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Geopolitics / Re: The Korea thread
« Last post by Palloy2 on Today at 09:37:47 PM »
Well have you discovered anywhere where there are real doomers? We don't actually have to fix it, just understand it, and maybe speak out against it.  I would imagine that any website wanting to discuss this subject would do it in private, maybe on the dark net, and I would be happy to get involved in that.  Derrick Jensen's Forum sounds like it should be a "front" community which you play around in till someone invites you into the real hidden community, but I have not yet been invited.

Geopolitics / Re: The Korea thread
« Last post by jdwheeler42 on Today at 08:09:09 PM »
Surly: I jumped on RE because it seemed he was furiously picking a fight with you. In this case, YOU. are attempting to pick a fight with ME.

No, I'm NOT attacking you, I just want to get someone, anyone on DD, to take this seriously and not make jokes about it.  My reasonable request for more discussion has been met with a hail of jokes and toxic insults.  The only person who made anything resembling a serious comment was RE saying "WW3 won't happen because it is not in US's interest", which is monumentally stupid and non-serious, designed as you say to pick a fight with me.
I feel for you, Palloy, I know what it is like for no one to take you seriously.

I also agree with you that, save a few technical glitches, this situation is one of the most dangerous we have faced.

I don't see what we can do as individuals to prevent it.  All I can see to do as an individual is to prepare for it.  And as an individual, starting out a post-WW3 era with lung cancer, I do not see a significant life expectancy for myself.  So, I don't see much point personally in worrying about it, just enjoying what little time I have left.
Guns have been easily accessible and often gifted to teenage boys as a right of passage for all prior decades, yet school shootings were very rare. Access to guns has held steady while previously only the most social outcast, misfit and abused were candidates. Now increase the number of humiliated, villified and persecuted students and you increase the pool of candidates. We now have educational pre school cartoons on male priviledge.
What has gone up significantly in correlation with school shootings is teenage use of SSRI drugs -- by prescription, mind you.
Surly Newz / Re: The Daily Meme
« Last post by jdwheeler42 on Today at 07:45:19 PM »

When doors are outlawed only outlaws will have doors.
And of course, if there is only one exit, all a terrorist has to do is fire-bomb it to really rack up the casualty count....
Geopolitics / Re: The Korea thread
« Last post by Palloy2 on Today at 07:37:05 PM »
Surly: I jumped on RE because it seemed he was furiously picking a fight with you. In this case, YOU. are attempting to pick a fight with ME.

No, I'm NOT attacking you, I just want to get someone, anyone on DD, to take this seriously and not make jokes about it.  My reasonable request for more discussion has been met with a hail of jokes and toxic insults.  The only person who made anything resembling a serious comment was RE saying "WW3 won't happen because it is not in US's interest", which is monumentally stupid and non-serious, designed as you say to pick a fight with me.

You think everyone here is blind or stupid?

Demonstrate you are not. Spare me the "a little gallows humor at this time of existential dread" get-out clause.

"What was it like in the lead up to WW3, Grandpa?"
"Oh, we just told each other jokes, you know, like you do when you don't want to think about something serious."
"Didn't you think it would happen ?"
"Well, some did and some didn't, but mostly you couldn't tell because there were only jokes to go on.  And then we woke up one morning and the power was out, and the radio didn't come on, and then we realised that WW3 had started."
Eric Prince.

If you listen to podcasts, "Intercepted" is almost always a can't-miss. This is a transcript from this week's edition, "The Killing Machine."


BLACKWATER FOUNDER ERIK PRINCE has been one of Donald Trump’s shadow advisers. Now, will he be investigated for perjury? This week on Intercepted: Jeremy breaks down the Trump Tower meeting Prince set up with a representative of the Saudi and Emirati royals and an Israeli who runs propaganda and media manipulation operations. Journalist Allan Nairn analyzes Trump’s rise to power, the agenda of the extremist Republican Party, and dissects the latest on the Trump/Russia investigation. Author and retired psychologist Dr. Jeffrey Kaye discusses the U.S. Army Field Manual and its Appendix M. This document is the current U.S. policy on the treatment of foreign detainees. Kaye explains why some of its currently “approved” tactics are torture. Syrian journalist Marwan Hisham and artist Molly Crabapple discuss their new book, “Brothers of the Gun: A Memoir of the Syrian War.” Plus the bizarre and frightening story of how the CIA created a shellfish toxin dart gun.

JS: I’m Jeremy Scahill, coming to you from the offices of The Intercept in New York City. And this is episode 57 of Intercepted.

