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universal justice, made in USA

Russia Vows “Inevitable Response” Over “Illegal” NK Sanctions
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, Aug 23 2017

Yesterday, the Trump administration slapped a new round of sanctions on Chinese and Russian entities accused of aiding the NK nuclear program. The Treasury Dept’s OFAC said it would target 10 entities and six individuals who help already sanctioned people to aid NK’s missile program, or who “deal in the NK energy trade.” Predictably, the Russian and Chinese government’s were less than pleased, with spokespeople for both governments claiming the sanctions are illegitimate because they were not approved by the UN. A representative for the Russian government meanwhile promised that a “response” is in the works,” according to Russia Today. Just like China, which immediately slammed the Trump administration, demanding that the “mistake” be fixed ASAP, the Russian government is just as angry with this latest round of sanctions and, as they have done many times in the recent past, the Russians threatened retaliation. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov issued a statement expressing disappointment, and warning Faschingstein that Russia was working on an “inevitable response,” the exact nature of which has yet to be decided. Ryabkov said he hopes “our pindo colleagues” will soon understand the “futility” of using sanctions to prod the Russian government, or Russian entities, into cooperation. Ryabkov said:

Against such a depressing backdrop, the lip service from pindo reps about the desire to stabilize bilateral relations is extremely unconvincing. We have always and will always support resolving our existing differences through dialogue. In recent years, Faschingstein in theory should have learned that for us the language of sanctions is unacceptable, and the solutions to real problems are only hindered by such actions. So far, however, there doesn’t seem to be an understanding of such obvious truths. Nevertheless, we do not lose our hope that the voice of reason will sooner or later prevail, and that our pindo colleagues will be aware of the futility and detrimental nature of further sliding down the spiral of sanctions. In the meantime, we are beginning to work out the inevitable response to this situation.

The companies targeted by the sanctions include Gefest-M, a Moscow-based firm accused of acquiring metals on behalf of a NK company, and Mingzheng International Trading, a Chinese and Hong Kong-based bank that allegedly conducted transactions on behalf of NK. Andrey Klimov, a senior Russian senator, criticized the sanctions against Gefest-M and the other Russian entities as illegitimate. Klimov told Interfax:

These sanctions are illegal in themselves, because the only thing recognized by international law is the sanctions of the UNSC. We must react in principle to this insane and confrontational policy. The toolbox is rich. Let’s hope that we will act consistently, reasonably, professionally and effectively.

The Chinese government appeared to echo Klimov’s words. As quoted by the Financial Times, their spox said:

China opposes unilateral sanctions out of the UNSC framework. We strongly urge Pindostan to immediately correct its mistake, so as not to impact bilateral cooperation on relevant issues.

As part of the latest sanctions, the DoJ filed complaints demanding that two Asian companies forfeit over $11m for allegedly laundering funds for NK. The charge alleges that the two companies violated the international sanctions against NK and indirectly supporting its missile and nuclear weapons programs.

Pindostan filed two complaints today seeking imposition of a civil money laundering penalty and to civilly forfeit more than $11m from companies that allegedly acted as financial facilitators for NK.

Proceedings have been launched against Velmur Management Pte Ltd, based in Singapore, as well as the Chinese company Dandong Chengtai Trading Co Ltd. The Trump administration has aggressively pursued sanctions as a cudgel in its battle to curb NK’s nuclear program. As tensions between Kim Jong Un and Pindostan continue to escalate, expect more to come.

Pindostan Cannot Be Trusted! Trump Cheats On Sanction Deal
Moon of Alabama, Aug 23 2017

During the ramp-up to new UN sanctions on NK, the Trump administration threatened to sanction China if it would not commit to further pressure. Trade measures against China were held back while the discussions about the UNSCR were ongoing:

An opportunity to hit NK with new UN sanctions has sidelined Pres Trump’s bid to punish China for its alleged unfair trade practices.  On Thursday afternoon, senior admin aides postponed the announcement (of sanctions against China) at the urging of UN and State Dept boxtops, who are in the sensitive final stages of convincing China to sign on to a UNSCR that would impose new sanctions on NK. UN and State Dept boxtops warned that the trade announcement could kill their chances of winning Beijing’s buy-in.

Trump himself implied that he was willing to go for a quid pro quo:

While past presidents have tried at least ostensibly to keep security and economic issues on separate tracks in their dealings with China,
Trump has explicitly linked the two, suggesting he would back off from a trade war against Beijing if it does more to pressure NK. He told reporters: “If China helps us, I feel a lot differently toward trade, a lot differently toward trade.”

A deal was made and the UNSCR 2371 passed. China immediately implemented the relevant measures:

In an unprecedented move against NK, China on Monday issued an order to carry out the UN sanctions imposed on the rogue regime earlier this month.

China did its part of the deal. It helped pass the UNSCR against NK and it immediately implemented it even while that causes a significant loss for Chinese companies which trade with NK. Now Trump is back at sanctioning Chinese (and Russian) companies:

The Trump administration on Tuesday imposed sanctions on 16 mainly Chinese and Russian companies and people for assisting NK’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs and helping NK make money to support those programs. Among those sanctioned are six Chinese companies, including three coal companies; two Singapore-based companies that sell oil to NK and three Russians that work with them; a Russian company that deals in NK metals and its Russian director; a construction company based in Namibia; a second Namibia-based company, and its NK director, that supplies NK workers to build statues overseas to generate income for NK.

These are “secondary sanctions” which block  financial transactions and make it nearly impossible for those companies and people to run an international business. Moreover, China had already banned all coal imports from NK. It had sent back NK coal ships and instead bought coal from Pindostan. Now Chinese companies get sanctioned over NK coal they no longer buy? Furthermore selling fuel oil to NK is explicitly allowed under the new UN sanctions. There is no reason to sanction any company over it. The Chinese feel cheated:

If the Trump administration insist of holding up these sanction China and Russia will obviously become negligent in controlling the sanctions imposed on NK. Why should they hold to their side of the deal, at great costs, when Pindostan does not hold up its side? They will also stop at making any further deals with the Trump administration. It has now proven to be just as lying and cheating as the Obama administration has been. Pindostan can forget about any further action or sanctions at the UN! This as extremely shortsighted and stupid way of handling international relations. How does Pindostan hope to win anything in the long run when it behaves in such untrustworthy ways?

A Furious China Demands “Pindostan Immediately Correct Its Mistake”
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, Aug 22 2017

Less than 4 hours ago, the pindo Treasury announced that among the companies sanctioned in the the latest set of actions targeting NK’s “WMD program” would be several Chinese and Russian companies and individuals. We said:

What this latest round of sanctions will achieve, is to further anger Beijing and the local population.

Well, we didn’t even have to wait all day for China to respond on the next morning as it traditionally does, and according to Reuters citing an embassy spokesman, Beijing was so furious with the “provocation” it did not even comply with its own protocol of waiting, and instead “urged” pindostan to “immediately correct its mistake”‘ of sanctioning Chinese firms over NK, to avoid impact on bilateral cooperation. Since Pindostan will not “correct its mistake,” either “immediately” or at any other time, China will have no choice but to escalate, in the process making any credible diplomacy involving NK impossible, forcing” Pindostan’s hand when it comes to NK, now that the diplomatic option is out of the picture. And virtually assuring that there is no hope for a diplomatic resolution of the NK crisis, earlier today a NK envoy to a UN disarmament forum refused to negotiate its nuclear program, accusing Pindostan and SK of using joint military drills to carry out “an aggressive war scenario” and “a secret operation” against NK’s leadership. The NK diplomat stated at the UN disarmament forum in Geneva, as cited by Reuters:

The DPRK will never place its self-defense nuclear deterrence on the negotiating table or step back from the  path it took to bolster the national nuclear force.

