Saturday 16th of November 2019

house improvements...

war and peace...

In the run-up to Christmas, President Donald Trump has been the beneficiary of some surprising good news and glad tidings.

Sunday, Vladimir Putin called to thank him and the CIA for providing Russia with critical information that helped abort an ISIS plot to massacre visitors at Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg.

Monday found polls showing Trump with his highest approval ratings in months. Stocks soared 200 points at the opening bell in anticipation of the pre-Christmas passage of the Republican tax bill. The Dow has added a record 5,000 points in Trump’s first year.

And the Russiagate investigation may have busted an axle. Though yet unproven, charges are being made that Robert Mueller’s sleuths gained access to Trump transition emails illicitly.

This could imperil prosecutions by Mueller’s team, already under a cloud for proven malice toward the president.

Recall: Daniel Ellsberg, who delivered the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times, walked free when it was learned that the White House “Plumbers” had burgled his psychiatrist’s office.

With things going Trump’s way, one must ask: What was U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley doing last week at what looked like a prewar briefing at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in D.C.?

Looming behind Haley was part of what was said to be an Iranian missile fired at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh.

Though the rocket had Iranian markings, it was not launched from Iran, or by Iranians. Houthi rebels, for two years victims of a savage war waged by the Saudis—using U.S.-made planes, missiles, bombs, and drones—say they fired it at the Riyadh airport in retaliation for what the Saudis have done to their people and country.

If so, it was a legitimate act of war.

Indeed, so great is the Yemeni civilian suffering from a lack of food and medicine, and from malnutrition and disease, Trump himself has told the Saudis to ease up on their air, sea, and land blockades.

As there is no evidence as to when the Houthis acquired the missile, or where, the question arises: What was Haley’s motive in indicting Iran? Was this part of a new propaganda campaign to drum up support for America’s next big Mideast war?

There are reasons to think so.

Haley went on: “It’s hard to find a conflict or a terrorist group in the Middle East that does not have Iran’s fingerprints all over it.”

But Iran is Shiite, while al-Qaeda, which brought down the Twin Towers aided by 15 Saudi nationals, is Sunni. So, too, are ISIS, Boko Haram in Nigeria, al-Shabab in Somalia, and Islamic Jihad. Most Mideast terrorist groups are Sunni, not Shiite.

As for these Mideast “conflicts,” which did Iran start?

We started the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. NATO started the war in Libya. The U.S. helped trigger the horrific Syrian civil war by arming “rebels.” Only when President Bashar al-Assad looked like he was about to fall did Russia and Iran intervene on his side.

As for the “Shiite crescent,” from Tehran to Baghdad to Damascus to Beirut, who created it?

Under Saddam Hussein, Iraq was Sunni-dominated. It was the Americans who overthrew him and brought Shiite power to Baghdad.

In Syria, it was U.S.- and Sunni-backed “rebels,” allied at times with al-Qaeda, who drew Iran and the Shiite militias in to save Assad.

And the Israelis called the Shiite Hezbollah movement into being by invading and occupying South Lebanon in 1982. As Yitzhak Rabin ruefully said, “We let the Shia genie out of the bottle.”

Are we now to fight a new Mideast war against a larger enemy than any of the others we have fought before, to clean up the bloody mess we made of the region by our previous military interventions?

Before we march, with Haley as head cheerleader, Trump should consider the likely consequences for his country, the Middle East, and his presidency.

A war in the Persian Gulf would send oil prices soaring and stock markets plummeting, even as it would split us off from our major allies in Europe and Asia. The Airbus-Boeing deal to sell Iran 300 commercial aircraft would be dead.

While the U.S. would prevail in an air, naval, and missile war, where would the troops come from to march to Tehran to “democratize” that nation? Do we think a bloodied revanchist Iran would be easier to deal with than the one with which John Kerry negotiated a nuclear deal?

Would Hezbollah go after U.S. soft targets in Beirut? Would Iraqi Shiite militias go after Americans in the Green Zone? Would the Shiite majority in Bahrain and the oil-rich northeast of Saudi Arabia rise up and rebel?

And who would our great fighting Arab ally be?

The answer to that last question is Jared Kushner’s new friend: a 32-year-old Saudi prince who has become famous for putting down $500 million each for a chateau near Versailles, a yacht on the Riviera, and a painting by Leonardo da Vinci.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever. To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.

 

star wars ideology in washington...

 

It often feels as though Washington has run out of ideas: Policy debates break little new ground — often they aren’t even about policy at all. To understand the creative malaise that plagues our nation’s politics, and the incentives that threaten to prolong it, consider for a moment the latest “Star Wars” film.

