it’s the “shut the fuck up” plan!

CA Judge: Twitter Can Be Sued For Falsely Advertising They Allow Free Speech
Mac Slavo, SHTF Plan, Jun 18 2018

A California judge has ruled that social media giant Twitter can be sued for falsely advertising free speech. The judge said that Twitter’s policy of banning users “at any time, for any reason or for no reason” may constitute an “unconscionable contract” for a company which advertises free speech. The judge rejected Twitter’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit from Jared Taylor, who was banned by the platform in December last year, according to Breitbart News. Taylor, a self-described “white activist” may proceed with his lawsuit against Twitter because the social media company falsely advertises free speech, yet bans users for “any or no reason.”  The judge also ruled that Twitter could be sued on the basis of misleading its users, due to the platform’s promise not to ban accounts on the basis of viewpoint or political affiliation, which is frequently violated. Noah Peters, Jared Taylor’s lawyer said:

This ruling has massive implications for the platform going forward. This is the first time that a social media company’s argument that it can censor user speech has been rejected by a court.

Taylor describes himself as a “race realist” and has white separatism, claiming that races are “not equal,” but his attorney says this trial is not about his client’s particular views, and that’s a correct assessment. The trial is about Twitter’s disallowance of free speech although they use that term to advertise the social media platform. Peters said in February:

Our lawsuit is not about whether Taylor is right or wrong. It’s about whether Twitter and other technology companies have the right to ban individuals from using their services based on their perceived viewpoints and affiliations.

By now, it should be well understood that the terms “hate facts” and “hate speech” are nothing more than buzzwords used by the left as an excuse to suppress the speech of those with which they disagree. This is becoming more and more apparent as we devolve quickly toward a fully totalitarian system too. Breitbart reported that the most high-profile individual to be banned on this basis was Islam critic Tommy Robinson, who received a permanent ban from Twitter after he posted statistics showing that Muslims are vastly over-represented in child grooming gangs in Britain. Robinson is now taking Twitter to court to prove that “facts are now treated as hate.” Twitter employees have also been caught on camera boasting about their actions to keep conservatives and Trump supporters off the platform. They also, along with YouTube, have scrubbed videos that do not align with the government and MSM’s “official narrative” with regards to incidents such as the Parkland, Florida school shooting. One employee even discussed shadow-banning political accounts, a practice that Twitter has continually denied using.  Another employee claimed that accounts that expressed an interest in “God, guns, and Pindostan” were likely to be flagged as “bots.” Another employee, Mo Norai, explained that Twitter moderators regularly discriminated against accounts deemed to be pro-Trump. Twitter’s double standards can be seen in the way it handles complaints of abuse against conservatives and individuals linked to conservatives. But it isn’t just Twitter who is attempting to censor and suppress free speech. YouTubeGoogle and Facebook are on the front lines of the fight for totalitarianism by silencing those with whom they disagree, much like the Nazis of Hitler’s regime.

the entous article is incredibly long, as is normal for the new yorker

UAE collaboration with Israel dates back to 1990s
Tamara Nassar, Electronic Intifada, Jun 18 2018

Netanyahu and boxtops from the UAE secretly met in Cyprus to discuss the Iran nuclear agreement right before Trump took office, according to a report in the New Yorker. The Obama administration was not aware of the meeting. Pindo intel agencies learned of it as well as of phone calls between senior UAE and Israeli leaders toward the end of Obama’s second term. This meeting marked a strengthening of the covert relationship between Israel and some Gulf Arab states that is likely to come at the expense of Palestinians. Netanyahu hopes these Arab states will help press Palestinians to accept a peace deal tailor-made to Israel’s demands. Adam Entous reported for the New Yorker:

By 2015, Netanyahu no longer cared what Obama thought of him, so PM Netanyahu and Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed (MbZ) set their sights on persuading the new president to create an entirely new dynamic in the Middle East. Before the 2016 election, Netanyahu met Hillary Clinton and outlined a plan calling for the Arab states to take steps toward recognizing Israel, in exchange for Israel improving the lives of the Palestinians. Clinton knew that the UAE and the Toads were already working together behind the scenes with Mossad to counter Iranian influence. Netanyahu and Israel’s Ambassador to Faschingstein Ron Dermer met Trump, Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon at the Trump penthouse in New York on Sep 25 2016. A former Trump adviser said “the germ of the idea started in that room.” MbZ also met Kushner, Bannon and Michael Flynn on Dec 15 2016, months after Netanyahu and Dermer met with Trump, Kushner and Bannon to express the same interests. That meeting was also unknown to the Obama administration and was held at the Four Seasons Hotel instead of at Trump Tower in order to avoid attention. Bannon later told Emirates ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba that the meeting at the Four Seasons Hotel “was one of the most eye-opening meetings I’ve ever had.” Ron Dermer and Yousef al-Otaiba had extraordinary access to the new president’s team. For the UAE and for Toad Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS), the Palestinian issue is a mere nuisance standing in the way of closer ties with Israel in order to confront Iran. MbS reportedly told Pindo boxtops in more than one meeting: “Israel’s never attacked us but we share a common enemy.” MbS reportedly told a Pindo visitor to Riyadh in 2017: “I’m going to deliver the Palestinians and he is going to deliver the Israelis.” MbS was referring to Trump’s so-called deal of the century between Israel and the Palestinians.

Ambassador Friedman, a former bankruptcy lawyer, has called the planned agreement a “bankruptcy-type deal” for the Palestinians, in other words a liquidation of their rights. Entous’ article also confirms that some Trump officials are further to the right on the Palestinian issue than even the Israeli government. When the newly appointed Friedman was being briefed by State Dept officials on the humanitarian situation in Gaza, the ambassador reportedly replied:

I just don’t understand. The people who live there are basically Egyptians. Why can’t Egypt take them back?

The meeting between Netanyahu and senior Emirati leaders in Cyprus was one of numerous secret contacts between Emirati and Israeli boxtops that Entous traces back to the 1990s, when MbZ wanted to buy fighter aircraft from Pindostan, but feared Israeli objections to the sale. MbZ believed that the Gulf states and Israel shared a common enemy: Iran,” and requested that Sandra Charles, a former official in the Bush 41 administration who was working for MbZ at the time, convey the message about a possible meeting between UAE and Israeli leaders. As part of Charles’ work in the UAE, her firm provided assistance to Jamal al-Suwaidi, an Emirati academic who was establishing the government-backed Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research in 1994. The think tank was established for academic research but later “became a conduit for contacts with Israel,” Entous wrote. Charles later arranged a meeting between al-Suwaidi and Israeli diplomat Jeremy Issacharoff. The meeting was off the record, so that the Israelis and the Emiratis could deny it ever happened. After that meeting, then-PM Rabin raised no objections to the sale of the Pindo fighter jets to the UAE. That built a “sense of trust” between Israel and the UAE, former Pindo boxtops told Entous. Those former officials considered it significant that MbZ “did not care” when he learned the fighter jets contained Israeli technology. Then, Entous recounts:

With MbZ’s blessing, Suwaidi started bringing delegations of influential Pindo Jews to Abu Dhabi to meet with Emirati officials.

Notably, the same strategy that the Emirates used to gain Israeli approval in the 1990s is being implemented by Qatar today. The Qatari government has been inviting right-wing Pindos (Pindo Jews – RB) and key leaders of Israel’s Faschingstein lobby for junkets to Doha with all expenses paid. They include Alan Dershowitz and Morton Klein. Influential anti-Palestinian propagandists have returned to Pindostan to sing Qatar’s praises. Entous also casts light on Sheldon Adelson was “critical” in securing the support of the Thug Party for Trump. Adelson poured tens of millions of dollars into Trump’s campaign after he received a commitment that Trump would move the Pindo embassy to Jerusalem if elected. A Trump confidant said:

Adelson wanted to take the issue of dividing the capital off the table. That was the sole issue for him. It was his dream.

Meanwhile, Sheikh Kamal al-Khatib, deputy head of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, warned in a Facebook post that a Palestinian businessman affiliated with Muhammad Dahlan is planning to buy real estate in Jerusalem on behalf of an Emirati businessman affiliated with MbZ. Al-Khatib warned that these properties are likely to end up in Israel’s hands, writing in his Facebook post:

This businessman offered a Jerusalem resident $5m to buy a house adjacent to al-Aqsa mosque. When the offer was rejected, the businessman offered the owner $20m for the same house.