The comment follow a statement by the state-run KCNA news agency on Monday according to which “the situation on the Korean Peninsula has plunged into a critical phase due to the reckless north-targeted war racket of the war maniacs.” Meanwhile, Pyongyang has again threatened to strike the pindo base in bracket with missiles the island of Guam, which it earlier promised to do if “provoked” by Faschingstein.

Treasury Slaps Sanctions On Chinese, Russians Over NK
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, Aug 22 2017

In a move that is certain to infuriate China further and result in another deterioration in diplomatic relations between Washington and Beijing, moments ago Pindostan slapped both Chinese and Russian entities and individuals with new sanctions in the Trump administration’s escalating attempts to pressure NK to relent and stop its nuclear program and occasional missile launches. The Treasury Dept’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said it would target 10 entities and six individuals who help already sanctioned people who aid NK’s missile program or “deal in the NK energy trade.” Pindostan also aims to sanction people and groups that allow NK entities to access the pindo financial system or helps its exportation of workers, according to the Treasury:

OFAC designated 10 entities and six individuals in response to NK’s ongoing development of WMDs, violations of UNSCRs and attempted evasion of pindo sanctions.  Today’s sanctions target third-country companies and individuals that:

  1. assist already-designated persons who support NK’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs,
  2. deal in the NK energy trade,
  3. facilitate its exportation of workers, and
  4. enable sanctioned NK entities to access the pindo and international financial systems.

Any property or interests in property of the designated persons in the possession or control of pindo persons or within Pindostan must be blocked, and pindo persons are generally prohibited from dealing with them.

Speaking on today’s sanctions, Steven Mnuchin (whose wife today is in the news for an entirely different reason) made the following statement:

Treasury will continue to increase pressure on NK by targeting those who support the advancement of nuclear and ballistic missile programs, and isolating them from the pindo financial system. It is unacceptable for individuals and companies in China, Russia, and elsewhere to enable NK to generate income used to develop WMDs and destabilize the region. We are taking actions consistent with UNSCRs to show that there are consequences for defying sanctions and providing support to NK, and to deter this activity in the future.

Among the companies sanctions in regards to NK’s “WMD program” are the following:

OFAC designated China-based Dandong Rich Earth Trading Co Ltd for its support to UN and Pindo-designated Korea Kumsan Trading Corporation, an entity OFAC previously designated for being owned or controlled by, or acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the UN- and Pindo-designated General Bureau of Atomic Energy, which is responsible for NK’s nuclear program.  Dandong Rich Earth Trading Co Ltd has purchased vanadium ore from Korea Kumsan Trading Corporation.  UNSCR 2270 prohibits NK’s exports of vanadium ore, and requires member states like China to prohibit the procurement of vanadium ore from NK. OFAC-designated Gefest-M LLC and its director, Russian national Ruben Kirakosyan, for support to the UN- and Pindo-designated Korea Tangun Trading Corp, also known as Korea Kuryonggang Trading Corp, which is subordinate to the UN- and Pindo-designated Second Academy of Natural Sciences, an entity involved in NK’s WMD and missile programs.  Gefest-M LLC, a company based in Moscow, has been involved in the procurement of metals for Korea Tangun Trading Corporation’s Moscow office. OFAC also designated China- and Hong Kong-based Mingzheng International Trading Ltd (“Mingzheng”). Mingzheng acts as a front company for UN- and Pindo-designated Foreign Trade Bank (FTB), and it has provided financial services to FTB, among other things, by conducting dollar-denominated transactions on behalf of FTB.  FTB is NK’s primary foreign exchange bank. It was designated by the UN on Aug 5 2017 as part of UNSCR 2371. OFAC designated FTB in 2013 for facilitating transactions on behalf of NK’s proliferation network, including for UN- and Pindo-designated Korea Mining Development Corp and Korea Kwangson Banking Corp.  On Jun 29 2017, OFAC designated Mingzheng’s owner, Sun Wei.

OFAC also designated three Chinese coal companies collectively responsible for importing nearly half a billion dollars’ worth of NK coal between 2013 and 2016. Dandong Zhicheng Metallic Materials Co Ltd (“Zhicheng”), JinHou International Holding Co Ltd and Dandong Tianfu Trade Co Ltd have sold, supplied, transferred or purchased coal or metal directly or indirectly from NK, and the revenue may have benefited the nuclear or ballistic missile programs of NK. JinHou International Holding Co Ltd and Dandong Tianfu Trade Co Ltd also were designated for operating in the mining industry in the NK economy. Meanwhile, pindo boxtops have said they do not want to take military action against NK unless it is a last resort, and as a result getting China to cooperate is seen as a key part of a diplomatic solution. Of course, what this latest round of sanctions will achieve, is to further anger Beijing and the local population, in the process making a diplomatic solution even more unlikely and “forcing” Pindostan’s ruling Gens Kelly and McMaster to launch the first “preemptive” shot against Pyongyang.

Countering NK threat is Trump’s ‘top priority’, envoy says
Stephanie Nebehay, Reuters, Aug 22 2017

GENEVA – Pres Trump’s top priority is to protect Pindostan and its quivering vassals against the “growing threat” from NK, and Pindostan is ready to use “the full range of capabilities at our disposal,” a pindo envoy said on Tuesday. Pindo disarmament ambassador Robert Wood told the UN-sponsored Conference on Disarmament that the “path to dialogue still remains an option” for Pyongyang, but that Faschingstein remained “undeterred in defending against the threat NK poses. Wood told the Geneva forum:

NK’s ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programmes pose grave threats to the entire world. Its recent ICBM tests are another example of the dangerous reckless behaviour of the North that is destabilising the region and beyond. NK has openly stated that its missiles are intended to strike cities in Pindostan and its vassals SK and Japan. My president’s top priority remains protecting the homeland, Pindo territories and our vassals against NK aggression. We remain prepared to use the full range of capabilities at our disposal against the growing threat from NK.

There was no immediate reply from the NK disarmament delegation, whose counsellor Ju Yong Chol was in the room. Its delegation is not on the speakers’ list for Tuesday, although he could take the floor at the end of day’s session.

NK shipments to Syria CW agency intercepted, say spooks
Michelle Nichols, Reuters, Aug 21 2017

UN – Two NK shipments to a Syrian government agency responsible for the country’s chemical weapons programme were intercepted in the past six months, according to an anonymous spook smear on NK sanctions violations. The smear by the spooks, which was submitted to the UNSC earlier this month and seen by Reuters on Monday, gave no details on when or where the interdictions occurred or what the shipments contained. The spooks wrote in the 37-page report:

We’ve invented prohibited chemical, ballistic missile and conventional arms cooperation between Syria and the DPRK. Two member states pretended to interdict shipments destined for Syria. Another member state lyingly informed the panel that it had reasons to believe that the goods were part of a KOMID contract with Syria.

KOMID is the Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation. It was blacklisted by the SC in 2009 and described as Pyongyang’s key arms dealer and exporter of equipment related to ballistic missiles and conventional weapons. In Mar 2016 the SC also blacklisted two KOMID representatives in Syria. The spooks further wrote:

Let’s pretend the consignees were Syrian entities designated by the EU and Pindostan as front companies for Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Centre (SSRC), a Syrian entity identified by us spooks as cooperating with KOMID in previous prohibited item transfers.

SSRC has overseen the country’s chemical weapons programme since the 1970s. The spooks said activities between Syria and NK they were investigating included cooperation on Syrian Scud missile programs and maintenance and repair of Syrian surface-to-air missiles air defence systems. The spooks said they were also ‘investigating’ (I wonder why – RB) the use of VX nerve agent in Malaysia to kill the estranged half-brother of Kim Jong Un in February.

yuge explosion averted! sad!

