Thursday, February 4, 2016

UN Finding a Moral Victory for Assange: Will The WikiLeaks Founder Be Freed?

UK Still Plans to Arrest Him

by Kennedy Applebaum
Quemado Institute
February 4, 2016

slavfeb4yJulian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks and acclaimed whistleblower who has published numerous documents revealing crimes of the US government, has been declared, by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) based in Geneva, as “illegally detained” during his 3.5 year stay in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Assange took refuge at the embassy in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden for investigation into what are believed to be false allegations of sexual assault, as well as potential further extradition to the United States for inquiries into possible espionage. The UN finding is both a moral triumph for Assange and a confirmation of the universal right of freedom of the press.


Seong-Phil Hong (--dailysikhupdates.com)
Seong-Phil Hong (–dailysikhupdates.com)

 The UN panel, headed by South Korean academic Seong-Phil Hong, is authorised to investigate complaints from individuals on whether countries are adhering to international legal standards on detention. According to The Guardian, Seong-Phil Hong “has worked as a conciliator for the World Bank and also dealt with North Korean human rights and the issue of second world war sexual slavery. The other members of the panel are from Mexico, Benin, Australia and Ukraine.” The official announcement of the panel is to appear on Friday February 5.
WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson, lawyer Jennifer Robinson (--wlcentral.org)
Spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson, lawyer Jennifer Robinson (–wlcentral.org)

According to an earlier Sputnik News report, the finding that Assange’s detention is illegal means “the United Kingdom and Sweden would immediately have to release him and pay compensation….’In that case we would expect the Swedish and the British authorities to react immediately to lift the arrest warrant on Sweden, and for the UK authorities to return his passport,’ Kristinn Hrafnsson said. According to Hrafnsson, it is expected that Assange should be able to travel anywhere if the United Nations were to rule in his favor. ‘I would simply not want to believe that these two countries, Sweden and the UK would disregard finding of such an important UN panel,’ the spokesman said.”

The verdict of the UN panel, however, is not binding on national governments. As a later Sputnik report says, “The UK authorities still have a legal obligation to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to Sweden due to a European arrest warrant in place, according to a UK government spokesperson.”

British officials have stated Assange will still be arrested if he leaves the embassy, despite the UN findings, and extradited to Sweden in a sexual assault investigation, allegations Assange denies. According to NBC News, “The investigation into allegations of sexual assault was dropped in August 2015 because prosecutors ran out of time to bring charges, but prosecutors said they would continue investigation [into] a further allegation of rape.” That these are trumped-up charges is suspected but unproven.

The danger of extradition to Sweden is that the Swedish government may then extradite the WikiLeaks founder to the United States, where possible espionage charges might be brought for Assange’s publication of sensitive government documents. “Assange has expressed fear that if Britain extradites him to Sweden he would then be extradited to the United States to face trial,” reports NBC News.

Mark Ellis (--youtube.com)
Mark Ellis (–youtube.com)

The Guardian quotes the opinions of two legal experts on how the UN finding might impact Assange’s case: “Mark Ellis, executive director of the London-based International Bar Association, said: ‘The information seems to suggest that the UN panel has found in Assange’s favour. That decision would seem to contradict a fairly extensive legal process both in the UK and in Sweden. It’s important to maintain adherence to rule of law principles and ensure that individuals have to abide by legal rulings. It’s surprising to think that Assange could be exempted from those principles. The ruling by the UN panel is not binding on British law. It would, however, provide Assange with support for his claim that he should not be extradited. I’m sure the UK is trying to figure a way out.”

In another opinion, according to The Guardian: “Kirsty Brimelow QC, of Doughty Street Chambers, an expert in international law tribunals, said: ‘A finding by UNWGAD against the UK is not binding. It has no enforcement power. However, a finding that the UK has acted in a way which is inconsistent with relevant international standards should not be ignored by the UK. The UK should not act contrary to international law.’”

Julian Assange, August 2014 (--Reuters)
Julian Assange, August 2014 (–Reuters)
The Guardian goes on to conclude, “A clash between the moral authority of the United Nations and the stalled mechanism of the European extradition against Julian Assange is likely to provoke diplomatic anxiety inside Whitehall. The UN body’s expected ruling, at the very least, constitutes a publicity coup for Assange and his supporters. Both the UK and Sweden are active upholders of the United Nations. Neither will relish the prospect of having to answer to the UN’s human rights council about why they have failed to enforce the panel’s decision.”

Unlike Edward Snowden, who violated his security clearance to reveal damning US documents in an act of civil disobedience, Julian Assange may not be technically guilty of breaking US law, a determination that could involve complex legal arguments.

According to the Legal Information Institute, applicable law is documented in 18 U.S. Code § 798 – Disclosure of classified information:

(a) Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States any classified information—–

(1) concerning the nature, preparation, or use of any code, cipher, or cryptographic system of the United States or any foreign government; or
(2) concerning the design, construction, use, maintenance, or repair of any device, apparatus, or appliance used or prepared or planned for use by the United States or any foreign government for cryptographic or communication intelligence purposes; or
(3) concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government; or
(4) obtained by the processes of communication intelligence from the communications of any foreign government, knowing the same to have been obtained by such processes—–

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

In certain previous cases, journalists reporting information obtained from third parties who leaked classified documents have not themselves been charged with espionage, a fundamental principle of freedom of the press. This is in contrast to persons who themselves hold security clearances, such as Hillary Clinton or Win Ho Lee, and violate the terms of their clearance, which is unambiguously illegal.

Wikipedi offers the following summary of Julian Assange’s enterprise:

WikiLeaks is an international, non-profit, journalistic organisation that publishes secret information, news leaks, and classified media from anonymous sources. Its website, initiated in 2006 in Iceland by the organization Sunshine Press, claimed a database of more than 1.2 million documents within a year of its launch. Julian Assange, an Australian Internet activist, is generally described as its founder, editor-in-chief, and director. Kristinn Hrafnsson, Joseph Farrell, and Sarah Harrison are the only other publicly known and acknowledged associates of Julian Assange.

Supporters of Julian Assange who are able to be in London tomorrow are urged to show solidarity: Friday, February 5, 1pm till around 3.30, at the Ecuadorian Embassy, Hans Crescent, London SW1. Click here for more information.

© 2016 Kennedy Applebaum, Quemado Institute

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

US Warmongering in Libya Escalates World Catastrophe: Is there hope?

Introduction by Karl Pomeroy
Quemado Institute
February 3, 2016
NATO Pan-Arab Terrorist Blitzkrieg (--orientalreview.org)
NATO Pan-Arab Terrorist Blitzkrieg (–orientalreview.org)

Political analyst Adam Johnson paints a stark picture of sociopathic US and NATO policy on planned military operations in Libya and Iraq, underscoring the cheerleader role of the mainstream media in the perpetuation of a mob consciousness that craves ever-increasing slaughter and chaos. In the article reprinted below, Johnson is understandably pessimistic about the world’s future. Yet he ignores certain optimistic outcomes that may be possible with the next  US President.

Overlooking the positive potential of Republican front-runner Donald Trump, Johnson laments, “None of the major presidential candidates, including the most progressive member of the U.S. Congress, Bernie Sanders, outwardly opposes the U.S.’ current anti-ISIL efforts, including the once-unpopular drone program.”

slavfeb3uFortunately, Johnson’s statement is not quite accurate,. Trump, in his book Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again, expresses unqualified opposition to all current US foreign policy, and advocates an entirely new approach to stopping the Islamic State, namely by destroying ISIS-controlled oil fields.

According to Trump, ISIS oil amounts to less than 2% of the world supply. Its destruction would cut off ISIS from its source of income, while having little impact on the global economy. This surgical tactic would also avoid civilian casualties. Trump suggests earnest cooperation in this effort with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a partnership that would lend itself to pragmatic solutions and ultimate success.