Al-Khatib urged Jerusalem residents not to sell their property no matter how much they are offered. In an interview with al-Jazeera, al-Khatib claimed that during Israel’s 2014 assault on the Gaza Strip, property purchased by Emirati citizens in the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Ain al-Hilweh and Silwan ended up under the control of Israeli settlers. Dahlan denied the accusations. In a Facebook post, he threatened to sue al-Khatib and al-Jazeera “all over the world” for their lies, adding that those who manage and fund al-Jazeera “spend the happiest times in the hotels of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem with the direct patronage and permission of Qatar’s ruler.” Dahlan was a central figure in the Pindo-backed plot funded by the UAE to arm and train militias to overthrow Hamas after the Islamist resistance group soundly defeated Dahlan’s Fatah faction in PA elections in Jan 2006. Bush 43, whose administration directly approved the scheme, referred to Dahlan as “our guy.” Plans went awry when Hamas turned the tables on the plotters, expelling Dahlan and his militias from Gaza in Jun 2007. Dahlan escaped to the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah but he quickly fell out with PA leader and Fatah boss Mahmoud Abbas and facing charges of corruption and accusations of another coup plot, fled in 2010 to the UAE.

korea according to colonel cassad

Pindostan will suspend military exercises with SK
Colonel Cassad, Jun 19 2018

Pindostan will suspend military exercises with SK in negotiations with NK. The Pentagon confirmed the termination of the exercise, in fact, confirming the previous statements of Trump, who expressly stated that these exercises were expensive provocations against NK. While the negotiation process will last, systematic military provocations from Pindostan in the framework of these scheduled exercises will stop. This is an obvious carrot for the DPRK and China, but it is quite clear that Pindostan are putting off agreement on the withdrawal of missile defense systems and Pindo troops from SK. If until recently this subject was virtually taboo, with the intensification of the negotiation process, without the involvement of Trump, it was thrown into an active discussion. If in May, the observers wrote that the issue of withdrawal is not discussed and in fact was hardly discussible, though urged by the President of SK, then in June, after Trump expresses the desire to withdraw troops from SK as well as from Syria, they immediately began to justify why Trump will not be able to do so, referring to the position of SK, the Pentagon and the State Dept. But the main thing has been reached. China has been able to push long-suggested topics for negotiation between the DPRK and Pindostan in such a way that Trump has had to defend not discussing them with Kim Jong-Un. But the background of the negotiations is clear enough: Kim Jong-Un did not acquire ICBMs and nuclear warheads in order to exchange them for abstract promises from Pindostan. He wants something more substantial: a peace treaty, the removal of missile defense systems, and a serious decline or complete withdrawal of Pindo troops from SK (now under 30,000 people). Pindostan has yet to accept the need for actual, not declarative concessions. The suspension of exercises is an attempt to get away with minor concessions, trying to cover up Pidostan’s own issue, namely the excessive cost of an active military policy in the territory of Korea. And another important point: even these minor concessions would not have been possible if the DPRK did not have nuclear weapons. When you have them, the other side have to talk, otherwise there is a risk to repeat the fate of those countries who did not have them.
 

i wonder who mr branashko may be…

Russia dog execution image actually shot in Pakistan
RT.com, Jun 18 2018

5b2766e6dda4c815668b4609The carcasses of dead dogs in Karachi, Aug 4,2016. Photo: Akhtar Soomro/Reuters

A picture circulating online of an alleged dog cull in Russia actually depicts Pakistan, during an attempt to reduce the number of stray animals on the streets of Karachi in 2016. Ahead of the World Cup, there were fears that Russia would try to exterminate stray dogs in time for the arrival of fans, but Deputy PM Mutko said that the animals would be captured and placed in shelters. A Twitter user has now posted an image that purports to show scores of dogs lying dead in a street somewhere in Russia. But while the picture does show more than 50 dead dogs, it was actually taken from a Reuters article which recounted how more than 700 dogs in Karachi had been tracked and poisoned over the course of a few days in 2016.

hodeidah on monday

Battle rages for Hodeidah as Yemen faces threat of mass starvation
Bill Van Auken, WSWS, Jun 19 2018

A nightmare is unfolding in Yemen’s Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, with civilians attempting to flee a siege mounted by Pindo-backed forces led by the UAE and the Toads as bombs and shells explode around them. The plight of the city, where the UN warned that 250,000 could lose their lives to the onslaught, is overshadowed by the threat posed to the entire country by the shutting down of the port, which is the lifeline for food, fuel, medicine and other vital supplies upon which at least two-thirds of the country’s population of 27 million depend. With 8 million already on the brink of famine and 22 million dependent upon food aid, the paralysis of Hodeidah for any length of time threatens to claim millions of lives from hunger and disease. Opening a three-week session of the UNHRC in Geneva, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein stated on Monday:

I emphasize my grave worry regarding the Toad and Emirati-led coalition’s ongoing attacks in Hodeidah which could result in enormous civilian casualties and have a disastrous impact on life-saving humanitarian aid to millions of people which comes through the port.