Houston Man Faces 40 Years After Trying To Blow Up Confederate Statue
zeropointnow, iBankCoin, Aug 21 2017

In yet another case of Demagogs trying to erase reminders of their slave-owning past, a 25-year-old Houston man previously convicted of a federal explosives charge was arrested over the weekend after he was caught attempting to blow up a the statue of General Dowling at Hermann Park, acting federal attorney Abe Martinez of the Southern District of Texas said Monday. Schneck, who earned a chemistry degree at an Austin college, was found ‘kneeling among the bushes in front of the General Dowling Monument’ with items ‘capable to produce a viable explosive device,’ according to a press release issued by prosecutors. According to the criminal complaint, Schneck had two boxes of duct tape, explosives and wires. Houston Police Asst Chief Larry Satterwhite said at a Monday press conference:

Some very hazardous materials were found, and we are in the process of trying to mitigate that and remove those materials in a safe manner that does not jeopardize the public and keeps everyone safe.

Per the DoJ:

The clear liquid was field-tested, as was a white powdery substance found in a small, black aluminum tube, which revealed they were most likely nitroglycerin and hexamethylene triperoxide diamine (HMTD) respectively, according to the charges. HMTD is a high explosive organic compound used as an initiating, or primary explosive. Nitroglycerin has been used as an active ingredient in the manufacture of explosives. ln its pure form, nitroglycerin is a contact explosive, with physical shock causing it to explode, which degrades over time to even more unstable forms. Nitroglycerin is highly dangerous to transport or use. ln its undiluted form, it is one of the world’s most powerful explosives.

Schneck, rich-kid son of prominent Houston art appraiser Cecily Horton, was recently released on probation after serving 28 months of a 5-year sentence following a 2014 conviction for improperly storing explosives at the family’s four homes and his Austin college dorm, requiring authorities in hazmat suits to remove chemicals and detonate two devices. According to the criminal complaint, Schneck “conducts ‘chemistry experiments’” at his Houston residence. The case falls under Federal jurisdiction because Houston, “receives federal financial assistance for maintenance of Hermann Park, where the General Dowling Monument is located,” prosecutors said.

According to a Heavy.com, Andrew Cecil Schneck attended Memorial High School in the Spring Branch school district, graduating in 2010. According to the Houston Chronicle:

School acquaintances described him as an awkward loner who struggled with social interactions. “I can’t even think of a single friend he had, to be perfectly honest,” said one former classmate at Memorial High School, where he was known as “Ace” for his initials. During their senior year of high school, the former classmate said, Schneck wrote a “manifesto” dedicated to some of the school’s popular girls, decrying how their boyfriends treated them and saying he could have done better. After high school graduation in 2010, the two lost touch and Schneck’s classmate didn’t hear news of him again until charges were filed against him several years ago. “None of this is surprising,” the former classmate said. “He seems a bit disconnected from reality.”

Schneck faces between 5 and 40 years in prison if convicted, as well as a charge of up to $250k.

drivel-brained rothschild planning miscellany

Al-Arabiyya English explains why it publishes fabrications
As’ad AbuKhalil, Angry Arab (Blog), Aug 23 2017

What is what is hilarious about the following is that the same Prince (Mohammad bin Salman) owns both ash-Sharq al-Awsat and al-Arabiyya:

It is important to note, however, that this article originally appears in Arabic in the pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, and al-Arabiya English has no authority in changing the original article.

Neocons Love Trump’s New Afghanistan Plan
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, Aug 22 2017

In an extended tweetstorm concurrent with Trump’s Monday night Afghanistan address, Ron Paul lashed out at the president, saying that at long last, Trump’s neo-con nature had emerged:

It appears that Paul’s assessment of Trump’s new strategy was not far off, because as the Hill reports today, the neocon wing of the Thug Party applauded Trump’s troop surge in Afghanistan, even as members of the president’s base accused him of capitulating to the national security establishment. Some of the loudest accolades came from foreign policy hawks in the Senate, including two of Trump’s fiercest GOP critics, Lindsey Graham and John McCain, who praised Trump for going against his “instinct” and delegating the decision to his generals, who convinced him that victory could be had in the 16-year war that has spanned three administrations.Graham said on Fox News after Trump’s Monday night address:

I’m proud. I’m relieved. I’m proud of the fact that Pres Trump made a national security decision, not a political decision. I’m proud of the fact that he listened to the generals, and I’m most proud of the fact that he showed the will to stand up to radical Islam. I’m relieved he did not take the advice to withdraw, which would have been disastrous, or create a mercenary army, so I’m very pleased. Very thoughtful, very inspiring speech, and I can assure you a lot of people in Congress will be behind the president.

McCain echoed Graham, saying Trump was moving beyond Obama’s “failed strategy of merely postponing defeat,” although it was not exactly clear how, since Trump was doing precisely what Obama and Hillary Clinton did and would have done, adding that it was “especially important” that Trump did not commit to a timeline for withdrawal. Marco Rubio, another proponent of foreign intervention and a “muscular” foreign policy, called Trump’s strategy “the right approach.”

Support also came from prominent neocon writers and thinkers who had long been worried that Trump, who ran on an “Pindostan First” platform, would take a more isolationist approach to foreign policy. John Podhoretz, a former speechwriter for Bush 43 and the editor of Commentary, reacted to the speech by saying it’s almost as if Paul Wolfowitz has been put in charge.

AEI’s Fred Kagan, another proponent of neocondom, wrote:

The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol, a key voice behind every single recent war and intervention, a “Never Trump” Republican and another “uber” neocon, reveled in the fact that Trump’s generals appeared to have won the power struggle over his nationalist advisers like Stephen Bannon.

Meanwhile Breitbart, where former Trump advisor Steve Bannon return to after last week’s latest White House staff fireworks, ran a story on Tuesday saying:

Trump’s ‘Pindostan First’ base” is unhappy with the president’s “flip-flop Afghanistan speech.

There was a host of stories highlighting Thug establishment support for Trump’s new strategy. Breitbart reporter Adam Shaw wrote:

Pres Trump’s ‘Pindostan First’ base was the biggest loser of Trump’s speech on Afghanistan Monday night, and many quickly expressed their disappointment at the business-as-usual address from the president who had once promised to limit pindo intervention abroad and focus on nation-building at home.

Predictably Ron Paul’s son Rand, a prominent non-interventionist whose views on foreign policy are derided by the conservative foreign policy establishment, bemoaned the costs to the military and taxpayers for the continuing war:

I strongly disagree with the president’s actions here. If the president and my colleagues want to continue the war in Afghanistan, then at the very least Congress should vote on it. I’ll insist they do it this fall, and I’ll be leading the charge for ‘no.’

Finally, Laura Ingraham, a pro-Trump, anti-establishment conservative radio personality, tweeted:

Not surprisingly, the harshest criticism for Trump’s new foreign policy came from Erik Prince, founder of Blackwater, who ripped Trump’s new Afghanistan war plan as an “Obama-lite policy.” Erik Prince, who for obvious reason has encouraged administration officials to use contractors instead of military forces in Afghanistan, told The Hill:

This is a continuation of the same limited or failed strategy of the last 16 years … This is a kind of Obama-lite policy. This is a lighter but almost as expensive version. Remember, the Pentagon now is spending as much as when they had five times as many troops in the country. It’s horrendous how they’ve lost control of the spending. That’s what makes this so unsustainable. He said it’s not a blank check, but the Pentagon continues to stand and plan and operationalize as if it is a blank check. That’s the fundamental problem the plan now doesn’t address: How does this end? The Pentagon wants to position this like a forever occupation like SK, and I think that’s a horrendous and untenable position.

Prince was referring to Pres Obama’s 30,000 troop surge in 2009 in Afghanistan. The increase brought the total number of troops in the country to more than 100,000 in 2011 before a rapid drawdown. Surprisingly, Prince was doubtful that the Trump and Mattis are fully behind the strategy. Referring to Mattis’s current trip to the Middle East and Europe, he said:

I don’t think the president loves this plan. I don’t think Sec Mattis does either. He’s not even on the same continent.