Nevertheless, Adam Johnson’s hard-hitting commentary sends a crucial message of warning to the American public:

Obama Plans Massive Military Escalation
and the Media Barely Seem to Care

U.S. troops are going back into Iraq, our presence in Libya is escalating, and Obama has widened the war in Afghanistan—all without much of a public debate.

By Adam Johnson
Source: Information Clearing House
February 2, 2016

Almost five years after the United States and its NATO allies launched a campaign in Libya to overthrow Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, the United States is on the verge of massively escalating its military operations in the war-torn country. According to the New York Times, the new effort is “expected to include airstrikes and raids by elite American troops.” It is unclear how long this newest effort will last.

Ash Carter (--cnn.com)
Ash Carter (–cnn.com)

The announcement comes on the heels of U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announcing combat troops were going back to Iraq last week. While U.S special forces have been conducting “clandestine reconnaissance missions in Libya to identify militant leaders and map out their networks” over the past year, the New York Times report marks the first time overt combat troops will be deployed in the North African nation.

The 2011 campaign was itself something of a bait and switch. What was originally sold as simply a no-fly zone quickly became regime change. A few weeks after the UN-sanctioned bombing of Libya’s infrastructure and air capacity, the scope of the campaign pivoted when President Obama, along with Presidents Sarkozy and Cameron of France and the UK respectively, announced the entirely new objective: NATO airstrikes, in concert with ongoing CIA support of rebels, to overthrow the Qaddafi government.
After this was quickly achieved, the pundit classes rallied to congratulate a job well done. As Glenn Greenwald at The Intercept noted Wednesday: “War advocates such as Anne-Marie Slaughter and Nicholas Kristof were writing columns celebrating their prescience and mocking war opponents as discredited, and the New York Times published a front-page article declaring: “U.S. Tactics in Libya May be a Model for Other Efforts.”

It was widely expected that Hillary Clinton, one of the leading advocates for and architects of the bombing campaign, would be regarded as a Foreign Policy Visionary for the grand Libya success: “We came, we saw, he died,” Clinton sociopathically boasted about the mob rape and murder of Qaddafi while guffawing on 60 Minutes.

Despite the fanfare at the “overthrow” of Qaddafi (who suffered a brutal death at the hands of a mob), not much has been made of the U.S. military’s slow escalation of its involvement in Libya over the past year. This time the objective, much like in Iraq after the U.S. deposed its leader, is destroying the presence of ISIS, a process that could take, in the words of former Defense Secretary Panetta, “thirty years.” And it’s an escalation that has largely gone under the public’s radar.

Slowly trickling wars are a common feature in U.S. policy. The latest war in Iraq against ISIS was originally sold as “limited,” “humanitarian” airstrikes to save the Yezidi trapped on a mountain from ISIS, and it has now gone on for over a year and a half, spans two countries, and soon will include “boots on the ground.” All this with neither the corporate media nor Congress, which hasn’t yet brought military authorization to a vote, paying much attention.

This new level of indifference on the part of the public about what is an ISIS war spiraling into a massive global effort has even bothered the normally hawkish Times. In the context of Libya, it wrote: “This significant escalation is being planned without a meaningful debate in Congress about the merits and risks of a military campaign that is expected to include airstrikes and raids by elite American troops.”

That is deeply troubling. A new military intervention in Libya would represent a significant progression of a war that could easily spread to other countries on the continent. It is being planned as the American military burrows more deeply into battlegrounds in Syria and Iraq, where American ground troops are being asked to play an increasingly hands-on role in the fight.

It’s always difficult to tell if public indifference is what leads to a media blackout or the other way around, but the Times is correct that a broad public discussion about the wisdom of committing to potentially decades-long military efforts is disturbingly absent.

When the U.S. began its anti-ISIL efforts in August 2014, ISIL was in two countries. Now, after tens of thousands of aerial ordinances have been dropped on two continents, ISIS now has a presence in over 20 countries. The U.S. has even expanded its war in Afghanistan to include ISIS, the White House announced last Thursday. None of the major presidential candidates, including the most progressive member of the U.S. Congress, Bernie Sanders, outwardly opposes the U.S.’ current anti-ISIL efforts, including the once-unpopular drone program.

Over the past two weeks, the Defense Department and the Obama administration have been peppering the media with their plans to massively increase the war effort in Libya as well as Iraq, Afghanistan and potentially elsewhere. All the evidence points to the fact that war-makers in Washington and Brussels are gearing up for a major effort that could very well last a long time. The question is, will we ever have a public debate about it?

Adam Johnson is an associate editor at AlterNet. Follow him on Twitter at @adamjohnsonnyc.

Trump Victory Likely to Hurt Ukraine, Empower the US and Russia

HOME PAGE


Original Source: Quemado Institute

Donald Trump (--linkedin.com)
Donald Trump (–linkedin.com)
Even though Donald Trump lost 28% vs 24% to Ted Cruz in the first US Republican primary event in Iowa on February 1, Trump still boasts an overwhelming lead in nationwide polls, with some estimates as high as 55% or 62% of potential voters favoring the billionaire businessman. Trump’s projected impact on world affairs, should he win the American presidency, is a pertinent and fascinating question today.

Donald Trump, like Vladimir Putin, is a pragmatic realist capable of solving the world’s problems in peaceful and practical ways. This entails restoring law to international relations, preserving Western civilization as we know it, promoting self-sufficiency, and upholding the sovereignty of nations. It is hard to criticize such a reasonable approach. Trying to vilify Trump, like trying to vilify Putin, is a tough challenge for Western journalists who serve the interests of the ruling elite—that infamous club of wealthy corporate owners obsessed with imposing their One World Government on an unwilling populace.

Bradford Richardson, commentator for The Hill, is no exception. In the September 11, 2015 report below, he  faults Trump’s foreign affairs expertise by attaching undue importance to knowing the names of terrorist leaders, rather than highlighting the front-runner’s strategy for bringing an end to ISIS, which calls for destroying their oil fields.

As Trump notes in his book “Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again”, ISIS-controlled oil comprises less than 2% of the world’s supply. Knocking out the oil fields would cut off ISIS from its source of funds, while having little impact on the global economy. This tactic—even more surgical than Putin’s bombing of  oil transport vehicles—would finish off the Islamic State with minimal civilian casualties, a moral requirement the US has long abandoned.

In the article below, Richardson discusses a video in which Trump presents his Ukraine policy to the corrupt Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Pinchuk. Ignorant of Trump’s foreign affairs strategy, Richardson misinterprets the GOP candidate’s intent. Yet it’s hard to twist Trump’s meaning, and his principles shine through regardless:


Awkwardness Abounds at Trump Ukraine Speech
By Bradford Richardson
The Hill
September 11, 2015

Donald Trump delivered an address at a pro-Ukraine conference on Friday, calling President Obama “not strong” and saying Russian President Vladimir Putin “does not respect our president.” More notable than what he said, however, was the way he said it. Giving his speech via satellite feed, Trump spoke slowly, put heightened emphasis on his words and took long pauses between each sentence, evidently under the impression that he had to wait for translators to interpret his remarks to the audience. “You need not wait for any translation,” one of the conference moderators said at one point. The video feed also apparently cut out several times on the businessman’s end, with Trump muttering “it cut out” and “it just cut out again, there’s no sound.”

“The sound system is terrible, because there’s a huge delay and there’s also a lot of feedback but I think everyone understands what I’m saying, I hope,” he said. In the speech, Trump said that Putin’s lack of respect for Obama is indicative of the United States’ fallen status around the globe. “It is a big problem… and it’s a problem that is taking place all over the world with respect to the United Sates,” he said. “There is a lack of respect for our president and there is a lack of respect for the government itself.”