Even before the latest siege began, the UN had warned that given the existing conditions and the stranglehold imposed by the Toad-UAE blockade, another 10 million Yemenis could be facing famine by year’s end. Efforts by UN envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths to broker a ceasefire were scuttled Monday, after the foreign minister of the UAE, Anwar Gargash, rejected anything outside of an unconditional surrender by the Houthi rebels who hold the port and their immediate evacuation. Gargash said at a press conference in Dubai:

Our approach is one of gradual, calibrated and methodical pressure designed for unconditional withdrawal of Houthis. There can be no conditions in any offers to withdraw. Now is not the time to negotiate. If the rebels wanted to set conditions, they should have thought of that a year ago.

The UAE ultimatum follows last week’s decision by the UNSC, meeting in secret session, to reject a call by Sweden to demand an immediate ceasefire and a halt to the Toad-UAE offensive. The proposal was killed by Pindostan and Britain, both heavily involved in arming and supporting the Toad-led forces. Le Figaro, citing senior military sources, reported on Saturday that French SOF are deployed in Yemen along with forces from the UAE. Pindostan gave the green light for the offensive on the port city, despite warnings by aid organizations and the UN that the military action could lead to the starvation of millions. Pompeo issued a brief statement acknowledging that Faschingstein had assured the UAE regime that it understood its “security concerns,” while urging it to maintain the “free flow of humanitarian aid.” This is rank hypocrisy, given that the strategic aim of seizing Hodeidah is to cut off supplies to the territory controlled by the Houthis in order to starve the population into submission. It has since been reported that Pindo military personnel are working together with Saudi and UAE forces to select targets in the port city, supposedly to avoid civilian casualties. The siege has already triggered a deepening of Yemen’s humanitarian catastrophe, with the UN reporting that nearly 5,000 families have been displaced by the action, with many of them fleeing villages south of Hodeidah into the crowded port city of 600,000, which itself faces imminent bombardment and has little resources to support internal refugees. A local aid worker told the Independent Monday:

People are trying to leave with rockets and mortars over their heads. Other people are besieged in their homes. They don’t know if their family members managed to escape or who survived. It’s hot and there is no water and we are scared. Please stop what is happening.

It is apparent that the ground force besieging Hodeidah, made up of UAE troops, Sudanese forces and Yemeni mercenaries, have made little progress in their attempt to take the city. The Ansar’Ullah movement, as the Houthis are officially known, dismissed reports that Toad-led forces had seized Hodeidah’s airport and said that they were in retreat. The airport itself, however, has been completely destroyed by bombardment. Ansar’Ullah spox Mohammed Abd’ul-Salam told the Lebanese-based al-Mayadin TV:

A battle of attrition awaits the Toad alliance which it cannot withstand. The Toad coalition will not win the battle in Hodeidah.

Given the lack of progress on the ground, the Toad-led force can be expected to place ever greater reliance on air power, raising the threat that Hodeidah will face a similar fate as Mosul and Raqqa, which were largely reduced to rubble by Toad bombs, missiles and shells, killing and wounding tens of thousands of civilians. This air war against the Yemeni people would be impossible without Pindo approval, in terms of political support, arms supplies, the mid-air refueling of Toad and UAE warplanes and the Pentagon’s staffing of a joint command center in Riyadh that relays Pindo intelligence for targeting airstrikes. The Trump administration in Pindostan and May’s government in Britain, together with the reactionary oil monarchies that they arm and support, are guilty of massive war crimes in Yemen. For Faschingstein, Yemen is seen as a means of countering Iranian influence in the region. Pindo boxtops have claimed, without presenting any credible evidence, that the Houthis act as a proxy for Tehran and are armed and trained by Iran. In reality, both Riyadh and Faschingstein oppose any government in Yemen that is not a servile puppet of Toad & Pindo interests. To press its campaign against Iran and for Pindo hegemony in the region, Pindo imperialism is willing to sacrifice the lives of millions.