So if neither Trump nor his chief military advisor “loved” the plan, and yet every prominent neocon did, one wonders just where this plan came from!

CNN’s Don Lemon on Trump’s AZ Speech: ‘Unhinged’ Trump ‘Lied’
Pam Key, Breitbart News, Aug 22 2017

Well, what do you say to that? I’m just going to speak from the heart here. What we witnessed is a total eclipse of the facts. Someone who came out on stage and lied directly to the Pindo sheeple and left things out that he said in an attempt to rewrite history, especially when it comes to Charlottesville. He’s unhinged! It’s embarrassing, and I don’t mean for us, the media, because he went after us, but for the country! This is who we elected POTUS! A man who is so petty that he has to go after people he deems to be his enemy, like an imaginary friend of a six-year-old! His speech was without thought, it was without reason, it was devoid of facts, it was devoid of wisdom! There was no gravitas! There was no sanity there! He was like a child blaming a sibling on something else! “He did it! I didn’t do it!” He certainly opened up the race wound from Charlottesville! A man clearly wounded by the rational people who are abandoning him in droves, meaning the business people and the people in Faschingstein now who are questioning his fitness for office and whether he is stable. A man backed into a corner, it seems, by circumstances beyond his control and beyond his understanding! That’s the truth! If you watch that speech as a Pindosi, you had to be thinking, what in the world is going on? This is the person we elected as the POTUS? This petty? This small? The person who is supposed to pull the country together? It certainly didn’t happen there!

Former DNI Clapper Questions Trump’s “Fitness For Office”
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, Aug 23 2017

CNN’s Don Lemon and former DNI Clapper linked up for an epic tag-team attack on Pres Trump last night in which Lemon masterfully teed up one leading question after another and Clapper knocked them all out of the park with provocative sound bites that will undoubtedly be played throughout the day. Bravo, team! Beautiful performance and seamless transition from the fake ‘Russian collusion’ narrative to the new, yet equally fake “Trump is a racist and unfit for office” narrative. Here is a small sample of last night’s master class on journalism:

Q: What did you think of tonight’s performance by President Trump?
A: I don’t know when I’ve listened and watched something like this from a President that I found more disturbing. Having some understanding of the levers of power that are available to a President, if he chooses to exercise them, I found this downright scary and disturbing.
Q: Are you questioning his fitness?
A: Yes, I do. I really question his ability, his fitness to be in this office and I also am beginning to wonder about his motivation for it.  Maybe he is looking for a way out. I do wonder, as well, about the people that are attracted to this, to this rally as others. You know, what are they thinking? Or why am I so far off-base? Because I don’t understand the adulation. Of course, that’s why I think he gravitated to having this rally, as ill-timed as it is.
Q: You said you questioned his fitness. Is he a threat to national security? The president?
A: Well, he certainly could be. Again, having some understanding of the levers that a president can exercise, I worry about, frankly, you know, the access to the nuclear codes.

And here is the full interview, should you have the stomach for it:

Of course, one exchange that you likely won’t see replayed throughout the day on CNN is the one in which Clapper again said he has no evidence of any collusion between Russia and Trump.

Q: The NYT is reporting tonight about the falling out between the President and Mitch McConnell over Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. The report is that the President is furious that McConnell failed to protect him. You called the accusation of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia “worse than Watergate.” What do you think is going on with the President?
A: First, to be clear, Don, when I left certainly on Jan 20 I had not seen any evidence of direct collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians.

Come on, Clapper! Facts have no place in a narrative-building segment!

the times are right for black pseudo-left bollocks to add to the chorus of shame

Kamala Harris Calls For Congressional Investigation Of “White Supremacist Terrorism”
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, Aug 22 2017

Kamala Harris, the California senator and rumored 2020 candidate for the White House, is now apparently working with the Senate Homeland Security Committee to demand an immediate investigation on the “root causes” of “violent white supremacy” in Pindostan following the recent tragedy in Charlottesville.

Meanwhile, she also started an online petition to collect signatures for hearings on what she dubs “white supremacist terrorism.”

2017.08.22 - Kamala

Of course, this is all part of the Left’s new propaganda initiative designed specifically to convince you that the “extreme right” (which we assume is now synonymous with ‘white supremacist’) is “the number one domestic terror threat in Pindostan.” In fact, here is nearly identical language from CNN’s Chris Cuomo used just last week. It’s almost as if the media coordinates with Demagogs on the language and branding efforts. Cuomo said:

If you take anarchists at their worst, do you have malefactor? Do you have criminals in their ranks? Do you have people who do violent things? Yes, yes, yes, yes. That is not a moral equivalency to the KKK. It’s certainly not an equivalent to what we see on the right. Just look at the stats. The number one domestic terror threat in pindosyan is the extreme right. There is not even a close second. That’s all they’re about is hate. Two out of three people on this panel they don’t want to exist!

All of which we guess is completely accurate if you simply ignore the 2,996 people killed in the 9/11 attacks, 49 people killed in the Orlando night club shooting, 14 people killed in San Bernadino, etc. Meanwhile, we can only assume that violent antifa protests, like the ones conducted during Trump’s inauguration that included a bunch of folks running around with baseball bats and hammers, attacking cops and destroying private property, don’t fit Harris’ definition of “domestic terrorism.”


 
Perhaps Harris’ time and taxpayers’ dollars may be better used trying to figure out why Chicago residents are committing 800 murders every single year than why 1 psychopath committed 1 truly awful murder last week. Just a thought.

they’ll keep passing budgets for global-nazi multi-genocidal orgies, and the bigger the better

McConnell Doubts “Trump Can Save Presidency” As Relationship “Disintegrates”
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, Aug 22 2017

According to a new bombshell report from the NYT, the relationship between Pres Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has “disintegrated” in recent week “to the point that they have not spoken to each other in weeks”, prompting the Kentucky senator to express doubts if Trump can succeed in office and “salvage the presidency” after a summer of controversies and crises.

The relationship between Pres Trump and Sen Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, has disintegrated to the point that they have not spoken to each other in weeks, and McConnell has privately expressed uncertainty that Trump will be able to salvage his administration after a series of summer crises. What was once an uneasy governing alliance has curdled into a feud of mutual resentment and sometimes outright hostility, complicated by the position of McConnell’s wife Elaine Chao in Trump’s cabinet, according to more than a dozen people briefed on their imperiled partnership. Angry phone calls and private badmouthing have devolved into open conflict, with the president threatening to oppose Republican senators who cross him, and McConnell mobilizing to their defense.

In a phone call on Aug 9, Trump blamed McConnell for the Senate’s troubled efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The NYT said the call descended into shouting and profanity.

During the call, which Trump initiated on Aug 9 from his New Jersey golf club, the president accused McConnell of bungling the health care issue. He was even more animated about what he intimated was the Senate leader’s refusal to protect him from investigations of Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to Thugs briefed on the conversation. McConnell has fumed over Trump’s regular threats against fellow Thugs and criticism of Senate rules, and questioned Trump’s understanding of the presidency in a public speech. McConnell has made sharper comments in private, describing Trump as entirely unwilling to learn the basics of governing.