There are hardly any new ideas in “The Last Jedi.” Although it is not quite as slavish as its predecessor, “The Force Awakens,” in its devotion to the original 1970s trilogy, it consists largely of recognizable elements, remixed and recycled. There are familiar heroes and villains, rousing battles on land and in space, and of course, some cute alien animals, called Porgs, which, after you leave the theater, are conveniently available to purchase in whatever size plushy you prefer.

The movie is well made and occasionally stirring and even satisfying. But it is never more than cinematic comfort food, and like all comfort food, its appeal rests primarily on a combination of palatability and nostalgia.

Disney has made the simplest of blockbuster bets. If you like “Star Wars,” you’ll like more “Star Wars”: A stand-alone film about a young Han Solo is due next summer, and another sequel in 2019. Disney has lined up the writer-director Rian Johnson to concoct a new trilogy (though probably not too new) ensuring that the story — or at least the brand — lives on.

read more:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/19/opinion/hollywood-movies-american-politics.html

 

warmongering is a great pass-time for psychos...

 

President Trump’s 2017 National Security Strategy, or NSS, is a dangerous document. If followed by the administration over the next three years, it will almost surely continue America’s arrogant ways of the past 30 years, destabilize major regions of the world, create hostilities where none need exist, and increase the chances of unnecessary U.S. wars, particularly against Iran.

The most striking characteristic of the document is the extent to which it merely nibbles around the edges of the foreign policies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. So much for Trump’s grandiose rhetoric heralding a new era in American foreign policy. In fact,  there are echoes in the language that go back to one of the most unfortunate doctrines of the past quarter century: the idea that America must prevent any other nation from becoming a dominant power in any region, thus bolstering our goal of global hegemony. That impulse helped generate the Iraq war, the unraveling of the U.S.-Russian relationship, and the tensions with Iran under Bush II.

This concept goes back to a 1992 Defense Planning Guidance report crafted during the H. W. Bush administration by men who later became the architects of America’s Iraq invasion during the George W. Bush years (we may call them the “Unwise Men”). That document posited that America “should maintain the mechanisms [euphemism for military power] for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role.” This consigned America to a mindset of eternal vigilance everywhere in the world on behalf of a global dominance that turned out to be costly and messy.

Now consider this language from Trump’s NSS: “We will compete with all tools of national power [no euphemism there] to ensure that regions of the world are not dominated by one power.” Except, of course, American power. This comes straight from the thinking of the Unwise Men. In other words, on this highly important doctrinal matter, Trump differs not at all from the thinking that began the post-9/11 American global project.

Consider also the NSS’s attitude toward Russia, a continuation of the anti-Russian mood that has captured the American establishment in recent years. “Russia seeks to restore its great power status and establish spheres of influence near its borders.” Yikes! In other words, it is behaving like every other nation in the history of the world, including the United States, which sought to establish spheres of influence near its own borders with the Monroe Doctrine, yanked strategic territory from Mexico through force of arms, kicked Spain out of the Caribbean through similar means, and hazarded a nuclear war with the Soviet Union rather than let the USSR install nuclear missiles in Cuba.

read more:

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/co-opted-trumps-new-security-strategy-is-old-warmongering/

 

See also: 

evolution of hominids: when the ancestors stopped nit-picking...

 

the sigmoid tax cuts for the constipated rich...

The Tax “Reform” bill working its way painfully out the digestive system of congress like a sigmoid fistula, ought be re-named the US Asset-stripping Assistance Act of 2017, because that’s what is about to splatter the faces of the waiting public, most of whom won’t have a personal lobbyist / tax lawyer by their sides holding a protective tarpulin during the climactic colonic burst of legislation.

Sssshhhh…. The media has not groked this, but the economy is actually collapsing, and the nova-like expansion of the stock markets is exactly the sort of action you might expect in a system getting ready to blow. Meanwhile, the more visible rise of the laughable scam known as crypto-currency, is like the plume of smoke coming out of Vesuvius around 79 AD — an amusing curiosity to the citizens of Pompeii below, going about their normal activities, eating pizza, buying slaves, making love — before hellfire rained down on them.

Whatever the corporate tax rate might be, it won’t be enough to rescue the Ponzi scheme that governing has become, with its implacable costs of empire. So the real aim here is to keep up appearances at all costs just a little while longer while the table scraps of a four-hundred-year-long New World banquet get tossed to the hogs of Wall Street and their accomplices. The catch is that even hogs busy fattening up don’t have a clue about their imminent slaughter.

The centerpiece of the swindle, as usual, is control fraud on the grand scale. Control fraud is the mis-use of authority in applying Three-Card-Monte principles to financial accounting practice, so that a credulous, trustful public will be too bamboozled to see the money drain from their bank accounts and the ground shift under their feet until the moment of freefall. Control fraud is at work in the corporate C-suites, of course, because that is its natural habitat — remember that silver-haired CEO swine from Wells Fargo who got off scot-free with a life-time supply of acorns after scamming his account-holders — but their errand boys and girls in congress have been superbly groomed, pampered, fed, and trained to break trail and cover for them.