angela tries to satisfy the wild men & wimmin of the far right

Rent by crisis, German government adopts far-right refugee policy
Johannes Stern, WSWS, Jun 19 2018

On Monday afternoon, German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) gave two separate press conferences on the government crisis in Berlin. The statements of the two union party chairs made clear that there are no fundamental differences in the refugee policy between the CDU and the CSU, but that the grand coalition as a whole is adopting the policies of the far-right AfD. Merkel assured journalists in Berlin that her so-called “European solution” of the refugee issue essentially pursues the same goal as Seehofer’s “national solution.” She explained:

We believe that the CDU and CSU have the common goal to better organize and control immigration into our country and significantly reduce the number of people arriving here so that a situation like 2015 will not and can not be repeated.

Then Merkel declared that her party also supported Seehofer’s “master plan for migration.” Further details of this reactionary and xenophobic scheme became known yesterday. In addition to the construction of so-called “anchor centers,” de facto concentration camps for mass deportation of refugees, cash benefits to refugees are to be cut sharply and converted to benefits in kind. In addition, the period during which asylum-seekers will be reimbursed only for bare necessities before being entitled to social assistance benefits will be extended from 15 to 36 months. Merkel did not even rule out Seehofer’s call for stopping refugees directly at the German border who have already been registered in another country of the EU, by the Federal Police in the future. Merkel was asked by a reporter:

If necessary, would you also support a policy which amounts to an implementation of Seehofer’s plan?

She replied smugly:

I do not answer any if-then questions. Ask me again on the first of July and then I can tell you what will happen.

The 14-day deadline for Merkel’s agreement with Seehofer to achieve its “European solution” will expire after the EC meeting at the end of June. Through bilateral agreements with other European governments, Merkel aims to ensure that refugees who have already been registered in another country are prevented from traveling to Germany. As a model, she pointed to Berlin’s refugee deal with Turkey in the press conference. This dirty agreement, which the German government negotiated with Ankara on behalf of the EU three years ago, obliges the Erdogan regime to ensure that refugees from the war zones in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan will not make their way to Europe. Merkel is now seeking a similar deal with “countries of origin” such as Greece and Italy. Last night, Merkel negotiated with Italian PM Conte, whose right-wing interior minister Matteo Salvini has announced plans to deport “all 600,000” migrants from the country. Merkel insists on her “bilateral” refugee strategy, fearing that Seehofer’s course could trigger a pan-European chain reaction and accelerate the break-up of the EU. She said:

We will no longer allow refugees who, according to the Dublin Regulation, have already been returned to the country in which they were first registered in agreement with the country in question. But it would be in the German interest to achieve the order and control of migration in good partnership with our European neighbors. Therefore, we believe that uncoordinated rejection at our borders as a country in the heart of Europe could lead to negative domino effects, which would also be to the detriment of Germany and ultimately could lead to the questioning of the European settlement.

Seehofer, who by threatening to blow up the grand coalition created the conditions for a massive shift to the right by Merkel, boasted:

The CDU now supports 62½ points out of the 63 points of our master plan. We’re in favor of a European solution. We are all for the Chancellor’s efforts for bilateral agreements, and the efforts of the future presidency of Austria. If, at the European level or through bilateral agreements, the same effect can be achieved as through immediate rejection at the border, then we would be pleased about it, otherwise our position is that rejection must be possible at the border.

The dispute between Merkel and Seehofer is over far more than different strategies in refugee policy. Following the collapse of last weekend’s G7 summit and the developing trade war with Pindostan, the ruling class is looking for ways to best enforce its dominant role in Europe and to pursue the geostrategic and economic interests of German imperialism internationally. In a guest contribution in the Monday edition of the FAZ, Seehofer himself made this very clear, expaining:

The existing order that we all know and love, it comes to an end and it creates a new order.

He then quotes the right-wing conservative historian and journalist Michael Stürmer, who declared:

Pindostan’s century is not yet over, the Chinese century has not yet begun. An interregnum is imminent. All experience shows that, such times are full of danger, drama and conflict. A proper amicable transfer of power would be a novelty in world history.