While McConnell was reportedly troubled by Trump’s remarks that placed equal blame on hate groups and counter-protesters, that was just the tip of the iceberg of the pent up animosity between the two.  The Senator also signaled his unease with Trump’s comments to business leaders who quit their posts on presidential advisory councils in recent days, the NYT reports. But the straw that broke the camel’s back was last month’s failure by the Republican controlled Senate to pass Obamacare repeal, a humiliating defeat for Trump’s main campaign promise. McConnell said in a speech earlier this month that Trump had “excessive expectations” about moving his legislative agenda through Congress. That led Trump to repeatedly lash out at McConnell on Twitter, questioning why McConnell has not been able to accomplish longtime GOP campaign promises. Trump went so far as to suggest to reporters at his Bedminster golf club that, if McConnell is unable to pass healthcare reform, tax reform and an infrastructure bill through the Senate, he should consider stepping aside from his leadership role. The two GOP heavyweights are walking into a month of serious major political maelstroms, with the debt ceiling, spending bill, tax reform and a retry at healthcare looming, among other fights. Both Trump and McConnell themselves refused comment for the NYT story, but McConnell spox said the president and majority leader had “shared goals” including “tax reform, infrastructure, funding the government, not defaulting on the debt, passing the defense authorization bill.” While the bad blood between the two is hardly news, the question is how will the allegedly tame Bannon-free Trump react to the previously unreported news that McConnell has wondered whether Trump’s presidency will survive:

In offhand remarks, McConnell has expressed a sense of bewilderment about where Trump’s presidency may be headed, and has mused about whether Trump will be in a position to lead the Thugs into next year’s elections and beyond, according to people who have spoken to him directly. While maintaining a pose of public reserve, McConnell expressed horror to advisers last week after Trump’s comments equating white supremacists in Charlottesville with protesters who rallied against them. Trump’s most explosive remarks came at a news conference in Manhattan, where he stood beside Chao.

As the NYT adds, McConnell will no longer be silent should Trump use the bully pulpit for future attacks. Instead, McConnell is now fully committed to firing back at Trump, and protecting his GOP senators.

In a show of solidarity, albeit one planned well before Trump took aim at Flake, McConnell will host a $1k/plate dinner on Friday in Kentucky for the Arizona senator, as well as for Sen Dean Heller of Nevada, who is also facing a Trump-inspired primary race next year, and Sen Deb Fischer of Nebraska. Flake is expected to attend the event.

It’s not just the Senate majority leader. McConnell allies like former Sen Judd Gregg of New Hampshire and former RNC finance chair Al Hoffman are quoted as well, making ominous predictions about Trump. Gregg said:

Failure to do things like keeping the government open and passing a tax bill is the functional equivalent of playing Russian roulette with all the chambers loaded.

Gregg blamed Trump for “undermining” congressional leaders, in the NYT’s words, adding that if Trump “can’t participate constructively” the House and Senate would take matters into their own hands. Hoffman said:

Ultimately, it’s been Mitch’s responsibility, and I don’t think he’s done much.

Despite sounding slightly critical of McConnell, he believes McConnell will outlast Trump in this stalemate. Hoffman said of the president:

I think he’s going to blow up, self-implode. I wouldn’t be surprised if McConnell pulls back his support of Trump and tries to go it alone.

Whatever Trump’s kneejerk reaction following the conclusion of tonight’s Phoenix rally, the biggest loser may be the market, which today surged on a Politico report that Trump’s tax reform suddenly looks like it has a chance of passing. If the NYT report confirms one thing, it is that when it comes to Trump’s legislative agenda, any chance of success in the through the Senate is virtually nil.

hypocritical jew scum, what else is new?

Pindo State Dept slams Israeli stagnation on religious freedom reform
Amanda Borschel-Dan, Times of Israel, Aug 22 2017

The State Dept’s International Religious Freedom Report for 2016, released last week and compiled before the government suspended a deal on a permanent pluralistic prayer area at the Western Wall, diplomatically pans the lack of progress by the Israeli government toward increased religious freedom. To chart the teetering religio-ethnic balance that is Israel, the report uses a tit-for-tat formulation highlighting positives, and often more negatives, that unfolded in the area of religious freedom in 2016. Of note, the word “continued” appears almost 70 times, an apt signal of the scant reforms implemented in the past year. For example, the report states:

Israel continued to permit non-Jews, including Muslims and Christians, to pray at the Western Wall, but continued to enforce a prohibition on non-Orthodox (including mixed gender) Jewish prayer services. … The government and non-Orthodox activists reached a compromise in January to accommodate ‘egalitarian prayer,’ ie Reform and Conservative Jewish services, near the Western Wall, but the government did not implement it.

According to MK Xenia Svetlova, an immigrant from the FSU who is a well-known activist on behalf of the separation of church and state:

The State Dept report clearly indicates that the Israeli government is not implementing its own decisions and thus compromises religious pluralism in Israel. I call on the government to serve all Israelis, and not only specific pressure ultra-Orthodox pressure groups.

Written in diplomatic language and covering a massive scope of religions and their accompanied strife, there are trivia gems in the report, such as this:

The government continued to allow Christians and individuals who spoke Aramaic to register with their national or ethnic group listed as Aramean instead of Arab.

There are also depressingly grim statistics on those killed or persecuted due to the “strained” relations among religious and ethnic groups. The report notes:

There continued to be reports of Haredi men spitting at non-Haredi Jews and persons of other faiths, including those wearing Christian clerical clothing.

Interestingly, among other facts and figures, discussed inequality in religious education and tracked the total budget allocated by the government for religious purposes: ₪828m ($215m) for religious services for Jewish communities, and ₪121m ($31m) for religious minorities. According to Rabbi Uri Regev, a lawyer and the head of Hiddush: Freedom of Religion for Israel, applauded the report’s comprehensive attention to detail and its annual nature which aids in tracing “trends and progress over the course of years.” Regev, who in addition to his law career and heading Hiddush, is an ordained Reform rabbi and former leader in the movement, noted:

One cannot over-exaggerate the importance of this report being unique in its systematic monitoring and scope of coverage. It reflects the pindo government’s strong focus on and value attached to religious freedom. Unfortunately, it underrates the breaches of religious freedom on a number of issues. (for instance) the lack of freedom of marriage, civil burial and the many assorted issues surrounding the Western Wall, which are more geared against Jews than against Christians and Muslims. From the perspective of religious freedom, there is a direct line connecting the Jewish aspirations to be able to pray on the Temple Mount and the Women of the Wall and non-Orthodox attempts to pray at the traditional Kotel plaza, and both should fall under the protection of religious freedom. The difference being overweighing security considerations. Whereas the Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount is likely to result in wide spread extremist Muslim-perpetrated violence and potential escalating conflict with 200 million Muslims around the world, the non-Orthodox and women’s prayer at the Kotel is threatened by ultra-Orthodox violence and political extortion. While the decision not to allow Jewish worship on the Temple Mount can be justified and upheld for security reasons, using these reasons or political extortion to prevent non-Orthodox or women’s prayer at the Kotel is a shanda in every respect, and should be declared illegal and unconstitutional. These abuses of religious freedom are a clear indication of the wide gap between Israel and other enlightened Western democracies such as Pindostan, which are considered the gold standard for religious freedom.

That being said, the report did touch on a series of hot button issues of concern to the pindo sheeple, including the Western Wall plaza, conversion outside of the Orthodox chief rabbinate, and Jewish prayer at the Temple Mount and its restrictions for security reasons. In a section discussing the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews are allowed to pray, the report factually stated that all faiths are permitted to pray there. However, it noted:

The rabbi of the Western Wall continued to set the guidelines for religious observance mandating separation of women and men, with the women’s section being less than half the size of the men’s section, and the government continued to enforce these rules.

A four-pronged diplomatic slam, that statement underlined the fact of separation between the sexes, the discrepancy between the sizes of the two genders’ prayer sections, the inability for pluralistic denominations to have a vote on guidelines of observance and finally the government of Israel’s complicity with all of the above. Four huge strikes. Further, the report stated the prohibitions against bringing in privately-owned Torah scrolls to the Western Wall plaza, and on women from “accessing the public Torah scrolls or giving priestly blessings at the site.” Again, huge problems in egalitarian, democratic eyes. In the section on conversion, the report described the trend of Modern Orthodox rabbis who have begun to set up their own conversion courts to push back against the lengthy and unwieldy process offered by the Israeli chief rabbinate. Called Giyur ka’Halacha, the group of respected rabbis and thinkers have already converted hundreds of Israelis, many of them children, who were classified as “of no religion,” a growing group of some 400,000 citizens. The report states:

A ruling by the Supreme Court on Mar 31 expanded immigration rights under the Law of Return to those who completed private (non-Rabbinate) Orthodox conversions in the country. The Chief Rabbinate continued not to recognize non-Orthodox converts to Judaism as Jews, although they continued to be accepted for the purpose of immigration under the Law of Return.