The country has gotten used to thinking that the game of pretend is exactly the same as what is actually going on in the world. The now-seminal phrase coined by Karl Rove, “we make our own reality,” is as comforting these days to Republicans from Idaho as it is to hairy, “intersectional” professors of post-structural gender studies in the bluest ivory towers of the Ivy League. Nobody in this Republic really wants to get his-hers-zhe’s-they’s reality on.

Ah, but reality wants to do its thing regardless of our wishes, hopes, and pretenses, and you can kind of see how these moves taken in the dark waning hours of 2017 will play out in the quickening weeks of 2018. Long about March or April, something’s got to give. Other players around the world are surely eager to assist shoving this mad bull of a polity towards the critical state it deserves to enter, though we are doing quite enough on our own to put ourselves at ground zero of financial and political implosion.

Read more:

http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/the-darkest-hours/

Will the other players in the world drop their trousers and expose their buttocks — not in an act of defiance but in a gesture of submission? We shall see... Whatever could happen, hang on to what you've got... Stock up on food...

not quite perfect...

On Tuesday, Walt Disney World reopened their "Hall of Presidents" exhibit and unveiled their latest creation: an animatronic Donald Trump.

Sporting Trump's signature past-the-buckle tie look, the robotic representation on the US president delivers his speech eloquently, without any asides or repeated phrases and buzzwords.

Despite the eloquent address, park-goers and netizens alike were a bit perplexed by the Trump bot's physical appearance. Some equated his appearance to that of award-winning actor John Voight — only with a golden toupee. Others proposed a theory of Disney jumping the gun on creating an animatronic Hillary Clinton and then being forced to Frankenstein a Trump following his presidential win.

Let's just call it "artistic license."

 

read more:

https://sputniknews.com/cartoons/201712201060183320-walt-disney-world-un...

 

read from top...

The nasty Mrs Nikki Haley


Though quite young, Nikki Haley is a clever piece of successful political shit. 


You have to hand it to her, Nikki — the little one — has radical Christian views which would make Jesus Christ shudder his last breath on his cross and the greater father god spew in his morning cereals. This is possibly why she has been employed by The Donald to fight the United Nations. She has good form. She fills the role of the US Empire’s Bitch, of the nasty Rottweiler variety, with brio. Nikki bites. Nikki possesses the subtle art of contradicting herself with aplomb like most sociopaths do when their little devious game is going arse up. This is the nasty way to climb the ladder of self-importance with forceful determination and some clever cunning, while looking like an ingenue. 


In a May 2017 interview, Haley already expressed interest in moving the US Embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. On June 7, Haley charged the UN with having bullied Israel for a very long time and pledged the US would end this treatment while in Jerusalem, not mentioning how bad the Israelis dealt with the Palestinians since the beginning of the 20th century. Her attitude was rebuked today (21/12/17), by the condemning vote of the United Nations, though she had made threats to countries that would oppose the President’s wishes...


On March 30, 2017, Haley stated that the US would no longer focus on forcing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to leave power. This appeared as a policy shift from former president Barack Obama’s initial stance on Assad. But she herself supported and still supports the idea that the USA would never allow peace in Syria should Bashar al-Assad stay in power. Previously, to achieve this aim, Obama-the-Sneaky had armed and trained “moderate” rebels to fight on two front: pseudo-fight the Saudi-supported Daesh and destroy the Iran supported Syrian army. The American-supported rebels were cruising along in their task, especially to prevent the Syrian army from fighting Daesh by keeping it busy with fighting these “moderate” rebels (many of whom came from abroad), until the Russians came along in 2015. Not being able to achieve the destruction of the Assad government, while the Syrian/Iranian/Russian coalition was able to destroy some of these “moderate” rebels — also allied with al Qaeda and al Nusra — as well as destroy the more nasty Daesh (IS, ISIS, ISIL) the Americans were left in a bind. General james Mattis got a pat on the back for having “destroyed Daesh in Syria” when most of the evidence points to the success of the Russians.


On April 5, speaking to the U.N. Security Council, a day after the “Khan Shaykhun chemical attack”, Haley said Russia, Assad, and Iran had no interest in peace (clever Nikki hypocritical bullshit) — and similar chemical weapons attacks would continue, should nothing be done in response. Of course this spiel was done to prepare the ground for the US attack on Syria when a day later, the U.S. used 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles to bomb the Shayrat Air Base in Syria, where chemicals weapons were supposed to have been stored. Of course, no chemical weapons were destroyed since there were none. It appears that this was a public relation exercise to woo the nasty media to love The Donald, rather than do something constructive.