The speech, given at the 12th annual Yalta European Strategy conference in Kiev, was touted as a major event at which the GOP primary candidate would show off his foreign policy credentials. The conference, normally held in Yalta but moved to Kiev due to the Russian annexation of Crimea, was attended by pro-West diplomats, officials and scholars. Trump’s foreign policy expertise has come into question recently, after he was unable to identify the heads of major terrorist organizations on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show. Trump accused Hewitt of asking him “gotcha” questions. The real estate mogul also called Hewitt, who will take part as a questioner in the GOP primary debate on CNN Sept. 16, a “third-rate radio announcer.”

[Video available at source.]

Viktor Pinchuk, who is seated beside the moderator throughout the video, boasts a glorified biography in Wikipedia:
Viktor Pinchuk (--Forbes/Alexander Techinsky/Kommersant)
Viktor Pinchuk (-Forbes/Alexander Techinsky/Kommersant)

“Viktor Mykhailovych Pinchuk; born 14 December 1960) is a Ukrainian businessman and philanthropist [sic]. As of January 2016, Forbes ranked him as 1250th on the list of wealthiest people in the world, with a fortune of $1.44 billion. Pinchuk is the founder and main owner of EastOne Group LLC, an international investing, project funding and financial advisory company based in London, and of Interpipe Group, one of Ukraine’s leading pipe, wheel and steel producers. Pinchuk is the owner of four TV channels and a popular tabloid, Fakty i Kommentarii. He has been a member of the Ukrainian parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, for two consecutive terms from 1998 to 2006. He is married to Olena Pinchuk, the daughter of former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma.”

This glowing portrait of oligarch Viktor Pinchuk overlooks the businessman’s penchant for corruption, not to mention his complicity in Kiev’s war crimes against Donbass civilians.

The video is meaningfully entitled “Donald Trump’s Embarrassing Remarks to a Pro-Ukraine Conference.” And indeed, they are embarrassing—to Pinchuk, not to Trump.

A rough transcript of the video shows that Trump is keeping his cards on foreign policy close to his vest. Amidst long delays due to a poor VTC sound system, he says roughly the following about Ukraine policy: “With respect to training, people have to band together from other parts of Europe to help. I don’t think that the Ukraine is given the proper respect from other parts of Europe. Ukraine deserves respect and they’ve proven this over the years. But it’s a respect they absolutely deserve from Germany and other countries. I don’t think you’re getting the support you need. The US has been supportive, but more verbally than anytyhing else. Our president is not strong, and he’s not doing what he should be doing for Ukraine. So far all we have is lip service in this country. Part of the problem that Ukraine has with the US is that Putin has no respect for our president whatsoever.”

When the moderator asks him to elaborate, Trump doesn’t waver, saying, “You know, it’s just one of those things where it’s not happening and we’re talking about many many different elements but it’s a big problem and it’s a problem that is taking place all over the world with respect to the United States. There’s a lack of respect for our president. Frankly, the US itself is a problem. There’s a lack of respect for the government itself.”

At this point, the moderator presses Trump about how his presidency will affect the world, but Trump gives away no further secrets about his foreign policy objectives.

Meanwhile Viktor Pinchuck, seated silently on the stage beside the moderator, continuously rolls and shifts his eyes, as if disturbed by what he is hearing. His facial contortions convey stunned displeasure, which is no doubt why Richardson called the exchange “embarrassing”.

Donald Trump (--yourdailydish.com)
Donald Trump (–yourdailydish.com)

But Trump’s remarks are embarrassing only to backers of the Kiev regime. He is blunt, politically incorrect, and averse to appeasing the oligarch in any gracious way. Trump no doubt sees Pinchuk for the crook that he is, a trait Trump is an expert at spotting. This is in contrast to Joe Biden, who gushes affection for Kiev’s war criminals.

The Republican front-runner has deprived the shifty-eyed Pinchuk of the satisfaction of a promise of US assistance. Far from being an embarrassment, Donald Trump, always on top of his game, is adhering to the strategy advanced in his book—that of keeping his cards close to his vest when it comes to foreign policy.
It is clear Donald Trump plans to extend no favors to Ukraine. He expects Kiev to rely for support on Germany and other neighboring countries. Meanwhile, Europe has grown tired of trying to help Ukraine, which is nothing more than a corrupt failed state. The EU after all has problems of its own, with the migrant crisis and the threat of ISIS terrorism. If the US abandons Kiev, Europe will follow suit. The Normandy Four will soon lose interest, and the charade of the Minsk standoff will finally come to an end. Kiev can’t afford to launch an offensive on its own, so this is good news for Donbass.

If the Donetsk and Lugansk Republics can hold their ground for another eleven months, the scenario of a Trump presidency offers a chance for independence. Meanwhile, a Trump victory would also foster a constructive partnership with Russia, the two superpowers wielding sufficient influence to restore peace to the world.

In the Breitbart article below, author Ian Hanchett, marching in the footsteps of Richardson, tries to downplay Trump’s effectiveness, portraying his stance as less reasonable than it is:

Trump: ‘Always Felt Fine About Putin,’ US ‘Does Plenty of Killing Also,’
Maybe We Should Follow in Ukraine
By by Ian Hanchett
Breitbart News
December 18, 2015
Vladimir Putin (--ocl.org)
Vladimir Putin (–ocl.org)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stated that he has “always felt fine about Putin” and that while he “absolutely” condemns Putin killing journalists and dissidents, “He’s running his country, and at least he’s a leader” and “our country does plenty of killing also,” further stating that instead of being “at the forefront of leading the charge” “maybe we should do a little bit of following” in Ukraine on Friday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

Trump, when asked if he liked Putin’s comments about him, said, “Sure. When people call you brilliant it’s always good especially when the person heads up Russia.” He was then asked about Putin’s killing of journalists and his political opponents and invasion of other countries would be “a concern.” Trump responded, “He’s running his country, and at least he’s a leader. You know, unlike what we have in this country.”

After he was asked again about Putin killing journalists that disagree with him, Trump stated, “Well, I think our country does plenty of killing also, Joe. So, you know. There’s a lot of stupidity going on in the world right now, Joe, a lot of killing going on, and a lot of stupidity, and that’s the way it is.” Trump did add that he “absolutely” condemns Putin’s killing of journalists and political opponents.
When asked how US-Russia relations would change if he became president, Trump answered, “Well, I think it would be good. I’ve always felt fine about Putin. I think that he is a strong leader. he’s a powerful leader. he’s represented his country—that’s the way the country is being represented. He’s actually got popularity within his country. They respect him as a leader. certainly over the last couple of years they’ve respected him as the leader. I think he’s up in the 80s, which is—you see where Obama’s in the 30s, and low 40s, and he’s in the 80s.”

The discussion then turned to how Trump would push Putin’s forces out of Crimea and Ukraine, and prevent further western movement by Russia. Trump said, “when I look at the Ukraine, and I see Germany doing nothing, and I see so many other countries over there not really engaged, and we’re totally engaged, and I ask myself, here’s this big monstrous country, Germany, and they hardly speak up. They accept his oil and gas and lots of other things and here we are fighting like hell, and we owe 19 trillion in debt, and we have nothing but problems in this country, and we’re sitting on a big fat beautiful bubble that’s ready to explode, financial bubble, I’m talking about. And we’re always at the forefront of leading the charge.

I think that other countries have to get involved with that, Joe. You have the Ukraine and it effects other countries a hell of a lot more than it effects us.” He added that he would “consider” giving Poland a missile defense system, and “maybe we should do a little bit of following, and let the neighbors sort of tell us — like let us — let the neighbors take more of an active roll in the Ukraine, because I don’t see a lot of active roll from the neighbors around the Ukraine. I see us always saying get out of the Ukraine, and frankly, I would like to see a little enthusiasm from the people that are most directly effected, Joe.”