CNN: Another week, another explosive headline, alleging a campaign meeting just months before the election, with foreign powers eager to defeat Hillary Clinton. The Times story shows a top Trump booster and an emissary for two Arab princes and an Israeli attended. And a lawyer for the President’s oldest child says Don Jr. does recall a meeting about a social media or marketing plan. However, he was not interested, and that was the end of it.

JS: We are all living through a time in the United States where Donald Trump has fully embraced both official, legalized corruption. as well as good-old garden variety, individual corruption. Did Trump directly conspire with Vladimir Putin and Russia to influence the 2016 election? That is certainly possible. Are we going to see concrete evidence of that, especially evidence that would stand up in a court? That also is possible, but we haven’t seen it yet.

It is also plausible that Robert Mueller issues a public report that would be damaging, if not damning, of Donald Trump, but for whatever reason decides not to or, because of Trump’s influence over the Justice Department, cannot pursue criminal action. We shall see.

But this much is clear: it is a major mistake to place all focus on Russia collusion, Russian collusion, Russia collusion. We know that Trump’s team has colluded with Israel. We know that’s Trump’s team has colluded with Saudi Arabia. And we know that they colluded with the United Arab Emirates.

DJT: Great honor to have Sheikh Mohammed with us today, a man that I’ve known. Very special, very special person; highly respected.

DJT: It is a great honor to have the crown prince with us. Saudi Arabia has been a very great friend, and a big purchaser of equipment and lots of other things.

DJT: The United States will always be a great friend of Israel, and a partner in the cause of freedom.

JS: Last week, we learned of yet another meeting at Trump Tower. This one, according to the New York Times, was arranged by none other than Blackwater founder Erik Prince. He is the brother of Betsy DeVos. He also has been a shadow adviser, not only to the Trump campaign, but also to the Trump administration. He was the guy that pitched Trump on this idea of a privatized force for Afghanistan, and was also involved with pitching the idea of a private intelligence force that could circumvent the deep state. Oh, and Erik Prince, his mother, their family — also major financiers of the Trump election campaign.

Well this meeting, that the New York Times reported on, reportedly took place on August 3, 2016. And if this meeting is as the New York Times says, then Erik Prince committed perjury before the House Intelligence Committee.

At this meeting was George Nader, an American citizen who has a long history of being a quiet emissary for the United States in the Middle East — goes back to Bill Clinton, George W. Bush. He also worked for Blackwater and Erik Prince. He has been this emissary for the United States in the Middle East under both Democrats and Republicans. Oh — and George Nader is also a convicted pedophile in the Czech Republic and he has faced similar allegations in the United States. George Nader was there. Why? Because he works as an adviser for the Emirati royals, and because he has close ties to Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince.

Al Jazeera: In a probe into Russian meddling in the U.S. election, George Nader appears to be the witness who keeps on giving. The Lebanese-American businessman’s ties to the United Arab Emirates are well known, but according to a New York Times report, Nader also has previously undisclosed ties to Russia.

JS: There was also an Israeli at that meeting, a guy named Joel Zamel. And he was there supposedly pitching a multi-million dollar social media-manipulation campaign to the Trump team. Zamel’s company, which is called PSY Group — like P-S-Y, psy ops, psychological — PSY Group. That company boasts of employing former Israeli intelligence operatives.

So, this group, this multinational group that was assembled by Erik Prince, has this meeting at Trump Tower with Donald Trump, Jr. And, according to the New York Times, the purpose of the meeting was “primarily to offer help to the Trump team, and it forged relationships between the men and Trump insiders that would develop over the coming months, past the election and well into President Trump’s first year in office.”

George Nader was reportedly offering help from Saudi and Emirati rulers and the Israeli was there to offer disinformation and propaganda services to aid in this effort.

Rachel Maddow: Now, Mr. Zamel’s lawyer denies his client prepared anything or offered anything to the Trump campaign, but, according to the Times’ reporting, this guy Zamel was paid $2 million.

JS: Erik Prince, George Nader, and the Emirati royals were all present in the Seychelles as well, when Erik Prince traveled there January of 2016 at the invite of the Emirati ruler, Mohammed bin Zayed. And while he was there, Erik Prince meets with Kirill Dmitriev, who just happens to be the CEO the Russian Direct Investment Fund. For those of you that have not been following this story, that is a $10 billion-plus sovereign wealth fund that was created by the Russian government, under the rule of Vladimir Putin.