We know that the Syrian army attributed chemical attack was a fake flag event to give an excuse to the US to bomb Syria. Haley called the strike a “very measured step” (meaning: stupid) and warned that the U.S. was prepared to do more despite “wishing it would not be required” (ingenue at work here). On April 12, after Russia blocked a draft resolution meant to condemn the “Khan Shaykhun chemical attack”, Haley criticized Russia, saying that “We need to see Russia choose to side with the civilized world over an Assad government that brutally terrorizes its own people.” At this stage the duplicity of the US in provoking Assad and hanging on to straws was very clear.  

In June 28, while appearing before the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Haley credited President Trump’s warning to Syria with stopping another chemical attack. “I can tell you due to the president’s actions, we did not see an incident.” Complete rubbish. There was no more “chemical attack” because the Khan Shaykhun incident was exposed as a fake by renowned analysts (US and others) and the Russians became more vigilant about the eventuality of such false flag events. The UN even did not bother investigating the incident. Under US instruction, the UN wrote a report blaming the “Syrian regime/Russian help” for the “chemical attack”... That there was “no other event of chemical attack” was due to the Russians making sure information was clear and unambiguous.

Now the novel Sochi Syrian/Turkish/Iranian/Russian peace plan is being implemented with deconflicted zones, in which even rebels and their families are allowed to live, but without weaponry and in “peace”. This solution has irked the USA which by now have increased occupation forces presence in Syria, contrary to the wishes of the sovereignty of the Syrian government. While the Russians were welcome, the US had not been invited. The presence of the USA in Syria is breaking international laws and are only there to protect “their” rebels from being disempowered.


In April 2017, while holding her first session as President of the UN Security Council, Haley charged Iran and Hezbollah with having conducted terrorist acts for decades within the Middle East. Anyone with a brain would know that this was relatively not true. Nikki Haley was talking shit. 99 per cent of terrorism acts on the planet have been performed by Gulf States supported Sunnis/Wahhabists/Salafists — as well as by the breakaway Sunnis, such as Bin Laden. Hezbollah was created as a mechanism of self-defence by Shia populations when Israel invaded Southern Lebanon in the 1980s. The point here is that the US having been snubbed by the Iranians since 1979, they have been trying to destroy Iran and their alliances (especially Syria) by using the Gulf States, especially Saudi Arabia, and getting the western media to pile up “Assad has to go” and “Assad kills beautiful babies” mantras as if the US supported rebels never did... On this score too, the USA does not keep a clear count of “collateral damage” (including “beautiful babies”) from their own bombings in Syria and Iraq. 


On March 15, 2017, Haley said she would not support a Muslim ban should President Trump choose to enact one. Haley did not believe we should ever ban anyone based on their religion and that a Muslim ban would be un-American. How gauche.... Remind me, which Muslim countries have been banned by the President? The recent (05/12/17) high court’s decision means that the ban will go fully into effect for people from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen seeking to enter the United States. The Donald has said the travel ban is needed to protect the United States from terrorism by Islamic militants. Okay. Now, Libya? you mean this country that has been bombed to smithereen by the USA and their European allies, including Sarkozy-Napoleon? Iran? Why? 99 per cent of terrorism on the planet comes from Muslim Sunni related entitties, not from shias. Iran is Muslim Shia. Somalia? Syria? Yemen? Are the USA afraid that people travelling from these countries, especially Sunnis, would be terrorists? Why not ban the Saudis and the Egyptians, who were responsibe for 9/11. Sure... Here the problem is not religion but ethnicity within the same religions. 


In April 2017, Haley spoke out against Ramzan Kadyrov and the abuse and murder of gay men in Chechnya (Russia). She stated that “We continue to be disturbed by reports of kidnapping, torture, and murder of people in Chechnya based on their sexual orientation ... this violation of human rights cannot be ignored”. But in October 2017, the US, through Nikki Haley, along with 13 other nations, voted against a UN resolution titled “The Question of the Death Penalty”, which condemned the use of capital punishment when applied arbitrarily or in a discriminatory manner and specifically condemned the imposition of the death penalty as a sanction for specific forms of conduct, such as apostasy, blasphemy, adultery and consensual same-sex relations.

LGBTQ rights advocates in the US, including the Human Rights Campaign, were critical of the US vote. A State Department spokeswoman announced that the US voted against that resolution because of broader concerns with the resolution’s approach in condemning the death penalty in all circumstances. The United States unequivocally condemns the application of the death penalty for conduct such as homosexuality, blasphemy, adultery, and apostasy. We do not consider such conduct appropriate for criminalization.”

This of course shows the full US hypocrisy. The USA reserve their right to use the death penalty as they please. By protecting their rights to use the death penalty, the USA thus prefered to condemn many people to being officially murdered by their own states. This is ludicrous and unacceptable. 