A founder of Giyur ka’Halacha, Rabbi Seth Farber, the head of NGO Itim, which aids Israelis in navigating the religious institutions, responded favorably to the report’s depiction. Farber told the Times of Israel on Tuesday:

The discussion of Giyur ka’Halacha in the sreport is further recognition of the significance of this initiative on the international scene. Giyur Ka’halacha had gradually increased its client base following the Supreme Court ruling that ITIM was part of which took the monopoly of conversion recognition on Israel away from the rabbinate.

He noted, however that the “legal successes of 2016” have since led to proposed new restrictive legislation, such as the Conversion Bill that was brought to the Knesset and is currently shelved, “which was reactionary” and would have made the chief rabbinate the sole legal authority for Israeli conversions. Also on the theme of conversion, the report emphasized:

In four incidents during the year, the Chief Rabbinate also refused to recognize conversions approved by the chief presiding rabbinical judge of the Rabbinical Council of Pindostan (Orthodox).

Traditionally, Orthodox rabbis have been against prayer on the Temple Mount, but the report states:

Increasing numbers of the self-identified ‘national religious’ Zionist community stated they found meaning in setting foot on the site.

The report notes that Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau stated in Jun 2016 that “he would like to see a Third Temple built on the site, without demolishing Muslim structures.” As another example of this trend of increased Jewish presence on the Temple Mount, the report cited the Nov 2016 creation of a Temple Mount lobby by Likud MK Yehuda Glick, who also holds an annual Temple Mount conference in the Knesset. The State Dept reported:

The Waqf continued to restrict non-Muslims from entering the Dome of the Rock shrine and the al-Aqsa Mosque and prohibited individuals from wearing non-Muslim religious symbols on the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif. Israeli authorities also restricted movement on the Temple Mount. In addition to restricting Muslim access according to ages during heightened security situations, they barred specific individuals from the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif site in some instances, including Jewish activists believed to have violated rules against non-Muslim prayer, Muslims believed to have acted violently against non-Muslim visitors to the site, and public figures including MKs whose presence authorities feared would inflame tensions.

The report does not delve into the philosophy behind prayer restrictions but states dryly:

The law grants the government, not the courts, the authority to decide the scope of the right to worship at certain religious sites, and the Supreme Court has upheld this governmental authority.

Egypt cancels Kushner meeting with minister after denial of aid
Reuters, Aug 23 2017

CAIRO – Egypt called off a scheduled meeting between its foreign minister and Jared Kushner on Wednesday after Pindostan decided to withhold millions of dollars in aid, but Gen Sisi would meet the pindo delegation led by Kushner later in the day as scheduled, Sisi’s office said. Two pindo sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday that Washington had decided to deny Egypt $95.7m in aid and to delay a further $195m because of its failure to make progress on respecting human rights and democratic norms. The foreign ministry said in a statement:

Egypt sees this measure as reflecting poor judgment of the strategic relationship that ties the two countries over long decades and as adopting a view that lacks an accurate understanding of the importance of supporting Egypt’s stability.

The decision could have “negative implications” on achieving common goals and interests between the two countries, it added. Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry had been scheduled to meet the pindo delegation led by Kushner on Wednesday in Cairo to discuss the Middle East. But the meeting was canceled immediately after the ministry released its statement, a copy of Shoukry’s schedule sent out to journalists showed. A foreign ministry official told Reuters the meeting had been canceled but did not give a reason. A pindo embassy boxtop in Cairo said Kushner’s meeting with Shoukry had never been set in stone because “the schedule was never fixed.”

China defends Pakistan after Trump criticism
Michael Martina, Reuters, Aug 23 2017

BEIJING – China defended Pakistan on Tuesday after Trump said Pindostan could no longer be silent about Pakistan’s “safe havens” for militants and warned it had much to lose by continuing to “harbor terrorists.” Trump on Monday committed the United States to an open-ended conflict in Afghanistan, signaling he would dispatch more troops to Pindostan’s longest war and vowing “a fight to win.” Trump insisted that the Afghan government, Pakistan, India and various NATO vassals, step up their own commitment to resolving the 16-year conflict, but he saved his sharpest words for Pakistan. Senior Pindo boxtops warned security assistance for Pakistan could be reduced unless the nuclear-armed nation cooperated more in preventing militants from using safe havens on its soil. Critics say Pakistan sees militants such as the Taliban as useful tools to limit the influence of India. Pakistan denies allowing militants refuge on its territory, saying it takes action against all groups. China and Pakistan consider each other “all-weather friends” and have close diplomatic, economic and security ties. Asked about Trump’s speech, Chinese Foreign Ministry spox Hua Chunying told a daily news briefing:

We believe that the international community should fully recognize Pakistan’s fight against terrorism. Pakistan is on the front line and has made important contributions and great sacrifices in the struggle. We are happy to see Pakistan and Pindostan carry out anti-terror cooperation on the basis of mutual respect, and work together for security and stability. We hope the relevant pindo policies can help promote the development of Afghanistan, the region and the world.

an interesting tale

DoJ drops request for IP addresses from Trump resistance site
Morgan Chalfant, The Hill, Aug 22 2017 394

The DoJ is dropping its controversial request for visitor IP addresses related to an anti-Trump website. The government said in a brief released Tuesday that it has “no interest” in the 1.3 million IP addresses related to the website disruptj20.org. It says it is solely focused on information that could constitute evidence related to criminal rioting on Inauguration Day. The reply brief states:

The Warrant, like the criminal investigation, is singularly focused on criminal activity. It will not be used for any other purpose.

Privacy and civil liberties advocates were up in arms last week when the web hosting company DreamHost publicized a Jul 12 search warrant for information related to disruptj20.org, which was used to organize protests on Inauguration Day. DreamHost said complying with the request would amount to handing over roughly 1.3 million visitor IP addresses and other information about visitors to the site. Lawyers for DreamHost opposed the warrant, arguing it raised First and Fourth Amendment concerns. The company’s lawyers said in a legal argument opposing the request:

In essence, the Search Warrant not only aims to identify the political dissidents of the current administration, but attempts to identify and understand what content each of these dissidents viewed on the website.

In response, the federal attorney’s office in Faschingstein on Monday moved to amend the search warrant to DreamHost so that it specifies that the company should not disclose records that constitute HTTP request and error logs related to the website disruptj20.org. The reply brief states:

What the government did not know when it obtained the Warrant, what it could not have reasonably known, was the extent of visitor data maintained by DreamHost that extends beyond the government’s singular focus in this case of investigating the planning, organization, and participation in the Jan 20 2017 riot.

The modified attachment to the search warrant also states that information requested from DreamHost should be limited to all records and information from between Jul 1 2016 and Jan 20 2017. This information does not include content of unpublished draft publications for the website or records that constitute HTTP request and error logs that would reveal the IP addresses. The brief also specifies that the information is being requested in connection with the ongoing investigation into the rioting that occurred on Inauguration Day. More than 200 people have been indicted on rioting charges related to the protests. The government states in the reply brief:

The government values and respects the First Amendment right of all pindos to participate in peaceful political protests and to read protected political expression online. This Warrant has nothing to do with that right. The Warrant is focused on evidence of the planning, coordination and participation in a criminal act: that is, a premeditated riot. The First Amendment does not protect violent, criminal conduct such as this.