Fast forward to Erik Prince’s testimony to the House Intel Committee a few months ago, and Prince tells them: I just had a beer with Dmitriev. Eh, we discussed how Stalin and the U.S. worked together to defeat the Nazis in WWII, and how we could do it again — Russia, the United States against ISIS. That’s it.

Prince also said that his only role in Trump’s campaign was as a high-end donor and that he had a yard sign supporting Donald Trump and Mike Pence.

Erik Prince: I was there meeting with Emirati officials. And there’s lots of other people there. I met a guy. And clearly the U.S. intelligence community felt it necessary to unmask me and leak it to the media. But if the media and the obsession on the Trump-Russia collusion, they’ve kind of jumped the shark if they’re thinking that I had something to do with that, because this meeting occurred in January, long after the election. So, there’s either all this grand Trump collusion plan before the election, or not. Because if they asked me to go meet with some Russia, which no one actually did. I happened to be there, and I met a Russian. It’s pretty thin.

Erin Burnett: Who’d you meet?

EP: Some fund manager, I can’t even remember his name.

EB: A fund manager, but you don’t remember his name.

EP: I don’t remember his name. We didn’t exchange cards.

EB: How long was it, the meeting? Do you remember?

EP: Uh, it probably lasted about as long as one beer.

JS: If this Trump Tower meeting took place in August of 2016, then Erik Prince is potentially going to get hit with a perjury charge or more. Prince was also reportedly interviewed by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller. And George Nader? He’s supposedly now a cooperating figure. He’s done multiple interviews with Mueller’s team. He has also appeared in front of the Grand Jury.

RM: Joining us now is David Kirkpatrick, New York Times international correspondent.

David Kirkpatrick: The other thing that’s interesting about this is that the August 3rd meeting is sort of the beginning. Before that, George Nader didn’t know the Trump campaign and they didn’t know George Nader, but after that, he begins to have a series of high-level meetings with Kushner, with Bannon, with General Flynn. So whatever happened with that campaign, maybe Don Jr. said, “I’m not interested.” But somehow, the gem of that campaign was the genesis of a relationship between George Nader, the adviser to the United Arab Emirates, and the Trump campaign that went on through the transition, and even into the period when Trump was in the White House.

JS: There is one major common link that runs through the agenda of all the participants in this Trump Tower meeting, and it is one which has gotten very little attention. And that is their shared hatred of Iran and their desire for regime change.

So, while all of this was going on, while these meetings were happening at Trump Tower, George Nader had been pitching a secret plan to the Saudi royals wherein they would bankroll a campaign to conduct acts of economic sabotage and disinformation against Iran. As the New York Times reported, “Nader was promoting a plan to use private economic warfare” which he viewed as “the key to the overthrow of the government in Tehran.”

At the same exact time, Nader and Prince were also developing a proposal for the Saudis to pay them $2 billion to run a mercenary force that would fight the Houthis in Yemen. The Houthis, of course, are forces that Erik Prince, and the Saudis, and the Emiratis all characterize as nothing more than Iranian proxies.

Event host: “I’ll hand it over to Erik Prince.”

[Audience claps.]

JS: Back in 2010, I obtained a secret recording of Erik Prince giving a speech in front of a private audience at the University of Michigan, and this audience was filled with people, from the ROTC on the campus — both commanders and cadets— businesspeople and military veterans. Prince’s speech was titled: “Overcoming Adversity: Leadership at the Tip of the Spear,” and in this speech, Erik Prince expressed disdain for the Geneva Convention. He said something like: These people that we’re fighting against don’t know where Geneva is, or that there was a convention there.

Erik Prince also called the people that were fighting against the United States in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan “barbarians” who “crawled out of the sewer.”

Erik Prince: Places like Yemen and Somalia, the Somalians had — rather Yemen —

JS: Now, this speech might be hard to hear because the person who recorded it had to conceal the recorder. But in that speech, Prince paints a global picture in which Iran is “at the absolute dead center of badness.” The Iranians, he said, “want that nuke so that it is again a Persian Gulf, and they very much have an attitude of when Darius ran most of the Middle East.

Iran, Erik Prince charged, has a “master plan to stir up and organize a Shia revolt through the whole region.” Erik Prince proposed, and this is in 2010, that armed, private soldiers from companies like his former Blackwater empire, be deployed in countries throughout the region to target Iranian influence, specifically in Yemen, Somalia, and Saudi Arabia. Erik Prince said: “The Iranians have a very sinister hand in these places. You’re not going to solve it by putting a lot of uniformed soldiers in all these countries. It’s way too politically sensitive. The private sector can operate there with a very, very small, very light footprint.”