In July 2017, after the UNESCO voted to designate the Hebron’s Old City and the Cave of the Patriarchs as Palestinian territory as well as endangered world heritage sites, Haley called the choice “tragic on several levels” in a statement. Most likely, Haley would have approved had the site been declared Israeli territory.


In September 2017, Haley stated that “some countries” were shielding Iran by blocking the International Atomic Energy Agency from verifying Iranian compliance with the international nuclear agreement with Iran. That’s a lot of codswallop. Haley added that it appears that some countries are attempting to shield Iran from even more inspections. Without inspections, the Iran deal is an empty promise. This of course was more shit from Haley. These words were designed for Trump to screw the Iranian government and abandon unilaterally the agreement, without any proofs of wrongdoing by the Iranians nor any recourse. This was designed to give total support to the Sunnis against the Shia — and possibly prepared the ground for a US led “war” against Iran. 


In October 2017, the federal Office of Special Counsel determined that Haley had violated the federal Hatch Act in June 2017 by re-tweeting Trump’s endorsement of Ralph Norman, a Republican candidate for Congress in South Carolina. Haley deleted the re-tweet after a complaint was filed by the government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. The Office of Special Counsel issued a reprimand by letter but did not recommend any further action be taken against Haley. The special counsel’s letter warned Haley that any future violation could be considered a willful and knowing violation of the law. Haley would have had to know.

(The Hatch Act of 1939 specifically prohibits employees in the executive branch of the federal government, except the president, vice-president, and certain designated high-level officials from engaging in most forms of political activity.)


In September 2017, Haley said that her government was “deeply troubled” by reports of atrocities against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. Appalled as well was the entire world, but nothing was done, not even a UN resolution?

Haley showed more hypocrisy. Her list of contradictions is long...

 

See also the blackmail: https://www.rt.com/usa/413906-us-haley-un-threats/

invited to haley's "thank you" party...

The 64 nations that voted ‘no,’ abstained, or were not present during the UN General Assembly’s diplomatic spanking of Washington’s Jerusalem move will get a “thank you” reception from US envoy Nikki Haley.

Tweeting after the vote, Haley wrote that “we appreciate these countries for not falling to the irresponsible ways of the UN.”

We appreciate these countries for not falling to the irresponsible ways of the @UNpic.twitter.com/a0hUTepD8H

— Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) December 21, 2017

On Thursday, the UN General Assembly voted overwhelming in favor of a non-binding resolution declaring US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “null and void.”

Before the vote, Haley sent letters to over 180 countries, warning that Washington would be “taking names” of those who dared to defy its globally-condemned recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. US President Donald Trump went one step further, hinting that disobedient nations would have their US aid slashed. “Let them vote against us. We’ll save a lot. We don’t care,” said Trump before the vote.

Unmoved by Haley’s name-taking and Trump’s casual extortion, 128 nations voted in favor of the resolution. However, much to Haley’s delight, eight nations (apart from the United States) voted no, 35 abstained and 21 were absent.

Haley later sent out invitations to ambassadors of the countries which did not approve of the UN resolution to a reception on January 3 to thank them for their friendship with the United States, US media reported publishing screen-shots of the invitations. 

 The VIP guest list will include Israel, Guatemala, Honduras, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, the Marshall Islands and Togo – the countries that voted no. Australia, Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Mexico and Ukraine are among the abstaining or absent potential party-goers.

read more:

https://www.rt.com/usa/414008-nikki-haley-un-party-jerusalem/

closely monitoring the situation in binomo...

 

The US keeps reminding Russia about its “place” in the world and follows the situation on the fictional island of Binomo closely, a famous comedy duo said of US envoy Nikki Haley, who apparently fell victim to their latest prank.

Famous Russian pranksters, Vovan and Lexus (Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexey Stolyarov), released the recording of yet another one of their prank calls, in which they allegedly tricked Nikki Haley into believing she was speaking with the Polish Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki. 

During a 22-minute long conversation with their interlocutor, whose voice and tone strikingly resembled that of the UN envoy, the pranksters raised concern over Russia’s alleged interference in the political affairs of an imaginary South China Sea island of ‘Binomo,’ which does not, and never existed on the world map. Haley, however, seemed to be on top of things, claiming the US is watching the situation there very carefully.

read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/414086-prank-nikki-haley-russia-place/

 

the truth about the houthi missiles...

 

 

It is important to publish the facts. It is always hard to know the truth and somehow I trust some truths are more truthful that others. It has been evident that the USA have lied for many years, not just starting with the war on Saddam Hussein. Here, a US weapon's expert, Scott Ritter — a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD, author of Deal of the Century: How Iran Blocked the West’s Road to War (Clarity Press, 2017) — explains what we should really know. THIS IS WHAT THE WESTERN MEDIA SHOULD KNOW AND TELL US, INCLUDING THAT THE SAUDI MISSILES AND WEAPONRY HAVE STARS AND STRIPES ALL OVER THEM:

On December 12, America’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, gave a press conference on the grounds of Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C. The subject of this briefing: the threat posed by Iranian-supplied missiles employed by the Houthi rebels of Yemen in their ongoing fight against a Saudi Arabian-led coalition.