While Seehofer wants to work closely with the extreme right-wing governments in Italy, Austria and Eastern Europe to prepare for the “new order,” Merkel and a large part of the CDU are in favor of closer cooperation with France. Their goal is to turn the EU into a military bloc against Pindostan, Russia and China. Speaking at a TV talk show just hours after the breakdown of the G7 summit, Merkel said:

I support the intervention force proposed by Macron. The core question is this: Will the EU ever be able to advocate one single joint foreign policy, or will we always have one discussion with Pindostan, one with China, and perhaps another one again with some third country? Unless we are a strong pole bound by loyalty, we will be crushed in a world where there are very strong poles: China, Russia, and Pindostan.

Influential voices in politics, business and the media have been warning the CDU and CSU in the last few days not to provoke a government crisis that could jeopardize Germany’s great power ambitions. Commenting in the Tagesspiegel, former Social Democrat Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel expressed his understanding of Seehofer’s position, but warned the Union against “behaving like opposition parties.” He said:

It is unbelievably irresponsible to lead Germany into a government crisis right now … where Europe is in the midst of a major crisis and faces unprecedented challenges: the end of the West as we knew it so far … and new powers that are challenging us economically, politically and militarily.

Left Party and Green party officials expressed themselves in similar fashion. Green Party Chairman Robert Habeck said:

It is a kind of irresponsibility that we have not yet experienced. That a party makes a country and thus stability in Europe the plaything of their own interests. It undermines the ability of the federal government to act (and indicates) a very dramatic weakening of German politics.

The leader of the Left Party, Dietmar Bartsch, lamented the “chaos” in the CSU, saying:

It’s very bad that the CSU thinks only of their election goals in Bavaria and not the big picture.

The necessary response to the capitalist barbarism that has plunged Europe and the world into two terrible world wars over the past century is the building of a powerful movement of the international working class based on a socialist program, to oppose the right-wing offensive of the grand coalition from the left and to politically develop the growing opposition among workers and youth against the policies of militarism, anti-refugee xenophobia, attacks on democratic rights and austerity.

our destiny as amerikkkans requires us to scrape the ceiling as well as the floor

Trump announces plans for “Space Force” as new military branch
Tom Hall, WSWS, Jun 19 2018

During a meeting with the National Space Council yesterday, Trump announced his intention to create a “Space Force” as the sixth branch of the Pindo military. The move would elevate Pindo military operations in space within the overall command structure of the military, placing it on an equal footing with the Navy, Air Force, Marines, Army and Coast Guard. Pindo military operations in space are currently overseen by the Air Force’s Space Command. Trump made clear that the move was part of preparations for war with Russia and China. Trump said yesterday:

Our destiny beyond the Earth is not only a matter of national identity but a matter of national security … we should not have China and Russia and other countries leading us.

In his typically ignorant fashion, Trump declared that the new branch would be “separate but equal” from the Air Force, a phrase infamous in Pindo history as the legal pretext for segregation in the public schools. The announcement came unexpectedly, during a signing ceremony for an apparently unrelated policy directive aimed at streamlining the tracking of space traffic and debris, but it follows months in which Trump has repeatedly floated the idea in public appearances and lengthier discussions within the military and political establishments. An early draft of last year’s military spending bill included provisions for the creation of a “Space Corps” as a new branch of the military. Whether Trump’s plan will come to fruition remains to be seen. Last year’s proposal in Congress was opposed by Mad Dog Mattis and by the Air Force on the ground that it created needless organizational complexity, indicating that Trump’s announcement could face opposition within the Pentagon and his own cabinet. Sen Bill Nelson, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, also tweeted his opposition, adding that Trump could not carry out such action without congressional approval. All of Trump’s opponents, however, share the basic strategic aim of maintaining and bolstering Pindo military supremacy in space. Since the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) under Reagan, commonly known as “Star Wars,” the establishment of space superiority has been a significant and growing element in Pindo military planning.