Erik Prince: It’s way too politically sensitive. The private sector can operate there with a very, very small, very light footprint.

JS: That recording was from eight years ago. Erik Prince was pitching this idea about attacking Iran by using mercenaries, private contractors. And now here we are with this Trump Tower meeting.

Now, nothing we are now hearing about this meeting is surprising, but it is very relevant. And it makes perfect sense why Erik Prince would have assembled these particular players to meet with Don Jr. at Trump Tower.

This is Israel’s agenda. This is the Saudi agenda. This is the Emirati agenda. This is Erik Prince’s agenda. And, as we see clearly from Trump’s time in office, this has become the Trump agenda. Trump’s first foreign visit as head of state was to Saudi Arabia. Trump unilaterally destroyed the Iran nuclear agreement. We know that Jared Kushner is alleged to have shared information from the Presidential Daily Briefing with Saudis just as Mohammed bin Salman was beginning his deadly purge of his domestic political opponents. We know that Erik Prince has been involved with private security/mercenary operations in Yemen. We also know that Erik Prince has ties to Israeli intelligence operatives. And we know that Prince has had a long relationship with the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and has offered him mercenary services as well. In fact, at one point, Erik Prince had actually moved to the United Arab Emirates, to Abu Dhabi, as he faced investigation over Blackwater’s activities in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was there at the invitation of the leader of Abu Dhabi.

The Washington Post, which broke that story about Erik Prince in the Seychelles, said that Prince was there to establish a back-channel line of communication with Russia on — and this is important — “whether Russia could be persuaded to curtail its relationship with Iran, including in Syria.”

So, what’s the through line here? The central one, at least, is not really about Russia, but about Iran; about Israel’s agenda. Just like when General Mike Flynn was on the phone with the Russian ambassador. What was the real point of that call? Flynn was asking Russia to support Israel’s position on settlements at the United Nations. Mike Flynn was asking Russia to help directly undermine the then-President of the United States Barack Obama.

This meeting at Trump Tower appears to have been about Iran, not just support for Trump’s presidential campaign. We only know a tiny bit about what actually went down behind closed doors, and hopefully we’re going to learn more. But one of the consequences of the endless months and months spent on Russia, Russia, Russia has been that other lines of investigation and inquiry, regarding other countries, have been relegated to sporadic reporting at best. The case for active, documented collusion with the Saudis, the Emiratis, the Israelis and the Trump campaign and the Trump team — it’s very strong. I would argue that, at this point, it is much stronger than the case about Russia.

These issues — and the role of Erik Prince and the Saudis, Emiratis and Israelis — should be a massive scandal. But it does not fit so neatly into the box of big evil Putin/ Russia ruined our democracy. In fact, it implicates a lot of people, including very influential people, including prominent think tanks who are bankrolled by these nations: Saudi Arabia, Israel, the Emirates. It actually hits the elites in Washington from both parties.

Erik Prince is a player in all of this. He’s not the central figure, but he’s emerging as a pretty important player. He should be aggressively questioned, as part of both the criminal and Congressional investigations. Yes, Erik Prince may well have committed perjury. But that is certainly not the extent of it. Erik Prince clearly has information about the roles that these powerful nation-states have taken on in American electoral politics. We shouldn’t force everything into the box of Russia, Russia, Russia, especially when the evidence is so overwhelming that there are also motives relating to Iran that may explain part of the agenda that these nations and Erik Prince were pushing when they embarked on a campaign to secretly support Donald Trump’s election.

Geopolitics / Re: The Korea thread
« Last post by Surly1 on Today at 06:51:20 PM »
Surly: And just who the fuck do you think you are, you sanctimonious cockroach-cultivator?

Some people just don't like being shown to be wrong.  We are at the most dangerous time since the Cuban crisis, and with an unpredictable snake-oil salesman in the WH, and all DD has to talk about is jokes.  Anyone being serious is given the above insults.  Clearly the CoC are not going to be obeyed, even after you criticised RE over that very thing.

You think everyone here is blind or stupid? That you, and you alone are the arbiter of acceptable behavior? Or that others don't appreciate a little gallows humor at this time of existential dread?

I jumped on RE because it seemed he was furiously picking a fight with you. In this case, YOU. are attempting to pick a fight with ME. Big fucking difference.

With RE in extremis, excuse the fuck out of me if I've not a mind to tolerate your moods.

Sanctimony is exactly the word. Back off.
Geopolitics / Re: The Korea thread
« Last post by Palloy2 on Today at 06:36:56 PM »
Surly: And just who the fuck do you think you are, you sanctimonious cockroach-cultivator?

