09:50


Australia Post boasts it has a tolerant and diverse workplace and is "committed to continuing our legacy of providing real employment and careers for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders".

But the federal government-owned business has allegedly taken months to deal with claims of racism in Northern NSW depot involving a senior employee reportedly telling an Aboriginal worker that "black people" should be "strung up and shot".

The dispute comes despite the corporation being heavily criticised in a Federal Court judgement last year for failing to act on racial complaints where a Sri Lankan worker was called "a black bastard".

In the latest incident, an Aboriginal staffer in NSW has alleged he was subjected to a long-running campaign of racial harassment which was ignored by management.


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by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2016-05-03 08:31

Treasurer Scott Morrison will hand down a budget tonight that will help to define this year's lengthy election campaign.

While speculation remains over some measures, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann has confirmed the budget will contain a 12.5 per cent annual increase in tobacco excise over the four years to 2020.

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by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2016-05-03 07:40


The retired US Speaker of the House gave a presentation to Stanford University students that confirmed our worst fears: we’re all doomed.

On Wednesday, the recently-retired US Speaker of the House gave a current-political-affairs speech to students at Stanford University. Political science students who signed up for the event expected the usual poll-tested blather about how “big government needs to get off of our backs” and how the Republican Party is paving a pathway to prosperity. Instead, Boehner showed that even career bureaucrats are human.

On Ted Cruz

“He is Lucifer in the flesh,” said Boehner. "I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life."

On Thursday, Congressman Peter King (R-NY) upped the ante on Boehner’s statements, saying that "Maybe [Boehner] gives Lucifer a bad name by comparing him [Lucifer] to Ted Cruz. Listen; what John Boehner was most concerned about was Ted Cruz perpetrated a fraud and a hoax when he brought the shutdown of the government on some kind of a vague promise that he was going to be able to end Obamacare."

Giving a remark that the Stanford audience may have expected from Boehner, current House Speaker Paul Ryan said on Thursday, "I have a very good relationship with both of these men and I’m going to keep it that way."

White House spokesperson Josh Earnest could not help but weigh in. "I think Boehner was just being honest," he said, in the former Speaker’s reference to Cruz as Lucifer.

On Donald Trump

Boehner refused to comment on the Republican frontrunner’s policies or his increasingly tendentious relationship with the Republican establishment, but did acknowledge he intended on voting for the billionaire candidate in November.

Boehner made no secret that maintains a friendly relationship with Trump, acknowledging that the two are regular golf partners and calling the likely Republican nominee his “texting buddy.”

On Bernie Sanders

Surprisingly, the nicest words from the former Speaker of the House were reserved for insurgent Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, who has electrified crowds and inspired millions across the country with the hope of government that serves the common interest.

Boehner stated that the Vermont Senator is a likable guy, and the most honest politician in the race.

On Hillary Clinton

Expressing his opinion of former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Boehner impersonated Clinton, saying "Oh, I’m a woman, vote for me," suggesting that the candidate has relied on identity politics.

Boehner predicted that Clinton would be indicted for mishandling top-secret and confidential documents, including storing the documents on a private email server.

In predicting Clinton’s downfall, Boehner suggested that Americans may see the resurgence of Vice President Joe Biden.

"Don’t be shocked if two weeks before the convention, here comes Joe Biden parachuting in and Barack Obama fanning the flames to make it happen," said Boehner.

The day Hillary Clinton moves to the White House, if she gets elected, would be a happy one for both neocons and liberal interventionists since the former secretary of state will likely push for a significantly more assertive US policy that could ultimately lead to a conflict with Russia and Iran, political writer Diana Johnstone warns.

The Democratic frontrunner, according to the author of "Queen of Chaos: The Misadventures of Hillary Clinton," has always favored the military approach to diplomacy. Yet the issue has been absent from the primaries.


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by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2016-05-03 06:46


Donald Trump’s Foreign Policy Speech

Paul Craig Roberts

Readers and foreign news organizations are asking me the meaning of Donald Trump’s foreign policy speech.

On the surface, his speech is contradictory. Trump says he will rebuild US military might so that America will always be first. Yet Trump emphasizes that “we want to live peacefully and in friendship with Russia and China.”

In a multi-polar world, there is no first country.

Perhaps the “America first” bit is just an effort to ward off neoconservative attacks on his policy of peace. Perhaps Trump means that the US is going to continue to be the top dog, but that the US is going to cease using muscle to make others do what Washington wants.

Trump says that he will put together a fresh team of foreign policy experts, assuming the US has any. Most Americans are full of themselves, and after two decades of neoconservative hubris, finding a fresh team won’t be easy.

Presidents inherit messes that leave them no time to become organized. A president’s appointees have to be confirmed by the Senate, an entity controlled by powerful private interests. Trump will be advised that this and that person cannot be confirmed and that he must send a compromise candidate for Senate confirmation.

Moreover, presidents are outside the loop of black op affairs. A false flag event can be pulled off that sends Trump in the direction desired by the military/security complex or Israel.

In my opinion, should Trump be elected, the importance would be that the electorate would have declared their lack of confidence in the political establishment. Unless Trump can put the establishment into the trash bin of history, he would not be able to accomplish much.

Thus, the result of a Trump failure could be a demoralized electorate that gives up.


Bold inserted by Gus. By "establishment" read NEOCONS.

by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2016-05-03 06:40


Washington Brings Regime Change To Venezuela

Paul Craig Roberts

According to President Obama, the world’s only superpower, the unipower, the exceptional country is threatened by small Venezuela in South America !

In an executive order last year, renewed this year, President Obama declared Venezuela to be an “unusual and extraordrinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States” and declared a “national emergency” to counter the “Venezuelan threat” ).

This manufactured “extraordinary threat” serves as the Obama regime’s excuse for overthrowing President Maduro in Venezuela. It is a Washington tradition to overthrow elected Latin American governments that try to represent the interest of the people, and not the interest of US corporations and banks.

I wrote about Washington’s attack on Latin American reformers on April 11 ( and on April 22

Decades ago US Marine General Smedley Butler confessed that he was “a gangster for capitalism,” imposing the will of New York Banks and the United Fruit Company on Latin American countries by force of arms.

In his book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, John Perkins reports the 1981 assassinations of Panama President Omar Torrijos and Ecuador President Jaime Roldos, both of whom got in the way of US corporate interests.

After being duly demonized by the US media, in 2009 Honduras President Manuel Zelaya, who thought that Honduras should be for Hondurans and not for the United Fruit Company, was overthrown in a military coup greenlighted by President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The president chosen by the people was replaced with Roberto Micheletti, a tool of US corporations, chosen by Washington.

Washington has been conducting economic warfare against Venezuela in order to undermine
President Maduro’s public support. The media is controlled by the elite and blames Maduro for the economic problems caused by Washington.

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Same shit in 1958/59

same shit...