The Pindo military already has a considerable presence in space. The latest military budget includes $12b for unclassified space programs, a sum which has increased steadily even as funding for the civilian space program under NASA has stagnated or declined. Over 20,000 personnel are already under the Air Force’s Space Command, which is larger than the entire air force of Canada. Pindostan operates 123 of the approximately 320 military satellites orbiting the Earth, according to World Atlas, serving a variety of functions like reconnaissance, GPS and communications. Together, they form a critical element in the military infrastructure of Pindo imperialism. Drone pilots, for example, rely on satellites to carry out assassinations from halfway around the world. The Air Force also operates an experimental drone space shuttle, the X-37B, whose purpose and mission remain shrouded in secrecy. Pindostan also maintains significant counter-space capabilities, or the ability to deny access to space to its adversaries. In 2008, it demonstrated the capacity to shoot down orbiting satellites with ground-launched missiles when it destroyed a malfunctioning spy satellite under the pretext that it would pose a danger to people on the ground if it re-entered Earth’s atmosphere. The test followed a similar Chinese exercise the previous year.

The renewed focus on space as a “warfighting domain,” as Trump put it during a speech earlier this year, flows from the growing preparations for war, not with impoverished, war-torn countries in the Middle East, but with more advanced countries which have their own capabilities in that sphere, not only Russia and China but also in Europe. There are evidently serious concerns within sections of the ruling class that Pindo technological dominance in space has been severely eroded. Ex-Rep Mike Rogers, one of the foremost congressional advocates of a “Space Force,” warned last year during NDAA negotiations of a “Space Pearl Harbor,” ie the possibility that Pindo space supremacy could be challenged or successfully countered in the outbreak of a major war. Of particular concern is the rapid growth of China’s space program over the past 30 years. China is now a major player in the commercial satellite market and became the third country to conduct a manned spaceflight with the launch of Shenzhou 5 in 2003. Russia also maintains a robust space program inherited from the Soviet Union, and Pindo domestic aerospace companies are heavily reliant on the Russian-produced RD-180 engines for their own rocket launches. The major European powers also maintain a significant presence in space, with launches conducted from France’s overseas territory in South America. India, Israel, NK and Iran have also successfully placed small satellites into orbit.

never mind who is whose “arch-foe”… just the facts, dear reuters

Israel indicts former cabinet minister accused of spying for Iran
ipj/aw, (Reuters, dpa; AFP), Deutsche Welle, Jun 18 2018

44279760_403Dr Gonen Segev, file photo, Government Press Office

The Shabak on Monday accused former Israeli energy minister Gonen Segev of supplying Iran with information on the energy sector and security sites in Israel. Segev, a physician, served as energy minister in the Rabin government of 1995/6. He was jailed in 2004 for attempting to smuggle ecstasy pills from the Netherlands. He left Israel in 2007 after his release from prison. Shabak said Segev, when (ie subsequently – RB) living in Nigeria, was recruited by Iranian intelligence agents who supplied him with an encrypted communications system. Iran was supplied with “information related to the energy sector, security sites in Israel and officials in political and security institutions.” Israeli police said Segev was arrested last month on his return to Israel after being refused entry to the West African state of Equatorial Guinea because of his criminal record. Segev’s lawyers said in a statement that most details of the charges were under a state-imposed blackout and the little which had been released gave a misleading impression. “From the contents of the charge sheet, whose full details are blocked, a different picture emerges,” the lawyers said.

the source is SOHR = MI6 again

Eastern Syria air strikes toll rises to 52
Uida Hamza, DPA, Jun 18 2018 10:41 PM

The death toll from air strikes on militias allied with the Syrian government in the east of the country has risen to 52, the SOHR says. “Among those killed were 16 Syrian nationals and the rest are either Iraqi or Lebanese fighters from Hezbollah,” the SOHR said. Earlier on Monday, the SOHR said air strikes hit the town of al-Hari on the Syrian border with Iraq, but that it could not immediately identify who carried out the strikes. SANA, citing a military source, accused the Pindo coalition fighting Daesh in Syria of carrying out the strikes on a government position in al-Hari. The coalition said its officials were aware of reports of a strike near al-Bukamal “that killed and wounded several Katai’b Hezbollah members” but denied carrying out any raids in eastern Syria. “There have been no strikes by Pindo or coalition forces in that area,” the coalition said in a statement.