As a backdrop for this dramatic presentation, Haley had assembled various components and debris recovered from two previous missile attacks by the Houthi on Saudi Arabian targets. “If we do nothing about the missiles fired at Saudi Arabia, we will not be able to stop the violence,” Haley warned. “There is clear evidence that the missiles that landed on Saudi Arabia come from Iran,” she said, adding: “The evidence is undeniable. The weapons might as well have had ‘Made in Iran’ stickers all over it.”

The facts of the matter, however, are quite different.

According to Haley, the weapons in question were Iranian-made Qiam-1 missiles, possessing a range of up to 800 kilometers. Haley was parroting the claims of the Saudi Arabian government, which had previously released a press statement about the Houthi missile attacks and their links to Iran. The Commanding General of U.S. Central Command, Lieutenant General Jeffrey Harrigian, backed up the Saudi claims, without providing any new evidence. Haley’s press conference, with its dramatic show and tell, was the first time the Saudi Arabian claims had been backed up by anything remotely resembling proof. Moreover, Haley’s comments were designed to set up a report by a panel of United Nations experts, who had travelled to Saudi Arabia to examine the missile parts in question and ascertain their origin. The findings of that report, scheduled to be released two days after Haley’s press conference, were mixed. “Design characteristics and dimensions of the components,” it read “inspected by the panel are consistent with those reported for the Iranian designed and manufactured Qiam-1 missile.” However, the panel also noted that “as yet has no evidence as to the identity of the broker or supplier.” Haley’s press conference was designed to eliminate any uncertainty on the matter.    

A closer look, however, reveals the opposite. Rather than the Iranian-manufactured Qiam-1 missiles Haley and the Saudi Arabian government claimed, the debris presented by Haley were of a modified Soviet-manufactured SCUD-B missile; the airframe and engine are original Soviet-made components, and many of the smaller parts on display bear Cyrillic (i.e., Russian) markings. The transformation to the Burkhan 2-H design required the Houthi engineers to increase the size of the fuel and oxidizer tanks, and lengthen the airframe accordingly. This is done by cutting the airframe, and welding in place the appropriate segments (this also required that the fuel supply pipe, which passes through the oxidizer tank, be similarly lengthened.) The difference in quality between the factory welds and the new welds is readily discernable. The increased fuel supply permits a longer engine burn, which in turn increases the range of the missile. The Burkhan 2-H uses a smaller warhead than the SCUD B; as such, the guidance and control section had been reconfigured to a smaller diameter, and an inter-stage section added to connect the warhead/guidance section with the main airframe.  

The warhead of the Burkhan 2-H, unlike the SCUD-B, is designed to separate from the main body of the missile during the final phase of its descent; this aids in accuracy and survivability, since most anti-missile radars (such as that used by the Patriot system used by Saudi Arabia) cannot readily distinguish between the smaller warhead and the larger mass of the airframe, sending the interceptors to the latter while the former falls unimpeded to its target. The bottle-nose shape produced by this smaller warhead, however, increases the missile’s overall drag coefficient, which reduced its range. To compensate for this, the Burkhan 2-H eliminates the tail fins found on the SCUD-B missile. This, however, creates stability and trajectory control issues at launch, for which the Burkhan-2 adjusts for by incorporating a more sensitive and responsive guidance and control system, which in turn is linked to similarly responsive actuators controlling the SCUD-B style jet vanes that steer the missile via thrust vectoring.

The reality is that the Burkhan 2-H is neither a completely indigenously-produced Houthi missile, nor is it an Iranian-manufactured Qiam-1. Instead, the Burkhan 2-H is a Soviet SCUD-B that has been significantly modified using Iranian design concepts and critical components (the guidance and control and thrust vector actuators stand out.) The ability to carry out the necessary modifications is not beyond the technical capability of the Houthi, who have assimilated most of the Yemeni missile engineers under their control. While the design aspect of this modification program appears to be Iranian, the actual technical modifications are more akin to a similar missile modification effort undertaken by Iraq in the 1980’s to 1990’s, where SCUD-B missiles were modified to become the longer-range Al Hussein missile used during the Iran-Iraq War and the Gulf War. Iraq and Yemen had a significant program of cooperation before the Gulf War, where Iraqi missile experts collaborated with their Yemeni counterparts to modify Yemen’s SCUD-B missiles to Al Hussein configuration. Iraq’s defeat at the hands of a US-led coalition, followed by the UN-directed dismantling of its long-range missile program, aborted this effort before it could be consummated, but not before a considerable amount of coordination had taken place, including a survey of the specific engineering resources needed to carry out the necessary modifications