Trump further argued, “I don’t think it’s leading from behind. I think I want to see our country get rebuilt again. Our country is falling apart, frankly. Our infrastructure’s a disaster. our bridges are falling down. 61% of bridges are in danger. our whole country’s a mess.” He was then asked about how he would pay for his plans to rebuild the military. Trump responded, “We’ve spent $5 trillion in the middle east, okay? If you add it all up, $5 trillion, probably close to 3 trillion in iraq. We have nothing.”

The fact is, Trump has said in other contexts that Putin probably has not killed journalists. But the truth is irrelevant to Ian Hanchett, who would rather paint Trump as outrageous.

If Hanchett has quoted Trump correctly, which Western journalists seldom do, the Republican candidate is advocating that America mind its own business, that it fix its problems at home and leave other countries to solve their own crises. This is a major step toward world peace and stability. After all, it is US meddling, under the guise of “humanitarian assistance” and “promotion of democracy”, that has catastrophically disrupted Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Ukraine; created the migrant crisis, a threat to European civilization as we know it; and sparked the massacre of thousands of innocent people.

Trump’s policy of noninterference can only restore sanity to a world torn asunder by America’s exceptional arrogance.

Update February 2, 2016
Upcoming Primaries and Caucuses February 9 – March 1, 2016

The next Republican primary is scheduled for February 9 in New Hampshire, with 23 delegates. After that are South Carolina, February 20, with 50 delegates; Nevada, February 23, with 30 delegates; Alabama, March 1, with 50 delegates; Alaska, March 1, with 28 delegates; Arkansas, March 1, with 40 delegates; Colorado, March 1, with 37 delegates; Georgia, March 1, with 76 delegates; Massachusetts, March 1, with 42 delegates; Minnesota, March 1, with 38 delegates; North Dakota, March 1, with 28 delegates; Oklahoma, March 1, with 43 delegates; Tennessee, March 1, with 58 delegates; Texas, March 1, with 155 delegates; Vermont, March 1, with 16 delegates; Virginia, March 1, with 49 delegates; and Wyoming, March 1, with 29 delegates.

For full schedule, click here.
The Republican National Convention will be held July 18-21, 2016.

Trump’s Standing in Recent Polls

Currently, polls show Trump at 30-38% in New Hampshire, with Cruz in second place at 12-13%. As of January 28, Trump was leading the South Carolina polls at 36%, with Cruz second at 20%.
In a nationwide CNN poll taken January 26, Trump led at 41% with Cruz following at 19%.

This article was originally published at quemadoinstitute.org.
© Copyright by Kennedy Applebaum, Quemado Institute, February 1, 2016.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Kiev De Facto Invasion: Will Novorossiya Fight Again?

Poroshenko Enters Under Cloak of Darkness

Introduction by Kennedy Applebaum
Quemado Institute
December 4, 2015
Edited December 5, 2015

Kiev neo-nazi junta (--ainhoaaristizabal.wordpress)
Kiev neo-nazi forces (–ainhoaaristizabal.wordpress)
Terrorist attacks in recent weeks have overshadowed the crisis in Novorossiya, where the Kiev neo-nazi forces continue their advance on Donbass. Under the cloak of media darkness, Kiev regime leader Petro Poroshenko is moving in to snatch Novorossiya from the jaws of Minsk. The Ukrainian Armed Forces have stockpiled heavy weapons along the line of contact, the US approved new arms shipments to Ukraine, neo-Nazi saboteurs have blown up Crimean power lines, punitive forces continue to shell Donetsk and nearby suburbs, and Kiev troops have confiscated village houses to make their winter quarters.

Today, the conflict has come to a head. The Donetsk News Agency reports that the Ukrainian Armed Forces have captured settlements in the buffer zone that were not under Kiev’s control at the time of the signing in Minsk. Essentially, Ukraine has launched a de facto invasion of Novorossiya.

DPR representatives Denis Pushilin and Eduard Basurin threaten the resumption of war. But first, they are appealing to the Normandy Trio to prevent full-scale hostilities.

Normandy Four: Putin, Poroshenko, Hollande, Merkel
Normandy Four: Putin, Poroshenko, Hollande, Merkel
Normandy leaders Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande, and Vladimir Putin achieved major  success in that role at the Paris summit of October 2, when the German Chancellor stood at the height of her power, the French President was less distracted by emergencies at home, and the Russian President still had a strong commitment to Ukraine.

But a lot has changed since October 2. With the Muslim migrant invasion of Europe, the Russian airbus crash in Egypt, the Paris attacks that killed 130, Turkey’s shootdown of Russia’s SU-24, the revelations of ISIS oil smuggling, Erdogan’s threats to Moscow, Putin’s deepening quagmire in Syria, a fomenting coup in Albania, and the Islamic terrorists’ shooting in California, world events have eclipsed the Ukraine crisis.

Caught up in the Syrian-ISIS war, Putin has turned his attention away from Ukraine, and devoted his December 3 State of the Nation Address to terrorism, Turkey and Federation politics, while Merkel’s career unravels as she softens her stance on migrants, and Francois Hollande sinks eyeball-deep in Paris-attack retaliation. The Normandy Trio may have little time for Donbass.

Left to its own devices, will Novorossiya fight again?

The following reports describe conditions today:

Kiev’s Capture of Villages in Buffer Zone a Prerequisite
for Resumption of War – DPR Defense Ministry

Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute
Donetsk News Agency
December 4, 2015

The capture by Ukraine of settlements in the “neutral” zone in the south of Donbass is a prerequisite for the resumption of hostilities. This was announced today at a briefing in the DAN press center by the deputy commander of the DPR Ministry of Defense Corps Eduard Basurin. “Yesterday, the military and political leadership of Ukraine said the seizure of the settlements Pavlopol and Pishevik in the Mariupol region was ‘victorious’. Data on violent capture of settlements by the UAF [Ukrainian Armed Forces] is a precondition for the resumption of the outbreak of hostilities,” said the corps representative.

Eduard Basurin stressed that the settlements Shirokino, Vinogradnoye, Pavlopol, Pishevik, and Gnutova, located in the buffer zone near the line of contact between the parties, were not under the control of the Kiev authorities at the time of the signing of the agreements. “I want to remind you that with the signing of the Minsk Agreements on February 12, 2015, the parties are obliged to withdraw heavy weapons to prevent violent seizure of settlements in the so-called ‘neutral zone’,” said the representative of the Defense Ministry. On the eve of December 3, the Ukrainian General Staff announced that Pishevik and Pavlopol previously were in the neutral zone, the security forces brought them under the control of Kiev, and the administrative authorities of Ukraine began work in the villages.


DPR Notifies OSCE of Kiev Seizure of Neutral-Zone Settlements

Edited Autotranslation by Quemado Institute
Donetsk News Agency
December 4, 2015

The Donetsk People’s Republic has sent a notification addressed to the OSCE about recent facts of the capture by the Ukrainian military of settlements on the front line. This was stated to DAN by the head of the DPR delegation to the talks in Minsk, Chairman of the National Council Denis Pushilin. “We have sent a letter to the address of Martin Sajdik, coordinator of the contact group in Minsk as well as the special monitoring mission of the OSCE,” the Speaker of Pariliament said in a statement. “Also we call on the Normandy format to assess the actions of Kiev and prevent the resumption of full-scale hostilities caused by Ukraine’s gross violations of the Minsk Agreements.” Pushilin clarified that they are talking about the settlements Pishevik, Pavlopol, vinoglodnoye, Gnutova, Shirokino, Bahmutovka and Zhovanka. According to the Speaker, the actions of the Ukrainian side are increasingly aimed at the escalation of the conflict. “During the removal of equipment at a time when the safety of the zone should only increase, this is unacceptable,” said Pushilin.

We recall a similar assessment of the actions of Kiev were already given by DPR Defense Ministry deputy corps commander Eduard Basurin, who named the capture of the villages of Pishevik and Pavlopol in the south of Donbass as a precondition for the resumption of hostilities. On the eve of December 3, the Ukrainian General Staff announced that Pishevik and Pavlopol previously were in the neutral zone, that the security forces brought them under the control of Kiev, and that the administrative authorities of Ukraine began to work in the villages. Full text of the statement by Denis Pushilin [is found in the article below].