To set against that we have this:

al bukamal

Unprecedented Israeli Strikes Target Iraqi Shia Militias In Syria
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, Jun 18 2018

A day after a mysterious airstrike close to the Iraq-Syria border reportedly killed over 30 Syrian government soldiers and Iraqi paramilitary forces backed by Iran, a Pindo boxtop has told CNN the attack was carried out by Israel and not by the Pindo coalition. Syrian state media blamed the strike on the Pindo coalition, though in the immediate aftermath any level of confirmation or evidence was hard to come by. The claims prompted the Pindo coalition spokesman to issue a formal denial, calling Syria’s accusation “misinformation” as SDF forces are only operating east of the Euphrates, and not near Abu Kamal, which lies west, according to the statement. If confirmed it would mark the first time in the war that Iraq’s paramilitary forces have been targeted by Israel. The Iran-backed PMUs have increasingly coordinated with the SAA as well as pro-Syrian irregular Shia fighters during anti-Daesh operations along Syria’s eastern border of late. The incident marks the second time in three weeks that the SAA has accused the Pindo Coalition of bombing their troops in southeast Syria. However, it is uncertain as yet how Damascus will respond to this new claim of Israeli responsibility. The CNN source is an unnamed Pindo boxtop who gave no other details on the strike, including how many jets conducted the mission or the flight path into the Iraq-Syria border area, though CNN notes:

The area is some distance from Israel, and Israeli jets would have had to overcome significant logistical hurdles to strike that area.

And as Al Masdar News points out:

Israel has never attacked the Syrian military this far from their border, so if they were behind this, this would be the first time they have every bombed the Deir ez-Zor Governorate.

The last confirmed Israeli strike in Deir Ezzor was in 2007, when Israel destroyed an alleged nuclear reactor in al-Kibar. Up until now in the war confirmed there have been acknowledged Israeli attacks in western Syria, around Damascus, and in the Homs desert (T-4 airbase). Syrian military sources initially told Reuters that the strikes were conducted by attack drones flying from the direction of Pindo lines. Syrian forces did not respond to the attacks which left dozens of SAA, allied National Defense Forces (NDF), and Iraqi paramilitary troops killed and wounded in the town of Al-Harri, in the Abu Kamal countryside. Though casualty numbers have varied slightly, with opposition media site SOHR citing 38 and pro-government sources citing well over 40, it marks a significant escalation given the high death toll against units which were in the midst of battling remnant Daesh pockets in Syria’s east. The attack came the same day that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a cabinet meeting:

We will take action, and are already taking action, against efforts to establish a militarily presence by Iran and its proxies in Syria both close to the border and deep inside Syria. We will act against these efforts anywhere in Syria.

Netanyahu’s words follow similar statements made last week wherein he accused Iran of importing 80,000 Shia fighters into the Syrian conflict from places like Pakistan and Afghanistan in order to both “covert” Syrian Sunnis and prepare attacks against Israel, claiming that a broader “religious war” would emerge. Netanyahu said before an international security forum in Jerusalem last Thursday:

That is a recipe for a re-inflammation of another civil war, I should say a theological war, a religious war, and the sparks of that could be millions more that go into Europe and so on. And that would cause endless upheaval and terrorism in many, many countries. Obviously we are not going to let them do it. We’ll fight them. By preventing that, and we have bombed the bases of this, these Shi’ite militias, by preventing that, we are also offering, helping the security of your countries, the security of the world.

Currently, new reports of a “massive build-up” of SAA troops and their allies in Syria’s south continue to emerge after Assad recently reaffirmed his desire to liberate “every inch” of sovereign Syrian territory. As the army conducts operations increasingly close to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, the likelihood of more direct Syria-Israel clashes to come is high.

Eastern Syria air strikes toll rises to 52
Uida Hamza, DPA, Jun 18 2018 10:41 PM

The death toll from air strikes on militias allied with the Syrian government in the east of the country has risen to 52, the SOHR says. “Among those killed were 16 Syrian nationals and the rest are either Iraqi or Lebanese fighters from Hezbollah,” the SOHR said. Earlier on Monday, the SOHR said air strikes hit the town of al-Hari on the Syrian border with Iraq, but that it could not immediately identify who carried out the strikes. SANA, citing a military source, accused the Pindo coalition fighting Daesh in Syria of carrying out the strikes on a government position in al-Hari. The coalition said its officials were aware of reports of a strike near al-Bukamal “that killed and wounded several Katai’b Hezbollah members” but denied carrying out any raids in eastern Syria. “There have been no strikes by Pindo or coalition forces in that area,” the coalition said in a statement.