 

The missile debris in question actually contradicts the finding of the UN panel, which held that the missiles launched against Saudi Arabia had been transferred to Yemen in pieces and assembled there by Houthi missile engineers; it is clear that the missiles in question had been in the possession of Yemen well before the Saudi Arabian-led intervention of 2015, and that their source was either Soviet or North Korean. The modification kits, on the other hand, appear to be of Iranian origin, and were transported to Yemen via Oman. The UN panel claims not to have any evidence of “external missile specialists” working alongside the Houthi; indeed, the simplicity of the Burkhan 2-H modification concept is such that anyone already familiar with the SCUD-B missile system would be able to implement the required processes without outside assistance. The fact that what is being discussed is the modification of existing Yemeni missiles, and not the provision of a new missile system, means that the already tenuous claims made by the Saudi Arabian and American governments that the Houthi missile attacks on Saudi Arabia represented a de facto violation of UN Security Council resolution 2231 (and, by extension, the Iran nuclear agreement) simply does not hold water. The entire Saudi-US effort in this regard was little more than a not-so-sophisticated propaganda exercise designed to bolster the Trump administration’s efforts to cobble together some sort of international consensus on doing away with the Iranian nuclear agreement. To this end, the Saudis and their American co-conspirators seem to have had little success.

As bad as that result may have been, it paled in comparison to what this entire charade could not obviate—that there has been little progress, if any, in the capability of nations armed with modern weaponry and advanced intelligence gathering systems to locate and interdict a mobile, relocatable ballistic missile force. The efforts of the Saudi Arabian-led coalition to neutralize the Houthi ballistic missile capability have been a dismal failure—there is no evidence of a single Houthi-controlled mobile missile launcher having been destroyed by coalition forces, despite hundreds of air sorties having been flown for just that purpose. The Houthi have displayed the capability to launch missiles targeting the most sensitive of Saudi Arabia’s political and economic infrastructure at will. Moreover, the unique characteristics of the Burkhan 2-H missile—a small, separating warhead, combined with a reduced radar cross section (by eliminating the tail fins of the SCUD-B) and a more responsive guidance and control system—have made it virtually impossible to intercept using the US-made Patriot anti-missile system. In many ways, the Saudi-led efforts against the Houthi mirrors the Great SCUD Hunt carried out by the United States during the Gulf War, where the Iraqis were able to continue launching missiles against Israel and Saudi Arabia up until the end of the war, without the loss of a single mobile missile launcher. Moreover, the inability of the Patriot missile to successfully intercept Iraqi-modified SCUD missiles seems to be the case today, with Saudi Patriot batteries impotent in the face of the Burkhan 2-H.

If a relatively unsophisticated foe such as the Houthi, using Iranian-modified Soviet and North Korean missiles derived from 40-year-old technology, can evade an enemy force using the most modern combat aircraft backed up by the most sophisticated intelligence gathering systems available, and successfully launch ballistic missiles that threaten the political and economic infrastructure of the targeted state, what does that say about the prospects of any U.S.-led coalition taking on the far more advanced mobile missile threats that exist in North Korea and Iran today? The fact of the matter is that no military anywhere has shown the ability to successfully interdict in any meaningful way a determined opponent armed with mobile ballistic missile capability. If the Saudi experience in Yemen is to teach us anything, it is that any military plan designed to confront nations such as North Korea, Iran and Russia that are armed with sophisticated mobile ballistic missiles had better count on those capabilities remaining intact throughout any anticipated period of hostility. No amount of chest-thumping and empty rhetoric by American political and/or military leaders can offset this harsh reality. This is the critical lesson of Yemen, and the United States would do well to heed it before it tries to foment a crisis based upon trumped-up charges.  

Scott Ritter is a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. He is the author of Deal of the Century: How Iran Blocked the West’s Road to War (Clarity Press, 2017).

 

Read more:

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/propaganda-exercise-aimi...

 

Read from top...

 

the haley bullshit...

For his 2003 UN case for the invasion of Iraq, Powell notably brought a vial to represent the "less than a teaspoon" of anthrax responsible for shutting down the US Senate in 2001 and compare the amount to the 25,000 liters Iraq allegedly could have acquired.

With the anniversary of Powell's speech coupled with increased tensions between the US and Iran, many are starting to draw parallels in Washington's approach to war.

In particular, many critics have cited the potential for history to repeat itself with US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley's December presentation of missile fragments as "undeniable [physical] evidence" of Iran providing arms to Houthi rebels in Yemen.

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/cartoons/201802061061385545-anniversary-colin-po...

 

Let's recall here that the "less than a teaspoon" of anthrax responsible for shutting down the US Senate in 2001, was found by the FBI not to come from Iraq, but to have been made in the USA by a fellow called Bruce E. Ivins.  Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with it. See also :

 

double-crossed...

alleluyah...