Denis Pushilin’s Statement in Connection with Seizure
by Ukraine of Settlements in Buffer Zone

Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute
Donetsk News Agency
December 4, 2015

We have to admit the fact that the actions of the Ukrainian side are increasingly gaining momentum towards the escalation of the conflict. Today the military forces of Ukraine carried out the action of the passive attack, and seized settlements that are in the buffer zone, namely Pishevik, Pavlopol, Vinogladnoey, Gnutova, Shirokino, Bahmutovka, and Zhovanka. During the removal of equipment, at a time when the safety of the zone should only increase, this is unacceptable.

We have sent the appropriate letters to Martin Sajdik, coordinator of the contact group in Minsk as well as of the special monitoring mission of the OSCE. We also call upon the Normandy Four to assess the actions of Kiev and prevent the resumption of full-scale hostilities due to Ukraine’s gross violations of the Minsk Agreements.

Ron Paul: US Intervention Created ISIS, Boko Haram



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The War on Terror is Creating More Terror
Guest Commentary by Ron Paul
Ron Paul Institute
November 30, 2015
Posted here December 2, 2015

Ron Paul (--dealbreaker.com)
Ron Paul (–dealbreaker.com)

The interventionists will do anything to prevent Americans from seeing that their foreign policies are perpetuating terrorism and inspiring others to seek to harm us. The neocons know that when it is understood that blowback is real – that people seek to attack us not because we are good and free but because we bomb and occupy their countries – their stranglehold over foreign policy will begin to slip

That is why each time there is an event like the killings in Paris earlier this month, they rush to the television stations to terrify Americans into agreeing to even more bombing, more occupation, more surveillance at home, and more curtailment of our civil liberties. They tell us we have to do it in order to fight terrorism, but their policies actually increase terrorism.

If that sounds harsh, consider the recently-released 2015 Global Terrorism Index report. The report shows that deaths from terrorism have increased dramatically over the last 15 years – a period coinciding with the “war on terrorism” that was supposed to end terrorism.

According to the latest report: Terrorist activity increased by 80 per cent in 2014 to its highest recorded level. …The number of people who have died from terrorist activity has increased nine-fold since the year 2000.

The world’s two most deadly terrorist organizations, ISIS and Boko Haram, have achieved their prominence as a direct consequence of US interventions.

Michael Flynn (--twitter.com)
Michael Flynn (–twitter.com)
Former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Michael Flynn was asked last week whether in light of the rise of ISIS he regrets the invasion of Iraq. He replied, “absolutely. …The historic lesson is that it was a strategic failure to go into Iraq.” He added, “instead of asking why they attacked us, we asked where they came from.”

Flynn is no non-interventionist. But he does make the connection between the US invasion of Iraq and the creation of ISIS and other terrorist organizations, and he at least urges us to consider why they seek to attack us.

Likewise, the rise of Boko Haram in Africa is a direct result of a US intervention. Before the US-led “regime change” in Libya, they just were a poorly-armed gang. Once Gaddafi was overthrown by the US and its NATO allies, leaving the country in chaos, they helped themselves to all the advanced weaponry they could get their hands on. Instead of just a few rifles they found themselves armed with rocket-propelled grenades, machine guns with anti-aircraft visors, advanced explosives, and vehicle-mounted light anti-aircraft artillery. Then they started killing on a massive scale. Now, according to the Global Terrorism Index, Boko Haram has overtaken ISIS as the world’s most deadly terrorist organization.

James Woolsey (--thelip.tv)
James Woolsey (–thelip.tv)
The interventionists are desperate to draw attention from the fact that their policies contribute to terrorism. After the Paris attacks, neocons like former CIA director James Woolsey actually pinned the blame on NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden! He claimed that because of Snowden’s revelations about NSA surveillance the terrorists were using sophisticated encryption. He even called for Snowden to be hanged because of it. But it was untrue: the Paris attackers did not use encryption, and other groups had used encryption long before the Snowden revelations.

Terrorism is increasing worldwide because of US and western interventionism. That does not mean that if we suddenly followed a policy of non-interventionism the world would become a peaceful utopia. But does anyone really believe that continuing to do what increases terrorism will lead to a decrease in terrorism?

Copyright © 2015 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Nuclear Winter: Are the Global Financial Powers Pushing for War?

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Elite Seeks War While EU Boosts Terrorism in Europe
Opinion
by Donovan Kirsten
Quemado Institute
December 1, 2015

Paris, November 15, 2015 (cnnphilippines.com)
Eiffel Tower, Paris, Nov 15, 2015 (cnnphilippines.com)

European leaders are luring in terrorists into their midst apparently in a lead-up to the next major war—a war designed by the fiscal architects of the global financial elite. This might be a swift kick to spur the debt-stalled economy. Hot on the heels of the Paris attacks, in which Muslim extremists—at least one a Syrian “refugee”—killed 130 innocent people, EU bureaucrats continue to welcome unvetted Islamic migrants, some of them ISIS sympathizers and candidate terrorists themselves.

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As political analyst Andrew Korybko says in his recent article Paris Analysis: Shattered Assumptions and Foreboding Conclusions [Sputnik, November 19, 2015]:


slavdec1x
“Many voices from the Balkans and countless EU-based cautionaries warned that some of the ‘refugees’ weren’t who they claimed to be, pointing to their own anecdotal evidence as well as ISIL’s open declaration that they’ll infiltrate thousands of terrorists within the ‘refugee’ ranks. Regretfully, as vocal and credible as these warnings were, they were totally ignored by the extreme liberal-progressive ideologues that dominate the EU. They refused to listen to the ‘political blasphemy’ that alleged that some of the ‘refugees’ could be cold-blooded terrorists, but lo and behold, they were lethally mistaken and their religiously abided-by assumptions have been disproven to the highest degree possible. The synchronized nature of the Friday The 13th attacks and the targeting of two prior-scheduled and culturally symbolic events at the Stade de France and Bataclan strongly indicate that this wasn’t spur-of-the-moment terrorism. Ahmad Almohammad, the “refugee”-posing terrorist that is thought to have arrived in France around mid-October, was probably just a foot soldier that was recruited to help carry out the pre-planned attack. Continuing with this logic, it seems as though French-based terrorists … had organized the whole thing, and that they were in constant communication with their Mideast counterparts and were thus able to request additional terrorist support as needed. […] There’s no way to tell how many of the over 750,000 “refugees” that entered Europe this year were actually terrorists, but it’s unrealistic that the Paris attackers were the only ones. Even assuming a conservative estimate of 1%, then that’s 7,500 terrorists, and seeing what carnage only 7 of them could do in Paris, it’s frightening to imagine the chaos that over a thousand times more of such scum could unleash all across the continent.”

slavdec1yAs clear and present as the dangers of Mideast terrorists are, to oppose this suicidal migrant influx is to invite being accused of “racism”, a weaponized term quick out the mouths of our youth, and an accusation exploited by the elite-run media to crush the voice of dissent. Indeed, any effective plan to reduce racial conflict is termed “racist” by the brainwashed public, especially by the gullible young who do not know the meaning of rational thought. Even educated news platforms such as Strategic Culture Foundation decry plans for European migrant reduction, so mesmerized are they by the elite’s ultra-liberal barrage, a primary media tool of the warmoguls.

Racial tension is a crisis now pushing the world toward war, yet the topic of race is taboo at a time we most need to discuss it. Media brainwashing prohibits us from examining racial-sectarian patterns, a kind of mental paralysis that keeps us from challenging the elite. Mind control means defining the road. The media establish the edges of the road, while we follow the center. We therefore believe we’re making a balanced choice. People imagine they’re not subject to media influence, but this is a deception. Nearly everyone marches to the same drum. Analysis of racial patterns is the road’s edge we’re forbidden to cross.