A lawyer for DreamHost celebrated the development as a win in a statement Tuesday evening, but said that the company still has First and Fourth Amendments concerns that it plans to address in a separate filing and at an upcoming hearing. Raymond Aghaian, the DreamHost counsel, said:

The government has now withdrawn entirely its unlawful and highly problematic request for any data relating to the visitors of the website and any unpublished data subject to the Privacy Protection Act. This is a tremendous win for DreamHost, its users and the public. There remains, unfortunately, other privacy and First and Fourth Amendment issues with the search warrant.

The government is asking the Superior Court of Faschingstein to compel DreamHost to produce the information requested in the warrant. A hearing on the issue has been schedule for Thursday morning before Chief Judge Robert Morin.

justin is crowing like the conformist he is, but this is still fun

A photo of Soviet-era Afghanistan won Trump over
Justin Raimondo, Antiwar.com, Aug 23 2017

women-kabul2

According to this WaPo report, McMaster convinced Pres Trump to give up his long-standing opposition to the Afghan war by showing him this photograph of Afghan women in what the media are describing as “miniskirts.” As the WaPo put it:

One of the ways McMaster tried to persuade Trump to recommit to the effort was by convincing him that Afghanistan was not a hopeless place. He presented Trump with a black-and-white snapshot from 1972 of Afghan women in miniskirts walking through Kabul, to show him that Western norms had existed there before and could return.

The irony is that in 1972, when this photo was taken on the grounds of Kabul University, Afghanistan was firmly in the orbit of the Soviet Union, as it had been since 1953, when Mohammed Daoud Khan rose to power and instituted a series of progressive reforms, including equal rights for women. The next year, Khan deposed King Mohammed Zahir Shah, and Soviet aid poured in, alongside the Red Army. It was Pindostan, using their ally Osama bin Laden, that overthrew the communist regime and conducted a guerrilla war against the Afghan government and its Soviet sponsors. The last Soviet troops left in 1989, by which time there were no more miniskirts to be seen anywhere in Afghanistan. McMaster knows all this. Our President does not. Does McMaster think he can bring communism back to Afghanistan? I jest, but with serious intent. Because the commies attempted what our President has vowed not to do in Afghanistan: they sought to create a nation out of a collection of mountain-guarded valleys, isolated bastions untouched by time or the vaunted ambitions of their many would-be conquerors. Here is Trump, trying to justify the prolongation of the longest war in our history:

I am here to talk about tonight, that nearly 16 years after 9/11, after the extraordinary sacrifice of blood and treasure, the pindo creeple are weary of war without victory. Nowhere is this more evident than with the war in Afghanistan, the longest war in pindo history: 17 years. I share the pindo sheeple’s frustration. I also share their frustration over a foreign policy that has spent too much time, energy, money and most importantly lives trying to rebuild countries in our own image instead of pursuing our security interests above all other considerations.

How to reconcile this abjuration of hubris with that photo of mini-skirted Afghan women? It can’t be done, but then again Trump is all about contradictions:

Shortly after my inauguration, I directed Mad Dog Mattis and my national security team to undertake a comprehensive review of all strategic options in Afghanistan and South Asia. My original instinct was to pull out, and historically I like following my instincts. But all my life, I have heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the oval office. In other words, when you are POTUS.

Has such a confession of betrayal ever been uttered by a public figure? For years he told us Afghanistan was a waste of lives and treasure, and that we had to get out. And now he’s flip-flopped because McMaster showed him a photo of Afghan women in mini-skirts! Oh, how easy it was! Too easy! He claims:

So I studied Afghanistan in great detail and from every conceivable angle.

Really? Did he study it enough to realize that no-one has ever conquered Afghanistan? Did he contemplate the storied history of that unforgiving land, which caused even Alexander the Great to turn back? Did he study the provenance and context of that photograph, in which Afghan women dared to show their knees? Of course not! Trump continued:

After many meetings over many months, we held our final meeting last Friday at Camp David with my cabinet and generals to complete our strategy. I arrived at three fundamental conclusions about pindostan’s core interests in Afghanistan. First, our nation must seek an honorable and enduring outcome worthy of the tremendous sacrifices that have been made, especially the sacrifices of lives. The men and women who serve our nation in combat deserve a plan for victory. They deserve the tools they need and the trust they have earned to fight and to win.

What is the moral meaning of this? That lives wasted in a futile crusade must be matched by yet more sacrifices on the altar of the war god? We are told that Trump met with five enlisted soldiers before making his decision to go along with the generals’ war plan. I’d like to know what they said. The White House won’t tell us. From this moral inversion Trump descends into an inversion of the facts:

Second, the consequences of a rapid exit are both predictable and unacceptable. 9/11, the worst terrorist attack in our history, was planned and directed from Afghanistan because that country by a government that gave comfort and shelter to terrorists. A hasty withdrawal would create a vacuum that terrorists including Daesh and AQ would instantly fill, just as happened before 9/11.

9/11 was planned and directed, not in Afghanistan, but in Hamburg and here in Pindostan, indeed not too far from Mar-a-Lago. This “safe haven” argument is so tattered and overused that it comes apart under the most cursory inspection. And what are we to make of someone who describes ending a 16-year war as “a hasty withdrawal”? We are then treated to the myth of “victory denied in Iraq,” which attributes the rise of Daesh to pindo withdrawal from Iraq. In reality, Daesh was created by our “allies” the Toads and the Arab sheikhs of the Gulf states, who have funded and encouraged the Sunni sectarian war that has sundered the Muslim world. And of course there would be no Daesh if not for the invasion of Iraq, but even Trump knows this quite well. Drifting off into vague threats against Pakistan, Trump reiterates his determination to solve “big and intricate problems.” But how? How will it be different, this time?

As a result of our comprehensive review, pindo strategy in Afghanistan and South Asia will change dramatically in the following ways: a core pillar of our new strategy is a shift from a time-based approach to one based on conditions. I’ve said it many times, how counter-productive it is for pindostan to announce in advance the dates we intend to begin or end military operations. We will not talk about numbers of troops or our plans for further military activities. Conditions on the ground, not arbitrary timetables, will guide our strategy from now on. Pindostan’s enemies must never know our plans or believe they can wait us out.

A child could see through this rodomontade. Because unless we intend to stay in Afghanistan forever, what is to prevent the Taliban from simply waiting us out? We have to leave sometime. So what is the purpose of this vow of silence? It is simply to keep the truth from the pindo sheeple. We won’t know how many troops are in Afghanistan, nor will we know when more are sent in. It’s all to be conducted under the radar, so that Trump’s voters, who took seriously his tirades against foreign wars, won’t know the extent to which he has betrayed his mandate, and them. The absurdities accumulate like refuse during a garbage strike:

We are not nation-building again. We are killing terrorists.

Yet McMaster, a disciple of Petraeus and his “Counter-Insurgency doctrine,” are the original nation-builders aside from the Soviets, from whom they cadged their “strategy.”

We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars, at the same time they are housing the same terrorists that we are fighting. But that will have to change. And that will change immediately.

No it won’t! Remember when Senator Rand Paul tried to end aid to Pakistan? It didn’t happen then, and it won’t happen now!

As the PM of Afghanistan (sic) has promised, we are going to participate in economic development to help defray the cost of this war to us.

So Afghanistan is going to pay for this war, just like Mexico is going to pay for the Great Wall of Texas? In your dreams, Mr President!

Our commitment is not unlimited, and our support is not a blank check.