 


Trump Quotes God's Word in Speech on Parkland Shooting: 'I Will Heal You'

 


BY MICHAEL GRYBOSKI

President Donald Trump quoted from a Bible passage on prayer and healing when addressing the nation on the most recent tragic mass shooting at a school in Parkland, Florida.

read more crap at:

https://www.christianpost.com

Meanwhile, more crap at CP :

As the nation continues to reel in the aftermath of the deadly Valentine's Day school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Pastor Mark Burns of Harvest Praise and Worship Center in Easley, South Carolina who is also a member of President Donald Trump's evangelical advisory council has called on Congress to federalize security in public schools to help protect students...

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No mention of "gun control" at CP (many Christians would baulk at their right to own a gun being reduced), only that the "shooter" Nikolas Cruz, Valentine's Day School Shooter Was Battling Autism, Grief and Heartbreak. Goodo. Meanwhile Mother Jones blames Trump for having relaxed the way demented people can buy guns... As if. Trump was not the only President to facilitate any Americans buying guns. Barak Obama was a major culprit on this score...


 

 

time for the moron liberals to see the russians did not do it...

The religious right’s wholesale embrace of the Republican party and of Donald J Trump, both as candidate and as president, has necessitated a rewriting of evangelical ethics. Here’s a summary, with annotations.

Lying is all right as long as it serves a higher purpose

Yes, we know all about that business about not bearing false witness in the Ten Commandments, but that was a very long time ago. Can’t we get beyond that? Truth and truthiness are overrated. After all, did it really matter that the “birther” nonsense was hokum? Not at all. It enraged those godless liberals and launched our brother in Christ Donald Trump toward the presidency. 

And all those websites fact-checking our president, claiming that he told more than 2,000 lies his first year in office? Big deal. He’s also pro-life, and he’s trying to root out transgender folks in the military, so cut the guy some slack. Besides, that same website that tracks lying concluded that Barack Obama told 28 lies during his two terms in office. So there. (Democrats are such hypocrites!)

It’s no problem to be married more than, well, twice

Let’s be clear here. We’re not talking about polygamy (sorry, Mitt), only serial marriages. This revision has been a long time in the making. Yes, Jesus said: “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and whoever marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.” Through the 1970s, we evangelicals ostracized anyone who was divorced, let alone divorced and remarried. But then we decided to ditch a family man (and fellow evangelical) in favor of a divorced and remarried Hollywood actor in 1980. Once that barrier was breached, we concluded that, hey, if two marriages are okay, why not three?

Immigrants are scum

We grant that Jesus said something about welcoming the stranger and feeding the hungry. And Leviticus says: “The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself.” But our careful study of scriptural texts has led us to conclude that the almighty had Norwegians in mind, not Mexicans or Salvadorans.

Vulgarity is a sign of strength and resolve

The president’s scatological comments about Haiti and African nations provided a welcome relief to the rhetoric of those coddling the so-called Dreamers. As Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, noted, Brother Trump was “right on target”.

White lives matter (much more than others)

Our political movement began in the late 1970s in opposition to desegregation (although our sleight of hand to persuade everyone we organized to outlaw abortion was nothing short of, well, miraculous). On racial matters we’re also indebted to our colleague Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, who did business with David Duke, longtime leader of the Ku Klux Klan, way back in 1996.Perkins also addressed the Council of Conservative Citizens, the “uptown Klan”, when he was a state representative in Louisiana. Therefore, we had no problem whatsoever with Steve Bannon or with the president’s statement blaming the violence in Charlottesville on “many sides,” both the white supremacists and those demonstrating against them. We took the Brother Trump at his word when he declared that the ranks of white supremacists and neo-Nazis included “some very fine people”. That’s why none of us criticized him. Besides, he wants to jettison the Johnson amendment to allow us to campaign from the pulpit while retaining our tax exemptions.

There’s no harm in spending time with porn stars

Once again, we have a precedent: David Vitter, the Republican senator from Louisiana and outspoken champion of “family values” whose phone number appeared in the date book of a Washington madam – and who continued to enjoy our support. Regarding that messy situation with Stormy Daniels, think of the opportunities for the president to share what Franklin Graham calls his “concern for Christian values”. We’re confident that as details emerge, we’ll learn that the Brother Trump was discussing his theological perspectives on human depravity and the second coming.

 

Read more :

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/18/donald-trump-evang...

 

Please be aware that this little site (YD) has been on top of this issue since Trump joined the President hopefuls... The Russians had nothing to do with his winning the Presidency... Evagelicals, supported by the Murdoch media, did. FULL STOP. READ FROM TOP... Mr Murdoch NEVER ever supports a potential loser. Hillary was one of those, in the wrong camp of politics. The other contenders in the GOP (Repubican party) were all losers as well.