Jean-Claude Juncker, Donald Tusk
Jean-Claude Juncker, Donald Tusk
Not only are hundreds of thousands of migrants greeted with bleeding hearts and open arms, the bigshot EU puppet officials are now making plans for Turkey’s full membership in the European Union—despite, or perhaps because of, the fact that Turkey is an ISIS ally—meaning that along with innocent citizens, Turkey’s jihadist sympathizers will freely roam the European continent. Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk are now promoting just such an agreement with Turkey, a slap in the face of Russia, a clear provocation, and an open invitation to world war. According to a Sputnik article entitled EU May Introduce Visa-Free Regime With Turkey in Autumn 2016 (November 30, 2015):

“The European Union will introduce a visa-free regime with Turkey in autumn 2016, in case Ankara meets all outstanding requirements, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Sunday…. Earlier, President of the European Council Donald Tusk stated that the European Union and Turkey at a meeting in Brussels on Sunday approved a joint plan to boost negotiations on its membership in the bloc. ‘If all conditions are met, I think that visa liberalization could take effect in the autumn of 2016,’ Juncker told reporters after an EU-Turkey meeting in Brussels.”

Yet Turkey is a proven ISIS ally. After all, it was a Turkish F-16 that downed the Russian fighter as if flew through Syrian airspace en route to striking ISIS terrorists, the professed enemies of the duplicitous West. And it was Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who said his air force would do it again, claiming the shootdown was conducted in defense of a legitimate Islamic cause.

Bilal Erdogan, son of Turkey’s President, having lunch with ISIS leaders.
Turkey’s Bilal Erdogan has lunch with ISIS leaders.
Legitimate? Only to an ISIS ally. Which proves Erdogan’s links to Islamic terrorists. Worse still, he and his son Bilal, chum of jihadist leaders, are known to be buying elicit Iraqi oil from ISIS and offering it at $20 a barrel to Western customers, who sell it at twice the price.

Such corrupt deals are described the Novorossia.su article SU-24 Shootdown Planned: Erdogan Supports Islamic State – Opinion by Alex Zot’ev (November 25, 2015), and also the Sputnik report Iraqi Politician Claims Turkey Lets ISIL Sell Oil for Meager $20 a Barrel (November 28, 2015).

So Erdogan, a terrorist ally, reaps kudos from the EU bigshots, while Turkey’s crimes fold nicely into the elite schemes of war. These money tyrants pick killer regimes to award with recognition, first the Kiev nazis, and now the Ankara jihadists. Why? Because killers fuel tension, and tension ignites conflict. The perversity of this points to one motive on the part of the financial elite: setting the stage for a major global war.

A two-pronged Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin partnership would bring a swift end to these apocolyptic schemes promoted by the corporate powers. Hence the media tries to damage Trump’s US presidential run with a barrage of false allegations, racism at the top of the list, while it vilifies Putin with trumped-up lies.

Donald Trump (--pforadio.com)
Donald Trump (–pforadio.com)
Even Sputnik News is a tool of the elite, though not to the extent of Western sources. The quasi pro-Russian news platform downplays Donald Trump’s qualifications rather than emphasizing his willingness  to work as a partner with Putin. In the the Sputnik article Next US President ‘Will Confront Russia Energetically’ (November 29, 2015) front-runner Trump is allotted one short paragraph, while the other candidates are emphasized. And Sputnik articles devoted to Trump are often demeaning.

The Sputnik report entitled Trump Campaign Accuses US Media of Suppressing 9/11 Footage (November 26, 2015) unfairly alleges, “Billionaire Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is doubling down on their outrageous claims that ‘thousands’ of Muslims in Jersey City were seen on television celebrating the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. They are now flat-out accusing the media of a conspiracy.” No matter how many Muslims celebrated in Jersey City, what Trumps says is in essence correct. And of course he is right that the media, 90% owned by six corporations, are guilty of conspiracy: they tacitly agree to print the same lies. That Sputnik denies this points to its own complicity. If Sputnik were sincere about promoting Russia’s welfare, it would cast Trump’s presidential run in a positive light.

Sputnik also prints a disclaimer about Andrew Karybko’s editorial quoted earlier, saying: The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik. And of course, Sputnik never fails to qualify the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics as “unrecognized” or “self-proclaimed”, in keeping with the interests of the global financial powers.

Meanwhile, the Western media vilify Trump with accusations of “racism” for mentioning Muslims who applauded 9/11, despite that his words are relevant to a discussion of world peace. It was, after all, Muslim extremists who carried out 9/11. Why would their brothers not applaud? He invites his critics to check FBI records. But of course records mean nothing to our miseducated youth, who do not accept reality unless they see it on TV.

The elite are pushing for major war as a means to reset the economy. Initially, they sought to provoke armed conflict with Russia by staging a coup in post-Soviet Ukraine. Putin did not take the bait, He resisted US and EU provocation at the cost of thousands of civilian lives, lost due to the Ukrainian Army shelling of Russia’s historical Donbass. Yet the subsequent crisis failed to spark an all-out East-West war, forcing the elite to seek another avenue of conflict.

Some political analysts, including The Saker, Boris Rozhin and Rostislav Ischenko, contend the United States carried out this provocation to preserve its waning hegemony. It was not the US per se, however, but the global financial elite, which works to some degree through all Western governments. The US government is simply the most prominent, hence their confusion.

The elite do not want a war with China. Even to their sick demented minds, the vision of 1.3 billion Hans occupying North America is repugnant. Yet they need a foe who is powerful, and Russia is the optimal choice.

Having failed to achieve war through the Ukraine crisis, the powers that be stepped up the conflict with ISIS. Unfortunately, in this case, Putin did take the bait. He is now mired in a heated war and getting more deeply involved all the time. He can’t back out without risk to Russian security, and the end of ISIS is taking longer than expected.

No matter the loss of the Ukraine prospect, to the power elite, a war in Syria will work just as well for their purpose of fueling a global conflagration. The West can retaliate as easily in Syria by staging false flags and fueling public fervor.

Toward the Sun by Leonid Afremov (--pinterest)
Toward the Sun-Leonid Afremov (-pinterest)

Like an impressionist painting in which seemingly random brush strokes form a picture when viewed from afar, we can see the picture in the migrant crisis, the ISIS-executed Paris attacks, the bombing in Egypt of the Russian passenger airliner, the fascist-backed power failure in Crimea, and Turkey’s shootdown of the Russian SU-24. All these incidents are being exploited to maximize tension and set the stage for a global war.


The puppet US and their European allies, at the behest of the global powers, created the very ISIS that attacked the people in Paris. Yet Turkey and the West are buying illicit ISIS oil. This may comprise as much as 5% of world consumption, enough to depress prices and exacerbate the current glut, in which hundreds of oil tankers are backed up in the Gulf of Mexico. Meanwhile, US gasoline prices have fallen below $2.00 a gallon.

Turkey buys ISIS oil, Erdogan and his son have ties to the Islamic State, the ISIS terrorists claim credit for killing 130 in Paris, and at least one of the suicide bombers was a Muslim migrant. So how can we explain the fact that the EU continues to welcome migrants, and that Juncker and Tusk want to open the borders with Turkey? Unless they are trying to boost terrorism in Europe to instigate a major war—a war intended to stimulate an economy ridden with debt, incurred due to their own corrupt banking policies.

The tragedy of their ignorance is, global war will not alleviate economic stagnation. Pakistan would no doubt side with the Islamic State, allowing terrorists access to their nuclear arsenal. If today’s trends in American policy continue, the US might also funnel nuclear weapons to ISIS. And the terrorists would not hesitate to use them. Russia, aligned with China, would be forced to counter with nuclear missiles, making escalation inevitable.