The history of the past 16 years refutes this, as does the content of the President’s peroration. Of course we’re giving them a blank check! That’s because the Afghan government only has such resources as we give to it! And since Trump is refusing to say when or even if we’re leaving, then our commitment is indeed potentially unlimited! Does he imagine our Afghan puppets, who are happily stealing us blind, don’t know this? I can’t bear to go on cataloging the lies, the contradictions, the flip-flops. It pains me to even think about it, much less more to write about it. The “Pindostan First” foreign policy Trump promised during the campaign is just a memory, and his baffled supporters are left to contemplate the most brazen betrayal in modern pindo political history. Yet there are some benefits, here, for anti-interventionists to reap, which may not be readily apparent. Because Trump’s supporters, who took seriously his anti-interventionist rhetoric, are now wondering what hit them. They had to go through this experience: betrayal can be enlightening. And we here at Antiwar.com are ready, willing and able to enlighten them. That is, after all, what we’re about. One step forward, two steps back: this is how progress, however agonizingly slow, is made. Take heart: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Trump’s brazen reversal on Afghanistan and the triumph of the generals is provoking a movement in the opposite direction: the anti-interventionist movement is growing and getting more visible. Many of Trump’s supporters are in open rebellion, and we here at Antiwar.com are getting more visibility: check out this WaPo piece, which reads like it was taken from our front page.

half a dozen “anti-fascists” in fatigues, with ak-47s strapped to their chests, “to protect the anti-trump protestors”

As Long As This Persists, I Will Never Vote For a Democrat
Dr Fly, Aug 23 2017

I’d rather eat ham sandwiches, shitposting about how stupid the DNC is, than even think about voting for a Demagog with this sort of clownery taking place.

Anti-Trump Protester Takes Direct Nut-Shot From Phoenix PD Pepper Ball
zeropointnow, Aug 23 2017

“Haha pigs, I got this gas mask on. I’m invinci-….”

Boston Antifa is recommending a FULL TACTICAL RETREAT:

Leftists Riot in Phoenix; CNN Blames Trump’s ‘Angry, Divisive Speech’
IAN MASON, Breitbart News, Aug 22 2017

Rioting broke out among leftists in the aftermath of Pres Trump’s Tuesday rally in Phoenix. Police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets. Shortly after the president’s speech ended and night fell in Phoenix, protesters began to throw water bottles and scream obscenities at police.

After being told to disperse, some refused to do so. CBS News reported they were met with tear gas and rubber bullets.

Many of the protesters carried “anti-racist” slogans of the #Resistance.

Others clearly bore the trademark black-and-red flags, face coverings, black clothing and downward spear emblems popular with the extraordinarily violent “Antifa” movement. Tuesday’s rally was the first time Trump called out Antifa by name.

Several members of the “anti-racist, pro-worker” “John Browne Gun Club” were seen earlier in the day with firearms.

CNN’s crawl, meanwhile, appeared to blame not the rioters, but President Trump, who is, in their eyes, guilty of delivering an “angry, divisive” speech to his supporters.

Along with other mainstream news outlets, CNN has been fawning over Antifa since their emergence onto the public stage, after years of steadfast refusal to mention their existence. On Saturday, the news network put out a piece with an Orwellian headline claiming Antifa seeks “peace through violence.”

Protests turn unruly after Trump’s campaign rally in Arizona
Jacques Billeaud, Clarice Silber, AP, Aug 23 2017

PHOENIX — A day of noisy but largely peaceful protests of President Donald Trump’s speech in Phoenix turned unruly as police fired pepper spray at crowds after someone apparently lobbed rocks and bottles at officers. A cloudy haze enveloped the night sky Tuesday outside the convention center where Trump had just wrapped up his speech as protesters and police clashed. People fled the scene coughing as the disturbance unfolded. Phoenix police spox said:

People in the crowd have begun throwing rocks and bottles at police. They also dispersed some gas in the area. Officers responded with pepper spray to disperse the crowd.

Minor scuffles and shouting matches erupted earlier between protesters and Trump’s supporters on Tuesday with authorities on high alert as thousands of people lined up in the triple-digit heat to attend his first political rally since the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. Phoenix police kept most members of the two opposing groups behind barricades and apart on separate sides of the street. As a police helicopter hovered overhead, officers wearing riot gear and carrying rifles sauntered through the lane between the sides. Mayor Greg Stanton had unsuccessfully called on the president to not hold the rally here so soon after Charlottesville. “Toxic Trump,” read one protest sign held up to the president’s supporters streaming into the Phoenix Convention Center downtown. “Lock Him Up!” read another, a reference to earlier campaign chants by Trump and his backers about Hillary Clinton. Dillon Scott of Phoenix, who voted for Clinton, said he came out to express dissatisfaction with how long Trump took to denounce racism after the Charlottesville violence. Scott said:

No one should be allowed to get away with what he gets away with, especially in political office.

Meanwhile, a group of protesters chanted:

Wrong side of history! Wrong side of history!

Trump backer Randy Hutson, a retired Phoenix police officer, began standing in line more than seven hours before the speech was to start. Hutson said:

He is the first president I feel in my lifetime that speaks his mind and speaks from the heart. He says what needs to be said.

A number of opposition signs showed drawings or photos of Trump with a small, Hitler-style mustache. Three Trump supporters taunted Latino protesters with offensive comments about immigrants and held anti-Muslim and Black Lives Matter signs. As the line to get in the venue moved ahead, the two groups shouted at each other and some skirmishes broke out. At one point, a Trump supporter and protester shoved each other. John Brown, of an anti-Trump group calling itself the Redneck Revolt, wore military fatigues and had an AK-47 rifle strapped to his chest as he and a half dozen others from the group stood about 30 feet behind the barricade for protesters. He said they were there to protect Trump opponents and stand up to fascism. Brown said:

He’s offensive to me in every way.

The outdoor temperature remained over 100 degrees as the rally began. Spox for Phoenix Fire Department says that as of 6 pm they had treated 48 people for heat-related problems, most of them for dehydration. He said that of those, two were adult women were taken to a hospital for further evaluation. State Demagog leaders urged people who wanted to show their opposition to the president’s policies to gather at a city-designated free speech zone near the site of the rally (which presumably they ignored – RB). The message to protesters echoed those coming from law enforcement and Stanton. Stanton said he expects protesters to be “civil, respectful and peaceful.” Police Chief Jeri Williams says First Amendment rights will be supported but criminal conduct will be swiftly addressed. But some of Trump’s supporters were so keen to see the president that they began queuing up before dawn for the 7 pm rally. Kingman resident Diane Treon, who arrived at 4 am, said:

It’s been on a bucket list of mine, since he became the president. I wished I had attended one of his campaign rallies before he became president, and I wanted to go to the inauguration, and truthfully it was the protests that kept me away. I wish the protesters would be a little more peaceful, instead of violently rioting, which is happening in so many places. But I’m not overly worried.

cunthead

Haley demands Iran military sites to be checked under nuclear deal
Michelle Nichols, Reuters, Aug 23 2017

UN – Pindostan wants to know if the IAEA plans to inspect Iranian military sites to verify Tehran’s compliance with a 2015 nuclear deal, Haley said on Tuesday. Haley will meet with IAEA boxtops in Vienna on Wednesday for what she described as a fact-finding mission, which is part of Trump’s review of the P5+1 deal. Haley told Reuters:

I’m going to Vienna to ask questions, not to push the IAEA to do anything. They have the authority to look at military sites now. It’s just, are they doing it? They have the authority to look at any suspicious sites now. There were already issues in those locations, so are they including that in what they look at to make sure that those issues no longer remain? If you look at past Iranian behavior, what you’ve seen is there have been covert actions at military sites, at universities, things like that. Are you looking at everything? Are you looking at those places where there has been covert activity in the past? Are you able to get access to these areas? Or are you being delayed? Are you being shut out from those things?

Iran’s top authorities have flatly rejected giving international inspectors access to their military sites, and Iranian officials have told Reuters that any such move would trigger harsh consequences. Iran’s Pres Rouhani warned last week that Iran could abandon the nuclear agreement “within hours” if Pindostan imposes any more new sanctions. Iran’s atomic chief was quoted by state media as saying on Tuesday that Iran could resume production of highly enriched uranium within five days if the nuclear deal was revoked. Haley responds:

Why would they say that, if they had nothing to hide? Why wouldn’t they let the IAEA go there?