Some people just don't like being shown to be wrong.  We are at the most dangerous time since the Cuban crisis, and with an unpredictable snake-oil salesman in the WH, and all DD has to talk about is jokes.  Anyone being serious is given the above insults.  Clearly the CoC are not going to be obeyed, even after you criticised RE over that very thing.
Well YEAH. And they are broke because, instead of the Fed using the printing press to pay off student loans and fund a nationwide infrastructure building program to bring the USA into a clean energy economy with jobs for everyone, they 😈 handed 16 trillion or so to their bankrupt bankster crook PALS!

The USA is STILL in a Depression (going 10 years now). There has never been any "recovery" whatsoever.

BUT, as long as the media just talks about the stock market that a tiny percentage of the American public actually benefits from, the LIES that there is "no inflation" and that there is "low unemployment" FEED the cognitive dissonance mindfork which continues to totally screw the most vulnerable and an entire generation of people who just wanted to live a normal life with a normal job.

You are correct. Which is worth a cookie, or at least a pallet's worth of "thoughts n' prayers" left over from the Texas school shooting.

And don't forget the missing $21 trillion gone missing from the Pentagon. Posted here by me, RE and others. If you mixed it, worth a Google.

The days of "a normal life with a normal job" are gone, to be replaced with round after round of extraction and immiseration until we're broke and gone.
Geopolitics / Putin on cyberwarfare
« Last post by Palloy2 on Today at 06:26:48 PM »
Remember that the Wikileaks "Vault" leaks described how US cyberattacks use the "Marble Framework" technique to simplify putting fingerprints (comments in Russian characters) into their code in Russian, Chinese, Farsi, Arabic, North Korean, to disguise the origin of their work.  By so doing they removed any possibility of "proving" who the originator was, yet they are willing to go to war over it.
Putin on cyberwarfare: Action causes reaction, you don’t like reaction – let’s talk rules
24 May, 2018

Nations that don’t like being the targets of cyberwarfare have the incentive to work on common rules of cyberspace the same way rules for nuclear weapons were negotiated, said the Russian president.

Vladimir Putin made the comparison in response to a journalist's question about the latest accusation in the US that Russia used its cyber capabilities to interfere with the 2016 election during a joint conference with French President Emmanuel Macron.

“This is what I can say about cyberattacks or war of words in the press and other issues. Action always causes reaction. Always. If one does not want to get a reaction he does not like, rules for actions need to be set,” he said. “When the humanity invented nuclear weapons, everyone realized how dangerous it is and agreed on rules, which were aimed at preventing a tragedy. It’s obvious that cyber now is a most important field affecting millions of people. Let’s agree on how we work in it."

Cyberwarfare was one of the key topics discussed by the two presidents in St. Petersburg. France and Russia are trying to work on rules that would regulate how nations behave in cyberspace. Putin and Macron both said that establishing common ground in this area was an urgent goal for global security.

The US has a long record of accusing other nations, including Russia, China, North Korea and Iran, of launching cyberattacks on America, targeting US intellectual property, key infrastructure and democratic institutions. The US itself pretty much acknowledged launching at least one high-profile attack on another nation. The so-called 'Operation Olympic Games,' which was conducted together with Israel, used a tailored computer virus Stuxnet to infect Iranian computer networks and cause damage to uranium enrichment centrifuges, masquerading them as regular technical malfunctions.

The other key part of the talks was the US decision to withdraw from a multilateral deal with Iran, which was adopted in 2015. Despite the US violation of the agreement and a threat of economic sanctions being imposed on companies doing business in Iran, all the other parties to the deal agreed to observe their obligations. The International Atomic Energy Agency has since confirmed that Tehran has been keeping its part of the bargain.

“We never acknowledged any unilateral restrictions. One only needs to read the UN Charter to learn that unilateral sanctions are illegitimate, unlawful. That’s it. That was, is and will be our attitude,” Putin said.

The French delegation arrived in Russia on Thursday during the two-day St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), the biggest annual business event in Russia, which explains the choice of the host city for his visit. The two nations have signed a number of agreements on economic cooperation, joint energy projects, cultural exchanges and investment.

The conference, which was held late after four-hour negotiations, was remarkably devoid of confrontational spirit, which was palpable during Putin’s visit to France last year. Macron even called his Russian counterpart “dear Vladimir” during his speech and said he considered coming to Russia for the FIFA World Cup, especially if the French national team makes it to the final. Both leaders repeatedly stressed the importance of finding common ground, despite the existing differences between Moscow and Paris.
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