Those who perish from nuclear war are not just the people directly attacked. A major exchange between superpowers would result in nuclear winter, in which stratospheric smoke would block 70% of the sunlight across the northern hemisphere. Crops would cease to grow, and starvation would decimate most of the human population as well as that of most living creatures. Civilization as we know it would come to an end.

I post Steven Starr’s article describing nuclear winter:

Nuclear War, Nuclear Winter, and Human Extinction

by Steven Starr
Federation of American Scientists
October 14, 2015

70% of sunlight blocked by stratospheric smoke layer following nuclear war
70% of sunlight blocked by stratospheric smoke  (–FAS)
While it is impossible to precisely predict all the human impacts that would result from a nuclear winter, it is relatively simple to predict those which would be most profound. That is, a nuclear winter would cause most humans and large animals to die from nuclear famine in a mass extinction event similar to the one that wiped out the dinosaurs.

Following the detonation (in conflict) of US and/or Russian launch-ready strategic nuclear weapons, nuclear firestorms would burn simultaneously over a total land surface area of many thousands or tens of thousands of square miles. These mass fires, many of which would rage over large cities and industrial areas, would release many tens of millions of tons of black carbon soot and smoke (up to 180 million tons, according to peer-reviewed studies), which would rise rapidly above cloud level and into the stratosphere. [For an explanation of the calculation of smoke emissions, see Atmospheric effects & societal consequences of regional scale nuclear conflicts.]

The scientists who completed the most recent peer-reviewed studies on nuclear winter discovered that the sunlight would heat the smoke, producing a self-lofting effect that would not only aid the rise of the smoke into the stratosphere (above cloud level, where it could not be rained out), but act to keep the smoke in the stratosphere for 10 years or more. The longevity of the smoke layer would act to greatly increase the severity of its effects upon the biosphere.

Once in the stratosphere, the smoke (predicted to be produced by a range of strategic nuclear wars) would rapidly engulf the Earth and form a dense stratospheric smoke layer. The smoke from a war fought with strategic nuclear weapons would quickly prevent up to 70% of sunlight from reaching the surface of the Northern Hemisphere and 35% of sunlight from reaching the surface of the Southern Hemisphere. Such an enormous loss of warming sunlight would produce Ice Age weather conditions on Earth in a matter of weeks. For a period of 1-3 years following the war, temperatures would fall below freezing every day in the central agricultural zones of North America and Eurasia. [For an explanation of nuclear winter, see Nuclear winter revisited with a modern climate model and current nuclear arsenals: Still catastrophic consequences.]
Nuclear winter would cause average global surface temperatures to become colder than they were at the height of the last Ice Age. Such extreme cold would eliminate growing seasons for many years, probably for a decade or longer. Can you imagine a winter that lasts for ten years?

The results of such a scenario are obvious. Temperatures would be much too cold to grow food, and they would remain this way long enough to cause most humans and animals to starve to death.

Global nuclear famine would ensue in a setting in which the infrastructure of the combatant nations has been totally destroyed, resulting in massive amounts of chemical and radioactive toxins being released into the biosphere. We don’t need a sophisticated study to tell us that no food and Ice Age temperatures for a decade would kill most people and animals on the planet.  Would the few remaining survivors be able to survive in a radioactive, toxic environment?

It is, of course, debatable whether or not nuclear winter could cause human extinction. There is essentially no way to truly “know” without fighting a strategic nuclear war. Yet while it is crucial that we all understand the mortal peril that we face, it is not necessary to engage in an unwinnable academic debate as to whether any humans will survive.

What is of the utmost importance is that this entire subject –the catastrophic environmental consequences of nuclear war – has been effectively dropped from the global discussion of nuclear weaponry. The focus is instead upon “nuclear terrorism”, a subject that fits official narratives and centers upon the danger of one nuclear weapon being detonated – yet the scientifically predicted consequences of nuclear war are never publically acknowledged or discussed.

Why has the existential threat of nuclear war been effectively omitted from public debate? Perhaps the leaders of the nuclear weapon states do not want the public to understand that their nuclear arsenals represent a self-destruct mechanism for the human race?  Such an understanding could lead to a demand that nuclear weapons be banned and abolished.

Consequently, the nuclear weapon states continue to maintain and modernize their nuclear arsenals, as their leaders remain silent about the ultimate threat that nuclear war poses to the human species.


Steven Starr is the director of the University of Missouri’s Clinical Laboratory Science Program, as well as a senior scientist at the Physicians for Social Responsibility. He has been published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and the Strategic Arms Reduction (STAR) website of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology; he also maintains the website Nuclear Darkness. Starr also teaches a class on the Environmental, Health and Social Effects of nuclear weapons at the University of Missouri.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

News from Donetsk & Beyond Nov 28 2015


Saturday, November 28, 2015
(Updated throughout the day)

Alexander Zakharchenko
Alexander Zakharchenko
Alexander Zakharchenko on Place and Role of Media in the DPR / Zakharchenko official website (in Russian) / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / At a press conference held on November 27, Head of the People's Republic of Donetsk Alexander Zakharchenko answered journalists' questions on the role of media in the lives of the young state. Question: What is your attitude toward the media? Zakharchenko: Any journalist is obliged, in connection with the specifics of their profession, to communicate to people is not so much an opinion as objective information. Question: How important is the work of news agencies and the media in general? Zakharchenko: ... I believe that you carry the power that shapes public opinion and even public life. Therefore, you have a special mandate. You have a very important profession. Question: On the territory of the Republic, several news agencies, TV channels and other media have formed. How they can work freely? Is there any censorship? Zakharchenko: About censorship, we know there is almost none. Nobody is forbidden to express their opinion. It is the right of every citizen and person. But if the opinion which you express is radically different from the views of the majority, it probably means that you are not right, and that you have disagreement with the company [tr?]. And about the ban on expressing views, please say what you want. You probably want to ask how important it is to develop freedom of speech? Freedom of speech is one of the pillars of statehood. But you must understand that freedom is not permissiveness. The freedom of one person should not work to the detriment of the freedom of another person or the public. Quemado Institute comments: We are glad to see Zakharchenko directly address the issue of freedom of the press. Over the past year it has become clear to us that there is strict media censorship in the DPR. We have not heard this from specific sources, but have come to this conclusion based on the restrained content of news reports emanating from the DPR, and the dearth of broad commercial news agencies that deal openly with world events and politics. We have challenged the DPR on this in several commentaries. It is of course necessary in this critical time of vulnerability, when the DPR is fighting a massive information war against the whole Western world and even Russian news sources such as TASS, that anti-Donbass propaganda not be published in the DPR, and we support their expulsion of pro-Ukrainian journalists. The downside is, censorship of even the most moderate kind creates writer's block among journalists, thwarting their creativity and stifling the content of their articles. This constraint is evident all through the Donetsk-based news. And it limits the expression of the favorable along with the unfavorable. Thus, supportive Western journalists such as ourselves have difficulty knowing what is really going on in the DPR. We rely on Twitter for direct information. Furthermore, it is especially tragic that pro-Novorossiya journalists such as Valentina Kornienko have been abducted by DPR authorities and held in secret detention. Journalists advocating an independent Novorossiya should be allowed the freedom to express this, and pressure from Moscow to suppress such opinions, in the name of Minsk and appeasement of the West, should be ignored. Note also that Zakharchenko is essentially advocating what is called a "tyranny of the majority", ie. those who disagree with the majority should be censored. Yet, contrary to his statement, permissiveness is exactly what freedom is, as long as it falls within the bounds of law. The laws must be delicately balanced to allow maximum freedom while sustaining order and security. Some liberalization of the DPR's free speech laws might enhance their image worldwide.

Alexander Zakharchenko
Alexander Zakharchenko
Head of the DPR on Refugees from Ukrainian Side / Zakharchenko official website (in Russian) / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / November 28, 2015 / At a press conference on November 27, Alexander Zakharchenko answered reporters' questions about a possible increase in the flow of refugees, since Ukraine is in deep economic crisis. Question: The situation in Ukraine is deplorable. They come broke, there are problems with gas, with coal, and the winter will be cold. If the refugees come here from Ukrainian side, will you accept them? Zakharchenko: We never said that we are at war with the people of Ukraine. We said that we are at war with the Nazis, and Bandera. We do not view the people of Ukraine as our opponent. We have always treated them with respect. And in all the statements that we have made, we called on these people only come to their senses and throw off the yoke of this power that came to them illegally. Therefore, we will extend a helping hand, and will render any assistance to any person, this we will. But I just want to remind you with a saying: Into a strange monastery with its regulations do not go. We do not welcome ["perceive" - tr?] people here who are carriers of the ideology of "Ukrainians", we do not welcome people who adhere to the ideology of Bandera. And we do not welcome the people who run away from there to stay here, and then go back and say that we are bad. We are always glad to see in our area our friends, the people who need help, especially children, the elderly and women.

Alexander Zakharchenko
Alexander Zakharchenko
Zakharchenko Does Not Rule Out Provocations by Kiev for Purpose of Accusing DPR during Elections in Mariupol / DAN / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / November 27, 2015 / The Kiev authorities may resort to provocations during tomorrow's elections in Mariupol in order to blame the DPR for their failure. This was stated by Head of the People's Republic of Donetsk Alexander Zakharchenko. "We have not provoked anything in Mariupol, but it is expected that the Ukrainians are preparing provocations in order to then accuse us of disrupting the elections to take place there. But to accuse us of provocation in a territory over which we have no control is, at the least, stupid," said the Head of the DPR. According to him, the elections have been re-assigned, and can not take place because of the low turnout. "If voters do not participate in the vote tomorrow, it is the will of the people who live there," said Zakharchenko. Recall that the local elections scheduled for October 25 by Kiev, due to lack of ballots, did not take place in Mariupol, which is the largest city in the Ukrainian Security Forces occupied territory of Donbass, and Krasnoarmeisk. The new date for a vote in both towns is 29 November.

Lenin Square in Donetsk (--DAN)
Lenin Square in Donetsk (--DAN)
In Donetsk, More than 300 Thousand Inhabitants who Left the City Because of Ukrainian Attacks have Returned / DAN / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / November 28, 2015 / More than 300 thousand residents of the capital have returned to Donetsk since the end of summer 2014. This was announced today to DAN by the mayor Igor Martynov. "The peak of the conflict was about August 3, 2014, while in Donetsk there were about 500-520 thousand people. Now the population of Donetsk is 850 thousand, that is, more than 300 thousand have returned," said the mayor. He added that the mass return of people who fled the DPR capital indicates significantly revived traffic. "You can see for yourself that there are traffic jams," the source said. Prior to the military conflict in the Donets Basin, according to 2013 [census], the population of Donetsk exceeded 950,000 people. "Of course, there are a hundred thousand who have left and cannot afford to live anywhere else, and not in their home country," said the mayor of the capital. The exodus of Donetsk in August 2014 occurred in connection with the massive bombardment of the city, which was [carried out by] Ukrainian security officials involved in the punitive operations of Kiev. In the area on the outskirts, there was shelling residential neighborhoods, which are still being shelled from the Ukrainian positions, as well as in the center.

(--Russia Insider/Reuters/Mykola Lazarenko /Ukrainian Presidential Press Service)
Poroshenko  (--Russia Insider/Reuters/Mykola Lazarenko)
Washington's Approval of Arms Shipments ot Ukraine not News for DPR - Zakharchenko / DAN / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / November 28, 2015 / Washington's decision to officially give weapons to the Ukrainian regime did not surprise the administration of the DPR, Head of the People's Republic of Donetsk Alexander Zakharchenko said today. "Last year (Defense Minister Vladimir) Kononov showed reporters the weapons we captured at the Donetsk airport. Among the spoils of war were American machine guns and rifles. In other words, the US had already supplied weapons to Ukraine. Just now, America has officially announced it. We are not surprised by such statements," said the head of the DPR. Recall that on November 26, US President Barack Obama signed the Congress approved US defense budget for 2016, which provides military assistance to Ukraine in the amount of $300 million.

Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin (--from Fort Russ)
Putin signs a decree on special economic measures against Turkey / Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ / Fort Russ / November 28, 2015 / The President of Russia Vladimir Putin has signed a decree on measures to ensure the national security of the Russian Federation and on application of special economic measures in relation to Turkey, said the press service of the Kremlin. The President of Russia Vladimir Putin has signed a Decree "On measures for safeguarding national security of the Russian Federation and protecting Russian citizens from criminal and other unlawful acts and on application of special economic measures against the Turkish Republic," stated the message.

Russian DM Sergei Shoigu (--Sputnik/Sergei Guneev)
Russian DM Sergei Shoigu (--Sputnik/Sergei Guneev)
Russian MoD presents the facts regarding Turkey's act of aggression / Fort Russ / November 28, 2015 / In the course of appearance of different versions concerning circumstances of the attack on the Russian Su-24M aircraft carried out by the Turkish F-16 fighter in the sky over Syria on November 24, the Russian Defence Ministry presents facts of this situation unprecedented in its disloyalty. The accident happened on November 24. Combat loss of the Su-24M, tail number 83, was caused by fire engagement. At 9.15 (MSK) it was assigned to carry out strike near Kepir-Motlu-Zahiya located in the north of Syria. This task was assigned to two Su-24M aircraft crews, including one of pilot Lieutenant Colonel Oleg Peshkov and Captain Konstantin Murakhtin (aircraft number 83, with combat payload four OFAB-250-270 air bombs). The crews were assigned to conduct combat air patrol near Maarrat al-Numan at flight levels of 5800 m and 5650 m correspondently. The aircraft took off from the Hmeymim airbase at 9:42. At 9:52, the Su-24M entered detection zone of the Turkish Air Force radar means and was under their coverage in the course of 34 minutes. After 20 minutes passed since the crew had entered its area of responsibility, the Command centre of the Hmeymim airbase ordered it to eliminate militants in the area. The crews bombed two assigned targets and turned to the left to make another approach for destruction of two remaining targets. As it was carrying out an airstrike at the target located 5.5 km to the south of the Turkish border, at 10:24 the crew led by Lieutenant Colonel Peshkov O.A. launched bombs at the target and was then downed by an "air-to-air" . . . MORE>> Click here.

Mowaffak al-Rubaie (--thesaker.is)
Mowaffak al-Rubaie (--thesaker.is)
Iraqi Politician Claims Turkey Lets ISIL Sell Oil for Meager $20 a Barrel / Sputnik / November 28, 2015 / Turkey allows the Islamic State terrorist group to sell Iraqi and Syrian oil for just $20 a barrel, Iraq's former National Security Adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie wrote on Saturday. In a statement posted on his Facebook page al-Rubaie, who is also a leader of the Law-Governed State parliamentary coalition, outlined Ankara’s four-pronged support for the Islamic militants, with the illegal oil trade topping the list. “First and foremost, the Turks help the militants sell stolen Iraqi and Syrian oil for $20 a barrel, which is half the market price,” Mowaffak al-Rubaie wrote. Turkey in general, and Istanbul in particular, is also a place where ISIL commanders recruit local migrants and take them to Mosul in Iraq or Raqqa in Syria, he noted. “Each month hundreds of radicals cross the Turkish border, while the local law enforcers pretend they just don’t see,” Mowaffak al-Rubaie wrote, adding that many wounded ISIL fighters were apparently undergoing treatment in Turkish hospitals. During a joint news conference with French President Francois Hollande in Moscow earlier this week, President Vladimir Putin mentioned the massive supplies of Syrian oil being sent to Turkey by the Islamic State terrorist group.